WWE PPV Retro Coverage: King Of The Ring 1993 held 21 years ago today, eight-man tournament, Hulk Hogan loses the WWF Championship, Shawn Michaels vs. Crush, and more
By Haydn Gleed
Aired live on PPV on June 13, 1993
Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
We started off with Vince McMahon screaming at me. I thought for a minute I had entered a weird parallel universe where I was a WWE announcer, until I realised I have a brain of my own. Anyhoo, Vince ran down the rules and idea of the King Of The Ring tournament.
He ran down the brackets, which showed us we would get Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon, Mr Perfect vs. Mr Hughes, Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, and Tatanka vs. Lex Luger.
We got a wonderful shot of the sold out arena. Jim Ross welcomed us to King Of The Ring, and he is joined by "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. The three men ran down the other two matches on the card, Hulk Hogan vs Yokozuna and Shawn Michaels facing Crush.
Razor Ramon's music played and he made his way down to the ring with the crowd chanting 1-2-3 at him. He did not look impressed. Bret's music played and the crowd popped big time.
Retro Verdict: The crowd are really into both characters in this match, making the event feel exciting.
1. Razor Ramon vs. Bret Hart in a 1st round match for the KOTR tournament. The bell rang, and Bobby quickly reminded us, and I had forgotten this, that the 1st round matches had a 15 minute time limit.
Both men locked up, and Razor seemed to be getting the upper hand. Bret got an early advantage after Razor missed with a couple of clothesline. Bret took Razor down to the mat and worked on his arm. Razor got to his feet, blocked a hip toss attempt and hit a brutal looking clothesline.
He missed with the follow up elbow and Bret took him back down to the mat. Bobby said that Bret has probably been learning moves, and perfecting wrestling his whole life, but he just can't stand him. Razor scooped Bret up for a power slam, but Bret held onto the arm and rolled Razor through.
Some more back and forth, but Razor got the advantage and threw Bret shoulder first into the ring post. Ross exclaimed that he may have separated his shoulder. Razor went to the outside to continue the attack before throwing him back into the ring. The crowd started the 1-2-3 chant, and Razor's facial expressions were fantastic.
Bobby pointed out that Razor stamped on Bret's hands and that it was a fantastic move, because Bret wouldn't be able to put on any submission moves. Razor hit a fall away slam on Bret for a close two count.
Razor had Bret on his shoulder, and hit a running powerslam for another two count. Bobby said Bret is the kind of person that if he asked a hotel for a wake up call at 1:23, he would kick out at 2 as his mind is always geared towards wrestling. Didn't really work, but had me chuckling.
Razor hit a side slam before bouncing off the ropes but missed with three elbows. Bret hit a number of right hands with the crowd going crazy. Bret hit a side Russian leg sweep for a close two count. Bret went through his signature offence. Back breaker, elbow off the second rope and got a number of very close two counts.
Razor missed with an air punch which allowed Bret to roll him up for another close two count. Bret went for a bulldog but Razor pushed him chest first into the turnbuckle. Razor signalled for the Razor's edge. Bret struggled and hooked his arms and followed through into a small package for the closest of two counts I've seen in a hell of a long time.
With Bret arguing with the ref, Razor snuck up and hit Bret from behind. He lifted Bret onto the top turnbuckle and went for a superplex but Bret countered and landed on top of Razor for the 1-2-3...
Bret Hart beat Razor Ramon in 10:33 to advance in the KOTR tournament.
Retro Verdict: Good match to start. Two great workers at the top of their games doing what they did best.
We were shown highlights from Superstars where Mr Hughes hit The Undertaker with his urn over and over again.
Back in the ring, Mr Hughes was already standing in the ring with The Undertaker's urn and his manager Harvey Whippleman. Mr Perfect's music hit and the crowd popped big as he made his way down to the ring. Bobby was heeling on Perfect on commentary.
2. Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes in a 1st round match for the KOTR tournament. The bell rang and both men circled each other. Mr Hughes threw Perfect into the corner after a lock up, and Perfect had a priceless look on his face.
Hughes ran the ropes, and hit a beautiful dropkick. Mr Hughes backed Perfect into the corner, hit a right hand and Curt went flying over the top and sold like he was knocked silly. Mr Hughes clubbed Perfect down with forearms before slowing the match down on the mat.
Perfect fought back, tried to quicken the pace but ran straight into a right boot. More clubbing blows by Mr Hughes, followed by a high impact clothesline off the ropes.
Hughes applied more pressure on the neck, but Perfect again fought his way to his feet. He tried to run towards the ropes but Hughes grabbed him by the hair. He whipped Perfect into the corner who flipped upon impact.
They threw to backstage where Ross asked Bret Hart if he had any preference who he faces in the next round. Bret said it's tough to say because Perfect has fantastic endurance, but Hughes has the power moves. He said he would prefer to go with endurance and Mr Perfect, mostly cause he likes him better.
Retro Verdict: I loved this. Made the tournament feel more sports like.
Bobby pointed out that if he was smart, he would want neither to win so he would get a bye in the next round. Good point. Hughes was still on offence, but went for a splash on the ropes, but Perfect moved and Perfect was on offence. He hit a back body drop on the 300+ guy which was impressive, and then a neck snapmare.
Hughes was in the corner next to the urn, grabbed it, and struck Perfect in the head with it causing the DQ...
Mr. Perfect beat Mr Hughes in 5:23 via DQ to advance in the KOTR.
Retro Verdict: The ending didn't really make sense. Why would Mr Hughes, after having been on top for so long take the DQ option after only a few shots from his opponent? If I don't overthink it I thought the match was more than passable, but the ending just annoyed me a bit.
Jim Ross updated us about where we were at with the brackets, and then he threw to Mean Gene Oakland who was in the back with Mr Fuji and Yokozuna. Mean Gene reminded us that Hulk Hogan beat Yoko at WrestleMania 9. He said that Hogan cheated, because Yoko had just been in a hard 20 minute match with Bret Hart.
Yoko said, Hulk Hogan, American Hero, Tonight, Hogan, America, Will go, Down Bonzai
Retro Verdict: Yes he said it as I typed, one or two words and gap. Otherwise, it was the same thing we been getting from Mr Fuji on the Raw's leading up to the PPV.
Bam Bam Bigelow was shown making his entrance for his KOTR match. His opponent is Hacksaw Jim Duggan who was sporting several American flags.
3. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a 1st round match for the KOTR tournament. Duggan started a USA chant followed by a Hooooo shout before both men locked up. Bigelow ran against the ropes and ran into Duggan who didn't move.
They did the same again, before a third time Duggan ducked a clothesline himself before knocking Bigelow over. Bigelow took to the outside.
Bam Bam made his way back into the ring and both men were slugging it out. Bigelow whipped Duggan into the corner, but moved before Bam Bam could follow up with a splash. Duggan though sold that he may have hurt his ribs.
Bam Bam used this to advantage and put Jim in a bearhug putting pressure on the rib cage of Duggan. Hacksaw asked the crowd for encouragement which he got in spades and he fought his way out. Bigelow managed to break up the comeback but missed with a standing headbutt.
Hacksaw tried to scope Bam Bam for a powerslam but didn't have the strength so Bam Bam landed on top of him. Another bear hug which Duggan fought out of by biting Bam Bam. Duggan scooped him up and this time managed to complete the powerslam and went for his finisher. He missed, hit his head in the corner, and Bam Bam took this opportunity to go up top and hit the diving headbutt for the three count...
Bam Bam Bigelow beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan in 5:13 via pinfall to advance to the next round of the KOTR.
Retro Verdict: Not a great match, but that's no surprise really from Duggan. The right man got through.
After a random commercial, which I'm not sure was on the original broadcast, or just my copy of the original broadcast, The Narcissist Lex Luger made his way down the aisle for the final 1st round match in the KOTR tournament. His opponent, the undefeated Tatanka was out next.
4. The Narcissist Lex Luger vs. Tatanka. Bobby Heenan brought up the fact that both Lex and Tatanka were undefeated so something would have to happen in this match. Macho Man and Jim Ross both reminded us that he had a metal plate in his arm with 6 screws and had been knocking people out.
The referee's attempted to get a pad put on Lugers elbow to stop Lex from using the unfair advantage. Lex refused so the referee's went up to Finkel. He announced that if Lex did not put the elbow pad on, he would be eliminated from the competition. Lex went crazy in the ring.
Retro Verdict: Nice way to cover for the unfair advantage, although I'm not sure how a small padding on an elbow pad would make much difference, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief on this one.
Luger attacked Tatanka before the bell rang with the mirror still in the ring and threw him over the top. Luger carried on looking at himself in the mirror so Tatanka snuck in and pushed the mirror on top of Lex.
Couple of chops against the ropes and Luger fell to the outside. Tatanka followed and slammed Lex at the ringside area. Lex begged off but Tatanka wound up. He hit a clothesline which got a very close two count.
Tatanka applied an armbar, which allowed the announcers to talk about the time limit on the matches. The Brain made some hilarious comments about native Americans which I'm not sure you'd be able to get away with in this worlds PC era.
Macho Man put over the King Of The Ring tournament while Tatanka kept the armbar on. Bam Bam Bigelow appeared from backstage and said he wants the Indian but he will go on and win the KOTR.
Luger finally powered out of the armbar, but Tatanka managed to get the move back on until he got to the ropes and hit a cheap shot to get the upperhand. Luger kicked Tatanka over and over again in the corner.
Luger hit a number of shoulder charges into the mid section of the Native American before hitting a back breaker. Luger made a very casual pin attempt before hitting a big elbow drop off the ropes. Bobby did his whole "Hey how are ya, hey how are ya" shtick.
Luger remonstrated with the referee, which allowed Tatanka to sneak up behind and roll him up for a close two count. Luger got up first and knocked Tatanka down with a kick to the head.
Luger used his upper body strength to put pressure on Tatanka in a reverse chin lock. The crowd were trying to get behind Tatanka who was "Hulking up" but Luger knocked Tatanka back down by grabbing the hair.
Tatanka again called for the crowd support, but this time Luger put him back down with a big clothesline. Luger sneered at the crowd which got a great reaction. Luger made another casual pin and got a two count.
Tatanka blocked a suplex and got Lex into a small package but Luger kicked out. Luger hit another couple of shots to keep Tatanka down. Lex stalked Tatanka and kicked him right in the ribs. Jim Ross announced that 11 minutes had passed with only 4 minutes to go.
Lex wasted more time by jawing at the crowd, but it did get a lot of heat. He tried ramming Tatanka's head into the turnbuckle but that inspired the native American, Lex hit a number of shots which Tatanka no sold, and started on his usual offence. Chops, kicks and punches. Luger kicked out at the most amazingly close two count twice.
Scoop slam by Tatanka and he went to the top rope, he came off the top ropes with a chop to the head, which got an even closer two count. He went up again for another chop, but Lex moved. Ross informed us that 2 minutes were left.
Lex stomped Tatanka on the mat, and hit a clothesline for a two count. Ross said that this was a gut check for both men. Ross announced one minute remaining. Luger hit a back body drop and went for a suplex which he hit, another two count.
The bell rang to end the match as the 15 minute time limit had been reached. Howard announced the match was a draw and both men are eliminated. As a result Bam Bam gets a bye to the finals.
Lex Luger and Tatanka fought to a 15 minute time limit draw.
Lex demanded a microphone from Finkel, Luger demanded 5 more minutes which got a huge pop from the crowd. Without noticing, Lex took off his elbow pad and caught Tatanka with his elbow and Tatanka was knocked out cold.
Retro Verdict: I did enjoy that match, it won't win any match of the year contests, but they made the effort to make this feel really sports like. They managed to keep Tatanka and Luger's undefeated streaks in tact, and create intrigue that Bam Bam was going to be fresh going into the final.
Backstage, Mean Gene Oakland was with Bret Hart and Mr Perfect who would be facing each other in the semi-finals.
Mean Gene asked Bret why he said he wanted to face Mr Perfect rather than Mr Hughes, before Bret could answer Gene stirred the pot a bit more by saying do you think Perfect would be an easier opponent. Bret said that everyone took it the wrong way, he just meant he wanted a wrestling match.
Perfect was not happy with this and said you could have got by Mr Hughes and Bret said he could get by you as well. Mean Gene said that they are both second generation wrestlers, and he was curious as to whether their fathers ever faced each other. Bret said that yeah his dad used to beat his dad all the time.
Perfect said he still owes him from Summerslam 91, and don't say his dad could beat his dad because he couldn't on his best day. Oakland wanted to know what the King Of The Ring meant to both guys, and would it be a straight up brawl or a more scientific match. Perfect said he will do what he has to do to win cause he is a winner. Bret simply said, you wasn't a winner at Summerslam.
Retro Verdict: Really enjoyed that, again it made the tournament feel special, you could feel real passion from both guys, and I'm looking forward to this match just based on one promo.
Bret made his entrance and he made his way with purpose down to the ring. Mr Perfect made a more slow measured walk to the ring. Ross said that the match would be a 30 minute time limit. In an unintentional funny moment, Perfect threw his sweat towel at the referee who caught it and had no idea what to do with it, he just looked around.
5. Bret Hart vs. Mr Perfect in a Semi Final of the KOTR match. Both men circled each other, while Ross pointed out that Bret had a number of fingers tapped so may have suffered a dislocated finger or two.
Both men locked up but neither could get the advantage. Perfect applied a wastelock, but Bret got straight to the ropes. When they broke there was obvious agro. Bret applied a headlock, but Perfect broke it by firing him into the ropes but ended up taking a hip toss. Both men applied move and counter move, until Perfect got a head scissors on Bret.
Bret countered and got the headlock back on. Perfect backed Bret into the corner and hit a knifedge chop. Both men went for the slam but Perfect won the exchange, but Bret managed to get the headlock back on the mat. Wow these moves are so crisp.
Perfect fought to his feet and hit a number of stiff shots to the kidneys and threw him towards the ropes. Bret came off the ropes with a crossbody, which led to a pin. Perfect kicked out and Bret flew to ringside. He got back on the apron, put his shoulder into Perfect's mid section, flipped over the top and got a quick rollup for a two count.
Bret reapplied a side headlock takeover. Perfect grabbed the hair to try and break the move, but Bret had it applied tightly. Perfect managed to get Bret to the ropes, but Perfect did not break cleanly and hit a knee to the gut. This got a heel reaction from the crowd. Perfect stomped on Bret's groin area and the crowd certainly see Perfect as the bad guy in this and the guys are playing into that perfect (no pun intended).
Perfect launched a kick into Bret's ribs and hit a dropkick which knocked Bret to the outside. Perfect held the ropes open for Bret to get back in the ring, but as he was halfway in the ring Perfect kicked Bret.
Perfect continued the onslaught in the corner with a number of kicks, forarms and chops. Another big punt to the ribs which sent Bret to the outside, Mr Perfect went after him. He bounced Bret's head against the apron, and Perfect rolled back in the ring. The crowd were boo'ing. Bobby said that with this attitude he would consider being re-hired by Mr Perfect.
Using the ropes for leverage, Perfect bounced Bret from the apron to the steel guard rail. Ouch! Perfect simply gestured to the crowd as if saying "what?". Bret finally got back to the apron but was knocked back down with a punch. Perfect dragged Bret into the ring by his hair.
Perfect went to the top rope, and hit a beautiful dropkick. Perfect went for the cover, but didn't hook the leg. This allowed Bret to put his foot on the rope at 2. Perfect hooked the leg but Bret had recovered enough to kick out just before 3. Perfect whipped Bret across the ring, and Bret hit the turnbuckle chest first. Perfect got a two count for that.
Perfect went up top, but Bret caught him with a punch to the gut. Hitman climbed to the second rope and hit a superplex. Bret got a very close two count. Bret took out Perfects knee and applied the figure four leglock to put a lot of futher pressure on the knee. Perfect was selling it as if he was being tortured. Perfect just managed to reach the ropes.
Bret continued the attack on the knee with an elbow drop and a submission hold. Perfect managed to leverage his way out and got a shot to the face in. Perfect grabbed Bret by the hair and threw him half way across the ring. Perfect applied a sleeperhold in the middle of the ring.
Bret tried to get back to his feet, but was groggy. He managed to fall into the ropes, but Perfect didn't let go until he was very close to the 5 count. Perfect chopped Bret and reapplied the sleeper. He put his foot on the rope to gain extra leverage. Bret broke the hold by falling into the corner and Perfect faceplanted the turnbuckle.
Bret cleared the cobwebs and did exactly the same thing to Perfect by grabbing his hair and throwing him across the ring. Perfect slid and straddled the ring post. Atmoic drop by Bret followed by a side Russian legsweep for a two count. Backbreaker followed by an elbow off the second rope.
Bret went for the sharpshooter, but Perfect grabbed the damaged left fingers and damaged them further. Perfect stomped on Bret and went for the Perfect Plex. Bret blocked the suplex near the ropes, and suplexed both Perfect and himself to the ringside area. The ref was counting and both men just made it back in the ring.
Perfect was playing possium until Bret came close and rolled him up into a small package. Bret countered at two and got the three count with his own small package...
Bret Hart beat Mr Perfect in 19:12 via pinfall to advance in the KOTR.
After the match Perfect slid out of the ring disappointed, screaming that was "bulls**t". An angry Perfect made his way back into the ring to confront Bret, but ended up offering a handshake which Bret took.
Retro Verdict: Wow, where do I even begin? I remember this being one of my all time favourite matches, but I'd forgotten just how good it actually was. The psychology and the way the wrestling characters reacted was perfect, the desire to win was perfect and the wrestling was excellent. There was a few clunky moments here or there, but to me that makes a match seem more real because it seems less choreographed. Just an amazing effort by The Hitman and Perfect.
They showed a video of Mean Gene Oakland backstage with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart. Hulk Hogan said he will be representing America tonight. He said they are in the heartland of the country so there's no water around for sneak attacks. He went into his spiel about the prayers in the vitamins and iterated that he is a 5 time WWF champion.
Mean Gene asked about Mr Fuji being in Yoko's corner. Jimmy Hart spoke up and said everywhere he goes people ask what it is like to manage Hulk Hogan, but he was born and raised in America. Hulk went into a patriotic speech about America and he is representing it all along with all the Hulkamaniacs.
Retro Verdict: Generic promo really.
Howard Finkel announced the next match is for the WWF championship. Yoko walked down the aisle with Japanese photographers walking behind him which Ross highlighted. Bobby said that Hulk had trimmed down because he wanted to be quicker. Yeah that was the reason. The WWF cameras focused on the photographers again at ringside. The kids in the crowd starting to chant Hogan.
Real American blared around the arena and after a slight delay, Hulk made his entrance to a huge ovation. Hulk stood by the big screen which had a picture of Yoko on it, and I have to be honest it was quite the shot. Hulk looked trimmer than I think I ever saw him before or since.
Retro Verdict: As a kid growing up as a huge Hulk Hogan fan, I can't help but smile when I hear Real American. Say what you want about 1993 WWF, but this match had a huge feel to it.
6. Yokozuna vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Title. Macho Man said that a lot of people feel that it should have been Bret not Yokozuna who got the match against Hogan, but Jack Tunney made the decision to go with Yoko, and he questions that decision.
Retro Verdict: This was a very interesting comment. At the time Hart was upset that he had given up the belt, and Hogan had took it via Yoko, and he felt that Hogan had gone back on what he claimed was a promise to Bret to give him a match. I just wanted to throw that out there, as I found Macho's comment interesting.
Yoko did his pre-match routine in the corner and threw salt over the front row. The bell rang and both men just stared at each other. Hogan tried to sneak attack, but backed away when Yoko looked at him. They stalled for a good 2 minutes before locking up, and Hogan tried to power Yoko into the corner but he only moved about half an inch.
They locked up again and Yoko threw Hogan down. Hulk stood up and looked concerned. Yoko hit a couple of chops to the back of the champions head. Yoko hit a number of thrusts into Hogan's throat before again clubbing him down.
Ross speculated if Hogan could pick up Yoko, Bobby said that not even AAA could pick up Yokozuna. Hogan was being completely dominated, and in desperation grabbed Yoko's leg. Yoko whipped Hogan into the corner and went for a splash in the corner but Hogan moved. Hulk hit a number of right hands but Yoko didn't go down. Yoko backed into the corner and Hogan hit 10 right hands with the crowd counting along.
Hulk whipped Yoko into the corner before following up with a clothesline splash. He went for a powerslam, but he couldn't do it. Yoko easily swatted him away. Yoko went back to his patent club to the back.
Hogan was pressed up against the rope and Yoko chopped Hogan. He whipped Hulk into the ropes and Hogan came back with a clothesline which didn't move Yoko, he did the same thing again with the same result. Yoko hit a clothesline of his own and Hogan was down. Yoko went for a legdrop in the middle of the ring but Hogan moved.
Jimmy Hart at ringside was getting the crowd to cheer for Hulk. Hogan ran the ropes and ran into Yoko but he bounced off him. Yoko got a bear hug on Hogan, which Bobby said was made easier because Hulk had trimmed down for the match.
Hogan looked at the crowd for inspiration, but he couldn't get out of the hold no matter what he tried. The crowd were chanting USA USA but Hogan looked out. The ref raised the arm twice and it dropped limp. On the third occasion Hogan kept his arm up, and the crowd cheered. Hogan broke the hold with ten punches. Hogan bounced off the rope but Yoko got his elbow in the way and Hogan went down again.
Yoko hit a belly to belly suplex and went for the pin. He got two, and the Hulkster kicked and Hulked up. Fuji looked on with his mouth wide open. Yoko went for some clubbing blows to the back with Hogan shaking his head at the big man. Hogan pumped up the crowd and pointed at Yoko.
Hogan hit 3 punches and a boot to the face, but Yoko did not go down. Hogan did the same again with the same result. Hogan tried a third time and this time Yoko stumbled and fell. Hulk bounced off the ropes and hit a leg drop. Yoko kicked out at 1 and a half, seriously.
Fuji got on the apron and Hogan knocked him down. A photographer got on the apron and went to take a photo and the camera exploded. Yoko dropped a leg of his own and we have a new champion!
Yokozuna beat Hulk Hogan in15:10 via pinfall and to become the new WWF World Champion.
Retro Verdict: It wasn't the greatest technical match, but as I said above, it did feel like a huge event which is what you usually get from Hogan matches in the early 90s. Knowing what we know now, you could see signs that Hogan was on the way out, which in itself was interesting to watch back again.
Yoko held up the belt to every corner of the arena in the middle of the ring and the heat was amazing. The crowd started a USA chant.
Mean Gene was in the back with Shawn Michaels and Diesal. Mean Gene ran down what we had just seen in the title match. Oakland shifted focus to Michales match against Crush. Shawn Michaels said that Hogan is not the calibre of The Heartbreak Kid.
Oakland asked about the insurance policy, and Michaels confirmed that his name was Diesal, I had got ahead of myself slightly.
Back in the arena, The Smoking Guns and The Steiner Brothers made their way out to the The Steniers music. Money Inc. and the Headshrinkers made their way down to Money Inc.'s music and we have an 8 man match.
7. The Smoking Guns and The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc. and The Headshrinkers. Scott Stenier and Ted DiBiase started this match off. DiBiase hit two armdrags on Steiner. Some great amateur holds and counter holds to start this one off. The crowd seem completely deflated after that Hogan match.
Steiner got the advantage with a clothesline over the top rope to the floor, where Rick threw him back in. Scott clotheslined him back over the top and like de ja vu, the exact thing happened. DiBiase tagged in Fatu and Scott tagged in Bart.
The babyface Bart had the early advantage until he got a big superkick in the chin. The Headshrinkers hit a beautiful double team move and a number of headbutts, before Samu tagged in Irrrwwwwwiiiinnnn. IRS continued the attack until he tagged DiBiase in.
Quick tags between the heels, and Bart was being worked over in the wrong corner as far as he was concerned. Afa started screaming into the camera with his big wild eyes and hair. Bart made a brief comeback but got cutoff. Eventually both Bart and IRS hit clothesline on each other, and Bart managed to get a tag to Billy.
Billy unloaded on DiBiase until he dropped Billy across the top rope. DiBiase applied the Million Dollar Dream sleeper hold but Ted let go of the move. He indicated that he wanted to humiliate Billy further. DiBiase picked up Gunn but Billy rolled him up for the surprise small package 1-2-3...
The Smoking Guns and The Steiners beat Money Inc. and The Headshrinkers in 6:45 via pinfall.
Chaos descended when all 8 men entered the ring and started brawling after the match, which the babyfaces got the better of.
Retro Verdict: Nothing but a filler buffer match. Rick Steiner didn't even make it into the ring. Nothing much else to say about this match apart from the finish, which just made The Million Dollar Man look like an idiot.
Gene Oakland was in the back with Yokozuna and Jack Tunney. Tunney wanted to congratulate Yoko and Fuji on capturing the title belt. Fuji proudly said that he had been saying that Hogan would be going down down down. The camera focused on Yoko who was looking menacingly straight back down the lens.
Retro Verdict: Not sure what the point of having Jack Tunney there, wouldn't you think he would want to ask a few questions about the finish? He said well done, and then stood around looking uncomfortable on camera.
As Crush made his way down to the ring, Jim Ross announced that Hulk Hogan hadn't suffered any damage to his eyes. Crush played to the ground and got a lukewarm reaction. Shawn Michaels music played, and the ladies in the crowd screamed. Michaels walked down the aisle with Diesel in tow.
8. Crush vs Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship. Crush used his extra power to start off the match. He charged into Michaels who went flying out of the ring.
Crush synched on a headlock and Michaels couldn't break the hold due to Crush's power. A few kidney punches resolved that. Michaels put on a standing armbar. Michaels came off the ropes and bounced of Crush, went for the superkick, Crush ducked it and hit a drop kick which knocked Michaels to the floor.
Diesel looked on from ringside with a concerned look on his face. Michaels re-entered the ring and went for the legs of Crush, but Michaels couldn't knock him over. Crush lifted Michaels up and military pressed Shawn above his head.
Crush hit a big back breaker and signalled for the Crush, but Diesel pulled Michaels out of the ring. Crush chased after Michaels on the outside. Michaels hid behind Diesel and with Crush distracted Shawn ran into the ring and clobbered Crush from behind into the ring post.
Michaels smashed Crush's head into the ring post over and over again and it looked like he was knocked out. Michaels struggled to get him in the ring but he dragged him to the middle. Shawn covered him, but Crush kicked out just before the three count. Michaels went up top and came down with an axe handle. Crush was completely out on his feet.
Michaels placed Crush in a front face lock to wear him down. Crush got to his feet and managed to pick up Michaels and threw him up in the air. Michaels was back up first and went right back to the front face lock. Crush again threw Michaels across the ring but this time higher and further. A third time Michaels went for the face lock, Crush picked him up and threw him outside the ring.
Michaels went to the top but missed with a high risk manoeuvre. Crush was on the offence and hit a number of power moves including a brutal looking back breaker which nearly got a three count.
Crush clotheslined Michaels over the top rope and went up top, but got distracted by two Doinks making their way down to the ringside area smoking cigars. With Crush distracted, Michaels rolled back in the ring and hit a superkick for the 1-2-3 to retain his championship...
Shawn Michaels beat Crush in 11:12 via pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
Retro Verdict: Decent match but what else would you expect from Michaels? Crush held up his end so I give him credit for that. The ending played into the angle between Crush and the Doinks, so can't complain about the screwy finish too much.
Mean Gene caught up with Bam Bam outside his dressing room, and asked him about Hart having two hard matches, and the fact that he had a bye to the final. Bam Bam said that he was as fresh as a daisy and that he has some business to take care of.
Bam Bam made his entrance for the King Of The Ring final. Bobby played up the fact that Bam Bam has only wrestled once, and Ross pointed out that Bret has wrestled for 36 minutes already. Bret came out and was already limping. Macho Man pointed out it's a 1 hour time limit.
9. Bret Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow in the King Of The Ring Final. Bam Bam went for a big splash straight away but Bret moved. Bigelow got the advantage quite quickly with shots to the back.
Bam Bam picked up Hart but Bret squirmed forcing Bam Bam to lose his balance, which led to a two count. Bam Bam reversed a whip into the ropes and hit a clothesline. He again picked up Bret and he dumped Hart to the floor.
Bigelow went after him and threw him back in the ring. He hit two standing headbutts and Hart was struggling. Whip across the ring and Bret hit the turnbuckles hard. Bigelow methodically went after the lower back of Bret and the announcers were playing up big the punishment Bret had taken on during the tournament.
Bret made a brief comeback, but Bam Bam whipped him into the corner and he again hit the turnbuckles hard. Bam Bam whipped Bret into the ropes and caught Bret in a bearhug. Bret however was using everything he could to get out of the hold, but Bam Bam hit a back suplex to get another two count.
Bret threw Hart out of the ring again. Bigelow went after him and tried to whip him into the guard rail but Bret reversed and he crashed hard into the steel. Bret took advantage of this and smashed Bigelows head against the guard rail. He went onto the apron and attempted a crossbody, but Bigelow caught him and rammed Bret into the corner post.
Bam Bam slid back into the ring, and Luna Vachon made her way down to ringside and nailed Bret across the back with a chair. Luna ran to the back and Bigelow rolled Bret into the ring. Bigelow went to the top and hit a diving headbutt. He had Hart pinned and got the 1-2-3.
While Bigelow was celebrating, Earl Hebner came down to the ring and told the ref what had happened. The ref spoke to Howard Finkel who announced first that the decision had been reversed, before correcting himself and saying that the match would continue.
Bam Bam went back on the offence, and was hitting headbutts to the back of Bret. Bret kept struggling to his feet but Bigelow would knock him back down.
Bam Bam applied another bear hug to Bret. Bigelow moved Bret onto his shoulder and was applying pressure to his back. Bret managed to get out of the hold and hit a back suplex. Bam Bam got to his feet first and went for a big back splash but Bret moved.
Again, Bam Bam got to his feet first and continued the punishment to Bret, including putting him back on his shoulder to apply more pressure. Bret countered into the sleeper and Bigelow was now struggling. Bobby put Bret over huge by saying that Hart wasn't human, how can he take all this punishment?
Bret hit a dropkick on Bigelow who went over the top. Bret used the ropes to spring himself over the top rope into a crossbody. Bret went to the second rope and hit a clothesline for a close two count. Hart went into his usual finishing sequence. After a bulldog from the second rope, he went for the sharpshooter but Bigelow fought out of it before it was applied.
Bam Bam turned a suplex attempt into a crossbody and Bret just kicked out. Bret managed to jump onto Bigelow's shoulders and rolled forward into a victory roll for the three count and Bret is the first King Of The Ring!
Bret Hart beat Bam Bam Bigelow to become the King Of The Ring in 18:34
Retro Verdict: Not a bad match, but it suffered with Bigelow on the offence for most of the match. Saying that, you could hardly expect anything else due to Bret wrestling three times in one night. I hate finishes where one man gets the three count but the ref comes from the back to point out cheating, but I guess it worked here.
Macho Man went into the ring to give Bret a big hug as Bret was celebrating. Bret made his way to the King Of The Ring throne and Gene Oakland. Gene presented him with the royal cape, the scepter and finally the crown.
Lawler came out and said that Bret was a pretender to his crown. He said that he might allow Bret to be a prince as long as he got on his hands and knees and kissed his feet. Bret said that it takes a lot of guts for someone to come out and say that, when you consider he didn't have the guts to actually enter the King Of The Ring. He said all you are Jerry is a burger king. Bret led the crowd in a Burger King chant.
With Bret's back to Lawler, Jerry hit him with the scepter and broke the crown. Jerry continued the attack including beating him down with the throne. He then chocked out Bret with the scepter. Jerry stood over him and said he would make Bret kiss the feet of the only king in the WWF. Jerry kicked him square in the face. Ross closed the show by iterating how horrible this was, as we see ref's attending to Bret Hart.
Retro Verdict: Big angle at the end of the show that would catapult Jerry Lawler against Bret Hart for months to come.
This PPV was really enjoyable. I can't think of anything that really dragged or anything that I really didn't enjoy. The 8 man match felt like filler, and there were some matches that were not as great as others, but Bret Hart was simply fantastic on this night. He had three incredible matches against three different kinds of opponents, and then participated in a big angle at the end.
Of course the match of the night was Bret against Perfect. If you have the WWF network I would recommend you find that match, as it was simply a great wrestling match.
Hogan and Yoko felt big even though the actual action was slow and plodding, and Michaels got a good match out of Crush.
I do want to make a special mention to the announcing on this show. Macho Man, Bobby Heenan and Jim Ross were fantastic. They reminded the viewers of key points at the right time so that the audience would remember them 10 minutes later, without beating you across the head with it. The chemistry between Randy Savage and Heenan was just fantastic, and enough good things can't be said about Ross.
I would certainly recommend watching this PPV if you have the WWE network.
Agree or disagree with my evaluation of the first King Of The Ring? Feel free to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter @haydngleed
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