first_imgThe show also featured The Rock’s debut at the Showcase of the Immortals, as he defended the Intercontinental title against The Sultan.With WWE presenting WrestleMania 36, on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5, Sporting News will be recapping and handing out match grades on the anniversaries of pro wrestling’s premier event.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHere are match grades and recaps, courtesy of SN’s Steven Muehlhausen.The Headbangers vs. The Godwins vs. The Blackjacks vs. Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon in a tag team elimination matchMuehlhausen: The winner would get a tag team title match on “Monday Night Raw” the following night. In theory, the idea is good because high stakes are involved. While the concept made it intriguing, the in-ring work left a lot to be desired. The last two teams were The Godwins and The Headbangers, with the latter winning to earn a crack at the gold.Grade: D-The Rock vs. The Sultan for the WWE Intercontinental titleMuehlhausen: This was when The Rock was still called Rocky Maivia, a babyface who the crowd wasn’t buying into it. They were booing at times and chanting “Rocky Sucks.” You could see how inexperienced The Rock was. His skillset was lackluster and one can tell he didn’t have everything in the toolbox yet to succeed. The flashes were there, though, in a sign of things to come with better opponents as The Sultan was a one-dimensional character who couldn’t carry a young Maivia who retained the belt.Grade: D+HHH vs. GoldustMuehlhausen: This was a technically sound match that told a good story. It had Goldust doing everything at all costs to protect his wife and manager, Marlena, from Chyna, who was the bodyguard of Triple H. Goldust had things in control and set up HHH for his finisher when Chyna approached and threatened Marlena. Goldust saw it and brought Marlena up to the ring apron. HHH hit a knee to Goldust, which knocked Marlena into the arms of Chyna, who squeezed and shook her. HHH hit the Pedigree for the win. ​Grade: BThe British Bulldog and Owen Hart vs. Mankind and Vader for the WWE Tag Team titlesMuehlhausen: A better than expected contest, but that’s a testament to how good Mankind and Vader are as workers. It was ruined, though, by a terrible finish the crowd hated. Mankind and Vader were on the verge of winning the belts as the former had Bulldog in the Mandible Claw when the latter pushed Hart into Mankind and Bulldog through the ropes. Mankind still had the hold in and kept it on as the referee counted them out. A non-finish should never happen at the pro wrestling’s biggest annual event.Grade: C+Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a submission matchMuehlhausen: If you could define a picture-perfect wrestling match, there’d be a photo of Hart and Austin with Ken Shamrock as the special guest referee. Everything Hart and Austin did was spot on. Hart and Austin had the crowd in the palms of their hands from the time they made their respective ring walks. Anything both guys did, the crowd went nuts. In every moment of the bout, you could see Hart showing more heel tendencies while Austin was acting like the babyface trying to exact revenge. While Hart wins this instant classic in one of the greatest matches in the history of WrestleMania, the part everyone remembers is when Hart had the Sharpshooter locked in with Austin gushing blood from his forehead. Austin tried everything he could to escape, including the moment of doing a pushup and screaming in agony with the blood pouring out like a geyser. Hart got booed out of the building for attacking Austin’s knee after the match. At the same time, Austin left as the ultimate hero for the way he competed and didn’t want assistance from any officials to walk him to the back.Grade: A++ The Nation of Domination vs. The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson in a Chicago Street FightMuehlhausen: Typically, when a match the caliber of Hart vs. Austin ends, the following contest is a throwaway. Not this one, which showed how good the story was told. Fans wanted to see The LOD and Johnson get their hands on the heel faction as the crowd was heavily invested. What the people got was a good, old-fashioned brawl with every object used, including the kitchen sink. At the end of it all, the babyfaces getting their hands raised in victory, much to the delight of the crowd. Grade: BThe Undertaker vs. Sid for the WWE championshipMuehlhausen: For over 21 minutes, we saw two giant men plod their way around the ring. Even the constant interference from Hart couldn’t save us from the boring action we were seeing.The crowd went from rabid because of Hart-Austin and a solid street fight with The Nation of Domination and The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson to a snoozefest, as The Undertaker vs. Sid featured too many punches, chin locks, and kicks.Thankfully, it finally concluded when The Undertaker hit a Tombstone piledriver to win his second WWE championship. On March 23, 1997, WrestleMania 13 took place at the same venue as its second installment — the Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena) in Rosemont, Ill., right outside Chicago.WrestleMania 13 became a historic show for the submission match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Bret Hart. The main event of this show featured one of worst matches in WrestleMania history with The Undertaker and Sid facing off for the WWE championship.  Grade: F++last_img read more