With an afternoon off, and mere weeks from Wrestlemania 29, what better way to get in the Wrestlemania mood than by watching a previous year’s event? What a shame, then, that it was Wrestlemania 9 that I chose.
So, where to start with this one then? Well, to be fair, there are some positives on the show and some memorable moments. It’s the first event that Jim Ross called as a WWF commentator – and the first WWF PPV airing of the word “slobberknocker”, having not long left WCW. It is also the first Wrestlemania held outdoors and with a very unique, to say the least, style with the Roman theme.
Only three matches on the entire card get pass marks: the opener between Michaels & Tatanka – despite the dodgy ending, Lugar v Perfect – again, despite another poor ending and The Steiners v The Headshrinkers. It’s the tag match though, that is the best on the car, but even it only really reaches the 7 out of 10 scale.
Much of the rest of the card is absolutely abysmal. The Undertaker v Giant Gonzales match is an abomination. People rightly talk a lot about The Undertaker’s streak but he didn’t half have some turgid matches, particularly in the early period but this one is without doubt the worst of the lot and one of the worst, if not the worst, match in Wrestlemania history.
Despite the memorable ending featuring a second Doink, his match with Crush is otherwise forgettable. I was always quite partial to Crush – despite being a Demolition fan and many other Demolition fans believing he split them up – and felt he could, and definitely should, have had a more successful career than he did have. But this match was just bland.
The Bob Backlund versus Razor Ramon is a strange one too. Despite the fact it doesn’t really ever get going, it just suddenly ends with Ramon picking up the win from nowhere. I don’t know if it was a botch, an injury or even time constraints that forced this match to be ended quickly. Either way, it’s nothing much to write home about.
In the same way that Wrestlemania 8 was booked as a double main event with a WWF Championship match and a Hogan match co-headling, the same transpired at 9 with the big difference being that Hogan managed to leave Wrestlemania 9 with the WWF Championship after “that ending” that saw two new WWF Champions crowned within minutes with Yoko defeating Bret Hart and Hogan then pinning Yoko in less than two minutes. And that was after the stupid tag team match where Jimmy Hart, Hogan and Beefcake’s manager, main the count and the three celebrated with the belts after the match.
I think after the torture that was re-watching this show, I do have to give consideration to my belief that Wrestlemania 11 was the worst in Wrestlemania history. This show pips that one at the post. Best avoided, particularly the ending. It was clear that Vince felt that neither Yoko nor Hart were big enough of a draw to warrant a run with the belt and, as they say, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ and Hogan was brought back in to ride to the rescue.
Of course, it didn’t really pan out so well and Hogan left after King of the Ring when Yoko won the title belt back. Additionally, various rumours abound that Hogan refused to drop the belt to Hart etc which has led to animosity between the pair to this date. One this is for sure, though, and that is that Wrestlemania 9 was a dreadful show coming during a down period for the WWF that it only really recovered from in 97.