March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Getting a little Attitude

Wrestlemania 13 marked a turning point in the WWF’s mentality. It was moving toward a more risque type of TV, but the Attitude Era was still in its infancy stage.

With that in mind, does Wrestlemania 13 leave an impact like the Attitude Era ended up doing?

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Wrestlemania 13 (Results)

Date: March 23, 1997

Arena: Rosemont Horizon (Rosemont, Ill.)

Attendance: 18,197

SUMMARY: I’m going to cut you a break here. There was a lot to explain and I’m just not going to bother. It’s not that I can’t, I rather keep this post about the card itself and not hurt your head. Stone Cold Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble through nefarious means, leading to a long story featuring Stone Cold, Bret Hart, the Undertaker and Sycho Sid. In the weeks leading to Wrestlemania, the four men engaged in a chase for the title, and when the dust settled we were left with two main-event caliber matches: Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart in a no-holds-barred submission match and Sycho Sid and the Undertaker for the WWF title.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: C-plus

FAVORITE MATCH: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin. There was no question this match would be my favorite match. It was a fun brawl that was masterfully performed. I like both men in this match. The idea of neither man being willing to quit against their hated rival worked so well here. The ending was fitting of the Stone Cold Steve Austin character, and it was nice to see Bret do more to solidify his turn to the darkside after the match. The men worked at such a high pace and hit another level that this match was the most enjoyable match on the card.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: The camera work was truly something else, especially for the submission match. The zoom in on Austin as he struggled to get out of the Sharpshooter. I also loved the idea that Austin almost broke out of the Sharpshooter. The scene of Austin passed out in the ring was truly one of the was such a big moment in Wrestlemania history, and add in Jim Ross’ call, I was left smiling for such a great match. Ken Shamrock was good as a referee and his post-match spat gave us a glimpse of his future with the WWF. The Undertaker and Sycho Sid match was pretty good, but there was some issues that you’ll read soon.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: While I enjoyed Bret Hart’s heel turn, I didn’t like it when he became a nuisance in the main event. It was borderline unnecessary for him to come out before the match to cut a promo when in reality he could have attacked Undertaker and Undertaker fight back and ultimately overcome a heel and another disgruntled heel. Instead, we get Bret Hart powerbombed by Sid before the match started and then Undertaker winning the title with a little bit of help. The Chicago Street Fight between the Nation of Domination and Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson was chaotic in a bad way, and that’s what happens in these street fights when it features more than one person. You couldn’t keep track of the action, and it really felt like it was seven on three. It was just disorganized and was a letdown.

RANDOM THOUGHT: “So, there are five other guys in the Nation of Domination, yet nobody decided to try and break up the pinfall? It’s not like they would have been disqualified.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: Wrestlemania 13 is surprising for a variety of factors. I came in with the reverse expectations from Wrestlemania 12. I don’t remember this card in great detail other than the iconic Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin match. The card, as a whole wasn’t the greatest show ever, but it significantly ranks above many of the other lackluster ‘Manias. So I put it behind Wrestlemania 3 and ahead of Wrestlemania 2 because it is such a key card in the development of the Attitude Era. It helped launch the career of Stone Cold Steve Austin and gave us the much anticipated turn of Bret Hart, who entertained us until leaving for WCW. Those factors put it alongside Wrestlemania 3 in terms of impact despite a less than stellar card.

  1. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  2. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 13
  7. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  8. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  11. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 9 (Why would you want to read this?)
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