Thursday, 23 June 2011
IX: The Unloved Mania Part II By Matthew Husson.
SHOWTIME: Shawn Michaels(c) v Tatanka was a great way to start the show, especially as Shawn was defending his IC title against a man, who since making his debut in February of 1992 was unbeaten on television. The finish was slightly confusing, but at least there was the sub plot of Sherri vs. Luna Vachon going on as well. The Steiners vs. the Headshrinkers was an enjoyable match and still holds up well today. The highlights of the match included Rick Steiner slamming Samu while on the shoulders of Fatu, and Scott Steiner being tossed over the top rope flapjack style while Fatu pulled down the top rope. How Scott was able to protect himself during the fall I will never know, especially when he was given a cane shot from Afa for good measure afterwards! Both Doink vs. Crush and Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund were short matches, which was good as there really wasn’t any need to for them to go any longer, and they both got their point across. It was also nice to see a former WWF champion make his Wrestlemania debut (Even if it did last only 3:45!). Money Inc. vs. the Megamaniacs was built around Brutus and his mask, thus making way for Hogan to come in to make the save. The match ended with a DQ but it didn’t stop the crowd getting excited for Hogan posing afterwards. Lex Luger vs. Mr Perfect was one of my all time favourite Luger matches, thanks mostly to Mr Perfect and the four scantily clad models being involved. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez wasn’t good, but at the same time it wasn’t expected to be a classic either. You have a big man against an even bigger man, who will be the one to knock the other one down type match? Undertaker won by DQ and remained undefeated. The main event of Bret Hart(c) vs. Yokozuna was well done. It wasn’t overly long and they worked around any limitations Yokozuna may have had due to his size. After the Pin, Mr Fuji got on the mic and challenged Hogan to face Yokozuna for the belt. About 30 seconds later, we have a new WWF champion and an enjoyable way to send the fans home happy.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite the event being held outdoors and with just over 16,890 in attendance, a lot of the atmosphere was lost for those watching at home. I thought the majority of the matches held up well and I was entertained throughout, regardless of how some of the matches ended. I do feel that the loss of star power hurt the event the most. Unlike previous years, this Mania just didn’t have a big time feel to it. What I will say though, is that everyone from Bret Hart on downwards did their very best to make this a mania to remember. Go out and get your hands on a copy of Wrestlemania IX. Rip the sheets off your bed and make a toga. Drink a keg full of beer and have yourself a great night. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!