Hey, what do you know? Some people last week actually read my commentary of the first King of the Ring PPV. I mean, no-one commented, but there were plenty of views. So, because I am nothing if not predictable, here is the sequel to that column, and the sequel to that PPV. Yes, it’s the 1994 King of the Ring PPV! (25 years ago… hell, Rhea Ripley (my favourite female wrestler in WWE at the moment) wasn’t even a gleam in her parents’ eye then!), following on from the Bret Hart show that was the 1993 incarnation.
I have the pre-show! It’s… how can I put this?… I know… SH*T! I whinge about today’s pre-shows, but this was painful beyond words.
We start by going through the opening brackets, and then run-down the rest of the matches. This includes Rowdy Roddy Piper against The King Jerry Lawler, with this quote: “The unrelenting Rowdy Roddy Piper steps into the ring just one more time…” So… let me see… Everything in WCW post-1996 with him didn’t happen? Actually, that would probably be for the best for absolutely everyone involved.
Speaking of painful beyond words, we have a, well, let’s be generous and call it a ‘rendition; of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ by some-one from Blackfoot. Our commentators are Art Donovan (?), The Macho Man and Gorilla Monsoon. Can you say train-wreck from the get-go? Ooh, yeah!
KotR Tournament Match: Bam Bam Bigelow (with Luna Vachon) v Razor Ramon
Luna is scary AF, but she has a body on her. This is a back and forth match, and Art Donovan is now officially in Randy Rosenbloom territory of the worst commentators ever, only more senile. Sorry… The match is actually not a bad big man match, and crowd is into Razor. After close to 9 minutes, we had the ending, where Bigelow goes up for the moonsault, but Ramon brings him down and pins him. Yeah, not a bad match at all.
Todd Pettingill with IRS and Mabel. IRS gives a rotten promo. Mabel tries to underdo him with a terrible promo of his own.
KotR Tournament Match: IRS v Mabel (with Oscar)
IRS’s clichéd put-downs as he comes to the ring are matched by Oscar’s clichéd rapping. (At least Oscar raps, and doesn’t just recite poetry…) Crap match. Mabel has decided that selling is for other people, IRS has decided that facial expressions are his move du jour and this match is only made interesting for the crowd by their being able to chant, “Whoomp! There it is!” (I will never forgive Tag Team for releasing that song). After over 5 long, long minutes, Mabel is on the second rope, IRS shakes the ropes and Mabel falls down so IRS can pin him with rope assistance. And, I tell you what, there are as many cheers as boos for IRS. Blergh match anyway.
Cornette and Fuji are with Crush and Yokozuna strategizing for the tag team title match. Not worth the paper it wasn’t printed on.
KotR Tournament Match: Tatanka v Owen Hart
Nice back and forth match. Oh, I remember now – this is the “how much does he weight?” commentary. Art Donovan asks this question all the freakin’ time. Just mute him. Look, I know this match isn’t the most exciting, but it certainly isn’t bad. They both attack each other nicely, and their selling is nicely done. Oh, now we go backstage (mid-match split screen) to see Razor and IRS arguing. Wow! It’s a tournament! Why do we need to have backstage sh*t? Anyway, this match is about 8 minutes long and, like I said, isn’t terrible. Ending comes when Tatanka goes for a sunset flip, but Owen sits down on him and hooks the legs to get the pin. You know, I sometimes think Tatanka was under-rated in many ways.
Todd with Diesel (IC Champ) and Shawn Michaels who put down Bret Hart. Standard promo.
KotR Tournament Match: Jeff Jarrett v The 1-2-3 Kid
It is so hard to associate this 1-2-3 Kid with later X-Pac/Syxx iterations. Kid bumps all over the place for Jarrett, who actually looks like a threat, which was rare at this point in time. This was a good match, but at less than 5 minutes, it was way too short. They should have had these two go close to the time limit. Yes, I was enjoying it that much. The end comes when Double-J goes for a figure-4 but the Kid small packages him. And then, post-match, Jarrett hits 3 piledrivers on the Kid. Oh, back in the days when it was a deadly move, not a transition. And then 3 fist drops. Kid is not in a good way.
New Generation advertisement. Hulk Hogan is there as part of the old. This on a show featuring Piper v Lawler.
Todd Petting-zoo (sp?) is with Bret Hart. Hart gives an angry promo, always his best promos.
World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship Match: Diesel (IC Champ) (with Shawn Michaels) v Bret Hart (World Champ) (with Jim Neidhart)
My God, shut Art Donovan up! This is a pretty good match, with Diesel using his size and power and Hart using his wrestling knowledge and skill for the match to be back-and-forth. It goes for over twenty minutes and the crowd is into it the whole time. I’m not sure if it was Hart carrying Diesel, or Diesel putting his working boots on to show that he belonged there. Probably six of one, half a dozen of the others. Michaels and Neidhart get involved. This is actually surprisingly good; I didn’t rate it way back when, but maybe getting older does have its advantages. But the ending still gives me the irrits. To keep Diesel strong, and keep Hart happy (I guess), the ending came when Diesel hits the jack-knife power-bomb on Hart and Neidhart comes in and clotheslines Diesel for the Diesel DQ win, but Hart retains the title. And post-match Neidhart leaves and Diesel and Michaels keep working over Hart until a football team of officials comes in to restore order.
Toodles is with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. Lawler can talk, I’ll give him that.
KotR Tournament Match: Razor Ramon v IRS
And we have another IRS promo on his way to the ring. *Sigh!* In just over 5 minutes we have a match that would not be out of place on Raw today. That is not a compliment, by the way. Razor jump-starts things, IRS takes over, long heel beat-down, and then IRS drops his head, Razor hits a Razor’s Edge, that’s all she wrote. However, during this match Savage started to lose it with Donovan, which was strangely amusing. And the commentators talked more about the 1-2-3 Kid than the match… and fair enough, too.
Backstage, Bret is searching for Jim. But to no avail. Hmm… what could this mean? Actually, to be honest, at the time, it had us all coloured intrigued, so this is hindsight being facetious.
The Todd-meister is with no-one because no-one has heard from the 1-2-3 Kid. To be honest, that was quite a decent way to put over what Jarrett had done to him.
KotR Tournament Match: Owen Hart v The 1-2-3 Kid
And the Kid is out, but Hart jump-starts the match, and then we have a 4 minute version of what would become normal for the TNA X-Division 10 years later. This was so far ahead of its time but just way too f’n short. 4 minutes! This was like the Cliff Notes version of a really great match. And Kid sells his injuries and being dazed all the way through it. This was just so cool. What could they have done with 15 minutes? End comes when a Kid rana attempt is blocked into a powerbomb and Hart locks on a sharp-shooter and the Kid taps. Great match!
Roddy Piper gives an insane promo. Was there any other sort of Piper promo? Actually, this sort of personality is really missing from wrestling. Watching this… I miss Piper. It might be insane, but it actually pushes forth the match. This is so much better than 75% of modern day promos.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Yokozuna and Crush (with James E. Cornette & Mr Fuji) v The Headshrinkers, Fatu & Samu (with Capt. Lou Albano & Afa)
Another “how much does he weigh?” from Donovan. There’d be an interesting drinking game. Anyway, this match was just a bunch of fat people (and Crush) wandering around headbutting and slapping (and occasionally kicking) each other. This is not a good match. Not even close. After almost 10 minutes (and they gave Hart/Kid 5?!) we have an ending. Lex Luger comes down to yell at Crush, distracting him like a doofus, there’s a roll-up that almost gets Crush, Crush clotheslines some-one out of the ring, the other one superkicks him, pin and the champs retain. Post-match, Crush hammers Luger until the Headshrinkers make the save. Doesn’t help; still a crap match.
Todd with Owen. Owen with a sharp promo against his brother, ignoring his match.
KotR Final Match: Razor Ramon v Owen Hart
Razor is on top for most of the match. Owen has a few comeback spots, but Ramon really held sway. Apart from a drawn-out abdominal stretch by Owen. It’s like they were just too tired. But, after around 6 ½ minutes, Ramon has Owen set up for the Razor’s Edge, but Owen back drops him out of the ring. Then Jim Neidhart comes down to help Ramon… and he clotheslines Ramon, throws him into the ringpost, then tosses him back into the ring where Owen hits a nice flying elbow for the pin and the win. Post-match, the brothers-in-law hit Ramon with a nice Hart Attack and attack Razor as the crowd chants, “We want Bret!”
Raymond Rougeau is with Bret Hart, who can’t believe what happened and has no comment. Actually served a purpose.
And like his brother the year before, Owen Hart has won the King of the Ring. We have the coronation ceremony, without any shenanigans this time. Neidhart flanks Owen as he is crowned. He demands respect. He gets Neidhart to crown him and forces Pettingill to his knees. Owen proclaims himself the ‘King of Harts’. This, of course, led to a frankly magnificent steel cage match between Bret and Owen, after their awesome opening match at Wrestlemania X.
What a way to end the show…
No, that has to be the end. Please…
Instead, we get a video package of Lawler using every heel cliché, Piper responding, Lawler bringing out a skinny kid impersonating Roddy. Why in the Holy F*ck is this the ‘main event’?? I am so dreading this match…
The “New Generation of the WWF” Match: Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler v ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
It was a match. It lasted 12 minutes. It happened. Isn’t that enough? The skinny kid from the video package comes out with Piper. Some stuff goes down. A ref gets bumped. The skinny kid breaks up a pin. Piper hits a suplex and gets the final pin to end this travesty.
Are you f*ckin’ kiddin’ me? No picture.
Well, that was a show. Not as good as last year, but it didn’t kill the concept.
And that was the sequel. They’re never as good as the originals, are they?