Baywatch, Countdown To Wrestlemania, Diesel, Hartford Civic Center, Home Improvement, Into The Vault, Jenny McCarthy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Kevin Nash, MTV Singled Out, Nicholas Turturro, NYPD Blue, Pamela Anderson, Psycho Sid, Road To Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, Royal Rumble 1995, Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania, WrestleMania XI, WWE, WWE Championship, WWF, WWF Championship
You can’t have a countdown to WrestleMania with out Mr. WrestleMania himself “The Heartbreak” Kid Shawn Michaels. At this point in his career, Shawn was a rising star and he had won the Royal Rumble that year to earn him a shot a the WWF Championship that “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel (Kevin Nash) held at WrestleMania XI which was held at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT. Shawn also won the opportunity to have the beautiful and sexy Baywatch star Pamela Anderson walk him out to ringside as a result of winning the Royal Rumble. That would all change of course on the night of WrestleMania XI as Diesel came to ringside with Pamela Anderson and Shawn Michaels came out with MTV Singled Out star Jenny McCarthy and his new bodyguard Psycho Sid. The card also featured NYPD Blue star Nicholas Turturro as guest ring announcer and Home Improvement star Jonathan Taylor Thomas as guest time keeper. The match started out exactly the way I thought it was going to with Shawn trying to use his speed to his advantage while Diesel worked on the size advantage. Diesel had the first shot in the match when he nailed Shawn with a vicious forearm after Shawn had dodged the clotheslines Diesel was throwing.
There was a moment in the beginning where it must have sucked to be a photographer. After Shawn had tried to work on the shoulder of Diesel, Diesel was able to use his size to deliver a back body drop followed by an Irish Whip to the corner that sent Shawn to the outside of the ring. When Shawn made it to the bottom, we see him grab a photographer and throw him away from the ring. Nothing that Shawn was throwing or trying to do against Diesel was working for him in the beginning stages of the match. He tried suing Sid as a distraction and even tried spitting at Diesel, but nothing worked. After a mistake by Diesel, Shawn was finally able to grab his first real advantage when he clothes-lined Diesel to the outside and then flew off the top turnbuckle to the outside on top of Diesel followed by a baseball slide. Shawn even had an area to attack after Diesel ran himself into the steel post after Shawn got out of the way injuring what seemed to be his ribs and Shaw being the opportunist worked on the rib area.
Diesel tried to fight back at one point, but when he went to nail the snake eyes on Shawn, Shawn was able to squirm out forcing Diesel to go into the turnbuckle with his ribs. Shawn would follow that with a sleeper hold on the giant and he was able to get the big man down. Eventually Diesel was able to break out of the sleeper hold and he went on a role nailing the snake eyes on Michaels and an Irish Whip that sent Michaels to the otherside of the ropes and he followed it with a forearm that sent Michaels to the floor. Eventually when both men were fighting on the outside, the referee came out of the ring to stop Sid, but when he came down he twisted his ankle sending him to the floor. When both men entered the ring once again, Shawn was able to connect with a superkick, but there was no ref. When the ref finally came in with the help of Sid, Diesel kicked out of the pinfall at two. After a second failed pin attempt, Diesel regained control of the match and he owned it for the remainder of the match hitting Michaels with power moves like catching him when he was in the air and turning it into a sidewalk slam. In the end, he would hit his Jackknife Power-bomb and he would get the pinfall to retain the WWF Championship.