Robbie’s Top 20 WrestleMania Moments – 15. The First Ever Ladder Match On The Grandest Stage Of Them All
Sup yo? If you’re unaware, I’m doing a blog per day leading up to WrestleMania where I talk about my personal favorite 20 Mania moments of all time. Keep in mind I’m 18, so a lot of my picks will be on the more recent side.
15. The First Ever Ladder Match On The Grandest Stage Of Them All
I don’t have one single moment that I can look back on and say, “That’s it! That’s when I knew I’d be a wrestling fan for life.” Most people do, but wrestling has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. The first thing I think I ever saw was a ladder match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, however. It was on a VHS entitled “WWF’s Most Unusual Matches” and I had watched it over and over and over.
My big brother told me about another ladder match he was there in attendance for like it was a folk tale, between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon…for TWO Intercontinental Championships. When I finally saw it years down the line, the match I’d heard so much about blew away my expectations.
In the fall of 1993, kayfabe WWF President Jack Tunney stripped Shawn Michaels of his Intercontinental Title for not defending it, and held a Battle Royal to determine a new champion. Despite Razor winning that match, and carrying around the championship, The Heartbreak Kid still claimed he was the rightful champion, having never lost. After helping IRS steal The Bad Guy’s chains, Michaels’ rep as true IC Champ was put to the test, and the match was set.
I don’t always agree with Dave Meltzer, but I couldn’t agree more with his five star rating of this classic. It’s the WWF/E’s first ever match to hit the perfection mark on his scale, in fact. The back and fourth battle put on with just a single ladder is nothing short of a miracle. Nowadays, every ladder match has a hundo ladders spammed across the arena not only for aesthetics, but in case one breaks, and in this one, Michaels took RIDICULOUS bumps into the ladder that could have easily broken it. Razor was stiff as hell with him too, as you can see from the highlight video above.
I asked the Big Bro what it was like to be at The Garden during the legendary clash, and he said the following…
It was just nuts. Absolutely electric from start to finish. I knew immediately that it was the greatest match I’d ever see live. Even though Michaels was the heel you couldn’t help but like the guy. I think that was the night we all knew he was about to be a main eventer.
I can’t even imagine. Especially back in 1994, when the only ladder matches were on house shows (other than that Hart/HBK match I spoke about earlier), for these two men to duke it out like they did was off the charts. Their rematch at Summerslam isn’t talked about much, but it’s very close to level of the original, and I even know some people who prefer it.
Without this match at WrestleMania X, who knows what modern day professional wrestling looks like. There may not even be a TLC or Money In The Bank, and now we have entire pay per views based on both. So if I could describe Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon in one word, I’d say it’s revolutionary.
Catch up on the list: