The main attraction of this WrestleMania was the novelty of the WWF championship match that was guaranteed to last at least one hour. On-screen WWF president "Rowdy" Roddy Piper had announced on an edition of Monday Night Raw that reigning champion Bret Hart must defend the title against Shawn Michaels in the first ever "WWF Iron Man Match"; whereby the winner would be the man with the most decisions over a sixty-minute time limit. Michaels had earned the opportunity to face Hart by winning the 1996 Royal Rumble, and had also defeated Owen Hart at In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage for the right to keep the WrestleMania title shot
The main event was built on Bret Hart wanting to retain the WWF Championship against Shawn Michaels, who had suffered a number of setbacks over the course of the previous year, including, losing his match 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: Great White North 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.
The secondary feud heading into WrestleMania was between the returning Ultimate Warrior and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Helmsley made his debut in the WWF in May 1995 has a rich snob born with silver spoon in his mouth. He went on a winning streak throughout the year. The Ultimate Warrior meanwhile had left the WWF in 1992 after failing a drug test. His last match was on the November 8th 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, where he and "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeated Ted Dibiase and Irwin R. Schyster in a tag team match. WWF officials later signed on a match between Ultimate Warriror who re-signed to the WWF in an attempt to increase ratings and the undefeated Helmsley for WrestleMania XII.
The WrestleMania XII logo is a parody of 20th Century Fox's famous 'Searchlights' logo. Portions of the Hollywood Backlot Brawl used stock footage of the LAPD freeway chase involving O. J. Simpson.
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.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Free for all: The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip) (w/ Sunny) defeated The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) (w/ Hillbilly Jim) to win the vacant WWF Tag Team Championship (5:21)
- Camp Cornette (Vader, Owen Hart and British Bulldog) (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated Yokozuna, Jake Roberts and Ahmed Johnson (w/ Mr. Fuji) (12:51)
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (w/ Ted DiBiase) defeated Savio Vega (10:00)
- The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Sable) (1:36)
- The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated Diesel (16:46)
- Roddy Piper vs. Goldust (w/ Marlena) ended in a no contest in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl
- Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defeated Bret Hart (c) to win the WWF Championship in an Iron Man match (1:01:52)
Tag Title Tournament
The tournament was held between February 20 and March 31, 1996. The tournament brackets were:
| Razor Ramon and|
|Razor Ramon and Savio Vega||Pin|
|The 1-2-3 Kid and Tatanka|
|Owen Hart and The British Bulldog||Pin|
|Hakushi and Barry Horowitz|
| Owen Hart and|
Davey Boy Smith
|The New Rockers|
Other on-screen talent
- WrestleMania XII official website
- WrestleMania XII on WWE Network
- WrestleMania XII at CAGEMATCH.net
- WrestleMania XII at Online World of Wrestling
|I (1985) • II (1986) • III (1987) • IV (1988) • V (1989) • VI (1990) • VII (1991) • VIII (1992) • IX (1993) • X (1994) • XI (1995) • XII (1996) • XIII (1997) • XIV (1998) • XV (1999) • XVI (2000) • XVII (2001) • XVIII (2002) • XIX (2003) • XX (2004) • XXI (2005) • XXII (2006) • XXIII (2007) • XXIV (2008) • XXV (2009) • XXVI (2010) • XXVII (2011) • XXVIII (2012) • XXIX (2013) • XXX (2014) • XXXI (2015) • 32 (2016) • 33 (2017) • 34 (2018) • 35 (2019) • 36 (2020)|
|1996 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • In Your House 6 • WrestleMania 12 • In Your House 7 • In Your House 8 • King of the Ring • In Your House 9 • SummerSlam • In Your House 10 • In Your House 11 • Survivor Series • In Your House 12|