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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania IX

Well the waters get choppier from here on out. Whilst the previous shows I had a decent template to build a better show out of, this show is absolute dog shit from top to bottom. The WWF was beginning their transition as the wrestling business headed towards a decline, at this point we are months away from the New Generation era fully kicking off. Here is the dreadful card we were given:

Shawn Michaels (c) vs Tatanka, IC Championship

The Steiners vs The Headshrinkers

Doink the Clown vs Crush

Razor Ramon vs Bob Backlund

Money Inc. vs Mega Maniacs, Tag Championship

Lex Luger vs Mr Perfect

Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez

Bret Hart (c) vs Yokozuna, WWF Championship

Yokozuna (c) vs Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship

The opening two matches were fine, but everything else was pretty dreadful. Undertaker had his worst Mania match. Hogan politicked his way to a disappointing win in the main event moments after Bret lost, stealing the spotlight and pissing off the fans. A lifeless midcard with little interesting. It was a bad day at the office. Whilst putting on a good show was definitely a challenge, a show this bad was totally avoidable. WWE, here is how I would have done it.

First of all, we drop all of the hokey shit. No Julius Ceasar, no camels, no Jim Ross in a fucking toga. We can make it child friendly without turning this into a Cbeebies programme. The opening match will be The Steiners vs Headshrinkers, a match that we already got, the big difference being the tag titles are on the line. The Steiners debuted in the WWF in late December 1993, I would have them win the tag gold at the Royal Rumble immediately after and pretty much just hold them forever because they are great. Steiners win, there match in real life was decent enough.

We have a match between Shawn Michaels' new valet Luna Vachon against his ex-valet Sensational Sherri. If Sherri wins, Luna is barred from ringside for HBK's title match later in the show. Luna really deserved more screen time wrestling, she was a good wrestler that WWE did not fully utilise. Sherri picks up the victory, Michaels will not have a valet for his match later on.

Next on the show, Yokozuna vs Tito Santana. I think Yoko is still a draw for his sheer size so I think we continue to book his as the unstoppable heel. Santana gets a small flurry, but this is essentially an extended squash win to Yoko.

After that it's the Intercontinental championship. Shawn Michaels defends against Owen Hart. Jannetty gets suspended so they needed to bring in a new challenger a couple of months before Wrestlemania. I would much prefer to see Owen Hart than Tatanka. Here, we are going to plant early seeds of the Owen Hart heel turn. For this, we need to rebook a little bit in the past. Sometime between November 1991 and January 1992 Owen Hart needs to have won the tag titles with Jim Neidhart. It doesn't really matter when or for how long, as long as it doesn't disrupt any of the other booking I have done. The story here is that Owen Hart has been personally selected by president Jack Tunney to be Shawn Michaels' opponent at Wrestlemania. He has been impressed by Owen and mentions Bret's climb to success as a singles guy and fully believes Owen can do it too. Owen's promos talk about being inspired by his brother. He has won the tag titles like his brother has done. Now, he will go on to win the IC title and eventually, he sees himself as a world champion. A HBK vs Owen Hart match would be very lovely thank you. Towards the end, Luna comes out on the ramp and starts coming down the ramp. Out comes Sherri to attack her and they fight on the ramp. This distracts the referee, HBK hits a low blow to Owen and rolls him up. HBK leaves as champion, Owen is bitterly disappointed. It is from here where Owen's jealousy and hatred begins and it just gradually grows over the course of the year until the eventual heel turn at the Rumble in 1994.

We get ourselves a scheduled Piper's Pit segment, with the returning Roddy Piper. Now, I would have him bring out a special celebrity guest. I don't know who, it's the early 90s and I don't know who is famous and interested enough to appear. A better version of Morton Downey Jr. They have a little bit of patter before Ted DiBiase and IRS, Money Inc. are out to shut them up. DiBiase says he will pay any amount of money for this talk show to never comeback. Caesar's Palace is all about royalty, nothing is more royal than being rich. He heels it up, Piper gets hot and insults DiBiase. The 2 heels push the celebrity out the way and beat up Piper. Out runs Terry Taylor (who has past unresolved history with Ted DiBiase) to make the save. Piper & Taylor goad the heels into an impromptu tag match. Just keep this short and sweet, let them play the hits and get a nice win for the Hottest Rod.

Now, of course we are getting rid of anything to do with Giant Gonzales. That brings up the question, who does Undertaker face at Wrestlemania. Well, the options are slim so I have went with more of a story angle than a proper match. Bare with me. This might not be the greatest possible option, but it is infinitely better than what we got in real life. So, in December of 1992 we saw the debut of Memphis legend Jerry Lawler on commentary. He competes in the Royal Rumble. During the match, after being eliminated by the Undertaker, he knocks over Paul Bearer and steals his urn. Once in possession, he beats Bearer with it and starts channelling the powers of the Undertaker. Yes, we are getting silly here. With the heel Lawler holding the urn, Undertaker adopts a more dangerous demeaner and is really punishing people in the Rumble. He gets to the final 4 but he is eliminated by the final 3. Lawler escorts Taker to the back. Over the next couple of months, Lawler runs havoc on the WWF roster. He commands the Undertaker with the urn to cause unrelenting destruction on anyone he desires. Paul Bearer tries to reclaim the urn but fails each time. Eventually, Lawler realises the power he possesses and he plans on using Undertaker to take out Bret Hart and win the WWF championship. Before he enacts his plan, Bearer assembles some of the lower-card guys Undertaker has mauled to help him take down Lawler and reclaim the urn. With the power back in Bearer's hands, Undertaker's demeanor changes once again. He begins to stalk Jerry Lawler but the King keeps running away. As punishment for causing such chaos, Jack Tunney forces Lawler to compete against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. If he does not, he is fired. The match doesn't go long. Lawler begs of Undertaker, tries to take the urn from Bearer but he is beaten and murdered by Undertaker very quickly. It should be a fun little ending to a compelling story. I like it at least, its stupid but WWF was at this time.

Following that, back to normal wrestling. Razor Ramon vs Mr Perfect. These two faced each other in a tag match on an MSG show also featuring Bret Hart and Lex Luger. I would just continue the feud, have Perfect pin Razor in that match, then that leaves Razor wanting revenge for his loss. I would have Razor get his win back too, A former IC champion vs a future IC champion should be pretty good.

Commentary big up our last two matches as the double main event, so that Hogan won't have a pissy cry when he goes on second last. Lex Luger vs Hulk Hogan. Look, if you're going to try and present Luger as the next Hogan, you might as well try and turn him into Hogan. Luger debuted at the Royal Rumble as the Narcissist. Immediately after his posing, I would have him say one thing. "I want Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania." Hogan has been absent since the previous Wrestlemania. Luger spends January until a few weeks before Mania calling out Hogan. Everyone sees Hogan as the face of the WWF, well Luger is here to be the face and the body (flexes) of the WWF. We hear nothing from Hogan but a single video recording of him on a set. He accepts Luger's challenge and will be there. At the event, Luger enters first and says that Hogan isn't here, he is a chicken, etc etc. Hogan's music hits, he comes out and faces Luger. Keep this no longer than 10 minutes, Hogan is getting worse in the ring and Luger is extremely hit and miss, but he should be motivated here. Luger beats Hogan, using his weird metal plate forearm thing that he has. Hogan can lose cheaply and I would make this the final on screen appearance of the Hulkster for WWF. He doesn't enter the main event later, he doesn't compete at King of the Ring. He goes out here and we don't see him for 9 years.

That brings us to our main event. The WWF champion is still Bret Hart who I booked to beat Ric Flair at Survivor Series. He faces the royal rumble winner...Randy Savage. Savage has achieved nearly every possible accolade in the WWF. I would have him tick two final boxes in his last 2 Wrestlemania shows. Hart and Savage should have a great main event match. Hart retains cleanly and Savage raises the end of Bret at the end, putting him over strong as the new face of the company.

That, was a task and half. Essentially to make this show any better, I had to rebook several months worth of wrestling. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think I could have wrote a whole page of wingdings and that would have been better than Wrestlemania IX. Here is the final card:

The Steiners (c) vs Headshrinkers, Tag Championships

Luna Vachon vs Sensational Sherri

Yokozuna vs Tito Santana

Shawn Michaels (c) vs Owen Hart, IC Championship

Money Inc. vs Roddy Piper & Terry Taylor

The Undertaker vs Jerry Lawler

Razor Ramon vs Mr Perfect

Lex Luger vs Hulk Hogan

Bret Hart (c) vs Randy Savage. WWF Championship

Let me know what you think of the rebooking and come back tomorrow for Wrestlemania X. It's a pretty solid Wrestlemania, all things considered. See you tomorrow!


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