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WrestleMania 9 Re-Revued
June 17, 2004

by Adam Gutschmidt
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Sorry for those who were looking forward to this review last week.  It actually hit 90 here in Cleveland and either the shock of that notion or the heat itself fried my brain and I forgot to send in the review on time.  But I’m back this week ready to go.  And to kick things off, let’s hear a Rasslin Revue Remark from one of our readers.

Letsgoyankees82 wrote in about my dissatisfaction over the Shawn/Sherri split from my Royal Rumble 93 review.  He says, “The Shawn/Sherri split actually happened, during a superstars (or was it challenge? No, I think it was superstars) episode.  Shawn won his squash match and was in the ring with Sherri and his mirror (which he had begun bringing in the ring to look at himself ala Lex Luger, guess that's why Shawn stopped the mirror thing).  when all of a sudden, Marry Jannetty came out of the crowd making his WWF return (he hadn't been seen since shortly after the barber shop incident in Jan 92) he came up behind him and Shawn saw him in the mirror and looked shocked. Marty and Shawn got into a scuffle, and in the middle of the melee, Marty picked up the mirror and went to hit Shawn with it (thus payback for the barbershop window throwing) but he moved out of the way and Sherri got hit.  Shawn ran off, leaving only Marty to check on Sherri with a concerned look.  That is why Sherri wasn't in his corner for his IC title win or his survivor series 92 match (which you mentioned in your last review).  When she came back, the angle became whose side is she on, since Shawn didn't seem to care about her condition.  Then at the rumble she slapped him but he still won, she later said he never came to visit her at the hospital or at home and never returned her calls.”

Now most of this I already knew.  About the only thing I didn’t recall was Sherri claiming that he never visited her in the hospital or returned her calls.  Having said that, I still thought this could have been handled better.  The incident when Janetty returned could easily have been chalked up to Shawn being his arrogant self but not necessarily foretelling a split.  Then when she slapped him at the Rumble, it to me always seemed like there was ambiguity behind it.  Was is simply a slap to vent frustration over his arrogance or was it a slap to completely terminate their relationship.  Like I said, I figured it out that they were done but felt it could have been dealt with better.  Shawn had treated her so poorly for so long that a simple slap didn’t seem like enough retribution in the end. 

And if you think I’m taking extra long to get to the actual review today, you’re probably right because I have the unfortunate experience of having to review one of the worst shows in WWF history.  And with that glowing introduction, let’s get to it…

OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue for WWF Wrestlemania 9

- Emanating from Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada

- As the show begins, the entire production staff is dressed in Roman garb, including our host, Gorilla Monsoon.  He welcomes everyone to the show and then introduces the newest member of the WWF broadcast team, Jim Ross.  JR does his welcomes and then sends it up to Finkus Maximus (Howard Finkel).  Finkus introduces Caesar and Cleopatra.  They are followed by the remaining two-thirds of the broadcast team; Macho Man and Bobby Heenan.  Macho is brought down to ringside on a sedan by vestal virgins, while Heenan comes down backwards on a camel.  Oh that Bobby!

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Shawn Michaels (champ) vs. Tatanka

Shawn comes down to ringside seconded by Luna Vachon, who was making her debut here.  Tatanka is followed by Sherri to the ring.  It’s unsure if she is there to be a thorn in Michaels’ side or if she’s there for Tatanka.  Perhaps a little of both.  To begin, JR notes that Tatanka has already beaten Shawn twice but not for the title.  Shawn with a big stallfest to start.  Shawn plays the aggressor early on, but Tatanka hangs with him.  Tatanka hits a back suplex to get things going for him.  Shawn goes off the top rope but Tatanka catches him with an armdrag as he comes down.  Tatanka knocks Shawn to the floor.  Luna comes to check on Shawn but Sherri scares her off.  Shawn becomes frustrated, as Tatanka won’t let him back in the ring.  Shawn hits a sloppy top rope sunset flip for a 2 count.  Shawn seems to be a little off tonight.  Tatanka gains momentum with a reverse atomic drop and a DDT.  Tatanka begins to work on Shawn’s shoulder that was injured a few weeks ago in a 6-man tag match with Tatanka.  Shawn breaks free of the armbar and tries to clothesline Tatanka with his injured arm.  That of course ends badly for Shawn.  That may be a rare time where a no-sell was logical.  Tatanka goes back to the armbar and keeps it on for way too long.  Shawn breaks free again and whips Tatanka to the corner.  Shawn charges but ends up ramming that injured shoulder into the post when Tatanka moves out of the way.  Tatanka goes back to the armbar and I begin to wonder if Tatanka knows any other moves.  Tatanka finally varies it up with a shoulderbreaker.  Tatanka goes up top and hits a chop on that shoulder.  Shawn kicks Tatanka as he tried for a second chop.  Shawn heaves Tatanka over the top rope.  Sherri blocks Luna from doing any damage to Tatanka.  Now it’s Shawn who won’t let Tatanka into the ring.  Shawn gets a swinging neckbreaker on Tatanka for 2.  Oh sorry, Macho informs us that it was 2 and 5/8.  Shawn tries to get a victory roll or something in the corner but it gets botched badly.  Shawn appears to attempt to repeat the spot but this time Tatanka falls backwards while Shawn is perched on his shoulders.  Tatanka begins his un-PC hulking up.  Tatanka hits a top rope crossbody for 2.  Tatanka gets a couple more nearfalls.  Shawn dumps Tatanka through the ropes.  Shawn misses a clothesline from the apron.  As Shawn gets up, he trips the referee and throws him to the floor.  In the ring, Tatanka hits his finisher, but the ref calls for the bell as Tatanka covers.  It appeared Shawn would get DQed but Fink says Tatanka wins as a result of a countout.  I’m so confused.

Postmatch, Luna beats up Sherri as she was celebrating with Tatanka.

Bottom Line: This match suffered the 3 S’s: slow, sloppy and stupid finish.  It seemed like Tatanka was blown up throughout the match.  A disappointing Shawn match after he had been on a roll.  It showed Shawn could have great matches with great wrestlers but still struggled at carrying people.  Sherri and Luna were just distracting on the outside and served no real purpose.  * ½

 - The Steiner Brothers tell Mean Gene (What? No goofy Roman name for him?) that they will make Julius Caesar proud.  They say that now, but I’m sure they’ll betray him too.  Beware the ides of Steiner!

The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers

Bell hasn’t rung yet and we already have our first slobberknocker reference from JR.  Scott and Fatu kick things off.  Fatu does the 360 sell for a Steinerline, which rivals any move named by Michael Cole in stupidity.  Headshrinkers clear out both Steiners from the ring.  The Steiners are back up quickly and deliver top rope clotheslines from the same corner at the same time.  Afa gives the Headshrinkers a double noggin knocker to motivate them.  Abusive parents use the same logic from what I hear.  Rick and Samu in now with Samu dominating.  Rick comes back and whips Samu so hard into the corner that he cracks his head on the post.  Scott back in now, delivers a tiger bomb to Samu.  Samu grabs Scott, looks to give him a hotshot, but launches him over the top rope instead.  What a bump!  Afa adds to Scott’s pain by cracking him with his bamboo stick.  Scott looks to be out on his feet in there.  Fatu whips Scott to the ropes but has his face planted into the mat when he puts his head down.  He no-sells it though and pops back up to kick Scott in the face.  Headshrinkers appear to be giving Scott his last rites.  Double clothesline and both men are down.  Fatu is able to make the tag, Scott cannot.  Samu goes for a top rope splash but misses.  Scott gets the hot tag and Rick takes it to both Headshrinkers.  Rick tries to give a double noggin knocker to the Headshrinkers but they don’t feel it.  Somebody didn’t scout their opponents well.  Fatu perches Rick on his shoulders.  Samu jumps off the top rope and Rick slams him from on top of Fatu’s shoulders.  Whatamaneuver! Scott tags himself in and delivers an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Fatu.  Scott catches Samu in an ugly Frankensteiner to pick up the victory.

BL: Match didn’t seem to have a good flow to it.  Certainly had a few jaw-dropping spots in it though.  It also could have been shortened by a minute or two.  * ¾

- We head to the back to find Doink has put clown makeup on the statue of Julius Caesar.  Mean Gene then recaps Doink’s attack on Crush with the fake arm filled with batteries.  You had to be there to see it.  Doink ends the interview by squirting Mean Gene with his flower.  What a rube that Okerlund is.

Crush vs. Doink

As Doink reaches ringside he gives Crush a squirt too.  Crush chases and catches him outside the ring.  Crush takes it to Doink on the floor.  Back inside, Doink begs for mercy but doesn’t get it.  Big neckbreaker by Crush as Doink has failed to get any offense yet.  Doink finally gains control by dropping Crush’s neck across the top rope.  Doink, now on offense, doesn’t seem to know what moves to do.  Doink hits a soft piledriver.  Doink tries for the Whoopie Cushion but gets booted coming down.  Doink is back up and foolishly tries another high risk maneuver.  This time he gets powerslammed after jumping off the top rope.  Crush clotheslines Doink out of the ring.  Doink tries crawling under the ring but Crush catches him.  Crush gorilla press slams Doink and signals for the head vice.  Crush locks it on but Doink makes it to the ropes.  As Doink breaks free, he accidentally knocks out the ref, Joey Marella.  Crush locks the head vice on again when out of nowhere, a second Doink comes out and bashes Crush with that battery-filled prosthetic arm.  The original Doink wakes up the referee and gets the three count.

Postmatch: A second ref comes out to look under the ring for Doink #2 but doesn’t find anything.

BL: Match was pretty much a lethargic squash by Crush.  Evil Doink was gold though.  I always loved feuds where brains beat brawn.  I’m guessing things aren’t over between these two (or three).  ¾ *

- Get your barf bags out.  It’s Todd Pettingil in a toga.  This was his PPV debut too.  He’s asking Japanese photographers if they saw two Doinks.  They give stereotypical foreign answers.  Gotta love Vince’s efforts to improve race relations.

Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund

At our last PPV, Razor fought for the WWF title and Backlund lasted over an hour in a losing effort in the Royal Rumble.  So why does this feel like a Superstars match?  Backlund offers a handshake and Razor tosses him his toothpick instead.  Both men start off with a feeling out process.  Soon Razor takes over with some power maneuvers.  Backlund comes back with a couple of hiptosses.  And that’s the only time you’ll see the words “Bob Backlund” and “hip” used in the same sentence.  A nice underhook suplex by Backlund is followed by an ugly atomic drop.  I can’t believe how much offense Backlund is getting.  Just as I say that, Razor surprises Backlund with a small package and wins it.  How about that!

Postmatch: Razor gives us the ever popular “me me me” taunt.

BL: Nothing too bad here but it was a complete throwaway match that no one really cared about.  Razor injured his knee either before or during this match.  I assume that’s why the match was so short.  ¾ *

- Mean Gene recaps with Money Inc. how their attack on Beefcake lead to Jimmy Hart leaving them, Hulk Hogan returning and this tag title match being made.  Dibiase asks, “How can you bankrupt a company that has an unlimited credit line?”  I believe the folks at Enron asked themselves the very same question.

WWF Tag Team Title Match:  Money Inc. (champs) vs. The Megamaniacs (Hogan and Beefcake)

Hogan makes his way down to ringside with a noticeable shiner.  JR and Heenan hype this up big time while all Macho has to say is “Musta been a cheap shot.”  Hmmm…  Megamaniacs clear Money Inc. out of the ring so they can pose for the fans.  IRS and Beefcake kick things off.  Money Inc. double team Beefcake right away.  Dibiase tries a double axe handle on Beefcake but hurts himself on Brutus’s protective facemask.  D’oh!  Beefcake begins fighting back.  Hogan gets tagged in and the crowd is jacked.  Hogan does a lot of punching.  That wears him out so he tags Beefcake back in.  Megamaniacs both give their fair share of punches and then toss Money Inc. out of the ring.  Money Inc. decide to do the ever-popular early exit and take the count-out loss.  It wouldn’t be a Money Inc. match if they didn’t, right?  Hebner then spoils Money Inc.’s plans by telling Finkus that if they walk they’ll lose the titles too.  So every other time they did it, it was ok, but when they face Hogan, they’ll be stripped of the titles.  I got it now.  Money Inc. returns and begins to take turns choking Hogan with the tag rope.  Dibiase then slaps on the Million Dollar Dream.  Hebner takes forever before he checks Hogan’s hand.  As Hogan tries to rise to his feet, Beefcake comes in and illegally gets Dibiase in a sleeper.  Both Hogan and Dibiase are out now.  Beefcake is tagged in and he’s a house of fire until Dibiase nails him in the back with IRS’s briefcase.  Dibiase then removes Beefcake’s titanium facemask.  What a waste of good titanium.  Money Inc. works over Beefcake until he hits a double clothesline on them.  Beefcake puts IRS in the sleeper.  Ref is bumped after Dibiase knocks Beefcake and IRS into him.  Hogan knocks both members of Money Inc. out with Beefcake’s facemask.  Hogan covers but Hebner is still out.  Jimmy Hart turns his jacket inside out and it conveniently has black and white stripes.  He counts the pinfall and the Megamaniacs celebrate.  Danny Davis comes out though and awards the match to Money Inc on a DQ since Hogan used the facemask.  Wow what a bad ending.

BL: This match had no flow to it whatsoever.  Hogan’s moveset was at an all-time low here.  For some reason though the crowd was really into it.  ¾ *

- Todd Pettingil interviews Natalie Cole and the CEO of Caesar’s Palace.  Both of whom seem as if they don’t give a f*ck who Todd is.

- Mean Gene interviews Mr. Perfect who proceeds to mess up saying “The Narcissist Lex Luger” by calling him “The Lexissist”.  He messed up his promo perfectly though.

“The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect 

Four bronze bodies accompany Luger and suddenly I’m interested in this show again.  Always a sucker for the T & A.  Great ovation for Mr. Perfect.  Some early matwork is won by Perfect.  Lex takes a breather and comes back in to begin his attack.  That is short lived as Perfect begins to work on Lex’s knee.  Lex reverses a whip and begins to focus on Perfect’s back.  Lex appears to be already blown up.  For someone who’s supposed to be in superior physical condition, he sure is sucking in a lot of wind.  Nice powerslam by Perfect.  Perfect begins to fight back with a flurry of fists.  Perfect stays on the offensive with a slingshot.  A couple of nearfalls for Perfect.  Perfect hits a top rope dropkick but only gets a 2 count for it because Lex gets his foot on the rope.  Lex gets a backslide for a three count despite Perfect’s foot on the ropes. 

Postmatch: Lex KOs Perfect with the old steel plate in the forearm trick.  When Perfect awakes he runs to the back and jumps Lex.  Before he can do much damage, Shawn Michaels beats up Perfect using anything he can find.

BL: This match never really got out of the gate.  It seemed like they could have had a good match but they never went with one thing and stuck with it.  Match became somewhat disjointed.  **

- Gorilla Monsoon runs down the remaining two matches on the card.  Why couldn’t the announce team just do that?

The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales

Taker comes down to ringside on a chariot accompanied by a vulture.  Oh yeah, and there is a black bird with him too.  We get the interesting visual early on of Taker staring up to Gonzales.  That sight right there is about all this match is worth.  Gonzales pounds away on Taker but Taker no-sells.  Each man tries choking the other to no avail.  Taker hits the ropewalk but it only causes Gonzales to stagger.  Gonzales takes control with a clothesline.  Gonzales begins to wear Taker down with a standing reverse chinlock.  Anyone bored yet?  Whippleman distracts the ref while Gonzales destroys the Taker on the floor.  All this “offense” seems to be having no effect as Taker keeps popping up and the crowd is nodding off.  Taker fights back and drops Gonzales to one knee.  Out of frustration, Gonzales grabs a chloroform soaked rag and smothers Taker’s face in it.  You know it’s bad when the announcers can smell it.  Gonzales won’t release the rag so the ref calls for the DQ.

BL: I don’t need to tell you that Giant Gonzales doesn’t belong in the ring.  It’s more obvious than Pat Patterson’s homosexuality.  This match had a workrate similar to a match between two kids dressed in sumo suits.  DUD

- Speaking of sumos, Mean Gene recaps the damage Yoko has done over the past few months.  Then he gets Hulk’s comments on the title match.  Hulk claims Bret Hart is a Hulkamaniac.  Since when?  I wonder if Bret will feel the same way about Hulk at the end of the night.  BTW, nice touch Hulk by referring to Yoko as “the Jap”

- Todd finds some fans who are just as idiotic as he is.  It must have taken him all show to find them.

WWF Championship Match: Bret “the Hitman” Hart (champ) vs. Yokozuna

Bret nails Yoko with a dropkick right off the bat to gain an early advantage.  Bret tries a waistlock but that proves to be futile.  Yoko just shoves him right off.  Bret is able to tie Yoko’s foot in the ropes and cause him to fall.  With Yoko on his back, Bret really pours on the offense.  Bret always did a great job of showing that he was thinking in the ring.  Yoko finally gets up and stops Bret in his tracks with a clothesline.  Yoko follows that up with a legdrop that looks like it hurts unlike some other people’s version of it.  Yoko slaps on one of those nerve holds that we’ve all come to love and enjoy.  Yoko whips Bret to the corner but gets booted when he charges.  Bret jumps on Yoko’s back and brings him to the ground.  I’m not sure if that was going to be a sleeper or bulldog.  I’m not sure if they knew either.  Yoko comes back with a martial arts kick.  Yoko goes back to the nerve hold…wait a minute…I’m being told by JR that it’s an Oriental nerve hold.  My apologies to the people of the Orient.  Yoko releases the hold, whips Bret to the turnbuckle, and misses a charge.  Bret gets up and nails Yoko with a bulldog.  Did they just redo that sequence?  Confucius say Yes!  Bret starts a 10-punch count in the corner.  Yoko grabs Bret and drags him to the middle of the ring.  As he does that, Bret rips the turnbuckle pad off while trying to hang on.  Bret rams Yoko’s head in the exposed corner and then locks on the Sharpshooter.  Bret seems to have the match in hand when KA-POW, Fuji hits Bret in the face with the ceremonial salt.  Yoko covers Bret and gets the three count to become the new champion.  Wow, first time the heel wins the title at Wrestlemania.  Gutsy move!  We’ll have to see where this goes.  Good night everyone! 

Wait just a second, here comes Bret’s dear, dear ahem friend Hulk Hogan.  He’s checking on his buddy’s condition.  Fuji issues a challenge to Hogan for the title.  Hogan agrees because I’m sure that it would be what Bret would do if roles were reversed.  Hogan enters the ring, avoids a Fuji salt shot, hits the legdrop, gets a 3 count and is given the WWF title.  Nevermind the fact that no one sanctioned the match and a bell never rung.  Simply put, worst Wrestlemania ending ever.

BL: For the Bret Hart portion of the main event, Bret did the best he could but couldn’t pull out the classic he’s used to.  ** ¼   For the Hulk portion, egomania was running wild again and there was nothing we could do.  -***

Final Thought: Bad ending aside, this Wrestlemania had a lot of problems.  Pay per views and Wrestlemanias, especially, are supposed to bring closure to situations and leave you satisfied.  Look at the endings to all three title matches.  All of them left you with that “ugh” feeling.  The endings to the Doink/Crush and Lex/Perfect matches are acceptable if there are proper blowoffs to the feuds down the road.  That was not the case in those two instances and thus made them disappointing too.  These finishes lead us to the all-important question of “Who booked this crap?”  A bad Wrestlemania that I would highly NOT recommend.

Next time, we look at the reason other than the Zipper Museum that people came to Dayton, OH in the summer of ’93…it’s the inaugural King of the Ring.

Until then, thanks for stopping by the OOld Tyme Rasslin Revue.


Originally from Cleveland, Adam is now a graduate student at the University of Dayton who is looking to make a couple extra bucks writing this column. What do you mean Rick doesn't pay his columnists?

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