WWF @ Vienna, Austria
by Scrooge McSuck
July 29, 1993
- We're back with more Fan-Cam Fandamonium, and we're going to stray over to the East of the Atlantic Ocean. The WWF is doing it's second tour of Europe of the year, the first taking place the weeks following WrestleMania IX. Unlike that tour, where at least four shows made it to broadcast in England, Spain, France, and Italy, I don't know of any of the dates in July and August making it to television, making this show the only one known to exist on tape. To be fair, if you look at the lineup, this run of shows featured very few existing programs from the time frame, and comes across as the second-rate tour going on at the time. A second-rate tour feauring the WWF Championship and Hulk Hogan in his last tour of duty of the WWF until nearly a decade later.
- Much like a lot of Fan-Cam's out there, this is not the complete card, but does feature a good majority of it, and all of the higher profile matches. Stuff that didn't make the cut includes "El Matador" Tito Santana, in one of his last appearances, taking on the Predator (Horace Hogan, nephew of the Hulkster), and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, in one of his last appearances, facing Bastion Booger. Get used to me saying that a lot here, this show is a swan song of sorts to the majority of the wrestlers featured.
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. "Terrific" Terry Taylor:
Not to sound like a broken record, but this would mark one of the last appearances in the WWF for all three men involved in this match. Taylor wound down in his riing-career not long after this, but good old Ed Leslie stuck around WCW for years, with dumb gimmick after dumb gimmick. Honestly, I liked the guy, but it was obvious he kept getting terrible gimmicks because either they weren't trying too hard to come up with good ideas, Eric Bischoff didn't like him, or a combination of both. It's a shame that he practically disappeared from WWF Television following WrestleMania. They spent quite a bit of time on Monday Night Raw hyping him back up, then he's practically erased, other than as a background spectactor for Hulk Hogan promos building up to King of the Ring.
Beefcake offers a handshake, then pulls it back. What a jerk! Taylor with some struttin', reminiscent of his days as the Red Rooster, and Beefcake responds with his own brand of struttin'. Lockup, Taylor with an arm drag. He grabs a headlock, Beefcake counters into a hammerlock. Clip ahead a bit to Beefcake working a side headlock. Whip to the corner, Taylor meets the knees on a charge, but still has enough to catch Beefcake coming with a clothesline. Snapmare takeover and a pair of knee drops across the forhead for two. Taylor with a sloppy side back-breaker for a two count. Taylor hits the chinlock for a while. Beefcake with elbows to the midsection, but runs into an elbow. Taylor with a lazy snapmare and second rope splash for two. Beefcake comes off the ropes with a sunset flip for two. Small package for another two count. Beefcake with a swinging neck breaker. Whip to the ropes, and he takes Taylor over with a back drop. Sleeper hold applied, but Taylor escapes, sending Beefcake to the buckle. Whip to the ropes, Beefcake ducks a clothesline, and a running high knee finishes things at 9:11. Paint-by-Numbers formula and a bit sloppy at times, but for the most part, an acceptable performance.
Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
Probably the only match on this show with program to explain things. Back in April, Sensational Sherri and Luna Vachon were having an early 90's style program when the WWF had practically no women workers on the roster since the late 80's. Tatanka got involved, and suddenly aligned herself with Bam Bam, who later went on to cut part of Tatanka's sacred hair. Unfortunately for the era of television, they never did a proper blowoff, unless you count the one-and-done filler at the 1994 Rumble, and that was only a last-second replacement for Ludvig Borga.
Brawl around the ring to start. Back inside, Bigelow puts the boots to him. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with a pair of diving shoulder tackles. He goes to the well one too many times, and Tatanka comes off the ropes with his own tackle, followed by a dropkick and body press for a two count. Tatanka with chops, followed by a trio of clotheslines for two. Bigelow resumes clubberin' away. Whip to the ropes, Tatanka counters a back drop with a DDT. He heads to the top rope and misses a body press. Bigelow sends him to the floor, then into the steel steps. He milks it for a Count-Out, but Tatanka just barely breaks the count. He offers a comeback, but a rake of the eyes stops him. Whip to the corner, Bigelow charges in with an avalanche. He tries again, this time meeting the boots. Sunset flip attempt by Tatanka, countered with a butt drop. Bigelow with a dropkick for two. Snapmare, and a lengthy chinlock follows. Tatanka mounts his comeback, doing the War Dance. Bigelow with an enziguri, momentarily interrupting things and mocking him with his own dancing around the ring. Tatanka starts up again, coming off the ropes with chops. They spill to the floor, trading blows. Tatanka sends Bigelow into (something I can't see), and rolls back in to pick up the Count-Out victory at 13:07. Bigelow with a post-match lay-out to get his heat back. Some lengthy restholds, but a solid performance. Sometimes it's quite easy to see when people are trying and when they aren't.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Samu & Fatu)
The Steiner Brothers © vs. The Headshrinkers:
Despite this being a Championship Match, I don't know where the Steiners were, program wise at this point. They were working primarily with Money Inc., but at the same time they focused their attention on Razor Ramon to lead into SummerSlam. They were scheduled to wrestle the Heavenly Bodies, who were working for SMW at the time on a full-time basis. The Headshrinkers on the other hand have been working with the Smoking Gunns, so I don't know, it's just random nonsense that doesn't need that much thought to be put behind it, so sorry for the long diatribe over the situation.
Scott and Samu start. Lockup, Scott takes him over with an arm drag. Lockup to the corner and repeat. Samu with chops and whip to the corner, followed in with a clothesline. To the opposite corner, Scott comes charging out with a clothesline of his own, followed by a double underhook suplex. Rick in, and the 'Shrinkers bail. After a bit of stalling, Rick and Fatu get on all fours for a weird comedy bit. Samu offers the same, and Rick threatens to lift a leg up on him. Samu with a rake of the eyes and slam. Fatu in with clubbing blows. Whip to the ropes, Rick catches Fatu in a leap frog and plants him with a powerslam. He connects with a Steinerline, sending him back to the floor. The Steiners resume domination until a crescent kick drops Scott. The Headshrinkers with double teaming in the corner. Fatu with a back suplex, followed by a headbutt, then slaps on a nerve hold. Scott fights free with elbows to the midsection, but a hair pull slams him back down to the canvas. More double teaming in the corner. Samu sends him across the ring, but meets the post on a diving charge. Rick with the hot tag and Steinerlines to both. Noggin'knocker attempt is no sold and returned. We get heel miscommunication, and Rick rolls up Samu for the three count at 13:40. The 'Shrinkers with a post-match attack until Scott clears them out. Anti-climatic with too much stalling. About a quarter of the match they put on at WrestleMania IX, in terms of quality, with the same amount of time.
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Papa Shango:
Here's a match that would be a Main Event anywhere in the Coun... uh, World. Okay, maybe only in Memphis, and if Jerry Lawler was heavily involved in the storyline. For those unsure of where this is going, the WWF and USWA did a sort-of "invasion" storyline, with the WWF lending talent throughout the Summer. In one instance, Papa Shango won their "World" Title, only to drop it to a heel Owen Hart, who then dropped it to Super-Face Jerry Lawler. There's a Compilation recap I need to do one day... anyway, Owen Hart's role in the WWF was damn near irrelevant at this point, and Papa Shango would not make another television appearance until a gimmick change as Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine.
Shango with stalling to start. Owen grabs a headlock. Whip to the ropes, he ducks under a clothesline and comes back with a body press, but Shango counters with a slam. He misses an elbow and Owen goes to work on the arm. Another criss-cross sequence, and Shango misses a dropkick. That must be his way of showing he has his "workin' boots" on. Owen connects with an enziguri before it meant anything and goes back to working the arm. Whip to the ropes, Shango blocks a hip toss attempt and lays Owen out with a clothesline. Shango with stomping and choking across the middle rope. He plants Owen with a slam and drops a leg for two. Owen with a surprise roll up for two, as well. Shango quickly puts him down with a clothesline and hits the chinlock. Owen attempts tto break free, but takes a knee to the midsection. The action spills to the floor, with little of importance taking place. Back inside, Shango sends Owen to the corner, then charges in about 7 hours later, hitting a boot. Owen with a series of rights in the corner, followed by a back drop and spinning heel kick for two. Top rope body press for two. Whip to the corner is reversed and he takes the Bret bump. Shango with a back breaker, but he covers in an odd "I'm waiting to get pinned" spot, and yup, a roll up reversal by Owen gets three at 8:16. Well, Owen looked game, but carrying Shango past the 1-star territory is really an accomplishment.
WWF Championship Match:
It's time for the Main Event! This seems to be the only match to include full ring entrances and introductions. For those who've somehow avoided one of my many bitch-fests about Hogan's 1993 run, here it is in short form: The guy comes back for WrestleMania, somehow walks out of the show as WWF Champion, immediately goes back to doing nothing while filming terrible movies and television shows, then drops the belt back to Yokozuna instead of a proposed program with Bret Hart, all while making ZERO appearances on syndicated shows or Monday Night Raw. Considering the importance of the belt to house shows, how did he get away with never once defending it between winning and losing it? Yes, it was only April and May, technically lull months, but still... whatever.
Yokozuna © (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Sportsman of the Year Hogan throws his torn shirt at Yokozuna, possibly for eating part of his lunch. I'm half surprised he didn't attack him from behind for the tossing of the ceremonial salt. Lockup and Yoko' shoves him to the canvas. Hogan grabs a headlock, but comes off the ropes and gets laid out with a shoulder tackle, sending him to the floor for a breather. Usually heels do that kind of thing. Back inside, Hogan rakes the eyes, TWICE, and unloads with rights. Whip to the corner, followed by a clothesline. Slam attempt fails. Whip to the corner, and Hogan over-sells it despite taking it at half-speed. Yokozuna keeps working the back, but misses an elbow drop. Hogan with clotheslines and rights. The Popeye Punch™ rocks him, but Fuji trips Hogan up by the ropes to interrupt the comeback. Yoko goes to the throat and slaps on a 5-minute nerve hold. Hogan with elbows to escape, but runs into a clothesline. Yoko' with a splash, and it's Hulk Up Time ®. Rights, big boot, rights, big boot, leg drop, and Fuji runs in for the lame-ass Disqualification at 13:30. Post-match, Hogan lays out Fuji and bashes Yoko' with the Megaphone to celebrate the cheap victory. Worse than their King of the Ring match, and a fitting end to Hogan's WWF career (at the time)... a turd spiraling down the toilet.
Final Thoughts: If you were to look at this on paper, you would probably assume that Bigelow vs. Tatanka, Steiners vs. Headshrinkers, and Owen Hart would put on solid performances, and everything else would fall under "whatever" or "terrible." Well, Bam Bam vs. Tatanka was pretty good, but the lame finish takes away, of course. The unofficial opener was decent, if not a bit boring, and Owen carried Papa Shango to as good of a match as he could (not very, but watchable). The Tag Title Match was pretty lazily worked, and the Main Event more-so. Surprisingly, Yokozuna phoned it in even harder than Hogan. I guess you could say Hogan should've done jobs to Yokozuna instead, even if by DQ and Count-Out, but it's stuff that never was going to be mentioned in the states, so no big deal. For Fan-Cam fans, take a pass for the sake of video quality, unless you really are boned up about Hogan's (sort of) last match in the WWF.
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