Date: 4th April, 1993
Venue: Ceasars Palace
City: Las Vegas, NV
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan,
“Macho Man” Randy Savage & Jim Ross
Theme Song: “WrestleMania (Instrumental)” by WWF Superstars
One of the feuds heading into the event was between Tatanka and WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels. Tatanka was in the midst of an undefeated streak and had wrestled Michaels twice in the months leading up to WrestleMania IX. Tatanka pinned Michaels in a singles match on the February 13, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling and later teamed with The Nasty Boys in a six-man match against Michaels and the Beverly Brothers; Tatanka pinned Michaels to win this match as well. Michaels was also feuding with Sensational Sherri, who stood in Tatanka’s corner during the match. Sherri had been Michaels’ valet. When Marty Jannetty tried to hit Michaels with a mirror, however, Michaels pulled Sherri in front of him to protect himself. Sherri’s anger at getting hit over the head with a mirror caused her to turn on him at Royal Rumble 1993.
The match between The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) and The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu) had little background, although Afa, who managed The Headshrinkers, claimed that his team would “”tear [the Steiners’] heads off”. Doink the Clown and Crush had been feuding since the January 2, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling. After Crush’s match on that show, he confronted Doink, who had thrown a ball at a child in the audience. Crush grabbed Doink by the arm and warned him not to play any more pranks on children. Doink, wearing a cast on the arm that Crush had supposedly injured by grabbing, came to ringside during Crush’s match on the January 18 episode of WWF Monday Night Raw. He apologized to Crush and gave him a flower; when Crush walked away, Doink removed a prosthetic arm from his cast and attacked Crush, who was later taken away in an ambulance due to kayfabe (storyline) injuries. For storyline purposes, Crush was said to be too injured to compete in the 1993 Royal Rumble match. Doink continued his pranks by squirting Crush with a water pistol and recording video messages to Crush, which showed two Doinks on the screen.
The feud between The Mega-Maniacs (Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan) and WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) stemmed from a legitimate parasailing accident in 1990 that forced Beefcake to undergo reconstructive surgery to his face. He was unable to wrestle again until the February 15, 1993 episode of Raw. He faced DiBiase in his return match, after which DiBiase and Schyster attacked him. DiBiase held Beefcake for Schyster to hit him in the face with a briefcase, but Jimmy Hart, who managed Money Inc., repeatedly got in the way before Schyster shoved him out of the ring. Schyster then hit Beefcake in the face with the briefcase. Hart later claimed that he felt the need to “step up and do the right thing” and that he “had a change of heart”, and his intervention led to him becoming a babyface, or crowd favorite. Shortly thereafter, Hulk Hogan made his return to the WWF and joined with Beefcake, and manager Jimmy Hart, to form The Mega-Maniacs and challenge Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Mr. Perfect’s rivalry with Bobby Heenan dated back to Survivor Series (1992). Perfect and Ric Flair were managed by Heenan, but Perfect turned on Flair and Heenan by agreeing to face them as part of a tag team match at Survivor Series. Flair feuded briefly with Perfect but left the company to return to World Championship Wrestling. Lex Luger had joined Vince McMahon’s World Bodybuilding Federation, but he signed with McMahon’s WWF when the bodybuilding company failed. He made his debut at Royal Rumble 1993, where he was unveiled as Heenan’s latest wrestler, Narcissus (although the ring name was changed to “The Narcissist” Lex Luger).
The Undertaker’s feud with Giant Gonzalez was an offshoot of The Undertaker’s feud with manager Harvey Wippleman. The Undertaker defeated Kamala, who was managed by Wippleman, at SummerSlam 1992. A rematch was held at Survivor Series 1992, and The Undertaker beat Kamala in a coffin match. Wippleman vowed revenge, and he introduced Gonzalez at Royal Rumble 1993 and instructed him to attack The Undertaker. The Undertaker was eliminated from the Royal Rumble match as a result of the interference, and a match was scheduled between The Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez for WrestleMania IX.
Beginning with his debut with the company in 1992, Yokozuna was pushed by the WWF as an unstoppable monster heel. Weighing over 500 pounds, he used the Banzai Drop, a move in which he jumped from the second rope and sat on his opponent’s chest, to defeat several of the WWF’s biggest stars. In a notable match on the February 6, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Yokozuna attacked “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and performed the Banzai Drop four times. Due to the kayfabe injuries from the attack, Duggan was unable to wrestle for over two months. Yokozuna earned a title shot against WWF Champion Bret Hart by winning the 1993 Royal Rumble match. During the contract signing, Yokozuna attacked Hart and performed the Banzai Drop on him.
Tatanka (with Sensational Sherri) defeated Shawn Michaels (c) (with Luna Vachon) by countout (18:13)
The Steiner Brothers defeated The Headshrinkers (with Afa) (14:22)
Doink the Clown defeated Crush (08:28)
Razor Ramon defeated Bob Backlund (03:45)
Tag Team Championship
Money Inc. (c) defeated The Mega-Maniacs (with Jimmy Hart) by disqualification (18:27)
Lex Luger defeated Mr. Perfect (10:56)
The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) defeated Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Wippleman) by disqualification (07:33)
Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji) defeated Bret Hart (c) (08:55)
Hulk Hogan defeated Yokozuna (c) (with Mr. Fuji) (00:22)
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
A feud began between Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect after WrestleMania IX as a result of Michaels attacking Perfect. They faced each other at SummerSlam 1993, and Michaels won by countout after his new bodyguard, Diesel attacked Perfect. Perfect then feuded with Diesel until leaving the WWF.
Money Inc. lost the WWF Tag Team Championship to the Steiner Brothers on June 14, 1993. Money Inc. won the belts back in a rematch on June 16, but the Steiners won them again three days later. Money Inc. received several rematches but were unable to regain the title; they soon focused on singles wrestling, and DiBiase retired shortly thereafter.
The Undertaker continued to feud with Harvey Wippleman. On the June 12, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Wippleman, Giant Gonzalez, and Mr. Hughes attacked The Undertaker, and his manager Paul Bearer, and stole the urn that was said to be the source of his power. The Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez faced each other one final time at SummerSlam 1993 in a Rest in Peace match, in which neither wrestler could be disqualified. The Undertaker won the match to end the feud. After the match, a frustrated Gonzalez chokeslammed Wippleman to the delight of the fans and turned face in the process.
Bret Hart later claimed that during a conversation with Vince McMahon, he was told that Hulk Hogan refused to drop the WWF Championship to him. However, during a separate conversation with Hulk Hogan (who was preparing to leave the company), a deal was made to drop the belt to the top heel at the time (Yokozuna) at the following King of The Ring. With McMahon telling Bret Hart one thing, yet telling Hulk Hogan another, all three men eventually wound up in a meeting where McMahon denied telling Bret that Hogan refused to drop the Championship to him.
After regaining the title, Yokozuna challenged any American athlete to bodyslam him on the deck of the USS Intrepid on July 4, 1993. After many challengers failed, Lex Luger arrived by helicopter and bodyslammed Yokozuna. Luger became a fan favorite and changed his gimmick to an American patriot. He faced Yokozuna for the WWF championship at SummerSlam 1993; he won the match by countout but did not win the title. Lex Luger and Bret Hart each earned a title match against Yokozuna the following year at WrestleMania X. Luger was disqualified in his match, but Hart won the championship later that night.