Joel: So much of this WrestleMania is all about the one match it’s hard to separate the two. In many ways a review of the Iron Man main event match is a review of WrestleMania XII itself. Fortunately, if there’s going to be a pair of wrestlers that put on an hour long main event these are the two. It’s hard to compare this match to other matches because part of the marvel of a 60 minute iron man match is the sheer fact that it’s happening. I will say that even with this clearly being the best possible choice for who you’re putting in your hour long iron man match, it still felt like a very long match. Minute twenty feels like a dark point in this match knowing that there were still forty minutes to go. But still, you have to give this one match of the night. I’ve heard this match described as a four star forty minute match followed by a five star twenty minute match that was put on by the same guys, which is a really accurate way to look at it I feel. I would like to see more iron man matches, and maybe even another one that takes an hour, but this match, while good, is a reminder that the wrestlers for a match like this have to be chosen very carefully.
A few other notes on the rest of the show. The match between Roddy and Goldust was strange. I was prepared to not mind it, but the cutting away from actual in ring action to show car chase footage really bothered me. Undertaker had his best match of the streak so far in this WrestleMania which was surprising considering the opponent he had.
Honestly, considering where HHH’s career ended up going, and his reputation in the wrestling fan community, that match with Warrior made me laugh. I don’t know if it would have if I were watching it live in 1996, but now, twenty years later, that’s just a funny match.
Kue: Now, this is a show worthy of the title “Wrestlemania”. We had s flurry of decent matches, from Camp Cornette/Team Fuji to Taker/Diesel to Austin/Vega. We had a silly, yet entertaining storyline match between Piper and Goldust (which also shows how pop culture can be included in the show without an oversaturation of celebrities). And, of course, we had the show stealing match that was the main event.
The Iron Man match was the most intense and involved Mania main event to date. Surprisingly, the formula used was a stark contrast to previous Mania closers that relied on bulked up characters, celebrity presence, and booking over booking over booking. Just two great wrestlers booked evenly, left to do exactly what they do best, and a passing of the torch booked cleanly. And as they stole the show and excellently executed, Hart and Michaels gave us one of the most memorable and emotional performances in Mania history.
Sanders: When you sit back and remember Wrestlemania 12, it’s hard not to focus on the Iron Man match and it’s easily the best main event up to this point and it shouldn’t be surprising considering the participants and it’s kind of a shame this is the only Wrestlemania main event between Michaels and Hart, screwjobs and back injuries robbed us of that. All of that being said, I respect what was done and acknowledge how big of an achievement this match was but it’s really a marathon to watch and it reminds me of why we don’t really see hour long Iron Man matches anymore. Not just any pair of main event stars can pull this off because, as I’m sure nobody can forget, WWE is the land of the giants and just don’t have the ability to go for an hour. It takes a very special pair of wrestlers to pull this off and still be interesting to watch (Cena vs Orton does not fall into this category). Everything feel into place for this match to happen and be as successful as it was, unfortunately the later moments in the rivalry over the following years tends to overshadow this match.
And once you’re finished talking about this match, the other thing that comes to mind about this match would be Goldust vs Piper and all the weird things that went on during that. Where the Iron Man match was a marathon to watch, the backlot brawl was a chore.
BD: Best part of this was seeing Warrior crush HHH, before disappearing, this time for the final time when he came back to WWE to die. The Iron Man was good, although overrated, and everything else was shit. Diesel and Undertaker was particularly rough to watch.
And Piper / Goldust… well, let’s just say I think Pat Patterson had a hand in preparing that one
Tags: Bret Hart, clashy ring attire, Diesel, Goldust, Roddy Piper, Shawn Michaels, undertaker, wrestlemania 12, WWE