Friday, July 10, 2009

WrestleMania XI

1) Lex Luger/ Davey Boy Smith v. Jacob & Eli Blu (w/ Uncle Zebekiah)- 2
2) Jeff Jarrett (w/ the Roadie) v. Razor Ramon (w/ 1-2-3 Kid) IC Title- 4
3) Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) v. King Kong Bundy (w/ Ted Dibiase)- 1
4) Smoking Gunns v. Yokozuna & Owen Hart (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) Tag Team Titles- 4
5) Bret Hart v. Bob Backlund (I Quit Match w/ Roddy Piper as ref)- 4
6) Diesel (w/ Pam Anderson) v. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sid & Jenny McCarthy) WWF Title- 6
7) Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Million Dollar Corp.) v. Lawrence Taylor (w/ All Pro Team)- 3

We start off with a Tag match, one of my favorites to watch. Faces try to be the Rockers and sync up their moves, but screw it up w/in 30 seconds on clotheslines. Why is the audio being announced to the whole arena? Vince is trying to placate the crowd with really bad jokes, as usual. Harris' never re-learned after being in ECW that sloppy moves won't cut it. Funny spot was when Luger hit his bionic forearm and neither the crowd or the announcers popped for it. Finish has been done 1,000 times over and better every time. IC title matches were a staple of Mania for years- here's evidence tradition dies hard. Jarrett is a perfect foil for Ramon except his repetitive, emotionless flat back bumps on everything. I wouldn't think he'd wrestled a match afterwards, just had a hard workout, except Hall busted his nose open. Roadie looks like a ferret on Mescaline, he's so hyper at ringside. Jarrett had a great dropkick though, can't take that away from him. Kid looks more like a Geisha girl in his Japanese smock; he brought the fire in the aftermath though. Story and pace was fine, but wasn't feeling much here. Wow, the ref got a name plate and intro by Lawler, far cry from today's Nameless Refs. Bundy easily has the worst selling I've seen in a while, he stumbles around as if he ate a hot chili pepper by accident. He throws Shitty ass clotheslines, his arm was more flaccid than Paul Bearer's little pud performing that move. JR's "Bowling Shoe Ugly" comes to mind with this match. Well, we got one good kneedrop out of him, guess we can go home happy, no, we can't, we had to watch a bunch of grown men fighting over a flashlight in the shape of an urn.

Only Owen Hart would do 3 flips out of an armbar and follow up with an eyepoke! Yoko got it in his head he would bump out of the ring in a really nasty way so he did it! Gunns have some good double team moves, but with this goofy character, no wonder they never made it. Do I really care they had Rodeo scholarships? And what fucking disreputable school gave those out anyways? Crowd is solidly into watching Yoko do anything. Owen powerbombs himself with a dropkick off the top, takes him a few seconds to get up, you hate to see those kinds of things, that's what could really do long term damage. RIP Billy Gunn, died under the ass of a Samoan playing a Japanese wrestler. He was 29 and had a porno stache. Finish accentuated Owen's heel persona perfectly, Yoko was gasping for air against the ropes for a long while after the match, and the genuis WWF camera crew filmed every second of it. I like Bret's approach, he totally picks Backlund apart. He chokes Bob against the ropes as a way to make him say I quit, neat idea. Piper is wretched here, every 6 seconds shoves the mic in someone's face to see if they quit. You can't properly give the moves any sells when you have to function to say "No." Backlund doesn't respond half the time, hell he doesn't even say the words, they just ring the bell after some non-descript screaming. I liked Bob's controlling the chin with a reverse half way through, as an exhibition this would be good, but good this was not.

I can't imagine an instance where Nash would move as fast as he did during this really hot opening spot with Michaels, unless he got wind of a drug test at the Georgia Dome back in '99. I love those crazy high backdrops, Michaels takes a killer one, but my god they have to be dangerous. Shawn's bouncing like a rubberball on the biggest stage of his career, but still finds the time to harass a camerman. Hate those obvious reversal setups, Shawn positions Nash right next to the ropes for a suplex, give me a break. Hellen Keller could have seen what was coming. Always liked that crossbody and flying back elbow he does here, still look crisp and the timing was down. Really exceeding my expectations for this. Sid looked lost, kept getting on the apron waiting for his spot. Ending lost some steam but overall this was well done. Big main and the crowd is supernova hot for it. Bam Bam sells big from bell to bell and it took a real pro to pull this off, even if the match isn't very good. LT don't want to sell anything, he keeps trying to throw little shots instead of playing hurt. Shouldn't have given him all those adrenaline shots before the match in his withered knees. He hits a Doctor Death suplex though on Bammer late, which had to have irritated him. LT does throw a vicious forearm, they quickly go to the fin after LT gasses from 10 minutes of action. Not a good main event.

The scores don't really reflect it, nor do the ranking, but this is probably my least favorite Mania so far. Terrible production values, audio is all off, mics don't work, the celebs are totally lost, just a poor effort and felt more like a bad week of TV than a Mania. Anybody else wish it would have been TLC instead of Salt n' Pepa that year?

VIII= 43%
II= 43%
X= 42%
III= 39%
VII= 34%
V= 34%
XI= 34%
IV= 34%
IX= 33%
I= 32%
VI= 32%

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