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Alright, lets continue where we left off
The next match has something that nowadays seems to happen a lot around WM time and that is a returning legend coming back after being gone for a year or less but yet is given a main event match despite not being there year round, but they get it because of their legendary status. I mean, just look at the three main events we have this year at WM 29, out of the 6 wrestlers in those main events, only two of them (CM Punk & John Cena) wrestle a full time schedule all year long while the four others are what we call "part-timers", they mostly show up for big PPV events. That being said, I pretty sure that this trend we have (or should I say "suffer from", depending on your opinion) started at this event when Hulk Hogan made his return after a year hiatus (his last match had been a year ago at WM 8 against Sid Justice) to team up with his best friend, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. Now Brutus himself too was having a big comeback because he had been out of action for two years because of a Para-sailing accident but finally got to have return match as he faced the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase on RAW. During that match, DiBiase's partner, Irwin R. Schyster (IRS) interfered and eventually re-injured Brutus' face being hitting him a few times with his Halliburton briefcase. Hogan was called in to help Brutus and that leads us to this Tag Team Title match-up. After some back and forth action, the referee gets knocked out (which seems to happen a lot in main event matches to add "drama" as my parents always to liked to say) which gave Hogan the opportunity to use the metal mask that Brutus was wearing to knock out both members of Money Inc. and seemingly win the titles after Jimmy Hart (who was the manager for Money Inc. but left them for Hogan & Brutus after Money Inc. re-injured Brutus' face on RAW) counted the fall but of course another referee came in and disqualified Hogan and Beefcake for using the metal mask, hence Money Inc. retained their titles.
The next match was between Lex Luger and Mr. Perfect. Now to understand how this match came to be, we have to look back at the Survivor Series 1992 where Mr. Perfect left the Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan's stable of wrestlers) to join Macho Man Randy Savage in his match against Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. After Ric Flair failed to get revenge on Perfect, Heenan took manners into his own hands and brought in former WCW World Champion Lex Luger to see if he could succeed where Flair failed. Now unfortunately both of their style of wrestling kinda didn't mash well as Mr. Perfect was a catch-a-catch-can technical wrestler while Luger was more of a power wrestler but they did have a pretty decent match despite that with Luger getting the victory with a backslide pin. But it just so happens that Mr. Perfect had his feet on the ropes during that pin which should have stopped the pinfall. So of course Mr. Perfect tries to tell the referee that his feet were on the ropes but as he was trying to do that Luger runs and hits Perfect with his forearm which has a steel plate in it because of a motorcycle accident and knocks Perfect out. When Perfect came to, he hunted down Luger and tried to attack him but Shawn Michaels was there and he blindsided Perfect and assault him which would lead to them having a feud which would come to a head later that year at SummerSlam.
Alright, we all know what is coming next, this match is still one of the worst matches WM has ever had and of course I'm referring to the Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales match. Okay, let's make this short and painless as possible. Giant Gonzales (who was 7' 7" btw) was brought in to the WWF by Harvey Wippleman to try and get revenge after the Undertaker defeated Kamala (at Survivor Series 1992) who Harvey also managed. But the problem with this match as we all know was that Giant Gonzales could NOT wrestle so Undertaker ended up having to do most of the work in this match. After 9 painful minutes, this match mercifully ended with the Gonzales getting disqualified for using a cloth with chloroform in it to smother the Undertaker with. But of course just when you think the Undertaker is down and out, he comes back to attack Gonzales and was finally able to knock the Giant off his feet so the feud could continue.
Alright now on to the main event of the evening, as the Royal Rumble winner, Yokozuna challenged Bret Hart for the WWF Championship and yeah, this was another mismatch as Yokozuna was a super heavyweight who weighed more than 500 lbs. and Bret Hart was a 234 lbs. catch-a-catch-can technical wrestler. But despite that fact both of these guys did try to do their best with what they could do with each other and... yeah, there is no way to avoid this. Yokozuna beat Bret Hart after Yoko's manager, Mr. Fuji threw salt (or probably powder) into Bret Hart's eyes and then... well here came Hulk Hogan to the rescue. As Hogan was trying to help Bret Hart back to the locker room, Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to face his new WWF Champion, and of course Hogan accepted and less than a minute later, Hogan defeated Yokozuna to win his fifth WWF Championship to close the show. Now according to Hulk Hogan's book, Yokozuna was actually meant to win the title that night but Hogan went to Vince and gave him the idea that he wanted to win the title that night only to lose it to Yokozuna at the next PPV event (King of the Ring 1993), hence "passing the torch" and leaving the WWF and pro wrestling for good as Hogan was going to try and retire from wrestling to focus more on movies and his upcoming TV series, "Thunder in Paradise", but of course as we all know Hogan would go on to join WCW in the summer of 1994 and eventually return to the WWF in 2002.
So after saying all that, I guess I have to ask, "Does WrestleMania 9 hold today? NO! Hell, it didn't even hold up back then. I think the reason why WM 9 did suffer somewhat was because this was the first WrestleMania that a) didn't have Hulk Hogan in the main event, b) this WM happened during a transitional era because the Hogan era ended (at the time) at WrestleMania 8 and the next era ("The Era of the Kliq") didn't start until WrestleMania 10 (You could argue) and c) they really didn't have any memorable matches or feuds like most WrestleManias do. I mean, there is really about three things this WM is really remembered for 1) the Roman Coliseum theme they did, 2) Jim Ross (J.R.) made his big PPV debut there and of course #3 is the controversial "after-match" between Hulk Hogan and Yokozuna. So yeah, there is not a lot of reasons to see this WM unless you are really feeling nostalgic as to see how different the WWF was back then.
Thanks for reading and here's hoping that WrestleMania 29 doesn't suck.
Next week this Sunday is WrestleMania 29 and in preparing for this event it suddenly hit me that it has been twenty years (my God, how time flies) since my first Pay-Per-View event and of course first WM: WrestleMania IX. So fuck it, let's look back and see if this WM still holds up today.
We start the event with what some call the best match of the night... wait, they're opening WM with the best match that night!? Impossible, I mean, you would think that this being WM that they would have the best match be the last match of the night aka the main event, that's the way it's usually is. Granted back then the WWF had more emphasis on characters and entertainment than it did with quality wrestling like we somewhat do today. Alright, so who was in this match? (Reads the name of Shawn Michaels) Oh, that explains it. Yes, a year before the Heartbreak Kid became a bona fide WM show-stealer with his ladder match with Razor Ramon, Shawn was here doing a little foreshadowing as to why he is now known as "Mr. WrestleMania". His opponent that night was the #1 contender to Shawn's Intercontinental title, the Native American Tatanka who at the time was undefeated. These guys had a great back-and-forth catch-a-catch-can match with Tatanka winning the match via disqualification when Shawn pulled the referee out of the ring. Now from what I gather, apparently Tatanka was supposed to win the IC title that night but didn't because Shawn Michaels allegedly told Vince that Tatanka had a bad attitude or something and that's why the match ended with a DQ and Shawn retaining his title. Yeah, it kinda sucks but what are you going to do about it? Besides you could argue that it was for the greater good as Shawn would go to become one of the greatest of all time while Tatanka, who was a decent wrestler, really didn't go anywhere in his career. Granted, you could argue that he might have had he won the IC title that night but I digress.
The next match was a tag team match between the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) against the Headshrinkers ((Fatu (aka Rikishi) and Samu)) in a unofficial #1 Contender's match for the WWF Tag Team Titles. Now both of these teams were known as being no nonsense tough and putting these teams against each other, you knew it was be a physical match and it was. Hell, I dare say this match came close to being the best match of the night which is odd seeing that it was only second match that night, it was like WM was backwards that year. Anyway, the Steiners won when Scott caught Samu with his Franksteiner (known today as a hurricanrana).
The next match was Crush taking on the newcomer Doink the Clown. For those of you who don't know or remember Doink, he was sort of like a PG rated version of Jack Nicholson's Joker, a schizophrenic clown who liked to play tricks on the kids in the audience and other wrestlers. Tired of Doink's antics, Crush, who I imagine was supposed to be a Hawaiian surfer superhero (Say that three times fast) decided to finally confront the clown and of course Doink did not like this so he attacked Crush with a prosthetic arm. That leads us to their match, as Crush spent the half of the match trying to punish the Clown for his many tricks and antics when Doink wasn't using some of those tricks and antics to get the upper hand on Crush. At the end of the match, Crush had Doink in his vise grip (a move where you have the palm of your hands try to squeeze a person's head) but Doink back elbowed the referee, knocking him out which allowed another Doink (played by Steve Keirn aka Skinner) to come into the ring and attack Crush with a prosthetic arm, the same one Doink used several weeks earlier, which gave Doink the victory.
The next match was between Razor Ramon and the returning former WWF Champion Bob Backlund and yeah, it was a match that was obviously thrown together at the last minute but with good reason. Razor at the time was getting a pretty good push from the WWF as we saw him challenge Bret Hart for his WWF Title 2-3 months earlier at the Royal Rumble, so it would have been a crime to not have him on the card. Same goes for Bob Backlund who before the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection Era, had held the WWF Championship on two occasions and is still the second largest reigning WWF Champion in history. As I said in my list of the worst WM matches, these guys obviously had no chemistry so thankfully the match was short with Razor winning with an inside cradle.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.
FAVORITE MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Dark Knight Rises
WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2)
BEST DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: Joss Whedon - The Avengers
BEST SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR: Looper
MOST OVERRATED MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Hunger Games
MOST UNDERRATED MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Dredd 3D
TRIPPIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Dredd 3D
BEST COMEDY OF THE YEAR: Seven Psychopaths
BEST HORROR MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Cabin in the Woods
BEST ANIMATED MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Wreck-it-Ralph
BEST SCI-FI MOVIE OF THE YEAR: The Avengers
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS OF THE YEAR: The Avengers
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR: Prometheus
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR: Looper
BEST ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Anne Hathaway - The Dark Knight Rises
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Javier Bardem - Skyfall
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Emily Blunt - Looper
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Gina Carano - Haywire
FAVORITE CELEBRITY OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Lawrence
COOLEST CHARACTER OF THE YEAR: Bane
BEST MUSIC IN A MOVIE: The Dark Knight Rises
FAVORITE MOVIE POSTER OF THE YEAR: The Dark Knight Rises
BEST TRAILER OF THE YEAR: The Dark Knight Rises
BEST DVD OF THE YEAR: The Dark Knight Rises
BEST ACTION SEQUENCE OF THE YEAR: Final NY City battle - The Avengers
MOST MEMORABLE SCENE IN A MOVIE: Hulk smashes Loki - The Avengers
BEST T&A OF THE YEAR: Scarlett Johansson - The Avengers
BEST LINE OF THE YEAR: "We have a Hulk" - The Avengers