WrestleMania IX is very likely my least favorite of the WrestleManias on multiple levels, not the least of which being that Hulk Hogan returning in a tag team match completely dominated the entire promotion of the show and undercut what they were trying to build with Yokozuna and Bret Hart. The undercard matches on this show also aren’t so good. On paper, this looked like a terrible WrestleMania even though the hype machine was fully in overdrive. I’ve reviewed this show before somewhere else, but I’ve lost it. Even if I didn’t, I’d still be watching it. That’s okay.
– April 4th, 1993, from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada
This feels so much unlike a WrestleMania, both because of the small crowd and the outdoor setting. Gorilla Monsoon was the host, not commentating on WrestleMania for the first time. What we get, is Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan, and Randy Savage instead! Savage and Heenan were brought out there as part of a caravan. Well, it kind of feels like WrestleMania now. This Cleopatra they used is quite busty. Ross did a great job playing the Rose Bowl Parade host and talking about this caravan. Heenan’s entrance riding backwards on a camel was like…perfect.
Tatanka (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Luna Vachon) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: If you follow my “assorted” series, you’ll know that Tatanka had pinned Michaels or otherwise gone over him multiple times leading into this match. They hadn’t had any spectacular matches or interactions though. Michaels was just coming off the shelf after injuring his shoulder from crashing too hard into the post during a six-man tag team match. Michaels bringing Luna Vachon out there was…quite interesting. The crowd had no idea what to make of her. They decided this was the spot for Sherri to come back again, too. She was going to be in Tatanka’s corner.
Match Review: The lighting is way off during this match, there were shadows everywhere. Michaels tried to trip Tatanka, who got up and prevented him from doing anything else. Tatanka and Michaels trade hammerlocks, and we have a wristlock reveral and fighting over that, which ends with Michaels being pushed down. Michaels comes back with a headlock takeover, and Tatanka breaks the hold with a back suplex. Tatanka misses a charge to the corner, then Michaels goes up top and Tatanka catches him with an arm drag on his way down. Tatanka throws Michaels upside down into the corner, then chops him off the apron and down to the floor. Luna went to help Michaels, but we have Sherri walking over there to stop that. Interesting. Michaels gets knocked off the apron with some chops, but rakes Tatanka’s eyes to stop that. Michaels then goes up top, and comes down with a sick sunset flip for 2. That wasn’t quite right. Tatanka catches Michaels for an inverted atomic drop, then plants him with a DDT. Tatanka goes to work on HBK’s previously injured shoulder, putting an armbar on him. Michaels pulls hair to break it, then clotheslines Tatanka only to hurt himself. Tatanka drops a leg on that left arm, and it’s back to the armbar. Michaels gets in some punches and tries a charge to the corner, but hits his shoulder on the post again. Michaels tries to dodge a charge, but Tatanka catches him and capitalizes with a shoulder-breaker and elbow drop. Tatanka goes up top, and comes down with his flying chop. Tatanka does the same again, but this time Michaels SUPERKICKS him. Michaels tosses Tatanka over the top, and Luna goes over to deal with Tatanka, only for Sherri to stop her again. Michaels posts Tatanka, then jumps off the apron with a great looking flying clothesline. Michaels walks over to Sherri and teases smacking her, then he takes Tatanka down with a neckbreaker for 2. Michaels hits Tatanka with a dropkick for 2, then goes to a chinlock. Tatanka fights out of it, so Michaels grabs his hair and peppers him with punches. Michaels takes Tatanka down with a bad flying head-scissors, it only gets 2. Michaels goes up top to try that again or something, and Tatanka drops him off of his shoulders. Love that bump. Tatanka covers for 2 after a while, then misses an elbow drop. Michaels goes to the second rope, and hits Tatanka with a double axehandle. It’s NO SELLING TIME. Tatanka powers up, chops away at Michaels, and one of those leads to a somersault sell. Tatanka goes up top for a cross body, which Michaels kicks out of at 2. Tatanka then catapults Michaels into the post, and rolls him up for 2. Tatanka goes for the SAMOAN DROP, but Michaels rolls him up for 2 this time. Michaels goes up top, and comes down only for Tatanka to powerslam him for 2. Michaels dumps Tatanka to the outside, and goes for a cross body off the apron only to hit the steps. Michaels doesn’t make it into the ring in time, so he trips the referee and pulls him out of the ring. Now Tatanka drops Michaels with the SAMOAN DROP, but the referee calls for the count-out at 18:15.
Michaels left, but Luna didn’t exactly follow him for whatever reason. Sherri gets on the apron, but Luna pulls her down and clotheslines her. Luna slams Sherri, and puts the boots to her until Tatanka scares her away. Big spot for Luna on this show, can’t complain about that.
My Thoughts: Man, that was an awful finish. Don’t know who came up with that one. They didn’t change the title because they had other plans, and they didn’t want Tatanka to lose because he had an undefeated streak going. Put those things together and you get this. This was a good match, with Michaels putting on a great performance. As bad as the finish was, it would have felt a little better if the bell had been called for before Tatanka finished Michaels off. At least that way you feel less ripped off. ***1/4, good opener. I’m not sure Tatanka had a better match than this one.
The Headshrinkers (w/Afa) vs. The Steiner Brothers
Pre-Match Thoughts: This could be a good one, when these teams clashed in WCW, they put on some acceptable matches. The Steiners got an interview spot with Gene Okerlund, which only the real stars seemed to get. The first hour of this show is shaping up to be a good one, at least. The WWF was going HARD with this Michigan and Steiner Brothers connection.
Match Review: Fatu and Scott Steiner will begin the match, and Scott arm drags Fatu across the ring. Scott trips Fatu and covers for 2, then applies an armbar that Fatu forces him to break. Scott hip tosses Fatu, then they trade big punches for a while until Scott gets the better of it and STEINERLINES Fatu. Samu tags in and they trap Scott in the corner, then Samu throws Rick to the outside. Scott gets thrown out too, but the Steiners both head up top and come down with FLYING STEINERLINES. Jim Ross tells us that Sensational Sherri has been attacked again by Luna Vachon in the back. Samu takes Rick Steiner down with a chop, then beats him up in the corner and hits him with a clothesline. Rick comes back out of the corner with a STEINERLINE, then smashes Samu into the post. Scott tags in and takes Samu down with his TIGER BOMB, then dropkicks Fatu off the apron. Then, Fatu gets on the apron, and they do a hotshot kind of thing where Scott flies all the way out of the ring. Afa hits Scott with his KENDO STICK, that was a great sound. Fatu slams Scott on the floor, then sends him in for a headbutt. THESE SAMOAN HARD HEADS. Fatu tags in, and dishes out a backbreaker. Now he goes up to the second rope, and flies down with a FLYING HEADBUTT that gets 2. The Headshrinkers hit Scott with a double headbutt, and Samu hits Scott with a spinning kick to the face. Scott blocks a charge to the corner, but Fatu tags in and cuts him off with a kick that knocks Scott out of the ring. Samu walks over and posts Scott, and Scott comes into the ring with a facebuster on Fatu, which does nothing. So, Fatu kicks him in the face. Samu tags in and puts a chinlock on Scott, then drops an elbow on him. A dropkick follows that, then Scott tries to fight out of the heel corner only for Samu to poke him in the eye. Fatu tags in and heads up top, with them landing a Demolition Decapitation type move. Fatu follows that with a headbutt for 2, and goes to a nerve hold. Scott elbows his way out, and the two guys clothesline each other. Samu cuts scott off from the tag now, and he rakes the face for a while. Samu slams Scott, then he decides to head up top. Samu flies down with a FLYING HEADBUTT, but he misses. That was sick.
Scott finally makes the tag out, and Rick backdrops Fatu. He slams Samu, then hits Fatu and Samu with STEINERLINES. He goes for a noggin-knocker, but the Headhsrinkers headbutt him instead. That was expected. Fatu and Samu use a double front Russian leg sweep, which isn’t exactly something I see much. Now they go for a DOOMSDAY DEVICE, but Rick Steiner POWERSLAMS Samu for 2. Scott makes the blind tag in and Fatu clotheslines him, but Scott comes back with a belly to belly throw. Samu hits Scott with a SUPERKICK, but Scott shoots him into the ropes and hits him with a BOTCHED FRANKENSTEINER for the victory at 14:22!
My Thoughts: The crowd here didn’t react to much of anything, but that’s because it was crowd full of non-wrestling fans. This was the best match on the show, I think. They worked at a good pace, had some fantastic spots, and most of them were executed pretty well. This was one of those matches where all four guys wanted to get their stuff in, and besides Rick Steiner’s big bulldog, they did. The right people went over, too. ***1/2, and you may think that’s high, but I’d totally disagree with that. It’s not their fault the crowd was a library.
Doink the Clown vs. Crush
Pre-Match Thoughts: They did a good job to build up to this match, but Crush was the equivalent of a dead fish and they’d have been better served doing this build with somebody like Bob Backlund. Instead, we get a big muscle man who can’t act or wrestle. Crush never really did learn how to wrestle, either. Doink had an interview before the match, and he’d painted the face on Caesar’s statue. What a guy. Crush needed to update his attire so badly. I can’t stand looking at him.
Match Review: Doink squirts water in Crush’s face, which leads to Crush chasing Doink around the ring and slamming him on the floor. Crush posts Doink after that, then rams him into the rail. Into the ring they go, and Crush picks Doink up with a choke before shoving him into the corner. Crush and Doink go out of the ring again, and Crush headbutts Doink. To say this is slow would be an understatement. Crush brings Doink in for a neckbreaker, then stomps on Doink’s face. That’s mean. Crush clotheslines Doink with the top rope, then gives Doink a backbreaker. This feels like a squash. Doink gets in something by clotheslining Crush with the rope, then goes up top for a double axehandle. Doink goes up there again, and comes down with a double punch of sorts. He picks Crush up and PILEDRIVES him, then when Crush leaves the ring, Doink posts him. Doink brings Crush in and slams him, then goes up top for a flying nothing, getting booted on the way down. Doink gets up and goes to the second turnbuckle, but Crush powerslams him down. Crush clotheslines Doink over the top after that, and here comes one of the best moments in WrestleMania history. Oh, not yet. Doink tried to crawl under the ring and Crush brought him back inside. Too bad. Crush picks Doink up and press slams him, then signals for the HEAD SQUEEZE. Doink quickly makes the ropes, and elbows the referee on purpose. Doink tumbles out of the ring, and crawls under it again. Crush cuts him off again, throws him back in there, and hits Doink with a spinning kick. Crush squeezes Doink’s head, and THERE’S ANOTHER DOINK. He hits Crush with that plaster arm, and they double team Crush for a little while, knocking him out. Doink covers, and picks up the win at 8:28. That was awesome. Another referee comes out there and tells Joey Marella what happened, but they don’t see anything under the ring.
My Thoughts: This match was no good at all, but the finishing angle was perfect. Don’t think anyone could have come up with something better. Steve Keirn played the second Doink, and sat under the ring for the whole show. That’s dedication. With that full costume on, what do you do when you have to go to the restroom? Did they give him a monitor under the ring to watch the show? They’d have had to so he could get the spot right. Excellent finish, poor match. Crush couldn’t work. *1/2 for the whole thing. Whoever came up with the idea for two Doinks was super smart.
Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund
Pre-Match Thoughts: Backlund deserved a WrestleMania spot, but I’m not sure he fit into this WrestleMania at all. For that matter, neither did Razor Ramon. They didn’t have anything for either of them, and in the case of Razor, that was nonsensical. Turning Razor babyface was smart given that, like I just said, they didn’t have a lot for him on the heel side. At the same time, look at what the heel side was later in the year. It was very thin. My conclusion is that Doink should have remained a heel.
Match Review: Razor tells Backlund he’s going to break him, and when Backlund wants a handshake, he gets a toothpick to the face. Razor was getting big time positive chants here. He pushes Backlund into the corner, but Backlund trips him a few times and does his idiotic act. Razor picks Backlund up and slams him a few times, then smacks him around. Savage decided not to talk about the match, and discussed Lex Luger knocking Bret Hart out instead. This was an…interesting unseen angle. Backlund hip tosses Razor a few times as that goes on, then dropkicks him. A forearm knocks Razor down, then Backlund gives him a butterly suplex. Backlund follows that with an atomic drop, so Razor rolls out to the apron. Backlund brings him in the hard way, then Razor cradles Backlund up for the 3 count at 3:45.
My Thoughts: This was no good, and somebody like Backlund who could wrestle was given pretty much no time in any of his matches. Of course they were no good. They did what they could I suppose, but it says a lot that somebody could act like a total dick and get chants in their favor against Backlund. DUD.
The Mega Maniacs (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championships
Pre-Match Thoughts: I really dislike this match, but I’m going to try to put that aside and watch this wwith a new viewpoint. They showed the briefcase shot on Beefcake before this, of course. Money Inc. was interviewed before the match, and they said they were going to beat Beefcake’s face in. They insinuated that Hogan had suffered an accident at their hands. WHAT COULD THEY BE TALKING ABOUT? Hogan and Beefcake walked out there, and Hogan was sporting a black eye. I don’t know exactly what happened with that, and Hogan’s the only one who knows. However, I find it unlikely that Hogan got in a boating accident, people usually get a lot more messed up by something like that. Savage chiming in and saying “it had to be a cheap shot” was interesting.
Match Review: IRS hits Beefcake in the back of the head with the briefcase, but Beefcake fights back this time and throws him over the top while Hogan does the same to DiBiase. Hogan looks borderline skinny. Beefcake’s also sporting a mask. Hogan’s face looks really messed up too. The match starts, and we have Beefcake in there with IRS. IRS rams him into the buckle, then tags in DiBiase for some double teaming. DiBiase hits him with a back elbow, then IRS comes in illegally for more double teaming. DiBiase goes up to the second rope for a double axehandle, but hurts his hand on Beefcake’s mask. So, Beefcake gives Money Inc. a noggin-knocker. DiBiase rams Beefcake into the buckle a lot, but that also does nothing, so Beefcake returns the favor. Hogan tags in for the first time, and beats DiBiase up in the corner. Hogan hits DiBiase with a clothesline, and Beefcake comes in there for a double big boot. Beefcake slams DiBiase, then tags in Hogan for a double axehandle from the second rope. Hogan then clotheslines DiBiase over the top, and pokes IRS in the eye before throwing him out too. Because of that, Money Inc. wants to leave. The referee says that if Money Inc. doesn’t come back to the ring by the count of ten, they lose their titles! Of course, they ran back to the ring. DiBiase and Hogan resumed the match, and DiBiase went after Hogan’s throat and chokes him with the ropes. He does that with the tag rope too, after it was tossed to him by IRS. DiBiase puts the MILLION DOLLAR DREAM on Hogan, which is sadly being treated similar to a wear down hold. Given that I can’t remember anyone taking a submission against it, that’s all it ever was. They sat in this hold for way too long. Hogan made a tag out that the referee didn’t see, and while the referee’s distracted, Beefcake puts a sleeper on DiBiase to knock him out. Hogan sits up first, and makes the tag out. Beefcake beats IRS up, hitting him with a high knee. He gives DiBiase an atomic drop to send him over the top, then IRS eats a few fists to the face. DiBiase hits Beefcake in the back with the briefcase, which cuts his momentum off. IRS drops elbows on Beefcake, then tags in DiBiase for more punishment. DiBiase tries to take the mask off Beefcake, and does exactly that. DiBiase and IRS work him over with punches and kicks to the face for a while, but Beefcake comes back with a double clothesline. He puts a sleeper on IRS instead of tagging out, and DiBiase breaks that up, only for the referee to go down along with everyone else.
DiBiase makes the tag in, and so does Hogan, but the referee is down and out. Hogan hits DiBiase with the big three punches, a big boot, and hits DiBiase and IRS with the titanium mask. Beefcake and Hogan both cover, and Jimmy Hart gets in the ring to wake the referee up. Then Jimmy Hart turns his jacket inside-out, revealing referee’s stripes, and he counts the fall. So, Hogan and Beefcake celebrate like they’ve won. Good gag. Another referee comes out to the ring, and them seeing Jimmy Hart in the ring, Money Inc. is ruled winners via disqualification after 18:43. DiBiase and IRS then grab their titles, hit Hogan and IRS with them, and leave. Jimmy Hart decides to throw the referee out of the ring too. That’s mean. After the posing, the contents of IRS’ briefcase were shown. There was a lot of money in there, and a brick.
My Thoughts: This match stunk and was way too long. Not only that, Hogan and Beefcake didn’t look like babyfaces grabbing an official. There were so many tricks in this match to kill time. Couldn’t quite take it. I’d rate this *, they didn’t do a whole lot of things that I like to see in tag matches. That being said, Hogan sold the show, pretty much. The posing after this match was WAY too long, I should point out.
Before the next match, Todd Pettingill interviewed Natalie Cole. Don’t care.
Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
Pre-Match Thoughts: On paper, with both guys in their primes, this is something that could have been a fantastic match. However, Perfect wasn’t in his prime anymore, and Luger was having his first big televised match since coming back. Luger was more interested in bodybuilding. Perfect had also been injured a month before the show. Vince McMahon had hyped this match quite strongly on the TV episodes before this and made it sound like it would be amazing. Perfect was interviewed before the match, and talked about Lex Luger knocking Bret Hart out with his LOADED FOREARM. He bungled the “Narcissist” line. Luger had a great entrance with some girls in thong bikinis accompanying him to ring. They had nice asses. This was a WrestleMania moment for sure. While Savage was talking about the women, Heenan was gushing over Lex Luger. Good commentary there.
Match Review: Perfect and Luger lock up, and trade wristlocks until Perfect kicks Luger in the face. Now it’s hammerlock trading time until Luger makes the ropes. Luger goes to the eyes, but Perfect comes back with a knee lift. Perfect shoulders Luger down, then hits him with a dropkick to send him to the outside. Luger gets in there and punches Perfect, but Perfect comes back with some slaps, a trip, and crunches Luger’s leg. He jumps and sits on it, and goes to a spinning toe-hold. Luger gets up and has his leg kicked repeatedly, and Perfect hits him with some big chops. Now Luger throws Perfect hard into the corner a few times, eventually knocking him down. Luger throws Perfect to the outside, then rams his back into the apron. He brings Perfect into the ring, then hits him with that loaded forearm to the back. Luger follows with a backbreaker, and an elbow smash gets 2. Perfect comes back with right hands, but Luger blocks a charge to the corner and covers Perfect with his feet on the ropes for 2. Luger follows with a powerslam, which also gets 2. Perfect goes for a sunset flip, that gets 2 as well. Perfect goes to a sleeper, but Luger rams him into the buckle, hurting his back again. Perfect gets in some punches to put him down, but Luger gets up quickly and Perfect rolls him up for 2. Perfect backdrops Luger, then throws him hard into the corner, leading to a catapult into the buckle. Perfect hits Luger with a forearm for 2, then beats Luger up in the corner and clotheslines him. Perfect follows with another one for 2, and a neckbreaker also gets 2. Perfect goes up top, and comes down with a missile dropkick for 2. Perfect goes to a backslide, but Luger blocks it with the ropes and takes Perfect down with his own, which even with Perfect’s feet in the ropes gets a 3 count at 10:56. For good measure Luger hits Perfect with the RUNNING FOREARM after the match.
My Thoughts: This match was fine until the finishing sequence, which looked like it wasn’t really put together at all. As such, the match went downhill rapidly after Luger powerslammed Perfect. It happens sometimes, but with this show being so big and important, it shouldn’t have. *1/2, I’m sure they could have done a better match but I don’t believe they had a chance to have one. Maybe they did in WCW, but if they did, I’m sure it sucked. The finish in this was really bad, I should note. At least it wasn’t a boring match.
When Perfect wakes up, he goes to the back and is not happy. The camera follows him, and he catches up with Luger in the staging area. He beats Luger up, knocking him into some boxes, and Shawn Michaels attacks Perfect from behind. Michaels drops a trash can on Perfect’s head, then hits him with a broom and stomps on him until some officials show up to stop it. So, basically, Perfect put two people over on the biggest show of the year. They teased a Heenan vs. Savage fight when they were talking about it too! Gorilla Monsoon was hardly used on this show, but he brought us into the next match.
Giant Gonzalez (w/Harvey Wippleman) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)
Pre-Match Thoughts: This match was built super strong as well, and they gave the illusion that Taker would have just a little bit of a chance. It’s weird to see him in the match before the main event, which was in later years saved for matches they thought wouldn’t suck any juice out of the main event. Gonzalez looked gigantic, if you will. As a kid, this match awed me. When a kid touched Gonzalez, he stared the kid down, completely turning the kid into a coward. That’s sick. Taker’s entrance at this show is my favorite of his WrestleMania entrances. In the chariot, with a vulture on a perch…awesome. This is the first year they really went with the special entrances.
Match Review: For somebody to make Taker look short is crazy. Gonzalez tries to clobber him down, but Taker gets back in his face. Taker stuns him with rights, but Gonzalez comes back with a choke. Taker goes up to the second rope for his own choke, but Gonzalez hits him in the nuts. Taker comes back with right hands, then goes up for OLD SCHOOL. After that, Gonzalez boots Taker in the face and levels him with a clothesline. Gonzalez hip tosses Taker, then puts a sleeper/choke on him. I guess it’s a chinlock. Taker gets out with elbows after a very long time, but Gonzalez throws him out of the ring. Gonzalez rams Taker into the steel steps a few times, with Jim Ross nearly goofing and calling them solid steel when we could see that they weren’t. Oops. Taker gets back in the ring, and Gonzalez headbutts him a few times, with Taker sitting up after each one. Eventually Taker hits Gonzalez and knocks him down, at which point Wippleman gets on the apron and throws Gonzalez a rag. Gonzalez knocks Bearer off the apron, then smothers Taker with that rag, which the announcers claim has choloroform on it. The crowd doesn’t really understand. The bell rings at 7:32, and Taker is knocked out. Of course, Gonzalez gets disqualified. A bunch of officials walk out there to surround the ring and help Taker, who appears to be…dead. Gonzalez chokeslams Bill Alfonso, who was doing a great job of playing a ragdoll while being choked. Taker gets loaded onto a stretcher, wheeled out, and the crowd chants for Hogan. Maybe Hogan should have intervened here. It would have been better. Now Taker walks out from backstage, HE WOKE UP. He rushes into the ring and hits Gonzalez with clotheslines, eventually knocking him down on his back. Taker stomps on Gonzalez, so he decides it’s time to leave.
My Thoughts: This was bad and I wouldn’t say otherwise, but in its own way, I appreciated it. They got a watchable match out of Gonzalez, who didn’t have too many of those. The angle fell completely flat because the crowd didn’t understand. I was surprised to see Gonzalez do any wrestling moves. 1/2*, but this is a guilty pleasure. Definitely accomplished the goal in mind. Now, I don’t understand why they didn’t follow up at King of the Ring.
Yokozuna (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret Hart for the WWF Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: This match just makes me angry, but I’ll try to put that aside. The Yokozuna hype train was running at full speed. They showed Yokozuna destroying Hacksaw Duggan, and the contract signing between these two. They REALLY made it seem like Bret was going to be just another victim. However, WrestleMania had never ended with a heel going out on top before. Hulk Hogan walked in and talked about his match, then said he hyped up Bret Hart and said that everyone was in Bret’s corner. Hogan said he wanted the first shot at the winner of this match. He called Yokozuna a “JAP.” At least they gave Bret an excuse for losing, that being he was knocked out by Lex Luger. He tried hard and deserved that, at least.
Match Review: Bret runs at Yoko and dropkicks him, then climbs the buckles for some punches until Yoko pushes him off. Yoko hits him in the throat, then Bret tries for a waistlock only for Yoko to shove him off. Yoko then tackles Bret to the outside, and kicks Bret to keep him out of the ring. Bret blocks one of those kicks and trips Yoko, then flies in with a slingshot splash and punches Yoko for a while. Bret comes off the second rope with an elbow smash on the prone challenger, whose leg was hooked in the ropes. Bret nails Yoko with some clotheslines, but Yoko cuts him off with his own. Yoko lands an elbow smash of his own, then slams Bret and drops the leg on him. The master footage of this match appears to be a little messed up, by the way. The crowd gets some “USA” chants going for the Canadian, then Yoko chokes Bret with the top rope. Yoko chokes him for a little bit, and turns it into a nerve hold. Bret gets out, then Yoko misses a charge to the corner. So, Bret flies off the second rope with a bulldog and rides him down. Yoko comes back with a superkick, then it’s back to the nerve hold. He lets go of it, then charges at Bret again and misses again. Bret goes up to the second rope for another bulldog, and it gets 2 this time. Bret comes off the second rope with an elbow smash for 2, then clotheslines Yoko from the second rope as well. Another clothesline puts Yoko down, then he hits him with punches in the corner. Bret rips the turnbuckle pad off while keeping Yoko from slamming him, then rams Yoko into that exposed buckle to knock him down. Now Bret puts the SHARPSHOOTER on Yoko, and Fuji decides to throw salt in his eyes. In what I consider to be somewhat of a mistake, Yokozuna immediately pins and covers him for the win at 8:56.
My Thoughts: Yokozuna should have dropped a leg on Bret, is my immediate takeway from what I just watched. This was a good match for what it was, but they didn’t want to make Yokozuna look too weak at this stage. Bret got in some offense, and all in all they both did a pretty good job. The attention to detail required to put together a good match when the wrestlers are so different each other makes this noteworthy in its own way. **1/4.
As soon as the match is over, Hogan runs out there and starts protesting on behalf of Bret. The crowd pops, of course. What a bunch of rubes. Fuji grabs the microphone and decides to challenge Hogan pretty much immediately. Hogan pretty much pushes Bret out of the ring and gets Bret’s permission to have a match, so here we go.
Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna for the WWF Championship
Yokozuna quickly attacks Hogan when he gets in the ring, and we have our match. Fuji has the salt again, and this time he throws it in Yoko’s eyes. So, Hogan hits Yoko with a clothesline, LEG DROPS him, and wins the WWF Championship again after about 23 seconds. The pop for that was enormous, and after Hogan poses, that’s the show.
It’s absolutely remarkable that they were able to rebuild Yokozuna into a credible top heel after the way they’d botched his title victory and had him pinned in less than a minute. It’s a credit to the WWF’s ability to book their top star. That being said, I can’t stand the way they did that and found it incredibly disrespectful to both Bret and Yokozuna. This was a big mistake. The thing is too, they could never have gotten Hogan to do a job to Yokozuna at King of the Ring if they hadn’t put him over here. They also gained nothing in terms of house show business, so I don’t exactly know why they did this instead of just putting Yokozuna over.
All in all this wasn’t a very good WrestleMania. There were ref bumps and screwy finishes all over the place, which is a good sign that the WWF didn’t really have their shit together. If you need screwy finishes to get people interested in your product, you’re doing it wrong. Worst of all, they weren’t interesting screwy finishes other than the two Doinks. The best things about the show were the two interesting opening matches, and the special entrances sprinkled throughout. Otherwise, this is a forgettable WrestleMania if not the worst. That being said, it isn’t the worst PPV I’ve seen, nor does it rank with the worst. I applaud some of the more risky ideas, like the two Doinks and Luna Vachon, but some others fell flat.Next up, it’s WWF leading out of WrestleMania IX, halfway to King of the Ring.
Wrestling Time: 1:31:20. Lots of long matches on this one, which didn’t fit with what WrestleMania often was.
Best: Steiners vs. Headshrinkers. That was a lot of fun.
Worst: Hogan winning the title at the end of the show.
Card Rating: 4/10. It’s almost right in the middle when it comes to ranking this with other PPV’s. I don’t hate it, but it wasn’t much of a WrestleMania.