Photo Courtesy of WWE’s Official Website
With WWE Payback taking place Sunday, June 1, WWE fan/expert David Ridderhoff will take a look at the eight greatest WWE moments in Chicago’s history. This moment is rated second.
WrestleMania 13 is seen today as the event that planted the seeds for the Attitude Era, and probably saved the WWE. It would be the no.1 moment almost anywhere else, but as far as Chicago moments go, it’s only second best. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was set up to face the Hitman, and fan favorite Bret Hart. The lead-up was spectacular, and it was decided that there would be an added stipulation, the match would be a No-Disqualification Submission Match with Ken Shamrock as the guest referee, a stipulation that obviously favored Hart, who is still known for his infamous Sharpshooter submission-hold. The odds were stacked against Austin, who would have no submission-holds to his credit and would have all of the Chicago crowd against him. The match and aftermath are the second greatest Chicago WWE moments of all-time.
This match wasn’t even the main event, as The Undertaker and Sycho Sid went at it for the WWE Championship. The match was so entertaining, as the match spilled outside the ring quickly. Both superstars threw each other into barricades around ring side, and even getting into it in the crowd. They both attempted to get back to the ring eventually, and Austin began using the steel steps to gain an edge. Later on in the match, Hart opened up Austin using the timekeeper’s bell, and began to beat on Austin’s leg, trying to set up the Sharpshooter. After Austin began to choke Hart out with a cable, Hart got out and applied the Sharpshooter to Austin. In one of the most memorable moments in WrestleMania history, Austin, with his face covered in blood, screaming in pain while refusing to tap-out to Hart’s famous move.
Shamrock made the decision to check if Austin was still even conscious, and raised Austin’s arm three times, to which Austin was unable to answer to. Shamrock then made the decision to award the victory to Hart. Despite winning, the baby-face Hart continued to beat-on the defenseless Austin, causing the fans to begin booing Hart and cheering Austin to get back at him. The infamous double-turn! As Hart continued to beat Austin down, Shamrock eventually stepped in and attacked Hart, while also challenging Hart to a fight, which Hart declined as he ran from the ring. It truly made Austin a fan-favorite, but not in the normal sense, in more a cult hero sense that we all know Austin as right now.
Following the match, respected WWE analyst Dave Meltzer gave the match a rare five-star rating, a rating that has only been given out approximately 70 times since his rating system began in 1983. The match was just an absolute pleasure to watch, and truly earned Meltzer’s five-star rating. But it’s impact on the eventual Attitude Era does more than just being a great match. It set us up with our eventual hero, and the guy who would be, along with The Rock, the saviors of the WWE, and almost put WCW out of business single-handedly. Without this match, we might be talking about Ted Turner and WCW, but luckily this match catapulted Austin to the super stardom he gained.
Tune in tomorrow at Noon to see what is the greatest WWE moment in Chicago’s history.
WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31366763
Highlights of Match on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUcXT4vw7dU
Promo for Match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft2erDvZWYc