WWF WrestleMania XIII

Live from Chicago, IL

Airdate: March 23, 1997

Attendance: 18,197 (16,467 paid)

Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, & Jerry “The King” Lawler

Will Austin make Bret submit? Can the Nation of Domination be toppled? Read on!

For those interested, Billy Gunn defeated Flash Funk on the Free for All.

Prior to the first match, Vince voices-over footage from WWF Championship Wrestling dated August 1975 with the original Blackjacks—Lanza and Mulligan.

Backstage, Todd Pettengill interviews the New Blackjacks. Bradshaw has quite the handlebar mustache.

Match 1 (elimination): Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon versus the Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) versus the Blackjacks versus the Headbangers


Rating: **

Summary: While the purpose of this match was to elevate the Headbangers, the Rosemont faithful couldn’t care less.

Promo airs for In Your House XIV on 4/20 LIVE on PPV.

Prior to the next match, Honkytonk Man makes an appearance. Also, Captain Lou Albano and Arnold Skaaland are shown sitting next to Tony Atlas.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Rocky Maivia (champion) versus the Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund & the Iron Sheik)


Rating: **

Summary: RAW fodder if there was any.

After the match, Ross interviews Maivia at ringside, but Sultan interrupts to nail Maivia. He then grabs the IC belt and wallops Maivia with it. Upon tossing Maivia back into the ring, Sultan mounts the top turnbuckle and splashes him. The Iron Sheik then hooks the camel clutch on Maivia until Rocky Johnson, Maivia’s father, hits the ring on his behalf.

As Johnson assisted his son, Sultan HAMMERS him with the Iranian flag. He then rips Johnson’s shirt off until Maivia knocks him out of the ring. After Maivia slams the Iron Sheik, Johnson follows suit. The heels then scatter as father and son embrace and celebrate victory.

Backstage, Pettengill interviews Shamrock. We then revisit RAW is WAR from last Monday when Shamrock made Gunn tap out. Confidently, Shamrock states that he’ll not be intimidated.

Elsewhere backstage, Dok Hendrix interviews Helmsley with Chyna.

Match 3: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna) versus Goldust (w/ Marlena)


Rating: **

Summary: Glorified RAW match with little chemistry between the wrestlers.

After the match, a fallen Goldust checks on his injured wife and weeps over her condition. He then carries her backstage.

At the AOL desk, Shawn Michaels attempts to use a laptop.

As the tag champions make their entrance, Ross interviews while trying to stir the pot, but the champs argue with him instead.

Match 4 for the WWF tag team titles: Owen Hart & the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (champions) versus Vader & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer)


Rating: ***

Summary: Crappy finish to a decent match. Unfortunately, since both teams were heels, the majority of the Rosemont faithful didn’t have a dog in the fight.

After the match, Owen tries to pull Mankind off Smith, but Vader nails him. Vader then rams Owen shoulder-first into the steps. Finally, officials pull Mankind off the barely conscious Smith.

We then see a video detailing the Bret-Austin rivalry.

Match 5 (submission): Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Stone Cold Steve Austin


Rating: *****

Summary: Incredibly spectacular match that told a story that is still told today. Check this out ASAP!

After the match, Bret receives cheers from the Rosemont faithful. He then attacks Austin until Shamrock forcibly pulls him off. When Shamrock challenges him, Bret backs down and leaves to a chorus of boos. Referee Billy Silverman then attempts to help Austin but receives a Stone Cold Stunner instead. While Ross sings his praises, Austin limps backstage to the tune of “Austin, Austin.”

All three members of the broadcast table fawn over the courage, bravery, and guts displayed by Austin.

Backstage, Pettengill interviews the Nation of Domination.

As the NoD makes their entrance, Vince shills WrestleMania XIV from Boston, MA on 3/29/98. But will the WWF still be in business? Don’t ask Eric Bischoff!

Match 6 (Chicago street fight): Ahmed Johnson & the Road Warriors versus the Nation of Domination


Rating: **

Summary: If you like garbage matches with almost zero wrestling, then this is the match for you. Otherwise, it was a convoluted mess.

After the match, Johnson gives Brown a spinebuster and follows with a Pearl River Plunge. The Road Warriors and Johnson then give both members of PG-13 the Doomsday Device. Woohoo! Boost the match an extra ½* for that.

Promo airs for In Your House XIV on 4/20 LIVE on PPV.

After Michaels makes his entrance, Pettengill interviews Sid backstage. The flip-flopping between his screaming and whispering must drive a sound engineer crazy.

Match 7 for the WWF title (no-DQ): Sycho Sid (champion) versus Undertaker


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Screwy finish with Bret’s interference, but Undertaker won the WWF title for the second time nonetheless.

After the match, Undertaker holds the belt high in the air while thanking the Rosemont faithful. As “thunder” rolls, Undertaker poses under the ultraviolet light.

Conclusion: With the unbelievable submission match between Bret and Austin as well as Undertaker’s title victory, this show is a must-see; however, the rest of the show is fair to middling at best. You have been warned.

See you for WCW Monday Nitro 3-24-97!

Buyrate: 0.77 (Ouch!)

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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