Welcome back! Wrestlemania 8 had come and gone…Wrestlemania IX (9) would take place in Las Vegas at the great Caesar’s Palace and, for the first time, it would take place outdoors!
At the turnstiles, fans were handed togas to wear…I really cannot recall if they all wore them or not but more than a few did.
Here’s the main storylines:
- When last we left, Hogan was SUPPOSED to have been gone from the WWF. Nope. Hogan, after a leave of absence due to steroid controversy, came back in February 1993 to hog the spotlight from his “friend”, Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake was in a feud with Money, Inc., the Tag Team Champs. After Beefcake was attacked, viciously, by Money, Inc. after a match (where they struck him in his reconstructed face with a briefcase), Jimmy Hart was mortified and could not believe how low his team had sunk. He would ditch Money Inc., become a face for the first time in his career and immediately began managing Hogan and Beefcake, dubbed “The Mega Maniacs”. The two would face Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
- Randy Savage, meanwhile, had dropped the title to Ric Flair. Flair, in turn, dropped it to Bret Hart, then left the WWF after being beaten by Mr. Perfect who was now a face. Enter Yokozuna, the new “monster heel” in the same vein as Earthquake. Yokozuna would win the 1993 Royal Rumble and become the number one contender for Hart’s WWF Championship.
- A small aside: nothing came of the Ultimate Warrior except that him and Savage had a short tag team thing going and had one whole match as SummerSlam 1992, which the Warrior would win via countout. Warrior would also feud with Papa Shango who would put voodoo curses on the Warrior to make him vomit or sweat goo and some such nonsense. The Warrior, himself, in shoot interviews said those were ridiculous storylines. In late ’92, Savage and Warrior were scheduled to wrestle against Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) and Ric Flair. Warrior, however, would leave the WWF instead. There are conflicting reasons for this: according to Vince McMahon, Warrior failed another drug test and was immediately released. According to Warrior, he left because McMahon was going to involve him in an idiotic storyline with Nailz, a wrestler with a prison convict gimmick who had, previously, feuded with the Big Boss Man. In any case, Warrior wouldn’t be seen again until 1996.
- Savage would go back to being a color commentator after his WWF Champ stint and teaming with the Warrior. He helps here with Bobby Heenan and Jim Ross who came over from WCW. Gorilla Monsoon, at this point, stepped aside after calling eight straight Wrestlemania events.
- Bret Hart would drop the Intercontinental Title to the British Bulldog who, in turn, would lose it to Shawn Michaels. At this Wrestlemania, Michaels would defend the IC belt against Tatanka who, previously, had beaten Michaels in a non-title singles match to keep up his “undefeated streak”. His manager, Sensational Sherri, had gone face between Wrestlemania 8 and 9. This change-of-heart occurred when Marty Jannetty returned early in the year to face Shawn Michaels in a revenge fight. When Jannetty grabbed Michaels’ mirror and swung it at Jannetty, Michaels pulled Sherri in front of him as a human shield and the mirror hit her instead, knocking her out. Sherri would be in Tatanka’s corner.
In other WWF action:
- Wrestlemania saw an influx of WCW talent including The Steiner Brothers, The Headshrinkers, Giant Gonzales, Scott Hall (named “Razor Ramon” here) and Lex Luger.
- The Steiners and Headshrinkers would go head-to-head just for plain tag action.
- Mr. Perfect, who had eliminated former friend and Heenan protege, Ric Flair, was now in a revenge-feud with Lex Luger and would face off against him at Wrestlemania.
- Bob Backlund, and old star and WWF veteran, made a HUGE comeback to the WWF and took on Razor Ramon in singles competition.
- Giant Gonzales came to the WWF and eliminated The Undertaker who was unstoppable in the Royal Rumble. This would be a result of that battle.
- Finally, Crush had left Demolition and turned face. He had a bone to pick with a prankster clown-turned-wrestler, “Doink the Clown”.
And that’s what you missed on Glee…just kidding. On with the show!
Gorilla Monsoon is the “Host” of Wrestlemania here and introduces Jim Ross.
Ross is in a toga along with Monsoon. Of all the Wrestlemania events, this one was highly unique. As stated, it was outdoors but the amount of fun little details (the place was a “coliseum”, Caesar and Cleopatra arrived on an elephant, Savage on a throne being fed grapes by “vestal virgins”, Heenan on camel back, the Undertaker coming out with Death soldiers and a vulture) just pushed this one a notch higher. I loved the fun atmosphere.
Savage comes out next with his virgins (who are smokin’ hot), then Heenan on his camel. He whines about the camel.
The first match is ready to go…
MATCH #1: Tatanka (challenger) (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Shawn Michaels (champion) (w/ Luna Vachon) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Of all the people they had to fight for the IC Title, Tatanka was a really sorry option. Why not Mr. Perfect? He’d been champion twice before…I know he was near retirement but this match, on paper, just didn’t work for me. This is the first time we saw Luna Vachon. Her aunt, Vivian, was a famous pro-wrestler back in the day. She made a late debut in the WWF because, at the time, her family thought that a life in wrestling was too demanding. This is also the first time at Wrestlemania that we’d hear Michaels singing his own theme song – the song would stick to him the rest of his career and never changed. As I said, the match, on paper, was not impressive…in the ring, however, IT WAS. Tatanka is much better than when we last saw him. Performers are only as good as the ones they perform with and Michaels is one of the best. Tatanka, up until now, had faced a bunch of jobbers and Rick Martel who was on his way out and looked bored. Here, Tatanka shows the range he has, reversing a few of Michaels’ moves and dominating much of the match. On another note, Jim Ross sounds incredibly young and without that deep southern drawl like he has now. He’s different but no less professional than Gorilla Monsoon. Heenan still sounds great as a color guy and Savage plays well against that as well. Mid-way through the match, things slow down considerably as Tatanka resorts to armbars and locks. It picks back up when he converts a flip by Michaels into a shoulderbreaker. Tatanka tries for a chop off the top ropes but Michaels hits the Superkick which, by the way, was NOT his finisher at the time. He had a weird backdrop instead. Luna and Sherri would fight outside the ring which would lead to an even bigger feud between the two later on. I take it back. This is actually a pretty good match. Everything Michaels does looks beautiful – dropkicks, side kicks, hip tosses, flips, and we’re not even to the prime part of his career yet. Tatanka makes a comeback after Michaels keeps him down for a bit and tosses Michaels backward with a fallaway slam. Tatanka crawls over and gets a “2 and 99/100ths” pin according to Savage. Michaels gets on the 2nd rope and hits an axehandle. This is where it gets silly. Tatanka starts to no-sell a’la Warrior and Hogan and hulks up, Indian style. Tatanka hits the top rope and gets his crossbody block but ONLY gets two! What a match! Tatanka hits a catapult into the buckle then rolls him up for TWO! Wow! Tatanka lifts Michaels but Michaels reverses into a two-count! Michaels hits the top rope and dives at Michaels but TATANKA REVERSES INTO A POWERSLAM and gets a near fall. Incredible match to start out. The action goes outside the ring as Michaels misses a dive and hits his head right on the steel steps. However, Michaels grabs the official and pulls him outside. Tatanka hits his fallaway slam! But the ref calls a countout on Michaels. Tatanka will win via countout but the title will stay with Michaels.
WINNER: Tatanka via countout.
GRADE: B+. Tatanka’s best match. Not saying much, but it was. He wouldn’t be in a Wrestlemania match again but did cameo in the next two.
Post-match, Luna Vachon kicks Sherri’s ass and Tatanka stands there watching and does nothing until it’s too late.
Great exchange between Ross and Heenan:
Ross: “Sherri was attacked…she needs some help!”
Heenan: “She’s ALWAYS needed help. She should start with her make-up.”
Backstage, Mean Gene talks about the Final Four in hoops and brings in the Steiner Brothers. Scott Steiner looks like such a nice, innocent guy then as opposed to what he became.
MATCH #2: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) (with Afa)
The Headshrinkers. Who cares? The Steiner Brothers. Wrongly booked. At this point, Jim Ross says that this match will be a “slobberknocker”. Heenan says, “I thought a ‘slobberknocker’ was what you called a waitress in downtown Tulsa…a ‘SLOBBERKNOCKER’?!” Ross says that, yes, it means “Smashmouth wrestling”. Heenan says, “Sashmo–Smash…WHAT?!” I love it. The match is boring as hell. There’s little to no excitement mainly because the Headshrinkers have no skill to speak of. They headbutt people and punch a lot and hit kicks and clotheslines but they’re one-note. The Steiners have a lot more skill and they don’t show it here until much too late. One of the best moments comes when Rick Steiner is on the shoulders of his opponents for a flying clothesline. Instead, he catches one of the Headshrinkers and powerslams the guy coming off the ropes. A breathtaking move. Too bad there wasn’t more of it. The end comes when Scott Steiner hits the Frankensteiner out of nowhere to win the match.
WINNERS: The Steiners via Frankensteiner
GRADE: D-. The Steiners just didn’t fit in the WWE.
- The Steiners would be two-time WWF Tag Team Champions, having won them twice one month. but would lose the titles for good in Fall of ’93 against the Quebecers. They would appear in a few PPV events after that but would both leave the WWF in mid-1994 and never return. They would make several more appearances in WCW, ECW and TNA up until 1998 with Scott Steiner becoming the more popular of the two.
- The Headshrinkers would wrestle, mid-card, for the WWF until early 1995. At this point, Samu had already left the WWF due to injury. The Headshrinkers would become jobbers to put over younger talent. Samu would return in 1995 in an angle that went nowhere. He would leave and the Headshrinkers would wrestle, independently, for the rest of their careers.
Backstage, Gene is with Doink the Clown who has desecrated Julius Caesar’s stone bust which cracks me up. Way ahead of his time, by the way…
|Why so SERIOUS???
Doink says that he likes to kid around.
Quick history on Doink the Clown: wrestler Matt Osborne was the first person to EVER portray Doink the Clown. Since then, he’s been portrayed by about half a dozen wrestlers. It’s funny that the character has always been this popular.
MATCH #3: Doink the Clown vs. Crush
Somebody on the outside of the ring has a sign that reads “KILL THE CLOWN”. Heh. Crush is out first. I could not tell you how lame this character was. How does somebody go from a kick-ass behemoth to a goofy-looking, pastel-colored ass? I guess it’s the same as when Smash became Repo Man…anyhow, Doink is out next. Talk about shitty bookings. Crush is all power. Doink actually has some wrestling skill being Matt Osborne n’ all. A lot of it is Crush just wiping the inside and outside of the ring with him, at one point, hitting a reverse neckbreaker as well as a spinning backbreaker before Doink takes over. The crowd is almost totally dead at this point with sporadic applause. Doink has some incredible power and actually slams Crush during the match. This is, honestly, the most colorful two competitors have looked.
The end is just bizarre and makes the whole match worth it. Crush puts on his finisher, the Pineapple Crusher (or something like that) and Doink gets to the ropes to break the hold. Doink swats at the ref, knocking him out. Doink tries to get under the ring but Crush retrieves him. Crush spin-kicks Doink in the stomach and Crush puts on the Crusher hold again. No ref is there…until ANOTHER Doink appears and beats Crush with the same fake arm that Doink first used against Crush.
Anyhow, Crush goes down hard and the two Doinks celebrate together, mirror style:
Doink gets the pin for the win while the OTHER Doink retreats under the ring.
WINNER: Doink via screwjob.
GRADE: C-. Crap match. Crush sucks. Doink is badass even still. I love the finish. It kicks ass.
Post-match, another ref comes out and tells the original ref that there was another Doink. They look under the ring but can’t find him.
- The other Doink, as I noted last report, was played by Steve Keirn AKA “Skinner”, the gator dude. After this match, Osborne was fired for drug abuse but Doink was so popular, the WWF simply chose another performer to play him.
Up in the rafters, Todd Pettengill (I forgot the fuck out of that giant dweeb. He’s like a cross between a college sports broadcaster and a frat boy.) interviews Japanese photographers about Doink the Clown and then hangs out with the rest of the crowd.
MATCH #4: Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund
Another lousy booking, another terrible match. This is WWF Superstars-quality shit right here. Ramon is too new and young and Bob Backlund is a giant dweeb. Their talents are so far apart and Ramon just isn’t on that level. One of Backlund’s gimmicks is that of an old-school gentleman wrestler who likes to shake hands before each match which is cute and admirable the first few times and totally sickening the next. Backlund gets a few nice moves in and then Ramon just takes over and body slams and punches Backlund. The end comes when Backlund gets the upper hand, hits a suplex, a clothesline and gut suplex. Backlund hits a HUGE atomic drop and goes for a follow-up but Ramon just rolls him up in a small package and wins it.
WINNER: Razor Ramon via small package
GRADE: F. Terrible. Just terrible.
Backstage, Gene is with Money, Inc. and says that the boys are in trouble because a) they’re taking on Hogan b) with Brutus and c) they have Jimmy Hart in their corner. We see a clip of DiBiase beating up Brutus from old school RAW when Raw only had like 2,000 people in their arena, IF that. DiBiase and IRS says the two men are pretty much dead meat. The boys say that they roughed up Hogan last night at the gym, selling Hogan’s black eye.
MATCH #5: Money, Inc. (“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) (champions) vs. The Mega-Maniacs (Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake) (challengers) (w/ Jimmy Hart) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
The one GOOD thing I will say about this: it’s NOT the main event. Hogan’s ego is nowhere to be seen…yet. Trust me, that’s still to come. At this time, Hogan was on his way out of the WWF and Vince McMahon was FINALLY ready to let go of him. Vince’s new golden boy was Bret “The Hitman” Hart and he was ready to build the WWF around him. One problem: Hogan didn’t want the Tag Titles. Vince told him that they had to lose the match…but Hogan, of course, didn’t wanna lose cleanly where Money, Inc. got a pinfall. Instead, Hogan wanted to book it where him and Brutus got DQ’ed. Brutus comes out wearing a stupid-looking “steel mask” because of the “reconstructed face” angle seen on RAW. He’s also wearing Hogan’s colors, as is Jimmy Hart because Hogan and all his Egomaniacs
Hulkamaniacs RULE, BROTHER. The match is pretty much brawlers vs. skill. I’ll let you guess which team has the latter. Halfway through the match, Money Inc. just freakin’ bails like they did the last year. I would have done the same thing if things were booked like this. The refs don’t announce the countout, of course. No, because HOGAN is involved, there are brand-new rules (which Heenan disgustedly points out): if Money Inc. doesn’t return to the ring in ten seconds, they will not only lose the match, but they will also lose the titles via countout. Needless to say, the heels run back to the ring and beat the count by very little. The rest of the match is actually good fun and is a good, classic tag match. Beefcake has a lot of fun. He was always a lot of fun as a performer. Beefcake gets a hot tag by Hogan but DiBiase ends his hot streak with a briefcase to his back and tries to tear his mask off. Because, you can’t have Beefcake getting the fame and the pin…HOGAN has to do that. After the mask comes off, the announcers wince with the exception of Heenan. He’s delighted. But, wouldn’t you know it, nothing happens to Beefcake when they hit his face because this is a Hogan match any anybody working with Hogan is bestowed with superhuman powers. The ref gets knocked out during a double-team by Money Inc. so Hogan goes all cheater, belting the men with the steel mask. After he satisfies his blood lust, he still finds it within himself to play by tag team rules and tags in Brutus which makes so much sense. Anyhow, the boys cover, Jimmy Hart tries to get the ref to wake up but can’t. So Hart decides HE is gonna do the three-count instead. He does. The boys act like they’ve won and grab the belts in celebration, which is, essentially, Hogan for “See? We really WON, we didn’t LOSE!” The ref, of course, switches the decision, and awards the titles and match to Money, Inc.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Money, Inc. via DQ.
GRADE: D+. The “fun” I mentioned vanishes when you consider that Hogan’s fingerprints are all over this bullshit.
Post-match, DiBiase and IRS hit the heroes with title belts to the head which Brutus and Hogan completely no-sell because and the heels flee while Hogan and Beefcake celebrate their pseudo-win where they’re really champions and better than everyone.
And when I say, “celebrate”, I say monopolize the ring for five minutes of Hogan-posing and Beefcake-strutting. Seriously, it goes on for-fucking-ever. We get it, Hogan. Those are your biceps, thumbs up, you can point your arm to the sky, good for you.
Savage: “Against ALL ODDS!!!”
Heenan: “OH…SHUT UP!!!”
One of my FAVORITE moments happens right about now. Hogan discovers that DiBiase and IRS have left their briefcase behind and decide they wanna crack it open to see what’s really inside of it. They have some trouble and then finally get it and find papers, cash…and a BRICK.
I said favorite because of the following exchange which just sums up Heenan’s quick wit:
Ross: Oh, look! A BRICK!
Heenan: Well…you never know when you’ll need a BRICK!
Hogan ditches a bunch of tax forms, tossing it in the air, which I assume comes with personal information like social security numbers. Way to go, dumbass. Then he just begins handing out cash to people.
I can’t do Hogan’s “where-is-he-now” just yet but I CAN do a few more:
- Brutus Beefcake, after this…just dropped out of the WWF and went to WCW where he appeared as “Bruti” next to Hulk Hogan who had ALSO gone to WCW. He would wrestle there until June of 1999 before going into semi-retirement where he wrestled independently. He, supposedly, wrote a scathing book about his own career where he claimed that he and Hogan had a homosexual relationship. He was also involved in an Anthrax scare at a Boston MBTA Station. It turned out that the white powder he was carrying was Cocaine. He plea-dealed his way out of trouble, however, by going into a rehab program.
- Jimmy Hart would also move to WCW before going independent. He would return to the WWE in 2011 as a background figure. Hart is an accomplish songwriter, having been in a 60’s band called “The Gentry’s” and also wrote several of the theme songs for the wrestlers of the WWF/WWE/WCW. Currently, he works behind-the-scenes for the WWE as part of the Wrestlemania creative team and has worked as an on-air personality for the company on occasion. He managed over 50 different wrestlers in his career as a manager.
Todd Pettengill finds Natalie Cole who squeals about “real money” being handed out by Hogan. Pettengill is fucking annoying as fuck. Then he runs into Dan Reichartz, the CEO of Caesar’s Palace. He’s “delighted” to have Wrestlemania here this year. I might add that Hogan’s annoying fucking music is STILL playing throughout this entire segment with Pettengill.
Backstage, we FINALLY get another wrestler – Mr. Perfect. Gene talks about Perfect’s upcoming match with Lex Luger.
MATCH #6: “Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
Luger came into the WWF as a major heel. He automatically drew the ire of Mr. Perfect when Luger said the he, himself, was “beyond perfection”. Luger was a wrestler who was much, much better in the WCW than he was in the WWF. I never got him. When he arrived in the WWF, he was just some arrogant heel a’la Perfect…then Vince had him go face and turn into Hulk Hogan. Sorry. Spoiler alert. Plus, I never forgave him for what he did to Elizabeth or how he enabled her self-abusive behavior. Anyhow, Perfect is out next. Henning always looks so cool. He just has that cockiness that goes with his skill. This match isn’t very good. The problem with Perfect is that he’s almost TOO cool. Near the end of his career, he almost seemed to be mailing it in. Luger isn’t much better. He spends so much of his time walking…just fucking WALKING around the ring, doing NOTHING. Seriously. He hits a punch. Walks around. Goes to Henning. Slams him. Walks around. Pins. Walks around. Throws him. Just stands there, waiting. At one point, Luger tries to cheat by pinning with his feet on the ropes. Doesn’t work. Like, at ALL. Rookie. Perfect NEARLY gets a pin on a small package but only gets a two-count. This is where the match FINALLY speeds up. It ends when Perfect NEARLY pins several times after some great moves. He hits a HUGE dropkick and Luger puts his foot on the bottom rope to prevent the three-count. Luger does a backslide pin and gets the win because Perfect’s feet get caught on the ropes and the ref doesn’t see it.
WINNER: Lex Luger via cheat pin.
GRADE: D-. This could have been epic if Luger didn’t suck and Perfect wasn’t acting careless.
Post-match, Luger just knocks out Perfect with his forearm and then puts his boot on his chest and poses like a gladiator. Perfect, angered, goes to the backstage area and finds Luger talking to Shawn Michaels. Perfect just starts pounding on Luger in a backstage brawl but Michaels helps Luger and beats the living crap out of Perfect as officials pull Michaels off of Perfect.
Meanwhile, back at the announcer’s table, Brain keeps talking up Luger and Savage replies that it wasn’t fair that Michaels jumped Perfect. Brain starts to shout that Perfect was the one who jumped Luger. Savage gets up out of his seat and challenges Brain to a fight. The two yell at each other and Ross holds them apart.
We get our next match:
MATCH #7: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Giant Gonzales (w/ Harvey Whippleman)
Usually, an Undertaker match is something to look forward to. Usually. When you fuck up an Undertaker match and make it this fucking boring, slow, and everything BUT good, you KNOW you have a lousy Wrestlemania. One of my favorite parts is the beginning of this match when The Undertaker turns and goes nose-to-nose with GG. He just looks straight up at The Undertaker who is 8 feet tall. GG chokes Undertaker and backs him in the corner. Undertaker just climbs the turnbuckle and chokes right back. The problem here is that Gonzales just isn’t very good. Vince, occasionally, just hires huge dudes and they’re hit and miss. Gonzales is like a huge freakin’ ape who chokes and punches. That’s it. He spends the match tossing the Undertaker around like a doll which is strange to see. The Undertaker RARELY mounts an offense. The end FINALLY comes when Gonzales uses “chloroform” (kayfabe) to knock out the Undertaker. Gonzales is DQ’ed.
WINNER: The Undertaker via DQ.
GRADE: F. This was ‘Taker’s worst match.
Post match, paramedics wheel ‘Taker to the backstage area while Gonzales celebrates and chokes out a ref or two. The Undertaker, pissed as hell, comes marching right back out to the ring. Bearer tries to stop him at one point and Undertaker just swats him away like a fly as if to say, “Fuck you, dude, his ass is mine.” He knocks Gonzales out of the ring and two face off. This moment received the LOUDEST pop of the match. So WHY couldn’t you do that DURING the match then?! I don’t know what’s more pathetic: the fact that this boring storyline couldn’t have been resolved at Wrestlemania or the fact that it dragged on for several more weeks until it was finally resolved at SummerSlam the same year.
- After ‘Taker and Gonzo resolved things a few months later, the stage was set for Gonzales (now a face) to take on Adam Bomb. It never happened, however, and Gonzales left in October. He would wrestle in Japan from 1994 to 1995 and then retire. He was diagnosed with Kidney Failure and spent much of the rest of his life in a wheelchair. On September 22nd, 2010, Gonzales passed away of complications from diabetes. He was only 44 years old.
Mean Gene talks about Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna…and then decides to interview Hulk Hogan, because that matters more. Hogan can barely talk during the segment. He talks about how Money Inc. “attacked” him outside his gym. Yeah…we were told. Go away. Then he says that Bret Hart has all the support of him and his “Hulkamaniacs”. Then he issues a challenge to the winner of the main event tonight. *Cough*SPOTLIGHTHOG*Cough*
The Idiot Todd Pettengill interviews two drunk assholes who spill their beer everywhere.
MATCH #8: Yokozuna (challenger) (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart (champion) for the WWF Championship
Another boring main event. Again, Vince just couldn’t get through his head that bigger isn’t always better. Yokozuna was, simply put, a giant bowling ball with legs. The whole freakin’ match was pretty much over when Yokozuna hit a huge legdrop. Bret didn’t look the same the entire match. The next few minutes were spent with Yokozuna just applying some sort of shoulderlock to Hart. Hart DOES manage to knock Zuna down and NEARLY gets a three-count but Zuna counters with an agile-looking superkick. Zuna goes for a huge splash but misses. Hart hits a bulldog but Zuna kicks out. Hart hits his forearm off the second rope but, again, only gets two. He hits a flying clothesline but it takes a running clothesline to take Zuna off his feet. Hart eventually locks in the Sharpshooter, much to the surprise of everyone but Mr. Fuji throws salt in Bret Hart’s eyes. Zuna gets a cheap pin and wins the title. (The people didn’t screw Bret Hart. Fuji screwed Bret Hart! We have proof!)
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Yokozuna via screwjob.
GRADE: D+. Blech. But not as bad as what was to come…
Show over, right?
Hulk Hogan comes out of nowhere because him and Bret are such good friends and tells the ref that Bret was screwed out of the title by Fuji. Fuji gets on the mic and says Yokozuna will put the title on the line against him RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Instead, Hogan escorts Hart from the ring. Hogan looks around, confused but Hart tells him to go.
MATCH #9: Hulk Hogan (challenger) vs. Yokozuna (champion) (w/ Mr. Fuji)
23 seconds later, Hogan would become WWF Champion for the fifth fucking time in one of the most ridiculously stupid and egotistical moments in WWE history.
WINNER: Hulk Hogan via Atomic Legdrop
GRADE: DAVID ARQUETTE-SIZED F. Just wow.
Post-match, Hogan does his celebration pose bullshit.
Here’s the story: Bret was to drop the title to Yokozuna no matter what with Hogan winning the title a couple months later. Hogan was NOT supposed to grab the title the same night. That was a last-minute call by Vince who didn’t want to send the crowd home unhappy, so he booked it so that Hogan would get the title IMMEDIATELY. This, of course, is really fucking stupid because Hogan was to be LEAVING the WWF and wasn’t supposed to be the face of the company anymore.
All of this was booked with the understanding that Hogan would drop the belt back to Hart at SummerSlam in a huge match.
But Hogan, being the asshole egomaniac he is, didn’t want it that way and refused to job the title to Hart in ANY way, shape or form. So, arrangements were made so that Hogan would drop the title BACK to Yokozuna at King of the Ring so that Bret could win it back at SummerSlam, rendering the entire title run utterly pointless except to say that Hogan had it five times.
Oh, that, and if Hogan was gonna drop the title, it had to be by way of cheating. So, when Hogan lost that same year, he was pinned after a disguised Harvey Whippleman leapt onto the mat to photograph Hulk Hogan with a rigged camera and snapped his picture, sending out a fireball into Hogan’s face. If this sounds stupid to you, that’s because it fucking was. Yokozuna gets the pin.
- Hogan would leave the WWF much to the joy of THOUSANDS of people who had gotten tired of him. He would go to WCW where, much to his credit, he would reinvent his character and TURN HEEL and start one of the most notorious wrestling factions ever: the nWo. The problem with Hogan in the WCW, however, was the same as it ever was: he was almost CONSTANTLY Champion no matter what (he was champion a MONTH after starting with the company) and he would book matches where, if he lost, it was almost ALWAYS by way of some cheap ending or submission where he never really gave up, the ref always called the match. And when he lost, he’d always gain it back quickly. Hogan was champion three times in four fucking years with WCW. When the dream-match between Hogan and Sting took place at Starrcade in late December, the match was booked terribly with Sting hardly mounting any offense whatsoever and Hogan eventually “winning” after a terrible fuck-up a finish: Bret Hart came in at the last minute and told the ref that he had “fast-counted” the pin and that the match would restart with Hart as the referee. Hogan lost via submission…then Sting would retain the title the very next night but the title would go VACANT, all because Hogan refused to job cleanly. Sting would eventually win the title and then drop it. And, of course, it would go right back to Hogan. By 1999, Hogan had won the title SIX TIMES IN FIVE YEARS. That’s utterly ridiculous. Before he LEFT WCW, Hogan won it AGAIN. So, in all the time he was with that group, Hogan had one the title once every year. Personally, I credit Hogan with the downfall of WCW. He was a cancer who pretty much took over booking and wouldn’t let younger wrestlers fly. After ruining WCW, Hogan would return to the WWE in 2002.
Terrible Wrestlemania. The fun little details were nice but there wasn’t much else to like.
GRADE: F. This is, without a doubt, the worst Wrestlemania in history. Every match is boring with the exception of the first one. The ending is beyond awful and smacks of complete egotism.
Until next time!