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The Complete May 1993 Feature Match Extravaganza!
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last month, WrestleMania IX came and went, with unexpected results... like HULK HOGAN walking out of the Main Event as WWF Champion. A Main Event that was officially between Bret Hart and Yokozuna. Other than that, not a whole lot of new development. There's Lex Luger's loaded forearm, and something called the King of the Ring. In fact, we're about to witness all of the "Qualifying Round" matches to determine who will compete in the King of the Ring Tournament on June 13th. If that doesn't make the blood pulse through your body with excitement, then I don't know what will!
Mr. Perfect vs. Doink (The Clown):
Qualifying Match. From the May 1st, 1993 episode of Superstars, with McMahon, Savage, and Jerry Lawler calling the action. There's a running commentary all month when Lawler's on commentary about why he's not in the tournament, and him declaring he's the only true King of Wrestling. Doink attacks Perfect in the entrance aisle and sends him to the steps. In the ring we go, Doink takes him over with a snapmare, but misses a knee drop. Perfect sweeps the leg and starts working the knee. Perfect sends Doink flying over the top with a chop, then returns the favor of being introduced to the steps. Perfect continues working the knee as we cut to a commercial. We return with Perfect looking hurt on the floor. Doink comes off the top with a Double Axehandle. Vince tries throwing us to a Crush promo, but it ends up being Doink, leaving Vince puzzled. Back in the ring, Doink takes him over with a snap suplex. Doink to the top with another axehandle smash. They start trading blows until Perfect cradles him for two. Back slide for another two count. Whip to the ropes, and Perfect with another near fall off of a roll up. Whip is reversed, Doink sets too early for a back drop, and the Perfect-Plex... comes too late, as we hear the bell ring at 6:30. It's a "Time Limit Draw." Savage with the question of the day: What was the time limit?! ** This was going OK, but slowed down a bit in the middle and never really had a chance to get going. What does this mean for the Tournament?!
Bob Backlund vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger:
Qualifying Match. From the May 2nd, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan calling the action. Jim Ross makes sure to note Bret Hart is the #1 seed in the Tournament, having been added without needing to compete in a Qualifying Match. Backlund with a quick roll up for two. Back slide for two. Small package for two. He takes Luger over with a hip toss and leg sweeps, then comes off the ropes with a sunset flip for two. Luger rolls to the floor to catch a breather. I don't think anyone expected that quick of a start from Backlund. Back inside, Luger with a sucker blow in the corner to take control. Ross and Heenan try putting over a potential singles encounter between Hart and Luger, but that angle went nowhere. Backlund with a hip toss and slam. Dropkick and atomic drop, followed by a roll up for two. Luger's momentum sent Backlund to the floor, then as he gets on the apron, Luger KO's him with the loaded forearm, and picks up the victory by Count-Out at 4:54. Really, needed to protect Bob Backlund in a match against Lex Luger? *1/2 Match was surprisingly watchable, but with a pretty cheap finish.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Shawn Michaels © vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan:
From the May 3rd, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with Vince, Savage, and Heenan at ringside calling the action. I guess Duggan earned this title shot with his victory over Damian Demento a few weeks back. Duggan has switched to a singlet style tights since we last saw him. Michaels immediately rolls to the floor for some stalling. Duggan with a series of clotheslines, sending Michaels back to the floor. Michaels tries a cheap shot, but Duggan blocks and unloads with lefts. Michaels tries taking a walk, but Duggan fireman carries him back into the ring. We return from a break, with Shawn hanging Duggan up across the top rope. I never could stand Duggan's ugly bumping off of punches. Michaels rakes the good eye and comes off the top with a double axehandle. Michaels grabs a chinlock as the crowd starts a "U-S-A" chant. Duggan teases a comeback, but meets a boot on a charge. Michaels with three elbows for a two count, then goes back to the chinlock. Duggan escapes with elbows and comes off the ropes with a shoulder. Duggan hits the ropes again, but this time runs into a knee. Michaels sends him to the floor and follows with an axehandle from the apron. Back inside, Michaels with a snapmare and another chinlock. Duggan comes back with rights. Then more rights. He sets up for the big one, but the clothesline sends Michaels to the floor. Michaels is all "screw this" and takes a walk, giving it to Duggan via Count-Out at 11:07. Post-match, Sore-Winner Duggan stages a sit-in until he's granted a rematch. * This one just dragged until we got a crap finish setting up a rematch for next week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Joy.
Kamala vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
From the May 8th, 1993 episode of WWF Mania, with Gorilla Monsoon and "The Wizard" on commentary. We're reminded of Bigelow trimming the sacred red hair of Tatanka, in response to Tatanka sticking his nose in the situation between Sherri and Luna. It's our WrestleMania IX Dream Match! Kamala is without the Reverend Slick, so he must be doing a pinfall job. Bigelow attacks from behind with clubberin' blows. Bigelow somehow does a Flair Flip to the apron on a charge attempt, then gets knocked to the floor with a clothesline. Bigelow quickly regains control and sends Kamala to the ring steps. Bigelow with a headbutt, but it seems to hurt himself, too. Kamala starts slugging it out, only to get taken over with a snapmare. Bigelow comes off the ropes with a series of headbutts to the chest. Kamala shakes him down from the top rope and chops away. Kamala with the splash, but he can't cover him, because he's an idiot. Bigelow recovers and a roll-up finishes things at 3:50. 1/2* For Bam Bam's efforts, but Kamala really stunk. Bruce Prichard, under any stupid gimmick, sucked on commentary, too.
The Nasty Boys & Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. Money Inc. & Mr. Hughes:
From the May 8th, 1993 episode of Superstars, with Vince, Savage, and Lawler calling it. Mr. Hughes made his debut shortly after WrestleMania and is doing the "all the managers want him", although in this case, it appears to only be Slick. Speaking of Slick, he teaches Kamala to shake hands with the Nasty Boys. Dibiase offers Kamala a bribe, but he gives it to Slick, then attacks with the usual. Knobbs and Dibiase exchange offense. Whip to the ropes, and Dibiase with a knee to the midsection. I.R.S. misses an elbow and takes a Pit Stop for his troubles. We return from commercial, with Sags working I.R.S. over. Kamala misses a splash in the corner. Hughes tags in and pounds away. Vince slips up, calling him "Curtis." Kamala with a series of shoulder tackles to take Hughes off his feet. Chaos errupts until Knobbs gets to play face-in-peril. Dibiase with a second rope axehandle. Knobbs comes back, slamming him face-first to the canvas. Sags with the hot tag, unloading on I.R.S. He connects with a piledriver for two. Everyone brawls again, with Kamala winding up nailing I.R.S. with the Big Splash. He's too dumb to pin him though, gets distracted, and I.R.S. rolls him up for three at 6:40. ** Match was surprisingly watchable, considering the track record of the majority of the worker's involved. I wonder where we go from here with the Slick-Kamala-Hughes saga...
"El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Razor Ramon:
Qualifying Match. Also from the May 8th episode of Superstars. Razor plays along with Santana's bit, acting like a bull ready to charge, complete with fingers acting as horns. Santana grabs a waistlock, with Razor casually grabbing the ropes to force a break. Ramon with a sucker elbow, followed by some stompin'. Whip to the ropes, Santana comes back with the Flying Forearm, but Ramon is too close to the ropes. Santana goes to work on the arm. Whip to the ropes, and Ramon comes back with the Hot Shot. Ramon with more punchy-kicky offense. Santana offers a comeback, putting Ramon down with a pair of slams. Santana to the top rope for a cross body press, but Ramon rolls through and gets a handful of tights for the three count at 3:20. I should note Santana's aggressive attempts to kick out resulted in his shoulders being off the canvas. 1/2* Not a good example of what either man is capable of, and felt way too rushed. Razor gets to face Bret Hart in the Quarter-Finals.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Papa Shango:
Qualifying Match. From the May 9th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan calling the action. The deeper we get into 1993, the closer the light at the end of the tunnel gets when it comes to no longer having to recap Duggan matches. Weird reference time: THIS match was featured in WWF Magazine's "Battle of the Titans" in the June '93 issue. Usually that's reserved for a good match or important angle development. Shango attacks from behind, giving Duggan a chance to showcase his awful bumping skills. Duggan with three clotheslines, sending Shango to the floor. Shango takes over with the usual (as in nothing worth noting). Shango speeds things up with a chinlock. This lasts a couple of minutes. Duggan fights free, only to take a knee to the gut. Shango misses a charge to the corner. Duggan makes the big comeback and finishes with the charging clothesline at 4:39 to advance. -* Awful. Whatever happened to that Duggan/Yokozuna program?
Typhoon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
Qualifying Match. From the May 10th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with Vince, Savage, and the Brain calling the action. Bigelow grabs a headlock, but a shoulder tackle doesn't budge the big(ger) man. They try it a few more times, with both men standing their ground. Typhoon casually slams Bam Bam and starts working the arm. Bigelow escapes with a slam of his own. Mild "Here we go, Bam Bam" chant as Typhoon goes back to the arm. Bigelow fights free and brings Typhoon down with a big back suplex. Typhoon doesn't bother to sell it, and sends Bam Bam to the floor with a clothesline. Typhoon gives chase, only to get a taste of the ring post. Absolutely nothing happens for a while, so we get a close-up of what looks like a bruise or a small cut on the top of Bigelow's head. Bigelow grabs a chinlock as we go to a break. We return with Typhoon making the Natural Disaster Comeback. He misses a charge, Bigelow plants him with the Samoan Drop, Tatanka's finisher by the way, and finishes with the top rope headbutt at 5:36 to advance. 3/4* Not much to this one, but some nice displays of power sprinkled throughout. Bam Bam gets to face Jim Duggan in the Quarter-Finals.
WWF Intercontinental Championship; Lumberjack Match:
Shawn Michaels © vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan:
Also from the May 10th episode of Raw. Lumberjacks include Mr. Perfect, Tatanka, Bob Backlund, Typhoon, Bam Bam Bigelow, Terry Taylor, Mr. Hughes, and Yokozuna. All, sans Yokozuna, are wearing flannel shirts. Duggan goes after Yokozuna, because they still have beef. Shawn comes out on crutches (and wearing a t-shirt with the LOD, Warrior, Rockers, and Jake Roberts on it), only to be called out on trying to fake his way out of the match. Perfect feeds Michaels to Duggan to expose his lies, with Michaels bumping like a Champ. Duggan with a crappy version of the Oklahoma Stampede, followed by an elbow for two. Duggan with a delayed suplex for two. Mild "Shawn is Gay" chant. That's not very PG! Whip to the ropes, and Duggan catches Shawn in a bearhug. Duggan continues to dominate with clubberin' offense. Shawn gets trapped in the Andre Special™, then tossed to the floor. Perfect and Backlund carry Shawn up the aisle and dump him back in the ring.
We return from commercial, with Duggan planting Shawn with a slam. He comes off the ropes, missing a knee drop. Finally, at the 7-minute mark, Shawn gets his first offense in, nailing Duggan with one of his cowboy boots (those boots are made for walkin'). Duggan eats boot on a charge attempt, continuing the trend that all of Shawn's offense is linked to his foot. Shawn grabs a chinlock to kill my theory. Duggan fights back to his feet and runs through Shawn with a clothesline. Duggan misses another charge, but has enough in him to catch a body press and plant Michaels with a slam for a two count. For reasons I can't explain, the crowd starts "Ho'ing" the Atlanta Braves chant. Duggan with the big clothesline, knocking Shawn to the floor. After ANOTHER commercial break, Shawn sends Duggan to the corner, only to miss a dive. Chaos erupts with the Lumberjacks, and during the mess, Yokozuna drops ass on Duggan's face. That's what you get for the sucker blows earlier, Duggan! He rolls Duggan back in the ring, but as Shawn goes for a one-foot cover, Perfect runs in to draw the Disqualification at 13:08. The Lumberjacks have a weak brawl to close things out. ** Shawn bumped like a Champion, and the match was surprisingly good during the first half, then it started dragging. It looks like the stuff between Perfect/Shawn and Yokozuna/Duggan is far from over!
Tatanka vs. The Giant Gonzales (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Qualifying Match. From the May 15th, 1993 episode of Superstars. Please be short, please be short, please be short... Seeing the obvious difference in size between the two is probably the highlight of the match. Tatanka goes into his War Dance immediately, only to get dropped like a bad habit with one big chop. Or punch. I don't know with Gonzales sometimes. Gonzales with choking. When he's not choking, it's terrible overhand punches. When it's not terrible overhand punches, it's more choking. Tatanka comes back with chops and kicks, rocking the Giant. He comes off the top rope with a big chop. He goes for a third time, only to be caught by the throat. Gonzales shoves the referee (Bill Alfonso) to draw the Disqualification at 2:52, then plants Tatanka with a chokeslam. DUD I don't see the point in putting Gonzales in a Qualifyer against someone of importance. Tatanka looks bad, and advances only because of a cheap finish. He gets the "honor" of facing The Narcissist in the Quarter-Finals.
Mr. Perfect vs. Doink (the Clown):
Qualifying Match. From the May 16th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with J.R. and Heenan calling the action. If you'll recall (if you don't, it's the first match!), these two went to a "Time Limit" Draw on an episode of Superstars, so it's rematch time! Doink messes with a kid (plant!), triggering Perfect to beat the piss out of him in the aisle. Perfect sweeps the leg, drives the knee into the canvas, and slaps on a spinning toe hold. He turns it into an Indian Deathlock and slaps Doink around. Doink fights free and grabs a sleeper. Perfect uses momentum to ram Doink's head into the buckle, then goes back to the leg, this time applying a Figure-Four! Doink makes it to the ropes to force a break. Doink uses the tights to throw Perfect to the floor, then rams him into the steps. Back inside, Doink goes to work on the left arm. He nails Perfect with a hard clothesline, knocking him to the floor. Back inside, Doink takes him down and grabs an armbar. They get into a slugfest, won by Doink. Perfect gets up for another brawl, and suddenly the bell rings at 7:04, for another Time Limit Draw. Perfect wins Round 2 and takes Doink over with the Perfect-Plex, but it's too little too late. **1/2 Good match, a bit better than their first, but another lame "Time Limit", despite no Time Limit ever being established. Will we see Part Three? Spoiler Alert: Yes.
Crush vs. Blake Beverly:
From the May 16th, 1993 episode of All-American Wrestling, with Gorilla Monsoon and "The Wizard" on commentary. Have I ever mentioned how awful Bruce Prichard was on commentary? Well, he is. Crush still has unfinished business with Doink (the Clown). Beverly grabs a headlock, but can't take Crush over with a hip toss. Crush casually plants him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Lockup into the ropes, and Blake unloads with a series of rights. Criss-cross ends with Crush connecting with a dropkick. He takes Beverly down with an arm drag and grabs a wristlock. Gorilla hypes Crush vs. Shawn Michaels "next week" in a Qualifying Match. Blake sends Crush to the floor and comes off the apron with a clothesline. The crowd is absolutely DEAD for all of Blake Beverly's offense. It's way too much considering he's at the bottom of the JTTS ladder, and Crush has recently been featured in a hot midcard program. Crush mounts a comeback, connects with a back breaker, press slam, and finishes with the Cranium Crunch at 5:52. 3/4* Not much to see here. Gorilla says it's an impressive victory. I think it went 3-minutes too long.
- From the May 17th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. Vince McMahon is in the ring and out comes the Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels, for what I guess is going to be a VERY Special Interview. The crowd gets on him for the second week in a row with a "Shawn is Gay" chant. Shawn explains that he's a man of his word. Vince accuses him of being a "reluctant Champion." Shawn gets his panties in a bunch over that and says he's willing to give anyone a shot at the belt. Suddenly, some doofus in a hoodie shows up to take him up on his offer. The doofus turns out to be the returning MARTY JANNETTY. Vince McMahon suckers Shawn into giving Marty a match later in the night! ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW! Short and well done segment.
Razor Ramon vs. The Kid:
Also from the May 17th episode of Raw. "The Kid" competed on previous episodes of Raw as the Kamikaze Kid and the Cannonball Kid in total squashes at the hands of Doink and Mr. Hughes. Smart fans, or those who kept up with Global Wrestling on ESPN, recognize him as the Lightning Kid. He's even wearing "Lightning Kid" tights. Loud "Razor" chant, since we're in front of a smart-crowd. Lockup, and Ramon shoves the Kid across the ring. Ramon lays into him with hard blows and slaps on his signature abdominal stretch. Whip to the ropes, Ramon catches a body press, and easily throws him over his head. Whip to the corner, Ramon misses a charge, and the Kid comes off the top with a moonsault... FOR THREE?! Time of the fall: 2:10. Razor Ramon just lost to the Kid! Crowd popped huge for that (obviously aware of who "The Kid" is). * Obviously the most memorable surprise finish to a squash match in the history of the WWF. What will this loss do to Razor Ramon's stock in the WWF?
Kamala vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):
We're STILL taking a look at footage from May 17th. Yokozuna is gearing up for a WWF Championship Match at the King of the Ring against the absentee Champion, Hulk Hogan. Other than "Event Center" promos, Hogan was non-existant on WWF programming. Not even one "live" Interview like you typically would see on Superstars or Challenge. Stalling to start. They collide at the center of the ring, with Kamala rocking the former WWF Champion. Kamala ducks under a clothesline and unloads with chops. Yokozuna goes for the throat to slow Kamala down. Yokozuna with his crushing leg drop. "USA" chant to encourage the savage from Uganda. Fuji trips him up, allowing Yokozuna to knock him into the corner with a crescent kick, then follows in with an avalanche. The Banzai Drop finishes it at 3:41. * Good job in making Yokozuna look like a monster, and it was kept reasonably short.
... Wow, we're only half-way through the month of May? You know what, let's take a break and pick up with the rest of the month in our next installment. I wonder if we will be treated to any more surprises...
Final Thoughts: Looks like May is turning out to be a bit more entertaining, and have a better focus on advancing storylines, than April turned out to be. We're halfway through the Qualifying Matches, with Doink and Perfect taking each other to the limit twice. Yokozuna crushed a fellow "monster" to build him up for his Title Shot, but seeds are still planted for a future resolution with Jim Duggan. Perfect and Shawn keep teasing an angle, Bam Bam and Tatanka are at odds, and holy crap, Razor Ramon just lost to a 19 year old kid. The wrestling is generally below average, but there's some meat to this compilation, and at least opens up for some decent reflection and conversation.
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