The Best and Worst Moment of WrestleMania 9
WrestleMania 9 represented an awkward moment for WWE. A year earlier, Hulk Hogan had stepped away, and WWE had largely struggled to find its footing.
Just as Bret Hart was getting traction in the lead face role, Hogan returned and there were real questions as to how the company would move forward between these two and looming new top heel Yokozuna.
Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels was coming into his own as a singles star, with The Undertaker, Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Lex Luger in the upper mid-card, building the next generation of stars.
This article takes a look back at the best and worst WrestleMania 9 had to offer.
Best Moment: Doink’s double nails Crush with a prosthetic arm
In retrospect, Doink the Clown tends to get dismissed as a joke, and representation of WWE’s more cartoonish elements leading up to the shift to the Attitude Era.
While it’s fair to knock Doink’s face character along these lines, the original evil clown version of the character—particularly when he first got started—deserves a bit more credit. The clown was genuinely novel and his heelish antics made for a unique spectacle at the time.
The story of Doink picking on kids in the crowd, and Crush standing up to him was sound enough, and culminated in an interesting clash between the powerhouse baby face and new heel.
The match may not have been a classic, but was good enough for what it was. The finish is particularly memorable for a second Donk joining the proceedings and incapacitating Crush. The attack was unique and outlandish enough to become instantly memorable and a good stab at doing something original in pro wrestling.
Worst Moment: Hulk Hogan wins the WWE Championship
While Doink the Clown demonstrated originality and ambition—even if the character didn’t pan out in the long run—Hulk Hogan winning the WWE Championship at the end of WrestleMania 9 represented the opposite.
After the disheartening sight of Yokozuna cheating to beat Bret Hart for the title, Hogan came to The Hitman’s aid, only to find himself in an impromptu title match with the new heel champ.
Hogan won in seconds, theoretically offering fans a good old fashioned WrestleMania conclusion. In its actual execution, this outcome was underwhelming.
The bloom was well off the rose when it came to fans wanting Hogan on top, and there was a pervading sense of Hart getting screwed here, long before the Montreal Screwjob.
It’s telling that Hogan would drop the title back to Yokozuna and disappear in June, and even more telling that Hart would pin Yokozuna at WrestleMania 10 to essentially hit the reset button from where the main event picture was going into WrestleMania 9.