34 days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XIV with Stone Cold-HBK hold up?

Long my favorite number, Wrestlemania 14 has some high spots that helped create the performers that I grew up adoring from my teen years.

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The city of Boston always seems like a fantastic wrestling crowd, and they did not disappoint for Wrestlemania 14 in 1998. This installment of the greatest show on Earth had so much for an 8-year-old to enjoy little ginger to enjoy. I was a closet wrestling fan so we never bought the PPV's, but if we had, I am fairly certain I would have lost my mind at the end. Why Brunner? Why would an 8-year-old wrestling fan find themselves infatuated with the ending? Because. It all ended with the culmination of one Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Favorite Match:

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels

    • Shocking, the Heartbreak Kid once again in the main-event and performing at an incredible level. He's been fantastic in every Wrestlemania match I've seen, and this was no different. You simply felt the energy with these two, illuminated by the crowd and "special enforcer" Mike Tyson. Stone Cold and HBK both sold amazingly well. It's a true testament to how these two could put their egos aside and really make the other look amazing. The Tyson turn really made this even more of a spectacle. That crowd. That crowning moment. A star was truly born on this day with Stone Cold Steve Austin ascending to the top.

Best Moments:

  • Legion of Doom returns to massive fanfare, accompanied by Sunny

    • That crowd was ecstatic to see LoD come back. Storyline wise, these guys appeared to be on the outs, so the crowd was pretty stoked to have them back. Throw in Sunny, and you get one heck of a reaction.

  • Sable entrance was hype as well

    • From everything I've heard on Podcasts, Sable was revolutionary at the time. She ascended past anything anyone expected at the time, and that was evident with this crowd reaction. The crowd lost it the moment her music hit.

  • Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie winning Tag-Team Titles

    • It's a shame how this storyline played out later, but at the time it was a solid victory for these two.

  • Triple H vs. Owen

    • The ending was screwy, but considering the character Triple H was playing with Chyna by his side, it made complete sense. Entertaining match between two world-class pros.

  • Undertaker vs. Kane wasn't awful

    • A lot left to be desired, but it was still pretty cool to see these guys go toe-to-toe.

Worst Match:

  • Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila

    • Unfortunately, I think this match had too much in it for the time allotted. It's impossibly hard to tell a story in 5 to 6 minutes when you're already not the main storyline. There were flips and high impact action, but overall the entertainment value was lost without a proper build.

Worst Moments:

  • The ref overturning his decision after the Rock clearly tapped to Shamrock. It didn't make any sense, even in wrestling

    • I don't know that I've seen anything like that, let alone at Wrestlemania. Rock tapped. And then Shamrock went crazy so the ruling is simply reversed? I am not a fan.

  • The artist formerly-known as Goldust coming out in some interesting ring gear

    • Silver jumpsuit with lingerie over it? The character always pushed boundaries but not so sure the PG era would appreciate this one.

Final Thoughts: Wrestling-wise, there wasn't too many matches that will leave the traditional fans enthused. However, from top to bottom the one thing you have to have to call this is entertaining. The Battle Royal was sloppy but people were excited for LoD 2000. The Rock vs. Shamrock was strictly there for story-telling, but the crowd erupted when Shamrock started slamming people. And when Undertaker and Kane both kicked out of Tombstones, the crowd gasped. Add the cherry on top of Stone Cold Steve Austin winning the WWF Championship, and you have pure excitement for fans.

Does it Hold Up?

Stellar main-event, and a pretty solid supporting line-up. I understand what the Goldust gimmick is meant to do, but 2018 doesn't exactly support stuff like that. Austin and Michaels is truly timeless though. We saw Undertaker vs. Kane 2 at Wrestlemania again, and that too was rather underwhelming, to be honest. The crowd pops for LoD 2000, Sable, and the Cactus Jack/Chainsaw Charlie victory was epic, and remind me of Hardy Boyz return from WM 33. Big returns at Wrestlemania always get the universe hype.

See below for a roundup of those already up:

This is the fourteenth piece in a Court of Nerds and Geekiverse collaboration that will present “34 Days of WrestleMania” as we look back on each Showcase of the Immortals as we lead you into WrestleMania 34. Keep an eye out for a couple of podcasts in the near future from Austin Brunner and Benjamin Raven as we break down each decade in podcast form.

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