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WWF Flashback: June 1993
Topic Started: Jul 2 2018, 11:08 AM (81 Views)
Scrooge McSuck
I'll get you next time, toilet!
[ *  *  * ]

- Last time on the WWF Flashback… The King of the Ring has taken complete shape, with a WWF Championship Match and a Tournament that needed 10 matches to fill 7 spots (that’s fuzzy-math)… Marty Jannetty defeated Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Title a week after Michaels’ body was used to smash-up the windshield on Howard Finkel’s new car… Razor Ramon suffered an embarrassing loss to “The Kid”, and has attempted to bait him into a rematch by offering him large sums of money… The Race for Mr. Hughes’ services, which was so lame and half-assed, ended with Harvey Wippleman obtaining his services… The Smoking Gunns, Adam Bomb, Boni Blackstone, and Johnny Polo made their television debuts and we bid farewell to Typhoon, The Nasty Boys, and Terry Taylor (as an in-ring performer)… Jerry Lawler debuted “The King’s Court”, the first regularly featured interview segment since The Funeral Parlor was canned following WrestleMania VIII.

- “El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Headshrinker Fatu (w/ Afa) – From the June 5th episode of Mania, taped on May 24th from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Monsoon and Jim Ross are calling the action, meaning Bruce Prichard’s “Wizard” persona is retired. THANK YOU. Monsoon breaks the cardinal rule of WWF by mentioning something from more than a month ago: Santana’s losing the Intercontinental Title to Savage in Boston. IN 1986. Lockup and Fatu woks the arm. Whip to the ropes, Santana ducks a clothesline and comes back with a body press. Santana with a pair of dropkicks, sending Fatu out of the ring. Back inside, Santana works the arm. Fatu with a slam but Santana rolls through to hang onto the arm-bar. Santana with a hip toss and dropkick, once again sending Fatu out of the ring. Fatu no-sells a head shot and connects with a Super-Kick. Whip to the ropes and Fatu with a clothesline. Fatu with a back breaker but misses a headbutt from the second rope. Santana with a slam, fist to the midsection, and running knee lift. Santana signals for the finish and hits the Paso del Muerte, but Samu runs in for the Disqualification at 5:13. They work him over with a series of double headbutts, but Santana eventually clears the ring. Decent match, although there's no need for such a bull-crap finish with guys lower on the card like this. **

- Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Papa Shango – From the June 5th episode of Superstars, taped on May 4th from Worcester, MA. Lockup to the corner and Shango unloads with boots. He misses a charge across the ring. Bret slips out of a slam but runs into a side slam. Shango chews on Bret like Canadian bacon and starts choking. Whip and Bret with a surprise sunset flip for two. We come back from commercial with Shango in control. Bret escapes with elbows but gets laid out with a back breaker. Shango with more choking. Lawler’s commentary seems to be a bit upset that Bret is given special treatment by not having to qualify for the King of the Ring. Bret comes back with a dropkick and inverted atomic drop. Russian leg sweep for two. Second rope clothesline for two. Shango with his signature shoulder breaker, but he misses a leg drop. Bret with the Sharpshooter for the finish at 6:42. McMahon calls Bret one of the all-time greats, but he’s still not good enough to get a good match out of Papa Shango. Papa Shango’s final featured appearance on WWF television (for the American audience). His last taped match was a squash featured at the end of July. ½*

- Crush vs. Razor Ramon – From the June 6th episode of All-American Wrestling, taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. Ramon is still reeling from the loss at the hands of “The Kid” and is looking to bounce back. Shoving match to start, with the crowd taunting Razor with chants of “1-2-3.” Ramon goes for a Full Nelson but can’t lock the fingers. Crush has no trouble getting the hold applied so Ramon goes for the ropes with his legs for a comedy spot. Lots of stalling for this one. Crush works Ramon over in the corner until he misses a charge. Ramon with a bulldog and boots. He slaps on the abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for leverage. Razor cuts off a comeback attempt and applies a lazy single-leg crab. We come back from break, with Crush mounting his comeback with a press slam and leg drop. He goes for the Cranium Crunch, but Razor boots him in the face. Razor with a back suplex and the Razor’s Edge, but he takes too long to cover, allowing Crush to kick out at two! Crush with a Super-Kick, knocking Razor to the floor. They brawl, and guess what, Double Count-Out at 9:40. Long and dull, but not an awful match. I’m shocked to see them let anyone kick out of a finishing move in 1993. *

- From the June 6th episode of Wrestling Challenge, it’s The King’s Court with guests, the uncrowned WWF Champion, Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Is it me, or is it weird they’re OPENING the show with the segment? Lawler says they haven’t appreciated Mr. Fuji for bringing his Grand Champion from “The Orient.” Fuji says this time the match is official, unlike last time, where he only “issued challenge.” The narrative told is Hogan beat a tired Yokozuna, spent from a 20-minute match with Bret Hart. 20-minutes on what planet? Even if you didn’t keep exact time, there’s n way that match came close to that much time. Lawler brings up the fact Hogan hasn’t defended the title since winning it, he’s been in Hollywood making a movie. There’s two major studios fighting for his talents, and the loser gets him. Unusual for them to acknowledge Hogan’s reason for absence (which has been no secret based on the KOTR reports, but to mention it for the live audience, that’s unbelievable), and wow, is Mr. Fuji a terrible promo. Yokozuna needs a new mouthpiece, desperately.

- “Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by from the Face-to-Face desk to hype the show coming to the Boston Garden (home of the Celtics, Bruins, and Fantastic WWF Action!) on Saturday Night, June 26th. The Sensational Sherri meets Luna Vachon, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan faces Yokozuna, Bob Backlund battles Mr. Hughes, Crush goes one-on-one with Doink (the Clown), and Money Inc. defends the WWF Tag Team Titles against The Mega-Maniacs with Sgt. Slaughter as the Special Referee.

- On the June 6th card held at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY, Shawn Michaels regained the Intercontinental Championship from Marty Jannetty. That night, Michaels debuted his new nameless bodyguard. It’s Kevin Nash, fresh off a run with WCW where he last worked as Vinnie Vega no more than a few weeks earlier (he talked his way into getting an outright release). This wasn’t a TV taping, and no hand-held footage exists. The WWF Magazine ran an article on the match in their August ’93 issue under the “News Beat: Hot Off the Presses” since it was a late-developing article. Unfortunately, there would be no rematch at the King of the Ring, maybe because Vince lost trust in them after the situation at the Royal Rumble. The news broke on the June 7th episode of Raw, where Shawn Michaels opened the show, introduced as the NEW Champion, and squashed Russ Greenberg. The Bodyguard remains nameless.

- “El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Johnny Polo) – From the June 7th episode of Monday Night Raw, shown live from the Manhattan Center. Santana starts by working on the left arm. Bomb pounds away and takes Santana over with a power-slam. He misses an elbow drop, allowing Santana to go back to work on the arm. Santana with a nice arm drag into the arm-bar. Sunset flip for two. Bomb nails Santana with an uppercut to take control. Things slow down as Bomb goes at a methodical pace. Santana offers a comeback and comes out of nowhere with the Flying Forearm, but Bomb kicks out at two. Santana with a dropkick but a roll-up attempt is blocked, and Bomb finishes with the slingshot clothesline at 5:33. Not too interesting. With victories over Santana and Virgil, where’s Adam Bomb’s Championship opportunity?! *

- Billy Gunn (w/ Bart Gunn) & Rick Steiner (w/ Scott Steiner) vs. I.R.S. (w/ Ted Dibiase) & Headshrinker Fatu (w/ Samu & Afa) – From the June 7th episode of Monday Night Raw. There’s an 8-Man Tag Team Match scheduled for King of the Ring, so here’s the most random way we can hype it! Samu and Afa are eating WWF Ice Cream Bars. Odd note: The Gunns are introduced as Cousins. Either the ring announcer messed up, or they changed their mind with how they wanted their relationship portrayed. Things take a while to get started. Fatu starts by pounding away on Billy. They have a good back and forth with Gunn getting the upper hand. Steiner in to work the arm. Crisscross ends with Steiner connecting with a power-slam. Fatu catches him in the corner with an elbow and follows with a clothesline. I.R.S. tags in and quickly gets sent out of the ring. Rick with a clothesline (Steiner-Line!) for two. We get heel miscommunication as we take a break. We come back with Dibiase paying off the Headshrinkers to calm down. They take the cash and try to eat it. Back in the ring, Steiner has a side headlock applied to I.R.S. Steiner ends up playing the face-in-peril, although little of note takes place. Gunn gets the hot tag and unloads on everything walking. During all the chaos, Irwin nails him from behind with a clothesline, and covers for three at 9:00. I never see the point in putting two halves of two different teams together against a combination of the same formula and hoping it leads to a good match. *1/2

- Tatanka vs. Mr. Hughes – From the June 12th episode of Mania, taped on May 31st from the Manhattan Center. Both men will be featured in the upcoming King of the Ring Tournament, and both are undefeated, so expect shenanigans. Tatanka goes for the arm but Hughes yanks him down by the hair and puts the boots to him. Whip to the corner, WITH AUTHORITY. Snap mare into a chin-lock as Monsoon and Ross hype the entire 1st Round of the King of the Ring Tournament. Tatanka with a sunset flip but Hughes blocks. Hughes straddles the rope trying to sit across the back of Tatanka. He makes the comeback, doing the War Dance and laying into Hughes with chops. Tatanka with a slam, followed by a flying chop to the top of the head. Tatanka with a crappy slam, then misses an elbow drop. They slug it out and toss the referee aside for a cheap Double Disqualification at 6:15. Tatanka had a ton of non-finishes to matches. Terrible, by the way. -*

- From the June 12th episode of Superstars and the pages of WWF Magazine, here’s “Update” with Gorilla Monsoon… We recap the Intercontinental Title switch from Albany, NY, with more photographs because Vince couldn’t bother to finance the filming of a title switch. Michaels’ new bodyguard is acknowledged as “new bodyguard.” In other news, the match between Shawn Michaels and Crush at the King of the Ring is now an Intercontinental Championship Match.

- Boni Blackstone is standing by for a special interview with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Are you telling me they couldn’t drag Hulk Hogan’s ass out of the locker room to film ONE Interview for the go-home shows leading into King of the Ring? It’s mostly the same promo from the King’s Court until Mr. Fuji says he’s beefing Yokozuna up to 550 pounds with endless bowls of rice.

- The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. P.J. Walker – From the June 12th episode of Superstars, taped on May 24th from Halifax, Nova Scotia. P.J. Walker would become a “featured” Superstar under the name “Aldo Montoya” and later gained better notoriety as “Justin Credible.” Undertaker with a boot to the midsection and an uppercut to the throat. We get promotion for the latest issue of WWF Magazine, featuring the Undertaker on the cover. Whip and Taker with a big boot, followed by the diving lariat. Choke-Slam finishes at 1:41. Post-match, The Giant Gonzales wanders to ringside. Undertaker wastes no time starting a slugfest. It’s all a diversion, though, as Mr. Hughes also makes a slow approach to the ring. He plants Paul Bearer with the Sidewalk Slam as Harvey Wippleman takes possession of the ominous urn. He hands it to Hughes, who uses it to bash the Undertaker across the back of the head. Yes, the idea was to move Undertaker into a house show program with Hughes, and yes, this is our first in a long, long, LONG line of “Someone steals Undertaker’s stuff” storylines.

- Vignette hyping the debut of “Men on a Mission.” M.O.M. stands for “Men on a Mission” according to the rap, but I always assumed it stood for “Mabel, Oscar, and Mo.” They’re coming soon to the WWF. MOM (minus Oscar) were working in USWA at the time as Nelson and Bobby Knight (The Harlem Knights), and were green as baby poop (both had a combined 3 years of experience), while Oscar was discovered at a party during WrestleMania IX weekend, and you can actually see him in the front row during the conclusion of the PPV when Hogan is “checking” on Bret Hart.

- The WWF returns to the Nassau Coliseum on June 27th with a lineup featuring Crush vs. Doink (the Clown), The Sensational Sherri vs. Luna Vachon, Jim Duggan vs. Yokozuna in a Lumberjack Match, and Money Inc. defends the Tag Team Titles against The Steiner Brothers. The WWF will also be in the Mennen Sports Arena on Tuesday Night, June 29th, with Randy Savage, Luna Vachon, Adam Bomb, and The Giant Gonzales on hand, among others. You know the WWF is on hard times when you’re pimping a show in the NY/NJ Metro area and it’s in MORRISTOWN, NJ that drew less than 1,000 people.

- The Smoking Gunns vs. Money Inc. – From the June 13th episode of Wrestling Challenge, taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. Money Inc. are the reigning Tag Team Champions, but this is Non-Title. A preview for King of the Ring, where these teams will join The Steiner Brothers and Headshrinkers respectively for an 8-Man Tag Team Match. Dibiase unloads on Billy in the corner with rights and lefts. Billy reverses a whip, taking Dibiase over with a back drop, and a pair of dropkicks and clotheslines clears the ring. We come back from break with the Gunns working the arm of I.R.S. The Gunns clear the ring for a second time. Back inside for a crisscross and Bart being tossed out to the floor. Dibiase nails him with a clothesline, followed by choking. I.R.S. with a slam, but a trip to the top rope proves unsuccessful. Billy with the hot tag and he runs wild on Dibiase. Billy with a clothesline and elbow drop for two. All four men brawl, and during the confusion, I.R.S. trips Billy up, and Dibiase rolls him up for three at 6:31. I’m surprised the Gunns were booked to lose so quickly into their run, but they’re not positioned at the top. Decent action. **

- 2 out of 3 Falls Match: The Steiner Brothers & Tatanka vs. Money Inc. & Doink (the Clown) –
From the June 13th episode of All-American Wrestling taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. Unusual to see a 2/3 Falls Match on WWF TV, especially in 1993. They’re pumping out quite a bit of feature matches for King of the Ring weekend. Fall #1: All six men brawl to start. Dibiase sets up Rick for a piledriver, but Scott comes off the top with a clothesline, allowing Rick to cover for three at 0:33. What is this, the Survivor Series?

Fall #2: We return from a commercial break, with Tatanka working the arm of Dibiase. The Steiner’s make an illegal switch while continuing to work the arm. Crisscross and Dibiase knees Rick’s midsection. I.R.S. in, missing an elbow drop. He tries to run away but gets caught by the tie. Doink with a cheap shot from behind, making Rick the Dogface Gremlin-in-Peril. Doink mocks Rick's barking and drops ass across the chest, followed by a double axe-handle. Rick gets dumped to the floor and worked over by I.R.S. We get a fake hot tag spot as Rick continues to take a pounding. Doink with an elbow drop from the top for two. Dibiase and Doink with a double clothesline. Dibiase with a Piledriver, and that gets a three-count at 6:46 (timed from start of the first fall).

Fall #3: Dibiase and I.R.S. continue working Rick Steiner over. I.R.S. with an elbow drop for two. Doink goes for the piledriver, but this time Rick counters with a back drop. Whip to the ropes and Rick comes bouncing back with a diving clothesline (Steiner-Line!). Scott gets the hot tag and goes to work on Dibiase. Clotheslines to all three opponents! Rick Steiner and Tatanka come in to clean house. Tatanka and Doink take it to the floor as the Steiner’s and Money Inc. continue to confuse the referee. During the melee, Rick plants Dibiase with the Powerslam, and it's good for the three-count at 9:09, despite Scott being the legal man for their team. Oddly booked, with Rick Steiner working 90% of the match, and felt incredibly rushed. Decent action, but a disappointment. **1/4

- King of the Ring REPORT! The finalized card, featuring an 8-Man Elimination Tournament…

1st Round Matches: Bret Hart (The #1 Seed) vs. Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, and Tatanka vs. “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. The winner of match #1 faces the winner of match #2, and obviously the same for the latter two matches.

Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Championship against Yokozuna
Shawn Michaels defends the Intercontinental Title against “The Original Hawaiian Punch” Crush
The Steiner Brothers & The Smoking Gunns vs. Money Inc. & The Headshrinkers in 8-Man Tag Team Action

And with that, we’ll break for the Pay-Per-View…
Edited by Scrooge McSuck, Jul 2 2018, 11:10 AM.
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Scrooge McSuck
I'll get you next time, toilet!
[ *  *  * ]
Picking things up after King of the Ring...

- The June 14th episode of Monday Night Raw begins with a recap of the title changing hands at King of the Ring. Gene Okerlund is standing by with the NEW WWF Champion Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. Fuji clarifies on his “celebration” and it’s going to take place on July 4th on a historical landmark. Maniacal laugh! MANIACAL LAUGH!

- Vince McMahon is standing by for an interview with Razor Ramon. He’s carrying a big sack with a dollar sign on it, as well as “$10,000.” The “1-2-3” Kid has turned down the offer for $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500. Ramon lets the Kid know he doesn’t have to beat Razor Ramon to get the money. With $10,000, he can go and buy a life. With that kind of money, Vince McMahon can get a personality transplant. These days that doesn’t even buy you a gray Nintendo World Championship cartridge. Later in the show, they contact the “1-2-3” Kid in Japan (he was working a tour at the time of the taping, so it was legit) for a response and he accepts the challenge for next week.

- Marty Jannetty vs. Doink (the Clown) – From the June 14th episode of Monday Night Raw, taped on June 7th from the Manhattan Center. Doink comes to ringside, crawls under the ring, and comes back out wearing a jacket. SHENANIGANS! Doink boots Jannetty across the face before the bell. A series of reversals leads to Jannetty planting Doink with a bulldog and going to work on the arm. We come back from a commercial, with Jannetty connecting with a dropkick and going back to the arm. Doink uses the tights to throw Jannetty to the floor. Jannetty pops right back up and comes back in with body press for two. Crisscross, and Doink plants him with a powerslam. Doink drops an elbow and hooks a cross-face chicken-wing! Doink with another slam, followed by the top rope butt splash (at times called the Whoopie Cushion), but it only gets two. Doink with a modified hangman choke and a neck breaker for two. Doink to the top, but this time Jannetty slams him off. Whip to the ropes and Jannetty with a diving elbow. Dropkick and a suplex for two. Whip is reversed, Jannetty slams Doink face-first to the canvas for two. They take a nasty spill over the top rope, to the floor. They slug it out, Jannetty with an atomic drop, crescent kick, and hurricanrana, but during the wild finish, it's a Double Count-Out at 10:47. Decent action and Doink was once again very impressive with his no-nonsense wrestling abilities. The weak finish killed any chance of building to a hot finish. **3/4

- Less than two weeks removed from a non-televised switch of the Intercontinental Title, the Tag Team Championships changed hands not once, not twice, BUT THRICE, in the span of a week. The Steiner Brothers defeated Money Inc. for the belts at the Wrestling Challenge taping on June 14th from Columbus, OH (but footage never shown), lost them back to Money Inc. on June 16th at a house show in Rockford, IL, and finally won them back for good on June 19th from St. Louis, MO. Just like the Michaels/Jannetty switch, a WWF Magazine article was dedicated to the string of title changes. Hard not to be disappointed as a fan watching the weekly television, missing all these significant changes in direction.

- “El Matador” Tito Santana & Bob Backlund vs. The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) – From the June 19th episode of Mania, taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. What an odd tag team on the baby-face side, almost a dream team from about a decade earlier. You know, it’s realistic to imagine Afa and Samu (Samoan #3) fighting Tito Santana and Backlund in 1983. Santana starts with Samu. Fatu quickly takes a cheap-shot from the apron. Santana comes back with a body press, takes Samu over with a hip toss, and grabs the arm-bar. Backlund with single leg trips, arm drags, and a dropkick on Samu. We come back from commercial, with Fatu getting worked over. Fatu surprises Backlund with a headbutt and follows with a side back breaker. Double clothesline from the Headshrinkers, making Backlund our Ginger-in-Peril. Samu ends up missing a dive into the corner, posting himself in the process. Santana with the hot tag, unloading with rights. Whip to the ropes, back drop, and the Flying Forearm connects, but Fatu breaks the cover. Fatu plays illegal switching games, hits Santana with the Super-Kick, and covers for three at 6:07. BUT WAIT! Suddenly, the Steiner Brothers show up at ringside to tell Danny Davis about what happened, as does referee Earl Hebner, and guess what... THEY REVERSE THE DECISION! BOO! Another decent match with a terrible finish. Why are the Headshrinkers not getting much respect lately? **

- From the June 19th episode of Mania and taped on May 31st from the Manhattan Center, Randy Savage is in the ring for an interview with the Sensational Sherri. Babyface Sherri seems like something that just shouldn’t be. Sherri accuses Luna of not knowing how to wrestle and says if all she wants to do is catfight, then she’s fine with that. Sherri goes crazy, talking about how Randy Savage is a real man, unlike “her man.” Savage says he thinks she can beat most men, himself included. He asks her if she can beat up Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler, and she responds Savage is the only King she’s only known. As far as Todd Pettengill, she could probably whip him too, but she thinks he’s kind of cute. What was the point of this segment?

- Virgil vs. Bastion Booger – From the June 19th episode of Superstars, taped on May 24th from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mike Shaw is back, having ditched the Friar Ferguson garb in favor of something worse: a murky grey singlet designed to give him a hump, and presented as a disgusting slob. Booger controls with clubbering blows. Virgil slips between the legs and comes off the ropes with a body press for two. Booger with a slam and leg drop for two. They spend the match hyping Yokozuna's 4th of July Challenge, which Vince dubs the "Stars and Stripes Challenge". Booger with a powerslam for two. Virgil avoids a charge and muscles Booger over with a crucifix for three at 2:34!?! What the... Virgil won?! Not an awful match, but WOW, losing in your first match to Virgil?! We can automatically not take Booger seriously for the rest of his tenure.

- Bob Backlund vs. Doink (the Clown) – From the June 20th episode of Wrestling Challenge, taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. Can you believe they’re still selling a Doink/Crush angle this deep into 1993? They have a feeling out process early. Backlund goes for a waist-lock, but Doink goes for the leg. Backlund slips free, and they have another stand-off. Doink sweeps the leg, and this time Backlund counters with a monkey flip. Backlund counters a hip toss with an abdominal stretch, then takes Doink over with a hip toss of his own. Backlund gets the better of Doink in another chain wrestling sequence. Backlund with a delayed suplex for two. They fight over a waist-lock, with Backlund in control until Doink drives a headbutt into the midsection. Doink with a small package from out of nowhere for the three-count at 4:36. Backlund offers a handshake but gets sprayed in the eyes. He gets the last laugh however, hitting Doink with a blind swing. Cute. Interesting match. *1/2

- “The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. Bastion Booger – From the June 20th episode of All-American Wrestling, taped on May 25th from Sydney, Nova Scotia. Fans of Stampede Wrestling probably have fond memories of these guys fighting each other under more serious conditions. Lockup, and Booger easily shoves Owen across the ring. Owen grabs a headlock, but a shoulder tackle doesn't budge the big man. Owen feeds the foot and connects with an enziguri. Booger counters a body press with a slam but misses a leg drop. Owen works on the left arm. Whip to the ropes and Owen connects with a spinning heel kick for two. Whip, and Booger presses Owen in the air, dropping him face first. Owen takes the chest first bump to the corner twice. Owen gets the boots up on a charge and takes Booger down with a bulldog. Owen with rights and a pair of dropkicks. Owen to the top with a body press for two. To the top again, but this time Booger avoids a missile dropkick, and a big splash gets three at 4:06. Booger jobs to VIRGIL, but goes over Owen? Makes no sense. Good for such little time it received. **1/2

- 2 out of 3 Falls Match: Marty Jannetty vs. Doink (the Clown) – From the June 21st episode of Monday Night Raw, presented live from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. Fall #1: Doink tries luring Jannetty into the corner, but he fails to produce something to snort. Lockup, and Doink gives a clean break while laughing his ass off the whole time. Doink with some forearm blows and a side headlock. Crisscross sequence ends with Jannetty taking Doink over with a monkey flip. Jannetty goes for the arm, but Doink yanks him down by the hair. They do a comedy spot, with Doink tricked into running the ropes. Jannetty slams him face first to the canvas and goes back to work on the arm. Jannetty with a snazzy sequence ending with an arm drag, then back to the armbar. Doink grabs the ropes to escape and take a breather on the floor. Back inside, Doink unloads with rights and lefts. Jannetty reverses a whip to the corner and takes him over with a monkey flip for two. Back slide for two. Jannetty misses a dive to the corner, and the Whoopie Cushion (flying seated splash) is good for three at 7:14.

Fall #2: Doink pounds away and counters a back drop with a boot to the face. Whip to the corner, with authority! Doink taunts Jannetty and starts slapping him around. He heads to the top and comes crashing down on Jannetty with a double axe-handle (Savage: He just stole my move!). Back inside, Doink covers for two. Jannetty trades blows from the apron, only for Doink to remain in control. Whip to the ropes, Jannetty whiffs on a kick, and Doink covers for two. Jannetty with blows to the midsection and a roll up for two. Whip reversed, they fight over a suplex, won by Jannetty. He connects with a Super-Kick, knocking Doink clear across the ring. Jannetty covers, but Doink is in the ropes. Whip reversed, he slams Doink face first to the canvas, and comes off the top rope with the signature Rockers Fist Drop for three at 4:36!

Fall #3: Doink is begging Jannetty off from the corner, misses a sucker kick, and gets rocked with an atomic drop. Jannetty surprises him with a clothesline and covers for two. Doink sweeps the legs and repeatedly posts the right knee. Back inside, Doink drags Jannetty to the center of the ring and slaps on a Figure-Four! The crowd rallies with a "Marty" chant, giving Jannetty the strength to turn the hold over and reverse the pressure. Doink wraps the leg around the middle rope and kicks away at the knee. Jannetty fights him off and buckles under the weight of taking Doink down with a back drop. Doink sweeps the leg and turns Jannetty over with a single-leg crab. He quickly hooks the ankle and turns it into an STF! Doink tries for the Whoopie Cushion again, but Jannetty recovers and slams him down. Whip and Jannetty with an elbow. Suddenly a second Doink runs out and hides under the ring. Jannetty rolls out of the ring to inspect under the ring, apparently being the only man to listen to the crowd. Doink punts his head and sends him into the post. Back inside, Jannetty with a dropkick, knocking Doink to the floor. Back inside, they bop heads, knocking Doink back out. They pull an illegal switch, annoying Savage beyond belief. Doink rolls in and covers for two. Jannetty with a small package for two. Fresh Doink easily takes control and plants him with a Piledriver for the three-count at 8:43. BUT WAIT! Randy Savage shows the referee the REAL Doink is under the ring, so the referee reverses the decision, and awards the match to Jannetty. LAME! AWFUL Finish to the third fall, but a great, over-looked, lost classic from the early months of Monday Night Raw. ***3/4

- The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon – From the June 21st episode of Monday Night Raw. The Kid upset Ramon on the May 17th episode of Raw, then Ramon spent the following weeks trying to get a rematch, offering large sums of money for the Kid to take the challenge. The Kid worked a prior commitment in Japan to explain the absence, which WWF used as part of the storyline. No entrance music for the 1-2-3 Kid. Ramon tries to attack before the bell and the Kid surprises him with a sunset flip for two. Spinning heel kick gets two! Ramon counters a body press with his signature Fallaway Slam. Ramon with a clothesline, complete with over-sell. Ramon with a chokeslam and the abdominal stretch. Ramon slaps him around a bit and connects with a running powerslam, followed by the second-rope back suplex. To the floor, Ramon pulls up the padding. Kid counters a Razor's Edge attempt with a back drop! He goes to the top rope and slips going for a plancha, landing head first on the exposed concrete. OUCH. That's got to be a concussion. Whip to the corner, charge misses, and the Kid moonsault only gets two! The Kid grabs the sack of cash and RUNS FOR IT, making this a No Contest at around 5:15. Sloppy at times, and you can tell the Kid had a bit of nerves out there. Ramon was clearly more concerned with punishing the Kid rather than winning the match, and it cost him. Razor has been humiliated again! **

- "The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger – From the June 26th episode of Mania, taped on June 14th from Columbus, OH. Luger is forced to wear the elbow pad that somehow is thick enough to prevent A METAL PLATE to do damage. They trade hammerlocks until Luger grabs the ropes to force a break. Luger with trash talk, Owen responds with a slap, takes him down with a drop toe hold, and works the left arm. Whip to the ropes, Owen with a body press for two, then back to the arm. Luger elbows free, but whiffs on a right and Owen hops on his back with a sleeper hold. Whip to the corner, Luger meets a boot on a charge, and Owen takes him down with a bulldog for two. Owen with a spinning heel kick and a top rope cross body gets a two count. Owen pounds away with rights. Luger pulls the pad off, KO's Owen the exposed elbow, and covers for three at 4:40. Wow, Luger was practically squashed and had to desperately cheat to beat JTTS Owen Hart? Was looking good for what was here but felt like the match was going somewhere before the sudden finish. *1/2

- "El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman) – From the June 26th episode of Superstars, taped on May 24th from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lockup into the corner, Santana avoids a cheap shot and goes to work on the arm. Hughes escapes with a slam, but misses an elbow drop. Criss-cross sequence ends with Santana taking him over with an arm drag. Hughes grabs a handful of hair and drives a knee into the back. Vince doesn't seem to mind constantly calling him "Curtis Hughes", but then again, he also slipped up calling I.R.S. "Mr. Rotundo" quite a bit, too. Hughes chokes him across the middle rope but ends up straddling himself on a failed charge. Santana pounds away with rights and takes him down with another hip toss. Santana with the Flying Jalapeño, but Hughes kicks out at two! Santana to the top rope with a body press, but Hughes rolls through for three at 3:20. I've officially seen enough matches with Mr. Hughes. ½*

- Yokozuna’s July 4th Challenge has now been dubbed “The Stars and Stripes Challenge” and will take place on the USS Intrepid. The challenge extends beyond WWF Superstars, with an open invitation to any professional athletes that dare to slam the 550-pound Yokozuna. Gates open at 10:00 A.M. and tickets are available through the Intrepid Box Office and Ticketmaster.

- Virgil vs. Bastion Booger – From the June 26th episode of Superstars, taped on May 24th from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Rematch from last week. Virgil dances around and peppers Booger with jabs. He blocks a boot and picks Booger… off his feet. Vince McMahon must find the gimmick hilarious, making fun of the gimmick as much as possible. Booger gets back to his feet but meets a boot in the corner. He quickly recovers, laying Virgil out with a clothesline. Booger side-steps a blind body press and comes off the middle rope with a splash for the three-count at 1:59. Why not just do this match the first time? It wasn’t good, but at least Booger went over.

- Boni Blackstone is standing by for an interview with “The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow. Bigelow says he’s the biggest and strongest wrestler in the WWF, but he has a heart, and in this heart, he has feelings and sensitivity. He’s found someone that makes him feel madly in love, and he wants to introduce us to his main squeeze, his love tick… Luna Vachon. Blackstone asks “Luna… as in Luna-Tick?!” That line came across as completely cornball. Bigelow says Luna has the body a model would die for, the mind of an Einstein, and the guts to get it done in the ring. Luna takes exception to Boni standing too close to her man. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson can eat their hearts out, because Bam Bam is the man that makes her hot.

- Bart Gunn vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase – From the June 27th episode of All-American Wrestling, taped on June 14th from Columbus, OH. No I.R.S. or Billy Gunn at ringside. Lockup, Dibiase with a handful of hair to take Gunn down. Dibiase with a cheap shot to the midsection and hides in the corner. Gunn chases him to the floor and nails him with a pair of lefts. Back inside, Gunn blocks a kick and connects with an atomic drop for two. Gunn with a headlock as we take a break. We return with Dibiase dumping Gunn to the floor. Dibiase with a gut-wrench suplex for two. Dibiase takes Gunn down with a suplex and hooks a chin-lock. Jim Ross puts over the Tag Division, including newcomers Men on a Mission. Dibiase with a slam in the corner, but a leap from the second rope is countered with a fist to the midsection. Gunn with a flurry of lefts, whip to the corner, and a back drop. Here comes I.R.S., with Gunn in complete control. Dibiase uses the belt to throw Gunn to the buckle, and I.R.S. blasts him with the briefcase! Dibiase covers for the easy three-count at 7:12. Decent wrestling, but a lackluster affair. *1/2

- WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels (c) (w/ Diesel) vs. Kamala – From the June 28th episode of Monday Night Raw, taped on June 21st from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Two minutes pass, and nothing happens. Michaels with a cheap shot, but Kamala quickly turns the tide. Shawn offers a handshake, and Kamala accepts the hand by biting it. Whip to the corner, Michaels gets a knee up on a charge. We come back from a break with Kamala having Michaels on the canvas with a bearhug. Whip to the corner, Kamala misses a charge, ramming his left knee into the buckle. Michaels goes to work on the leg, mostly with stomping. Michaels with a spinning toe hold, but Kamala throws him off with a handful of hair. The match is practically an afterthought to the big July 4th Slam Challenge with WWF Champion Yokozuna. Michaels continues his best efforts in wrestling himself. Kamala offers a comeback, does the Splash, and of course, doesn't know how to cover. Despite having Shawn covered earlier in the match in the bearhug. Kamala gets distracted by Diesel, and a Super-Kick to the back of the head finishes him at 8:50. Post-match, Diesel and Shawn lay a beating on Kamala. This could've been much worse. Kamala’s final TV appearance for the WWF until 2001 when he was used for the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. *

-The latest Stars and Stripes Challenge advertisement can’t help but point out Hulk Hogan couldn’t slam Yokozuna.

- Vince McMahon is standing by for an interview with reigning WWF Champion Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. This is the first time the reigning Champion has appeared on Monday Night Raw since before WrestleMania IX. 25 years later, and WWE is doing the same thing with their Universal Champion. The challenge is just another attempt to humiliate Americans. It doesn’t matter if it’s a WWF Superstar or Football players, nobody can slam Yokozuna. It’s painful listening to Mr. Fuji trying to cut a promo. Vince McMahon says every time America is boxed into the corner, somewhere, someone steps up to the plate, and that someone hits a home run. We got a little “Mr. McMahon” growling yell in that little speech. Yokozuna says American athletes are like American products: They’re no good. McMahon closes the segment by leading the crowd in a chant of U-S-A. When McMahon is trying to push a storyline himself, you know it’s a big deal.

- Vince McMahon is standing by for a second interview, this time with former Tag Team Champions, Money Inc. McMahon rubs it in their faces that they’ve lost the belts to the Steiner Brothers. I.R.S. says the contract they signed had a little clause that states they get a rematch for the titles. That seems like a standard contract, at least as far as WWE TV is presented for the last 20-years. Dibiase splinters off in a different direction, making fun of Razor Ramon for losing his money and his cool. I.R.S. calls him “Razor Jabrone.” Dibiase says he’s “totally stupid” for coming on national TV with an unknown and gets eaten up by his own ego. Crowd chants “Razor” as Dibiase hammers home Razor being embarrassed. $10,000 is a lot of money… to Razor Ramon, but that’s a fortune for that Kid, who left Razor standing there with his hands in his pockets. Dibiase offers to find him a job as a maid.

- Crush vs. Bastion Booger – From the June 28th episode of Monday Night Raw. Did you know that Kona Crush, the Original Hawaiian Punch™, will attempt to slam the massive Yokozuna on July 4th? A lot is made of Booger's weight, allegedly at 401 pounds. Booger rakes the eyes and weakly pounds away on Crush. Whip, Crush ducks a clothesline and tries to lift Booger, but can't quite get him up. Whip to the ropes and Crush with a sloppy back drop, followed by a dropkick. Crush takes it to the floor, only to be crushed against the post. They move along at a snail’s pace until Crush mounts his big comeback. He takes Booger over with a suplex, scoops him up and slams him twice, and covers for the three-count at 5:41. Not much of a match, with the only purpose being for Crush to slam a 400-pounder to build momentum for the Stars and Stripes Challenge. DUD

Final Thoughts: If you thought the first part of 1993 was a little different and feel out of place, things just took a giant step into a new direction. Although his name was mentioned in passing in the days after King of the Ring, Hulk Hogan was officially done with the company except for a handful of prior commitments he didn’t feel were beneath him to cancel. For the first time since January 1984, before the national expansion really took over, the WWF is going to make the best of things without their former golden goose. The Stars and Stripes Challenge seems to be, in the eyes of fans not “in the know”, a great moment for Hogan to get the slam he didn’t accomplish and earn a rematch at SummerSlam. HA! There’s a lot going on elsewhere in the WWF: Bret Hart’s King of the Ring victory has netted him a program with Jerry “The King” Lawler… Mr. Hughes has stolen the urn from the Undertaker, a storyline we’ll see repeated through the coming years and it stunk since day 1… The Steiner Brothers and Money Inc. traded the belts back and forth, and Shawn Michaels regained the Intercontinental Title from Marty Jannetty, with help from his insurance policy, his bodyguard, Diesel... The 1-2-3 Kid ripped off Razor Ramon for $10,000 and probably got a concussion on live television... More new faces are being introduced (Baston Booger and M.O.M), while others (Diesel, Kamala and Papa Shango) are on the way out. Either way, none of them are going to factor in the drawing power for the company.
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Erick Von Erich
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I saw the episode of RAW on The Network a few years ago, where they're interviewing "The Kid". They tell him about the bond Razor has put up and he says: "Wow...is that cash?!" Really helped to put him over as an unknown underdog.

I've noticed Owen has been jobbing in pretty much all of his TV matches. I'm guessing this was all planned as part of the slow-burn that finally erupted at Royal Rumble 1994, when heel Owen emerged. Not sure if it was ever intentional, but it looks like a good plan, in retrospect.
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Scrooge McSuck
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I'm not sure when they decided to go with Owen. It seems to me they wanted to give him a midcard push breaking him away from Koko, but then he got hurt almost immediately after and was off TV for nearly 2-months. In today's world, it feels like he's doing "Main Event" stuff where he's just doing stuff until they find a spot for him. At one point he's used as a stepping stone for Lawler leading into SummerSlam... on Wrestling Challenge. In 1993. In July. Challenge was losing markets at a rapid pace and was already dumped down with Raw and Superstars getting all the good stuff.
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WWF @ Madison Square Garden – June 12th, 1993 – We’re 24 hours away from the 1st King of the Ring PPV. It seems almost unusual for them to hit such a big market on the eve of a bigger event. The lineup promoted ahead of time wasn’t the most promising, including a babyface vs. babyface and a heel vs. heel match in two of the more prominently featured spots on the card.

- “El Matador” Tito Santana vs. Papa Shango – The deeper we get into 1993, the more these two (in Charles Wright’s case, under the Shango makeup) seem out of place. Shango plays along with the bullfighting gimmick to remind us neither man means anything at this point. Lockup to the corner and a clean break. Shango complains about a hair pull that falls on deaf ears. He nails Santana over the shoulder of the referee and works him over in the corner. Santana avoids a charge and knocks Shango out of the ring with a dropkick. Back inside, we waste time teasing a test-of-strength. Santana blocks a boot and hits Shango with an atomic drop. Whip to the ropes, Shango counters a body press with a slam, but misses the elbow drop. Shango blocks a hip toss and lays Santana out with a clothesline. Santana surprises him with a sunset flip, but Shango remains in control. Shango with another slam, and this time he hits the elbow for a two-count. Santana escapes a chin-lock with elbows to the midsection but gets taken down with a knee. Whip to the ropes, Santana with an elbow to the back of the head, followed by a flurry of rights and lefts. Whip and Santana rolls Shango up for three at 10:12. That seemed rather sudden. Not much to see here in what turned out to be Santana’s final match at MSG. ¾*

- WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels (c) (w/ Diesel) vs. Razor Ramon – Heel vs. Heel here, although Ramon is on his way to turning babyface and gets a decent face reaction coming out. Michaels cuts a pre-match promo, gloating about regaining the Intercontinental Title. Razor sends Michaels to the corner and punts him over the top rope. Lockup into the corner and Shawn unloads with a series of strikes. Ramon blocks a hip toss and plants Michaels with a choke-slam for a near-fall. Michaels thumbs the eyes to escape an abdominal stretch. Whip is reversed, Ramon catches a body press, and tosses Shawn with the fallaway slam for two. Ramon misses a charge to the corner and Shawn comes off the top with a flying clothesline. Ramon takes a bump to the floor to tease a spot with Diesel, but the referee cuts him off. Michaels uses the distraction to come from behind and ram Ramon into the barricade. Back inside, Shawn comes off the top with a double axe-handle. Whip and a dropkick gets two. Michaels with a front face-lock, using the ropes for leverage. Ramon escapes by tossing Michaels across the ring. Ramon unloads with right hands. He plants Michaels with the Razor’s Edge, but Diesel pulls him to the floor for the cheap Count-Out at 8:49. Good match until they went to the face-lock spot and rushed to a finish. **1/2

- Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Bob Backlund – Now we get a babyface vs. babyface match? Backlund isn’t doing anything on TV, which makes this an unusual pairing. They shake hands to start (first time we’ve seen a non-jobber shake Backlund’s hand since his return). Feeling out process that doesn’t go in either man’s favor, including fighting over a hip toss. Backlund picks the leg but Bret fights him off. Bret escapes a pair of head-scissors, grabbing a headlock each time. Bret wins the battle of wrist-locks but Backlund sends him to the floor going for the leg. Back inside, Backlund controls with a side headlock. Crisscross and Backlund cradles the arms for a two-count. Bret escapes and avoids an elbow drop, opening the door for him to work on the left arm. Backlund with a slam but Bret rolls through with the arm-bar. Back to a neutral position, Bret offers another handshake and grabs a waist-lock. Backlund fights back to his feet, tossing Bret across the ring. He connects with an atomic knee drop and drops the leg across Bret’s ankle, which might’ve caused a legitimate injury (Bret worked KOTR hurt and missed TV the day after).

Backlund works the knee and applies a standing toe hold. Bret with a boot to the face to escape, but Backlund picks him off his feet and turns him over with a Boston Crab. Bret’s escapes and they do a series of roll-ups for near-falls. Backlund cuts the sequence off as he picks and grapevines the leg. Bret works his way free and goes back to work on the left arm. Backlund with a small package for two. Bret takes him over with a hip toss and grabs a short-arm scissors. Backlund tries to muscle Bret over his head, but Bret keeps the pressure on. After two failed attempts, Backlund carries Bret into the corner, only for Bret to surprise him with a body press for two. Backlund with a back suplex for two. Bret comes back with a back breaker and follows up with a headbutt. He plants Backlund with a slam, but Backlund makes it to the ropes during the Sharpshooter attempt. Bret sets up for the suplex but settles for a small package for two. Backlund’s piledriver attempt is countered with a back drop. Bret drops the leg, takes Backlund down with the Russian leg sweep, and hits the second rope elbow for two. Whip and Backlund with a sunset flip for two. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter, but Backlund traps the ankle to block. Bret with a series of uppercuts, and Backlund responds with a forearm. Backlund slams him face-first into the canvas and connects with a delayed atomic drop. He connects with his second Piledriver attempt but it only gets two. Bret blocks a suplex and counters the O’Connor Roll for three at 32:18. Yeah, that’s an accurate time. Post-match, they shake hands to show no hard feelings. Believe it or not, Bob Backlund’s first pin-fall loss at MSG. This wasn’t a match for all tastes. A small contingent in the audience chanted boring at a match that in the eyes of some can be considered outdated. I thought it was a good blend of old school that transitioned into a more acceptable style. I liked it, but I don’t consider it a forgotten classic. It also leaves you questioning Bret’s refusal to work Ric Flair’s style when he’s working Backlund’s late 70’s formula here and doing it well. ***

- The Undertaker vs. The Giant Gonzales (w/ Harvey Wippleman) – Gonzales is working his one-and-only match at the Garden, after making a short appearance in March for an interview and post-match run-in. Wippleman taunts Undertaker, allowing Gonzales to “sneak” up on him. Undertaker shrugs off the attack and backs him into the opposite corner for some choking. Gonzales quickly recovers, hitting Taker with bots. Whip to the corner and a double chop to the throat, but Taker pops right up. Gonzales with a chin-lock, choke, or whatever you want to describe the hold. Undertaker escapes, only to get tossed over the top rope. He takes the knees-first bump into the steps to make something of Gonzales’ awful offense. Back inside, he hits Taker with a boot and clotheslines him over the top rope. Undertaker lands on his feet and comes back in, laying in thrusts to the throat. Wippleman slides a chair in as he distracts Taker, allowing Gonzales to whack him with the weapon for the cheap Disqualification at 4:32. Post-match, Undertaker sits up and takes Gonzales off his feet with the lariat. He grabs the mysterious rag but Gonzales bails thanks to Wippleman drawing Taker’s attention. Bad match, but short. DUD

- Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – These two started a program as an odd branch from the Sherri/Luna storyline that ultimately went nowhere for various reasons that will be covered in due time. Tatanka rushes in and chases Bigelow with his tomahawk. He won’t let Bigelow get away easily, following him out with a tope suicida. He rolls Bigelow back in and gets pounded on immediately. Whip to the ropes and Bam Bam with a shoulder tackle, followed by more clubbering blows. Tatanka ducks a clothesline and connects with a shoulder tackle, dropkick, and body press for two. Tatanka comes off the ropes with a trio of clotheslines for another two-count. He plants Bigelow with a DDT but misses a flying body press. Bigelow with headbutts to the chest for two. Tatanka’s comeback is cut short and Bigelow hits him with a dropkick for two. Whip to the corner and he follows in with an avalanche. Tatanka gets the boot up on a second try but a sunset flip is countered with a seated splash. Bigelow with more headbutts before slowing things down with a chin-lock. Tatanka escapes with elbows and unloads with chops. He does the War Dance comeback, but Bigelow cuts it off with an enzuigiri. Tatanka resumes the act and comes off the ropes with a big chop, knocking Bigelow out of the ring. Tatanka hits the Samoan Drop on the floor and rolls back in for the Count-Out victory at 11:19. Post-match, Bigelow lays Tatanka out and hits the flying headbutt. Cheap finish to a good match. **3/4

- The Smoking Gunns & Kamala vs. The Headshrinkers & Afa – What an odd Six-Man Tag. Afa is making one of his first in-ring appearances for the WWF in nearly a decade. After this, he did a few matches as a fill-in for an injured Fatu, but not much else. Billy and Samu start. Lockup and a shove from Samu. Whip is reversed, and a crisscross sequence ends with Billy running wild with arm drags and a dropkick. Soon after, all six men brawl, with the Gunns and Kamala cleaning house. Back inside, Kamala unloads on Samu with chops and a super-kick. Bart takes Fatu over with a drop toe hold and grabs the arm-bar. Crisscross, Fatu avoids another toe hold but gets nailed with a dropkick. Whip to the ropes and Bart takes an ugly bump over the top rope. The referee’s distraction allows a beat-down to take place at ringside. Back in, Fatu and Afa with a double clothesline. We get some triple teaming in the corner while referee Mike Chioda continues to play dumb. Fatu with a back breaker for two. Bart with a double clothesline to the Headshrinkers. Billy with the hot tag, taking over both with back drops. Samu gets sent to the post. Kamala in with a kick to the midsection and splash, but he’s dumb and gets rolled up for three at 8:53. Perfectly acceptable, which seems to be the worst you can expect from the Headshrinkers/Gunns around this time. **

- The WWF returns to Madison Square Garden on Friday Night, August 13th, with an 8 p.m. start time. Three outstanding matches have been signed: The EVIL Clown, Doink takes on Marty Jannetty, Shawn Michaels defends the Intercontinental Championship against Mr. Perfect inside a Steel Cage, and Yokozuna faces Bret “Hitman” Hart. Yeah, this card changed around quite a bit by the time we get there.

- Mr. Perfect vs. “The Narcissist” Lex Luger – Final match on the card. Luger does his usual routine of stalling for time as he’s forced to wear the protective arm band. Perfect takes exception to being slapped and clotheslines Luger with the towel. He follows him around the ring and sweeps him away from the ropes before dropping a leg across the midsection. Perfect works the leg with the usual, including a spinning toe-hold. Luger fights back to his feet and dumps Perfect over the top rope. Luger follows him out and ends up tasting the ring steps. This referee should’ve counted both out several times over at this point. Back inside, Luger uses the tights to throw Perfect into the turnbuckle. Whip to the corner and Perfect with the big bump. Luger with a back breaker for two. He continues to punish the back, shrugging off a surprise roll-up. Luger with a hip toss into a chin-lock. Perfect escapes and takes Luger over with a sunset flip for two. He takes Luger over with a suplex but can’t follow up. Perfect ducks a clothesline and hooks a sleeper. He connects with an inverted atomic drop and follows up with a clothesline, knee lift, and rolling neck snap for two. Small package for two. Running dropkick for two. Michaels comes out to distract Perfect before he can execute the Perfect-Plex. Luger takes advantage of the opportunity, removes the pad, and KO’s Perfect with the forearm for three at 14:00. These two consistently disappoint. Poor way to end a solid show. *1/4

Final Thoughts: Another polarizing card. On one hand, the work was mostly good, but how many times can you run a house show where almost every important match has a terrible finish? If you can ignore the cheap finishes, this is one of the better cards to take place at the Garden in quite a while, with Bret/Backlund, Razor/Michaels, Tatanka/Bigelow, and even a decent 6-Man featuring Kamala. The only match that disappointed was Perfect/Luger, but at this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
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Monthly News and Notes:

- Starting things out, I anticipated a recap of the June 25th card held at the Cow Palace, but my DVD doesn’t want to run, and I’m not going to order a batch of DVD’s for the sake of one fan-cam. The lineup had potential, so I’m a bit disappointed to not get a chance to watch it, so here’s Dave Meltzer’s review from the July 5th, 1993 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available in the archives at F4Wonline.com)…

WWF at the Oakland Coliseum Arena on 6/25 before 4,000 fans and a $44,000 house (kids discounted $3 per ticket). Crowd was a lot more lively than any show in about a year and it was a much better than usual house show, although two of the matches were worse than horrible.

1. 1-2-3 Kid pinned Terry Taylor in 12:31 when Taylor went for a pin and showboated, and Kid hooked him into a pin. A lot better than your typical opener. Kid got a huge reaction first coming out with the 1-2-3 chants, but soon the crowd got into snickering at him. People like him as a cult deal but still see him as a TV jobber, plus it was obvious from reactions that people have been educated toward the steroid physique for so long that they don't take him serious. I heard too many comments from people saying that when a guy like that can be in the WWF it's a sign of how bad wrestling has gotten. Funny that I was thinking just the opposite as the match built. The last few minutes were really good with near falls going back-and-forth. Kid also got big reactions for his Kawada style kicks, which people have never seen before here. ***

2. Papa Shango pinned Kimala in 9:00 when Kimala splashed him but couldn't figure out how to pin him. As he was asking the ref what do so, Shango schoolboyed him for the pin. How many times have we seen that finish? Kimala's facials are great, as he acted scared of the voodoo, but this match was awful -***

3. Head Shrinkers beat Smoking Gunns in 12:30. Both Gunns are noticeably green, but the blond haired one has a hell of a lot of potential and work really hard. The Shrinkers worked like crazy in front of their home town fans and carried it to the best match on the card. Only problem was the Shrinkers worked so hard that by the time the match was over, they had turned themselves 75% faces and got a big cheer when winning. ***1/2

4. Undertaker beat Giant Gonzalez via DQ in 5:36. This was the worst match I've seen in many years, including the Hiroshi Wajima vs. Tom Magee match. Undertaker was knocked out by the worst chair shot in history. None of this was Undertaker's fault, either. I didn't think it was possible for Gonzalez to actually get worse. -****

5. Tatanka double count out Bam Bam Bigelow in 9:43. Tatanka did a tope to open the match. Match got dull in the middle with Bigelow waking the crowd up with an enzuigiri which saw everyone cheer him. They were brawling on the floor when Tatanka gave Bigelow the back splash and both were counted out. *3/4

6. Shawn Michaels pinned Mr. Perfect in 16:25 to keep the IC title. The first 10:00 were mainly stalling and restholds. Perfect isn't nearly as good as he once was, but Michaels was awesome. It's amazing that nobody recognizes Diesel as Vinnie Vegas and again the size-influence was there because everyone in the crowd thought Diesel would kill Hennig if he ever touched him. Once it got going, it was great. Perfect used the Perfect-plex but Diesel pulled Michaels out of the ring. Later, as Perfect and Diesel were arguing, Michaels hit Perfect with a superkick for the pin. The two continued to beat on Perfect after the match and Bigelow joined in making it 3-on-1. Tatanka tried to make the save but they laid him out as well. Good old style angle to build up a match on the next house show. ***1/2

7. Lex Luger pinned Razor Ramon in 6:10 with the forearm. Both guys tried but it was pretty bad. Nobody knew what to make of Ramon since he worked as a face but was still a heel on TV. Nobody cares about Luger. No heat and it was made worse by having to follow guys who can work. Luger took off the elbow pad and used the forearm for the pin. 3/4*.

- Immediately after King of the Ring, Hulk Hogan pulled himself, lapdog Brutus Beefcake, and business manager Jimmy Hart from all future booking except for two U.S. dates and the overseas tour scheduled for late July/early August. His final dates in the US took place in Chicago and Boston. In both cases, the matches with Money Inc. turned into a side-show, with the one in Chicago ending when former Bulls Forward, Horace Grant, pinned Dibiase, and in Boston, ignoring the match to have conversations with ringside fans. The timing of his notice can be pinpointed quite easily. His name went from casual mentions the days after KOTR to being buried for his loss in the days leading up to the big show on the USS Intrepid. It seems like the Hogan-era began to crumble as soon as the Steroid scandal started making headlines. Despite taking time off (nearly a full year), Hogan came back to mixed fanfare. He got the Superstar reaction he’s always going to get, but his work was obviously lacking, both in the ring and in promos, and his presence missed on TV for most of the time between Mania and KOTR did nothing for the company, with his handful of house shows drawing disappointing numbers. The final straw, at least to some “smart” fans, was his refusal to put over Bret Hart at SummerSlam, and instead doing the cheap finish at King of the Ring to put over Yokozuna, who had no presence overseas as anything more than a mid-card act, for when Hulk went back to work for New Japan.

- In unrelated news, Tiger Jackson was preparing for a role as “The Little Hulkster”, but the gimmick never got a chance to get off the ground. Spoiler: He would find a short-term role dress up as a different Superstar later in the Summer before finding his place as the mascot as Christmas rolls by.

- Ted Dibiase gave notice and will finish up at SummerSlam. He’s already got a gig lined up touring with All Japan Pro Wrestling. Dibiase was a steady presence as a singles act from September ’87 through January ’92 and transitioned into a decent team with the floundering I.R.S. for a series of tag title reigns. Dibiase battled several injuries throughout ’93 and wrapped up his in-ring career before the year ended.

- Luna Vachon fractured her wrist on June 30th, taking her and Sherri off the road in most situations.

- Speaking of Sherri, she gave her notice with an exit date for immediately after SummerSlam. With the injury to Luna, she was given her release ahead of time. Sherri’s reasoning was to go to beauty school and spend more time with her teenage son. The legit reason was actually used in an issue of WWF Magazine where they announced hers and Dibiase’s departures.

- Jacques Rougeau is expected back in sometime during the Summer. No word on if he’ll come back as The Mountie or not.

- In a completely random observation, the WWF Hasbro figure line was featured in the paid-for advertisements (along with ICO-PRO and Royal Rumble on SNES). This series featured consisted of Hulk Hogan, Randy savage, Virgil (barely on TV), I.R.S. (who wanted an I.R.S. figure?!) Skinner (no longer on TV under the gimmick), and The Model Rick Martel (absent from TV). This was the last commercial featured for the line, even though new figures continued to be produced for another 3 series’.

As a side-note, I have these Flashbacks mostly complete through the end of 1993, except for the re-visits of PPV's and a few new Fan-Cams, so I'll probably pace them out for a few more weeks until I have to dig into my pockets to get some content for 1994 since my sets could use a bit more depth (I'm never happy with anything. How can a miserable person like me exist?")
Edited by Scrooge McSuck, Jul 10 2018, 07:02 PM.
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