I have a silly obsession: I love to fantasy book.
I have good reasons for this. Some of my first Internet experiences were back in 1997 when I found the wonderful world of Internet Wrestling, or E-Wrestling. This was where you would roleplay yourself as a pro wrestler and beat other people with 1000s of words worth of trash talk. I was involved in this for 10 years. It’s a big hole in my life. An empty vacuum of a million words I will never use again. On the lighter side I made some cool friends I still talk to and I will say it lead me towards a life of wanting to write.
Besides that, I like to look at different periods of time in pro wrestling and use a little hindsight in improving an event that isn’t well looked upon. Since we’re in Wrestlemania season, I’ll talk about Wrestlemania IX.
It’s quite common for people to see the card from Wrestlemania IX and just assume that in 1993, there wasn’t enough talent in the company. I thought that was fair, but then I found on Solie.org the talent in the WWF in 1993. Looking at the list, I realized that it was actually very off. The WWF did have over a dozen wrestlers with a lot of talent, and it was simply a matter of bad booking and using the wrong talent which turned the Caesar’s Palace Wrestlemania into a big stinker.
WWF Talent in March 1993
Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana, “The Brooklyn Steve Lombardi, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Jim Powers, “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware, “The Model” Rick Martel, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, Virgil, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Shawn Michaels, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, Luke Williams, Butch Miller,Typhoon, The Undertaker, Brian Knobbs, Jerry Saggs, “The Mountie” Jauques Rougeau, Mike “I.R.S.” Rotundo, Beau Beverly, Blake Beverly, Steve “Doink the Clown” Keirn, “Tatanka” Chris Chavis, “The Rocket” Owen Hart, Barry Horowitz, Papa Shango, Crush, Fatu, Samu, Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall, Bob Backlund, Yokozuna, Matt “Doink the Clown” Borne, “Terrific” Terry Taylor, Damian Demento, Marty Jannetty, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Jerry “The King” Lawler, “The Narcissist” Lex Luger, The Giant Gonzales, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Moe, Mable
Randy Savage stays on this list because despite his semi-retirement, he did work at the Royal Rumble and worked overseas house shows.
The only challenges I’m giving myself on this card is:
1. Brutus Beefcake needs a match for his comeback
2. Hulk Hogan needs a top program (like how the year before he had Sid Justice)
3. Tatanka cannot lose
I’ll mention beforehand that I originally worked on this card in 2009 and I’m taking the suggestions of a few friends who had great ideas. Special thanks to Derek Schleuter, Jeff DeHaan and Adam Contant. We’d make a great booking team.
Wrestlemania IX: Tito Santana vs. Papa Shango
My Wrestlemania IX: Tatanka vs. Papa Shango
At this time, Tatanka was playing a good midcard babyface with an undefeated streak and the WWF didn’t really go that far playing up his Native American background in fear of looking insulting to their culture. However, at the same time they have PAPA SHANGO THE VOODOO WIZARD casting spells on Ultimate Warrior. So here we would have Papa Shango putting a curse on Tatanka at the Royal Rumble. The curse threatens Tatanka in several matches of losing his winning streak. The WWF would then run some fun vignettes of Tatanka going into the desert in order to be cured through Lakota chants. Shango would taunt Tatanka saying he was more powerful than him and that he wouldn’t make it to Wrestlemania IX. Now, you might notice I haven’t said much about the wrestling but that’s because this is built on gimmicks, not in ring work. Tatanka was serviceable while Shango was questionable. Not even Tito Santana could get a good match out of the future Godfather so why should I expect anyone to? Instead, hide the weaknesses with a battle between opposing mysticisms. Match gets eight minutes or less.
Wrestlemania IX: Tatanka vs. Shawn Michaels
Wrestlemania IX: Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers
My Wrestlemania IX: Razor Ramon vs. Marty Jannetty
Tatanka vs. HBK was actually the match of the night for Wrestlemania IX and it really wasn’t that good. It also meant that the Intercontinental Championship was going to be defended in a schmozz finish because Tatanka wasn’t going to be champion and HBK couldn’t beat him clean. So scrap that match for now. Razor Ramon was being pushed to the moon in 1993 and had just lost to WWF World Champion Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble. Jannetty was constantly battling rumours of drug addiction as he lost to HBK at the Royal Rumble. With both men coming off losses at the Rumble, this would be treated as a redemption for both men. Janetty and Ramon have an interesting past as Jannetty once claimed back in the American Wrestling Association that Ramon (Scott Hall) destroyed his hotel room and Ramon was blamed for it. Ramon proceeded to beat the ever living fuck out of Jannetty, which the AWA had to claim was a storyline involving a different wrestler. While that wouldn’t be brought up here, Ramon would certainly win in 10 minutes.
Wrestlemania IX: Doink vs. Crush
My Wrestlemanix IX: Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
An upgrade for both men and a much more quality opponent for the Heartbreak Kid. Mr. Perfect had turned babyface to anger Bobby Heenan and embarrass Ric Flair by eliminating him at the ’93 Royal Rumble and then defeating him in a loser leaves WWF Match the next night on Monday Night Raw. HBK and Perfect did square up in 1993 but it was at SummerSlam. Here we push this feud a little bit earlier into the limelight. Since both men love to bump this match would probably look like a pinball game. Could quite possibly steal the show if it wasn’t for the main event…
Wrestlemania IX: Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund
My Wrestlemania IX: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Brutus Beefcake
In 1990, Brutus needed 100 metal plates to repair his face from a parasailing accident. Beefcake did a few run-ins and hosted the Barber Shop before finally returning to the ring. The WWF decided to have Money Inc. smash his face again with a steel briefcase which lead to the babyface turn of Jimmy Hart and the return of Hulk Hogan. I think instead we need a program for Lex Luger. Luger originally fought Mr. Perfect in a disappointing match. In this feud, Luger re-injures Beefcake’s face with the METAL PLATE IN HIS FOREARM which leads to Beefcake wrestling him at Mania in a mask. The shorter the better for this. Say seven minutes tops with a DQ win for Beefcake.
Wrestlemania IX: Money Inc. vs. Mega-Maniacs
My Wrestlemania IX: The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship
Money Inc. was originally involved against Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake but that isn’t who we want to see face the WWF Tag Team Champions. Instead, let’s put the best tag team in the company and one of the best tag teams in the world in a match for the WWF Tag Team Championship at the biggest show of the year: The Steiner’s. The other purpose is to free up Hulk Hogan. These two teams could easily go 20 minutes and it’d be a great match for the Million Dollar Man as his career winds down. The Steiners win the tag titles for the finish.
Wrestlemania IX: Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
My Wrestlemania IX: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Undertaker
Giant Gonzales? Ugh no thank you. Taker isn’t a phenom because of his height, he’s a phenom for being a big man that could move. Bigelow had impressed at the 93 Royal Rumble by beating the Big Bossman and would eventually go to the King of the Ring finals with Bret Hart but here he gets a chance to go one on one with the Reaper. This is a big man match made in heaven. Bam Bam and Taker always had chemistry in the ring but the WWF seemed to prefer seeing Taker take on Yokozuna. Bam Bam was quicker and a better wrestler, which should lead to a better match? Am I re-writing the streak? Not really, as it’s still a win for the Undertaker. Actually, that does re-write history since Bam Bam would get pinned here instead of Mean Mark merely winning by a disqualification.
Wrestlemania IX: Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
My Wrestlemania IX: Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna
Oh yeah, we have a brand spanking new main event! But this isn’t it. Hulk was pretty scarce at this point and people knew he might be done with the WWF. So why not prepare him against the great threat to America? Yokozuna can still look unstoppable without winning the Royal Rumble, and this sort of match is a big Wrestlemania match. Hogan works best trying to be a REAL AMERICAN and this match could be to determine the number one contender to the WWF World Championship. You could either do Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart later or do the original plan for SummerSlam 1993: Hulk Hogan vs. Bret Hart in a passing of the torch. However, in this world, the torch already gets passed by…
Wrestlemania IX: Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart/Yokozuna vs. Hulk Hogan
My Wrestlemania IX: Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart for the WWF World Championship
I’m personally angered any time I look back at how Vince McMahon and the WWF treated Randy Savage after 1992. He was put right onto the back burner and expected to be Vince’s “Ambassador” to the company. Even during the “New Generation” Savage was treated as some fossil from the old generation when he should have been passing the torch. A match with Crush at Wrestlemania X? That’s it? Please. At Royal Rumble 1993, Savage looked like an idiot trying to cover Yokozuna in a Rumble match. In this card, he wins. Suddenly you have the OLD GENERATION taking on the leader of the NEW GENERATION at Wrestlemania IX. Savage would have been the perfect veteran to put him over in a nice long, well planned main event. Bret would have added credibility to a title he was defending close to every night while Savage would get to be the star he was meant to be. And you know these two would bring out the best in each other. Give them 25-30 minutes and we’d be still talking about the match today.
So there is my Wrestlemania IX card. For the rundown:
Tatanka vs. Papa Shango
Razor Ramon vs. Marty Jannetty
Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Intercontinental Title)
The Narcissist Lex Luger vs. Brutus Beefcake
The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc. (WWF Tag Titles)
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Undertaker
Yokozuna vs. Hulk Hogan
Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart (WWF World Title)
A new Wrestlemania IX using the same talent available then. So why did it turn out to be so bad?
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Photo Credit: Mandy Coombes , Wiki Commons