Classic Induction: WrestleMania 9 – It Just Doesn’t Get Much Crappier Than This!

32 Submitted by on Thu, 21 March 2013, 10:15

WWF, 1993
Photos Courtesy Jeff Cohen

Ahhh, Wrestlemania. Truly it is the day around which every mark’s life revolves, our own personal Christmas present that WWE allows us to open for just $49.95. Throughout its twenty-year history, the event has played host to countless great matches, unforgettable angles, and shocking happenings that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

Indeed, when you step back and think about it, it’s pretty incredible that over the past 20 years there have been so few bad Wrestlemanias. Some would point to Wrestlemania IV, with its interminable World Title tournament as a bad one. Wrestlemania XIII certainly won’t win any awards, with an Undertaker-Sid main event so pathetic that it caused many to completely forget the tremendous Bret Hart-Steve Austin match on the undercard.

Those two might have been bad, but there’s only one Wrestlemania worthy of being inducted into the annals of Crapdom: Wrestlemania IX. In fact, several readers have duly noted that on the cover of the WrestleCrap book, two of the shots are from that very event: one of Giant Gonzalez, one of the double Doinks. Flip the book over, and you’ll see that yet another shot from the show is there as well, as the Narcissist also gets some ink. It’s really telling just how atrocious this show was that on what is arguably the definitive book about the worst stuff in the HISTORY of wrestling, half the shots are from this one event.

It therefore kind of goes without saying that 1993 was a weird year for not only the WWF, but pro wrestling as a whole. It was during this bizarre period when no one could really figure out what the fans wanted, so you had the WWF throwing stuff like Doink the Clown and Bastion Booger out there just to see if they might somehow catch on. Then there was WCW doing mini-movies with Cheatum and turning Paul Roma into a Horsemen. No, 1993 was not a great year to be a wrestling fan.

And if Wrestlemania is our Christmas, then Santa took a big crap down the chimney that year.

Wrestlemania IX eminated from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and therefore the entire show had a Roman feel to it. To that end, the entire announce crew was dressed up like outcasts from Ben Hur.

For all your trivia buffs out there, it should be noted that WMIX was Jim Ross’ debut PPV with the company.

It should also be noted that he made said debut wearing a toga, a fact that no doubt made him wonder just what the heck he had gotten himself into. In fact, he even made sure to make note of when he did his heel turn in 1996 and he introduced the world to Razor Ramon, Mach 2.

But JR wasn’t the only employee wearing a bed sheet – Howard Finkel did as well, becoming Finkus Maximus for a day.

As bad as that was, he actually looked more normal than Randy Savage. You know, I was always a big Randy Savage fan during his early WWF tenure, when he wore the three star trunks and the awesome robes. But I just kind of lost interest once he started wearing the bizarro hats and fringy jacket. Look at him and tell me he doesn’t look like a clown from the world’s most effeminate rodeo.

I think it speaks volumes for the event that the very first match (which didn’t air on the PPV) featured not just one, but two WrestleCrap alumns: Papa Shango and El Matador.

It would be Tito’s last Wrestlemania, and luckily enough for him, he’d actually win the match. This would be his first victory at the big dance since picking up the duke in the very first Wrestlemania match in history,.

That was the good news. The bad news is that even with the win, he’d have the very dubious honor of having the worst Mania record known to man at a dreadful 2-7.

No wonder the guy retired shortly after this.

The show proper began with a fairly uneventful match between Shawn Michaels and Tatanka (Buffalo). After that fans got to see the Steiners battle the Headshrinkers.

Maybe it’s just me, but neither of those sounds like a “Wrestlemania” level of match.

Having said that, the third match on the card redeems things somewhat as Doink the Clown KO’ed Kona Crush with a plaster cast. That’s some good fun right there.

Just look at him (or them), nailing Bryan Adams upside the head. Hell, I could watch that all day, especially after being force-fed that Kronik crap in WCW’s dying years.

And people wonder why I’d never induct the original decidely evil version of Doink into WrestleCrap.

You know, I’ve never inducted a piece of apparel into WrestleCrap, but the image to the left is causing me to very seriously rethink my stance on that.

For those of you too smart to have followed wrestling during this time period, you’re looking at Brutus Beefcake, who would, shortly after this show, head to WCW and become the Bootyman, the Zodiac, the Clipmaster, the Man with No Name, the Man with No Face, the Butcher, and the Disciple. I mean, good Lord, the man is like a walking billboard for this site! But I’ll be kind and not add those to the tally, since he hadn’t even done those characters quite yet.

That mask, though, requires serious consideration.

The reason for the stupid looking thing was that he had been involved in a very serious parasailing accident in which his face was quite literally shattered. He was forced to undergo some insane amount of surgery (I want to say it was over eight hours) in which steel plates and screws were put into his skull so as to rebuild his face.

He came back to wrestling because, quite frankly, he had nothing else to fall back on. The WWF played him up as a sympathetic character, talking about how he’d lost everything due to the accident. Showing the world what a compassionate man he was, Bobby Heenan even stuck refrigerator magnets on his face during a segment on Prime Time Wrestling.

All of this lead to the tag champs at the time, Money Inc., Ted DiBiase and IRS (yet another WrestleCrap inductee, bringing the official count so far to three), to pummel the Beefer, setting up a world title tag bout with Hulk Hogan and Beefcake’s partner.

It should be noted that this was the fifth match on the show (following a Bob Backlund-Razor Ramon snoozefest), and Hogan and Beefcake actually lost the bout via DQ. That didn’t stop Hogan from posing after the match.

Anyone who celebrated Hogan being eliminated from the show so early really should have known better.

The Narcissist (Inductee number four) makes his appearance as well…

…taking on Mr. Perfect in yet another so-so match up.

The frightening thing here is that being so-so made it like the best match on the entire show. I mean, seriously – this was WRESTLEMANIA. Couldn’t Vince and his crew come up with something that at least had a chance of hitting at least the *** range?

Just when you thought it couldn’t get a whole hell of a lot worse, here comes not only inductee number five(!!), but the man most learned experts in this business would call the worst wrestler in the entire history of the civilized world: your friend and mine, Giant Gonzalez.

I’ve ranted and raved about how insanely horrible he was in the past, so I will only make one further comment, that being that the suit with the airbrushed muscles was bad enough…did they really need to spray paint on an ASS CRACK? Who in the hell thought THAT was a good idea? I mean, someone had the foresight to cover up his weiner with a patch of fur…couldn’t we have gotten the same courtesy for his hindquarters?

Seriously, think about this. Someone had to come up with the concept for that suit; it didn’t just spray paint itself.

I think what frightens me most is that someone high up in the WWF heirarchy at one point or another had to have told a seamstress: “…and make sure the Sasquatch wrestler’s outfit features a musclebound anus.”

(More useless trivia: I lobbied long and hard to get this image on the back cover of the first book, to no avail. I guess I should be thankful for the sheer fact that I was able to convince someone to pay me to write a book with the word “CRAP” in the title, but damn did I want the back cover to feature that spray painted ass. What a weirdo I am.)

His opponent in this negative star anti-classic is the Undertaker, who celebrated the occasion by bringing a vulture with him to ringside, a bit that Sting would inexplicably steal years later.

As awful as the show had been, at least fans had one guy they could count on in the main even to deliver the goods: Bret Hart.

Hart was an unlikely choice to be WWF champion, but one that Vince was willing to gamble on, especially in light of the steroid investigations that were plaguing his company at the time. In order to get him over with fans, he was given a win against Ric Flair for the title, then started a gimmick of being a fighting champion.

In other words, they were basically trying to get him over as, get this, a WRESTLER. A novel concept to be sure.

His opponent this evening was the 500 pound Yokozuna, who was booked as an unstoppable monster. And really, that’s just about the perfect wrestling set-up: fighting champion defends against unstoppable monster who just so happens to outweigh him by 250 pounds. So far, so good.

Of course, since Yoko was so heavy and largely immobile, it was tough for Bret to really do much with him. To Hart’s credit, he was able to get a decent match, but no more – certainly not something Wrestlemania main event worthy.

Anyway, the match ended when the vile Mr. Fuji threw salt in Bret’s eyes, giving Yoko the advantage to pick up the win and Bret’s title belt.

It was the first time since the beginning of Wrestlemania that a heel would walk out of the event with the strap.

But stop the presses! Here comes Hulk Hogan of all people to dispute the decision. That’s sure nice of him to come to Bret’s aid, as they had ZERO relationship in the storyline. Nope, Hogan just suddenly showed up out of the goodness of his heart or something.

Fuji, being a total blathering idiot, grabbed the house mic and challenged Hogan to a title match RIGHT DAMN NOW.

Yoko grabbed Hogan while Fuji loaded up the salt. Since Fuji had successfully thrown salt into Bret’s eyes, RD’s Law of Evil Manager Averages states that he wouldn’t hit his intended target for at least the next ten years. Hogan ducked, Yoko took the salt…
…which lead to the legdrop…

…which lead to this.

Again.

You know, I bitch all the time about Hunter, but trust me, that guy has NOTHING on Hogan, who manipulated Vince to such a degree that he basically buried two top stars in Hart and Yokozuna just to appease his ego by putting the strap on him once again.

At Wrestlemania.

In a match he wasn’t even in!

So there were zero good matches, a bunch of stupid characters, and Hogan giving himself the proverbial BJ yet again. Oh yeah, and this:

So while you may have cheer Hogan when he comes back for one of his oh-so-frequent nostalgia tours, don’t do so too loudly.

You might give him ideas.

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
32 Responses to "Classic Induction: WrestleMania 9 – It Just Doesn’t Get Much Crappier Than This!"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    I remember being so pissed off when I ordered this and got that as the ending of the main event.

  2. Shane aka RamboHomerMcFly says:

    I remember thinking when Hogan was in the tag match during the PPV, how odd it was that he was on like 5th and thinking he’d (somehow, against all logic) be champion by the end of the night. t just didn’t seem natural that Hogan wasn’t in the Main Event.
    Though I wasn’t disappointed since I’m a big Hogan fan, I still felt cheated somehow. I can’t imagine how Bret felt.

  3. ben says:

    As bad as this Mania was (and it certainly was in parts), I wouldn’t say this is the worst I’ve ever seen. The card wasn’t the greatest but I feel like the show having the Caesar’s theme was just different and I liked how some of it came off. The end of this show is so memorable just because of how bad it was done. I honestly think WM 27 is the worst one I’ve seen and with a close 2nd place going to WM 11.

  4. Forest George says:

    Used to be a major Hogan fan. When I think of him crying after winning this title, just makes me shake my head now.

  5. Bfauble83 says:

    Ordering this on PPV was my 10th birthday present. At the time I hated Yokozuna and loved seeing Hogan win the title at the end. Looking back I should have asked for something else…

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      Hey, well if you had a good time when you were watching it at the age of 10, that’s what counts. :)

  6. Jeff LupPlace says:

    I started watching regularly after wrestlemania 8 took place so I was still new to everything. I was never a Hogan fan in my life. My favorites were Bret Hart and Undertaker. After the main event, something in my kid brain thought, “This is stupid, how can a guy not even in the match become champ?” If a kid can figure out it doesn’t make sense maybe the company shouldn’t do it.

  7. Chunkylover53 says:

    Hate to say this, but Hogan winning the WWF championship at the end of the night was the only thing memorable of an otherwise woeful event. Yokozuna winning would be anti-climatic, while Bret Hart winning would halt Yoko’s push. They were backed into a corner.

    If there’s anybody who got gipped out of this whole fiasco its Hogan’s so called friend and brother Brutus Beefcake. I mean, he was the reason Hogan returned to the WWF(in storyline) after Money Inc. attacked his fractured skull and by the end of Wrestlemania, Beefcake was forgotten. Would’ve liked to see The Mega Maniacs have a brief run with the tag team titles though. It would make sense considering everything that lead up to it.

    • YVRay says:

      I don’t think that losing to the champion is necessarily a push-halter. Beating Yoko would have sold Bret’s scrappy underdog character totally, and if there’s anyone who could beat Yoko in such a way that both men came out looking fine, it would be the Hitman.

      Hogan coming in made Bret look like a chump for getting hit with the salt and Yoko and Fuji look like total idiots for challenging Hogan in the first place. The only one who came out of this looking better was Hogan.

  8. John says:

    Come on now at least Vince would give us The Lex Express a few months mater. Oh…crap.

  9. The Scanian Maniac says:

    The WWE was in a very bad spot in 1993. They hadn’t been able to create a new big star who could assume Hogan’s mante and carry the company.
    Hogan was a bigger name and trademark than the WWE at the time, and there were no credible way to put him in the main event since he had been out of the wrestling ring for a whole year, and top the thing off in a way to keep the publics interest in Wrestlemania.
    What else could they have done?

    The following Wrestlemania next year was even worse IMHO when they couldn’t pull Hogan out of the hat any longer, and the main event was Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor.

    Todays WWE reminds me a bit of the mid 90′s crisis: they haven’t been able to replace The Rock and Steve Austin with any big poster name to capture the wide audience, and for how long can they go on with John Cena and the PG rating?

    • Mr. Glen says:

      You got your dates mixed up there bro. 11 featured Taylor vs. Bigelow and the main event was Diesel vs. HBK. I think Bret was sent to the gulag at that stage to feud with Jean Pierre Lafitte.
      10 featured Bret vs. Owen to start the show and Razor vs. Shawn in the ladder match to end all ladder matches. The show also ended with Bret regaining the strap from Yoko to end the show.

      • The Scanian Maniac says:

        Sorry for my blunder. The WWE really stunk in the mid 90′s, so I’ve almost repressed the whole period.
        Bret vs. Owen and the Shawn vs Razor ladder match were good, but overall the Wrestlemanias were only a shadow of its former glory when Hogan and Andre squared off in 87.

    • JR's Ass says:

      Bigelow vs Taylor was in 1995. Wrestlemania X was Luger/Hart vs Yokozuna.

    • Walt says:

      It bugs me when people use the PG rating as an excuse for crappy wrestling. The AWA was PG but they were one of the largest territories with Bockwinkel, Crusher, Ventura, Vachon, Stevens, Raschke, Verne and Billy Robinson putting on great matches. Bockwinkel and Heenan were great on the mic, especially the promo where Bockwinkel accused Verne’s Sleeper of being a choke hold.

      NWA was PG, but Flair, Blanchard, Race, Rhodes, Koloff, the Road Warriors, Sting and others had great matches and the promos were great. Flair was a boss and Rhodes “Hard times” promo was electric.

      WWF was PG in the 80′s, and while the wrestling itself at times wasn’t great, you still had great workers like Steamboat, Savage, Piper, Martel, Hart, etc. The promos were great too, like Piper smacking Superfly with a coconut, or The Million Dollar Man’s vignettes

      WCW in the 1990′s was PG, but with the nWo, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Psicosis, Mysterio Jr, even DDP, the program was great until the nWo storyline imploded.

      In Japan, NJPW, AJPW, UWFi, Battlarts, NOAH, all put on/did put on good matches without having to raunch it up. In fact puroresu is what I prefer. Be it Strong Style, Shoot Style or King’s Road, I love the older puroresu.

      WWE sucks, not because of the PG rating, but because it isn’t even wrestling anymore. Instead of hyping matches, they hype lame social posts and lamer movies. Instead of letting people speak from the heart, they give them hokey scripts. One thing I’m liking about Bully Ray vs any crap I’ve seen in WWE (with the exception of CM Punk, but even he’s watered down), is that Bully Ray speaks with passion. Does Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, Del Rio, Orton or Swagger put any passion into it? Does Cole and King put any passion into it? No. That”s why it sucks.

      When you watch the old WCW, NWA, WWF, or AWA promos, they shoot from the hip, they speak with passion and then they got in the ring and actually wrestled, not a 5 minute spot-fest.

      I’m done, but please don’t blame a PG rating on a lack of creativity, passion, and a focus on wrestling.

      • Autrach Sejanoz says:

        *APPLAUDS*

        Another good example of an entertaining promotion with a PG rating would be Chikara.

        • The Gold Standard says:

          Being an Indy Worker, I agree as well. I quit watching WWE several years ago and never have watched TNA. I have long opined that WWE’s writers who don’t give the boys anything to be passionate about, road agents telling the boys to just get in the stuff that the crowds pop for, and over advertising superfluous things like twitter made WWE just bad.

          Guys on the indy circuit may not be as talented per se (but there are many very good guys talents out there), they care. They have passion. They out to prove that they’re the best.

          I wish WWE would go back to letting guys shoot from the hip, work from the hip, and punish accordingly. If somebody goes over time, they get warned or de-pushed. If a match is bad, it’s the boys’ fault. Let them figure it out…just my opinion about the state of wrestling. PG doesn’t make it bad, out of touch writers, no passion, and road agents do

          • Walt says:

            I’ve watched wrestling for a long time but was only at 3 events live in my life. One was the WCW Nitro from Toronto where Goldberg speared Hart and was knocked out. The second was an indy show for Main Stream Wrestling in Canada, the third was TNA back in 2007. Kurt Angle had the IWGP title and was talking about going into MMA. So I was by the ramp wearing an UFC shirt and hat, when Kurt passed by I yelled “Kurt, stay out of the UFC, Randy Couture will make you his wife!” My girlfriend (now wife) and I left after an hour even though it was a two hour taping because it sucked.

            The Nitro was fun at but during the commercial breaks, I remember it was bad, Rick Steiner and Norton didn’t do anything at all, not even a headlock or chinlock as a rest hold. Norton stayed outside the ring and Rick just kind of posed.

            The MainStream Wrestling event was a lot of fun from top to bottom. The very first bump was an armdrag but it was done with a lot of force. The wrestlers were accessible, they reacted to the crowd and the event was headlined by Chris Hamrick doing the “Confederate Currency” gimmick.

            My point: I had way more fun and enjoyed the action and atmosphere a lot more at an indy show. It sucks indy guys don’t get paid more, but they do it because they love it, and I respect that. Green or not, polished or not, I care more about passion and enthusiasm than seeing 6 spots executed flawlessly.

      • The Scanian Maniac says:

        To be honest, the product of the 80′s haven’t aged well.
        When I was a kid watching Hogan and Andre, I remembered it as some of the coolest and toughest things I’ve seen.
        Years later with the Foley-Undertaker and Hardys-Dudleys-Edge/Christian TLC-matches fresh in my mind, when I rewatched my childhoods favourite moments in wrestling, I just thought it was lame.
        If nothing else, the PG rating limits and constrains the creativity and wrestling in order to sanitize the product.

        • Walt says:

          WSatch New Japan from the mid 90′s, watch Karl Gotch and Inoki from the 1970′s, watch Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid from the 1980′s, watch Flair and Steamboat from the late 80′s and early 90′s. No way could you say that was sanitized or uncreative. It was good, clean, hard wrestling action.

          I’ll admit, and I did in my post earlier, the 80′s WWF wasn’t all that great, but they still did a good job and it was PG.

  10. Peter says:

    This was actually the first WrestleMania I saw. I became a wrestling fan in 1994 and at the video store we went to they had this and WM X. At the time being a young wrestling fan I thought it was great. Now, I watch it and the only thing I really enjoy from it is The Steiners vs. The Headshrinkers. I had never realized how stupid the ending was either until I watched it recently. At least Hulk put over Yokozuna later at King of the Ring, but still, by far the worst WrestleMania ever. They just lacked the star power at this time.

  11. Scrooge McSuck says:

    9 definitely has it’s arguments for and against. I liked it for the atmopshere and while nothing was mind blowingly awesome, only Gonzales vs. Undertaker stank the place up, but a lot of cop out finishes really makes it hard to back. WM 2, though, is just trash until the Tag Title Match, and even that was subpar compared to other matches between the two teams involved.

  12. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Sure, the show is awful but you have to admit it had a very unique visual look to it.

  13. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I’d like to throw WM XXI as a candidate for the worst WM – the Cena/JBL match was one of the boring matches I have ever watched with Cena going through the motions to a conclusion even Eugene could have predicted…

  14. Mike Castleberry says:

    I don’t see why HBK vs Tatanka isn’t a “Wrestlemania quality match” for the time period, Michaels was IC Champ, and Tatanka was super over back them and on an undefeated streak.

  15. TjM says:

    I like Mania 4 (Though I was a kid and a huge mark for Savage)

  16. Steve says:

    Truthfully, what made the Attitude era great wasn’t the raunch- it was the unpredictable nature of the show. Just a few years ago, HHH breaking into Orton’s house and attacking him harkened back to the attitude era without delving into crap like Mae Young giving birth to a hand. One of the finest moments in history was the Stone Cold/Booker T grocery store brawl. No raunch, just a surprising and intense brawl in a supermarket. THAT’S what wrestling needs. Let the guys shoot at the hip like in the 80s, be surprising (like Del Rio recently jumping Big Show in the hotel), and have more quality style interviews.

  17. Deepthroat Ghoul says:

    The Tag-Team Championship match was originally planned to be the blow-off to the feud between Money Inc. and the Nasty Boys, culminating with DiBiase and IRS retaining their titles, but Knobbs and Sags were taken off the card for Hogan and Beefcake. This was enough to make the Nasties leave the WWF for Japan and then WCW that year.

    The whole thing is sort of ironic, as it was just two years earlier, that the Nasties jumped from WCW and screwed up the scheduled push of Power & Glory heading into WrestleMania 7. So in a way, this was a taste of their own medicine.

    But still, it’s really unfair to the Nasties to not get their big rematch. Combine them, Yoko, and Bret, and that’s four guys Hogan screws over on this card.

  18. Justin says:

    I disagree about the two opening matches of WM9 – HBK-Tatanka was the best match on the card, despite the cheap DQ ending, and the Steiners-Headshrinkers bout was a damn fine tag match.

    I’m still bitter 20 years later about the Hogan ending. Easily the worst ending to any wrestling card ever held. Just baffling on every level. That would be like The Rock coming back and laying out both ‘Mania main event participants to close the show. Oh wait……

  19. Nick says:

    wm 9 was an intesting theme and arena setup but a shit show. mainly cuz hogans gotta win the title

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