WWF WrestleMania IX
April 4, 1993
Las Vegas, NV
The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Bret Hart (10/12/1992)
Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels (10/27/1992)
World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (10/13/1992)
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan. At least there’s no Rob Bartlett. This would be JR’s WWF debut. JR and Heenan are both wearing togas to complete the ‘Roman empire’ theme for the night. Macho wears his usual extravagant ‘Macho Man’ attire, but only a tad more gay with the purple and gold. Hey wait a minute, those are WCW colors!
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Luna Vachon) vs. Tatanka (w/Sensational Sherri)
Tatanka’s STILL undefeated on TV after being in the WWF for nearly 18 months, so now he’s finally getting a big IC title shot at the biggest show of the year. If Jannetty hadn’t messed up again right after the Royal Rumble, this match probably would have been completely different. All the same, this is what we got. Because Sherri left Shawn, he’s now on the rebound with a younger, manlier woman in Luna Vachon, who makes her WWF debut here. Shawn controls a headlock and runs up the turnbuckle only to bring Tatanka back to the middle of the ring for more of the headlock. He tries one time too many and Tatanka counters with a back suplex. Tatanka misses a corner charge, but catches Michaels coming off the top with an arm drag. See, the story is that Tatanka had hurt Shawn’s shoulder in one of their non-title matches prior to the show. Shawn Flair Flips out of the corner off a whip and gets chopped off the apron to the floor. Meanwhile, Sherri holds off Luna from helping her man. Michaels thumbs Tatanka in the eye to get back in the ring and tries a flying sunset flip, which is botched for a two-count. Tatanka catches HBK coming off the ropes for an atomic drop. Then Shawn ducks low off a whip and gets nailed with an armbreaker DDT. Now we go to an armbar. Shawn escapes, but misses a corner charge and smacks right into the ringpost. You had to know it was coming. Back to the armbar. Shawn punches out, but he’s caught trying to flip out of the corner for a shoulderbreaker. Tatanka hits a flying chop and attempts another one, but HBK nails him with a superkick on the way down. Shelton Benjamin – he ain’t. Not bad though. They go to the floor where Shawn comes off the apron with a flying clothesline. While Tatanka regroups, HBK tells Sherri to leave. Back in, Shawn hits a swinging neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Standing dropkick gets another two. Tatanka elbows out of a chinlock, but Shawn keeps him cornered with left jabs and then tries a victory roll that ultimately FAILS. They try again and Tatanka counters with an electric chair drop. Tatanka starts to the warrior dance and points the finger (where have I seen THIS before?) Tatanka unloads with chops and hits a flying crossbody for 1-2-NO! Then he catapults Michaels into the ringpost and rolls him up for 1-2-NO! It looks like it’s time for the PAPOOSE-TO-GO, but Shawn slips out and rolls Tatanka up for 1-2-NO! Shawn heads up top and decides to fly, but Tatanka catches him for a powerslam in mid-air! Cover, 1-2-NO! Tatanka looked like he was going over to Luna, so Shawn kicks him out to ringside. Crowd starts to chant “Sherri”, not Tatanka. Hmm. Shawn tries a dive off the apron, but misses and lands face-first on the steel steps. Tatanka climbs back in the ring and as Shawn starts to crawl in, he trips the ref up and pulls him out to the floor. Once they’re both back in, Tatanka hits the PAPOOSE-TO-GO, but the ref taps him on the shoulder and calls for the bell. (18:16) It should be a DQ win for Tatanka, even though Finkel announces that its a countout win. Way to piss off the crowd in the first twenty minutes on the biggest show. I can understand why they wouldn’t give Tatanka the loss here because Shawn had bigger fish to fry than get tangled up in an angle with Tatanka, but that finish wasn’t even clever. The match was okay and there was some decent psychology portrayed with the shoulder story. But still, nothing too great here. Afterwards, Luna slams Sherri on the floor for some kicks to the ribs, leading to the very first catfight on Raw a week later. **½
- The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers (w/Afa)
1989 called – it wants its NWA back. JR debuts the term “slobber knocker” in the WWF to set up the match. Winner gets a tag title shot, if I’m not mistaken. Scott and Fatu start off clubbing one another. The ‘Shrinkers clear the ring, but the Steiners come back in with STEREO FLYING SHOULDERBLOCKS! Scott hits a double-underhook slam on Samu, but then he takes a NASTY fall to the floor. Evidently the Samoans were going for a double-team hotshot, which went totally wrong. Afa sneaks in a kendo shot before Scott crawls back in to be your face-in-peril. Lots of Samoan kicks follow. When Scott tries to mount a comeback once Fatu telegraphs a backdrop, he NO-SELLS the face slam and crescent kicks Scott down. Demolition Decapitation gets two. Now its time for a nerve hold. Samu tries a flying headbutt, but nobody’s home. HOT TAG TO RICK! Steinerlines abound. He tries a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER, but you can’t do that to Samoans! Rick takes a double headbutt and when the ‘Shrinkers go for a Doomsday Device, Rick catches Samu in mid-air for a Belly-To-Belly Suplex! Cover, 1-2-NO! Rick gets dumped, but Scott tags. He sends Fatu out with a Release Belly-to-Belly Suplex and ends Samu with a not-so-good-looking FRANKENSTEINER for the pin. (14:24) Nothing wrong with this one at all. Just a standard formula tag match and nothing else. **¼
- Doink the Clown vs. Crush
So Doink ripped his own arm off and beat Crush down with it to set up his feud. Well not really, it was one of those prosthetic arms, but that’s the joke good ol’ Doink was going for here. You’ve got to love Doink’s music where it goes from being the typical clown theme and then changes over to something similar to Mankind’s first theme song. Doink is still Matt Borne at this point, by the way. He’s one of four guys on the show who also wrestled at the first WrestleMania alongside Hogan, Beefcake and IRS. Crush pretty much dominates the whole match. Ref gets bumped during the KONA CRUSH (head vice). As Crush re-applies the hold, a second Doink (Steve Keirn) runs in and beats Crush down with the prosthetic arm again! Its filled with batteries! After Crush has been KO’ed, the clowns do the bit where they mimic what the other is doing as if they were looking in a mirror like on old cartoons for a big laugh. The other Doink slips out of the ring as the ref wakes up, and the original Doink covers for 1-2-3. (8:29) This is a case where you love the angle more than the matches that come from it. *
- Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund
Razor goes from fighting champions to fighting former champions in two months. This is both guys first WrestleMania match. The crowd chants “Razor” to start, leading to his eventual face turn in the fall. Nobody seemed to much care for Backlund’s return until he went crazy. Ramon taunts and slaps Backlund around to start, but Backlund comes back with the Running Atomic Drop. Backlund goes for a slam, but Razor counters with an inside cradle for 1-2-3. (3:46) Well that was certainly short. ¾*
- WWF World Tag Team Champions Money Inc. vs. The Mega Maniacs (w/Jimmy Hart)
After his parasailing accident that destroyed his face in 1990, Brutus Beefcake was finally ready to come back to active competition. DiBiase and IRS got a hold of him and smashed his face with Irwin’s STEEL briefcase, resulting in Hulk Hogan make *his* comeback to avenge his number one lackey. Oops, I mean avenge his number one friend. Why is Jimmy Hart on Hulk and Brother Bruti’s side, you ask? Well, he feels Money Inc took the attack on Beefcake a little too far and then decided to leave the dark side for the slightly tanner side. That lasts only for about 2½ years once WCW gets a hold of him. Something that also adds to the intrigue – Hogan has a black eye. I’ve been told like two different stories that explain it. The first story I’ve heard and probably the most well-known is that Hogan and Savage got into it before the show arguing over whether or not Hogan actually plowed Elizabeth back in the day. The other story is that Hogan got into a jet skiing accident. That’s supposedly the story Hogan stuck with when he told the WWF people about it. The kayfabe reason is that DiBiase and IRS hired some goons to beat up Hulk in the gym. Nevertheless, Hogan has a black eye. Big whoop, want to fight about it? You can decide what you think is most true, but it really doesn’t matter at this point. Beefcake has a protective red-and-yellow face mask, because only the colors of Hulkamania can save you from more screws in your face. Money Inc concentrate on Beefcake to start, until DiBiase tries a double-ax off the middle rope onto the TITANIUM FACE MASK! Hogan tags and punches DiBiase all around the ring and then out with a clothesline. The champs decide to leave, but then Finkel announces that if they don’t return before the ten count, Hogan and Beefcake get their belts. They run back and start fighting dirty. DiBiase goes low on Hogan and then Money Inc starts choking him with the tag rope. He grabs the MILLION DOLLAR DREAM, causing Hogan to fade away. Beefcake draws IRS in so he can finally break up the hold with a SLEEPER. Once IRS is back on the apron, ref Earl Hebner turns around and sees both men down. HOT TAG TO BEEFCAKE! He gets rid of DiBiase and pounds away on IRS, but then gets nailed with the Halliburton briefcase. Tag to DiBiase, he comes in and rips off the face mask. Money Inc punches on his face, but Beefcake comes back with a double-clothesline. DiBiase breaks up a SLEEPER on IRS, causing the ref to get bumped. Hulk tags and hits the Big Boot on DiBiase and then grabs the TITANIUM STEEL face mask. Wham to DiBiase, wham to IRS. Both guys cover the champs, but there’s no ref. Jimmy Hart is going insane, so he turns his jacket inside out to show black and white stripes and decides to run in and make the three-count himself. The Ego Maniacs celebrate with the belts, but duh it doesn’t work like that. Ref Danny Davis, who evidently got out of his “life sentence plus ten years” for being a naughty referee, runs down to tell Hebner that Hulk hit the champs in the face with the TITANIUM STEEL face mask. Yep, the Mega Maniacs are DQ’ed and the champs retain. (18:29) I never heard a final bell, so we’ll go with the time Jimmy Hart counted three. After the decision is announced, Hogan and Beefer want to toss Davis aside. Jimmy Hart stops them and does it himself to show he’s just as much a lackey as Beefcake. Of course, then we get five minutes of posing as though this were the final match on the card. **
Mr. Perfect interview: He calls Luger the Lexarcist by accident. Is that anything like an exorcist? How about a narcissist? Maybe?
- “The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
It’s basically narcissist vs. narcissist. Heenan’s still drooling over Luger much like he did at the Rumble, except this time there’s some pretty hot chicks in the ring to look at instead. Weirdo. Apparently earlier in the day at a breakfast benefit, Luger got mad and KO’ed Bret Hart with his forearm. Basic stuff to start. A running dropkick from Perfect puts Luger on the floor. Back in, Perfect goes after the leg and works a spinning toe hold. Perfect chops away in the corner, but Luger reverses a whip and goes to work on the lower back. He backs Perfect up against the ring apron and hits a backbreaker in the ring for two. Perfect runs into a knee in the corner, allowing Luger to set him up for the Ric Flair corner pin for 1-2-NO! Luger hits a powerslam for two. Perfect gets a desperation sunset flip for two, then hooks on a sleeper. Luger breaks free, but Perfect cradles him up for 1-2-NO! Perfect sends Luger chest-first into the corner to set up a catapult. Luger begs off and attempts to escape a ten-count corner punch with an atomic drop, but Perfect avoids it and levels him with a clothesline for 1-2-NO! Perfect climbs up to the top and delivers a missile dropkick (!!) for 1-2-NO! Perfect attempts a backslide, but Luger hooks the ropes with his feet, then reverses it and brings Perfect down with the backslide for 1-2-3. (10:57) Perfect had his feet on the ropes, but that’s just too bad. An okay match, but another bad finish that pisses off the crowd. Luger KO’s Perfect with his forearm after the bell. Once Perfect wakes up, he goes looking for Luger and finds him fraternizing with Shawn Michaels. Perfect punches Luger away, but Shawn beats Perfect down with trash cans and a broomstick! It’s CARNAGE! *½
- The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Giant Gonzales (w/Harvey Wippleman)
Its time for the freak show! This is the entrance you might’ve seen where Taker comes out with a vulture. Gonzales, or El Gigante as we know him from WCW, is a HEAD taller than Taker. He goes OLD SCHOOL on Gonzales, but eats a boot in the corner. Gonzales grabs a chinlock and puts Taker down, but he elbows out and gets tossed. He pounds Taker down on the floor, but Paul Bearer raises up that urn to bring Taker back to life. Back in, Taker punches Gonzales down to one knee. That cues Wippleman and he gets choke-lifted by Taker. Unbeknownst to Taker, Wippleman tosses in a chloroform rag to Gonzales. Bearer takes a headbutt and Taker gets smothered by the chemicals. Ref Bill Alfonso calls for the bell and DQ’s Gonzales, causing the crowd to boo at the finish ONCE again. (7:35) Taker does a stretcher job while Gonzales destroys some referees. As soon as Taker goes through the curtain, he walks back to the ring to get him some more of Gonzales. Not even Bearer can stop him. THREE jumping lariats finally puts Gonzales on his back. Bearer finally restrains Taker from doing more damage as Gonzales heads to the back. ¼*
Before the match, Okerlund interviews Hogan. He tells us that Bret has the Hulkamaniacs support for the match tonight. Uh huh.
- WWF World Champion Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji)
After running through everybody in the WWF (mostly just jobbers though, and Jim Duggan) over the past six months including a Rumble match win, Yokozuna gets a WWF title shot. Bret uses the stick-and-run strategy to start, but that backfires and gets him put out on the floor. Yoko kicks at Bret through the ropes one time too many and gets tripped up in the ropes so Bret can punish him while he’s stuck. Bret runs at Yoko a couple times with clotheslines, but gets leveled on the third attempt. Uh oh, the Legdrop that makes everyone gasp follows. Yoko grabs the nerve hold, but then runs into a boot in the corner. Bret leaps off the middle rope possibly going for a bulldog and lands on Yoko instead to take him off his feet. Yoko gets back up and drops Bret with a superkick. Back to the nerve hold. Yokozuna whips Bret across into the corner to set up a splash, but Bret moves and bulldogs Yoko down from the middle rope. Cover, 1-2-NO! Bret hits the vertical elbow drop off the middle rope for another two. He follows up with a pair of clotheslines that takes Yoko down. Bret wants the ten-count corner punch, but Yoko interrupts and tries for the atomic drop. Bret grabs hold of the turnbuckle pad and winds up pulling it off to send Bret crashing to the mat. Yoko wants to smash Bret into the exposed corner, but Bret puts on the brakes and smashes Yoko’s face instead! With Yoko laying on his stomach, Bret manages to hook on the SHARPSHOOTER, avoiding having to turn the big guy over. Just when it looks like Yokozuna can’t take anymore, Fuji throws salt in Bret’s eyes to break the hold. The ref sees nothing as Yoko covers for 1-2-3. (8:58) Kind of a Sting/Vader deal, but on a much weaker level. Hogan runs down to protest and to help out his “friend”. As Hogan helps Bret out of the ring, Fuji makes a challenge to Hulk right then and there for the WWF championship. Hogan isn’t sure what he should do, but Bret tells him to “go get ’em, big guy!” says JR. ***
- WWF World Champion Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Hulk Hogan
Yoko pounds away on Hulk as Fuji pulls out some more salt. Yoko holds Hulk, but he ducks and Yoko takes the salt to the eyes instead. Fuji gets nailed, followed by a Hogan clothesline/LEG DROP combo to Yoko for the 1-2-3 to give him his 5th WWF world title. (0:23) Pretty much the worst ending to a WrestleMania ever, but Hulk Hogan’s got a movie coming out, so we’ve got to have him at the top if it’s going to do well! Yeah, I am not rating what just happened.
Final Thoughts: Definitely one of the weaker WrestleManias of all-time. Not only did it lack star power and any real compelling feuds, it was made even worse by all the bad finishes. There was only *one* actual clean babyface win on the biggest show of the year that’s supposed to make everybody go home happy and care about wrestling again until the next WrestleMania comes around, this definitely did not deliver. Not only that, but no celebrities and a cheesy theme to boot! The good thing is that the mediocrity didn’t last, but WrestleMania 9 gets a thumbs down from me.
Posted on March 19, 2008, in WWE and tagged Afa, Bob Backlund, Bret Hart, Brutus Beefcake, Crush, Curt Hennig, Doink the Clown, El Gigante, Fatu, Giant Gonzales, Harvey Wippleman, Headshrinkers, Hulk Hogan, Irwin R. Schyster, Jimmy Hart, Lex Luger, Luna Vachon, Matt Borne, Mega Maniacs, Money Inc., Mr. Fuji, Mr. Perfect, Paul Bearer, Razor Ramon, Rikishi, Samu, Shawn Michaels, Sherri Martel, Steiner Brothers, Steve Keirn, Tatanka, Ted DiBiase, Undertaker, WrestleMania, Yokozuna. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.