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Smark Henry’s Favorite WrestleMania Moments: The (Double) Turn of the Century


As we count the days down to WrestleMania 34 on April 9, we here at Smark Henry want to do something different than our usual trivia promotion. Over the next two weeks, we'll be sharing and talking about our favorite WrestleMania moments in the hopes of getting some more this year.

Taken as a whole, Wrestlemania 13 could have been a forgettable event: while it did feature one of the iconic images of The Undertaker genuflecting with the WWF Championship, the rest of the card fit an In Your House special more than The Granddaddy of Them All.

Except for one match: the one that defined an entire era, the moment that quite literally changed the wrestling world.

It all started in 1996: when Stone Cold Steve Austin won King of the Ring, read a passage from “Austin 3:16,” and cemented himself as the most despicable heel in wrestling. At this time, Bret Hart—one of the most beloved faces in the promotion—was at a crossroads in his career, trying to do right while being constantly taunted and insulted by Austin. After months of insults and derailments, Hart has finally had it: after losing a WWF Championship match to Sycho Sid, Hart shoved Vince McMahon (who was then an announcer) and went on to deliver an expletive-laden promo about his place in the company.

At WrestleMania 13, the grudge match between Austin and Hart took place, with UFC legend Ken Shamrock as the guest referee. It was a submission match, which was supposed to work to Hart’s advantage. After ditching the “Ringmaster” gimmick, Austin seemed to favor pure brawling more than ring technique, and tried to get Hart to submit with less-than-impressive holds. Hart, however, was not to be denied: on top of his submissions, he made Austin bleed, increasing his chances of a submission victory.


However, the crowd of 18,000 people at the Rosemont Horizon slowly started cheering for the Rattlesnake, who showed incredible resilience despite the Hitman’s continuing onslaught. Hart locked the Sharpshooter on an increasingly hurt and exhausted Austin, who refused to give up despite the pain. The gritty, bloodied grimace of Austin locked in wrestling’s most devastating submission hold became the stuff of legends, finding its way to some of the most memorable moments of WWE history.


The crowd rallied around the villain Austin for his incredible grit, while turned against the heroic Hart for his increasingly desperate antics. In a final show of defiance, Austin passed out from the Sharpshooter without tapping out or submitting, forcing Shamrock to break up the hold and award the match to Hart, to a chorus of boos. Yet as Austin was being revived and helped to the back, a smattering of applauses—and people chanting his name—set the course of the WWF in stone. A hero lived long enough to be the villain, and wrestling’s greatest antihero emerged from the ring.

Want to catch WrestleMania 34 live? Join us at the official Smark Henry WrestleMania Viewing Party on Monday, April 9 at Skinny Mike's Sports Bar in Bonifacio Global City! P300 gets you entrance and a free drink, as well as the closest thing to watching the Grandaddy of Them All live in the arena. It's a holiday, too, so no reason for you to miss out! For more details, check out the Facebook event page here.

Read our previous entries:

1. Daniel Bryan Wins The Big One At WrestleMania 30
2. Seth Rollins Cashes In At WrestleMania 31
3. Savage and Steamboat's Perfect Classic
4. A Tremendous Stunner
5. Edge's Superspear at WrestleMania X-Seven

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