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bob_barron

Wrestlemania IX

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WM IX was coming off too many fun WM shows and it had no real sizzle. The WWF did some timeless TV in 1993 but I never thought that initial Raw excitement translated to the PPVs at all.

 

You know though, I don't think WM XV is as bad as reputed. The main problem with it is that it doesn't really feel like a WM all that much, more just another typical PPV like Backlash or something. At the time I ranted against that show (I think I said the ECW PPV the previous week was better) but it's somewhat silly and enjoyable on the Russo trashy level.

It's not as bad, it's worse. Last time I watched it felt like such a piece of garbage.

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I didn't realize The Headshrinkers were undefeated heading into Mania until seeing Challenge. On the topic of the pre-Mania Challenge, Real American now has competition from the WrestleMania music video as "cheesiest wrestling music video ever shown on 24/7". Who will survive!?

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re: WM 15.

 

If you ever want proof why you should never hire Russo as your lead booker, watch WM15 and Survivor Series 98.

 

For all the good he did in 97, he sure sucked once he got the chance to lead in 98 and 99.

 

 

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SSeries 98 was awesome at the time it aired, the 1st screw job since Montreal, the Stone Cold Saga, Mick Foley = Corporate Chosen one, etc...

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I liked SS98, as well. When you go back and watch how they set it up for Rock throughout the entire tournament, it makes sense. Rock pins Bossman in 4 seconds with a small package; Rock is fighting Shamrock and Bossman throws the nightstick to Rock "accidentally," allowing Rock to win; Kane interferes in the Taker match allowing Rock to move to the finals, and we all know what happened there. Mankind was set up to go the the finals as well, so it was all one big plan. The goal was to get Mankind and Rock in the finals, and screw Austin royally along the way.

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Sort of smark and actual smark? Come on.

 

And Russo's booking was awesome in 98, it's 99 with the Ministry-Corporation nonsense where he started to lose focus.

 

Survivor Series 98 is a credit to Russo, not a discredit. Yes, the matches all suck, but it really tells a great story throughout the show, with the Rock and Mankind's run to the tournament finals, and it also set the next few months of feuds in motion.

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Sort of smark and actual smark? Come on.

 

 

What? You know what I mean...there are the people smart enough to know that wrestling is fixed and then there are the IWC people. I didn't really start doing the IWC thing until 99ish.

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I've always just hated the term, and think it's silly. We're all fans of wrestling, the end.

 

Bobby Heenan yelling that the two Doinks was an illusion still makes me laugh

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I just think all of the labels are stupid.

 

Another Wrestlemania IX question: Why didn't they have Jerry Lawler wrestling on the show? That's another name that was left off that could've done something, and the poor guy still hasn't wrestled at Mania

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I disagree about the spending equal time bitching about behind the scenes and the in-ring product. Smarks tend to bitch about the behind the scenes situations way more than the in-ring product.

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You can't really rank OTE '99...Owen Hart's death should just disqualify it from discussion.

 

KotR '95 still probably ranks as my least favorite WWF PPV ever. I mean, King Mabel. That enough should make it the consistent winner of worst ever.

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And the fact that I went to KOTR '95 since it was in Philly just made me bitter for a while after seeing an event like that.

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My cousin and I watched KOTR 95 at a local tavern and that was the end of it. He had never really shown any declining interest in wrestling, but some people who were there for unrelated reasons to watching wrestling were not fans of it and somehow my cousin took it to heart and began complaining about how awful everything was and walked out. A friend I was with was also pretty unhappy with the show and we ended up leaving, but it really strained the "friends and family that will watch wrestling" deals I had going. My cousin called and asked me why Undertaker was wearing a mask when the cable company here accidentally showed the Rumble 96 encore for free as an isolated incident and then pretty much wrote off wrestling until the Attitude boom of 1998 when he fully embraced both WWE and WCW (big Wolfpac fan). This worked out well for me as he had a grey market DirecTV hook-up with free PPVs and he stayed interested until about 2001. So yeah, KOTR 95 is the worst show ever.

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I disagree about the spending equal time bitching about behind the scenes and the in-ring product. Smarks tend to bitch about the behind the scenes situations way more than the in-ring product.

 

I said that part tongue in cheek.

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Another Wrestlemania IX question: Why didn't they have Jerry Lawler wrestling on the show? That's another name that was left off that could've done something, and the poor guy still hasn't wrestled at Mania

 

Apparently, Jerry Lawler was suppoed to wrestle Tenryu at WrestleMania IX. IIRC, it may have even been talked about in WWF Magazine's preview of WMIX. Why Tenryu? Damned if I know but I bet it had something to do with WWF having a deal with whatever Japanese federation Tenryu was wrestling at the time.

 

And I think no one will argue with me that King of The Ring '95 is undisputably the worst WWF PPV ever.

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I think Tenryu was in the '93 Rumble. I haven't seen it in forever, but I don't remember them "feuding" during that. I remember Perfect and Lawler were kinda feuding, so a match at WrestleMania between them would have made a lot more sense than Luger. I know Luger was Heenan's guy, but so was Lawler, and he was actually Perfect's replacement on Prime Time Wrestling. Did these two ever have a match on RAW? I'm blanking.

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KotR '95 was kind of in WWF's "We have no fucking clue what we're doing" period of roughly late '94 through mid '96. Diesel being champion didn't help much, as I don't think anyone but the biggest marks were really into him as champion. So many bad gimmicks during that time. Plus, the company was losing money and dealing with legal issues...just a really embarassing time for the company all around.

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Wrestling wise, and of course like most people I say this without seeing every PPV in the history of the universe, the worst PPV HAS to be Heroes of Wrestling. I have the Observer that reviewed that show and it's hilarious - but that's just it, the show is hilarious. KOTR 95 is not funny - not ironically, not unintentionally, not at all. It's bad wrestling with bad booking and it almost ruined wrestling for me. I actually would cite surviving KOTR 95 to people as a reason I had no problems watching wrestling in 2003. I figure in-ring wise (we're not going to start that whole "2007 had the Benoit thing but 2003 was still worse" crap again) nothing will ever be worse than 1995.

 

WrestleMania IX is a show I used to defend a lot (a fellow named humanoid92 did a pretty good rant about why the show isn't all that bad last year around this time, not sure where he went) but lately, not so much. Is it because it's the first Mania I ordered and watched with friends at my house? Is it the outdoor setting? Is it my love of the Heenan / Ross / Savage announce team? I don't know. I never actively dread reaching this show on my Mania run, something I can't say for XI (which wrestling wise is probably much better than IX), 13 (again, Austin/Hart is awesome, but the show overall stinks), or XV (which I just watched before going out of town on Thursday - still awful, cabbage). I do like a lot of the points bob brought up about the booking of the show and the corners they were in - very good points there, sir.

 

I actually enjoy the Perfect / Lex match. Maybe it's the missile dropkick spot though, I don't know. Perfect seemed to be doing his best with ol Lex and I thought the result was quite passable.

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This may be an unpopular statement but I never really got the hate for WrestleMania XI. Do I like it? No but I wouldn't rank it as one of the worst either. IMHO, it's one of those shows with a lot of matches in the **-*** range but nothing really standing out. It's not great but considering the time period, not as bad as it could have been. Honestly, I don't think it's any better or worse than WrestleMania XII.

 

And Venkman is right, '95 is the lowpoint in WWF/E history (at least until Benoit went bonkers). Throw in how shitty WCW was that year and you can see why I stopped watching sometime shortly after King of The Ring that year. Conveniently enough, the first show I watched after my almost year long break from watching wrestling regularly was the Nitro where Scott Hall first appeared.

 

Oh and Joey, Tenryu was in the '94 Royal Rumble. IIRC, Vince McMahon said they were hired guns acquired by Mr. Fuji to help take out Lex Luger.

 

 

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Well, I stand corrected. Could've sworn he was in the '93 one, too.

 

EDIT: Ah, quick search result confirmed that Tenryu was in fact in the '93 Rumble.

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I remember PWI did a cover story hyping up Wrestlemania IX saying the fact that they didn't have Hogan was no problem, and mentioned Tenyru being one of the reasons why. Then Hogan came back a week later, and they looked stupid.

 

I can't get into Savage-Heenan-JR just because Savage is so bad.

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I don't know, I find Bobby plays off of him well. On the subject of Mania commentary teams, it amuses me how many times Lawler gets Vince to break and laugh at his jokes at Mania XI.

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Shawn Michaels bumping around for Diesel was fun. Bret Hart's submission match with Bob Backlund was alright if not a little underwhelming. LT/Bam Bam was a lot better than it should have been.

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Savage and Heenan played off each other well. After Heenan left, Savage was kind of useless on commentary. I did like how Savage called Bull Nakano "Bull NAKA NAKA NAKA Kano".

 

 

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I have KOTR 94 taped off of PPV with the pre-show and Savage's insane rants about predicting the brackets are pretty entertaining. And who doesn't love the commentary team of Savage, Monsoon, and Art Donovan!?

 

Savage had quite the WrestleMania rollercoaster of highs and lows. I would consider Mania 2 fairly neutral - it's a terrible match but part of an angle the folks enjoyed and he was IC champion. Mania III continues uphill as he has a classic match, he reaches the top at Mania IV with his tournament win. Mania V is that part where the coaster gets to the top and doesn't move as he's still world champ in the main event, then bam, he's at the bottom of the hill wrestling (and losing) to Dusty Rhodes in mixed tag action. He gets a more prominent role at VII, wins the title at VIII... then does COMMENTARY a year later? Wacky. Then he's wrestling again at Mania X! I think when I was younger I thought Savage vs. Lawler was going to happen at Mania IX - I wasn't seeing Raw at this point but I knew they were always at each other on Superstars commentary.

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They should have just done Hart/Savage in the main event and kept Flair around to do the job to Perfect as the semi-main. Have Yoko squash Duggan on the undercard and shuffle the other guys around as needed.

 

Hell they could have done Luger/Hogan and put the Steiners in the tag match with Money Inc to round things out. Certainly would have made more sense than the show they put on.

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