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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Best "WrestleMania" Match
June 6, 2005 by Matt Edlin


Over the past 21 years, we have seen some of the best and most memorable matches at "WrestleMania". We've seen the Hulk Hogan er's, the Bret "The Hitman" Hart era's, Stone Cold eras and the future eras of John Cena and Batista. WWE has brought out some of the best matches in history such as the Ladder matches. But the most memorable match for me over all these years, is the submission match at "WrestleMania 13" between Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

This feud started in the year 1996 when Stone Cold challenged Bret to a match at "Survivor Series". Bret accepted, and these two superstars had a great match, with Bret getting a win for his return. But this feud continued into 1997 at the "Royal Rumble" when Bret's victory was stolen when Austin, after being thrown over the rope by Bret, came back in and threw Bret back over the rope, leading to the referee's declaring Austin the winner. But it didn't stop there. Austin didn't want a title match at "WrestleMania 13" because he wanted a submission match with Bret, and that's what he got. When this match happened at "WrestleMania 13", it was remembered in history for three major reasons.

Reason one: The match itself was incredible. It started out as a brawl but turned into a great technical and physical wrestling match between these two superstars. The turning point in the match for Austin was when he got busted open after hitting the railing. The battle went on and although Austin had not tapped, referee Ken Shamrock ended the match due to Austin's blood loss and Bret was the winner. So overall, the match itself was amazing.

Reason two: The incident at the end of the match. Austin got put in the sharpshooter and never tapped out. He lasted a few minutes in pain but refused to quit with Bret putting on a lot of pressure. After this match, you have to give respect to Austin for lasting that long with the amount of pain he was in. But it's what happened after this which was shocking.

Reason three: Bret Hart came into this match as a babyface and was still a fan favourite, but when he left the ring he got booed. However, when Austin left he got cheered from being a heel, and this is when the "Austin! Austin!" chants began. Both wrestlers changing their status with fans was great.

Those three major reasons put this match as for me the best "WrestleMania" match in history. Not many matches have these events occur in one night, and this match changed the year of wrestling in 1997. Both Austin and Bret would be remembered most for this truly epic battle at "WrestleMania 13".

This is my first article, please may I have feedback so people can say where I need to improve.

by Matt Edlin ..


Dev Hasan wrote:
Niiiiice artical. I loved the match too. WrestleMania had alot of great matches and "moments" but the greatest match so far was Bret vs Austin. That match made the "Stone Cold" character. My favourite 2 moments were Owen and Bret face 2 face and Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant face 2 face. They got big ass reactions.

Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels was boring...Chris Benoit vs Bret Hart at WCW in Kansas City in the memory of Owen Hart was 100 times better. Any match with Bret would be good. Bret can carry anybody and make them look good, even Benoit.

Actually I take that one back. Benoit couldent even make Orton look good, thats how crap Randy is. It ain't Benoit's fault Randy's wrestling skills are awful.

Austin could actually wrestle good, he wasnt just a brawler. When Owen broke his neck by accident with the Tombstone Piledriver then he was more of the brawler type for 2 years, wrestling with a broken neck.
Jake Raynor wrote:
Wrestlemania's old it's like christmas. no-one puts up decorations in February! No-one is in the Wrestlemania spirit. Sure, Wrestlemania rocks but you should've done one March-April but not June c'mon
God of Gods wrote:
Im not even going to bother typing a page long reason on the best wrestelmaina match, but i will breifly mention it. I have allways felt that wrestelmaina 12 (i think) HBK vs Hitman in the hour ironman match it the best. This match took everything to new hights. It was the first ever ironman match, bret was considered the 'best' an shawn michaels was one the best athletes around. So we had two of the best ever, in a completey new type of match. Not only do i feel that it was the best ever.. even among the wwe locker room, the have allso voiced that they feel that this match was the greatest wrestlemaina ever as well.
Shane Cossey wrote:
Hey man, first off congratulations on a great article, i too agree that Steve Austin vs Bret Hart from WrestleMania13 was the best Mania match ever. Not to discredit your work or anything , you did have one fact wrong ...... austins head was busted open from when bret hart hit him in the head with the timekeepers bell, not from the railing. But overall it was a good article and I hope to read more of your work in the future .
Dan Fehler wrote:
  • Austin didn't want a title match at "WrestleMania 13" because he wanted a submission match with Bret, and that's what he got.

    False. The disputed outcome of the Royal Rumble was compounded with Champion Shawn Michaels leg injury, and set up the IYH:13 Final Four match with Austin, Hart, Undertaker, and Vader with Hart winning the WWE title, (which he dropped to Sid the next day on RAW.) The Final Four was an elimination/over-the-top style, and Hart elminated Stone Cold. Austin tried to interfere in the match again, but it ended with Hart eliminating Undertaker. I don't know if Austin caused Hart to drop the title to Sid on RAW, but to say he didn't want the title himself is false.

    The match was amazing, I'll give you that.

  • After this match, you have to give respect to Austin for lasting that long with the amount of pain he was in.

    Umm, you realize that it's a work, right"

  • Reason three: Bret Hart came into this match as a babyface and was still a fan favourite, but when he left the ring he got booed. However, when Austin left he got cheered from being a heel, and this is when the "Austin! Austin!" chants began. Both wrestlers changing their status with fans was great.

    False again. Maybe Bret was still getting cheered in Canada, but most people were starting to get sick of his attitude. After HBK vacated the title in Februry '97, Hart cut a promo stating HBK just was too scared to face Hart. Hart's turn to full heel was in motion before the match started. As for Austin, ever since he won the King of the Ring in '96, and cut the promo to end all promos, he was gaining more and more face cheers. Fans loved the rattlesnake, even if he was kicking the "faces" asses. He was also kicking the heel's asses at this time, too. He just never won "the big one". Not yet.
    Jacob Kuhn wrote:
    I just wanted to say you did a good job here, regardless of what anyone says. I agree that it was one of the best Wrestlemania matches ever.

    I want to address the comments by Dan Fehler, while defending one of yours. The third reason listed, about the statuses of the two performers changing in this match, was a valid comment. Although Austin began to gain popularity at the previous King of the Ring, Bret Hart was still the more popular wrestler. One needs to look no further than the Royal Rumble only two months before when Austin got almost no reaction when he came out, and Hart got a huge pop.

    Furthermore, I was at Wrestlemania 13. One thing about Chicago is that their is a high appreciation here for dominant heels. Austin did get a big reaction when he was introduced, but Bret's was bigger. Of all the crowd reactions I had seen in the many live events I had attended, Bret's at Wrestlemania 13 was the most deafening. While Bret was already on his way to becoming a heel, this was the match it culminated. Afterwards, the fans DID boo Bret and Austin DID get the bigger reaction.

    Also, I am sure that the guy knows that it was a work. Get over it! If fans want to talk about wrestling from a more kayfabe perspective, than lay off. They have every right to. In fact, I have had more respect for these fans lately because they have more faith in the product, other than people who have nothing better to do than bitch about it.
    Brianell wrote:
    This is directly to Dev Hasan...buddy no offense but how dare you come on this great site and say that Angle vs. HBK was boring. You are the most absolute fakest fan of all time and there is no argument and no way in hell that you can defend that statement. That is one of the stupidest and most idiotic things that has probably ever been written before and you should be ashamed of yourself for taking up a seat at a wrestling event(if you even go) that belongs to a real fan(mark or not). Angle/HBK is one of the greatest matches not just in Wrestlemania history,but in WRESTLING history. Just the fact that you said it was boring is a joke and they should ban you from anything wrestling related because it is fake fans like you that try to ruin it for everyone else. How about doing not just the wrestling world,but the whole world in general and just shut your damn mouth because i sure as hell don't see anything intelligent coming out of it. On another note, this was a very good article and was very well done and captures much of what went into the match and Dev....keep your damn mouth shut, for all our sakes.
    Tony Luciano wrote:
    I have to agree, I would say that this match ahs alot of components to make it one of the best matches in WRESTLING HISTORY. You had two guys that hated eachother, and yes we all know its a work, but they still made me believe that they ahted each other. That's how good this match was, they brought us all into the match, you could feel the hatred between them. Yeah maybe this wasn't a technical masterpiece like Steamboat/Savage but this showed su that you could have a full out fist fight with weapons and sitll have a masterpiece. The double turn at the end of the match was brilliant, Stone Cold was on his way to becoming one of the true greats because of this match. I disagree with what you guys have said. The original plans for Wrestlemania 13 was for Bret Hart to win the Royal Rumble, then go on to Wrestlemania 13 and defeat Shawn Michaels in a rematch from Wrestlemania 12. Shawn however refused to lose to Bret Hart and there for they stripped him of the title and said he had a foot injury, and set up Bret vs Austin in a Submission Match. Great Article none the less.
    Robert Morgan wrote:
    Sorry but the greatest Wrestlemania match of all time was on March 17, 2002, The Sky Dome (now named the Rogers Centre since February 02 2005) Icon vs. Icon it was The Immortal Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Great One, The Brahma Bull, The Most Electrifying Man In Sports and Entertainment Today The Rock, this match had all the makings of a true classic as both men gave it they're all, the crowd went wild, torn in two not knowing who to cheer for. The Hulkamaniacs were cheering for Hogan when Hulkamania was running wild, and the millions and millions of The Rocks fans were screaming for The Peoples Champion when The Rock kicked out of the Leg drop. But when it was all said and done, and the dust had rested there was only the rock left standing after he hit the Biggest Peoples Elbow we have ever seen the knocked the Hulkster out for the 1, 2, 3. Also After the match Hogan Joined The Rock in a Series of his Classic poses and left the nWo for good. This Match was more popular than the main event, that featured Triple H vs. Chris Jericho in Hell in a Cell for the Undisputed Title, and also headlined Wrestlemania X8 and people will always remember the Match of all Matches, ICON vs. ICON
    wrote:

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