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WWF March to WrestleMania IX - March 28, 1993

by Scrooge McSuck

- I've done this show before (TWICE, in fact), a long ways back, but that was back when I was really lazy in proof-reading things for simple spelling or grammar errors and was being more of an immature jackass than I am now. Basically, this is the same review previously posted on Da' Board, but dusted off, cleaned up, and with a little more sense and intelligence put into the effort of making it readable.

- All matches featured were taped a few weeks earlier in Fayetteville, NC, with Vince McMahon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan calling all the action. We are quickly shown highlights from Wrestling Challenge, where the contract signing between Yokozuina and Bret Hart took place. Yokozuna attacks and lays the Hitman out, but in a show of true heart (pun intended), Bret manages to pull himself back up to his feet... for no other reason other than to get up. I guess they were trying to get the point across that Hart would never give up, but this isn't a submission match, or anything. Three seconds is all it takes.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):

This explains why Savage isn't in the broadcast booth. Tune up match for Yokozuna, but for those with a short memory, these were the last two men in the Rumble match, and Savage unwisely attempted to go for a pin in the heat of battle. You know, the excuse "got caught up in the moment" can make sense, but Savage had been in all of the Rumble matches at that point, so he knew the rules damn well! Savage uses his speed to avoid Yokozuna, but Yokozuna shoves him off in a lockup. Savage grabs a headlock, but a shoulder block goes against him. Yokozuna pounds away, then tosses Savage over the top rope. Back inside, and Yokozuna with some uninteresting offense. Savage tries fighting back, but Yokozuna knocks him off his feet with one blow. Yokozuna with a scoop slam, followed by a massive leg drop. Yokozuna with choking in the corner, but he misses his corner butt splash. Savage to the top rope, and he connects with a double axehandle. Savage goes to the top again, but Fuji knocks him off with the flag pole. Yokozuna with a belly-to-belly suplex, and that's enough for the three count at 6:36. Yokozuna tries adding insult to injury, but Savage saves himself from being made a permanent part of the canvas. Not much to see here, it was basically a glorified squash match to make Yokozuna look unstoppable. It worked for me, but at the time, I was only eight, so I might not be the best person to ask.

- We go back to the '93 Royal Rumble, where Bobby Heenan introduced us to his latest find, "Narcissus". Someone eventually found out that was a dumb name, and Lex Luger was dubbed "The Narcissist" Lex Luger. The idea behind the character was that he was obsessed with his own image, and spent a lot of time checking himself out in the mirror. We're then shown clips of Luger mysteriously knocking people out with his forearm. This was before we found out about the steel plate, by the way. I've said this before, but I loved the Narcissist gimmick. It fit Luger perfectly, but I guess SOMEONE thought he was better suited being Hulk Hogan Version 2.0.

Mr. Perfect vs. Skinner:

I forgot to mention it in the previous paragraph, but Perfect is scheduled to face the Narcissist at WrestleMania IX. It's a match of vanity, I guess. Someone who calls himself perfect versus the guy who thinks he's the greatest looking man alive. I'm quite surprised Skinner was still hanging around, but his time in the WWF is just about up. It's a shame Gorilla Monsoon isn't calling this, it means we'll got the whole match without hearing how much of a "filthy pig" Skinner is. Skinner attacks from behind and hammers away. Skinner sends Perfect to the buckle and tosses him over the top rope. Skinner with some biting, then rams Perfect into the ring steps. McMahon accuses Heenan and Luger of paying Skinner off to injure Perfect, and Heenan plays along with it for fun. Perfect fights back, ramming Skinner into the ring post. Back inside, and Skinner takes Perfect down with a belt-assisted clothesline. Skinner whips Perfect, and we shockingly do NOT get a disqualification. Irish whip, and Skinner with a back elbow, followed by more biting. Skinner stomps away and chokes some more. Perfect attempts another comeback, but takes a thumb to the eye for his troubles. Whip to the corner, and Skinner crotches himself in the style of a Bronco Buster. I guess he was going for a monkey flip? Perfect with an atomic drop, followed by chops. Whip across the ring, and Perfect with some mounted punches. Perfect with a running knee lift, followed by his signature neck snap. Heenan chimes in "Come on Skinner, you want your money?!" as Skinner surprises Perfect with a shot from his gator claw. Irish whip, and Perfect traps Skinner in the Perfect-Plex out of nowhere for the three count at 5:27. Why did they make Perfect look so weak against a JTTS? It doesn't make it look like he has much of a shot against Lex Luger.

Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. Kimchee:

Could you believe they ran with this as a house show program? Sometime around the Royal Rumble, Slick came to the aid of Kamala, who was being treated quite cruely by his handler Kimchee and Harvey Wippleman. Slick did the whole "you are a man!" thing that they did with Virgil back when he broke away from being Dibiase's sla--- bodyguard. Kimchee is being played here by Steve Lombardi, best known as that guy featured on EVERY WWE DVD released. Kimchee uses intimidation to back Kamala into the corner and hammers away. Basically, the first half of the match is Kimchee punching and yelling at Kamala. Kamala fights back with his usual offense of chops and a reverse crescent kick, then finishes Kimchee off with the splash. Kamala doesn't cover him properly, but eventually turns him over enough times to have the shoulders down for a three count at 2:10. After the match, Kamala steals Kimchee's hat and gives it to Slick, who dons the hat and struts around like he was pimpin' again. I miss Jive Soul Bro. Just a squash match.

- It's time for the WrestleMania Music Video! It was featured as one of the main tracks on a CD the WWF released towards the end of 1992, and featured such classic lines like "who will Survive?!" For those who don't remember the words, you might remember the tune, as it was used as Linda McMahon's entrance music for the longest time. The best part is sappy "rap" coming from the Big Boss Man, talking about growing up as a bitty boy wanting to be a defender of justice. Oooh, Oooh, WrestleMania!

We recap the program over the WWF Tag Team Championship. Brutus Beefcake made his return to the ring after nearly three years, signing an open contract with Ted Dibiase. Shortly into the match, Dibiase's partner, Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) KO'ed Beefcake with his briefcase, then "busted him open" with a shot to the face. This somehow made Jimmy Hart feel bad, turning him face and joining forces with Beefcake. But much like the Planeteers, their teamwork is useless until their powers combined to bring back Captain Planet. I mean Hulk Hogan, sorry. So Hogan and Beefcake form "The Mega Maniacs", boot the Nasty Boys from challenging for the titles, and insert themselves into the match instead. Surprisingly, people weren't really too fond of the returning Beefcake, and Hogan's attitude in 1993 seemed quite uninterested compared to previous years.

Money Inc. (Tag Team Champions) vs. Reno Riggins & Jerry Sabin:

Yay, a squash match. Before the match, Irwin ignores calling the fans names in favor of taking shots at the Mega Maniacs. What an awful name for a team. Sabin quickly grabs a headlock on I.R.S., then follows it with a shoulder block and a hip toss. I.R.S. tosses Sabin out of the ring, allowing Dibiase to get some cheap shots in. Riggins tag in and gets worked over the moment he enters the ring. Dibiase with chops in the corner, followed by a back drop. I.R.S. tags in to hammer away, and Dibiase is back in to do more of the same. Dibiase and I.R.S. each execute a suplex on Riggins, and I.R.S. drops an elbow. Dibiase tags in and quickly puts Riggins to sleep with the Million Dollar Dream at 2:55. I'm wondering why only Riggins was treated like a pile of crap, while Sabin actually got to get a little offense in. Oh well, no worries, it was just a squash match.

- There's a special interview featuring the Mega Maniacs and Jimmy Hart at this point of the show, but my copy didn't have it, so too bad for you. I heard it was pretty crappy, though, if that's worth anything.

- Flashback to an episode of SuperStars, when Tatanka pinned Shawn Michaels in a Non-Title Match with his signature fallaway slam (the Papoose to Go). Flashback a couple of weeks later, this time on an episode of Monday Night Raw. Tatanka was teaming with the Nasty Boys to take on Shawn Michaels and the Beverly Brothers, and once again, Tatanka pinned Shawn Michaels, cleanly in the center of the ring. Will lightning strike a third time? Shawn Michaels says no, but what does he know about losing titles?

Tatanka vs. George South:

I seem to remember South from somewhere else, probably another one of those "classic" NWA scrubs, like the Mulkeys or something. Lockup, and Tatanka shoves South off. South hammers away on Tatanka, but gets taken down with a hip toss. Irish whip is reversed, and Tatanka with some chops. Irish whip, and Tatanka puts South down with a slam. South pops back up and pounds away on Tatanka. Whip to the corner, and Tatanka with more chops to put South down. Tatanka starts doing his signature War Dance, and it's time for his big finish... some chops, a top rope chop to the top of the head, and the fallaway slam for the three count at 3:16. After the match, Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring area, but then decides to just walk away rather than take another beating from Tatanka. Pretty boring squash match, but at least they're always short. I've never really been a fan of Tatanka, and watching his squashes matches makes me even less so.

- Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by with the WrestleMania IX Report, sponsered by Ico-Pro, you've got to want it! We get promos from the WWF Champion, talking about how he can overcome any odds, and Crush, who is out in his home of Hawaii, fishing for squid. He manhandles one, as a way to send a message to Doink. Matches announced include Bret Hart's title defense against Yokozuna, Money Inc. defending the Tag Titles against the Mega Maniacs, Crush taking on Doink (the Clown), and tag team action featuring the Steiner Brothers facing the Headshrinkers. The rest of the card was already set, by the way, including a match between Kamala and Bam Bam Bigelow that ended up not taking place for whatever reasons.

The Bushwhackers & Tiger Jackson vs. The Beverly Brothers & Little Louie:

It's mixed tag team action, featuring some midgets! Both of these teams were nothing more than JTTS filler at this point, so putting them against each other made it a fair fight, I guess. This is going to be an interesting rehash. I originally skipped over detailed PBP for it, in favor of transcribing the wonderfully hilarious commentary from Bobby Heenan, and summing up the finish... and I'm going to do it again. It's your typical comedy routine match that ends with Tiger Jackson pinning Little Louie, but Heenan was on for this match, and what follows is a few choice lines of dialogue from it...

- Flashback, once again to the '93 Royal Rumble. The Undertaker is dominating the action, eliminating everyone in site, until the mysterious Giant Gonzales, lead to the ring by Harvey Wippleman, assaulted the Undertaker and eliminating him from the match. Other than his debut, Gonzales' notoriety in the WWF comes from his ring attire... air-brushed body suit to make him look muscular, including a butt crack. Oh, and a lot of furr. Someone isn't into shaving.

The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:

Final match on the special. The Undertaker is scheduled to face the Giant Gonzales at WrestleMania IX, and Bigelow is set to up against Kamala, but once again, that match never took place. In an odd moment, clips from THIS match were featured in the WrestleMania Music Video, including one of the final spots! They do a face-to-face to prove neither man is intimidated. Bigelow with a series of rights, but Undertaker no-sells. Undertaker surprises Bigelow with a drop toe hold, then claws at the face of Bigelow. Irish whip, and Bigelow drops Bigelow with a DDT. Undertaker with choking in the corner, followed by his signature walk-the-rope clothesline across the back. Irish whip, and Bigelow punts Undertaker, only for Undertaker to no-sell and lay into Bigelow with a clothesline. Undertaker bounces off the ropes for a diving clothesline, but that misses, and we go to a commercial. We come back, with Bigelow slamming the Undertaker on the arena floor. Bigelow rams Undertaker into the ring steps, then whips him, knees first into them, for good measure. Back in the ring, and Bigelow with a suplex, but Undertaker sits up. Irish whip to the corner, and Bigelow plants Undertaker with a powerslam, but once again, Undertaker sits up. Bigelow with another slam, followed by a headbutt, but Undertaker sits up, AGAIN. Bigelow beats Undertaker down some more, then heads to the top rope, but Undertaker sits up to avoid the impact. That clip was used in the video, by the way. Undertaker hits a diving clothesline, then puts Bigelow down with a chokeslam. Then Bigelow rolls out of the ring, like nothing happened, and gets counted out at 7:46. After the match, for no reason, the Giant Gonzales comes to ringside to stare down the Undertaker, then walks away without doing anything. Um... didn't they just do that with Michaels and Tatanka? Come on, be original! Decent match, but that's not saying much.

- We close things out with yet another music video dedicated to the career of Bret "Hitman" Hart. The first one was used leading up to Survivor Series '92 and recycled at WrestleMania X (Making some Noise!), then this one, and then, leading up to WrestleMania XII, that "You start the fire" garbage. This one is set to Aretha Franklyn's tune, "Respect." Because when I think of Bret Hart, I think of THE QUEEN OF SOUL. Just because the name of a song makes reference to your booking plans doesn't mean the genre of the music makes sense too.

Final Thoughts: The wrestling wasn't very good, but the show had a nice, steady pace with a variety of matches and a job well done in playing catch up with the fans for what was going down heading into WrestleMania, without hammering it home too much. The highlight of this broadcast is definitely the Mixed tag team match, only because of Bobby Heenan. This match was recycled for the Coliseum Video Grudges, Gripes, and Grunts, but with new commentary. It was funny too, but not as funny as this one.

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