WrestleMania IX was held on April 4, 1993 and took place at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the only WrestleMania to be held outdoors. It is also generally considered to be the worst of the WrestleMania events. The event was dubbed "The World's Largest Toga Party" and featured Jim Ross wear a toga in his WWE announicing debut.
The Back Story:
The WWF was reeling from both the loss of Hulk Hogan and a public relations nightmare involving steroids and underage sex. The man leading this new era of the WWF was Bret Hart, a wrestler that did not look like the prototypical steroid freak that previous champions looked like. Bret was scheduled to defend his belt against Yokozuna, a 500 plus pound former Sumo wrestler.
The Return of Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan:
One of the highlights of the show was the return of Hulk Hogan. His friend Brutus Beefcake was attacked by Money Inc. Hulk came out of retirement to help his friend who had suffered a serious injury to his face years earlier in a parasailing accident. Brutus had to wrestle with a mask on his face. However, the man with the injury to the face that put the match in jeopardy was Hulk Hogan.
An Eye Injury:
Fans watching the show immediately were able to notice two things about Hulk. The fist was that he appeared noticeably smaller and the second was a hideous black eye. The story given to fans was that Money Inc. hired goons to attack Hogan. The official reason given has been that Hulk suffered a jet ski accident. WWF officials were not certain the day of the show if Hulk could make it, but he fought. Most fans would say he fought one match too many that night.
What Just Happened?:
The Bret Hart era came to an end when Mr. Fuji threw salt in his eyes which allowed Yokozuna to win the title. From the back, Hulk Hogan came out to protest the decision and wound up with a title match. Seconds later, Hulk Hogan was the new world champion. For one night at least, Hulkamania ran wild.
What Were They Thinking?:
This has been called the worst WrestleMania for a reason. In addition to there being no great matches, some of the gimmicks that the wrestlers were given were beyond horrible. The most hideous part of the show was The Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez match. The Giant wore a body suit with muscles painted on it, fur over his privates and a painted butt crack. If that outfit sounds bad, I guarantee you that the match was even worse.
Hulk would defend the title only once and lost it at the King of the Ring to Yokozuna. Lex Luger was given the chance to be the next Hulk Hogan and was put on the Lex Express bus tour to gain support in his SummerSlam battle against Yokozuna. The sex scandal was put behind the company, but a steroid trial for Vince McMahon was on the horizon and threatened to destroy the company.
- Yokozuna's title reign was the shortest for anyone that defended the title.
- Yokozuna is the only man to fight twice at two straight WrestleMania events.
- The Undertaker match is the only time he did not win a WrestleMania match by pin fall.
- This is the last time that Hulk Hogan has appeared in the final match at WrestleMania.
- I-C Title: Tatanka beat Champion Shawn Michaels by DQ. Michaels keeps the title - The Steiner Brothers beat The Headshrinkers
- Doink pinned Crush
- Razor Ramon pinned Bob Backlund
- Tag Team Title: Champs IRS & Ted DiBiase beat Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake by DQ.
- Lex Luger pinned Curt Hennig
- The Undertaker beat Giant Gonzalez by DQ
- WWF Title: Yokozuna pinned Bret Hart to win the title
- WWF Title: Hulk Hogan pinned Yokozuna to win the title