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Random Network Reviews: King of the Ring 1993

May 9, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: King of the Ring 1993  

King of the Ring 1993
June 13th, 1993 – Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio – Attendance: 6,500

Since 1988, the WWF presented four major Pay-Per-Views but here they were adding a fifth, the King of the Ring. They had held King of the Rings before won by Macho Man, Haku, Harley Race and others, but this would be the first time it was used as an actual event. The Tournament was the focal point along with a World Title match between Hulk Hogan and Yokozuna. Looking up information informs me that this show did a pretty solid buyrate, one that would not be topped by a King of the Ring until 1999.

“WELCOME TO THE HEARTLAND OF AMERICA” exclaims Vince McMahon’s hearty voice as he introduces the show. Commentary tonight is Macho Man, Bobby Heenan and Jim Ross. That should make this better than expected. We are told that First Round matches have a 15 minute time limit, Semi-Finals have 30 minutes and the Finals get an hour.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon

These two met at the Royal Rumble earlier this year, which I reviewed previously and put on a good match. After the debacle that was the close of WrestleMania IX, Bret Hart could use a good showing to help build him back up. There are numerous “1-2-3” chants since Razor was recently beaten by the 1-2-3 Kid in a historic Raw moment. Bret’s shoulder blocks have zero effect because Razor has a big size advantage. Bret wisely goes to arm drag takeovers every chance he gets. Razor body slams Bret, who never releases the arm and rolls back into the armbar. Bret is great like that. A good old fashioned thumb to the eye is effective, but Bret just goes right back to a hammerlock. Razor sends Bret into the post shoulder first. Now in control, Razor is getting cocky by slapping Bret a few times. Fallaway slam earns him two. He goes British Bulldog with a running powerslam for another near fall. Bret gets out of the way of a few elbows and starts firing away on Razor as the crowd is going wild. He uses the Russian leg sweep, which was the only good one of those in wrestling history. He busts out his sweet backbreaker and second rope elbow for near falls, but it makes me realize how amazing Bret’s offense is. We see the Bret bump, sternum first into the corner and Razor tries the Razor’s Edge. Bret slips free and tries a backslide but can’t overpower his opponent so he walks up the corner, flips over and gets the closest two count with a small package. I swore it was over. Razor sets him up for a second rope back suplex, but Bret counters and lands on top of him for the 1-2-3.

Winner: Bret Hart in 10:25
Is it odd that I feel that Bret Hart can do no wrong? This was fast paced, played the power vs. mat wrestling game extremely well and the crowd was red hot. I really enjoyed this as Bret seemed to be in top form. Razor stayed strong too thanks to the finish. ***½

We get clips of Superstars where Mr. Hughes stole the Undertaker’s urn. Blah.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Mr. Hughes w/ Harvey Wippleman vs. Mr. Perfect

Mr. Hughes gets the jobber entrance, while Mr. Perfect gets a big pop. Randy Savage picks Mr. Perfect to win it all. Early on Hughes shows off his power advantage by tossing Perfect into the corner. Perfect nails a dropkick but falls victim to Hughes’ strength again. He tries to rally but runs into a big boot. While Perfect continues to bump his ass off, we get a Picture in Picture update from Bret Hart who wants Mr. Perfect to win. So do we Bret, so do we. Mr. Perfect gets in his babyface comeback, so Mr. Hughes strikes him with the urn and that’s a disqualification.

Winner via disqualification: Mr. Perfect in 6:02
I wish this was better because Mr. Perfect doesn’t really have bad matches. The offense was pretty much all Mr. Hughes though, which sucks. Perfect did bump extra well for him so that helps. **

Mean Gene interviews Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Fuji accuses Hulk Hogan of cheating to take the title from him. I still blame Fuji for challenging Hogan like a clown. Has he not seen the man’s body of work?

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Jim Duggan is over and I never quite figures out why. Maybe it’s just patriotism. Duggan takes down Bigelow as Savage says that Bigelow has “creditability”. I thought it was credibility. According to Word right now, neither is a typo. Who knew? We get a slugfest because both guys are pretty much brutes. However, we have to move to the bearhug spot that Duggan breaks with a bite. Is he a heel now? Duggan goes for the Three Point Stance but misses and collides with the turnbuckle. Bigelow climbs up top and flies off with the big headbutt to advance.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow in 4:59
Nobody expects this to be a scientific bout and they went out and did what they should. It was fine for what it was and Bigelow looked good here. It was also kept short so that is a good thing. **

The Red Rooster interviews the Smoking Guns and Steiner Brothers before their eight man tag match later. Both teams mention how their finishing moves are unstoppable, before Rick Steiner jumps in and barks over everyone.

King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Lex Luger vs. Tatanka

Watching the Raws leading up to this show, I have seen FAR too many Tatanka matches. Lex Luger is forced to put an elbow pad on because of his DREADED metal forearm. Bobby Heenan says to make it fair, we should tie Tatanka’s shoes together. Bless him. The fight goes outside while officials remove Luger’s giant mirror. Savage mentions that he would love to be the first King of the Ring, forgetting what he did in the 80’s. He does claim that he feels it is equal to the WWF Title, so there’s a bit of prestige added. While Bigelow appears in PIP to tell us that he wants Tatanka, the two guys in the ring continue to trade basic wrestling. To be fair, neither guy is very good but they are doing their best. Luger hits a pathetic looking backbreaker and elbow. HEYHOWAREYA says Heenan, making fun of Tatanka. Tatanka keeps trying to build momentum but Luger stops him at every turn. He does keep getting near falls with inside cradles and roll ups. Heenan has the score 1,038 to 4 for this match. Tatanka begins to “Hulk Up” with three minutes left and gets near falls, including one with a top rope chop. He goes to the well again but misses a cross body. Big clothesline by Luger gets him two this time and the same goes for a powerslam. Luger nails a pretty good looking suplex with thirty seconds left and its clear how this is going down. After a backbreaker, Luger takes too much time to cover like a moron and time limit expires.

Time Limit Draw in 15:00
Not the best two guys to wrestle to a time limit draw. It wasn’t bad, but the first ten or so minutes featured too much of nothing. The final few minutes were fun though. **½

Lex Luger lays out Tatanka after the match with the metal forearm. He might be dead. Cutting backstage, mean Gene interviews Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. Gene TOTALLY instigates a fight between the two. Then he has the nerve to get mad when they argue. He asks if their dads ever wrestled and Bret says his dad used to beat Larry Hennig, which Perfect disagrees with. They bring up SummerSlam ’91 even. Fun stuff.

King of the Ring Semi-Final Match
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

The SummerSlam 1991 match between these two is one of my favorites ever and Mr. Perfect had a really bad back during that time, but he’s 100% here. Bret’s hand is taped up from Razor stomping on it earlier. A wrestling sequence opens, involving hip tosses and takedowns. Each move looks crisp as pointed out by Heenan. In the corner, Perfect unleashes a vicious chop, Bret sends him in and hits a scoop slam. Perfect gets up and nails one of this own before Bret does a headlock takeover. “WHAT AN OFFENSIVE EXCHANGE” exclaims Jim Ross and he is correct. That was perfectly executed by both men. Bret gets a crucifix for two and back to the headlock. Cross body from Bret but the kick out sends him outside and he comes in with a sunset flip for two, before going right back to the headlock takeover. Perfect gets out with a knee to the gut as Savage mentions how he and Perfect both have salty pasts. Beautiful dropkick from Perfect sends Bret outside. He holds the ropes for Bret to re-enter, but nails a cheap shot. The super over face is doing anything to win. Beautiful storytelling. He continues this by driving Bret’s face into the ring apron and he draws boos. He gets on the apron and Mr. Perfect shoves him off all the way into the steel guardrail. Inside, Mr. Perfect hits a well-placed missile dropkick but Bret gets his foot on the bottom rope. Perfect is frustrated and whips Bret in for his signature sternum corner bump. Both guys are up top now and Bret hits a perfect second rope suplex for two. Kick to Perfect’s leg and he’s overselling it like he did at SummerSlam. Bret applies the Figure Four in the middle of the ring. He grasps the ropes but the damage is done. Like a shark smelling blood, Bret targets the leg. Perfect fights back and locks in the sleeper hold but Bret makes the ropes. Perfect’s knee gives out and he slaps it because the feeling is out. Nice touch. He goes back to the sleeper and uses the ropes for leverage. Bret breaks it by sending Perfect into the turnbuckle. Bret connects on one of the hardest uppercuts you will ever see. Cesaro would be jealous. He hair tosses Perfect, who gets crotched on the ring post. Atomic drop and Russian leg sweep gets two. The pace of this match is unreal. Stiff backbreaker and second rope elbow gets two again. That elbow looked vicious. Sharpshooter attempt but Perfect goes for the injured fingers. Yes! It came into play. I was hoping for that. He steps on the hand, which is a great strategy. He goes for the Perfect Plex but Bret blocks and suplexes him over and OUTSIDE. I’ve never seen that before. We get a countout tease and Mr. Perfect pulls a Bret Hart by playing possum. He pulls Bret into a small package for two before Bret reverses it into his own inside cradle for three.

Winner: Bret Hart in 18:58
What a ride that was. Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect are two of the best to ever do this and their chemistry was off the chain. The story of Mr. Perfect resorting to his heel tactics and Bret Hart being desperate was great. Every single move was crisp and perfectly executed. The storytelling, the selling, the psychology, and the execution…hell everything about this was perfect. *****

Mr. Perfect is very frustrated after the match and looks like he’s going to confront Bret. They get in each other’s faces, but Perfect just shakes his hand. Backstage, Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart about the upcoming match. It’s typical Hogan stuff.

WWF Championship
Hulk Hogan (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji

Jim Ross points out how many Japanese cameraman are at ringside. That will be vital in this match. They size each other up early, trying to show who is more powerful. Hogan does a good job of acting surprised at Yokozuna’s ability to throw him down. Yokozuna slams him like nothing. Jim Ross asks if anyone can slam Yokozuna planting the seeds, probably inadvertently, for an upcoming SummerSlam angle. Hogan dodges a move and starts to fire off shots. He looks so weak compared to his earlier years. He bites Yokozuna, because he’s a heel at heart. His slam attempt fails as does his second try. Hogan gets some clotheslines and Yokozuna was really good at playing the stumbling big man who won’t fall. He misses a splash but applies a bearhug. It’s not a Hogan match without a bearhug am I right? “USA” chants help Hogan rally as Heenan claims this should have been on neutral ground. Again though, his rally is stifled. He tries a third slam and fails but kicks out and starts to “Hulk Up.” It takes three big boots to knock him down and he hits the leg drop but Yokozuna kicks out. Hogan is shocked but signals for the slam. A photographer gets on the apron, so Hogan goes to him and the camera EXPLODES into his face! Yokozuna leg drops him and wins the belt.

Winner and New WWF Champion: Yokozuna in 13:09
Slow, but they did a good job of keeping me entertained. I expected this to be a total snooze fest but it was better than expected. The finish was creative. **

Yokozuna drags Hulk Hogan over and squashes him with the Banzai Drop. There’s a dude in the front row dressed as Hogan and he is pretty much distraught. This would be the end of Hulk Hogan in this company until 2002.

Backstage, Terry Taylor interviews Mr. Perfect, who doesn’t wanna talk much because it was a tough loss. We go to Mean Gene who is interviewing Shawn Michaels. He calls Hulk Hogan a dinosaur before Gene asks about Diesel. Shawn reveals the name Diesel officially.

Eight Man Tag Team Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. and the Headshrinkers w/ Afa vs. The Smoking Guns and the Steiner Brothers

Scott Steiner starts with Ted Dibiase and they perform some nice exchanges. A STEINERLINE takes Dibiase over and out. I still don’t know why this isn’t Money Inc. losing the belts to the Steiners. Bart Gunn and Fatu do an exchange where Fatu shows off more athleticism than expected. We get a lot of quick tags as IRS and Dibiase do some stuff before the Headshrinkers nail Bart with a double back drop. Double axe handle from IRS gains two before Bart does a sunset flip. Billy gets the hot tag and does his key stuff, complete with two finger guns. Dibiase stops his momentum with the EDDIE GILBERT hot shot. Heenan claim that Billy isn’t the first cowboy to get hung. Wow. Dibiase puts Billy in the Million Dollar Dream and then just lets it go for no reason. He starts to brag, leading him to get pinned with a small package.

Winners: The Smoking Guns and the Steiner Brothers in 6:45
A bit too short to be really good, but still fun and fast paced. I think the Steiners needed to do more, as I don’t even believe Rick was ever the legal man. I wish we didn’t get another small package finish as Money Inc. can afford an actual loss. **¾

WWF Intercontinental Championship
Shawn Michaels (c) w/ Diesel vs. Crush

My biggest gripe here is that since WrestleMania IX they have been building Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect and we get this instead. Granted, I prefer the Hart/Perfect match we just saw but still. Crush takes down Shawn early on, causing him to rethink his strategy. They have an exchange where Crush ducks a Superkick and connects on two dropkicks sending the champion outside. Impressive considering Crush’s size. Macho Man is doing a fantastic job of putting over Crush. He thinks Crush will win here, go on to slam Yokozuna and win the WWF Title. I get what you’re doing Randy, but this is the guy with the poor Hawaiian accent and mullet. Diesel gets in a cheap shot to turn the tide. Shawn ferociously smashes the back of Crush’s head into the ring post numerous times. Shawn targets the head but Crush begins to rally. Two Doinks come out and I guess this feud is continuing. They’re smoking cigars and mirroring each other. Using the distraction, Shawn Superkicks Crush in the back of the head and steals it.

Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels in 11:14
Really solid stuff here. I’ve never really been impressed by Crush but he did fine work here. I loved how the back of the head work played into the finish. ***

Mean Gene interviews Bigelow, who keeps it short and sweet before going for the match.

King of the Ring Finals
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bret Hart

Bret Hart has wrestled 36 minutes so far tonight while Bigelow went for five and has had about 80 minutes of rest. Hart is limping as he comes out because he has a bad knee, back and hand. Bigelow press slams Bret from the ring all the way to the floor and commentary sells it as if this thing is over. Good job from them. Inside, Bigelow drops headbutts into the lower back of Bret before he takes a MASSIVE bump into the corner. Bigelow is normally known for his agile style but is working as the methodical big man great here, focusing everything on the lower back. Every Bret rally is shut down quickly as he takes another big corner bump. Bigelow applies a bearhug and slams Bret before it turns boring. More people should do that. Outside, Bret reverses a whip out of desperation and sends Bigelow into the guardrail. Bret is selling the fatigue well but leaps from the apron onto Bigelow. Bad move as Bigelow catches him and drives the lower back into the post followed by a slam on the aisle, where there is no padding. Old school brilliance there. Luna Vachon comes out and nails Bret with a chair behind the official’s back. He brings Bret in and hits the diving headbutt for the win. BUT WAIT! Earl Hebner is out to discuss the interference. The match is announced to continue as Bigelow drives more sick headbutts to Bret’s kidneys. Back to the bearhug which moves to a backbreaker type submission but Bret resiliently rakes the eyes to counter it into a sleeper. Bret then dives out onto Bigelow and fires off some shots. Elbow, Russian leg sweep and second rope bulldog by Bret lead shim to try the Sharpshooter. Bigelow is too powerful though and kicks him off. He runs into a bearhug slam but somehow kicks out. Bret ends up Bigelow’s shoulders, and rolls forward into a victory roll to win the Tournament.

Winner: Bret Hart in 18:11
Easily one of the greatest underdog performances in wrestling history. This was built very well, Bigelow looked like a monster and Bret came off like a million bucks. One of the better big man/little man matches ever. ****

Macho Man runs into the ring to hug Bret Hart and celebrate with him instantly. They discuss how he’s won the WWF, Intercontinental and Tag Team Titles only to now add this. Jerry Lawler interrupts to say he’s the only real King. Bret calls him the Burger King, which the crowd chants with him. Lawler lays him out with the scepter and this will lead to their summer feud.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The best Pay-Per-View of 1993 as far as I can tell. Bret Hart puts on the single greatest performance that I’ve seen from one guy on one night. To wrestle three matches and have all three be damn good is outstanding. Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart is incredible. Even the non-Tournament stuff was fun especially the IC Title and eight man tag. Some Tournament matches could have been better, but it was still one of the better well done one night Tournaments I’ve ever seen.