takergonzalez

Thoughts Wrestlemania IX

<a href="http://eoghann.com/2014/05/thoughts-wrestlemania-ix/takergonzalez" rel="attachment wp-att-118867">takergonzalez 600x337 Thoughts Wrestlemania IXSo 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 hartwmix 600x337 Thoughts Wrestlemania IXarea 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?

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.

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