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March 21, 2008

Top 20 WrestleMania moments: No. 10

Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania XIII, 1997)

The climate in wrestling was changing when this match took place. Fans were turning against traditional babyfaces and getting behind no-nonsense, vicious heels, and Hart versus Austin was a microcosm of this shift. In a no-disqualification submission match, “The Hitman” and “Stone Cold” engaged in an intense brawl that had one of the most dramatic finishes in WrestleMania history.

With Austin bleeding profusely, Hart locked on the Sharpshooter for what seemed like forever. While Hart’s opponents usually submitted quickly to the move, Austin, screaming in pain as blood poured down his face, refused to give up. Eventually, Austin passed out and special referee Ken Shamrock stopped the match.

The double turn was complete after Hart continued to attack Austin after the match before Shamrock stepped in and Hart backed down. When Austin regained consciousness, he refused any assistance as he limped out of the ring and headed back up the aisle while the fans chanted his name. WWE’s “Attitude Era” was officially underway, and Austin was its poster boy.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 12:08 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Top 20 WrestleMania moments
        

Comments

About two years ago, WWE covered this finish in its "This Week in Wrestling History" segment. I wondered if a new school fan who hadn't seen the match could appreciate how dramatic it was. As Kevin Eck said, the Sharpshooter almost always got a win for the Hitman. It was not like Chris Benoit's application of the hold, in which his opponent, more often than not, didn't submit. I couldn't help but wonder if more recent fans were thinking of that semi-effective Sharpshooter as they watched the segment.

great hardcore match that also told a great story, them two things dont always go well together, just look at the vince vs flair match from raw this past week as evidence, and what a great final wrestlemania match for the hall of famer bret hitman hart

Top 2 moments this and Steamboat vs. Savage which has to be the number one moment just for the shear fact that 1. it was the best match in wrestlemania history 2. it stole the show from Hogan/Andre and the lead-up was incredible with the the timekeeper's bell to Steamboat's throat with a sell that has yet to be duplicated in the past 20 years.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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