Counting down the greatest WrestleManias of all-time: WrestleMania 10 (#3)

first_imgOriginally intended to be Lex Luger’s crowning moment, WWE, like it often does, shifted direction at the start of 1994 when it became apparent that Luger’s push, the fiercest in wrestling history up until that point, was not having the desired result at the box office. When boos for the former WCW champion were audible at that year’s Royal Rumble where he drew the 30 man match with Bret Hart, Vince McMahon knew that Luger was never going to make it. Hart was the man to carry the Federation forward for the time, and he was selected to be the man to dethrone world champion, Yokozuna, but Hart’s involvement wouldn’t end there.With the Rumble match declared a tie, Yokozuna would face Luger early in the show and the winner would go on to face Hart in the night’s main event. To make things fair and to prevent Bret from having a freshness advantage, the Calgary technician was paired with his younger brother, Owen, to settle a grudge that had been brewing for months. In the event’s show opener, the siblings delivered an underrated classic that is arguably the finest match to ever open a PPV in North America. Owen won the match clean to prepare him for a summer feud with Bret, but despite the high quality of the offering, the logic of Owen going over suggested that Bret would take the crown later. He did exactly that.  After dropping the belt to Yokozuna at the previous Wrestlemania in Las Vegas, Bret was desperate to be the man once more after plans for a Hart/Hogan feud were shelved the previous summer. Yokozuna’s run as a two-time champion had largely been forgettable and despite being opposed by popular names such as The Undertaker, Hart, and Hogan, the giant champion’s reign desperately required an ending.Despite participating in a scorcher at the start of the evening, Hart couldn’t perform two miracles in a night as he tried his best to tell a story alongside Yokozuna. With Rowdy Roddy Piper on hand to officiate, Bret took advantage of a botched Banzai Drop as he pinned his long-time nemesis to capture his second WWE title. A collection of babyfaces invaded the ring to assist him in his celebrations as Hart was confirmed as the man to carry WWE forward through the now oft-criticized “New Generation” age.Although Wrestlemania X was a glorious night for the Calgary expert, it was Shawn Michaels, a constant thorn in the side of the “Hitman,” that would steal the show. His epic ladder match with Razor Ramon etched both men into WWE folklore and it was the contest that gave birth to Michaels’ well deserved “Mr. Wrestlemania” moniker. For 20 minutes, the pair engaged in a stunning battle that went in so many directions. Tense until the very end, Ramon grabbed the Intercontinental prize at the top of the ladder with Michaels tangled in the ropes unable to escape. Like Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3, the secondary belt had stolen the show in terms of match quality. Perhaps determined to demonstrate that they had moved on from the hugely successful Hulk Hogan era, WWE produced a Wrestlemania in 1994 that is still a masterful piece of work when witnessed today. The 10th installment of the annual extravaganza was the first to not include the aforementioned superstar, but the company had no reason to worry. Wrestlemania X was a monumental success that delivered throughout.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year Elsewhere, Savage ended his feud with Crush by defeating the Hawaiian monster in a fair Falls Count Anywhere match, The Quebecers retained their tag straps despite losing to Men on a Mission via count-out, and Earthquake crushed Adam Bomb in a pointless squash match. Although splattered with a small hint of dross, Wrestlemania X delivered emphatically considering it was a down period for WWE creatively. The ladder match and show starter were two of the finest matches of the ’90s and when fans are treated to such amazing matches, they live long in the memory. Wrestlemania X provided just enough on this night to rightfully earn its place as the third greatest Wrestlemania of all time.MORE: Keep up with Sporting News’ Greatest WrestleManias Countdown#5) WrestleMania 24#4) WrestleMania 21last_img

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