411’s Top 30 WrestleMania Matches of All Time: #6 – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (WM 10)
Posted by Larry Csonka on 03.31.2014
411 continues its look at the top 30 matches in the history of WrestleMania with the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at WrestleMania 10!
Welcome back to 411Mania, and welcome to 411's official countdown to WrestleMania 30! Every year, the 411 staff comes together in some way to bring you, the fine readers of our site, a special countdown to WrestleMania. In past years we have done special countdown columns, ranking the shows, rating them overall, discussing special aspects of the big event, and even columns that have served as odes to the matches and moments that are etched into our minds.
To some fans, WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year, and the way that WWE has transformed the event into a near weeklong party, it may as well be a holiday to the fans that love our special brand of entertainment. Call it sport or call it a specially designed male soap opera, we love it and we love to talk about what makes things special. WrestleMania is an institution, and this year, as the WWE gets prepared to put on their 30th WrestleMania event, we decided to go big. Starting on March 7th, and running all the way to April 5th, 411 will present the top 30 matches in WrestleMania history.
Each writer on the 411 staff was given the opportunity to nominate 30 matches of their choosing. #1 on their list received 30 points, #2 received 29 points, and so on and so forth. Writers were asked to base their lists on both match quality and historical significance to create their nominations. The final list was created, and there was a ton of competition for the top spot. In fact, the voting was so tight that the top FOUR matches were separated by a mere 16-points.
Each day we will present a match from the list, which will include a full recap of the match from the 411 archives (from Scott Slimmer, JD Dunn, and Robert Leighty Jr.) as well as thoughts from the writers. Thank you for reading, and we hope that you enjoy our presentation…
Shawn was the IC Champ and was suspended for failing a drug test. He was none too pleased and decided he was keeping the title. Razor and Ric Martel were the final two men in a battle royal and had a match to determine the new Champ. Razor won, and Shawn soon returned with the original IC Title, claiming to be the true champion. They decided a ladder match would be the best way to settle things, as both titles are hanging above the ring. For the longest time WWE cannon tried to pass this off as the first ladder match in WWF history. Eventually credit was given to Bret and Shawn for having the first ladder match. Had SummerSlam 92 taken place in DC instead of London, we would have gotten Shawn vs. Bret in a ladder match at that event. Shawn comes to the ring, and decides to walk around the ladder, while Razor decides to walk under the ladder. Giving us the reason why Shawn found Jesus and is still wrestling at Mania today and Hall is not. Let that be a lesson to all the young kids out there. Both men are a bit tentative to start, and opt to wrestle instead of going straight for the ladder. Ramon kills Shawn with a chokeslam, but misses two clotheslines and it results in a neckbreaker from Shawn. Razor gets sent to the floor, and that gives Diesel a chance to mow him down. The ref tosses Diesel who shows off the acting skills that got him a part in Ninja Turtles II. To be fair, Nash was pretty hilarious in The Longest Yard. Shawn starts bouncing all over the place like a pinball on speed. They head back to the floor, and Razor removes the protective padding from the floor. Shawn says piss on that and the action returns to the ring. Razor goes for the Razor's Edge, but he is much too close to the ropes, and that usually means he is getting back dropped to the floor. Sure enough Ramon eats the concrete in our second ironic spot of the night. Shawn grabs the ladder, but Ramon cuts him off before he gets it to the ring. Shawn baseball slides the ladder into Ramon as he tried to put it in the ring. That's the first of many spots that would be lifted in later matches. The ladder enters the ring, and Razor takes a shot to the face. Shawn rams the ladder into the midsection of a prone Ramon, and decides to just toss the son of bitch at him. +1000 for effectiveness. Shawn sets up the ladder and starts to climb as the crowd starts to lose their minds. Razor grabs the ankle, and then pulls down Shawn's pants. The women in the crowd love that. Shawn is able to kick off, and with his ass still hanging out he drops an elbow from the ladder. That's dedication. In a very memorable moment Shawn dives off the ladder and splashes Ramon from the heavens. Sure, it seems a little tame by today's standards, but this was some hardcore shit back in 94. Shawn heads up once again, but Ramon pushes the ladder over, and Shawn bounces off the top rope to sell the fall. Both men collide center ring, and I am amazed at the speed with which Ramon is running the ropes. He was actually sprinting coming off those ropes as he is making the most of the stage he's been given tonight. Shawn is the first person to his feet and he sets the ladder in the corner. He ends up getting tossed into the ladder and goes over the post and to the floor. Now Razor has some fun beating the shit out of Shawn with the ladder. He leans the ladder against the apron and catapults Shawn into the ladder. Ever the professional Shawn makes sure to hang onto the ladder and have it fall back on him. I appreciate people who are willing to kill themselves for my enjoyment. Shawn gets killed with a ladder shot to the jaw and hits the floor. Ramon starts to climb, but Shawn heads to the top rope and dives onto Ramon before he gets the belts. The ladder starts to teeter and ends up falling on Shawn. Both men start to climb and they slug it out on top of the ladder. Ramon hits a hiptoss, but the ladder buckles and he falls to the mat with the ladder. He makes another go for the titles, but Shawn dropkicks the ladder to send him crashing back to the canvas. With the ladder rocking a little, Shawn casually pushes it over and it lands on Ramon. Very nice! Ramon eats what would become sweet chin music, but since this is 1994 it doesn't mean too much. Shawn hits a sweet ass piledriver, and heads back to the ladder. In another memorable spot Shawn rides the ladder down onto Ramon, and the crowd pops huge for that spot. With Ramon seemingly out, Shawn places the ladder over Ramon and starts to climb again. He's not fast enough though and Razor throws a shoulder into the ladder and Shawn gets tied in the ropes after falling. That's the break Razor needed as he climbs the ladder and retrieves both titles with one final yank at 18:48.
- By Robert Leighty Jr
Michael Weyer: For fans today brought up on various ladder battles, this may seem almost sedate. They probably have heard of this, watched it and thought "that was it? That's the match people rave about?" But in 1994, we had literally never seen anything like this before. Sure, ladder bouts were around as ECW was rising up but this was different, the bout used between two major stars over the second-most important belt in the company. Michaels had been forced to vacate the IC title the previous fall after a suspension, Ramon rising up to win the belt. When Michaels returned, he boasted he was the "real" champion and so it was set for a battle for a title that truly meant a lot back then. We had no idea how well this was going to work out as Ramon and Michaels came to Madison Square Garden to face off. It's been easy to give all the credit to Michaels of course but make no mistake, Ramon matched him just as well, taking just as many savage hits and bumps as the battle went on. In 1994, you did not see guys falling ten feet off a ladder onto the ropes, you didn't see them bouncing around, you sure as hell didn't see them using a ladder to smash into another guy. The textbook for all other ladder matches was made here with moves like Ramon smashing Michaels between the ladder and the ring post and HBK leaping off the top rope to crush the ladder across Ramon's body. The crowd reaction was just stunned as even the jaded MSG crowds knew they were witnessing history here, gasping at every nasty drop and bump, totally enthralled like few bouts before it. In the end, Michaels ended up tied in the ropes after a nasty fall to allow Ramon to climb, grab both IC titles and win. But this was the match that truly elevated Shawn to mega-star status, going from "pretty boy" to a truly great worker and "Mr. WrestleMania." More importantly, it was the match that raised the bar for all hardcore battles to follow and why it remains such a revered classic today.
Dustin James: Shawn Michaels has been known as "Mr. WrestleMania" for years now. That wasn't a nickname that Michaels made up himself and forced everyone to call him. Oh no. That was a nickname that was well earned from having an abundance of spectacular battles at the "Granddaddy Of Them All", WrestleMania. Michaels is arguably the greatest single performer in the WrestleMania-era of the WWE and it all started with his amazing performance in the ladder match for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania 10. While not the first ladder match in WWE history, the Michaels/Ramon spectacle at WrestleMania 10 gets a lot credit for helping usher in the era of "gimmick matches" in the WWE and rightfully so. It's not only one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history, but it's one of the greatest matches in WWE history.
First, a little back-story on the match. Back in 1993, Shawn Michaels suffered an injury and was forced out of action for a period of time. Since he was unable to defend his Intercontinental title in the "30-day period" that was set in place back then, WWE President Jack Tunney stripped Michaels of his title. With Michaels out of action and the Intercontinental title vacated, the WWE held a special battle royal/tournament style match that was won by Razor Ramon who was then crowned the new WWE Intercontinental champ. The only problem was, when Shawn Michaels returned to the WWE, he refused to acknowledge the title change considering he never actually lost the belt. This led to the WWE deciding to hang both titles from the ceiling of the arena and force the competitors to climb a ladder to get them. It may seem silly now, but back then, there was a lot of skepticism heading into this match. Could a wrestling match that highlights something as simple as a ladder as the key piece, actually been any good? Looking back now, that just seems like a silly question.
From the moment the match kicked off, we knew we were witnessing something special. Going in, everyone was uncertain of how the ladder was going to come into play during a wrestling match. Well, the ladder arguably became the star of the show as both men continuously used it to punish each other. The ladder was used in multiple "WrestleMania Moments" during this match. From Michaels kicking the ladder into Ramon's face to his historically awesome flying splash off the top, it became clear that this wasn't just any normal wrestling match we were watching. These two were using any means necessary to beat each other and it was awesome. It may seem a little silly to younger WWE fans that people went crazy for something trivial like a ladder match, but back in 1994 (before ECW got huge and before the Attitude era), it was pretty much unheard of to have a wrestling match where the star of the match wasn't an actual wrestler, but instead an inanimate object.
Now, say what you want about the Kliq and their backstage politics, but you can't deny that whenever two members of the group met in the center of the ring, they usually brought the goods with them and this match was the perfect example of that. From beginning to end, I was on the edge of my seat watching Razor and HBK beat the ever loving crap out of each other with a weapon that is usually seen on construction sites, not in wrestling rings. There aren't a lot of matches in WrestleMania history that the majority of the public can agree are five-star matches and one of the best in wrestling history, but Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 10 is one of them. It's not just of the best matches in WrestleMania history, but it's one of the best matches in wrestling history. Man, I sure do miss the Kliq sometimes (don't tell anyone I said that....).