Thoughts Wrestlemania IX

takergonzalezSo one of the great things about the WWE Network (beyond the fact you don’t have to pay $40+ a go for PPVs) is the access to a slew of archive mate­rial. Currently I’m work­ing my way through old episodes of RAW start­ing from the begin­ning in 1994 and slot­ting in the PPVs (also avail­able as part of the subscrip­tion) as they fit in the flow.

Which means I just recently watched Wrestle­ma­nia IX and it’s actu­ally the first time I’ve ever seen it although I’ve read about or seen many of the matches refer­enced previ­ously.

One of the first things I noticed is that in many ways WWE’s (or WWF as it was then) book­ing style really hasn’t changed that much. Admit­tedly they’ve gotten just a touch subtler in their deliv­ery in some areas, but let’s take a quick look at some of the elements in play for this PPV:

  • There’s a giant, but he’s a terri­ble wrestler
  • There’s a wrestler who’s in love with his own image
  • There’s a foreign heel who needs to be stood up to by a right­eous Amer­i­can
  • There’s a cheap title change.

If you’ve watched WWE in the last 10 years you’ll prob­a­bly recog­nize every­thing on that list. So while the presen­ta­tion has gotten slicker, the book­ing basi­cally is what it always is.

Some other thoughts that occurred to me as I watched the show:

  • The Stein­ers (yes Rick and Scott) really could wrestle 20 years ago. Their match against The Head­shrinkers (one hartwmixarea WWE has made some progress is being less blatantly racist, Again this is only 20 years ago) is actu­ally one of the wrestling high­lights of the show.
  • Tatanka vs. Shawn Michaels was a well told match but slower than I expect from Shawn Michaels. The product as a whole was slower paced mind you.
  • This (and the preceed­ing RAWs) is the first time I’ve actu­ally watched Bob Back­lund wrestle. His gimmick and behav­ior is distract­ingly dorky, but I rather enjoyed his old school wrestling style.
  • Giant Gonza­lez really, really, really couldn’t wrestle. I mean this makes Khali look good.
  • Hot shot­ting the title off Brett Hart and back onto Hogan (via Yokozuna)… Yeah the Cena/Hulk compar­isons are pretty obvi­ous aren’t they?

As PPVs go, this was not a strong show really. Plenty of spec­ta­cle certainly, but the wrestling was lack­lus­ter mostly. Easily the strongest point is that this was the first PPV where Jim Ross did the play by play commen­tary and compared to McMahon’s perfor­mance on RAW it was heav­enly. In truth I think his work here was better than a fair amount of Gorilla Monsoon’s work (and that will get me in trou­ble I’m sure).

So… anyone else have WWE Network and if so what are you watch­ing?

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?