WrestleMania 13

WWF Tag Team Championship
Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Vader & Mankind
There is absolutely no sense to this match whatsoever. I enjoy the work of all four guys, but both teams are heels and if anything Vader and Mankind should be renewing their classic WCW rivalry in the WWF, not teaming together. I hate tag title matches when the challengers are thrown together, no matter how good they are in singles. Tag team wrestling should be an entirely different discipline. Like I said earlier, this should have been a title defence against Furnas and LaFon. Vader used to be associated with Owen and Davey only a few months ago as part of the wonderful and underrated Camp Cornette, but there is no mention of that from the announce trio. I’m not sure what Mankind’s issue is. Maybe Mick Foley still harbours resentment for the kicking he took from Davey in his WWF debut match back in the 80s when he worked a squash bout against the British Bulldogs as Jack Foley? Hmm, perhaps not. Owen and Vader run some fairly nice stuff that ends with a (very safe) Vader powerbomb, but the crowd are just not into this because they don’t know how to react. Mankind gets bored and runs in to join in the fun, but Davey Boy wipes them both out with a double clothesline, to a pop. Davey is the closest thing to a babyface in the match, and in fact was set for a full-on turn and feud with Owen, before plans changed with the heel turn of Bret Hart and formation of the Hart Foundation, but more on that later. Bulldog throws Vader around like a badass, but then puts the hold of the show, a chinlock, on Mankind. Davey and Mankind don’t have much chemistry, so Vader comes back in and hits a big splash off the ropes for a two count. Mankind comes in and does his running knee and then workhorse Vader comes in again, but gets caught coming off the top by Davey in a powerslam, which is impressive strength from the Bulldog. The problem here again is down to the face/heel alignment, because the crowd don’t want to cheer Owen so thus don’t really get behind Bulldog to make a tag. When Owen does come in he is picked apart too, with a double team Cactus elbow on the outside especially vicious. Mankind beats on Owen at ringside, right in front of a stone-faced Helen and Stu Hart, who it seems have been bored rigid by the crap card they have seen so far. The “heat” on Owen goes on far too long, and is again worked primarily by Vader. Maybe he was just determined to follow up his superb man of the match performance at Final Four with another great display, but he comes no-where near matching those levels here. Owen manages a desperation belly-to-belly on the outside on Mankind and an enzuigiri allows the tag to Davey. It is not hot, it is barely lukewarm. Vader’s mask comes off in the subsequent fracas and then Mankind goes headfirst into the ring post, but he is still able to put on the Mandible Claw. Vader and Owen come in and Mankind and Davey spill to the outside, with the Claw still applied. That of course leads to a count out, and now the running totals are three yawners and one crap finish, on what has been one of the most underwhelming WrestleMania undercards I have ever seen. This was good in places, but it was too long, especially for a cop-out finish like that, and the structural issues made it tough to get invested.
Final Rating: **

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