April 4, 1993
Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Randy Savage, & Bobby Heenan
The commentators make their entrances, with Jim Ross making his debut! Randy Savage comes out with the ladies, and Bobby Heenan comes out riding a camel backwards.
Tatanka vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Luna) – WWF Intercontinental Championship
Sensational Sherri makes her way out of after the entrances of Tatanka and Michaels. The early portions of this match have Michaels bumping all over the ring for Tatanka, as Tatanka tries to take advantage of the injured shoulder of Shawn Michaels. JR notes the momentum that Tatanka has had leading into the match, having two pinfall victories over Michaels recently.
Michaels eventually gets the advantage, but Tatanka turns it around when Michaels goes for a double ax handle off the top rope, and Tatanka begins to Hulk up. Tatanka nails him with chops, and hits a flying cross body of the top rope, but only gets a 2. Michaels runs all over the ring trying to get away, and he goes for a flying cross body on Tatanka, but Tatanka catches him with a body slam, but only gets a 2.
Michaels manages to send Tatanka to the outside. He goes for a dive off the apron, but Tatanka moves and Michaels flies headfirst into the stairs! As they go back in the ring Shawn Michaels pulls the ref outside the ring. Back in the ring, Tatanka hits Michaels with a Samoan Drop, but the ref stops the match. They announce it as a count-out victory for Tatanka, but it looked like a DQ to me. Luna attacks Sherri after the match, and Tatanka chases her away!
RATING: 3/5 – This was a pretty good match until the bad and confusing finish. As Macho Man said it – what a bad ending to a great match. True story Randy, true story.
Mean Gene is backstage to interview the Steiner Brothers. They talk about having a good gameplan for the Headshrinkers.
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa)
As JR says, this one is going to be a Sloberknocker. Heenan comments that Afa is eyeing the camera man – he might rip his head off and eat it! JR agrees. Hilarious commentary from those two, and JR is fitting right in. As the folks at F4WOnline say, this is a mean guy match.
Samu & Fatu brawl all over the ring with the Steiner brothers, and it’s awesome. Both Steiners climb to the top rope and hit a pair of Steiner-lines on Samu & Fatu! Rick sends Samu into the corner, and Samu hits his head against the ring post! He tags in Scott, and Scott hits a suplex, but Samu dumps him over the top rope in horrible fashion! That had to suck so badly.
Afa smashes Scott with a kendo stick on the outside, and the crack could have been heard in outer space. Fatu continues to beat on Scott, and the heat segment begins. Samu & Fatu maintain control with strikes and headbutts, and keep cutting Scott off before he can get the tag. Fundamental tag team wrestling. When Scott smashes Fatu’s head into the ring, Fatu no sells it and superkick’s Scott! You must know Scott: you can’t hurt the head of a Samoan.
When Samu goes for a flying headbutt Scott moves and gets the hot tag to Rick! Rick runs wild, slamming and clotheslining everyone! He goes for a headbutt, but it doesn’t work! They hit a double team Stroke, and set him up for a Doomsday Device, but Rick catches Samu in midair and hits a slam! Fatu breaks the count! Scott is tagged back in and he hits a huge belly-to-belly overhead suplex, but Samu takes him out. As Samu hits the ropes Scott hits a Frankensteiner for the win!
RATING: 3/5 – This match was awesome. Great mean guy match with all 4 men beating on each other! This is the best match on the WrestleMania 9 card if you ask me. The finish was botched a bit, so that hurts it in the rating a little, but it was still great when compared to the rest of the card.
Mean Gene interviews Doink. Doink says he is bringing a sense of humor to WrestleMania. He claims Crush will be seeing double.
Crush vs. Doink
Crush starts the match beating on Doink, as Doink begs off because he isn’t enjoying that one. All of Doink’s offense doesn’t seem to hurt Crush, as Crush just slowly smashes him all over the ring. Doink finally has some effective offense when he flies off the top rope with an ax handle, and finally starts to move forward.
Doink hits a piledriver and runs Crush’s head into the ring post. Doink brings him back into the ring and slams him. He goes to the top rope to go for a splash, but Crush gets his foot up, and Doink goes down! He hits a big midair powerslam on Doink and sends him to the outside with a clothesline. Doink tries to go under the ring, but Crush caught him.
The ref gets knocked down when Doink breaks the Coconut Crush and tries to go back under the ring. As the ref is down a second Doink comes out from under the ring and hits Crush with a fake arm. The second Doink breaks the fake arm over Crush’s head he pins Crush when the ref gets up!
RATING: 1/5 – This was a pretty terrible match. Heenan’s commentary was awesome, but otherwise, it was terrible.
After the match, Bill Alfonso comes down and tries to show the ref that there was two Doinks. They look under the ring, but no one is there!
Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund tries to continue his comeback, wrestling at his first WrestleMania! Razor however, does not make it easy for him, using his size and power to his advantage, keeping Backlund at bay for the first few minutes of this match.
Backlund starts out wrestling Razor and hits several dropkicks. Backlund hits a huge atomic drop, carrying Razor around the ring in an impressive show of strength. When they head back to the middle, Razor hits a small package on Backlund and gets the pinfall!
RATING: 1/5 – This was really short, and nothing special at all. If they had about 5 more minutes, it might have turned into a good match as Razor and Backlund are both good workers. According to the Observer from this time, Razor had an injured knee a few weeks before, which might explain the short match time.
Mean Gene interviews Money Inc, and they run down how their upcoming match with Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake came about, replaying the angle when IRS hits Brutus with the briefcase.
Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake vs. Money Inc – The WWF Tag Team Championship
Hogan comes out to a gigantic pop, and as he gets into the ring DiBiase & IRS attack, but Hogan & Beefcake send him flying to the outside to the roar of the crowd as Hogan’s music continues to play. The commentators note the eye injury that Hogan has, and speculate that Money Inc attacked him the night before (find the real story in the Observer).
The opening part of this match have Beefcake and Hogan beating Money Inc all around the ring. Hogan dumps DiBiase over the top rope, IRS runs in, and Hogan does it to IRS as the crowd goes nuts. Money Inc starts to run away, looking to get counted out. The ref tells Fink that if they do not come back into the ring, they will lose their tag team titles! The crowd pops huge for this!
Money Inc get back in time, but they’re not happy about it. Money Inc manage to get the advantage with chokes and other nefarious techniques. DiBiase locks on the Million Dollar Dream, and it looks like Hulk-a-Mania is about to die. Of course, we know that it doesn’t. Why, brother!? Because Hulk-a-Mania will never die, BROTHER!? Hulk begins to Hulk up, but it fails!?! Will Hulk-a-Mania die? IRS makes his way into the ring and the ref tries to get him out. Beefcake locks in a sleeper hold on DiBiase and saves Hogan.
Hogan gets the hot tag to Beefcake and he cleans house, sending DiBiase to the outside why taking out IRS. DiBiase hits Beefcake with the briefcase as Beefcake hits the ropes. Money Inc gets the heat on Brutus and try to take off the protective facemask that Beefcake is wearing. However, Beefcake manages to lock in a sleeper on IRS. DiBiase crashes into both men, sending them into the ref.
Hogan makes his way into the match and hits both men with the facemask. Jimmy Hart tries to wake the ref up, but he doesn’t. Jimmy turns his jacket inside out and has the ref stripes on. Jimmy counts the three, which of course, doesn’t count. Another ref runs out and DQs Hogan & Beefcake.
RATING: 2/5 – The DQ finish to this match sucks. It was actually a really fun tag match, with Hogan doing a great job of getting the crowd into the match. Jimmy Hart threw the ref out of the ring afterwards to the roar of the crowd. The finish hurt the rating, as Hogan can at times, be awesome. His in ring skills were never great, but he has so much charisma it’s hard not to enjoy watching him.
Mean Gene interviews Mr. Perfect, noting that Lex Luger knocked out Bret Hart at a brunch earlier in the day. Is Mr. Perfect worries? Mr. Perfect answered no, and he claims he’s going to beat Luger.
Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
Lex Luger comes down to the ring with some rather non-PG dressed women, which is rare back then as the WWF was PG. Given how many kids were in the crowd, I’m surprised there wasn’t backlash for it.
Early in the match, Mr. Perfect works over the knee of Luger. Perfect hits him with several hard chops that makes the crowd come alive, but Luger sends Mr. Perfect flying into the turnbuckle, and Luger begins to work over Mr. Perfect’s back. Slams and backbreakers are the way forward for Luger here.
Once he sends Perfect back into the corner, Mr. Perfect starts to try and fight back, but Luger doesn’t let it happen. Luger goes for a pin and puts his feet on the ropes, but the ref catches it. He hits a powerslam and Perfect kicks out. Perfect goes for a sunset flip, but Luger kicks out. Perfect locks in a sleeper, but Luger drives him back to the corner.
Perfect gets an inside cradle, but Luger kicks out. Perfect hits a back body drop, sends Luger into the corner, and catapults Luger into the corner. Perfect hits two clotheslines, but Luger kicks out. Perfect goes for a backslide after a nice missile drop kick, and Luger turns it around with Perfect’s feet ending up in the ropes, but the ref doesn’t see it and he counts the 3. After the pinfall, Luger hits Mr. Perfect with his forearm, knocking him out!
RATING: 1.5/5 – This was not the best match of either man, and probably shouldn’t have been on a WrestleMania card unless they were given more time to work. It doesn’t help that the finish was bad too. That’s three odd finishes tonight so far.
Perfect goes backstage and starts fighting with Luger. Shawn Michaels gets involved and takes Perfect out! A bunch of officials come and break it up as both try to keep fighting. Savage and Heenan nearly get into a fight!
Giant Gonzalez vs. The Undertaker
I love The Undertaker, I really, really do. But this was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I can’t even comment on it much further. The Undertaker wins by DQ when they use chloroform on him. What a horrible finish to a horrible match.
Undertaker is taken out on a stretcher as the crowd chants Hogan. Taker comes back out and clears the ring, and that is how it ends. In retrospective, it might have been better to have Hogan come out rather than what the did with him later, but we’ll get to that.
RATING: -1/5. My first negative rating. The third DQ finish of the show, which is ridiculous. This match was awful in every way.
Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret Hart – The WWF Heavyweight Championship
Hart tries to go after him hard in the beginning to neutralize the size difference, but it doesn’t work as Yokozuna sends Bret to the outside. Bret ties his feet up in the ropes tripping him, and flies over the ropes to start laying a beating on Yokozuna.
Once Yokozuna gets back to his feet he drops Bret with a huge clothesline, which Bret sells like he’s dead. Yokozuna hits a slam followed by a big leg drop, and Bret looks like he died again. Bret’s selling is amazing. The fans chant USA in support of Bret, which is ironic because he’s Canadian while Yokozuna is actually American, though Japanese in kayfabe. Therefore, the fans were cheering for the ref, maybe?
Bret goes for a sleeper hold from the middle turnbuckle on Yokozuna, but he can’t hold him up and they crash to the mat. Yokozuna hits a superkick on Hart, and Bret goes down again. Yokozuna goes for a splash in the corner, but Bret moves and hits a bulldog. Bret goes for a forearm smash and a clothesline from the middle turnbuckle, followed by another clothesline that sends Yokozuna down. Bret goes for a ten punch in the corner, but Yokozuna pulls Bret out of the corner. Bret is hanging onto the turnbuckle and pulls the padding off. Bret manages to smash Yokozuna’s head into the turnbuckle and Bret locks in the Sharpshooter! Fuji throws salt into Bret’s eyes and Yokozuna gets the pin.
RATING: 2.75/5 – Not a bad match, but the finish sucked. They were working a good big man vs. small man match, which was great.
Mr. Fuji challenges Hulk Hogan to a match, who came out to help Bret. Hulk accepts and Bret tells him to go.
Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) – WWF Heavyweight Championship
Fuji goes to throw salt into Hogan’s eyes, but he dodges. He clotheslines Yokozuna and hits a legdrop for the win.
RATING: DUD – Hulk Hogan became the WWF Champion again, ending a mediocre PPV with what was supposed to be a happy ending, and at the time looked like a good business decision. They probably would have been better served having Hogan slam Giant Gonzalez and having Bret go over in this one and have Yokozuna beat Bret for the title at King of the Ring. However, hindsight is 20/20, and from a business perspective, Hogan was still money. However, this doesn’t end well for the WWF.
OVERALL RATING: 1.5/5 – This was probably the worst WrestleMania ever. There were some good matches, but overall, many of the finishes were confusing, and there was far too many DQs. On the biggest show of the year, one match like that is okay, but 6 screwjob finishes? That doesn’t make for a good show. Not to mention that the top matches were not as good as they could have been.
Best match: The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers
Worst match: Giant Gonzalez vs. The Undertaker
Highlights: Jim Ross was awesome in his debut for the company. Jim Ross’ commentary adds significantly to this event, as he elevates the drama. Bobby Heenan was fantastic, as usual. Shawn Michaels showed why he earned the nickname “Mr. WrestleMania,” and Bret Hart sold like crazy for Yokozuna, making him look like a monster. The rest was not so great, and the work putting Yokozuna over was largely undone by Hogan beating him in 21 seconds.