The Wrestlemania 12 question about Shawn/Bret not hitting 5 stars got me wondering... why the "Ironman" match? I think it was Pat Patterson's idea, but in 1996, in California, why give them such a forced stipulation? Didnt someone think, "Jeez 60-minutes NO falls, and 1:30 into OT Shawn hits the kick and wins" was kinda ridiculous booking. If the card was so in shambles as to not support other matches, then why not sell the match as a one on one match between the two best guys, AND then have it go 60 minutes! There's a reason why everyone fawns over the 55-minute Cena/Michaels classic from Raw after WM 23. It's because NO ONE expected them to go the hour. Flair/Steamboat II is also an unparelled classic that went 55+ whereas most WWE ironman matches feel like there's so much time-killing involved. Meanwhile we're complaining about a 62 minute 4-star match when most Raws are 3-hours of 3-minute squashes and 20-minute interviews
The Iron Man match backlash seems to be becoming the new Roman Reigns of the blog. I actually have always like the match and rate it at ****1/4, but never want to watch it again. The initial plan for the match seems to have been more like HHH-Rock, with lots of falls and crazy stuff, and in fact on the March 11 RAW I just reviewed Vince is essentially promising that. And then at some point they drastically changed the idea of the match and there's a lot of "he said/he said" about who refused to take falls for who and we got what we got instead. Really, in retrospect the stip was a huge failure and we would have been better off just doing a match.