|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Sponsor(s)||Tyco R/C: Maximum Heat!|
|Date||March 31, 1996|
WrestleMania XII was the twelfth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling event produced by the World Wrestling Federation. It took place on March 31, 1996, at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.
In the main event, Bret Hart lost the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels in a 60-minute Iron Man match. In his return to the company after a four-year hiatus, The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Roddy Piper competed in his first match since 1994, after which he left for WCW.
The main attraction of this WrestleMania was the WWF World Heavyweight Championship contested in an Iron Man match; whereby the winner would be the man to win most falls over sixty minutes. Michaels had earned the opportunity to face reigning champion Bret Hart by winning the 1996 Royal Rumble, and had also defeated Owen Hart at In Your House 6 for the right to keep the WrestleMania title shot.
The main event was built on Bret Hart wanting to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels, who had suffered a number of setbacks over the course of the previous year, including: failing to win Diesel's WWF World Heavyweight Championship the previous year at WrestleMania XI, being accosted by a group of Marines at a Syracuse, New York nightclub, forfeiting the WWF Intercontinental Championship at In Your House 4 in October 1995 to Dean Douglas, suffering a storyline concussion at the hands of Owen Hart, and being betrayed in storyline by close friend Diesel at a house show at Madison Square Garden.
WrestleMania XII also marked the return of The Ultimate Warrior, who had last performed for the WWF in late 1992. As well as the first ever WrestleMania appearance and match of Stone Cold Steve Austin who wrestled against Savio Vega
WrestleMania XII received generally positive reviews from critics, who aimed praise particularly at the main event. Rob McNew of 411mania called the opening match "really good," and gave it 3 and 1/4 stars (out of 5 stars). However, he called the match between Helmsley and The Ultimate Warrior the worst of the night, going on to it call it the "funniest squash ever, considering that HHH is now arguably a bigger star than Warrior was." He gave the main event the highest score of the night, with 4 stars. However, he says the match "isn't for everyone." Continuing, he says, "It's about a three star match for the first 40 minutes, the last 20+ are an easy five stars." He gave the entire event a score of 7 out of 10. In 2015, Ryan Dilbert of Bleacher Report called it the 16th greatest of the first 30 WrestleMania events.
- Taped parts of the match were shown intermittently throughout the pay-per-view, with the live part of the match occurring just before the main event.
Iron Man match
|1–0||Shawn Michaels||Pinfall||Michaels won the fall using Sweet Chin Music||1:01:52|
- Powell, Jason. "Iron Man Match highlights WrestleMania 12". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
- Keller, Wade. "WWE WrestleMania Countdown - 1996 PPV Report (WM 12): Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart Iron Man match, Ultimate Warrior vs. Triple H". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "10 Worst Wrestlemania Matches EVER". Slam! Wrestling. Retrieved 13 November 2014.