WWF WrestleMania
Pt. 4

Shane "The Franchise" Douglas & Francine
Photo appears at  ECW Hardcore Headquarters

We have now reached our final three matches.  Here we go.

The Undertaker/Sting VS. The Steiner Bros. (Unified World Tag Team Title Match)

In this bout, the former Unified World Tag Team Champions and current nWo members looked to dethrone the current champions and avenge the attack on Eric Bischoff during the RAW/Nitro simulcast.  Both teams pulled out high impact manuvers on each other.  At the five minute mark, Sting had "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner in the "Scorpion Deathlock" for a possible submission.  Rick Steiner came in for the save but UT cut him off.  The ref tried to get UT out of the ring but, as he did so, Rick quickly mounted the top rope and nailed Sting with his flying bulldog headlock!!  Scott covered for a very close pinfall on Sting!!  The Steiners then used their vast teamwork experience to work over The Stinger but he refused to be pinned.  At the 12 minute mark, Rick Steiner whipped Sting into the ropes and nailed him with his "Steinerline" clothesline but knocked Sting back into his own corner!!  UT tagged in as Sting was falling down and came into the ring.  He cleaned house of both Steiner Bros. as he took control of the contest.  As he knocked Scott out of the ring, he picked up Rick in a thunderous chokeslam!!  He then went for his "Tombstone" piledriver on Rick but Scott stopped the attempt.  Rick and Scott went for a double team by whipping UT into the ropes but Sting went to the top rope.  Rick and Scott missed on their double clothesline attempt.  When they turned around they were met by both Sting and UT with clotheslines.  UT with his flying clothesline while Sting hit his top rope clothesline!!  With Scott down, Sting whipped Rick into the ropes as UT had gone to the top rope again.  Sting picks up Rick by the waist and puts him over his shoulder.  As he holds him there, UT comes off the top rope with a leg drop to the back of "The Dogfaced Gremlin's" head, flipping him off of Sting's shoulders!!  UT covered Rick for the three count as Sting and UT retain their gold.

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair VS. "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)

In this match, Ric Flair goes for his third WWF Title as he took on multiple time WWF World Champion Kevin Nash.  Early on, Nash held the advantage due to his height and power but Flair weathered the storm and worked on the legs of "Big Sexy".  Flair managed to survive the first fifteen minutes to launch an attack of his own with chops, punches and kicks.  Still, Nash showed courage of his own by withstanding the assault.  At the 20 minute mark, Flair made a charge at Nash but Nash countered with his big foot to the face!!  Nash, still limping on his left leg, managed to pick up Flair onto his shoulder and execute his "Snake Eyes" move on "The Nature Boy".  Flair's head bounced viciously off of the turnbuckle as he falls to the mat.  Nash moves in a picks up Flair by the hair but Flair quickly responds with a chop!  Those blows, which had little effect on Nash early in the bout, are now taking their toll on him as the chop knocked him back a few steps.  Kevin responded with a forearm to Flair's head that would've knocked him down hadn't Flair got knocked into the ropes.  Flair came off the ropes with a quick kick to the knee of Nash, took him down, and locked in his patened figure four leglock!!  Nearly everyone in the L.A. Coliseum stood on their feet.  Meanwhile, a camera shot in the dressing room area showed (in seperate areas) the Horsemen and DX watching their respective comrades put up a titanic struggle. Back in the ring, Nash managed to get to the ropes after being in the figure four for about 2 minutes!!  Flair felt confident that the match was his now as he moved in for the kill.  Nash managed to get to his knees and nail Flair in the face with a big right hand!!  Flair fired back with a right of his own and now the two was trading blows with Nash coming out ahead.  Nash fired a boot to the gut and set him up for his "Jacknife" powerbomb.  As Nash lifted him up, Flair started punching Nash in the face.  This move took Nash by surprise.  Both the blows and the punishment to his leg was too much as Nash fell to the mat with Flair on top.  Flair managed to cradle the big legs of "Big Sexy" as the referee counted 1...2...3!!  Flair has won the WWF World Title.  The Horsemen quickly hit the ring to celebrate with Flair as does DX members Hall, Michaels, Rude, Triple H, and Chyna to check on their fallen comrade.  In a surprise move, Nash moved in behind Flair and spun him around.  The Horsemen braced for an attack but Nash, instead, handed Flair the WWF Title belt.  The two men embraced in the center of the ring as everyone clapped for both men.  The camera picked up these words:

FLAIR:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  You are a great wrestler and champion Nash.

NASH:  You are too Flair.  Wanna do it again sometime?

FLAIR:  You got it pal.

The two hi-fived at those words as both DX and the Horsemen left polietly from the ring together.  As they left, the construction crew quickly got the steel cage ready for the final match at WrestleMania.

ROSS:  As you can see ladies and gentlemen, the cage is being constructed for our final match this evening.  It is the highly anticipated ECW Heavyweight Championship contest between The Rock and Shane "The Franchise" Douglas.  It will be under Texas Death rules, that means that when a pin is achieved by either man, the match is not over.  We will have a 30 second rest period. After that rest period, the man that lost the fall will have ten seconds to respond to the bell.  If he doesn't respond, then the match is over.

STYLES:  It sure is JR.  Let me say that I am not a big fan of Shane Douglas.  I do respect him for what he has done for ECW but I can't say that I am his biggest fan but think of what he his putting up here.  Is The Rock putting up a lot?  Sure, he is putting up what is becoming the fastest rising championship in this sport and his ego.  But "The Franchise" is putting up a whole lot more.  He is putting up the person that has meant more to him in the last few years than anyone else in this business, Francine.  Well, I see that the cage is up.  Any quick comments Schivone and Ventura?

SCHIVONE:  I am going with The Rock because he doesn't have the pressure on him like Douglas does.

VENTURA:  I still say that Douglas will come out on top because The Rock doesn't have as much to lose as Douglas.  The Rock may not be as up for it as Shane.  I predict, as long as he can maintain his emotions, "The Franchise" will become ECW champion once again.

ROSS:  Well, it is about time for the talking to be over, it is time to settle it in the ring.

FINKEL:  Ladies and gentlemen, this final contest is for the ECW Heavyweight Championship. It will be under Texas Death Match rules.  When a wrestler wins a pinfall, there will be a 30 second rest period, after that 30 seconds is over, another 10 seconds will go by in which the defeated wrestler will have to answer the bell. If he doesn't answer that bell, the match is over (at this point, Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" plays out of the speakers).  Here is the challenger, from Pittsburg, PA, weighing in at 240 pounds, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas!!

Shane comes down in his traditional yellow tights and black boots.  He looks serious as he heads towards the cage.  Before he enters, he looks among the crowd, looking out into the sea of humanity floating about.  He enters the cage and takes the mic from Finkel:

DOUGLAS:  CUT THE FUCKING MUSIC!!  Rock!!  Get you ass out here and let's get this shit over with!!

Almost to respond to his request, The Rock's music plays saying that phrase "DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN'"  as the ECW Champion comes out to the caged ring.

FINKEL:  His opponent, from Miami, FL, weighing in at 275 pounds, the Extreme Championship Wrestling Champion, The Rock!!

When The Rock gets to the cage, he takes his belt off at the side of the ring and holds it up to the crowd.  He then enters the cage and meets Douglas in the center of the ring.  The two jaw at each other as the man once known as Rocky Maivia gives Douglas a shove.  Douglas responds with a right hand and the match is underway!!  Maivia gets the advantage, being both the taller and stronger of the two men.  He knocks Douglas into the ropes and sends him in for a whip.  The Rock goes for a clothesline but Douglas ducks it and nails Maivia with a rare dropkick.  Rocky charges at Shane for a move but Douglas sidesteps him and rams him headfirst into the cage!!  Douglas follows that up with a right hand to the head of The Rock.  He then gets in a surprisingly early belly to belly suplex on The Rock!!  He covers Maivia for a shockingly early three count!!  Now, Douglas goes to a corner and waits out his 30 seconds.  Now, comes the 10 seconds for The Rock.  Maivia does make it up by the count of 8!!  That early attack did take something out of Rocky but he is still in the game.  Douglas rushes in but The Rock meets him with a boot to the midsection followed by some right hands.  He forces Douglas into a corner and pounds him in the corner.  The Rock now whips Douglas into the opposite corner.  The Rock charges in but hits nothing but turnbuckle as Shane moved out of the way.  Shane then took a page out of The Undertaker's playbook as he picked up The Rock for a tombstone piledriver!!  Douglas covered The Rock again for another three count!!  Shane really has The Rock going in the early stages of the match.

After the 30 second rest period, the ten count starts again.  This time, The Rock barely makes it up by the count of ten as he gets to his knees by 9.  Douglas starts to move in but the referee, for some reason, stops Douglas.  This gives time for The Rock to go into his tights and place brass knuckles onto his right hand.  When Douglas moves the ref out of the way, The Rock nails him flush in the face with the knuckles!!  Douglas goes down like a shot hit him!!  The Rock then dragged Douglas to the center of the ring and did his little ceremony before dropping the "People's Elbow" onto Douglas!!  He gets in a quick pin for his first fall of the contest.  The thirty seconds seem to go by in mere moments as the ten count has begun.  Amazingly, Douglas gets to his feet but he is dazed.  The Rock moves in and plants him with a DDT!!  The Rock covers but only gets a two count!!  The Rock looks at the ref as if to say "are you sure?" because he can't believe that Douglas would still have any life after that.  The Rock decides to slow things down for a minute as he grabs a reverse chinlock on Douglas.  After about a minute in this hold, Douglas fights to his feet and drives three elbows into the gut of The Rock.  Douglas hits the ropes and ducks the clothesline but The Rock caught him on rebound with a knee to the guts.  The Rock quickly put on his "Rock Bottom" slam and got the pinfall.  The thirty second rest period came in effect afterwards.  When that was over, the referee started his ten count but, for some reason, The Rock stopped him.  When the ref tried to reason with Maivia, The Rock decked him!!

STYLES:  Son of a bitch.  The Rock just decked the referee!!

ROSS:  Why did he do that?  That was stupid!!

VENTURA:  I have to agree with you on that one Jim Ross.  The Rock might have had this match won.

SCHIVONE:  Well, look guys, I don't think he cares about winning the match or getting Francine, he is looking to end a career now.

Indeed, that is what The Rock had in mind as he moved in on Douglas.  Meanwhile, there was an eruption in the crowd as Bret "HitMan" Hart came down to cheer The Rock on.  Now, there is another buzz as Francine herself is running down to the ring!!  She is screaming for Douglas to get up and fight.  The Rock now takes Douglas over to the side where Francine is and is choking him out on the second rope, talking trash to Francine as he does so.  During this, Bret Hart makes a move towards Francine.  Francine responds with a hard slap in the face of Bret.  Bret now has her by the neck and is threatining her.  As he does this, someone comes out of the crowd to help Francine.

STYLES:  Who is that coming to help.....OH MY GOD!!  IT IS RICKY "THE DRAGON" STEAMBOAT!!

VENTURA:  What business is this of his?

ROSS:  Well, somebody for damn sure needed to put Bret in his place and I am glad that Ricky Steamboat is here!!

Steamboat, meanwhile, was rocking Bret with chops and blows.  The Rock sees this and tries to get out of the cage to go help.  He doesn't see Douglas getting to his feet (the ref is getting up as well).  When Maivia turns around, Douglas kicks him in the gut and nails him with his "Pittsburgh Plunge" (fisherman-buster suplex)!!  The ref counts The Rock down as he gains another pinfall but both men are down during the 30 second rest period.  Meanwhile, the rest of The Shoot Foundation tries to get involved in the form of Dan Severn, Owen Hart, and Ken Shamrock but to cut them off was Rob Van Dam, TAZ and Tommy Dreamer!!  As they block the way of the "Shooters" in the aisleway, Hart and Steamboat are still going at it.  Meanwhile, the ref has begun his count on both men!!  As the count reaches five, both start to move.  It is a race to see who can get up.  Both men are near to their feet as the count reached nine.  Then, for some reason, The Rock just limped back down!!  Shane remained on his feet long enough for the ref to count Maivia out!! Shane Douglas has done it!!  He's regained the ECW Heavyweight Title.

FINKEL:  Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout, and NEW ECW HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, SHANE "THE FRANCHISE" DOUGLAS!!

Francine has tears rolling down her face at this announcment.  Bret Hart is standing in disbelief at this.  Ricky Steamboat has the title belt as he escorts Francine inside the cage.  He hands it to Shane as Shane and Francine share a hug and kiss while "The Dragon" makes sure that The Rock leaves the ring.  Dreamer, RVD and TAZ also make their way inside as well to ward off any "Shoot Foundation" members.  Douglas now looks at Steamboat and gives his former WCW World Tag Team Championship partner a hug.  There is now tears rolling down the face of Douglas as well as Francine.  Douglas asks for the mic:

DOUGLAS:  Please, cut the music.  Now, I came here to regain what I created and that was the ECW Heavyweight Championship.  But I also came here to defend my manager and best friend in life in Francine.

Douglas pauses for a moment as he tries to find his next few words.

DOUGLAS:  Francine, you have put up with more sh*t from this tired man than anyone should have to put up with.  You have been with me through thick and thin and I want to say thank you.....and I love you!!

"Ohhh's" and "ahhh's" go up from this crowd.

DOUGLAS:  Oh, one more thing.

Unbelievably, Douglas goes to one knee!!

DOUGLAS:  Look in your pocket.

Francine reaches into her pants pocket and pulls out a little box.  She opens it and it has a ring inside!!

DOUGLAS:  Francine, will you marry me?

A gasp has come over the crowd.  Even the broadcast team has gone silent on this one.

FRANCINE (through a choked voice):  To quote Steve Austin, "oh hell yeah!"

Douglas and Francine now embrace each other as nearly everyone is clapping and cheering.  There are people in the crowd actually crying at the show of emotion from Shane Douglas and Francine.  Steamboat and the ECW wrestlers clap along with the crowd.

STYLES:  Man, this is incredible.  Even TAZ, that miserable S.O.B., is clapping for this.  What a finish to WrestleMania.

SCHIVONE:  I have to say this is one of the more lighter, touching scenes that I have seen in a long while.

VENTURA:  Well, you can't say that Douglas didn't earn it.  Not only is he ECW champ again, he now goes home with the girl.  Or should I say woman.

ROSS:  Indeed she is all woman and he is all man!!  Folks, for Joey Styles, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Tony Schivone, and Jim Ross.  I say to you good night everyone.

The broadcast has a special video of highlights (moving video mixed with stills) from the card that had just taken place.  It is done to the music of Stevie Wonder as he sings the late Bob Marley's classic "Redemption Song".  Kind of fitting to have a soft song after a card like that, the memories produced here would last for a long time.  The last scene to the song is showing Shane Doulgas wearing the ECW title belt and carrying Francine out of the ring and up the aisle in slow motion as WrestleMania comes to a close.  By the way, the total attendance record for this story was 100, 175!!  The largest in outdoor history in America, if not the world!!

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