WrestleMania 9 – ‘Hartbreak’ and Glory
Hello folks! Welcome to yet another edition of WrestleMania Rewind. As we are fast approaching the 29th edition of WrestleMania this year, we look back at all the previous WrestleManias in our special series. After being threatened by Little Jimmy, I had undertaken the arduous task of going through all of the previous WrestleManias to review them, and give my analysis. Last WrestleMania received high praises from me, as it was well done, and included two of the greatest WrestleMania matches of that period. Furthermore, Warrior had returned to the WWF after being away from the company for some time to save Hogan from Sid Justice.
The next edition of WrestleMania, WrestleMania 9, came live from one of the best places on Earth, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event featured Bret Hart, who had become the WWF Champion at the Royal Rumble, taking on Yokozuna for the WWF Championship. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan, who had left the WWF after the previous WrestleMania, came back to team up with Brutus Beefcake to take on Money Inc. consisting of Ted Dibiase and IRS. The card also featured Shawn Michaels, who was the then WWF Intercontinental champion taking on Tatanka putting his title on the line.
The card also featured the third WrestleMania match of the Undertaker, taking on the Giant Gonzales. This was a transitional period for the WWF, as the two smaller guys, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels went into the event as the WWF Champion and the WWF Intercontinental Champion respectively, which was against the WWF mentality at that time. As the event opened, the announcers were wearing Togas (Oh the horror!), and it was also the WrestleMania debut of that guy who wears a Cowboy hat during commentary, you know, that Jim Ross fella. Anyway, let us jump into the action without waiting further.
Tatanka (With Sensational Sherri) defeated Shawn Michaels (With Luna Vachon) via DQ for the WWF IC title
The opening match of the evening saw Shawn Michaels putting his WWF Intercontinental on the line against Tatanka. Tatanka went into the match undefeated (Yeah, lots of streaks in the WWF, huh?). Sherri was on Tatanka’s side, as Luna was on Michaels’ side. Lots of back and forth action. The match ended when Shawn put his hands on the ref (Who happened to be the son of Monsoon), for the ref to disqualify Michaels and give the win to Tatanka after nearly 18 minutes of action. A good opening bout, and was done to keep Tatanka strong while keeping the belt on Michaels.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated the Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu with Afa)
The second match of the evening saw the WrestleMania debut of Rick and Scott Steiner, the Steiner Brothers against Samu and Fatu, who is better known as Rikishi, with Afa in their corner. A boring, 15 minute match which ended when Scott hit his finisher, the Frankensteiner on Samu for the pin and the win for his team.
Doink the Clown defeated Crush
Another comedy match. Simply brutal, as it ran way too long for 9 minutes, and the crowd was dead for it. Doink was the evil clown and he faced off against a face Crush. Match ended when a second Doink hit Crush with a loaded arm, while the original Doink covered him for the win. Simply awful.
Razor Ramon defeated Bob Backlund
WrestleMania debut of the bad guy, Chico. A very short match which saw Razor winning it with an inside cradle just before the 4 minute mark. Should have ran longer, but in the end, the right guy won, which makes it better.
Money Inc. defeated The Mega Maniacs (Hogan and Beefcake with Jimmy Hart) by DQ for the WWF Tag team titles
Awful match which lacked logic and sense. Went on for way too long and saw a ridiculous false finish. That’s the problem with Hogan. He never lets anyone beat him clean unless Vince forces him to, with a return match in the clause. Anyway, the senseless end came when Jimmy Hart did the 3 count as Hogan hit IRS and Ted with the Titanium mask that IRS had. Another ref came down to disqualify Hogan’s team for using a weapon. They attacked the ref afterwards. Aren’t they supposed to be the good guys? Oh yeah, this match lacked any sense.
‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger defeated Mr. Perfect
The gimmick of Luger was ridiculous. Anyway, Perfect carried Luger through another slow, painful match which went for 10 minutes, which ended when Luger covered Perfect, although Perfect’s feet were on the ropes and the ref missed it.
The Undertaker (With Paul Bearer) defeated Giant Gonzales (With Harvey Wippleman) by DQ
Okay, I am the biggest fan of the Undertaker, but nothing could save this match from being one of the worst matches of all time. The WWF management sacrificed Taker’s match in order to create a ‘David vs Goliath’ kind of feeling. The match was so bad that no one cared about it in the end. Match came to an end when Gonzales put Taker out with chloroform. Awful booking. Still, Taker went up 3 – 0 at WrestleMania.
Yokozuna (With Mr. Fuji) defeated Bret Hart for the WWF Championship
This was supposed to be the last match on the card, but as it turned out, this was one of the reasons for WrestleMania 9 being considered as one of the worst WrestleManias of all time. And neither of the two participants were the reasons for that. We’ll get to that in a bit. Bret got in a bit of offense but Yokozuna was too strong for him. Bret tried hard to get a decent match out of Yoko, but the big man made it almost impossible. The end came when Bret locked Yoko in the Sharpshooter, when Mr. Fuji threw his Fuji dust in Bret’s eyes, enabling Yoko to pin him for the win and to become the new WWF Champion.
After the match, Hogan came down and Fuji challenged him for a match against Yoko. Hogan accepted. The ‘match’ went on for 21 seconds as Hogan pinned Yoko after a leg drop to win the WWF title as the place went nuts. Awful booking to close the show. By this point, Hogan was not even a full timer and later didn’t even put over Bret Hart. Hogan used his pull backstage to get another title run. Simply awful.
Analysis: * (Out of 5 stars)
One of the worst WrestleManias of all time. Numbers dropped in gates and revenues for this event, and I’m not surprised. Such a bad ending to the event. The Taker’s match didn’t do any good to make it better either, although it wasn’t his fault. Anyway, that covers WrestleMania 9. Join us tomorrow for the next edition of WrestleMania Rewind, as we continue our journey towards WrestleMania 29.
Read the rest of the WrestleMania rewind series here