WWF WrestleMania XII
by Scrooge McSuck
- The Dark Days of the WWF continues, as it's now time for the 12th WrestleMania, held at the Arrowhead Pond in Anahiem, CA, home of one of the worst crowds ever not from WrestleMania IV and V. The roster is an even bigger pile of shit than it was in 1995, so they book an Ironman match to eat up time and allow less matches to be booked. Commentary is handled once again by Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler.
- Since I have room to fill in this review, it's time to copy and paste the dialogue from the two Larry Fling Live episodes pimping the Geriatric match at WrestleMania XII. Honestly, these are some of the funniest segments ever! Fuck anyone who hates on them becayse they were "tasteless" at times. I guess I should stop watching Saturday night Live for making fun of everything, or Mad TV because it sucks at making fun of everything, or any other parody ever that was entertaining at some point.
- Larry Fling (Almost) Live! This weeks guest: Billionaire Ted:
OK, these are a little too mean, but damn it, the Larry Fling segments are the funniest of the funny, and are just too damn entertaining to hate despite having little to do with wrestling (this one that is). Billionaire Ted's facial expressions are especially funny, so here we go...
Larry Fling: He's been called the most ruthless predator in the bussiness world. His goal: Global domination. His latest target: The World Wrestling Federation. Billionaire Ted, my guest on Larry Fling Live! First, I'd like to say hello to Margo, Angie, Heidi, my 5 girlfriends, my 4 ex-wives, and Sheila the Masouse. Now my guest, he owns networks, he owns movie companies, sports franchises, a rasslin organization, in fact he owns just about everything, he's Billionaire Ted.
Billionaire Ted: Don't forget I own you too Larry.
Larry Fling: Ha Ha...yeah right. You know Billionaire Ted, I was watching In Your House with Robbie Dinero, and I loved it.
Billionaire Ted: Yeah...thanks Larry...we loved it too.
Larry Fling: You're great, I'm great, let's go to out first caller: Randy from Sarasota.
"Randy from Sarasota": Oh Yeah...I got a problem with thining hair, thining hair, thining hair...
Larry Fling: Sorry pal, this isn't the Rogaine infomercial.
Billionaire Ted: He sounds like a moron.
Larry Fling: He must be from Atlanta. Alright our next caller is Terry from Tampa.
"Terry from Tampa": Hello, Billionaire Ted! Listen brother, I need next monday off real bad. I've been hit by a ladies high heel shoe! A size seven!
Billionaire Ted: Uh....Yeah, Huckster...Uh...Yeah, those size sevens are a public nuesence.
Larry Fling: Our next caller, Jane from Hanoi. Is this really, "Hanoi Jane"?
Jane from Hanoi: Honey, I just wanted to tell you Sears called, and your suits are ready...
(Billionaire Ted hangs her up)
Billionaire Ted: Sorry, it was an accident...
Larry Fling: Now lets get serious for just a moment. You are one of the most well dressed and outspoken men in the world. Why you run networks to deliver your own messages and why you refused to talk to the media. Alot of which, you control. And how about your alleged personal vendetta against the World Wrestling Federation, and alleged monopolistic activities, and the about the 10's of millions of dollars lost that were not disclosed to your own stock holders. Or that the Hulksters salery is NOT charged to your rasslin organization, but to other profitable divisions. Why haven't you responded to the Wall street Journal report? Whats the story with the FTC investigation?
(Billionaire Ted suddenly can't talk)
Larry Fling: As you can see, Billionaire Ted has come down with a case of Chronic Larengitus, which has been going around lately, especially in...YOUR rasslin organization. Next week, the Huckster and Nacho Man will be our guests, and maybe they can add some light in their geriatric match at Wrestlemania XII.
Billionaire Ted: Oh yeah, I'm the special guest referee for th---
(Pretends he can't talk anymore)
(end of Larry Fling episode)
Larry Fling (Almost) Live! This weeks guests: The Huckster & The Nacho Man: This is the last time I'll be transcribing these segments, mainly because they are a pain in the ass on my writing hand, and I don't to damage my fancy writing hand. This is my personal favorite, as it's just non-stop laughs about how WCW was using Hogan and Savage as their big draws despite being past it.
Larry Fling: They are athletes well past their primes. Both refuse to retire, both suffer from male pattern balding, and both sold out to Billionaire Ted. The Huckster and The Nacho Man, up next on Larry Fling Live! These guys take me way back to my childhood, they were stars of a prev
ious generation, and front men of Billionaire Teds scheme of putting the WWF out of business (Toilets Flushes when panning the two). The Huckster: Wha'cha gonna do when the Huckster runs out on you!?
Nacho Man: Oh Yeah!
Larry Fling: First, how's Liz? Both: She's not so great. (fart)
Larry Fling: Well send her my love. No question the WWF made you guys into stars, why did you leave?
Nacho Man: They told us we couldn't keep up with the new Generation. The WWF said we were too old to wrestle. I may be old and slow and bald, but old is old and I'm only as old as I feel, and I feel pretty old and bald.
The Huckster: I hear ya brother, I hear ya brother.
Larry Fling: You guys are obviously well over-the-hill, how much longer are you going to keep up this charade?
The Huckster: Charade? What charade? Look at this body brother, I am Immortal! (arms squeak like a rusty hinge)
Larry Fling: Joining us now via special television hook-up from Atlanta, my boss, your boss, what the heck, just about everyones boss, he's Billionaire Ted. First of all, how's Jane?
Billionaire Ted: Uh....she's fine, Larry, fine!
Larry Fling: Send her my love, heh heh heh! I got to be honest with you. I don't know who's older. Me or these two geezers? But if you over pay me, like you do these two has-beens, I'll put on a pair of yellow tights and dance around the ring with a chair too.
The Huckster: Who you calling a has-been brother?! (picks up chair, Fling threatens with a ladies shoe)
Billionaire Ted: Settle down, don't over excert yourself at your age. You have a big match coming at Rasslemania.
Larry Fling: That reminds me, who's going to win your match Nacho?
Nacho Man: Billionaire Ted told me that I would.
The Huckster: No way brother, I have to win the match for all the Huckster-maniacs who buy my merchandise!
Nacho Man: Listen brother, the only reason they wear your crap, is because they pass it out for free brother, and the poor suckers are promised TV time to wear it brother, and thats the truth brother!
The Huckster: Stop calling me brother, brother! (smacks Nacho Man and stage hands with chair shots)
Larry Fling: Well this seems to be out of control. Join us next time, see you later! (Fling threatens Huckster again with a ladies shoe)
- Free For All matches include the above mentioned Huckster vs. Nacho Man comedy match, and the Tag Title Tournament Finals between the Godwinns (Henry & Phineas) and the Body Donnas (Skip & Zip). The "geriatric" match is obviously nothing but comedy making fun of Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. In short, it's really fucking funny, and mocks the WCW as much as they can, including hiring people to hold up signs, people being told who to cheer and who to boo, and of course, the high-heel shoe finish used in several Nitro main events throughout February and March of '96. The second match is your basic crappy tag match between a really sucky team and a team with a couple of guys able to work but saddled with a stupid gimmick. The Body Donnas win, but it didn't matter, since the Tag division was in the toilet in 1996 (and a whole lot of other years since then).
- Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson, Jake Roberts (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The British Bulldog, Owen Hart, Vader (w/ Jim Cornette):
The angle going in here was only about Yokozuna and Camp Cornette, but since everyone has to be pakced into one match, Johnson and Roberts (looking his age, and then some) were randomly picked out of a hat to be Yokozuna's partners. OK, so I made the last part up. Sue me! In one of those weird moments, MR. FUJI is managing the babyface side, and he has an American flag with him! That's one for the photo album... 10 points to whoever can guess what RPG I stole that line from. Anyway, as mentioned in another quick review of this show, it's a decent but unspectacular match, with the heels getting heat segments on all the opponents sometime throughout the match. All hell breaks loose, and after Roberts plants Owen with a DDT, Vader makes his presence felt, and squashes Roberts like a bug filled with alcohol with the second-rope Vader Splash at 13:08. I guess I should note the crowd sucked for most of the match. It's California, so it was expected. (**)
- Hollywood Backlot Brawl:
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Goldust:
Originally scheduled to be Razor Ramon vs. Goldust in a Miami Street Fight, despite being over 1,500 miles away on the opposite corner of the country, but Ramon flaked out a few weeks before the show, so here's Piper as a suitable replacement, making his 50th return to the WWF since retiring at WrestleMania III. Goldust is the reigning Intercontinental Champion, but this is Non-Title. Considering there's no referee at the location of the match, it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway, since it doesn't appear to be a sanctioned match. After some cheesy C-Movie acting and camera work, Goldust speeds away, and is quickly followed by Piper in a white Bronco. yup, it's McMahon making fun of the O.J. Simpson incident, which was still kind of hot news at the time. After we see them driving along the highway, they return later in the show, and have a mini-match of suck until Piper goes nuts, beats on Goldust's nuts, and strips off his attire revealing women's lingerie. That's an image I didn't need to see. (N/R)
- Savio Vega vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (w/ Ted Dibiase):
This was actually the start of their feud, which came to an end at In Your House: Beware of Dog a few months later. Vega was in limbo at this point of his run, and Austin had recently dropped the name "The Ringmaster" for the more clever and cool sound "Stone Cold" nickname. Although I make fun of Savio Vega, this is a pretty good match, despite the sucky crowd. Not a masterpiece of any kind, but definitely better than the average match going on with the rest of the roster in 1996. In a bit of forshadowing for future Austin matches, we get a referee bump, which allows Austin to clean Vega's clock with the Million $ Belt. Dibiase then revives the referee in time to check on Vega, who was locked in the Million $ Dream. The arm drops three times, and Austin picks up the win at 10:07. They went on to have an even better match at IYH, which marked the last appearence of Ted Dibiase on WWF television until October of 2005. (***)
- The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley:
After two months of hype videos running on Monday Night Raw, and over three years since the last appearence of the Warrior on WWF Television, he's finally back, and an even more unprofessional dick than ever! Before even wrestling a match, Warrior threatened to walk out on the show unless he squashed Helmsley within a matter of seconds and didn't have to sell for anything he did. At this point, Helmsley still had yet to be pinned in a singles match on television. After about 5 minutes for his entrance, Warrior no-sells the Pedigree, a move no one had kicked out of at tha point, and finished Hunter off without much trouble with the usual stuff at 1:39. I'm pretty sure Hunter doesn't want to remember this match, considering for the Warrior DVD, the WWE Production team pulled up comments he made SIX YEARS AGO. Talk about keeping it fresh... Warrior would be gone 4 months later, this time for the last time. (DUD)
- The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Diesel:
Just a quick note: I'm getting really worn out on starting my match comments the same way, so don't be too hard on me for being repetitive. This one goes back to the 1996 Royal Rumble, where Diesel cost the Undertaker the title and flicked him off for no reason. Fast forward to the 6th In Your House, where the Undertaker returned the favor by popping through the ring and dragging Diesel down with him, allowing Bret Hart to retain the title. Since then, Diesel has beaten up Paul Bearer and smashed the Undertaker's casket with an axe, while the Undertaker played more mind games, including rolling out a coffin with "Diesel" inside of it. Maybe it was Glen Jacobs with prosthetics on? At this point, Diesel had commited to a contract with WCW, so just guess he does the job. Decent big man/power match, especially since the Undertaker hasn't had a good match in well over a year at this point, and Diesel was never good to begin with. Just to drive the point home that Diesel was leaving, the Undertaker sits up following several Jacknife powerbombs, and finishes Big Daddy Bitch off with the Tombstone Piledriver at 16:47. Diesel would hang around for another month before heading down south, and this marked his last WrestleMania appearence until 2002. (**1/2)
- WWF World Championship; Ironman Match:
Bret "Hitman" Hart © vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lethario):
There's no excuse for the 60-Minute Ironman rules here, other than the fact they couldn't fill the card up with anything else worth a damn. This is another match I really don't want to cover, but I'll just half-ass it. The first 20-minutes is nothing short of boring crap. Michaels works an armbar that goes nowhere, Bret Hart trades off between working headlocks and the arm, and neither man is selling a thing. The highspot of this period is the time keeper taking sweet chin music better than anyone else on the roster at this point. They try to push the pace of the match higher, but it just leads to extended resting, most specfically from Michaels, who at times spends 30-45 seconds outside of the ring and manages not to be counted out. This just drags on and on without a fall occuring because neither man is willing to let the other draw first blood (figure of speech). More nothing happens with both men kicking out of multiple pin attempts, even after spots that should've killed someone, like Michaels' topsy-turvy bump over the turnbuckle, onto a cameraman, and on the floor. Then to wrap things up, Shawn Michaels is locked in the sharpshooter for the last 45 seconds, but manages to last. This is 1996 I should remind everyone, when only supermen like the Undertaker were allowed to go that long in someones submission move without giving up. And that's when the 60 minute time limit expires, with not a fall happening. COME THE FUCK ON! This brings out Gorilla Monsoon, forcing a "sudden death overtime" to occur. Naturally, that only lasts about 40 seconds before Shawn Michaels kicks Bret Hart's head into the 3rd row and covers for his first World Title at 1 hr. 1 minute and 31 seconds. In a very unprofessional dick move, Bret Hart tries to do a "passing of the torch" ritual with Michaels, who simply blows him off and tells him to in few words, get the fuck out of the ring. No wonder Bret looked really pissed off. I really don't want to rate it, so I'll just slap it with a *** rating, since I didn't like it and found it boring, but somehow happens to be a personal favorite of both the participants, so maybe I'm missing something, other than both men playing the role of little kids not wanting to give up something they like (and in this case, not wanting to job first).
Final Thoughts: Although this isn't an entirely worthless WrestleMania, the main event to me is one of the most disappointing (and overrated) matches in WrestleMania history. Austin/Vega and Diesel/Undertaker are both very good matches, but everything else is crap, as usual. I don't know where to go with this overall, so I'll say Thumbs in the Middle, and depending on personal preference, lean up or down for whatever reason you see fit.