wrestling / Columns

411 Ranks The WrestleManias: #30 – WrestleMania 9

February 26, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka

To wrestling fans there is one time of year that is special. To us, the fans, it is the excitement of the big matches with the hint of extra importance. Knowing that the men that enter that ring are about to bust their asses and put their bodies on the line to entertain us for hours. We live vicariously through them, as they live childhood dreams and perform in front of millions via PPV. Whether it be for the World Title, for pride, 1 on 1, TLC or just delivering an emotional embrace in a true WrestleMania moment; this is what we wait for. It is the wrestling fan’s World Series, Super Bowl, Daytona 500, Stanley Cup, Olympics, Masters and World Cup all rolled into one incredible night. It is the night where we sit back to be entertained and remember why we love this testosterone filled soap opera called professional wrestling. This is the showcase of the Immortals, the Grand Daddy of them all. The place where legends are born, dreams fulfilled, or crushed in a single evening…this is WrestleMania.

There is no mistaking that WrestleMania is a one of a kind event, one that deserves a little something extra. Last year we counted down the top 30 matches in WrestleMania history. Today we start our 30-day countdown, where we rank the 30 WrestleMania events from the worst to the best. Each 411 writer had the opportunity to rank the WrestleMania events (based on overall quality, historical significance and personal preference), those rankings went into creating the final list that will be presented. Thank you for joining us and enjoy!

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* WWF IC Title Match: Tatanka defeated Shawn Michaels © @ 18:15 via Count Out
* The Steiner Brothers defeated the Headshrinkers @ 14:23 via pin
* Doink defeated Crush @ 8:28 via pin
* Razor Ramon defeated Bob Backlund @ 3:45 via pin
* WWF Tag Title Match: Money Inc. (Dibiase and IRS) © defeated The Mega Maniacs (Hogan and Beefcake) @ 18:52 via DQ
* The Narcissist defeated Mr. Perfect @ 10:45 via pin
* The Undertaker defeated Giant Gonzales @ 7:32 via DQ
* WWF Title Match: Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart © @ 8:55 via pin to become the NEW WWF CHAMPION
* WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan defeated Yokozuna © @ 0:30 via pin to become the NEW WWF CHAMPION

Arnold Furious

The Best Thing on the Show And Why: Shawn Michaels v Tatanka [***1/2] It speaks volumes for WM9 that the best match involves Tatanka. Here he served as the warm body for Shawn to bounce off. HBK was well on his way to becoming one of the WWF’s top singles performers and it was like they felt the urge to challenge him with a run of crappy opponents on big shows before eventually letting him cut loose @ WMX. Tatanka held up his end by running through his moves and letting Shawn do the rest.

The Worst Thing on the Show And Why: Undertaker v Giant Gonzales [DUD] Gonzales wasn’t a wrestler per se, but rather a freakshow attraction. Vince McMahon loved him and tried like hell to get him over although the drawn on muscle suit was a bit weird. His lumbering matches were mostly unwatchable and made up of rest holds and choking. Undertaker wasn’t exactly a work horse at the time either. Gonzales’ selling was horrendous at best and this match was one of the prime examples of him not knowing what he was doing in the ring.

Show MVP And Why: Shawn Michaels. I was tempted to go with Bret Hart for his personal sacrifice. Jobbing to salt in the eyes and having to watch, through salty eyes, Hogan take his title just 20 seconds later. Shawn showed he was the future of the WWF. All action and excitement, determined to steal the show regardless of who he was stuck with. This was one of those performances that’d lead to his actual singles push the following year.

Your Thoughts on The Show: It wasn’t a good year for the WWF in general. Their talent pool was shrinking and they hadn’t quite figured out what to do when Hogan was no longer viable as a main eventer so they just put the belt back on him. And he was no longer viable as a main eventer. WM9 isn’t just one of my least favorite Mania’s but is widely considered to be one of the worst. Unless you really like Hogan there’s no need to see it at all.

Scott Rutherford

The Best Thing on the Show And Why: The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers [***3/4] To say that the Steiners had a less than awesome WWF run would be an understatement. While they had the smell of “here for the money” hanging around them I also believe that the lack of teams that wrestled their style were few and far between which contributed to their general lack of thrill in wrestling. However, give them a team of big, tough guys to wrestle against who don’t mind getting a little loose and rough and suddenly The F’n Steiner Brothers show up. Not saying this is a ****1/2 classic lost to time but if you want a decent 15 minute brawl between four guys that liked to throw each other around, you could do much worse.

The Worst Thing on the Show And Why: Yokozuna vs. Hulk Hogan [-*****] This star rating is for everything from the scummy backstage politicking, the total burial of Bret Hart and Yokozuna and the stupidly moronic decision to take Hulk Hogan almost entirely off the house show circuit afterwards. Thankfully, this massive ego stroke resulted and the burial of Hulkamania and the rise-and-rise of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and the smaller more exciting workers.

Show MVP And Why: Shawn Michaels, but really we are talking about picking the best of the worst more than anything. Shawn gets the gong purely based on the fact he had his working boots that night and bumped liked a madman all match long. While we’re not talking a superstar breakout performance here, you add this to his Survivor Series match with Bret Hart at the end of the previous year and you start seeing the main event potential of the man.

Your Thoughts on The Show: There’s only one match that was really good and one other that was OK (Shawn/Tatanka) and the rest is crap with a super-shitty main event clusterfuck. Jeez, even if the undercard was super-solid I would have give it that same rating purely on the Hogan B.S. I hate this PPV and it has a rep as the worst WM for a reason.

Chad Nevett

The Best Thing on the Show And Why: WWF Championship Match: Bret Hart (C) vs. Yokozuna: [***] The first two matches of the show are better if you’re going by work rate. However, this match was the smartest booked and wrestled match of the night. I’ve seen Bret Hart in much better matches, but this one shows off his storytelling skills better than almost anything I’ve seen. He wrestled perfectly against Yokozuna to sell the big man/little man dynamic while not being totally dominated in the process (which he shouldn’t have been as champion). It didn’t go too long and everything that happened served the match. What happened after was crap, but that doesn’t take away from this match.

The Worst Thing on the Show And Why: The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales: [1/2*] There was actual potential here if they’d kept this to only a few minutes. Early on, the Undertaker made a comeback against Giant Gonzales and, had the match ended there, I wouldn’t have minded it. It would have been a short match where the Undertaker overcame a bigger opponent and proved how dominant he is. Instead, it kept going and going and ended with a lame DQ and post-match attack. On a weak card, this wound up being the weakest match.

Show MVP And Why: The Commentary Team: The most entertaining thing about this show was the commentary by Jim Ross, Randy Savage, and Bobby Heenan. The Macho Man was random and nonsensical (I swear, “Do the thing!” was his mantra that day…), Heenan was an over-the-top heel color man, and Ross was the glue that held the whole thing together. For three men who hadn’t worked together, they had a remarkable dynamic and were usually more entertaining than the match they were talking about.

Your Thoughts on The Show: The show began well with Shawn Michaels bumping like a madman and an entertaining tag match, but slipped into mediocre-to-poor territory for the rest of the show. Only a couple of matches were actually bad, but nothing (aside from the main event) even came close to the start of the show. The only redeeming factors were the opening matches, the main event, and the hilarious commentary. Without the commentary, I probably would have fell asleep.

What will #29 be? Come on back tomorrow to find out…