Nickrj’s rant for King Of The Ring 1993
Live from the Heartland of America! The Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio on June 13th 1993. This is the first KOTR on PPV but it had been around since 1985 in dark matches (No tourneys in 1990 and 1992.) So the prestige and drama are here on this night.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan. Speaking of JR I bought his cookbook today. Lots of stories and tasty treats in there!
Here’s how the first round turned out and how everyone got here tonight.
Bret Hart received a bye
Razor Ramon defeated Tito Santana
Mr. Perfect defeated Doink (Match was held 3 times and the
third match is available on Raw Prime Cuts.)
Mr. Hughes defeated Kamala
Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Papa Shango
Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Typhoon
Tatanka defeated Giant Gonzalez by DQ
Lex Luger defeated Bob Backlund by Countout
Here’s the 2nd round brackets
Bret Hart VS Razor Ramon
Mr. Perfect VS Mr. Hughes
Hacksaw Jim Duggan VS Bam Bam Bigelow
Tatanka VS Lex Luger
Rematch from the Royal Rumble when Bret successfully defended the title against Razor. Crowd chants “1-2-3!” as Razor comes out as this was a month after Razor was embarrassed by the 1-2-3 Kid. Bret gets a nice pop as usual. Tie up and Razor gets a shove. Tie up again and Bret with a side headlock. Nobody moves on a shoulderblock and Bret starts punching away. Armdrag into an armbar by Bret. Razor blocks a hip toss and hits a hard clothesline but misses an elbow. Back to the armbar by Bret. Razor misses a charge and Bret goes back to the left arm. Slam by Razor but Bret hangs on. Eye poke by Razor and an elbow for 2. Bret goes into a hammerlock though. Razor out of it with an elbow. Bret runs into a knee and he’s thrown shoulderfirst into the post. Razor to work on the left shoulder now. Back in another “1-2-3” chant starts. It doesn’t rattle Razor though. He stomps on both hands and does his fallaway slam for 2. Running powerslam for another 2. Sidewalk slam and he misses 3 elbows. Bret starts to fight back and hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline for 2. Russian leg sweep for 2. Back breaker for another 2. 2nd rope elbow for another 2. Headbutt and a rollup for 2. Bulldog but Razor pushes him to the buckle. Razor signals the Razor’s Edge and he gets Bret up but Bret gets out and fights for a backslide and uses the ropes for a small package for 2 ½. Crowd didn’t like that one as Razor nails Bret. Razor sets up Bret for the 2nd rope back suplex but Bret falls on top for the pin at 10:27! Good match to start her off. **1/2
We go back to this weekend on WWF Superstars where Mr. Hughes destroys The Undertaker and Paul Bearer with UT’s urn. Paul would not be seen again until Summerslam.
Mr. Perfect VS Mr. Hughes (with Harvey Whippleman)
Hughes is a big man at 332 lbs for those who don’t know. Perfect spits out his gum and bats it away and Bobby uses the brain scan to show it’s a foul ball. Tie up and Hughes shows his power advantage by shoving Hennig. Another power shove off. Hiptoss by Perfect. Dropkick no sold by Hughes. Right hand by Hughes sends Perfect to the outside. Head butt and a clubber by Hughes. Into the chinlock now already. Perfect gets up and Hughes hits a high kick. Another clubbing forearm and a clothesline nicely sold. Snap mare back into the chinlock. Perfect grabs the tie of Hughes but Hughes pulls the hair to maintain control. Whip into the buckle oversold by Perfect. Another whip to the buckle as Bret Hart appears in the upper left hand corner and says he’d rather face Perfect because he likes him better. What a nice guy. Hughes misses a butt splash on the ropes. Owwie. Hiptoss by Perfect and a backdrop. Snapmare and the neck snap. Hughes grabs UT’s urn and hits Perfect with it and is DQ’d at 6:01. Dumb ass. 1/2*
Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji are interviewed now and they vow to take the WWF title back from Hulk Hogan. Yoko speaks English for the first time “Hulk Hogan, American Hero. You and America will go DOWN!! BANZAIIII!”
Duggan is on his last leg here in the WWF and Bam Bam is getting a 2nd go around after being resigned the last winter. So just guess who wins? Duggan starts a USA chant to start it off. Shoulderblock and no one moves. Clothesline no sold by Duggan. Bammer is knocked down to the outside with 3 clotheslines. Eye rake by Bigelow but Duggan comes back with some right hands. Bammer misses a charge and Duggan sells a rib injury and can’t slam Bigelow. Bear hug by Bammer. Duggan fights out of it but Bammer kicks away. Weak snapmare and a headbutt misses. Slam but Bammer falls on top for 2. Another bearhug by Bammer. Duggan bites to get out of it. Duggan avoids a headdown counter and he slams Bigelow. He goes for the 3 point stance but hits his head on the turnbuckle and Bammer hits the top rope headbutt for the pin at 5:00. Match sucked. DUD
Is it me or does Luger look like Huey Lewis? Before the match the referee asks Luger to put on an elbow pad to cover his right forearm which has 6 screws and 3 steel plates inside. Luger refuses but Finkel announces that if he doesn’t put it on he’ll be banned from the rest of the tournament. This leads to a hilarious quote by Bobby “OK, then when Tatanka comes to the ring. Let’s tie his shoes together so he can’t dance. Let’s handcuff him so he can’t throw a chop. Let’s make it fair huh?” Right before Luger puts the pad on you can see the steel inside his right arm though. He attacks Tatanka at the start and throws him out of the ring but Tatanka tosses the mirror on Luger. He chops Luger to the outside and he slams him out there. Back in Tatanka starts that wardance and hits a backdrop. Clothesline for 2. He goes to work on the left arm now. Slam by Luger but Tatanka hangs on. Legdrop on the arm. It lasts awhile too. Bam Bam is now in the upper left corner and he wants Tatanka to advance. Cross body by Tatanka for 2 and he continues with the left arm. Into a hammerlock now reversed twice. Luger with a back elbow to get out. Luger now kicks away. Knee to the chest by Luger followed by a right elbow. Backbreaker by Luger and he stalls before dropping an elbow for 2. Horizontal elbow drop for another 2. Roll up by Tatanka for 2. Tatanka start to fight back now but gets nailed. Snap mare into the chinlock by Luger. Tatanka gets up but runs into a clothesline. Elbow for 2. Small package by Tatanka gets 2. Sunset flip by Tatanka for 2. Kick to the ribs by Luger. Another knee lift. Tatanka starts the WARDANCE OF DOOM. Chops by Tatanka for 2. Powerslam for 2. Slam and he goes to the top rope and hits a flying chop for 2. He goes to the top again and misses a flying bodypress. Luger hits a clothesline for 2. Powerslam for another 2. Backdrop and a suplex gets 2. Backbreaker and he stalls before covering for 2 and the bell rings at 14:57 for the time limit draw. *1/4 Both men are out now and Bam Bam Bigelow advances to the finals now. Luger grabs the mike and says he wants five more minutes but they don’t give it to him so he takes the elbow pad off and nails Tatanka with the TRUE VALUE ELBOW OF DOOM! Luger went from this heelish persona to an All American by slamming Yokozuna exactly 3 weeks later?
Here are the semifinal brackets
Bret Hart VS Mr. Perfect
Bam Bam Bigelow receives a bye to the final round.
Rematch from Summerslam 1991 where Bret won the IC title and I gave that match ****1/4 and said this one was better. Let’s see if I’m right here. Tie up and and Perfect gets a waist lock. Tie up again and Bret gets a headlock. Hip toss and a side headlock takeover by Bret into a head scissors by Perfect. Headlock by Bret. Hard chop by Perfect and a slam by Bret but he misses an elbow. Slam by Perfect but misses an elbow. Bret with another headlock takeover. Crucifix by Bret for 2. Side headlock takeover by Bret. Crossbody for 2 and Bret to the outside. Hard shoulder and a sunset flip by Bret gets 2. Another nice headlock takeover by Bret. Kneelift by Perfect though. He kicks the stomach now. Standing dropkick sends Bret to the outside. Perfect opens the ropes for Bret but kicks him when he gets in. Chop by Perfect and he hammers away now. Kneelift by Perfect for 2. To the outside and Perfect hammers him out there. Right hand and he sends Bret from the apron almost to the steel railing. Nice bump there. Bret is favoring his right knee now. Back in Perfect with a kneelift for 2. He goes to the top and hits a missle dropkick for 2. Another cover gets 2. Chop and Bret is thrown hard into the buckle for another 2. Right hand and Perfect goes to the top and is caught. Superplex by Bret for 2. Bret kicks the left leg of Perfect and hooks a figure four. Perfect reaches the ropes though. Leg trip into a grapevine by Bret. Perfect gets out of it though by kicking the face. Bret is thrown into the corner and a hair pull slam by Perfect. Sleeper by Perfect. Bret makes the ropes but Perfect hangs on for 4. Hard chop and another sleeper. Perfect gets his foot on the rope. Bret throws him to the turnbuckle. Uppercut by Bret. Hair pull slam and Perfect is crotched on the post. Inverted atomic drop and Russian leg sweep for 2. Legdrop and a backbreaker by Bret. 2nd rope elbow for 2. Sharpshooter but Perfect grabs Bret’s injured hand and stomps on it. He goes for the Perfect Plex but Bret blocks it and suplexes him and both men go outside. Perfect gets in the ring first as does Bret. Perfect gets a small package but Bret reverses it for 3 at 18:55!! What a match. This one does indeed top the first match. ****1/2. Bret now goes to the finals after wrestling 29 minutes already!
WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan (with Jimmy Hart) VS Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji)
This is after Hogan won the title from Yokozuna at Wrestlemania IX just minutes after Yoko won the title from Bret Hart. Fuji and Yoko thought they were cheated so here is the rematch. A bunch of Japanese photographers surround the ring area. Yoko now weighs 550 pounds. He must’ve increased his steady diet that I saw on Smack Em Whack Em and I’ll get more into that when I do that rant. Crowd is hot for this one. Stalling to start it off and a tie up and Hogan couldn’t shove Yoko. Tie up and Yoko gets the shove. Yoko hammers on Hogan now and a chop. Back rake and a headbutt. Yoko slowly works over the champ. Slam by Yoko. He misses a charge in the corner and Hogan starts to fight back. 10 punch count by Hogan and he bites him. Clothesline in the corner. He tries to slam but can’t do it. Hogan tries again but only gets one leg up. Clothesline by Hogan and another one but Yoko hits one of his own to take control. He misses a big splash. Hogan gets knocked down on his own shoulderblock. Bear hug by Yoko and a long one. Hogan breaks out of it but hurts his back. Elbow by Yoko and a belly to belly suplex for 2 and Hogan hulks up. He no sells Yoko’s offense and does the 3 right hands and the big boot but it takes 3 tries to knock him down. He hits the legdrop for 2!! Fuji is nailed and Hogan says he’s going to slam him and a photographer (played by Marty Jannetty) jumps on the apron. Hogan goes over to him and the cameraman explodes the camera in Hogan’s face and Yoko hits the legdrop for the pin at 13:10. Bad match but it effectively killed Hogan’s dominance in the WWF for 9 years. * Yoko gives Hogan a Banzai Drop for good measure. I think Hogan was originally supposed to win this match and then put Bret Hart over at Summerslam for Bret to win the WWF title there but Hogan refused to job to Bret and he’s buried here in this match.
Shawn Michaels after recently winning the IC title back from Marty Jannetty is with an unnamed Kevin Nash as his new bodyguard. He names him “Diesel” as in “Diesel Fuel”
Eight Man Tag Match: The Steiner Brothers and The Smoking Gunns VS Money Inc. and The Headshrinkers (with Afa)
I don’t understand this match is on a PPV like this. Money Inc. were the tag champs and as JR noted the other 3 teams are chasing their titles here. Scott Steiner starts with Ted Dibiase. Tie up and Teddy gets an armdrag. Tie up and another armdrag. Trip by Scott into an armbar. Series of wrestling maneuvers and Scott gets a dropkick. Ted is clotheslined out where Rick puts him back in. Ted is thrown out again and Rick puts him back in again. Fatu is tagged in as is Bart Gunn. Dropkick by Bart and a leg trip. Bart slams his head but Fatu kicks him. Samu comes in and a double clotheslined. IRS gets the tag and an elbow. Legdrop to the stomach and Ted is back in and a double team. Elbow by Dibiase and a suplex. Samu and Fatu double backdrop Bart. Headbutt to the stomach by Samu for 2. He bites Bart and a backbreaker for 2. IRS is back in and he gets a top rope shot for 2. Bart gets a sunset flip for 2. Double Clothesline and both men are down. Dibiase and Billy get the tags. Backdrop by Billy and some clotheslines. Ted gets a stungun though and he hooks the Million Dollar Dream. Ted unhooks it for whatever reason. He tries to hooks it again and Billy gets a small package for the pin at 7:02. 8 man Brawl occurs. I guess it’s DOA and Boreicuas all over again. **. The Steiners and Money Inc. would trade the titles once before the Steiners win it for good a week later.
IC Title Match: Shawn Michaels (with Diesel) VS Crush (With DOA…NOOOOOTTTTT!!)
Side headlock by Crush to begin and a shoulderblock sends Shawn to the outside. BTW these two guys had a qualifying match for this tournament and both were counted out. Another headlock and Shawn gets a jab. Armbar by Shawn. Crush shows some agility with 2 leap frogs and 2 drop kicks! Shawn to the outside. He takes his time getting back in the ring. Trip by Shawn but a kickout. Crush showing some wrestling here and a press slam. Tilt a Whirl Backbreaker from Crush and Diesel pulls Shawn to the outside. Crush to the outside who goes after Diesel but Shawn knees him and Crush goes shoulderfirst into the post. Diesel shoves Crush head first into the post. Shawn then rams the back of Crush’s head 5 times into the post! That is solid steel out there. Shawn puts Crush back in the ring to pin him but only gets a 2 count. Shawn goes to the top rope and hits a double axhandle. Cover for 2. Front face lock by Shawn. Crush gets up and drops Shawn. Face lock again and he’s dropped again. Crush throws Shawn on the ropes and to the outside in a pretty good bump. Shawn to the top rope but misses. Backdrop from Crush. Backbreaker for 2. Big boot and a legdrop for 2. He clotheslines Shawn to the outside and the two Doinks come out to the ring area. Crush is distracted by the two Doinks and Shawn super kicks Crush from behind and pins him at 11:14 to retain. Fun match while it lasted **1/4.
King Of The Ring Final Match: Bret Hart VS Bam Bam Bigelow
A lot of people watching this live on PPV probally thought Bam Bam would win this easily here as he’s had one 5 minute match and Bret has had two matches that lasted nearly a half hour. Bret starts hammering on Bammer but Bammer comes back. Press Slam but Bret falls on top for 2. Bret works on the left arm of Bigelow. Bammer gets a clothesline. Press slam all the way outside on Bret!! Bammer throws Bret inside and he hits 2 falling headbutts. Bret is thrown back first to the buckle hard. Another falling headbutt for 2. Bammer tries to do it again but another 2. Bammer now goes to the lower back of Bret. Back suplex for 2. Bret starts to fight back but he’s thrown back first hard again. Headbutt and a falling one for 2. Bearhug by Bammer. Another back suplex by Bret for 2!! Bret is thrown to the outside. Bammer is thrown into the rail though and Bret is hammering on him now. Bret is caught from the apron though and is rammed back first into the post and he’s slammed on the aisleway. Luna Vachon comes out and nails Bret with a chair and leaves. Bammer throws Bret back in the ring. He slams Bret and hits the top rope headbutt for the pin at 9:24. BUT WAIT!! Another ref comes in the ring and tells the 1st ref what happened. Howard Finkel almost announces Bret the DQ winner but instead the refs correct him and he says the match must continue. Whew! I thought we had another Dusty finish there. Bammer is all over Bret Hart now. Bret’s thrown hard back first again. Bear hug by Bammer again. Backbreaker over the shoulder submission move now. Bret is just on life support now. He gets out and hits a back suplex. Bammer misses a legdrop. Bret is thrown back first hard for the 53rd time in this match. Backbreaker submission again. Bret turns it into a sleeper though but he is hiptossed. Dropkick from behind by Bret and he dumps Bammer outside. Slingshot bodypress to the outside by Bret! Bret on the 2nd rope and hits a clothesline for 2. Russian leg sweep and he goes to the 2nd rope and hits a bulldog. He tries for the Sharpshooter but Bammer kicks him off. Bearhug by Bammer again and he falls on top on a slam attempt for 2. Bret kicks Bammer in the corner and does the victory roll for the pin at 18:19 and a huge HUGE pop!! Bret Hart is the King Of The Ring and this was an awesome match for it ***3/4
Bret now goes over to the coronation area where Gene Okerlund places the cape scepter and crown on Bret and proclaims him the King Of The Ring. Jerry Lawler comes out and says that he’s the real king of the WWF. Bret says that Lawler didn’t have any guts to enter the tourney in the first place and he calls him the Burger King and the double take Lawler does combined with Bobby’s “Oh no.” at that moment is hilarious. Bret then leads a Burger King chant and Lawler responds by destroying Bret with everything in site on the stage. And he makes Bret kiss his feet. This leads to a feud that should’ve been blown off at Survivor Series later that year.
Summary: A very good show. Bret Hart wrestling 3 times for 47 minutes will go well with anyone. And also the end of Hulkamania in the WWF for a long time. A very good show overall. RECOMMENDED