“USA, that’s what they’re saying”, “That’s how bright they are, one guy’s from Canada, the other’s from Japan” – Heenan being brilliant!
Yokozuna was a great superstar for his time with his physical challenges of being large, and really portraying the character he had to. Not many know, he wasn’t Asian… believe it or not, he’s Samoan and is connected somewhere to the Maivia’s (The Rock’s family name) and Uso’s (Rhikishi’s family name). Yokozuna at this point was very far over, and was the super villain of the WWF.
Brett Hart obviously comes from a long line of wrestling greatness and the dungeon training as well as discipline, under the jurisdiction of his late and legendary father Stu Hart. Brett was a favorite at the time, was extremely over as the face, and was the hopeful contender to finally end the reign of Yokozuna. The odd’s were in his favor and the match was set at the grandest stage of them all… Wrestelmania IX at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas Nevada… outdoors nonetheless, how amazing!
This particular event for Emilio and I, was the first time, Good Ol’ JR started to show face as a regular on the broadcast team. Heenan, JR, and Savage called a great card, however we witnessed shortly thereafter, Heenan and Savage slowly slipping into the spotlight of WCW.
This match, was overall, a decent fight between Brett and Yoko. No one expected or really cared to see the “surprise” ending… and I use the term loosely, because why would a handful of salt, put Brett Hart who wrestled with a broken sternum and still won a match against Dino Bravo, at a house show years prior to this, out of commission? It didn’t make sense.
Hart truly was the excellence of execution, and even impressed many with putting Yoko into the sharpshooter… but when Mr. Fuji (Yokozuna’s manager) interfered and threw salt into the eyes of the Hitman, the match took an unexpected turn. WWF always tried to show the world’s conflict through feuds and matches, BUT WE WEREN’T FEUDING OR INVOLVED WITH ANY CONFLICTS BETWEEN USA, JAPAN, OR CANDA… so this ending made no sense.
Hogan was very dormant and stale at this point between Wrestlemania VII through IX, and shortly after IX he picked up and left. Hogan shows up at the end to save the day as Brett signals for him to enter the ring and finish the match. In his cheesy yellow cowboy boots and red leggings, using a cliche leg drop and yellow t-shirt rip, with his bandana on and all his product placement clearly visible, Hogan performed his entire repertoire in 90 seconds, which goes to show, the other superstars made him look good. He wins the belt, does the hand to the ear pose and all that jazz, and is the hero with music and pyro at the end, to close “the granddaddy of them all.”
Fast forward to June where he looses the belt to Yokozuna (after refusing to loose it to Brett), he ups and leaves. I chose this as a memorable match because it shows how simple WWF once was, compared to the now complex Wrestlemania moments that are so much better. But we still respect the classics!
Enjoy, and look forward to this magnificent event of tomorrow.
Emilio Sparks Brother!
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