Ever since I bought Legends of Wrestlemania, I've wanted to make my own Dream Wrestlemania bill of matches, and I thought, "I have some time on my hands, why not do it then post it on Bleacher Report?"
All characters are from Legends of Wrestlemania and Smackdown Vs. Raw (But not the DLC sadly, I'd have liked to have put Vader in) and one notable created superstar so no, "OMFG NO, MICK FOLEY????" comments please.
Venue: Well, I thought about trying to find a year which could have realistically seen all these characters fight in and decided on somewhere after X, but I was still stuck with SvR 2009 characters fighting a good 15 years before they entered the WWE.
Then I thought about the coolest venue (WM3, or even WM9) but decided that, for continuity, I would choose WM1 and work my way through them with each Dream Wrestlemania I do, in chronological order, so, WM1 it is.
Plus, it has the added bonus of being in MSG, the definitive Wrestlemania venue.
So that's the venue sorted, now onto our first match.
Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho
Every good Wrestlemania needs a Bret vs. Owen style opener, so why not put two of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time together in the ring for an all-out clinic of submission wrestling?
Ric Flair at his WM8 prime, taking on Chris Jericho, possibly the shining light of technical wrestling in the WWE today in a one-off challenge match?
Wrestling heaven, I say.
As mentioned before, this is a straight-forward Challenge match between two contemporaries who both know how to work a match and both have a mean streak.
No double-crosses or elaborate story lines here, simply an invitational challenge has been extended by Jericho to Flair for a one-off match designed to be a Wrestlemania classic.
As they walk to the ring, both wrestlers have a considerable amount of heat behind them. Both are hated by the crowd, this is obviously a hell-on-heel match, there is no obvious favorite or winner here.
The match starts tentatively with punches and mat moves being exchanged, with neither man being too quick to get back to their feet.
Flair is busted early on with an arm to the forehead by Jericho, and is out for a good few moments. When he gets back up, Jericho starts to knock him back down every time.
When Ric finally launches back some offense, Jericho counters it into a bizarre submission move like a torture rack which Ric is able to escape from.
However, after a few more exchanges, Flair hits Jericho with a pile-driver which seems to knock him out.
As Flair beckons Jericho to rise, it looks like he's genuinely injured his neck, but Jericho gingerly gets up and continues to fight back.
Counter-after-counter flies between the two, and it seems that the two are inseparable.
Finally, Flair is able to lock in the Figure Four on Jericho, but Jericho won't tap.
Chris is pretty spent. It's taking him ages to get up and Flair looks dominant. As Flair continues to work the leg, stamping at it and trying to crush his ankle, Jericho counters with a dropkick, before grabbing the opportunity to launch a Lionsault and then flipping him round to lock in the Walls of Jericho.
For a moment, it looks like Flair will hang on but eventually, even he has a pain threshold and taps, to give Jericho the victory.
What will come between the Hammer and the Anvil???
Again, no major storyline background here.
Both have numerous victories over the other on TV and at House Shows, and it only seems fitting to settle the score, once and for all, as to who's the best at the grandaddy of them all!
Neidhart starts quickly, launching an all-out barrage of attacks on Valentine. He wants to end this one quick. If Valentine is allowed to draw out the match, and slow things down, it could spell trouble for Neidhart.
From the bell, he flies at Valentine with a clothesline before mercilessly beating Valentine down on the canvas.
After numerous slams and suplexes, Valentine is finally to get back into the match and get himself some breathing space with a shoulder-breaker off the turnbuckle.
Soon, he launches Neidhart's face into the turnbuckle and Neidhart is down. Valentine leaves the ring to get some air, while Neidhart recovers in the ring.
Eventually, Neidhart joins Valentine outside, and the brawling begins on the floor. Each man, out of a combined will to not let the match finish as a draw, regularly slip into the ring and back out again to rest the countout before laying more vicious moves on each other.
An attempted pin-fall by Neidhart, after smashing Valentine's face into the ring-post results in a 2-count, and Valentine evading the ring again. The match continues outside until Valentine grabs Neidhart's head and drags him up the entrance ramp. There, Valentine continues to beat down Neidhart before launching a horrific modified pile-driver.
Neidhart doesn't move for another five counts before Valentine picks him up, and whips him into a barrier.
At this point, the referee's count is up to eight or nine and Valentine realizes there's no way of returning to the ring in time to snatch the victory.
As a result, Valentine picks up Neidhart and unleashes another sickening modified piled-river to Neidhart onto the concrete floor. Neidhart is busted open and the bell is rung.
The official verdict is a draw but the entire arena knows who came out on top. Valentine acts as if he's won the World title in the Main Event, and even orders the officials to play his music before doing a victory parade.
All the while, Neidhart is carried out by EMTs, bleeding profusely and unconscious.
Although this match started out with no major heat between the two, you can rest assured that there's a rivalry now!
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mr. Perfect
When Hunter lost his beloved Intercontinental title to Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble, he felt the need to assert his strength and dominance in the WWF by making demeaning comments about his partner and mentor Mr. Perfect, saying how he never needed him to succeed and that Perfect was holding him back from being a real champion.
Perfect made good of Hunter's words during his IC title rematch with Hart, when Perfect dubiously pulled Hunter off of Hart before smashing him with a steel chair, before allowing Hart to cover him for the victory. P
erfect claimed that Hunter was too arrogant to be champion and "needed to be taught a lesson", resulting in a match at Wrestlemania.
Hunter starts off the match, after a stare-down, with some lefts and rights to Perfect. Although it takes him a few blows to knock him down, Hunter sneers at Perfect while he's on the mat.
Suddenly, Perfect returns with a knee to the face, dazing Hunter.
Soon, Perfect is in complete control, and Hunter starts to look worse for wear. However, he is soon able to shove Perfect into a corner, allowing him to slam him to the ground and attempt a high-risk maneuver.
After a wonderful top rope elbow drop, Hunter tries to regain his breath for a moment but is quickly met by Perfect.
Hunter tries to fight on, but soon becomes tired, allowing Perfect to regain control.
Then Hunter is accidentally burst open with a knee to the face, and Perfect looks set to lay down his finisher.
However, instead he tries to roll up Hunter for the
pin, but is only met with a two-count. Soon Helmsley is able to go up top for a crushing elbow smash to the face, flooring Perfect.
But Helmsley is visibly exhausted. He needs to try and finish this match quick. After successive pin attempts, Helmsley feels the only way to win this is via his finisher.
He launches a knee at Perfect before the low kick setting up... the Pedigree. Perfect is left bloody from the maneuver as well, and Hunter goes for the pin, with the match practically sewn up.
But Perfect kicks out! Hunter can't believe it! How can he put this guy away? Perfect retaliates with a good amount of offense before trying for a pin-fall. Hunter kicks out as well!
Perfect continues to beat him down and launches a high-risk body splash from the turnbuckle, landing on Hunter for the cover.
Once again, Hunter kicks out. Perfect is becoming increasingly furious, not even a small package roll can secure it.
Finally, Perfect goes for a Fisherman's Suplex, which he locks in and completes to finally give him the victory.
WWF Tag Team Title - John Cena/Sgt. Slaughter vs, Ted DeBiase/JBL
When Ted Debiase and JBL merged to form the "DBL Corporation" (DeBiase and Bradshaw Layfield,) they began a run of consecutive victories, via hook or by crook and slowly began to dominate the WWF.
However, when they formed an agreement with the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff where they would throw their WWF Tag Team Title Match at the Royal Rumble in exachange for a large sum of cash, it soon caught the attention of Sheik/Volkoff's long-time rival Sgt. Slaughter as well as John Cena.
They felt that DBL had cheapened the title and were making a mockery of the American Dream by simply throwing money at everything to make it better. As a result, the two challenged DBL to a match at Wrestlemania for the Tag Team Championship, whereby if Cena and Slaughter win the title, Cena will get a shot at DeBiase's Million Dollar Championship immediately afterwards, but if they don't, DBL will buy out both their contracts and make them "company employees" at the beck and call.
After Cena makes a great start on DeBiase and wearing him down, the match locks into a groove.
Soon, it's Slaughter and JBL in the ring, and JBL commences going to work on Slaughter and really taking it to him.
Eventually Slaughter fights back only to be caught illegally by DeBiase, and choked out by JBL. DeBiase tags himself in and commences mocking and making cheap shots at Slaughter, until Slaughter gets the tag! Soon Cena and DeBiase are the legal men and the action switches to-and-fro between the two but after a while, and some interference from JBL, Cena looks like he's on his last legs.
DeBiase and JBL knock out Cena with a superb double team and go for the pin, but Slaughter gets into the ring and starts beating on DeBiase, before allowing Cena to hit DeBiase with the double team. No man can get a pin-fall, but can Cena get a tag?
As pins go one way then the other, it looks doubtful, but eventually he's able to tag in Slaughter who attacks DeBiase ferociously.
JBL tries to stick his oar in but Slaughter gives him a boot and soon, DeBiase gets desperate. he offers Slaughter money to stop, but he recieves a punch to the face and a slam! Slaughter then grabs a hot tag to Cena, who comes in, slams DeBiase and gets the 1-2-3.
But DeBiase still has one trick up his sleeve. He states that Cena won't be fighting him for the Million Dollar title any time soon because DBL has just been bought over by a lucrative Japanese Investor.
Million Dollar Title - John Cena vs. Yokozuna
It turns out that the "lucrative Japanese investor" is none other than Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna!
DeBiase goes on to say that their match contract stated that if Cena won, he would face "the majority shareholder of DBL corporation" in a match for the Million Dollar Championship and that, seeing as he had sold the majority of his shares to Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji, he was not the majority shareholder of DBL corporation.
He also stated that Yokozuna and Fuji had chosen to attend Wrestlemania to celebrate the signing of the contract which happened a couple of hours ago (conveniently!)
The two meet in the ring, and Yokozuna immediately has the upper hand.
This looks like it'll be a squash match as Yokozuna effectively dismantles Cena within the first minute.
However, Cena soon retaliates, even slamming a moving Yokozuna to mat! Soon though, Yokozuna has Cena lying down and launches two consecutive body splashes on him but, when he sets up the third, Cena reverses!
Yokozuna, however, soon quickly stops all of Cena's momentum, even discussing tactics with Mr. Fuji whilst Cena reels from his beating, until Cena gets up and removes Mr. Fuji from the ring apron!
Soon, the action spills out the ring, with Yokozuna remaining in control, until he pulls out a chair from under the apron. As the fighting continues, Mr. Fuji soon pops up again at the ring apron, and Cena pulls him into the ring! Fuji pleads and begs but Cena starts to stomp and punch him without remorse.
Yokozuna can only see one way to stop Cena, grabbing the chair and smashing him across the face with it. Yoko is DQ'd but retains the title.
Steel Cage Match - British Bulldog vs. Junkyard Dog
For many weeks, these two have argued over who is the "top dog" in the WWF.
Both have shown their dominance in squash matches for the last month or two, but neither have met in the ring! A
s a result, it's decided that this fued has to be settled inside a Steel Cage, a real kennel from hell, with the winner being crowned "the top dog in the WWE"!
The match starts hesitantly with slams and punches being exchanged. As each wrestler plants his opponent on the mat, he simply gets back to launch a retaliatory move at him! It seems that there is no competitor with the upper hand in this match. After a while, both superstars have been launched face-first into the cage, and have been cut.
With JYD down on the mat and bleeding, Bulldog tries to make a break for it by climbing up the cage. JYD is able to regain his footing though and grabs Bulldog's leg, pulling him off the cage to the mat.
JYD then goes for the door, but Bulldog is able to flip him back over the ropes before he unlocks it.
After some more to-and-fro action with each man trying to escape, JYD goes for his finisher, before making a run up the cage, but Bulldog is able to get back up in time. Then, Bulldog hits JYD with the powerslam!
He is able to climb the cage and get over to the other side. But, while attempting to drop off the cage, JYD grabs him and pulls him back over into the ring. Seeing as Bulldog's feet never touched the floor, the match continues!
Eventually, Bulldog has JYD on the mat, and he is standing at the top of the cage. All he needs to do is climb down but, he goes for an elbow off of the cage!!!
He's thrown away a chance at victory to inflict one last high risk move on JYD.
As both men recover, JYD launches a last-ditch attack at Bulldog who falls to the mat. JYD goes for a last-chance-saloon dash up the cage, but Bulldog is out and cannot retaliate.
JYD then climbs over the cage to snatch the highly unlikely victory, despite the Bulldog having two clear-cut chances at victory (First, by refusing to simply drop off of the cage, and secondly, by launching a high-risk attack at JYD, despite JYD being incapacitated.)
Intercontinental Title - Bret Hart vs. Randy Orton
Ever since, "The Mouth of The South," Jimmy Hart teamed up to manage Bret Hart, Bret has really been living up to his credence of "The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be" and when he finally regained the IC title at the hands of Hunter Hearst Helmsley, "The Mouth of The South," has been hyping him to an astronomical level.
Issuing open challenges to anyone willing to take on The Hitman for the IC title, before watching them be destroyed and finally made to tap out to the Sharpshooter.
It genuinely looked like there was no-one able to take the belt away from the Harts, until Bobby "The Brain" Heenan decided that he had a competitor able to accept Hart's challenge and who could actually defeat him, an unknown quality called Randy Orton, who called himself the "legend killer". So confident was he of Orton's ability to defeat the submission legend that he goaded Hart into defending his title against Orton at the showcase of the immortals, Wrestlemania.
As both men came to the ring flanked by their managers, it was surprisingly Orton who looked the more confident. Brash and bold, in comparison to Hart's look of anticipation. Hart refused to be drawn into the hype and refused to succumb to Orton's mind games. He was simply focused on the match, nothing more. When the bell rang, Orton looked intent on phasing Hart, launching a barrage of punches intended to demean him. But Hart stood his ground and refused to fall, before planting an atomic drop on Orton, drawing first blood.
Both wrestlers continued to exchange moves, with neither looking superior to the other. However, when Hart threw Orton into the corner, Jimmy climbs onto the apron and starts to verbally abuse Orton with his megaphone, visibly shaking him. Jimmy continues to abuse Orton, but Orton is soon able to scare him off.
Later, Hart is able to land a big body splash on Orton and get a cover, but Heenan grabs Orton's leg and places it on the rope before the referee can make the 3-count. When Hart tries to argue with Heenan, Orton attacks from behind and hits him with a piledriver. After a nearfall for Orton, Hart launches a flying punch at Heenan, knocking him to the ground.
The pace starts to slow as both men grow tired, with each man taking longer to recover and evidently being in no hurry to get to their feet. As Orton recovers in a corner, he is given some encouraging words from Heenan. After some more offence, it seems Orton wants to put Hart away, even going so far as delivering a high-risk elbow drop from the top rope. But Hart doesn't give the opportunity to cause any further damage as he grapples control from Orton and begins to methodically attack Orton too.
Soon, both Jimmy Hart and Heenan get involved, riling each opponent up in an attempt to distract their opponents. But Bret is able to grab Heenan and mercilessly beat him down in the ring, before Orton attacks him from behind. It's becoming apparent to both competitors how important it is to stay in the middle of the ring, so to avoid the manager's distractions as well as stop them from breaking up pins or launch cheap shots.
Without Jimmy Hart's meddling, Orton is able to dominate, flooring Bret with a top rope dropkick. It becomes evident what Orton's doing, he's setting him up for the RKO. As Orton lays on the mat watching Hart, the stare is cold and callous, and Heenan is going bananas as Orton smashes Hart to the ground. Hart is spent, the match is over as the referee counts 1-2... No! Hart kicks out!
Orton is furious, no-one's ever kicked out of the RKO! Orton begins to realise exactly why they call Bret Hart a legend but this spurs him on even more to prove his status as a legend killer. He picks up Hart for another RKO but Hart fights back with every ounce of determination in his body. Soon, Hart has the upper hand but Orton launches him into the turnbuckle where the Brain starts to choke him and guillotines him onto the ropes! Orton only gets a one-count and soon receives a crushing move before Hart jumps through the ropes after Heenan! Heenan tries to flee, but Bret Hart launches a headbutt at him, knocking him down before he unleashes a flurry of kicks and punches at him, all while Orton is out cold in the ring!
Bret goes for the pin, but gets a near fall. The fans know exactly what Bret's next move is going to be... as Orton lies on the ropes, Hart knocks him down and grabs his legs for the Sharpshooter, locking it in tight! Orton is able to hold on for so long before finally tapping and collapsing with exhaustion and pain, to give Hart the victory and the title.
Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre The Giant and Randy Savage
Hulk Hogan is synonymous with Wrestlemania. Look at all the classic matches he's been in. He is the master of big ultra-hyped matches and tell me that isn't the ultra-hyped supermatch to end all ultra-hyped supermatches.
His three main rivals in a match with him? That is true Dream Wrestlemania fodder, right there. You have may have noticed the inclusion of Randy Savage, yep, he's the one included created superstar. But anyway... onto the show!
Hogan and Savage have been feuding for months on end. Dubious-ending title matches, and sneak attacks feature in their plenty. But it all came to a head at the Royal Rumble when Hogan took on the Undertaker for the WWF Championship.
Hogan looked near-destined to win, with the Undertaker down and out for the count, until Savage appeared from the crowd and pulled the referee out of the ring at two.
He then decided to smash Hogan with a steel chair, busting him open and leaving him unconscious.
Suddenly, the Ultimate Warrior's music starts to play and it seems Hogan's friend is coming to rescue him.
The camera cuts to show Ultimate Warrior running through the backstage area towards the arena when, out of the shadows, Andre The Giant jumps at him and starts attacking him, with the techs cutting Warrior's music..
Meanwhile back in the ring, Savage has quickly been able to drag Undertaker over Hogan and throw the referee in the ring for the count to give Undertaker the victory and the title.
Savage later explains that he did this so that he could finally have his grudge match against Hogan at Wrestlemania and, if Hogan had won the title, he would have had to fight the winner of the Rumble. Hogan soon accepts his challenge, with the added stipulation that it must be an elimination tag team match between Hogan/Warrior and Savage/Andre with the last team standing being declared the victor.
Hogan and Andre start in the ring, but both are soon tagged out to make way for Warrior and Savage.
Savage takes control and Warrior is beaten down, before Andre pulls the ropes from Savage, knocking him out the ring. Andre and Savage then begin to stomp and punch Warrior outside of the ring, with Hogan arguing with the referee.
Tags are thick and fast, with Savage and Warrior eventually settling down to a slower pace. Savage becomes dominant, with him and Andre eventually hitting the double team finisher on Warrior to get the three-count, making Warrior the first casualty of the match.
Now it's Hogan vs Randy Savage and Andre the Giant in a handicap match, and the odds seem stacked against Hogan.
Andre and Savage immediately begin to double team Hogan in and out of the ring, even punishing him with a double team finisher as well as Andre body-slamming him through the announcer's table! But Savage directs Andre not to go for the pin, but to draw out his punishment.
He also instructs him that he must get the decisive pin-fall, just to rub salt in Hogan's wounds.
As there is no end in sight for the match, Andre toys with Hogan for a while and Savage periodically beats Hogan when he's down, refusing to engage him in direct confrontation.
Soon Hogan is thrown out of the ring and beaten again. He doesn't seem to be moving, as Andre stands in the ring, can he make it back for the count-out?
He's down until eight, but is able to get back in just in time.
Savage and Andre continue to toy with Hogan, tagging in between themselves, and laying double teams on him. But when the referee ejects Savage from the ring with a count-out, Hogan snatches the opportunity, smashing Andre with a big boot and landing a leg-drop on him! As Hogan goes for the pin, Savage is too far away to stop the count and Andre is eliminated.
Both he and Hogan, as well as the audience, know what's coming. Hogan is going to finally get his hands on Savage.
However, Savage has other ideas. He refuses to enter the ring, and the referee starts to count him out. Hogan beckons him in, but Savage has other ideas and starts to make for the walkway.
Hogan has enough and runs after him outside, punching him in the face. The beating continues outside, with Hogan entering the ring occasionally to reset the
Savage is able to catch a breath by shoving Hogan and throwing him back into the ring, after which he pulls out a chair.
Before he's able to use the chair, Hogan is able to counter and throw it out of the way. Savage then retaliates with a kick to the groin before hitting him with his finisher.
Savage then mocks Hogan, giving him time to recover enough so that when Savage finally went for the pin, he only got a two-count.
Savage becomes infuriated and grabs the steel chair to finally finish Hogan, regardless of the consequences.
However, Hogan is able to take advantage of Savage's rage with a big boot to Savage's face with the chair and a resulting leg drop to finally get the pin count and claim the victory.
Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock
Like most Icon vs. Icon matches, this is more of a match out of a respect for each other than it is a grudge.
Look at both men's matches against Hogan... the names did enough of the build-up without having to rely on antics and pre-match trash-talk (well, barring a forgetful incident with a truck and an ambulance.)
As is the way with these matches, the match begins with the obligatory Icon vs. Icon stare-down, and the trading of a few punches, before some basic mat wrestling moves, with the momentum shifting between the two each time.
Soon, Michaels is able to assert his claim to victory by taking control of the match. Neither looks in that much of a hurry to engage the other one though, especially The Rock who has just been on the receiving end of some textbook moves.
As Michaels continues to dominate, he piles into The Rock, forcing the two of them over the top rope. After being locked in an armbar on the floor, Maivia is able to regain his composure to hit Michaels with a desperate belly-to-belly suplex into the ringside fence.
Michaels recovers in time to return to the ring for an eight count, only to receive even more offense from The Rock, now in complete control of the match.
HBK then tries to hit Rocky with an arm-lock, but Maivia resists. The Rock is forced into the turnbuckle, before being dazed, giving Michaels time to climb to the top rope and unleash a Moonsault on the Rock!
The resulting pin-fall ends up with a two-Count for HBK, who tries to finish the Rock with the patented Michaels elbow drop, to no avail.
Rock retaliates with a Rock Bottom and a People's Elbow, leaving Michaels prime for covering. But the Rock can't do it.
This is the man he grew up watching and idolizing, one of the main reasons he became a Wrestler, and to see left battered and broken is too much for him. He can't bring himself to pin HBK.
Maivia leaves the ring, with Michaels in the middle, so the referee begins to count him out.
As Michaels gets up at the count of five, he realizes what the Rock has done and swoops. He jumps out of the ring and smashes Rock in the face, beating him up and down the ramp-way, before smashing his face into the ring post and rolling him into the ring.
Although Rock is effectively out of the match, Michaels decides the Rock needs to be taught a lesson, and starts to tune up the band in preparation for Sweet Chin Music, adding insult to injury. Michaels then hooks the leg for the pin. 1... 2...3
Michaels had taken advantage of someone who had looked up to him in order to get the victory.
In an ironic twist, the man who had been cheered and was the clear fan favorite coming into the match ended up being booed, with the Rock ending his night with a rousing ovation from the fans who had dismissed him earlier on.
When asked about his actions later, Michaels cuts a great promo explaining that, in order to have people look up to you, you need to take chances (no matter how dubious and wrong they are.)
He also goes on to state that this "Icon vs. Icon match" was a crock, because The Rock doesn't have the stomach to do what is necessary in order to become a true icon.
WWF Title - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
And here we are at the main event, and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic billing.
The Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania has been fawned over long enough, and will probably be regarded as crowning achievement. And, as superstars fall to the streak, the list of possible candidates to finally defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania grows ever shorter.
Many have mooted the possibility of John Cena being the only worthy contender left to not have fallen to the streak but I dispute this, the prospect of Cena being the one to finally beat the Taker is one which many fans over the age of 12 would physically vomit at, and it would surely mean the death of wrestling as we know it, if John Cena were to finally usurp the one surviving relic of the Attitude era.
In all honesty, if there was anyone who could've done it, it was Stone Cold.
Stone Cold's mountain of hype and fan approval during the Attitude era makes me believe that he would have been able to defeat Undertaker in a hypothetical match-up at Wrestlemania.
Now, keen anoraks may have noticed that, if this is (as intended) the first in a canon of Dream Wrestlemanias dating back to WM1 then Taker's streak is null and void.
This did pose a problem for me, as I did want to have this match happen at Wrestlemania 15, the perfect crux between Austin's popularity peak and the first mumblings, albeit as a trivial fact, of Taker's streak but I'd already started this "Wrestlemania 1" spiel so I had to stick with it and you'll just have to imagine Taker's streak. :P
So, for the sake of including Taker's "streak" in some form or another in the spirit of molding background stories for the rest of the Wrestlemania matches, even the filler... Ever since January of last year, the Undertaker had held the title for a full 12/13 months going into the Royal Rumble, at the expense of his long-term rival Stone Cold Steve Austin.
After Taker's incredible stroke of luck against Hogan for the title (As detailed in the background of the Hogan tag match,) Austin would go on to win the Rumble himself later on that night.
A few weeks later, Vince McMahon goaded Austin into cashing his Rumble victory early.
However, Austin then went on to win this match and the title. Undertaker was furious that Vince had forced him to defend his title early and demanded a rematch, at Wrestlemania, the intended venue for Austin vs. Taker for the first place.
Vince had no choice to accept, due in part to Taker's threats but also because he had no other way of stopping Austin leaving Wrestlemania with the title.
Now, it's time to indulge a Wrestlemania tradition. As traditional as Hogan beating the evil faction, or the Icon vs. Icon staredown or the 42 zillion-man Battle Royal and gimmick matches.
In this day and age, Wrestlemania Main Events have to be No DQ. It's as simple as that. It was OK for the days of Hogan vs. The Entire World to have count-outs in a main event because is about as good a street fighter as Mae Young, but in these times of swerves and outside brawls, it just HAS to be No DQ.
This means that we can indulge another Wrestlemania main event tradition, that of fighting outside the ring and engaging in all-out brawls in the opening minutes of the match.
Stone Cold goes right at Taker with lefts and rights, before stomping him to the ground.
However, Paul Bearer sees fit to try and stop Austin and give Taker some room to breathe.
All this succeeds in doing is allow Austin to throw Bearer off the apron and dash out the ring after him before unleashing a can of whoop-ass on him!
As Austin kicks the living snot out of Bearer, Taker recovers and grabs Austin from behind with a slam right onto the ring steps. As Bearer flees to hide, Taker continues to deliver stomps and elbows to Austin.
Both men are soon back on their feet, and Austin decides to Irish Whip Taker into the barricade before slamming his face into the ring apron and rolling him back into the ring. Austin then takes the time to inspect underneath the ring, before pulling out a steel chair to attack Taker with, and we're not even two minutes into the match!
However, before Austin can swing at Taker with the chair, Taker counters with an atomic drop, before kicking the chair away and going for a pin fall.
It's a two-count though and Austin is back on his feet in record time. Paul Bearer then steps onto the apron with the mysterious urn, beckoning it's powers to the ring.
Undertaker becomes revitalized and starts to pound on Austin before forcing him into the turnbuckle and slamming him.
As Austin lies on the ground, Undertaker becomes complacent and cocky. When Austin recovers, he levels Taker with many punches, before hitting him with a Lou Thesz press!
Austin then sees his opportunity, grabbing the chair in preparation for clocking Taker with it, but Taker is able to retaliate, grabbing Austin's throat and choking him until he's out.
Taker tries for another pin but it is, yet again, to no avail. Once again, Taker grabs the steel chair and is finally able to connect with it, leaving Austin with a horrific gash on his forehead.
As Austin is climbing back up, he is smashed with another chair shot before facing a flying clothesline at the hands of The Undertaker.
Soon, Taker is making signals that he wants to end the match. He's signaling for the Tombstone. He beats down on Austin to try and set him up but Austin is able to hold on to the ropes in an attempt to stop him from putting the move into effect.
Taker then clotheslines Austin over the ropes onto the floor where he is able to dish out some more damage before locking him in for a choke-slam onto the floor. However, seeing as pin-falls only count inside the ring, Taker is unable to seal the deal.
As the fighting moves round ringside towards the technical area, Austin lays in to Undertaker with some punches before seizing the chance to grab Taker and slam him through the freshly minted replacement announcer's table from earlier on in the night!
Austin continues to attack Taker, locking in a leg-lock before unleashing some punches on him and even choking him out with the Million Dollar Dream.
Taker retaliates with an Irish Whip to the timekeeper's table before throwing Austin back in the ring and grabbing the title belt from the timekeeper!
Back in the ring, Taker lays in wait as Austin tries to stand back up. The second Austin regains his footing, Taker smashes him the face with the title belt. Taker goes for the cover but, yet again, Austin kicks out! Austin mouths off at Taker, as the crowd rally round the Texas Rattlesnake.
He seemed to have found a second wind, flying at Taker with many punches and a Lou Thesz press. Austin kneels beside Taker as he stands back up before giving him the famous kick and a Stone Cold Stunner!
The crowd goes wild as Stone Cold riles them up. But, before Austin can even go for the cover, Paul Bearer begins to raise that mythical urn, and suddenly Taker rises!!!
Austin is gobsmacked, he doesn't know what to say or do, he's as bemused as the crowd. He gave everything he had, every drop of sweat possible, and Taker just rose right back up!
Taker immediately beats Austin down, before reaching for the chair. As he goes for the chair, he looks at Bearer, yet again with that urn on the apron.
As Bearer raises the urn yet again, Taker becomes even more energetic and full of life. He looks in even better condition now!
Taker swings at Austin several times with the chair, but it still doesn't feel enough. Austin is, for the lack of a better phrase, dead to the world. How on earth he's withstood such a torrent of abuse is beyond me, but as Taker drops the chair, we think that the abuse has ended.
It hasn't, Taker goes straight for Austin's title belt, in a symbolic gesture. The final blow will be from Austin beloved title itself. A sickening hit to the face later, and the Undertaker gestures for his finisher, the Tombstone Piledriver.
As Austin's head hits the canvas, Undertaker fold his arms for the pin and the victory.
C'mon, did you honestly think I could let Taker lose at Wrestlemania?
Total and utter madness, I say.
Nobody can ever beat the Taker at WM. The whole appeal of Taker's matches is that niggling feeling that Vince McMahon might finally shaft Taker of his crowning achievement and that his opponent might actually be worthy of ending Undertaker's career.
Although, Austin is definitely the most likely candidate to defeat him, it just would never happen.