Rebooking the WORST Wrestlemania of all time. I can’t do any worse than the actual show right?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone. May you get drunk in a holiday that has about as much to do with Ireland as I do.
As we get closer to Wrestlemania, Every year I have a personal tradition of marathonning every Wrestlemania event in order in the 2 weeks leading up to the show. If you read my lists a few weeks ago, you will know that some shows are better than others to say the least. Some shows suffer from bad booking, lack of talent, bad show formatting, or are just a dated sign of the year they occurred. As I listed, the worst of these shows I feel is Wrestlemania IX from 1993. The show is horribly unspectacular with terrible matches, the lame roman toga party theme, and the ending with Hulk Hogan hijacking the WWF title because he is Hulk Hogan. This event is really what was the inspiration behind these “Revisionist History” articles. Years ago I was a member of an old school wrestling message board and someone asked how different people would have rebooked this event in an effort to make it better. My choices for this card may have changed over the years but the over all theme remained the same.
To the event itself, Early 1993 wasn’t the best time for the WWF. Although Monday Night RAW had premiered that January, The roster was lacking in real depth of big time stars or feuds. The world champion Bret Hart was built on the fact that he defended the title against a lot of people and more often than “champions of the past” (IE: Hogan) so he really didn’t have an ongoing feud with anyone by the time you get to March. The challenger for him at Mania was the large Yokozuna. Yokozuna had won the royal Rumble to earn the title shot, and not much else.
A little further down the card you had a few storylines going on. Mr. Perfect had “retired” Ric Flair back in January and was feuding with “The Narcissist” Lex Luger, who not only had an undefeated streak going on, but also had the gimmick of the steel plate in his forearm he used to knock people out with. The Undertaker was having a feud with the Giant Gonzolas, managed by Harvey Wimppleman stemming from The Royal Rumble where the giant had come out and attack the Deadman in revenge for Taker beating Kamala in November. Crush was also feuding with the evil clown Doink after Doink had injured the big Hawaiian out of the Royal Rumble.
The Intercontinental Champion at this point was Shawn Michaels, who was feuding against his former manager Sensational Sherri, and whomever she decided to manage against him. This was supposed to by Marty Jennety, Shawn’s former tag partner, but Marty was fired from the company after some legal issues. Meanwhile over in the tag division “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and I.R.S. had attacked a returning Brutus Beefcake and tried to reinjure his face, a legit injury he had suffered in 1990 when he had his face reconstructed after having a parasailor collide into his head with both knees. This lead to Brutus’s buddy Hulk Hogan to return and set up a tag match for ‘Mania. Another new aspect of the tag division was the debut of the Steiner Brothers from WCW, and the inevitable showdown with the champs from the WWF and the team that dominated WCW for so long.
Beyond that not much else was going on in the WWF. The rest of the roster was a mix of silly gimmicks like the Berzerker, Repo Man, and Damien Demmento, along with stars who had been running out of steam like Tito Santana and the Nasty Boys.
So this big event of the year was laid out like this:
Tito Santana pinned Papa Shango in a dark match before the show
Intercontinental Title: Tatanka beat Shawn Michaels via countout.
Rick & Scott Steiner beat Headshrinkers Samu & Fatu
Doink (Borne) pinned Crush.
Razor Ramon pinned Bob Backlund.
WWF Tag Champs Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster beat Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake via DQ.
Lex Luger pinned Mr. Perfect.
The Undertaker beat Giant Gonzales via DQ.
Yokozuna pinned Bret Hart to win the WWF Title.
Hulk Hogan pinned Yokozuna to win the WWF Title.
Yeah, this show blew in a whole bunch of ways. It wasn’t very special. The ending wasn’t what the WWF needed at that point, and with Hogan getting shit-canned a couple of months later anyway, it was made completely irrelevant.
But that is what we are here for. So here is MY idea of a better Wrestlemania IX from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Match 1: 20 man Battle Royal
Battle Royals (Or Battles Royale as Gordon Solie would say) are interesting. Some people like them, others think they are terrifying. I personally think that with the roster they had of a lot of guys that aren’t going to main event, put them all together and let them beat on each other. The list of participants would be: Tatanka, Brutus Beefcake, Doink, Razor Ramon, Luke, Butch, Beau Beverly, Blake Beverly, Typhoon, Kamala, Damien Demento, Owen Hart, Koko B Ware, Berzerker, Tito Santana, Papa Shango, Virgil, Repo Man, Rick Martel, Max Moon. For the finale of this match I would have Brutus Beefcake last eliminate Razor Ramon ton win and get a emotional win of the comeback from the facial injury t start things off with a pop.
Winner: Brutus Beefcake
Match 2: Intercontinental Title: Shawn Michaels V/s Bob Backlund
These two were actually having some really good matches around the horn at this time. To set this match up I’d have Shawn come out on RAW talking about how he beat everyone and there is no one left for him to face. Sherri would then come out and Shawn would run her down and insult her. Backlund would come to the ring and tell Shawn that is not how a champion treats a woman and that Shawn had never faced Backlund, let alone beat him. They would have a match the following week where Shawn escapes via count out to retain the title and that a rematch would take place at ‘Mania.
The match itself would play out with Shawn running from a game Backlund. Shawn would only gain the upper hand from cheating but Backlund would always regain the advantage. Getting desperate Shawn would hook Backlund with his feet on the ropes to score the win. However as he tried to leave the ring Sherri would meet him in the aisle and get her hands on him before he hightailed it out of the arena.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels
Match 3: Headshrinkers V/S Nasty Boys
Not much to explain here. Just a wild tag match with both teams going bonkers on each other. The Shrinkers would win with a top rope splash.
Winners: The Headshrinkers
Match 4: Mr. Perfect V/s Lex Luger
Sure, the match might not have been the greatest but I would have kept this match as is. I might have had more involvement from Bobby Heenan at ringside but the result pretty much would have been the same. It was a decent way to end the feud.
Winner: Lex Luger
Match 5: Yokozuna V/S Crush
A good old fashioned battle of the big men. Crush would be lined up as the biggest challenge to Yokozuna. The set up would be simple with Yoko facing and defeating someone like Typhoon. After beating him Yoko would go for an attack when Crush hits the ring and stares him down. After a brief tussle Crush would knock the big guy from the ring and leave Yoko stunned.
The match would play out with Crush and Yoko trading shots back and forth, and that everything Yoko did to Crush wouldn’t stop him. Finally whe it looked like Crush was about to go for his head vice finisher, Mr. Fuji would toss salt in the big man’s eyes and let Yoko recover enough to get a belly to belly suplex and the pinfall.
Match 6: Undertaker V/S Bam Bam Bigelow
It just seemed more natural to me that if Harvey Wippelman was looking for a bounty hunter against the Undertaker, that Bam Bam made the perfect choice. Bam Bam would make his surprise return at the Rumble attacking Taker during the match and eliminating him. Taker would be attacked again on a RAW in the week’s following laying another beat down on him, leading to several back and forth meetings between them.
At Mania the match would work with Bam Bam seemingly not afraid of the Taker and doing everything he could to keep the deadman down, but the Taker would keep sitting up and taking the fight to Bammer. Bam Bam would get Taker down again and deliver 3 diving headbutts on him to try to keep Taker down for good but Undertaker kicks outs of the pin. Bam Bam doesn’t know what else to do and the Undertaker finishes him off with a tombstone.
Winner: The Undertaker
Match 7: WWF Tag Team Title: Money Inc. V/s Steiner Brothers
The set up would be rather basic here. It would be announced that a mini tournament would be held on RAW to decide the top contenders for the Tag Team titles. The Steiners would flatten the Beverly Brothers in the first round while The Headshrinkers would beat the Bushwackers in the other match. The Steiners would defeat the shrinkers to get the title match.
The match would happen like most of the matches these two teams did have in 1993. These two teams would have a great back and forth with the Steiners using their power moves while Money Inc would use their cheating. The finale would have Rick being beaten down for a while before making the hot tag to Scott who would plow through both men. Seeing their titles slipping away IRS grabs the metal suitcase and clobbers Scott with it to earn the DQ but keep the titles. This would lead into a longer feud ending with the tag cage match on RAW with the Steiners winning the titles.
Winner by DQ: The Steiner Brothers
Match 8: Hulk Hogan V/s Giant Gonzales
Oh boy I’m asking for trouble with this match, but what the hell right? Hogan wanted this match to happen anyway so why not? It’s an added attraction and having Hogan on the show in this capacity wouldn’t be so bad. The build up would play out something like this. Harvey would have debuted the Giant but never in an offical match, always attacking people and interyupting matches. On an episode of RAW the WWF would announce the reutrn of Brutus Beefcake from his horrifying injuries from 1990. The next week Brutus is set to wrestle the Berzerker with Hulk Hogan sitting front row to see his friend make his comeback. During the match the Giant would come out and attack Brutus in the ring by choking him down. Hogan would hope the rail and get into the ring with a chair, driving off the big man.
The match itself would be what you expect, Hogan would get some moves in but the Giant wouldn’t even feel it. Eventually Hogan would get his shots in to turn the tide. Harvey would interfear but Brutus would come to the ring and put him in a sleeper to kncok him out. The match would get insane with the ref being knocked out and Brutus helping Hogan take the Giant down before hogan hit the leg drop and pinned the Giant.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Match 9: WWF title: Bret Hart V/S “Macho Man” Randy Savage
I’ve said it before, but the most over of regular roster from Mania was doing broadcasting at ringside. The set up would be simple with Randy overcoming Yokozuna to win the Royal Rumble. The promos leading up to this would make this match 20 times better than Hart V/S Yoko was alone, and that’s before they even got in the ring. I don’t need to tell you hjow the match would play out since it would be a back and forth mat classic. I think the ending of the match would play out with Macho having hart down and going for the flying elbow, but missing. Hart would spring up and lock in the Sharpshooter submission, but macho fighting and straining for it before finally giving in. The two men would shake hands out of respect in the ring and end the night with a great match.
Winner and still WWF Champion: Bret Hart
So that’s my version of a better Wrestlemania IX. Sure, not every match would be a 5 star classic, and the idea of having no title changes at Mania might not fly with some, but at the same time I think this show would be a better use of the talent they had, still make use of Hogan without throwing the entire company into chaos, and maybe having a better bridge of the old guard into the newer stars of the Monday Night RAW era.
Until next week folks!
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