This was the first WrestleMania held entirely outdoors, a concept the company did not use again until WrestleMania XXIV in 2008. Because WrestleMania IX was held in Caesars Palace, the WWF promoted the event as the "World's Largest Toga Party". The arena was made to look like a Roman coliseum, and the event featured guards, trumpeters, and several live animals. The company built on this theme by having the commentators, including debuting announcer Jim Ross, wear togas. Ring announcer Howard Finkel was also renamed "Finkus Maximus" for the day. Randy Savage came to the broadcast booth accompanied by women throwing flower petals and feeding him grapes while he rode on a couch carried by guards. Bobby Heenan made his entrance wearing a toga and riding a camel backwards.
Hulk Hogan's visibly damaged eye was explained in the storyline as the result of Ted DiBiase hiring a group of men to attack Hogan before the match. In reality, the cause of injury has been open to debate. One theory is that Randy Savage punched Hogan because he believed that his ex-wife Elizabeth Hulette had an affair with Hogan while Savage and Hulette were married (the couple divorced in September 1992). WWF officials claimed that the injury was the result of a Jet Ski accident.
A match was scheduled between Bam Bam Bigelow and Kamala, but it was canceled due to time constraints before the event began.
The buildup to the pay-per-view consisted of feuds scripted by the WWF's writers, and the matches that took place at the event had pre-determined outcomes that had been decided by the promotion.
One of the staged feuds heading into the event was between Tatanka and 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 Steiner and Scott Steiner) 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 World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart by winning the 1993 Royal Rumble match. During the contract signing, Yokozuna attacked Hart and performed the Banzai Drop on him.