For only the second time in Wrestlemania history, the WWF/WWE champion was not in the main event in Wrestlemania XI. You had a former champion in Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels, the future champion, and neither guy was in the main event. Well just who was in the main event for this Wrestlemania? The first guy was Bam Bam Bigelow. And the second? Old LT himself, Lawrence Taylor. This program was initially supposed to help Bigelow’s career. Even by losing to an NFL superstar, Bigelow was supposed to actually gain from the rub and become a regular main eventer.
It was one of the least inspired Wrestlemania cards at least as far as ring work was concerned. Usually there is one “showstopper” match that carries the rest of the card. Sometimes, there’s more than one. But this year, there wasn’t one quality wrestling match. The one expected to at least be half decent was the Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund “I Quit/Submission” grudge match. Roddy Piper was announced as the surprise guest referee. Here’s where this match went wrong. Originally announced as a submission match where the only way you can win is to submit your opponent, Piper, on the fly, turned the match into an “I Quit” match. Hart wouldn’t even have Backlund in a submission hold and Piper would yell, “Whaddya say?” and you’d hear a pissed off Backlund yell, “no!” as if to say, “If you understood the rules, you wouldn’t be asking me this question.” It was a garbled mess and one of the few matches in his career where it seemed Bret Hart didn’t really have control. There’s another more famous match where he didn’t have control, but we won’t go there. The match ended with Hart finally submitting Backlund in his own chicken wing submission finisher, but to the audience, you couldn’t really tell if Backlund submitted or not. It was just an awful match.