The Complete May 1993 Feature Match Extravaganza!
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last time, we opened up with the month of May, and holy crap, there's just so much packed into Monday Night Raw, Superstars, Challenge, and All-American Wrestling, that there's no way I can squeeze everything into one Compilation! To recap, the King of the Ring Qualifying matches started, with Lex Luger (def. Backlund by CO), Razor Ramon (def. Santana), Jim Duggan (def. Shango), Bam Bam Bigelow (def. Typhoon), and Tatanka (def. Gonzales by DQ) advancing, along with Bret Hart (recieved a bye). Mr. Perfect and Doink went to two Draw's, and we are anticipating another Qualifyer between Crush and the Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels. Razor Ramon lost on Monday Night Raw to a ham n' egger known as The Kid (a.k.a The Lightning Kid), and when we last saw lour heroes, we were gearing up for an Intercontinental Title Match between Shawn Michaels and the returning Marty Jannetty. With that out of the way, let's go to ringside...
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
From the May 17th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with Vince, Macho Man, and the Brain calling the action. Earlier in the show, Jannetty made his surprise return and Shawn was suckered into putting the belt on the line, mostly through Vince McMahon egging him on. Lockup to the corner, Shawn unloads with rights. Jannetty blocks being rammed to the buckle, avoids a charge, and school boys Michaels for a two count. Criss-cross and a sunset flip gets another two count. Another criss-cross leads to a series of counters and Jannetty knocking Michaels to the floor with a clothesline. Jannetty follows with a baseball slide, skins the cat, and comes over the top with a plancha! Loud "Marty!" chant as Michaels milks it on the floor. Following another crisp sequence, Jannetty with a Japanese arm drag and flying head scissors. Whip to the corner, with Michaels taking a big bump to the floor. He tries taking a walk, but Mr. Perfect cuts off his escape!
Shawn Michaels © vs. Marty Jannetty:
We return from a commercial break, with Jannetty bringing Michaels in from the apron with a sling shot. He tries for another head scissors, but this time Michaels drops him throat-first across the top rope! Michaels unloads with jabs in the corner, followed by some choking. Michaels with a snapmare, and settles in with a chinlock. Jannetty fights free, but is quickly put down with a dropkick. Shawn tries another, but Jannetty hooks the legs and catapults him into the post! It only gets two. Jannetty with a diving back elbow, followed by a Powerslam for another two count. Jannetty teases a body press, sees Michaels duck, and springs off the top with a twisting press for a two count. They fight over a roll up, scoring a pair of near falls. Michaels connects with the Super-Kick, before it meant anything. He starts arguing with Perfect, only to get the towel thrown in his face. Jannetty surprises him with a small package, and we have a NEW Intercontinental Champion at 8:57! ***1/2 Really good, high energy, and in Jannetty's case, a lot of hard work, too. This needed a few more minutes to get to the next level. fun tidbit: This is the first title change in the history of Monday Night Raw. What an end to probably the most memorable episode of Monday Night Raw in 1993.
Tatanka vs. "Terrific" Terry Taylor:
An EXCLUSIVE from the May 22nd, 1993 episode of Mania, with Gorilla Monsoon and Bruce Prichard calling the action. This was taped from the Manhattan Center, automatically giving us a hot crowd. Prichard makes me long for the days of Mooney and Lord Alfred. He's that bad. We take a commercial during introductions! We come back, in progress, with Taylor assaulting Tatanka on the floor. Taylor with a jaw-breaker and boots to the back of the head. The crowd mocking Tatanka apparently translates to "being inspired" in the eyes of Monsoon. Whip to the ropes, and Tatanka with a surprise sunset flip for two. Tatanka blocks a suplex and counters with a small package for two. Taylor remains in control, hooking a chinlock. The crowd doing the Atlanta Braves "Chop" chant grows louder and louder as the match goes. Prichard brings up the possibility of a Semi-Finals between Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow... which is guaranteed not to happen. Tatanka starts doing his War Dance, so we can expect to wrap it up in about 45-seconds. He unloads with chops and takes him over with a back drop. Whip, and Taylor surprises Tatanka with a swinging neck breaker for two. Tatanka counters a slam and finishes with Papoose To Go (actually called that by Monsoon) at 5:56. ** Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling.
Crush vs. Shawn Michaels:
Qualifying Match. Allegedly. From the May 22nd, 1993 episode of Superstars, with the usual trio. I say allegedly because this was taped weeks ago, and Shawn's entrance is clipped to ignore he's (at the time) the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Shawn goes for a slam, only to get thrown away. Crush misses a charge, but does catch Michaels off the ropes with a back breaker. Whip reversed, and Crush catches him in a bearhug. Michaels escapes with a thumb to the eyes. Crush no-sells a clothesline and drops him with a press slam. Crush with a clothesline, sending Michaels to the floor. So... how bad the nickname "The Original Hawaiian Punch" not get over? Michaels sends him to the floor and introduces him to the steps and ring post. Back inside, Michaels grabs a chinlock. Crush escapes with elbows, blocks a Super-Kick, and connects with a clothesline. Whip to the corner, and a punt sends Michaels to the floor. They brawl around the ring, leading to a cheap Double Count-Out at 5:23. ** Short and energetic. The finish leaves the door open for a rematch, but unlike Perfect and Doink, they don't get a second or third chance, but rather a standard match scheduled for the King of the Ring PPV. More on that next month.
Kamala vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Qualifying Match. From the May 23rd, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. No Slick in the corner of Kamala, but Harvey Wippleman debuts as the Manager of Mr. Hughes! The Reverend Slick would be disappointed. Hughes attacks from behind with clubberin' blows. He misses a charge to the corner, allowing Kamala to work in his only offense: chops and an awful looking kick. Hughes rakes the eyes and chokes away. Whip to the ropes, and Hughes throws a decent dropkick. A second one looks less impressive, but it's nice to see a big guy try something different. Kamala mounts a comeback with chops and hits the Splash, but it's the same finish as always. Kim Chee, who I thought was done with Kamala after being destroyed at the March to WrestleMania, shows up, and lures Kamala away for the cheap Count-Out at 2:44. Kamala gives him a Splash in the aisle for a moral victory. Why protect Kamala here when he's been doing jobs to everyone else by pinfall? DUD It was short.
Mr. Perfect vs. Doink (the Clown):
Qualifying Match (and the final one), from the May 24th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. After pushing each other to Time Limit Draw's on Superstars and Challenge, we get the rubber match. Doink comes out and hides under the ring, while Lord Alfred Hayes is stationed outside the Manhattan Center and is talking to Doink. ZUH?! Doink squirts him in the face for a cheap laugh. Doink attacks before the bell and chokes with the towel. Perfect mounts a comeback and clotheslines Doink with the towel. They slug it out until Hennig sweeps the leg and drives the knee into the canvas. Perfect puts the boots to the knee and wraps it around the post.
We return from a commercial, with Perfect working Doink over in the corner. Doink sucker blows him and tosses him to the floor. Doink teases going to the top rope, but opts to hop off the apron with an axehandle. They trade blows on the apron, with Doink knocking Perfect back to the floor. Back inside, Doink with a fireman's carry, but finds himself trapped in a head scissors. Doink makes it to the ropes, and starts putting the boots to him. Doink with a wristlock, but Doink quickly finds his way free and goes back to working the leg. Perfect with chops, sweeps the leg, and applies an Indian deathlock. Doink thumbs the eyes to escape and throws Perfect to the floor. He rams the shoulder into the post and keeps putting the boots to him. Back inside, Doink slaps on a hammerlock, then plants Perfect with a slam. It's only good for a two count. Another commercial, and they're trading blows again. Perfect comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Doink uses the tights to throw him into the buckle. Whip, and a running clothesline sends Doink to the floor. This allows another Doink to sneak to ringside and pull a switch-a-roo. He blocks a snapmare and starts pounding away on Perfect. Whip to the corner and a monkey flip. Whip, Doink sets for a back drop too early, and the Perfect-Plex finishes at 11:41, putting Perfect in the King of the Ring. The Two Doink's work him over until Crush makes the save. *** Good wrestling and some fine back and forth action throughout. Nice how they blended together formula's from their previous matches to make something completely different.
With that last Qualifying Match completed, our brackets officially look like this:
Looking at it as if the show hasn't happened yet, we can see things playing out like this: Jim Duggan is a non-factor and will lose, obviously. Bam Bam vs. Tatanka seems possible for the Semi's, and getting there means Luger would lose by cheap means (likely a DQ). If somehow Luger advanced, then maybe Duggan and Bigelow work a schmozz for whatever reasons, and Luger can get an easy path to the Finals. Bret Hart is going all the way, so his second round opponent would likely be Mr. Hughes, but if he were to lose, he's fresh and needs protection for an upcoming program, so Perfect won't go over clean. Bret is winning, so it doesn't matter if he faces Bam Bam or Luger. It's the best option and feels like the only logical one when the field is fairly deep in upper-card talent.
- Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
- Mr. Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes
- Jim Duggan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
- Tatanka vs. Lex Luger
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
A Mania EXCLUSIVE from May 29th, 1993, with Gorilla Monsoon and that annoying guy on commentary. Poor Owen... he's clearly going to be putting Hughes over clean here. Hughes with the obvious power advantage early on. Owen bitch slaps him and gets pummeled in the corner as retaliation. Owen catches him off the ropes with a single leg trip, then goes to work on the left arm. Hughes escapes with a slam, but misses an elbow, allowing Owen to go back to work. Owen does the spot where he feeds the boot and goes for the enziguri, but it appears to miss the mark, so they just stand around looking befuddled. Owen works the arm some more until Hughes pounds his way free. Whip to the corner, Hughes misses a charge. Owen misses a dropkick attempt. Hughes with a big boot and clothesline. Owen gets the boot up on a charge and takes him down with a bulldog. Owen with a pair of dropkicks, followed by a spinning heel kick. He comes off the ropes again, but Hughes quickly puts him away with the Boss Man's old Sidewalk Slam at 4:46. 1/2* Energetic finish to an overall crummy match.
Bob Backlund vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
From the May 30th, 1993 episode of All-American Wrestling, with Monsoon and Prichard calling the action. Another match that's been taped from the Manhattan Center. I don't know if the crowd will be as lively as they were when mocking Tatanka in his match with the Red Rooster. They hype Bam Bam vs. Jannetty for the IC Title on the upcoming episode of Raw. Backlund frustrates Bigelow a bit by avoiding his attempts to lockup. He picks the leg, but Bigelow hooks the ropes. "Bam Bam" chants as he lays into Backlund with a headbutt. Backlund catches him off the ropes with a single leg trip, but doesn't have the brains to follow up. Bigelow with a slam and headbutt. He misses another headbutt, but Backlund is dumb enough to go for a slam. We take a commercial break, and return with Bigelow putting the boots to Backlund. He misses a charge to the corner, but another slam attempt fails. Whip to the ropes and Bam Bam grabs a bearhug. Bigelow with a back suplex for two. Backlund muscles Bigelow over in a nice sunset flip spot, but only gets two. Bigelow pounds away smoe more and traps him in the overhead back breaker (the Body Vice?). Backlund flips out and takes Bigelow down with a back suplex. Suddenly the bell rings, and it's a Time Limit Draw at 8:55. Backlund wants to keep going, and the smart crowd actually chants for 5-more-minutes, but it's no dice, Jim Rice. What's the deal with these lame Time Limit Draw's? * There was some decent action, but for the most part, it was dull and uninteresting.
Virgil vs. Adam Bomb (w/ Johnny Polo):
From the May 30th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Ross and Heenan calling it. This is our first look at Adam Bomb, who made his debut about a week or two earlier. Smart fans may recognize him for his work elsewhere as The Nightstalker (including one of the worst matches ever with Sid on an episode of Clash of the Champions), while his manager recently worked in WCW as Scotty Flamingo. Polo is supposed to be a rich snob, somewhere along the lines of Jim Cornette when he was first featured in a television role. Virgil dances around and grabs a waistlock. Bomb muscles free and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Virgil surprises him with a hip toss, followed by a dropkick. Bomb throws him across the ring to escape a side headlock. Virgil with a drop toe hold, then goes back to the arm. Bomb keeps finding escapes, mostly through brute force. He catches a body press and plants him with a slam. Whip to the corner, Virgil misses a body press, and Bomb finishes him with the Atom Smasher (Powerbomb) at 2:23. * Not the most impressive performance to get Bomb over, but the action was fine.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
From the May 31st, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with the usual at ringside. Before the match can begin, we get a cat-fight between Sherri and Luna. Remember, it was at WrestleMania IX where Luna viciously attacked Sherri at ringside, and ever since, the two have been having pull-apart brawls. Bigelow attacks from behind and unloads with headbutts. Whip to the ropes, and Jannetty dramatically over-sells a shoulder tackle. Twice. Jannetty ducks under a clothesline and unloads with a flurry of rights. He heads to the top and connects with a super-fist drop for a near fall. Bam Bam goes to the eyes and goes back to clubberin'. Whip, Jannetty lands on his feet in a spectacular counter of a back drop, only to run into a bearhug. Bigelow rams him into the corner. Jannetty comes off the ropes, driving Bigelow face-first into the canvas. He takes Bigelow down with a flying head scissors, but a second attempt is countered with the electric chair drop.
Marty Jannetty © (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Luna Vachon):
We return from commercial, with Bigelow holding on to a chinlock. Jannetty offers a comeback, only to get knocked across the ring with a dropkick. Whip to the corner and Bam Bam follows in with an avalanche, but a cover only gets two. Bigelow tries again, but meets boot. Jannetty from the second rope with a clothesline for two. Whip to the ropes and Jannetty with a diving elbow. He connects with the Super-Kick, then comes off the ropes with a clothesline and dropkick for a two count. Bam Bam rakes the eyes and puts Jannetty down with a slam. He signals for the finish, then connects with a double underhook into a back breaker! He hits the ropes, only to get tripped by Sherri! He goes after her, allowing Jannetty to nail him from behind. Jannetty follows with a baseball slide, knocking Bigelow back to the security rail. He heads to the top and comes crashing down on Bam Bam with a body press! Bam Bam prevents Jannetty from entering the ring and sends him into the post. Bigelow sends him into the ring, but Sherri distracts him again, and gets Counted-Out at 9:02, giving the match to Jannetty. Post-match, Bigelow attacks and splashes his back across the chest. **3/4 Decent work from both, with Jannetty bumping like a champ the entire time, and a hot finish. I could've done without the weak ending and making Jannetty look like a chump, but at the same time, you have to protect Bam Bam for the upcoming King of the Ring.
Final Thoughts: This might've been the best compilation yet, at least when it came to the workrate. Featured is the Intercontinental Title changing hands in a pretty good match, the best out of three Qualifying matches between Mr. Perfect and Doink, solid matches between Tatanka/Taylor and Crush/Michaels, and closing out the set with another pretty good match for the IC Title between Jannetty and Bam Bam. Other than the continued push for a Sherri/Luna program, most of the matches were used more to establish people for the upcoming KOTR PPV, rather than advance particular angles. Looks like they killed two-birds with one stone by having Hughes introduce Wippleman as his manager and go over the man who's managed by the one babyface manager that was looking to bring him under his tutelege. With June around the corner, things are about to get very interesting...
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