WrestleMania XIV was the fourteenth WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which took place on March 29, 1998 at the FleetCenter in Boston, Massachusetts.
This pay-per-view event was notable for the involvement of boxer Mike Tyson, who acted as a ring enforcer for the main event. The main event also saw the start of Steve Austin's first WWF Championship reign. His victory in the main event, against Shawn Michaels (who performed despite a severe injury), is often cited as the "official" beginning of the Attitude Era.
The result of main event heralded a significant change in the face of the World Wrestling Federation. Shawn Michaels, who had been a major superstar in the company for many years, having won his first WWF Championship at WrestleMania two years previously, had to retire due to injuries sustained in the casket match against Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. He made several ostensible one-off appearances as a guest commentator during episodes of Raw in the summer of 1998, and eventually replacing Sgt. Slaughter as commissioner at the end of the year, holding onto the position for a year and a half. After what was supposed to be an one-time match four years later, Michaels and the now re-named World Wrestling Entertainment realized that his injuries had healed, he made a full-time return to wrestling. With Steve Austin winning the main event, the Attitude Era was fully ushered in. Although the Scratch logo had started to replace the New Generation logo, it began to appear on ring aprons and promotional work during and after this event. Almost immediately after WrestleMania the old WWF "winged eagle" world championship belt was retired, and a new belt design with a larger eagle and blue globe debuted (eventually being retired in 2002). The Attitude Era saw Austin's feud with Vince McMahon escalate and a month after, Raw is War beat WCW Monday Nitro in the ratings war for the first time in eighty-three weeks.
Shawn Michaels' loss was criticized by Triple H the following night on Raw, blaming him for overlooking Tyson's potential double-cross. He delivered a promo saying that he would now helm D-Generation X and turn it into an army and "the first thing you do is look to your blood. You look to your buddies. You look to your friends. You look to the Kliq," and introduced a returning Sean Waltman, under the X-Pac persona, who had jumped ship from World Championship Wrestling. Later in the evening it was revealed that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were also part of the DX Army.
The ongoing saga between The Undertaker and Kane continued unabated. The following night Paul Bearer challenged Undertaker to a match at Unforgiven where the ring would be surrounded by fire and the first man to be set alight would lose, thus giving birth to the Inferno Match.
By winning the fifteen-team battle royal, LOD 2000 won the right to face the Tag Team Champions at Unforgiven. The champions by rights were Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie, however some legal wrangling from the New Age Outlaws saw the match held up on account of the wrong dumpster being used. The vacant titles were disputed in a steel cage match the following night, which the Outlaws won after interference from the newly formed DX, concreting their ties, and by handcuffing Charlie to the cage by his neck. Charlie returned to his Terry Funk persona whilst Cactus Jack became Dude Love again while the Outlaws became part of the DX Army achieving further success.
In a tag team match against Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman, The Rock promised to show Faarooq that the Nation was stronger and more connected than before. The promise was a sour one as during the match, Rock left Faarooq to suffer the wrath of Shamrock and Blackman and afterwards Faarooq demanded Rock come back out so the two could fight. When Rock returned and squared up to Faarooq, the other members of the Nation turned on him and The Rock proclaimed himself as the new leader.
Before Marc Mero's match with Taka Michinoku the next night, Vachon appeared and challenged Sable to a singles match just between the two of them which Sable promptly accepted. Vachon also announced that it was not to be a traditional wrestling match, because she wanted to humiliate her, and so it would be an evening gown match to be held at Unforgiven.