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Match Memories: Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, WWE King of the Ring 1993

October 14, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
King of the Ring Bret Hart Image Credit: WWE

With WWE in the middle of the 2021 edition of the King of the Ring, I thought it would be fun to take a stroll back to the first King of the Ring pay-per-view.

That was all the way back in 1993, where eight men took aim at being crowned king. Here was the bracket:

Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Lex Luger vs. Tatanka

Bret Hart would defeat Razor Ramon in a hard-fought 10-minute match, Mr. Perfect got the win over Mr. Hughes, Bam Bam Bigelow only needed five minutes to defeat Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Lex Luger and Tatanka fought to a 15-minute draw. That put Bigelow on a bye to the final, while Bret triumphed in 18:56 against Perfect in what was a fantastic masterclass in storytelling from both men.

The final was set. A well-rested Bigelow vs. a bruised and battered Bret.

It had been a good while since I watched this match, but going back to it, it’s yet another reminder of how good both were in the ring. Put them together? You knew you were getting great stuff.

This was your basic babyface vs. heel setup, and I have to give the commentary team of Jim Ross, Randy Savage, and Bobby Heenan credit for really putting over the difference in Bret and Bigelow’s path to the final.

Bret had two taxing matches against top stars in Razor and Perfect, putting him at a disadvantage against Bigelow, who’d wrestled just five minutes and had an hour and 20 minutes rest compared to Bret’s 40 minutes rest. With those kinds of odds, of course Heenan was telling everyone to bet everything on Bigelow.

Ever the master at selling, Bret limps his way down the aisle to further the push for him as the ultimate underdog in the match. They were excellent at quickly establishing Bigelow as the dominant, powerful heel whose goal was to decimate Bret’s tired body. Again, this is where JR and Savage sold it like pros, pointing out Bigelow’s focus and Bret’s determination to not quit.

As a sidebar, how awesome were Bigelow’s headbutts? Whether the man was standing, jumping, or diving, he made all of them look fantastic. The dude was so, so good for his size.

The real focus for Bigelow was Bret’s back, which took an absolute beating throughout the match. From bearhugs to backbreakers to everything in between, Bigelow’s cerebral approach kept planting more and more doubt in fans’ minds, one move at a time. Mean Gene Okerlund watching studiously from the stage was a nice added touch.

Eventually, as you knew the resilient underdog would, Bret battles back and turns the tide by throwing Bigelow into the steel railing on the outside, only to have Bigelow counter a flying attempt off the apron to ram Bret’s already decimated back into the steel post.

Shenanigans ensue, with Luna Vachon coming out to add insult to injury, as she hits Bret in the back with a chair while Bigelow distracts the referee. Bigelow quickly hits the diving headbutt for the win, but wait! Here comes Earl Hebner to say that HE SAW EVERYTHING, so Joey Marella says the match must continue.

I’m never a huge fan of the match restarts since interference plays into matches all the time, but I get why they did it here.

You knew how things would play out for Bigelow – or, as one sign in the crowd called him, “Bam Bam Pigalow” – after that. Several great near falls with Bigelow trying one last time to snap Bret’s back in half, but Bret just won’t give up.

The desperation attempts from Bret eventually pay off as, despite several Bigelow counters, Bret is able to hop on Bigelow’s shoulders and use the victory roll for the win at 18:11.

Early on, JR was pushing the pay-per-view possibly going off the air before the conclusion of the match, so they were clearly a little worried about getting everything in – and by everything, I mean the crowning ceremony where Jerry Lawler proclaimed to be the true king of the WWF before assaulting Bret with a variety of medieval objects.

Restart finish aside, this was just a very well-told babyface vs. heel match, where every move meant something. It all played into the bigger story of an exhausted Bret having to overcome the odds – and three tremendous competitors with three completely different styles – in a single night to earn the crown.

Loved the chemistry between these two, which was pretty impressive considering that, according to Cagematch, they only had three singles matches together in their careers.

It’s a fun trip down memory lane if you’re in the King of the Ring mood, as it’s an old school match that showcased the strengths of both men.

Blake’s Rating: ****

What are your memories of Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow at King of the Ring 1993?

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