King Of The Ring ’99

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Arnold Furious: When all the tapes had been claimed for this book I sat down to plan out my reviewing schedule and discovered, to my horror, that King of the Ring ’99 was on my list. Attempts to trade the tape, for literally anything else, proved futile. So here we are with King of the Ring ‘99. The WWF’s worst PPV of the year and indeed the whole Attitude era  (unless In Your House: DeGeneration X counts). It was bested in year end awards by the sensationally awful Heroes of Wrestling PPV (the one where Jake the Snake was hammered during the main event and every match sucked), so history only remembers this as the worst WWF show of 1999 rather than the worst PPV of the year. Although to be fair to the WWF, WCW probably rattled off two or three PPVs as bad or worse than this show in 1999.

 

We’re in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is the 7th annual King of the Ring PPV. The show was booked around Steve Austin battling the McMahons for control of the WWF. The event even has bad music. Hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. JR updates us on Heat and how Shane McMahon was “injured”. Ken Shamrock is the focus though; Steve Blackman’s attack on him has resulted in internal bleeding. Shammy liked his internal bleeding.

King of the Ring ’96

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Arnold Furious: This is a famous show for one very obvious reason; it’s historically become “The Austin Show”, as Steve Austin took the WWF by the scruff of the neck and made it his bitch. In one promo, Austin changed the WWF’s landscape forever, the profanity and aggression making him a huge fan favourite. Austin didn’t wait for his chance to become a star in the WWF, he just kicked the door down and beat everybody up. As I’ve mentioned before, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was originally due to win the tournament but his appearance in Madison Square Garden as part of the now infamous “Curtain Call” incident derailed his push. We’re in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Owen Hart, with the wrong one on play-by-play.

 

King of the Ring ’95

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Arnold Furious: Before we get started do yourself a favour and NEVER watch this tape. Ever. Hosts are Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix. You’d think they’d learn from the catastrophe they created at IYH, but switching commentary would stop King of the Ring ’95 from being one of the worst shows, ever. So we’ll stick with them. Keeping in mind this show is in Philadelphia. You seriously don’t want to run a terrible show in Philly because those m*th*rf*ck*rs are unrelenting. To put it into perspective; John Bailey aka Hat Guy from ECW is in the front row. He hates everything.

 

(Editors note: not all comments made by Hat Guy in this review were actually made by Hat Guy, just to make that absolutely clear. But he does shout at all the heels like a champ.)

King of the Ring ’94

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Arnold Furious: 19th June 1994. We’re in Baltimore, Maryland (home of HBO’s phenomenal cop show The Wire). Hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Randy Savage and comedy third wheel Art Donovan. It showed the pressure was on Vince from the steroid trial, as he couldn’t even bring himself to commentate on the PPV’s.

 

KOTR QF: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Razor Ramon
If this was The Wire it’d be docker vs. slinger. This will be the longest match in tournament action all night. A word on the commentary team; Gorilla and Savage are ok as a two man unit, as Savage can run through all his pre-prepared stuff and he’s basically cutting promos. So he’s fine. He talks all over Art Donovan, but nobody cares what he thinks. He’s like Gill off the Simpsons. Everybody just ignores him while he says unimportant things. Incoherent babbling is Art’s main deal. He’s so hilariously bad he goes all the way back around to good. Probably for the best, as Razor and Bigelow have a real snoozer. Not ideal to open a PPV. Razor gets trapped in a rack while Art contributes more gold. “This the guy I picked to win this thing, right?” They give up on the wrestling and just start punching each other. That gets the crowd excited. Bigelow escapes the Razor’s Edge and sets for a moonsault, only for Razor to chokeslam him off the top and advance. Terrible match until the last minute and a half. I’d question them opening the show with such a slow bout. The hot opener should have been Jarrett-Kid or Owen-Tatanka.
Final Rating:

 

King of the Ring ’93

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Arnold Furious: This is one of my favourite wrestling shows, ever. Coming off a disappointing WrestleMania, the WWF owed Bret Hart a bit of an apology, what with the lack of belief in his title run, and decided to build an entire PPV around him. This had a double objective with the WWF intent on finishing Hulk Hogan’s short run as WWF champion. With Vince and Hogan at loggerheads over his role within the company, Hogan’s time in the WWF was at an end. This show represents the death of Hulkamania. We’re in Dayton, Ohio. Hosts are the WMIX three-man car crash that is Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage.

King of the Ring 2000

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Lee Maughan: Hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

 

King of the Ring Tournament, Quarter-Final
Rikishi vs. Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit has made it to the quarter-finals thanks to a pinfall victory over the Road Dogg and a submission win against X-Pac, while Rikishi is here after a disqualification win over Shane McMahon and a pinfall victory against occasional partner Scotty 2 Hotty. Rikishi has also just beaten Benoit three nights previous on SmackDown! with a banzai drop to win the Intercontinental title, and Benoit is out for revenge. So much so that he just wallops Rikishi in the face with a steel chair after 3:25 of time-filling action, administering a beat-down post-match for good measure. What a lousy start to the show.
Final Rating: *