Wrestlemania XI: Whaddya Say?

Garrett GonzalesCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2009

For only the second time in Wrestlemania history, the WWF/WWE Championship match was not the main event at Wrestlemania XI.

Former champion Bret “The Hitman” Hart and future champ Shawn Michaels were featured on the card—but not in the main event.

So just who was in the featured bout for this Wrestlemania? The first was Bam Bam Bigelow.

And the second? If you guessed former NFL star Lawrence Taylor, you'd be right.

This program was initially supposed to help Bigelow’s career. He had agreed to lose to Taylor and, in turn, become a regular main-eventer.

Overall, the show featured one of the least inspired Wrestlemania cards, as far as ring work was concerned.

Usually, there is one or two showstopper-type matches that carry the rest of the card. But that year, there was no quality wrestling to be found.

The one match that should have at least been half decent was the "I Quit" grudge match between Bret Hart Bob Backlund.

In order to win, one man had to force the other to yell "I quit" into a microphone. Roddy Piper was announced as the surprise guest referee.

But that match flopped as well.

Piper would yell, “Whaddya say?” before Hart even locked in a submission hold and a pissed off Backlund would shout back, “No!” as if he was actually angry with Piper.

It's understandable, Backlund was just trying to put on a good show before her got in his face.

It was a garbled mess and one of the few matches in Hart's career where it seemed he didn’t have control...aside from the time Vince McMahon screwed him out of the WWF title.

Hart finally got Backlund to submit, using his own chicken wing submission finisher. But the audience couldn't really tell what was going on at the end. It was just an awful match.

The other match that had a chance to be decent was the WWF Championship with Shawn Michaels as the heel challenger facing the current champ, Diesel.

The match itself wasn’t horrible, but only because Michaels is good enough to make any opponent look good.

Diesel will probably go down as the worst champ in WWE/WWF history. He couldn’t wrestle to save his life and had average charisma for a supposedly funny and entertaining guy.

Michaels lost the match and his shot at the belt because his bodyguard, Sycho Sid, pulled the ref out of the ring when Michaels had Diesel pinned

Elsewhere, Razor Ramon beat Intercontinental Champ Jeff Jarrett by disqualification in a match where the Roadie and the 1-2-3 Kid continually interfered.

The match should've been good, but both guys were off their game.

Ramon could have a good match as long as he had a good wrestler to work with. In this instance, Jarrett wasn’t good enough to carry him.

However, it did make up for a horrible opener featuring Lex Luger and the British Bulldog as the Allied Powers facing Eli & Jacob Blu.

After the IC title match came Undertaker against King Kong Bundy. Oi.

While 'Taker can work great matches with guys who can move, it's horrible to watch him face someone like Bundy who was basically immobile.

'Taker basically won with a couple of boots to the head.

I always had a soft spot in my heart for Bundy because he was the first heel that legitimately scared me when I was younger. But here, almost 10 years later, he wasn’t nearly as effective.

The late, great Owen Hart was the lone bright spot in a tag team championship match where he and his mystery partner, who happened to be Yokozuna, beat The Smoking Gunns.

The match was brilliant when Hart was in the ring and uninspired when he was not. It was the first taste of gold for Hart.

As I said earlier, Bam Bam Bigelow wrestled Lawrence Taylor in the main event.

Taylor had his NFL team with Ken Norton, Ricky Jackson and other defensive players ringside. Bigelow was a part of the Million Dollar Man's "Million Dollar Corporation" at the time and his cronies were ringside as well.

Salt and Pepa performed What a Man with new LT-inspired lyrics as Taylor entered the ring.

The bout looked more like an event than a wrestling match. Even though Taylor showed his natural athletic ability, the whole mess was a let down from a wrestling standpoint.

Taylor threw forearms and, at one point, failed at delivering a power bomb. Bigelow sold huge for the football star to try and save the match.

As a wrestling fan, you had to cringe just a little to see Bigelow fly all over the ring for Taylor like he was Hulk Hogan.

In the end, the crowd went home happy as the football player won with the great charisma he showed on the football field.


Allied Powers defeated Eli & Jacob Blu via pinfall.
Razor Ramon beat Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett via DQ.
Undertaker defeated King Kong Bundy via pinfall.
Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund in an “I Quit” Match.
Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated the Smoking Gunns for the Tag Team Championship.
WWF Champion Diesel defeated Shawn Michaels via pinfall.
Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via pinfall.


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