In the latest episode of WrestleMania 30 For 30, Jason, Big D and GG discuss WrestleMania IX in heavy detail.
We talk about the show that’s not one of the more well-loved shows in WrestleMania history. Well, except if you’re known as Alan4L.
After a lot of company strife in 1992 with the steroid story giving them a lot of bad press and wrestling popularity going on a downward spiral, the following happened:
– Hulk Hogan was phased out of the company for almost the entire time between WrestleMania VIII and IX.
– The Ultimate Warrior was fired.
– Randy Savage became an announcer.
– Ric Flair went back to WCW.
– Bret Hart was the new WWF champion.
You could say this was the first attempt to move on from the past and into the future. That would fully happen a few years later right before the Attitude Era kicked off.
If they were trying to move on, why was Hulk Hogan back in the mix? What about this new wave of characters like Doink The Clown, the Steiner Brothers (fresh off their WCW run), the Headshrinkers, “The Narcissist” Lex Luger (after the failed WBF stuff), Giant Gonzalez (El Gigante), and Yokozuna?
We recorded the show before the passing of Matt Borne. Big D is a huge fan of Doink The Clown and we discussed the character heavily. After Borne died, D recorded a new intro at the top to talk about Borne’s passing.
Here’s our WrestleMania IX review:
Alan and I have differing opinions on this show. He actually liked it while I hated it. I’ll sprinkle in some of his thoughts as we go.
The Hulk Hogan era was supposed to be over. The WWF was slowly changing the guard. They were trying to change what they had ingrained into fans on what wrestling was supposed to be. Bigger than life characters. Huge muscle bound guys are always better than smaller, faster guys. And Hulk Hogan was the best of them all. However, there was going to be a time when Hogan wasn’t going to be around. And during 1993, they were trying to change what they had been teaching fans for 10 years. Bret Hart beat Ric Flair for the championship to get his first WWF World Title reign in late 1992. I remember the day when I heard Hart won the championship. My friend told me to guess who had just beat Flair for the belt, and because I never expected the WWF to get behind Hart, I must’ve went through five guys before I guessed Hart. And I expected him to be nothing more than a transitional champion. However, it showed that the WWF was trying to find someone new to carry the torch so to speak. However, Hogan came back into the picture. It was supposed to be the first Wrestlemania without Hogan. Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Wrestlemania preview didn’t even list Hogan as being on the card. Hogan came back into the picture quickly as Vince probably didn’t see Wrestlemania being big without him. Hogan held all the cards back then, which is a far cry from where he is today. Of course, Hogan reportedly wanted to win the belt immediately, but if Bret Hart was ever going to be anything, losing it to Hogan in a squash would’ve killed any steam he had. Hogan was then put into a quick feud with Money Inc. where he saved his good friend Ed Leslie, better known as Brutus Beefecake, from a beat down and they played up on the true story of Beefcake having to get reconstructive surgery on his face in a para sailing accident. Hogan and Beefcake were now to challenge Ted DiBiase and IRS (Mike Rotunda) for the tag team championship. They were terribly called The Mega-Maniacs.
(I seem to remember them announcing this terrible name on RAW. They were trying to come up with a name and all of a sudden, Hogan said the name The Mega-Maniacs. However, I believe Jimmy Hart’s jacket already had the name on the back before they were trying to come up with the name. Oops.)
It was a very boring match, but the crowd popped like crazy for it. Hogan was up to his usual antics very much so through the entire match playing up to the crowd. With DiBiase and IRS in the ring, it made the match at least watchable, but the fans very much so wanted a title change. The finish was extremely silly with Jimmy Hart counting a double pin fall that was later overturned by the referee. When Hogan and Beefecake didn’t get the belts, that should have told the viewers something, considering Hogan had never been in anything short of the main event in Wrestlemania.