The history of bad WrestleMania decisions will always see the end of WrestleMania 9 in the conversation as being the worst of them all. Hulk Hogan beating Yokozuna for the WWE Championship minutes after the latter defeated Bret Hart left the audience confused. WWE had other options that could have made more sense at the time and created better long-term memories.
Randy Savage was a color commentator on the show, but he was still a very capable wrestler. Bret deserved a better night when having his first WrestleMania main event during his first reign as WWE Champion. WWE had the perfect dream match there with Savage and Hart, but they chose to go in too many different directions that led to failure.
The Real Main Event Was A Disaster
WWE showed off the terrible booking they’d often do during the Hulk Hogan era — every other wrestler opposed to him was made to look foolish. Yokozuna won the Royal Rumble in a dominant performance and should’ve signified the arrival of a new monster heel. However, WWE only built Yokozuna up with the original idea of eventually feeding him to Hogan.
Bret Hart took the biggest hit when losing to Yokozuna to end his time as WWE Champion. The loss made him look foolish after Mr. Fuji got involved as Yokozuna’s manager. Bret looked even worse when Hogan came to the ring and demanded to get an instant title shot to avenge Hart. The idea of Bret needing Hogan to win the title for him made him look overmatched and inferior to both wrestlers.
Hogan scored the quick win defeating Yokozuna for a shocking and puzzling ending. WWE looked even worse a few months later as Hogan left the company and he dropped the title back to Yokozuna. Hart was livid due to rumors of Hogan refusing to lose to him as originally planned by Vince McMahon.
Randy Savage Wanted To Put Over A New Star
Randy Savage wanted to continue wrestling when WWE placed him on commentary. The timing of WrestleMania 9 saw Savage just two months removed from making the final two in the Royal Rumble match before getting eliminated by Yokozuna. Savage was still performing well enough to deserve one more push, as seen with his career extending as a WCW main eventer after leaving WWE.
Savage’s goal was to help elevate new stars that he saw potential in on the WWE roster. Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, revealed that Randy came up with a long-term storyline to put over Shawn Michaels, but Vince McMahon showed no interest. Hart was another young wrestler to get praised by Savage in numerous interviews.
Savage winning the Rumble would have provided the perfect timing to give him that final moment in the WWE main event picture. Bret’s title reign was going well with impressive outings against fellow young stars Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, but he needed a big win to cement his reign. A title defense against a legendary name like Savage would have been huge, especially since both were known for being great workers.
Bret Hart Deserved The Win
The first WWE Championship reign of Bret Hart ended so poorly, he put him back at square one trying to fight his way back to the top of the mountain afterward. Hart had an all-time great King of the Ring performance and eventually had more fan support than WWE’s new golden boy Lex Luger when Vince McMahon was looking for the new face of the company to replace Hogan. Bret’s run could have lasted longer if WWE had booked him better in his first main event stint.
WrestleMania 9 was viewed as one of the most embarrassing nights of Hart’s career. Bret ranted big time in his popular book about how betrayed he felt with his portrayal. The difference between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage was shown in how talents like Hart discussed working with them. Savage was viewed as being more generous with the next generation and wanting to help while Hogan looked to stay on top.
WWE had the ideal story of a new star staking his claim as the new flag bearer for the company. Savage wanted to put over young stars before retiring and Hart needed a big win on the biggest stage to make his reign successful. WrestleMania 9 should have seen Bret scoring a career-defining win against Savage in a classic match instead of the trainwreck we got instead.
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