The WrestleMania Flashback series rolls on, as we stop at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for WrestleMania IX. This event was a rather unique one, in that it was the first WrestleMania to be held outdoors, and it had a Roman era feel with announcers wearing togas. But nobody could've expected how the night would end.
This night was centered around the WWF Championship. Bret "Hitman" Hart, who had dethroned Ric Flair six months earlier for the belt, was set to face off against the 500-pound Yokozuna. The monster sumo wrestler earned his title shot by winning the 1993 Royal Rumble.
Bret started things off quickly by hitting an early dropkick while Yokozuna was going through traditional pre-match ritual. But when he tried to wrap his arms around Yokozuna's massive waist, he was thrown to the mat and then knocked to the outside.
But Bret caught Yokozuna in the ropes moments later, tying his leg up between the middle and bottom ropes. He launched and assault on the big man, taking advantage of the immobility.
Once Yokozuna got back on his feet, the two went back and forth, with Yokozuna getting the the advantage. He nearly walked away with the win after he dropped a huge leg drop across Bret's face and throat. He then moved in and locked in a nerve hold, keeping Bret grounded and unable to mount any offense.
However things turned, when Yokozuna missed a crucial splash in the corner. Bret took over and dropped him with a pair of clotheslines. With the big man down, Bret locked in his signature sharpshooter, it seemed that he was going to retain the title. Then disaster struck.
Yokozuna's manager, Mr. Fuji, grabbed a handful of salt and threw it in Bret's eyes. With the champion blinded, Yokozuna capitalized and pinned Bret to win the WWF Championship. Fans were stunned as Yokozuna stood tall with the title.
But seconds later, former champion Hulk Hogan ran to the ring and tried to tell the referee what had happened. The ref wouldn't overturn the decision, but he wouldn't need to. Fuji issued a challenge, saying Yokozuna would put the title on the line right there if Hogan would accept.
Bret, who was still on the outside dealing with the effects of the salt in the eyes, gave Hogan his blessing to go after the title. So Hogan accepted and went after the champion. But Yokozuna was waiting and immediately took him down. He picked Hogan up and held him so Fuji could do to him what he had done to Bret.
Fuji grabbed a handful of salt and threw it, but Hogan ducked and it hit the champion in the eyes. Hogan hit the ropes and leveled Yokozuna with a big clothesline and then scored with a leg drop. Hogan covered him and had won the title in an impromptu match that lasted all of maybe 30 seconds.
Fans at Caesars Palace erupted as Hogan was announced as the new WWF Champion. An off-screen battle ensued as a result of Hogan winning the title. Bret felt that Hogan was dodging him and told Vince McMahon that Hogan refused to drop the championship to him. However during a separate conversation, a deal was made to Hogan (who was about to leave for WCW) that he would drop the belt to the top heel in the company.
Bret would get back into the title picture after being declared a co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble. He split the honor with Lex Luger, who spent most of 1993 chasing after the WWF Championship.
- DARK MATCH: Tito Santana def. Papa Shango
- Tatanka (with Sensational Sherri) def. Shawn Michaels (with Luna Vachon) by count-out
- The Steiner Brothers def. The Headshrinkers
- Doink the Clown def. Crush
- Razor Ramon def. Bob Backlund
- Money Inc. def. The Mega-Maniacs by DQ to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
- Lex Luger def. Mr. Perfect
- The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) def. Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Wippleman)
- Yokozuna def. Bret Hart to win the WWF Championship
- Hulk Hogan def. Yokozuna to win the WWF Championship