Backstory: I was reading Scott Keith’s Monday Night RAW Season One on Kindle, and he mentioned the lack of hype for the main event of WrestleMania IX. That seemed peculiar and very un-WWF-like. I wanted to find out the scoop on this; therefore, I started watching the 1993 episodes of RAW and noticed a missing week between March 22 and WrestleMania on April 4.
The answer lied within the March 22 episode as Vince hyped March to WrestleMania on Sunday March 28 at 8pm EST on USA. I’d never heard of it, so I thought I’d give it a look. Interestingly an abbreviated version of the show was shown in place of RAW from the Manhattan Center the following night. I will be reviewing that instead since I was unable to locate a copy of the original show. Other matches on the card included:
For those of you who have read my reviews in the past and noticed how DETAILED everything was (and were subsequently bored from it) I have changed my style to a more sports-entertainment type of recap. Let’s see what you think!
The show starts off with Rob Bartlett at the empty Manhattan Center looking lost. The more lost you are, Rob, the better for us.
Hence, our real hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
We revisit the contract signing from Wrestling Challenge for the championship match at WrestleMania. Yokozuna rams the table into Bret Hart’s gut then avalanches him in the corner. A double thrust to the throat and a stomp put Bret in position for the Banzai Drop. And Yoko hits it.
Miraculously Bret staggers to his feet only to fall face-first at the feet of Yoko. Moments later Bret rises again to the delight of the crowd. Gorilla Monsoon remarks that Bret has a lot of “heart.”
Vince and Bobby welcome us to the show, and Bobby refers to McMahon as “Mr. Microphone.” They hype the card featuring Yokozuna against “Macho Man” Randy Savage! Additionally the Undertaker will square off against Bam Bam Bigelow! If that’s not enough the MegaManiacs will be here too!
While hyping the main event of WrestleMania Heenan asks if Bret had signed a contract or his last will and testament. Vince believes Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji made a “Macho” mistake signing this match a week before WrestleMania.
Match 1: Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Summary: While Savage may have been a part-time wrestler for the WWF at this point, putting over Yokozuna clean as a sheet before WrestleMania made Yokozuna look like a million bucks in preparation for the title match.
After the match Mr. Fuji instructs Yokozuna to give Savage a Banzai Drop. Yoko goes up, but Savage escapes ”just in the nick of time.” A knee to the back from Savage knocks the big man out of the ring! Yoko tries to re-enter but referees and agents prevent that from happening. JJ Dillon is seen here instructing the #1 contender back to the locker room.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the MegaManiacs (Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Hulk Hogan with manager “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart). “Real American” and the arrival of the Hulkster bring the people to their feet. Beefcake wears his protective mask. Hogan’s promo against Money, Inc. is as nonsensical as you would think. Bartender, I’ll have what they’re having.
Next Vince hypes the Lex Luger- Mr. Perfect match set for WrestleMania. We then see the debut of “The Narcissist” at the Royal Rumble and other Luger highlights. Vince calls Luger’s forearm “suspicious.”
Match 2: Mr. Perfect versus Skinner
Summary: After allowing some offense from Skinner Perfect looks prepared for his match against Luger in Las Vegas.
Call the WrestleMania hotline at 1-900-909-9939! It’s only $1.49 for the first minute and 99¢ each additional minute.
Meanwhile Rob asks a production crew member for the location of his fellow hosts which includes a bearable “Macho Man” impression.
Promotional consideration paid for by the following: ICOPRO, WWF action figures featuring the fired British Bulldog and the retired Sgt. Slaughter, along with Flintstones trading cards.
“Mean” Gene provides the WrestleMania IX report. Here is the card:
During the report Bret cuts a promo against Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji.
Afterward “Mean” Gene asks Heenan about his toga, and Vince makes weasel jokes.
Match 3: The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) versus Bam Bam Bigelow
Summary: This match highlighted the Undertaker’s ability to take an extreme amount of punishment and come back which would assist him in his match against Giant Gonzales. Bigelow’s walk-out keeps him from becoming a JTTS for the time-being and lowers the rating ½*. However, his match against Kamala at WrestleMania was canceled without explanation according to Stephen LaRoche.
After the match Giant Gonzales and Harvey Wippleman appear at the entranceway. The Undertaker makes his way toward him, but referees (including Joey Marella & Bill Alfonso) and agents prevent any shenanigans before WrestleMania.
Subsequently Heenan hypes Cleopatra in a see-through toga at WrestleMania! Call your cable company or satellite provider now to order!
Promotional consideration paid for by the following: GI Joe action figures, Slim Jim endorsed by “The Macho Man”, and LJN wrestling video games for all entertainment systems.
Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” plays behind a video tribute to Bret “Hitman” Hart.
Conclusion: Simply This show is the pure definition of a go-home show. All of the main matches at WrestleMania are hyped, and the card looks STACKED. None of the three matches on this show were spectacular, but they told the stories necessary to get to WrestleMania. Having seen the previous RAW episodes and this show leading up to the big event I am looking forward to revisiting WrestleMania IX in the near future. Last but certain not least, Rob Bartlett’s involvement (or lack thereof) made this show very entertaining. Check it out!
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