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Wrestlemania Countdown: 9

The Netcop Retro Rant for Wrestlemania IX

- Live from Las Vegas, Nevada. Original airdate: April 4, 1993

- Your hosts are Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage. This was JR's debut. Wearing a toga.

- This was also my first review on the internet, ever. I was in an anti-WWF place at that time, so it was pretty negative, IIRC. But then the “review” was only about 12 lines long, so it all evens out.

- Opening match, Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. T-t-t-t-t-tanka.

Shawn has Luna Vachon with him, in her debut. Sherri follows Tatanka, dressed like an indian princess. Poke-her-hontas? Shawn admires himself in the belt before we get underway. The Caesar's Palace idea was neat, it makes for great atmosphere. Shawn bumps like a motherfucker, getting armdragged off the top rope and then doing a Flair flip and falling off to the floor. A greco-roman thumb to the eye leads to a botched sunset flip off the top for two. But Tatanka comes back with a devastating move #919 (ARM-bar) to slow down the momentum. Shawn takes a MAN-SIZED charge to the post, setting up move #193 (arm-BAR). (Yes, this was written in 1999, how can you tell?)  Shoulderbreaker and big elbow gets two, but Tatanka eats superkick coming off the top rope to swing the pendulum back to the commish. Nice running clothesline off the apron by Shawn. It should be noted that this is years before Luna had her breasts augmented. It should also be noted that her deadbeat husband Dave Heath (currently known as Gangrel) would win the PWI Rookie of the Year award as Vampire Warrior this year. (Said it before, say it again, Vince missed the boat on sexy and/or sparkly vampires in recent years.)  More resting. Shawn must be stoned -- he botches a victory roll. But Tatanka is the Pissed Off Racial Stereotype. Chop, chop, chop, bodypress for two. Catapult to the post yields two. Shawn is bumping like a MAN. Shawn escapes the Papoose to Go with a rollup for two. He goes to the top but gets caught with a powerslam for two. Shawn is the king of bumps, and he's single-handedly carrying this thing. He misses another apron clothesline and lands on the stairs face-first. Shawn takes out his frustrations on Joey Marella, and Tatanka hits the fallaway slam, but Marella won't count because Shawn was counted out or something. Bad ending, okay match. Probably the best we could have hoped for out of this show. **1/2 Six years later, Shawn is retired, Tatanka might as well be, and the referee is dead.

- Mean Gene interviews the Steiner Brothers, in happier days.

- The Headshrinkers v. The Steiner Brothers.

The very first JR broadcast, and he works in "Slobberknocker" and "smash-mouth" LESS THAN A MINUTE IN. I bet he'll start reeling off the football references any minute now. Steiner gets double-teamed very quickly. The Steiners retaliate with a double Steiner-line off the top rope. JR must be creaming in his toga. Scott dominates Samu, but gets dumped right over the top and takes a MAN-SIZED bump to the floor in what looked to be intended as a stungun. JR notes that this is probably what the action in the Roman coliseums was like. I don't recall the Christians putting the lions in a chinlock and whispering "Roar and then bite my leg off and I'll bleed to death", but I'll take his word for it.  (Although I’m a harsh critic of my own stuff, that’s my favorite joke that I’ve written.)  Scott plays Ricky Morton and the 'Shrinkers punch and kick a lot. This match is getting entirely too much airtime for the non-workrate. Rick gets the hot tag but makes the mistake of ramming the Samoans' heads together. He's very dumb, you see. In an awesome spot, the heels go for a Doomsday Device and Rick catches and powerslams Samu in mid-air! Scott tags in again and finishes it with the Frankensteiner in short order. At this point it was getting scary watching Scott do the rana. *1/2

- Crush v. Doink the Clown.

This is a pretty infamous match. Doink the psychotic clown was always a very cool gimmick. Crush attacks Doink before the bell, sportsman that he is. There's TOO MANY BRIGHT COLORS HERE. Crush is decked out in neon yellow, orange and purple. Doink has red, blue and yellow, with green hair. This is going to wreck my TV screen. (Luckily I haven’t had a tube TV in about 8 years, so any TV screens should be safe from harm now.)  Meanwhile, the match sucks the meat missile. Crush goes for the Kona Kompactor, but the ref gets bumped and Doink rolls out and tries to crawl under the ring. Crush throws him back in and applies the Kompactor, but Doink II comes from under the ring and decks Crush with a prosthetic arm, and a beatdown results. Doink I gets the pin when the ref wakes up. A supremely bad idea. -**

- Razor Ramon v. Bob Backlund.

Ramon was a few weeks away from his face turn (and the accompanying debut of the 1-2-3 Kid) while Backlund was a year and a half away from reclaiming the WWF title. Big "Razor" chant for the supposed heel Ramon. Pretty much a Ramon squash, although Backlund gets his 70s offense in, including the ATOMIC DROP OF DEATH! Ramon gets an inside cradle out of nowhere for the pin about three seconds later for the pin. After the match, Ramon does the "Me-me-me-me-YEAH" thing, actually saying "me me me me me" while doing it. *  (Mr. Bob Backlund would likely have an issue with Scott Hall’s lifestyle choices)

- WWF tag title match: Money, Inc. v. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake.

I could have lived with Hogan and Beefcake as tag champs, honest I could. If only he had settled for that much. Hogan is sporting a black eye, Money Inc takes credit for it by saying they hired goons to beat him up the night before. (“Who is it?”  “Hired goons.”  “Hired goons?”) Hogan gets a decidedly lukewarm reaction. He's looking like Kidman here -- no muscle definition at all. It should be noted that everyone in this match went on to join the nWo at various points. In fact, there's a very nWo-ish theme running through the show, with future nWo members in just about every match. The deterioration of Beefcake had begun in earnest at this point. Dibiase plays the heel in peril, as the Egomaniacs pummel the champions at will. Finally the champs simply walk, and Earl Hebner does the old "If they don't get in by 10, they lose the titles" bit. (I wonder if Hogan’s sex tape features him threatening to walk out before the chick orgasms, until a referee comes in and gives him until the count of 10 to finish the job?  Or else he’ll LOSE the titties!) So they make it back in and go to work on Hogan with the usual cheap heel tactics. Dibiase slaps the Million Dollar Dream on Hogan, which Hogan sells as if it were a chinlock, thus killing the move for Dibiase. Savage: "The people are hanging from the rafters...although this Roman coliseum doesn't have rafters...but it has columns, and people are hanging from them." You just don't get insightful commentary like that today. (Well unless it’s Booker T.)  The referee is distracted by IRS, and Beefcake puts his shitty sleeper on Dibiase, which of course knocks him into a coma after three seconds. Double knockout, but Hogan revives first. Hogan hot tags Beefer and punches away, sadly showing more moves than HHH does in an average match today. Dibiase nails Beefcake with the suitcase, and now Beefcake is (broken) face in peril again. God, this match is right out of 1988. No wonder Hogan got turfed out of the WWF. Dibiase pulls off the protective mask worn by Beefcake...and it's Rey Mysterio Jr! No, just kidding, it's still Beefcake. This match is way long. Beefcake with the sleeper on IRS, and the ref gets bumped. Hogan gets the hot tag and the ref is still out. Big boot and both Money Inc members get nailed with the PROTECTIVE MASK OF DOOM, but the ref is still out. Jimmy Hart comes in and counts the pin himself. But Danny Davis runs in and disqualifies the challengers for hitting Money Inc with the mask. (Curse you, Danny Davis!  I thought you were suspended FOR LIFE!) This was setting off alarm bells in my head while watching the show live way back when, because it occurred to me that Hogan never settled for losing on a Wrestlemania without gaining face somehow. If only I knew... 1/4*

- Toad Pedophile finds Natalie Cole at ringside. And the owner of Caesar's Palace, who yaks about whatever.

- Mr. Perfect v. The Narcissist.

Speaking of egomaniacs. More nWo influence, as both guys went on to join. Luger brings some choice T&A to the ring with him to hold up his mirrors. The Narcissist gimmick was perfectly suited to Luger, much better than the stupid Hogan-warmed-over face turn he did. (You know what they say about the best gimmicks…) He start with an exchange of headlocks and wristlocks that go nowhere. Hennig kicks away at Luger's knee and chops him so hard that it echoes through Caesar's Palace. Hennig takes a nice bump into the corner, but nothing up to his usual Shawn-like standards. Luger goes to work on the back with the LOADED FOREARM OF DOOM. Kicking and punching abounds. Luger gets two with the Flair pinning-attempt-in-the-corner. Hennig with a sunset flip and a sleeper to cue the comeback. Small package for two. Cross-corner whip and slingshot to the post gets two. I think Hennig worked that slingshot into his repertoire out of spite for his loss to Jerry Lawler in 1988. (And now Dolph Ziggler does it as a tribute to Hennig.  Weird how things work out.)  They fight over a backslide and Luger gets it for the pin, despite Hennig having both legs in the second rope. Luger gives him the LOADED FOREARM OF DOOM for good measure, knocking him out. Hennig chases Luger to the back and is attacked by Shawn Michaels, signalling the start of their feud. *

- Giant Gonzalez v. The Undertaker.

Undertaker has a vulture with him. That's about the most interesting thing here. A truly wretched match, topped only by their Summerslam 93 rematch. Gonzalez "sells" like he's being poked with Scott Hall's tazer gun, and moves like he's got a pole shoved up his ass. (Someone claiming to be Giant Gonzalez keeps trying to add me on Facebook.  I don’t know if it’s a gimmick or what.)  After 18 hours of excruciating non-action, the Giant gets a chloroform-soaked rag and smothers Undertaker into unconsciousness, drawing the DQ. -***

- Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan before the main event, another bad sign.

- WWF title match: Bret Hart v. Yokozuna.

All of what followed never should have happened. 1993 was a dismal failure with Hogan and Yokozuna as champions. Vince should have just had faith in Bret to begin with and allowed him to keep the title, but no, it was not to be. Bret wrestles a smart match, luring Yoko near the ropes from the outside and then tripping him on the bottom rope. He slingshots in with a diving headbutt and goes with the elbow on the second rope. Goes downhill from there, as Yoko takes over with a shoulderblock and the usual crappy Yoko offense. Yoko eats boot on a cross-corner charge and Bret gets two. Superkick turns the tide again. More deadly nerve pinching. Cross-corner charge misses again, and Hart with the bulldog for two. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Bret yanks the turnbuckle pad off, and rams Yoko's head into it, then applies the Sharpshooter. The devious Mr. Fuji chooses that moment to toss a huge pile of salt into Bret's eyes (some of which lands on Hebner) and Yoko rolls up Bret for the title. *1/2

- Hulk Hogan comes in to protest, and instead of getting the ref to reverse the decision like any other babyface, he takes a title match with Yokozuna right there. As if anyone would be stupid enough to put the title on the line right away. (Maybe Hogan had won the Money In The Bank ladder match on Superstars the week before?)  Then to add insult to insult, it's a joke "match" as Fuji tosses salt in Yoko's face by accident and Hogan hits the legdrop for the pin and his last WWF title. (Well, not QUITE last as such…) See Nash, Kevin. The crowd is less than enthralled with this decision. Why couldn't they just do Hart v. Hogan?  (He’s not in my league, brother!)

The Bottom Line: This Wrestlemania bombed big-time, as Hogan's WWF marketability was shot down once and for all. Despite having all the booking suddenly centered around him again, Hogan proceeded to take two months off to enjoy his new title. This was the last straw in the eyes of Vince McMahon, who had two perfectly good champions in Yokozuna & Bret Hart simply going to waste on the sidelines, and so at King of the Ring, Hogan was beaten and humiliated by Yokozuna in his last WWF match, and in the final insult, was pinned with his own finisher, the legdrop. The message was clear: The Hogan era is over, and no more prima donnas need apply.

Ironically, Bret Hart would see that advice come back to haunt him 4 years later. But that's another story.

As for WM9, while some have called it the worst PPV ever, it certainly has historical significance, and that alone disqualifies it from the running. Shows like Road Wild and King of the Ring 95 were uniformly bad and offered no lasting change for the wrestling world, and so can be more easily considered the worst. Still, Wrestlemania IX ranks as the worst WM ever, easily.

The SmarK Retro Re-Rant for WWF Wrestlemania IX

- Figured we might as well go whole hog and redo this one, since the buildup on the RAWs I've been doing has been towards this show. Plus I wanted to work in all the Anthology versions of WM anyway. Can you believe it's been ten years since I last did this one?

- Live from Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas.

- Your hosts are Bobby Heenan, Randy Savage and introducing…JIM ROSS! In a toga.

Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Tatanka

Odd choice for an opener, actually, as the buildup for Tatanka would have led you to think he'd be higher up on the card. This is the short-lived debut of Luna Vachon as Shawn's manager in a move that was a head-scratcher even by the standards of the time. Tatanka counters with blessings from the cougar lodge -- Sherri Martell. Shawn goes for the takedown to start and Tatanka fights him off. Shawn goes with the top wristlock and Tatanka powers out of that, so he goes with the headlock and has better luck there. Tatanka tries to power out, so Shawn walks the ropes to hold the move, then tries it again and gets dropped with a suplex as a result. Tatanka hits him with a dropkick and chops him to the floor, but Sherri keeps Luna from interceding. Shawn fights Tatanka off and comes in via the top rope with a sunset flip for two. That went badly. Tatanka catches him with an inverted atomic drop and a DDT, then goes to work on the arm. Shawn keeps threatening to pull hair and the ref keeps catching him, so Tatanka is able to take him down again and goes back to the armbar. Shawn slugs out, but charges and runs himself into the post, allowing Tatanka to go back to the arm again. Shawn tries to alley-oop him in the corner, but Tatanka catches him with a shoulderbreaker and goes up with a flying chop on the shoulder. Another one, but Shawn catches him with a superkick on the way down to take over. Shawn tosses him and Sherri chases Luna off again, but Shawn hits him with a clothesline off the apron anyway. Back in, Shawn gets a neckbreaker for two. Standing dropkick gets two. Shawn hits the chinlock and then slugs away in the corner, then tries a victory roll and actually gets two. I don't know that Tatanka knew what was going on there. Shawn goes up and does it again, and this time Tatanka is hip to the room and drops him with an electric chair. That gets two. Tatanka misses an elbow and Shawn goes up with a double axehandle, but it's the PISSED OFF RACIAL STEREOTYPE, which actually gets a good reaction from the crowd. Tatanka blocks the superkick and chops him down, which Shawn sells like gunshots. Tatanka with a high cross for two. Catapult into a rollup gets two. Papoose to Go is reversed into a rollup for two by Shawn. Shawn goes up to capitalize, but Tatanka catches him with the powerslam for two. Shawn tosses him to catch a breather, but he does a dramatic dive from the apron and hits the stairs by mistake. He pulls out the ref in frustration, and back in, Tatanka with the Papoose to Go, but the ref calls for the DQ at 18:18. That is some weak sauce. People pull out the ref just to break up a two count these days! Much longer and better match than I remember, though. ***1/2 They really booked themselves into a corner here, as they didn't want to end the undefeated streak and they didn't want to change the title, so you get this finish.

The Headshrinkers v. The Steiner Brothers

A sign in the crowd notes that New York City loves the Steiners and the Undertaker. Really? Just those three? And is it fair for one sign to speak for the entire city? What if some guy in Manhattan loves Mr. Perfect more? Was this sign created from a scientific poll of the city? I WANT TO KNOW.

Anyway, Scott takes Fatu down with an armbar to start and hiptosses him out of the corner, and they slug it out until Fatu goes down. The Shrinkers double-team Scott in the corner and toss Rick, but the Steiners regroup and both come off the same turnbuckle with clotheslines. That's pretty awesome. Rick comes in against Samu, and Samu pounds him in the corner and follows with a clothesline. Rick hits him with his own and then sends him into the post in a crazy spot. Scott comes in with the butterfly bomb, but Samu drops him with a hotshot that turns into a crazy bump over the top when Fatu pulls the top rope down. Afa hits him with the big stick for good measure. Back in, the Headshrinkers take over and Fatu gets a backbreaker and a diving headbutt for two. Samu with a nice spinkick, but a blind charge hits boot. Fatu comes back in with a Randy Orton punt to put Scott on the floor, and Samu runs him into the post. Back in, Scott rams Fatu's head into the mat, and Fatu casually no-sells it and superkicks him down. I LOVE that spot. Haku used to do that one, too, and it's always great because the crowd pops for the initial move and then again for the heel comeback. Scott tries to fight out of the corner and they poke him in the eyes, allowing Fatu to get a backbreaker for two. They clothesline each other, but Fatu makes the tag first and Samu cuts the tag off. He goes up and misses the flying headbutt, however, and it's HOT tag Rick. Backdrop and slam sets up a series of Steinerlines, but ramming their heads together proves to be a mistake. Shrinkers hit the double Stroke to take over again and try a Doomsday Device, but incredibly Rick catches Samu in mid-air and powerslams him off Fatu's shoulders for two. Back to Scott, who suplexes Fatu, but runs into another superkick from Samu. Scott has had ENOUGH, however, and finishes with the Frankensteiner at 14:20. They were just beating the hell out of each other here, and again this was much better and longer than I remembered. ***1/4

Crush v. Doink the Clown

Crush attacks on the floor and sends the clown into the post, and they head in for some angry choking from Crush. Randy notes that "Crush is all over Doink like melting butter". Can we have a drug test for Savage, please? And also a drug test for whoever thought that orange, yellow and purple tights would be a good idea for Crush? Crush pounds away and gets a standing neckbreaker, then snaps the neck on the top rope. Crush pounds away on the apron, but Doink retorts with his own necksnap and comes off the top with a series of forearms to put him down. Piledriver follows and Crush bails to escape, but Doink hauls him back in. He goes up and we get my least favorite spot, as Doink goes up and lands on Crush's foot, and Crush powerslams him to make the comeback. Clothesline puts Doink on the floor, and Doink tries to hide under the ring. Crush pulls him back into the ring for a press slam and tries to finish, but Doink nails the ref and goes under the ring again. Crush hauls him back in again and applies the head-vice, but GatorDoink hits him from behind with the fake arm and Doink gets the pin at 8:27. *1/2

Razor Ramon v. Bob Backlund

The crowd is clearly cheering for Razor, which I also noticed on the Poughkeepsie RAW as well, so the writing was on the wall there. Backlund evades him to start, but Ramon catches him and beats him down, then stomps away. Bob comes back with a hiptoss out of the corner, but misses a dropkick and comes back with a butterfly suplex instead. He follows with an atomic drop and then slingshots Ramon in from the apron, but Ramon cradles for the pin at 3:40. Big pop for that. *

WWF World tag team titles: Money Inc. v. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake

Hogan is of course sporting a black eye here, and we've covered that enough for one lifetime. Beefcake's ridiculous protective mask looks like a rejected Kyle Raynor Green Lantern design. Dibiase starts with Beefcake and elbows him down, but he comes off the top and hurts his hand when he hits Beefcake's mask. Dibiase rams Beefcake into the turnbuckle and that has no effect either, and the faces take over on Dibiase. Hogan slugs away in the corner and clotheslines him, and Beefcake comes in for a slam. The faces pinball Dibiase in the corner and Hulk clotheslines him out, and it's more of the same for IRS. The champs decide to take a walk, but they do the silly thing where the ref threatens to switch the titles if they walk out. So they head back in and Dibiase gets a cheapshot on Hulk and chokes away, then gets the Million Dollar Dream. Hulk basically sells it like a chinlock as Savage goes into his insane bit about how "they're hanging from the rafters…if there were rafters…but there's not, there's columns, and they're hanging from them." OK then. Beefcake breaks up the sleeper with one of his own, and that leaves both Dibiase and Hogan out for the double count. Hulk recovers first and it's hot tag Beefcake. High knee for IRS and Dibiase goes out via an atomic drop, but he hits Beefcake with the briefcase and IRS drops an elbow to take over again. Really? Wasn't 15 minutes long enough for this shitty match? Dibiase tries to get the mask off and succeeds, and they go to work on his face now. Now, they already said that Beefcake was at 100% and didn't sustain any damage from the previous attack, so I'm not sure where the suspense is supposed to be coming from. Beefer comes back and puts IRS in the sleeper, and the ref gets wiped out as a result. Now, the ref is unconscious, why would Hogan bother waiting for the tag? Hulk gets the tag, puts them down with the mask, and both faces make the cover, but the ref revives and calls for the DQ at 18:48, giving Money Inc. the win. Just an awful, awful finish to an incredibly boring match. Beefcake in particular looked out of sync and terrible. *1/4 And Hulk Hogan has been a wrestler for HOW long and still celebrates with the title belts when JIMMY HART makes the count? Are they supposed to be retarded? This one, at the time, was setting off huge alarm bells in my head because why would Hogan make his big comeback and then lose? Anyway, they do their posing (despite losing) and then Hogan breaks into Dibiase's personal property, the briefcase, and throws his money into the crowd. Years later, Linda would do the same thing to him. Probably not even metaphorically, she probably made him fill a briefcase full of money and then gave it away to a crowd of people while he watched.

Mr. Perfect v. Lex Luger

This should have been great and just wasn't. Although people often compare Perfect's style with Flair's and assume that he'd mesh well with Luger because of that, but heel Luger v. face Flair was never any good either. Perfect tries the headlock to start and they trade hammerlock attempts, but Luger makes the ropes. Perfect hits a kneelift and dropkick and Luger bails to think it over. Back in, Luger with a cheapshot to take over and he runs Perfect into the turnbuckle, but a big boot is blocked and Perfect goes to work on the leg. He chops away in the corner, but Luger whips him into the turnbuckles and Perfect bumps out of the ring. Luger works the back in the ring and gets a backbreaker, then drops an elbow for two. Pin in the corner gets two. Lex with the powerslam for two. Perfect sunset flip gets two and he comes back with a sleeper, but Luger runs him into the corner to break. Perfect slugs him down as this is going nowhere fast, and a small package gets two. Perfect catapults him into the corner and puts him down with the Ax forearm for two. Perfect with another forearm for two and a neckbreaker gets two. Ugly missile dropkick gets two, but Luger is in the ropes. He tries a backslide, but Lex hooks the ropes and reverses for the pin at 10:55, despite Perfect's legs being in the ropes. Just goes to show: Never depend on the ref seeing you in the ropes, always kick out. They were on two different planets here for whatever reason. *1/2 Perfect chases Luger to the back to exact his revenge, but Shawn Michaels jumps him to set up that feud. Now, since Perfect never got his revenge on Luger, can it be assumed that his turn on Luger at Wrestlemania X was a very long-simmering plot on his part?  (I think it was actually established after I wrote this that, yes, that was his plan all along.) 

Undertaker v. Giant Gonzalez

Gonzalez hammers on Taker to no effect and then chokes him into the corner, but Taker climbs the ropes and chokes right back. Giant goes low to break, but Taker goes old school and slugs away in the corner while Giant makes faces in his sad attempts to sell. Gonzalez with a clothesline and he pounds away and hiptosses Taker, then goes to a standing chinlock of some sort. And that just goes on forever, until he tosses Taker and sends him into the stairs. Back in, Giant headbutts him down, but Taker fights back and we get more of Gonzalez selling like a moron. The managers get involved and Gonzalez smothers Taker with a chloroform-soaked cloth for the DQ at 7:37. I can't even watch this without thinking of the Simpsons now and "You idiot, those are COLORFORMS!" These are some especially bad finishes tonight. And this was just as terrible as advertised, with Gonzalez unable to do the simplest moves properly or sell anything. -****

Meanwhile, Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan, who promises that regardless of whether it's Bret Hart or "the jap", he wants the first shot. ALARM BELLS, RINGING.

WWF World title: Bret Hart v. Yokozuna

Basically the buildup was that Bret Hart was having the worst week of his life and had no chance to beat the guy who outweighed him by 200 pounds. So you can see why this did the buyrate it did. Like, wouldn't you at least PRETEND that Bret has a shot to beat his challenger? They spend literally the whole PPV talking about how bookmakers have Yoko as the odds-on favorite. Bret dropkicks him into the corner to start and slugs away, but Yoko tackles him to the floor. Bret trips him up and slingshots himself back in, then drops the elbow off the middle rope. Yoko comes back with a clothesline and slam, and the Hulkbuster legdrop follows. He chokes Bret out on the ropes and goes to the nerve pinch. Yoko charges and misses, allowing Bret to get a sort-of bulldog for two. Yoko puts him down again with a superkick and goes back to the nerve hold. Another charge misses again and Bret gets another bulldog for two, then the middle rope elbow for two. Clothesline puts Yoko down and Bret slugs away in the corner, but Yoko puts him down with an atomic drop, as Bret yanks the turnbuckle pad off. Bret sends him into the steel and hooks the Sharpshooter, but Fuji tosses a big ol' handful of salt in his face, and Yoko gets the pin and the title at 8:49. Watchable, but Bret could only do so much here. *1/2 And before Yokozuna can even celebrate, Hulk Hogan comes out to protest, which results in Fuji challenging him to a title match RIGHT HERE.

WWF World title: Yokozuna v. Hulk Hogan

So Fuji throws more salt, hits Yoko by mistake, and the legdrop gives Hogan his fifth title at 0:25. And we all know how well THAT turned out.

The Pulse:

I would actually classify this as "mildly better than I remembered", with the first two matches being pretty darn good and the rest living down to its pedigree. I'd still call it far and away the worst Wrestlemania of all-time, though, as the atmosphere was ridiculously bad and it featured some of the worst finishes this side of Dusty Rhodes on an LCD trip.