The Complete July 1993 Feature Match Extravaganza!
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last time in our adventure, Bobby Heenan celebrated something he could never accomplish: Hulkamania died, at least as far as the World Wrestling Federation is concerned. Bret Hart won the King of the Ring tournament, only to have his moment of glory tarnished by "The King" Jerry Lawler. The Steiner Brothers and Money Inc. swapped the belts three times over a 6-day span, and Shawn Michaels is once again the Intercontinental Champion and introduced us to his new bodyguard, the 7’0" tall "Diesel." Mr. Hughes was in the middle of a substantial push, and Bastion Booger is the most disgusting wrestler in WWE history. Crush and Doink still have issues, and hey, there's that Stars and Stripes Challenge coming up on July 4th!
Marty Jannetty vs. Bastion Booger:
From the July 3rd, 1993 episode of WWF Mania, with Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon calling the action. Will Marty Jannetty attempt to slam Yokozuna? Only if Yokozuna is standing on the bag of nose candy. That was probably uncalled for, but if you ever read Marty’s social media ramblings, he deserves all the ridicule he gets. Jannetty grabs a headlock and Booger easily throws him off. Booger with a shoulder tackle, knocking Jannetty to the apron. He slides back in between the legs, lands on his feet on a back drop, and takes Booger down with an enziguri. Booger with a snap mare, but misses a leg drop. Jannetty sends him to the floor with the Super-Kick as we take a break. We return with Booger in control. Booger weakly splashes the knees, a move you don't see very often. They take it to the floor, with Booger crushing Jannetty against the post. Whip to the corner, Booger misses a charge, and Jannetty comes off the top with a body press for three at 3:35. Booger with a post-match attack, including a power-slam and the tea-bagging butt drop. 3/4* At least it was short.
- On July 4th, 1993, the Stars and Stripes Challenge took place in New York City aboard the USS Intrepid. Newly crowned WWF Champion Yokozuna issued a challenge to any American to slam him, an unachievable task for the self-proclaimed Immortal Hulk Hogan. Among those who attempted were Lee Rouson, formerly of the New York Giants (1985-1990), Peter Taglianetti of the Pittsburgh Penguins (active years 1987-1996 in the NHL), Scott Burrell, recently drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (who didn't even try!), and hey, BILL FRALIC OF THE DETROIT LIONS!? Didn't he punk out Big John Studd in the build up to the WrestleMania 2 Battle Royal?!
WWF Superstars who tried and failed included former WWF Champion Bob Backlund, one-half of the Tag Team Champions, Scott Steiner, Tatanka, who in his efforts tried to use chops to soften Yokozuna up, and ended up taking a beating for it. The Original Hawaiian Punch™ Crush got Yokozuna up, but couldn't turn him over. Finally, Randy Savage, acting as MC along with Todd Pettingill, gave it a shot, WITH THE STUPID HAT STILL ON! No one could do it, all hope was lost... until suddenly a Helicopter arrived with one last Challenger. Stepping out was a man decked out in red, white, and blue. A man who people could look up to as a hero. The one... the only... LEX LUGER?!? The guy who spent 6-months posing in front of a mirror, being the walking definition of narcissistic behavior and vanity?! Long story short, Luger bopped Yokozuna with his elbow and picked him up for the slam heard around the world! Go ahead and book it for the Main Event at SummerSlam!
The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Blake Beverly:
From the July 5th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. The Kid has entrance music and new tights, finally ditching his old Lightning Kid gear. For reasons unknown, Blake has shaved his mustache... I'm sure everyone cares to know that. Loud "1-2-3" chants. Beverly slaps him around and gets sent to the floor with a dropkick for being a douche. Kid follows with a baseball slide. Back inside, Kid gets pressed in the air and connects with a dropkick. Enziguri for a two count. Kid goes for a body press, but Beverly turns it into a powerslam. Beverly with a neck breaker, followed by a suplex, dropping the Kid across the turnbuckle, and dropping him to the arena floor. Back inside, Beverly with a headbutt to the back of the neck, then casually press slams the Kid out of the ring! Beverly with a back breaker and the Oklahoma Stampede, but he pulls the Kid up at one. The Kid tries a twisting body press, but kisses canvas. Beverly with a short-arm clothesline and diving shoulder tackle. Blake goes high and misses a plancha! The Kid recovers, climbs to the top rope, and comes down with a somersault! Back inside, a crisscross ends with Beverly planting the Kid with a back suplex. He goes to the second rope and misses another high risk maneuver. The Kid to the top rope, and a leg drop to the back of the head finishes at 8:01! **1/2 I like the story of more established wrestlers, even someone low on the card like a Beverly Brother, taking the kid lightly, only to be surprised by his tenacious attitude and ability to pick up on his mistakes.
The Undertaker vs. Headshrinker Samu (w/ Afa):
Also from the July 5th episode of Raw. The story of the match is the Undertaker is without Paul Bearer and the Urn, thanks to a beat down from Mr. Hughes and the Giant Gonzales. Yep, the first in a LONG line of "Someone Stole the Undertaker's Urn" Storylines. Slugfest and a crisscross, complete with a blown leap frog from Undertaker. 'Taker with a DROP TOE HOLD and pulls at the face until Samu rolls to the floor. They speculate where Paul Bearer has disappeared to. Heenan: Paul Bearer is in Mobile, AL robbing graves. Noteworthy because William Moody was born in Mobile and stayed true to his roots throughout his life. Back inside, Undertaker with a dropkick! Undertaker walks the ropes and comes down with (Before It Was) Old School. He goes for a diving lariat, but misses and lands outside the ring. Afa with a distraction, allowing Samu to lay him out. They do another crisscross, with Samu planting 'Taker with a powerslam for a two count. Samu with a slam and clothesline, knocking him to the floor. 'Taker no-sells it and throws Samu head-first into the ring post! Samu avoids a jumping elbow drop and takes 'Taker down with a side slam. Samu with the top rope headbutt. Undertaker avoids a second attempt, plants him with a Choke-Slam, and finishes with the Tombstone Piledriver at 7:23. ** Much better match than you would expect. I don't know why Undertaker decided he was going to try and wrestle, but it made for a nice surprise.
Crush vs. Doink (the Clown):
From the July 10th, 1993 episode of Superstars. Don't blink: This is the final confrontation to the Crush/Doink angle that began all the way back in the weeks before the Royal Rumble. Very rarely did Crush ever get the upper-hand. They hype Crush challenging Yokozuna for the WWF Title on Monday Night Raw, so that should be a hint what happens. Doink sneaks up from behind as Crush is distracted by the video wall promo. Doink with a swinging neck breaker. Doink puts the boots to him and turns over with a Boston Crab. Crush can't be too smart, he's practically in the ropes and doesn't grab them to escape. Crush starts no-selling and pounds away with rights. Doink rolls to the floor, trips Crush up, and wraps the leg around the post. Doink slaps him around, so Crush comes out of nowhere with an enziguri. Doink continues to dominate as we take a break. We return with Crush connecting with a tilt-o-whirl back breaker. He follows with an atomic drop, clothesline, and a leg drop. He goes for the Cranium Crunch, but Doink escapes with an eye rake. Whip, and Doink slaps on a Sleeper. Doink with a slam, but the Whoopee Cushion lands on the raised knees of the Original Hawaiian Punch™. Crush mounts a half-hearted comeback. Doink with a body press, taking both men to the floor. Crush press slams him on the floor, and rolls back in to beat the count at 10:41. Really? Couldn't give him one pin-fall victory? Post-Match, Crush takes ANOTHER beating from Doink II and Doink I. *1/2 They looked like they were trying for a big final encounter, but it felt too one sided and the finish was terrible. Way to make Crush look strong as we approach his match with Yokozuna.
The Smoking Gunns & Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa):
From the July 11th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Tatanka and Bam Bam seemed like they were feuding for the majority of 1993. Billy Gunn and Samu start. They work a hot crisscross sequence, a common spot for them. Bart and Fatu give it a go, and I hate to sound like it's not good, but I've seen these two teams work so many times I'm more than familiar with the routine. Tatanka comes in and gets hits by Bam Bam from the apron. Bam Bam puts the boots to Tatanka, followed by a pair of shoulder tackles. Tatanka comes back with a dropkick and body press for two. We return from commercial, and suddenly Luna is at ringside making "what's that smell" faces. Tatanka takes him down with a DDT, but hits nothing but air on a top rope body press. Bigelow slows things down with a chin-lock. Tatanka avoids an enziguri and connects with a dropkick. Bart Gunn tags in, and quickly gets a shot at playing face-in-peril. Bart takes a trip over the top rope and introduced to the ring steps. Bam Bam with headbutts to the knee, then rams Bart into both heads of the Headshrinkers. Samu with a leg drop for two. Back from another commercial (and promotional considerations, including Royal Rumble for the SNES), with Samu working a chin-lock. Bart fights free and ducks under a body press, but runs into a power-slam. Bart puts Bam Bam down with a pair of dropkicks. Billy with the hot tag, cleaning house of all three opponents!
The match runs so long, that it had to be "continued" via tape delay on the following episode of Challenge... but we'll just splice it together here: We relive the last moments of Bart Gunn taking a whooping and the hot tag to Billy. He continues to be a one-man gang, mounting Fatu in the corner with rights, then diving onto Samu. The Gunns toss Samu face-first to the ring post. Billy sends him to the floor with a dropkick, then walks into a Super-Kick from Fatu, and it's enough for the three count at 14:59. They couldn't squeeze the last 45-seconds of the match into the original broadcast?! **3/4 Good match, with plenty of time to work with, but unnecessarily slow at times. Not to be unfair, but I downgraded the rating because I enjoyed their match at SummerSlam '93 a bit better.
Kamala & Jim Duggan vs. The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa):
Oh man, this is going to be ugly. This was featured on WWF on TSN on July 11th, 1993, with Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross calling the action. Duggan and Samu start. Duggan cleans house with clotheslines, forcing the Headshrinkers to talk strategy at ringside. Strategy being an exchange of headbutts. Back inside, Samu misses a charge to the corner, and in comes Kamala, doing his usual of nothing. Fatu with a knee to the back of the head to turn the tide. Fatu mocks Kamala by slapping his own belly and lands a pair of crescent kicks. Samu and Fatu take turns pounding away on Kamala. For a while, this wasn't looking too bad. That ship has now sailed. Afa chants "IcoPro" at Fatu, instructions and advice that rival only Doc Louis telling Little Mac to subscribe to the Nintendo Fun Club. Duggan gets the hot tag and works over both Headshrinkers with ease. Kamala comes in to help, but accidentally on purpose nails Duggan, and a double crescent kick from the Headshrinkers put him down for three at 7:17! Duggan did a semi-clean PINFALL job?! Someone must be on their way out. 1/4* Afa's random screaming of IcoPro gave me fuel for a decent joke and Duggan did a job.
WWF Championship Match:
From the July 12th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. Yokozuna is PISSED about what happened on July 4th and is looking to take out his frustration on Crush. The Manhattan Center crowd actually does the Pledge of Allegiance to tick Yokozuna off. Crush pounds away with rights, but runs into a slam. Yokozuna hits the ropes, missing an elbow drop. Crush with a running boot, knocking Yokozuna to the floor. Yokozuna shrugs off a series of shoulder tackles. Crush with an avalanche, but a second attempt meets the buckle. Yoko' drops him across the top rope and knocks him to the floor. Back inside, Yoko' slows it down with a nerve hold. Back from commercial, with Yoko' still in control. Crush avoids an avalanche and unloads with rights. He rocks him with a dropkick, then takes him off his feet with a clothesline. Crush to the top rope with a diving shoulder tackle for two. Crush goes up a second time, but Fuji whacks him with the flag pole behind the back of the referee. Yokozuna with a belly-to-belly suplex, followed by the big leg drop. The Banzai Drop finishes shortly after at 11:08. Post-match, Yokozuna continues to punish Crush with three more Banzai Drops, despite the efforts of Tatanka and a couple of scrubs. Finally, Randy Savage leaves the broadcast position to help pull him to safety, despite being given orders not to involve himself in the match. I guess you could argue the match was over, but this might mean something a few months later. ** Those nerve holds really slowed the match down, but the crowd was hot and the match had a good story to it.
Yokozuna © (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Crush:
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
The Steiner Brothers © vs. Money Inc.
From the July 17th, 1993 episode of Superstars. Jerry Lawler insists that the challengers’ wardrobe looks spiffier than usual because of their new domestic help, Razor Ramon. Scott and I.R.S. start, trading wrist-locks and arm-bars. I.R.S. with a drop toe hold, Scott slips out of a headlock and goes for the arm. Scott catches a boot, but Irwin surprises him with an enzuigiri. Whip to the ropes and Scott with a Power-Slam. Dibiase with a distraction, allowing Irwin to roll out of the ring. Dibiase comes in and we get another quick exchange of holds. Crisscross and Scott connects with a dropkick for a two count. Rick in with a side-headlock takeover. Vince from out of nowhere tells us Dibiase has a bad neck. Crisscross and Rick with a belly-to-belly suplex for two.
We return from commercial break with Scott hanging on to the arm of Dibiase. Whip to the ropes and Dibiase with a knee to the midsection. Irwin misses an elbow, and now his arm is the target. He actually nips up and nails Scott with a knee. Whip to the ropes and Irwin decides to take a breather. Scott says "no way" and pulls him back in by his tie, then hangs him up across the top rope. Whip to the ropes, Dibiase trips Scott up, and Irwin knocks him to the floor with a knee to the back. Dibiase takes advantage of the situation, ramming Scott into the steps before tossing him back in the ring. Irwin with an elbow drop for two. Dibiase with a double axe-handle from the middle rope for two. They do some double team choking while the referee is preoccupied by Rick. Dibiase with a snap mare and chin-lock. Scott uses a leverage move to slam Dibiase’s face into the turnbuckle, breaking the hold. Irwin cuts off a tag attempt and drops Scott throat-first across the top rope for a near fall. Scott escapes another chin-lock, this time with a jaw breaker. Dibiase cuts off another tag attempt and takes Scott over with a suplex for two.
We return from another break, with Scott returning the favor, taking Dibiase over with a suplex. I.R.S. cuts off the tag AGAIN. Whip to the ropes and Scott with a sunset flip, but another distraction from Dibiase delays a count. Whip to the ropes and a collision has both men down in the center of the ring. Rick FINALLY gets the hot tag and lays into Dibiase with rights. Whip to the ropes and he hits a diving clothesline, followed by a slam. Scott in with dropkicks to both Dibiase and I.R.S. Dibiase goes for a Piledriver on Rick, but Scott nails him from the top rope with a clothesline, but it only gets a two count. Whip is reversed and Rick counters a leap frog with a Power-Slam. He knocks Irwin off the apron and Scott with the Frankensteiner on Dibiase, but Irwin from behind the back of the referee nails Scott with the briefcase, and Dibiase covers for three and the Tag Team Titles at 14:04! Wait... there’s another referee at ringside to inform Earl Hebner of what took place, so the decision is reversed, and the Steiner Brothers are still the Tag Team Champions. ***1/4 Weak finish, but a really good match with an old-school formula of Scott getting worked over for most of the match, teasing and failing over and over at making the hot tag, and a hot sequence where the action gets out of control for the referee.
The Steiner Brothers & Tatanka vs. Well Dunn & Blake Beverly:
From the July 18th, 1993 episode of All-American Wrestling. This is the debut of Well Dunn in the WWF, Steven Dunn (Steve Doll) and Timothy Well (Rex King). I don't like their chances against the Tag Team Champions and undefeated Tatanka. Scott Steiner starts with Dunn, and quickly takes him down. Dunn complains about his tights being pulled. Gorilla Monsoon makes reference to another "Crybaby" Dunn in the WWF to get a cheap laugh from me. Blake "tags" in and gets taken over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Well with a slam and elbow drop on Rick Steiner for a two count. He heads to the top and connects with an axe-handle for another two. Rick counters a second attempt with a release belly-to-belly suplex. Well gives it another go and gets planted with a powerslam. Tatanka tags in, surprising me because I forgot he was involved in the match. Well gets his clock cleaned, then it's Beverly's turn, again. Tatanka misses a blind body press, finally giving the heels the advantage. Dunn with a snap suplex for two. He comes off the second rope, kissing the bottom of Tatanka's boot. Rick with the hot tag, cleaning house of all involved. Well Dunn get tossed, leaving Blake Beverly to take the Papoose To Go at 9:07. 1/2* A whole lot of nothing going on here. I don't get the point of introducing a new team and making them immediately look like losers, but at least neither of them took the fall.
Marty Jannetty vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
From the July 18th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Hughes is still carrying the Undertaker's urn around, which means we are treated to more crappy matches with everyone's favorite narcoleptic wrestler. They hype a big match between Jannetty and Michaels on the next episode of Raw... don't be fooled. Jannetty uses his quickness to avoid Hughes, but can't take him down with a single leg pick. Hughes with a clothesline, over-sold. Jannetty with a dropkick, followed by a pair of arm drags, sending Hughes to the floor. After an hour and a half of stalling, Jannetty goes to work on the left arm. Crisscross ends with Hughes yanking him by the hair and driving a knee to the back. We come back from commercial, with Jannetty getting worked over on the floor. Jannetty tries a head scissors, but gets dropped across the security rail. Back inside, Hughes with a delayed suplex for two. Whip to the corner, with velocity™. Hughes misses a charge, opening the door for Jannetty's comeback. Hughes meets boot on another charge and Jannetty brings him down with a bulldog. Jannetty with a Super-Kick, followed by a missile dropkick for two! Jannetty sends Hughes to the floor with a diving shoulder and comes off the top with a fist drop! Back in the ring, Jannetty goes up for a body press, but Hughes counters with a Powerslam for the three count at 9:25. * Jannetty might as well have wrestled a 300-pound bag of potatoes.
"El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Virgil:
More international features, coming from the WWF on TSN broadcasted on July 18th, 1993. Joined in Progress. Virgil with a standing side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Virgil with a body press for a two count, then takes Santana over with another headlock. Virgil goes for a sunset flip, Santana blocks, and Virgil counters with a roll up for a two count. Virgil with a headlock, and Santana counters with a head scissors. Santana escapes another headlock with a drifting back suplex. They do another series of counters, ending with Virgil cradling Santana for a two count. Virgil with a slam, but an elbow misses. Santana teases coming off the ropes with the forearm, Virgil puts his head down, and Santana surprises him with a small package for the three count at 2:59. They do the post-match handshake of mutual respect. ** Looked good for the short amount of time shown, but the full match was only a couple of minutes longer, so it's not like it was butchered down to nothing. And so we bid farewell to Tito Santana, at least winning his last "Feature" Match, even if only seen by the Canadian audience.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
From the July 19th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. It was on the May 17th episode where Jannetty surprised the world by defeating Michaels for the belt, only to lose it back 20 days later on June 6th in Albany, NY, thanks to interference from Michaels' new bodyguard, Diesel. This is the rubber match. Michaels attacks from behind and sends Jannetty to the buckle. Whip, Jannetty lands on his feet, and after countering a back slide, connects with a clothesline for two. Back slide for two. Michaels with a waist-lock, and Jannetty uses his momentum to throw Michaels to the floor. Back inside, Michaels grabs a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, they fight over a hip toss, Michaels ducks a clothesline, Jannetty ducks the Super-Kick, and it's back to a neutral stance. Michaels with a cheap shot in the corner, followed by choking. Whip to the corner, Michaels misses a charge. Jannetty with a pair of arm drags and a slam for two. Jannetty works the arm until getting laid out with an elbow. Whip to the corner, Shawn meets boot on as charge, and Jannetty comes off the second rope with a clothesline. He goes to the top rope, lands on his feet as Michaels rolls away, and plants him with the DDT for a three count at 5:08! But... Michaels had his foot on the rope, and the match restarts.
Shawn Michaels © (w/ Diesel) vs. Marty Jannetty:
We come back from a commercial, with Jannetty in control. Whip to the ropes, Michaels sets too early for a back drop, and Jannetty takes him over with a snap suplex for a two count. Jannetty with rights and a back breaker for another two count. Whip to the corner, Jannetty hangs back and surprises Michaels with a Sleeper Hold! Michaels escapes with a back suplex, catches Jannetty charging into the corner with an elbow, and sends him to the floor with a running high knee. Back inside the ring, they crisscross, bop heads once, hit the ropes, and bop heads again, with Michaels taking the worst of it, falling to the floor.
We return from another commercial with Michaels coming off the top rope with a double axe-handle. He covers for a two count and finally slows things down with a chin-lock. Jannetty fights free, only to take a knee into the midsection. The crowd rallies with a "Marty" chant as Michaels clamps on a front face-lock. Yes, he does use the ropes for extra leverage. Earl Hebner checks the arm, but it only drops twice. Jannetty muscles Michaels into the corner and crotches him along the top rope to break the hold! Jannetty with rights and a diving elbow for a two count. Whip, Michaels counters a back drop and goes for a piledriver, but Jannetty counters that with a hurricanrana for another two count! Jannetty misses a dive to the corner, Michaels to the top, and a body press is countered for ANOTHER near fall! Jannetty twists the arm and connects with the Rocker Dropper! Michaels staggers to his feet, falling into the ropes, trapping himself. Jannetty comes bouncing off the ropes for a body press, but Michaels slips free, causing Jannetty to go flying over the top rope and crashing to the floor. Diesel comes over, quickly puts Jannetty back in the ring, and Michaels puts an arm across the chest for the three count at 14:21 to retain. ****1/4 I loved how the familiarity between the two lead to some creative counters and hot sequences early on, and in Jannetty's case, always being what felt like one step ahead until a high risk maneuver cost him in the end. Both men worked hard, and is easily the best of their matches to be featured on television and pay-per-view. Probably the best free television match of the year. This actually won the WON Match Of the Year Award, so maybe 1993 was just a weak year.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
The Steiner Brothers © vs. Money Inc.:
From the July 24th, 1993 episode of Superstars, and a rematch from the previous week. Scott Steiner and I.R.S. start. Irwin with a slam, followed by a hip toss. Canned crowd responses are obvious. Scott retaliates with rights, a slam, and hip toss of his own. Dibiase comes in and the Steiner’s quickly clear the ring. Back inside, Dibiase and I.R.S. work Scott over in the corner and toss both Steiner’s to the floor. They recover, climb the same turnbuckle, and come down with a pair of clotheslines. Another pair of clotheslines clear the ring, again. We return from commercial, with Rick and Dibiase going at it. Whip to the corner and Rick takes him over with a back drop. Dibiase uses the tights to throw him to the floor, allowing I.R.S. to get some cheap shots in. They take turns working Rick over with an abdominal stretch. Rick from out of nowhere with a sunset flip on Dibiase, but I.R.S. keeps the referee distracted. More double teaming from the challengers. Rick escapes a chin-lock with a jaw-buster, but the tag is cut off. Whip to the ropes, and Rick and Dibiase both go down with a clothesline. Scott Steiner with the hot tag, working over I.R.S. Whip and a powerslam, followed by a clothesline to Dibiase. Double Under Hook Slam gets two. All four men brawl on the arena floor. Scott gets rammed into the post. I.R.S. drops him back into the ring with a suplex... and the Steiner’s win by Count-Out at 9:35. I hate when people get counted-out on the apron. **1/4 Felt like this was going somewhere, then we got the sudden (awful) finish. I doubt we’ve seen the last of this rivalry.
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler:
From the July 25th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. This match came to be following a King's Court the week before, as well as Hart Family Retribution for what happened at the King of the Ring. Despite being with the WWF since December '92, Lawler has made very few in-ring appearances. Owen refuses Lawler's offer to kiss his feet by slapping him around a few times. Lawler, to the surprise of no one familiar with his heel routine, stalls like crazy. Owen comes across as a huge dork leading chants of "Burger King." Lawler comes in, takes a few shots, then hides. Repeat. A lot. Lawler digs deep in his trunks and hits Owen with the traditional imaginary foreign object. Lawler with choking. Whip, and Owen comes back with a European Uppercut, followed by a spinning heel kick. Owen heads to the top rope and connects with the missile dropkick, knocking Lawler clear across the ring. Whip to the corner, and Owen posts himself on a charge. Lawler with a Piledriver, and with a blatant handful of tights, it's enough for the three count at 6:32. Post-Match, Lawler adds insult to injury by giving him a few kicks to the back of the head. DUD Awful match.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon):
From the July 26th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. Nice of them to give away the Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament on television about a month later. Not that I'm complaining, but this might be the 5th or 6th match between the two I've recapped from 1993. Stu and Helen Hart are sitting in the balcony, for reasons we'll find out later. Bigelow quickly pounds Bret down to the canvas. Whip, and he wipes Hart out with a shoulder tackle. Another whip to the ropes, Bret blows a spot slipping through the legs. He rocks Bigelow with a dropkick and sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Luna tries to create a distraction, but Hart keeps the pressure on. Back inside, Hart comes off the top with a version of the Thesz Press.
We come back from a break, with Hart selling the knee on the floor. Bigelow with a delayed back suplex for two. Bret gets caught going for a cross body and planted with a powerslam for another two count. Bigelow with a pair of headbutts to the chest. Hart rolls away from a third and unloads with rights. He takes Bigelow down with a back suplex, followed by a dropkick and elbow drop for a two count. They slug it out until Bigelow throws a dropkick. He takes Bret over with a snap mare and grabs a chin-lock. We take another break, with Bigelow still in control. Bret hangs back to avoid another dropkick and pounds away with more rights. He takes Bigelow over with a back drop and connects with an elbow across the back of the head for two. Bret with headbutts to the lower back, followed by a Russian leg sweep for two. Second rope clothesline gets two. Hart hops on Bam Bam's back and slaps on a Sleeper. Bigelow rams him to the buckle to escape. Whip, Bret ducks under a clothesline, and connects with a bulldog.
Bret sets up for the Sharpshooter, and suddenly Jerry Lawler makes his presence felt by joining us in the balcony, trash talking Stu and Helen Hart. Bret tries to hop the rail, but Bigelow drags him back and rams him into the post. The action in the ring plays second fiddle to Lawler's comedy routine. Bigelow heads to the top rope and misses whatever he was going for. Bret makes the comeback with rights and clotheslines. An elbow drop gets two. Bret with a DDT, and this time he successfully hops the rail, scaring Lawler off, and getting Counted-Out at 15:58. *** Hard to rate this because it combined a good match with advancing a story through unusual means. Lawler's heckling did a good job, but Helen and Stu weren't exactly Oscar performances.
Sensational Sherri vs. Luna Vachon (w/ Bam Bam Bigelow):
From the July 31st, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars. Sherri comes out without entrance music. Ditto for Luna Vachon, despite being accompanied by the Beast From The East. Bigelow gets on the microphone to talk trash. We see Luna's left arm wrapped in a cast (Luna suffered a legit broken wrist sometime during the Summer), so the match never actually happens (you've got to love bait-and-switches). Luna chokes Sherri out in the corner until Tatanka makes his way to the ring and clean house of Bigelow. Tatanka, Genius of the Century, pays zero attention to the fact Luna could've murdered Sherri with the amount of time she was choking her. Thus ends the WWF career of the Sensational Sherri, who gave notice to leave after SummerSlam, but was let go for reasons unknown. With Luna injured and unable to work (WWF Magazine and various newsletters at the time teased a mixed tag between Tatanka/Sherri and Bam Bam/Luna at SummerSlam), there would be no point keeping her around.
Final Thoughts: Quite a lot of matches getting considerable amounts of time, and in the process, delivered some better-than-average performances. As recent as a couple of months earlier, features seemed to last in the range of 4-6 minutes. Monday Night Raw has cut down on trying to cram multiple features in favor of one (for the most part), and giving it anywhere between 15-20 minutes of TV time. Raw gave us Jannetty/Michaels, Bret/Bigelow, and Crush/Yokozuna, while the weekend syndications had a handful of quality tag team matches. SummerSlam is fast approaching, but we’re still not sure what the big picture officially is... Luger/Yokozuna and Bret/Lawler seems a lock, but from there it's anyone's guess. Undertaker/Hughes? Tatanka/Bam Bam? We'll find out more once we get into the August Compilation.
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