In years past, WrestleMania was wont to kick off with glamorously-light music, accompanied by images of majesty, glory, and pomp, setting the stage for wrestling's biggest larger-than-life icons to mingle with the distinguished dignitaries of song, screen, and sport.
The opening video of WrestleMania 13 took a sharply-different tack than those anodyne days of the past. While the March 23, 1997 telecast did lead off with classed-up images of the WrestleManias of yore, those pictures abruptly shifted into the state of chaos depicted on latter-day WWE programming: gang warfare (The Nation of Domination whipping and stomping Ahmed Johnson), defiance of authority (Undertaker chokeslamming a referee), and a general decay in fortitude (Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart each taking part in activities unbecoming of their babyface personas).
The war against WCW begat scripted in-house warfare, where the quirky paper soldiers transformed into three-dimensional belligerents, grappling angels with dirty souls. The stark contrast of the 1997 WWE product to its previous incarnations was being explicitly spelled out for anyone in the audience that had not yet caught on to the programming shift. As if moral highlander Bret Hart's obscenity-laced tirade from the previous Raw wasn't enough of a clue.
WrestleMania 13 was the Attitude Era in its incubation stage, the harbinger of unrepentant lawlessness ahead. Here are ten facts and stories about the show you may not have known.
For further reading on WrestleMania 13 and the era, check out Titan Screwed, written by James Dixon and myself, available at WhatCulture Shop