After the previous few entries in this series strongly indicated "trouble brewing" for WWE, we've now officially hit rock bottom. The year 1995 is unquestionably the overall worst year in company history, from sparsely-attended tapings and house shows, to a roster loaded with groan-worthy gimmicks and less-impressive talent, to the difficulty of re-building a foundation of credibility following Vince McMahon's steroid distribution trial (despite him being found not guilty).
To make matters worse, after holding previous WrestleManias in posher venues like Madison Square Garden and 60,000+ seat football stadiums, WrestleMania 11 was due to be held in the Hartford Civic Center. While the building had previously housed Survivor Series 1990 and a few TV tapings, its proximity to a shopping center sanded off much of the WrestleMania mystique.
With a hint of desperation, WWE aggressively hawked the presence of two notable celebrities for their supercard: former NFL All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor as an opponent for Bam Bam Bigelow, and Baywatch seductress Pamela Anderson as the intended valet of Shawn Michaels. In a sign of the attention-starved times, the opening video for WrestleMania 11 looked back at the previous ten incarnations of the show. However, instead of showcasing wrestling action, it was a montage of celebrities that appeared at those events.
In WWE's darkest hours, they genuflected before the altar of Hollywood and Pop Culture, hoping to summon a revival.