Iron for gold

Iron for gold

Listing at No. 5 among's 'Mania Matches That Made Us Sweat, WrestleMania XII's battle between Bret "Hit Man" Hart and Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship was a classic before the Superstars even entered the squared circle. A traditional match wasn't enough to contain the action these living legends were guaranteed to bring, so NFL officials determined it would be a 60-Minute WWE Iron Man Match instead. With each icon's talent and desire to hold the WWE Title, a contest to out-perform the other in decisions via pinfall or submission was certain to be unforgettable.

The outcome didn't fail to live up to the hype. After the clock expired and the full hour ran out, neither Hart nor Michaels had earned a single decision over the other. The Excellence of Execution believed that in the event of a draw, his championship remained in his possession. That is, until then-WWE President Gorilla Monsoon came out and ordered the iron-willed competitors battle to a sudden death overtime. When regulation ended, it seemed that if Hart had just a few more seconds, he would have put Michaels away, who was on the receiving end of the Sharpshooter when the bell rang. In the extra period, HBK landed Sweet Chin Music against his opponent, earning the win after virtually countless near-falls, and a well-deserved first World Championship reign.

The contest was the perfect climax to Michaels' "boyhood dream." The Showstopper had been vying for the championship for a long time; an overtime 60-Minute WWE Iron Man Match is only appropriate as the mark of his trek reaching its destination.

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