James Dixon: This was filmed immediately after last week’s show, but aired the night after King of the Ring ’93. It is strange really; you would think a post PPV live show would be better and more relevant. They did the same thing after WrestleMania IX as well, and that episode of Raw was dire. In an effort to make this seem live, we start with footage of Yoko winning the WWF title and killing off Hulkamania in the WWF for nearly a decade, and then get a promo hosted by Mean Gene taped at KotR, with Fuji and Yoko. Not much is said, as you might imagine.
Mr. Perfect vs. L.A. Gore
To refresh your memory about which jobber is which, this is the one who looks like DDP. The announcers, who recorded their stuff earlier in the day, put over the Bret-Perfect match from KotR and discuss Yoko beating Hogan. Gore tries to chop Perfect, but he gets the same with added stink in return. Perfect runs through his signatures and chops Gore some more. They are brutal. The Perfectplex wins it in fairly short order. Your standard TV match, but it was Mr. Perfect so it was that touch better.
Final Rating: *¾
Promo Time: Razor Ramon
Vince uses the words “wrestler” and “fans” during this interview, meaning he hadn’t quite gone fully insane yet by 1993. Razor offers the “stick mang” 1-2-3 Kid $10,000 for a rematch so he can prove his defeat to him was a fluke.
“The first ever WWF King of the Ring was a spectacle unlike any other” says Vince. It sure was! Don Muraco wrestled four times on his way to victory over The Iron Sheik in the final! Oh, right, he means “last night’s” PPV… BUY THE ENCORE PRESENTATION FOLKS!
Doink the Clown vs. Marty Jannetty
Doink comes out swigging from a can and then heads straight under the ring. A clearly different Doink comes from under the ring and squirts Vince and Savage with… something. Vince is not amused. Jannetty outsmarts and outwrestles Doink in the early going, using his quickness and countering ability to keep control of the match, working spots out of an armbar. Doink tries to buy some time by throwing Jannetty through the ropes, but Jannetty comes right back with a crossbody off the top, then gets caught with a powerslam. This has been pretty good actually. Heel Doink is over with New York, who chant “let’s go Doink”. Vince chooses to ignore it. Doink shows his considerable wrestling ability as Heenan makes the rather curious claim that he resides in Jurassic Park. I am not convinced that Vince even knows what that is. Doink hits the Whoopie Cushion, but it only gets a two. The fact that Vince calls it “whatamanoeuvre” suggests to me it wasn’t his finish yet. Doink continues to thoroughly dominate until he goes up top one too many times, and Jannetty throws him halfway across the ring. Jannetty hits a few impact moves but is unable to put Doink away, and the constant talk from the announcers about the other Doink under the ring rather telegraphs what is going to happen here. Sure enough they tumble to the outside and… both get counted out! Colour me surprised. They continue to have a spirited brawl, and Jannetty is going to town on him like they were involved in a vicious feud. Perhaps they should have been! Jannetty wants to continue the match, but Doink has had enough. A really entertaining TV match. I am a fan of both guys.
Final Rating: ***¼
“The first ever WWF King of the Ring was a spectacle unlike any other” says Vince. It sure was! Don Muraco wrestled four times on his way to victory over The Iron Sheik in the final! Oh, right, he means “last night’s” PPV… BUY THE ENCORE PRESENTATION FOLKS… Sorry, if they are going to repeat the same advert then I am going to recycle what I have already written.
Owen Hart vs. Dan Dubiel
Dan Dubiel went onto become Johnny Handsome, and he bulked up big time in later years, to the point that he would give Scott Steiner a run for his money! He never achieved much success in the big leagues, though he did work for the WWF on and off as enhancement talent for a few years before winding up in SMW and a number of independents, as well as All-Star Wrestling in the UK. Owen Hart was still doing ‘The Rocket’ gimmick, complete with parachute pants and braces. It wouldn’t be long before he became a star. Dubiel shoves Owen after getting outwrestled, so Owen slaps the PISS out of him. This is a pretty decent TV match, but it gets ignored because 1-2-3 Kid is on the phone. Kid makes a rookie mistake (fittingly) by saying “belt” instead of “title”. All the banned words are getting thrown around tonight. Kid’s ears prick up when he hears about the $10,000 on the line if he faces Razor, and jumps at the chance. “I understand your reluctance” says Vince moronically. Why would he be reluctant? The worst that can happen is he loses the match, which he had done a bunch of times anyway. The most surprising thing about the interview is the acknowledgement that Kid is currently wrestling in Japan and has had calls from “lots of promoters”. But Kid, wrestling doesn’t exist outside of the WWF! Did Vince just decide to do away with his peculiar idiosyncrasies concerning wrestling for this show? It’s nice. Refreshing. No-one has said “universe” or “sports entertainment” even once. Oh yeah, the match. My review and the entire commentary team does it a disservice, because like the opener it was a fun TV match and Owen was of course very entertaining to watch.
Final Rating: *¾
On All-American Wrestling this week, Owen Hart vs. Bastion Booger! That is not actually as awful as it sounds, because Owen and Mike “Bastion Booger” Shaw had a series of good matches in Stampede Wrestling a few years prior to this. I don’t know how they gelled having been “cartoonified” by the WWF machine however. I guess that is for us to find out in another book…
Extended footage from Superstars of The Undertaker beating the hell out of PJ Walker, otherwise known as Aldo Montoya and Justin Credible. He was skinny here and wore Rockers type tights. Isn’t it interesting how the inflection of the ring announcers has changed when it comes to announcing Taker? Here he is “The Underrrrr TAKER” but he becomes “The UNDER taker” in later years. Well, to me that is interesting. By the way, when I say extended footage, I really do mean extended, and we even get Taker’s entrance. We get the full match as well, which is a complete demolition job. Giant Gonzalez talls his way down the aisle and something resembling a brawl occurs. It is mainly standing and holding each other. Mr. Hughes comes out while Taker is distracted and wallops Paul Bearer and then beats the hell out of Taker with the urn. Hughes gives Bearer a shot to the head with it for good measure, then steals the shiny trinket. Fun little angle actually, and it was fairly rare to see The Undertaker left laying like that.
Jerry Lawler vs. Mark Thomas
It is a happy coincidence that Lawler is wearing pink and black after the attack on Bret Hart at KotR, even though this was taped last week. He wore the exact same colours on last week’s show too, though Vince appears to have forgotten that. Obviously the angle was booked in advance, so Lawler would have been aware of it already, but it would have been better if he had only worn the pink gear for this show rather than for both. It cheapens the impact. Thomas is fairly jacked for a TV guy, and he actually worked for the WWF as enhancement for six years, starting back in 1989. In a sense, he is one of the longest serving guys on the current roster. I’m not sure what that says, but it says something. As I have said before, I was not a fan of Lawler’s WWF work, and this did little to get the pulse racing. The most notable part of the match was Bobby Heenan’s scoop that Yokozuna has issued a challenge for anyone in the world of sports to try and slam him on July 4th. That sounds like it could possibly lead to an angle…
Final Rating: *
Next week on Raw from Poughkeepsie, a rematch between Marty Jannetty and Doink in a 2/3 falls match, and a rematch between Razor Ramon and 1-2-3 Kid. That sounds pretty awesome actually.
THE RAW RECAP
Most Entertaining: Mr. Perfect. For his vicious chops that lit up L.A. Gore like Vegas.
Least Entertaining: Like last week, no-one was especially poor or tough to sit through. Jerry Lawler annoys me with his fannying about and stalling, so he can have the award.
Quote of the Night: “Look at all that stuff, he got it all over us!” – Vince McMahon. One could almost take a comment like that completely out of context and find it rude and/or amusing.
Match of the Night: Marty Jannetty vs. Doink the Clown. A really good TV match-up, with plenty of action and a surprising amount of intensity. I am looking forward to their bout next week, I just hope it isn’t full of shenanigans.
Summary: A pretty fun episode, with plenty of different TV feuds getting airtime, as the WWF looked to retain interest in their TV shows prior to SummerSlam. Jannetty and Doink surprised me by having a very nice little match, and the rest of the card played host to some solid TV squash matches and nothing that you would categorise as bad. By no means spectacular, but like last week it flew past and kept me entertained. The run of semi-decent shows continues!