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The Complete April 1993 Feature Match Extravaganza!

by Scrooge McSuck

Beau and Blake Beverly

- Last time we took a look back in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania IX. With the entire card practically set in stone by the end of February, most of the matches featured on WWF Television followed the simple pattern: Someone competing at WrestleMania against someone lower on the card without a WrestleMania match. There was some cute nods, like Mr. Perfect taking on the Model, who was a comparable gimmick when it comes to the Narcissist, but for the most part, we were treated to glorified squashes. Despite being part of a Double Main Event, Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake, and Jimmy Hart haven't been making many appearances on WWF Television, and neither Hulk nor Brutus have been in the ring since Beefcake's return bout against Ted Dibiase.

Virgil vs. The Giant Gonzalez (w/ Harvey Wippleman):

From the April 3rd, 1993 episode of WWF Superstars. I know Virgil is a laughing stock for his "Lonely Virgil" memes these days, but dammit, nobody deserves having to be squashed by the Giant Gonzalez. With less than 36 hours away from WrestleMania, you have to question Gonzalez taking on a Superstar of Virgil's caliber... sorry, I couldn't resist laughing at that, either. Virgil uses his lightning quick speed to avoid Gonzalez. He finally gets trapped in the corner and actually dares challenge to a Test of Strength. He goes to the top rope for the epic battle, and still loses. Whip to the ropes, Virgil slides between the legs, and unleashes with a dropkick. Gonzalez shrugs off a second, nails Virgil with a clothesline, and finishes him with the Chokeslam from The Alps at 2:58. 1/4* Squash-tastic! Will Gonzalez end Undertaker's WrestleMania winning streak at 2-0? Spoilers: Nope, although he did escape without losing by either pinfall or submission (or whatever goofy ending a gimmick match requires).

Kind of Opening Things with Comments About WrestleMania IX...

Look around Da' Site and you'll find a handy-dandy recap of WrestleMania IX from yours truly (or maybe someone else, I don't know anymore). If you're in the mood for an abbreviated version with random comments, then the following is for you, the people:

Virgil vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:

From the April 5th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. That episode of Raw might as well have been Monday Night Filler, taped before WrestleMania IX, and featuring a lot of nothing because they didn't want to spoil anything like making Champions appear. Goodie, another Virgil match so soon. Apparently Rob Bartlett got left in Las Vegas. Good. Virgil grabs a wristlock, then comes off the ropes with a dropkick. Mild "Virgil Sucks" chant as Bigelow keeps giving him offense. Bigelow misses a headbutt and Virgil rolls him up for a two count. Virgil goes for a crucifix, but Bam Bam blocks and counters with a Samoan Drop. Snapmare from Bigelow, and he's already settled in with a chinlock. Virgil teases a comeback, and Bigelow slaps on a bizarre variation of an abdominal stretch. Here's another chinlock, and oh man, a BEARHUG. At least Bam Bam looks believable doing it. Doesn't make the match good, though. Bam Bam meets boot on a charge, and Virgil comes off the second rope with a clothesline. Virgil to the top with a crappy missile dropkick for two. Virgil peppers Bam Bam with jabs, followed by the Polish Hammer. Bam Bam side-steps a blind cross body, levels Virgil with a clothesline, and finishes with the Top Rope Headbutt at 7:00. * It could've been worse, but it felt phoned in with too much resting. Hopefully that's the last of Virgil on this edition.

The Steiner Brothers vs. The Beverly Brothers:

(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Blake & Beau Beverly)
Also from the April 5th episode of Raw, and it's a Royal Rumble ReMatch! I guess with so few teams in the WWF, you have to recycle often when it comes to feature matches. Scott starts with Beau. Lockup, and a quick takedown by Big Poppa Pump. Scott continues to control until Beau complains about a hair-pull. Beau blocks a hip toss and counters with a handful of hair assisted takedown. Scott retaliates with a double underhook suplex (which Randy Savage calls in Gordon Solie fashion). Rick and Blake have a go next. Blake catches him off the ropes with a Powerslam, but the success is short-lived, as Rick takes him down with his own Powerslam. Scott with an over-head belly-to-belly suplex. Whip to the ropes, and Beau with a cheap shot to turn the tide. Beau with a double axehandle from the top, followed by a back breaker for two. We return from break, with Beau in control with a seated chinlock. They do a false hot tag, allowing the Beverly's to double team in the corner, including choking with the tag rope. Scott blocks a suplex from Blake and counters with his own. Beau with a snapmare, but misses a leg drop. Scott with a tilt-o-whirl Powerslam, and here's Rick with the hot tag. He works over both Beverly's, and levels Blake with the Steinerline for two. Scott comes in, we get heel miscommunication, and the Frankensteiner finishes Blake at 8:53. **1/4 Good match, but nothing to go out of your way to see. The Beverly's were one of those teams that weren't bad, but never had a memorable match, either. Practically a shortened version of their Rumble Match, by the way.

Typhoon vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):

From the April 10th, 1993 episode of WWF Mania, with Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes calling the action. Seriously, LORD ALFRED IS STILL AROUND?! COME ON MAN! Monsoon notes that this is, and I quote, a Main Event anywhere in the Country. Maybe if that country is England. They love shitty matches with two fat-asses. Sorry, that's mean spirited. Yokozuna is now a FORMER WWF Champion. I might have to add that to my resume', too. Shoving match to start. Typhoon comes off the ropes with shoulder tackles, staggering Yoko. He goes for it too many times and gets brought down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Whip to the corner, Fuji with a distraction, and Yoko crushes him with an avalanche. Banzai Drop finishes at 1:52. SQUASH! I should note Yokozuna won short matches against Earthquake following the exact same formula, one of which featured on the Invasion of the Bodyslammers Coliseum Video.

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Damian Demento:

From the April 11th, 1993 episode of All-American Wrestling, and we've got Gorilla and Lord Alfred still calling the action. This is our first look at Jim Duggan since the savage beating he sustained at the hands of Yokozuna in the weeks following the Royal Rumble. I have a funny feeling that issue is far from resolved. Duggan tosses chairs in the ring, because. They take turns slugging it out. Duggan with a trio of clotheslines, sending Demento to the floor for a conference with the voices in his mind. At least he's not talking to the man who lives in his finger. Duggan with more punching and a hip toss, triggering Demento call his second timeout. He's got one remaining, for those keeping score. Demento takes a cheap shot to take control, then chokes away in the corner. Duggan's sad attempts at bumping are often comical. Duggan makes the comeback, plants Demento with a slam, and finishes with his charging clothesline at 3:47. DUD Does anyone need me to tell them this match stunk? At least it was short.

Tiger Jackson (w/ The Bushwhackers) vs. Little Louie (w/ The Beverly Brothers):

From the April 12th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Bobby Heenan and newcomer JIM ROSS calling the action. Yes, WWF fans, the wonderful team of Heenan and the Gorilla are no longer sharing the broadcast booth on Wrestling Challenge. No knock on J.R., but come on... you broke up Gorilla and Heenan! I expect this match to follow the same formula as the 6-Man Tags, but probably with better wrestling. Jackson dances around a bit, does a goofy Three Stooges inspired motion, and slaps Louie. Louie picks a fight with referee Earl Hebner, then backs off. Jackson works the arm until Louie escapes with some butt-biting. Tiger bites Hebner's butt, just because, and we get a comical ring-around-the-rosie chase with Tiger and Hebner. They work in the "midget kicks out, referee catches midget and throws him back on the other midget" spot. Jackson slaps around the referee, blames Louie, and Hebner shoves Louie down. Tiger gets tripped up, and Louie spins him like a top. Louie with an Airplane Spin, but it just makes him dizzy too. Butch comes in, slams Tiger onto Louie, and it's over at 4:32. Post-match, the Bushwhackers clean house of the Beverly Brothers. No Rating. I don't know how to rate midget madness, but this was entertaining crap.

Scott Steiner (w/ Rick Steiner) vs. Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Ted Dibiase):

From the April 12th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with the usual trio of Vince, Macho Man, and Bartlett calling the action. We're also at the Mid-Hudson Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. With the recent success of the Steiner's, you would think they're next in line for a title match. Scott quickly goes for the arm, but I.R.S. forces a break. I.R.S. tries a cheap shot, but Scott blocks, only to take an enziguri! Scott reverses a whip and takes him over with a Powerslam. Back inside, Scott with a shoulder tackle. Irwin goes for a drop toe hold, but Scott quickly recovers and counters with a hammerlock. Scott keeps working the arm and hooks what almost looks like a crossface. I.R.S. escapes with well placed elbows to the face. He sets up for a suplex, but Scott blocks and counters with his own for two. I.R.S. cheap shots in the corner and tosses Scott to the floor, where Dibiase greets him with one of his signature clotheslines. Rick and Ted do a stand-off as we take a break. We return, with I.R.S. in complete control. He connects with a piledriver, but only gets a two count. Scott fights out of a chinlock, and a slugfest ends with Irwin connecting with a back breaker. He goes to the top rope, only to come down and eat boot. Scott with mounted punches. He steps on the tie to prevent escape, and hangs him up across the top rope. Whip to the ropes and a big back body drop, followed by a double-underhook slam. Dibiase runs in to break the count, and it's a Disqualification at 9:51. **1/2 Solid, if unspectacular outing. The match started out like they were shooting for 15-20 minutes, then kind of came to an abrupt end.

Post-match, the brawl is on, with the Steiner Brothers getting the upperhand until the Beverly Brothers make the save for whatever reasons, possibly pissed off at two high profile losses to the Steiners in the early months of 1993. The Beverly's and Money Inc. were pretty tight back at Survivor Series, so maybe they've been on the payroll. Heel miscommunication leads to the Beverly's laying out Dibiase with a double clothesline, and now we've got Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers at each other's throats! Dibiase offers a bribe, but the Beverly Brothers aren't interested... face turn for the Beverly Brothers? Nah.

"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:

From the April 17th, 1993 episode of Superstars! Owen has (finally) ditched the High Energy look, trading it in for what can best be described as an update to his old Blue Blazer attire: blue singlet, but instead of a bird, he would have a rocket blast off on them (and heart across the chest). Owen's still not doing much of interest, and Bam Bam has on-and-off been working the house show circuit with Bret... one guess who wins. Owen starts off by rocking Bam Bam with a dropkick. Whip to the ropes, Owen catches a boot, but an enziguri connects to put him down. HA! We're used to it being the other way around. Criss-cross sequence ends with Owen doing the same. Cute. Owen with a standing dropkick, followed by a missile dropkick! He comes off the ropes with a sunset flip for two! Bam Bam with a slam to escape a wristlock, but an elbow misses and Owen goes back to work on the arm. Bigelow rakes the eyes to escape and sends Owen to the floor with a dropkick. Owen flips back in, but a crucifix is countered with a Samoan Drop. Bam Bam's loving that move lately. He press slams Owen across the top turnbuckle, then drops him face-first to the canvas. Whip to the ropes, and it's bearhug time. Owen tries to counter with a slam, but Bigelow's weight is too much, and lands on top for a two count. Whip to the corner, complete with chest-first bump. Whip to the corner, Owen appears to hurt his knee trying to spring off the ropes. He hobbles around a bit, and its already go home time, as Bam Bam casually slams him and comes off the top with the headbutt for three at 6:26. *** Pretty good match crammed into very little time. That could be a good thing, too, though. It's a shame with the ending: it looked like a legit injury, at least something minor enough to stop the match, as they went home immediately after a brief delay in the action.

The Nasty Boys vs. The Beverly Brothers:

(Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs vs. Blake & Beau Beverly)
From the April 18th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge, with Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan on the call. They talk up the competition in the Tag Division, which is basically the Steiners, Nasty Boys, and Beverly Brothers jockeying for position. Sucks to be the Bushwhackers... and Headshrinkers, as they're ignored, too. Saggs starts with Beau. Lockup to the corner, Beau complains about a hair-pull. Lockup, and this time Saggs DOES pull the hair. Beau responds with rights. Saggs ducks a clothesline and counters a hip toss with his own. Knobbs in with a big clothesline and elbow drop for two. Blake tags in, and runs right into a hip toss. Knobbs with a slam and clothesline, complete with over-sell. Saggs in with an elbow for two. The Nasty Boys continue working the arm of Blake until a cheap shot from Beau turns the tide. We return from break, with Blake putting the boots to Knobbs. Beau from the second turnbuckle with a double axehandle. Blake uses the tag rope to choke him out behind the referee's back, and Beau with the leap frog splash across the back for two. Knobbs blocks a suplex and counters with his own. Beau cuts off the tag, knocking Knobbs to the floor in the process. Blake dumps him face-first across the security rail, possibly to help straighten his teeth. Knobbs slams Blake down with a handful of hair and makes the hot tag to Saggs. He unloads on Beau with rights and gives him the Pit Stop. Charging clothesline to the corner, and now both Beverly's are in there. Saggs with a Double DDT for two! Knobbs in, and Knobbs out. The Beverly's miscommunicate, and Saggs rolls up Beau for the three count at 10:08! **3/4 To my surprise, this didn't suck! I don't know what it was, but these two teams had some decent chemistry. Nice to see feature matches on the weekend syndies getting more than 3-4 minutes.

Virgil vs. Razor Ramon:

From the April 19th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw. Come on, THREE appearances of Virgil in less than three weeks? Did the entire babyface portion of the locker room get quarantined for the Kangaroo Flu? Razor Ramon is coming off a fluke victory over Bob Backlund at WrestleMania IX, but has been in total limbo since failing to defeat Bret Hart at the Royal Rumble. They fight over a hammerlock until Razor casually hooks the ropes to force a break. Waistlock from Virgil, and again it's to the ropes for Razor. He grabs Virgil with a headlock and takeover, but Virgil counters with a head scissors. Virgil with a surprise small package for two. He goes to work on the arm as the crowd chants "Razor." Virgil with a shitty hip toss, and they somehow blow a roll up. Virgil heels it up, punching him in the ropes, but misses a dropkick. Ramon grabs an abdominal stretch. Virgil escapes, but misses an elbow. Razor with a lazy STF. Virgil taps like he's Harry Belafonte, but this isn't the Attitude Era, so the match must continue. Virgil mounts a minor comeback, but Razor disposes of him with the Razor's Edge at 6:58. 3/4* I've officially seen enough Virgil matches in my life, that not seeing another one will not break my heart.

Non-Title Match: The Beverly Brothers vs. Money Inc. (Tag Team Champions):

(Blake & Beau Beverly vs. Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
Also from the April 19th episode of Raw. Vince McMahon makes sure to note both teams are very much disliked by the fans, so I'm curious who's going to work the babyface side of things. I don't recall ever seeing The Beverly's as faces, and Dibiase and I.R.S. are clearly heel characters with little babyface potential. Money Inc. attack from behind. It's a brawl until Blake is left standing tall. I bet it's like final cutdown days in Spring Training. Blake and Dibiase start, formally. They trade wristlocks until Dibiase grabs a headlock. He misses an elbow drop, allowing the Beverly's to take turns working the left arm. Blake slaps on a cross armbreaker, not unlike Alberto Del Rio's finisher. Dibiase fights his way to the corner, but the tag is missed by the referee... wait... Dibiase and I.R.S. are the faces?! Blake with a snapmare, then back to the arm. I.R.S. tags in, but his feet were WAY off the apron, so the referee disallows it. Blake with a whip to the corner, but he meets an elbow on a charge. I.R.S. tags in for the first time, and immediately misses an elbow drop. He gets his arm worked on, and Beau chokes him with the tag rope!

We come back from break, and I.R.S. is actually in control with a front facelock on Beau. Dibiase makes the illegal switch as the referee yells at Blake for blowing the Football Match in the Team Challenge Series. Dude, it was three years ago, get over it. Beau tries to fight his way out of the corner, but Dibiase goes to the eyes. Whip to the ropes, and Beau catches Dibiase off guard with a boot to the chest. Beau with a swinging neck breaker, and Blake finally gets the "hot" tag. He plants Dibiase with a slam, and Beau with an elbow drop for two. Beau with a back drop for two. Double teaming on Dibiase leads to miscommunication, and Dibiase rolls Beau up for three at 10:57. Yep, the same finish as we just saw with the Beverly's and Nasty Boys. **1/2 Heel vs. Heel matches are usually hard to get into, but they worked a solid match. The heel/face dynamics changed, but never feeling complicated. I'd say the Beverly Brothers worked heel more, but then the last half of the match is a nice heat segment building up to a hot tag.

Kamala (w/ Reverend Slick) vs. Papa Shango:

From the April 25th, 1993 episode of not just All-American Wrestling, but the 500th Episode of All-American Wrestling. Yes, they were doing special episode counts long before Monday Night Raw. Gorilla Monsoon is calling the action with someone called "The Wizard". It's just Bruce Prichard just trying to be a douchebag heel. No more Lord Alfred Hayes? I'm sad. Sad I couldn't predict it would happen because they kept teasing me! In the immortal words of Jim Ross, this will be bowling shoe ugly. Monsoon doesn't understand why Kamala is afraid of the smoking skull, considering his savage past. Shango pounds away with rights. Whip to the corner and Shango follows in with an avalanche. Kamala avoids a second attempt and works Shango over with the usual. Kamala misses the Big Splash, allowing Shango to take over with face pulling. These men are so important, the entire match plays second-fiddle to the revelation of Lex Luger's loaded forearm. Kamala gets dumped to the floor, but sees Slick being manhandled and makes the save. Shango bails following a crescent kick, and they waddle back to the locker room for a CHEAP Double Count-Out at 3:33. Really? Needed to protect these two!? DUD The three words that describe this and I quote: Stink, Stank, Stunk.

Mr. Perfect vs. Blake Beverly:

From the April 25th, 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Holy hell, did this month end up being Beverly Brother Appreciation Month?! I'm not complaining too much since we've been seeing good matches on a consistent basis, but come on, the roster depth isn't that weak... yet. We hype a Perfect vs. Doink match on Superstars next week in a "King of the Ring Qualifyer." DID YOU KNOW: Both Perfect and Beverly were briefly managed by "Coach" (not Jonathon Coachman). Beverly attacks before the bell and chokes him out with the towel. Perfect quickly mounts a comeback and sends Blake to the floor following a shoulder tackle. Perfect with a headlock, and an odd video cut leads to a dropkick... that came out of nowhere. Beau Beverly shows up from out of nowhere and gets worked over... what, No Disqualification called?! Perfect with a snapmare and neck snap on Blake. Things calm down, with Blake regaining control. Blake with a neck breaker, but no cover. Perfect comes off the ropes with a body press, but Blake maintains control. Blake makes the mistake of setting up for a back drop, and the Perfect-Plex finishes at 5:23. That became quite the predictable finish for babyface Mr. Perfect matches. * Not too much to see here, but it was watchable.

Mr. Perfect vs. Damian Demento:

From the April 26th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw, with McMahon, Savage, and Bobby Heenan at ringside. No Bartlett?! I guess he's no more. Does anyone have any wagers on if Perfect can carry Demento into 1-star territory? I'm thinking no, but I've been surprised before. Demento speaks to the Gods in the Outer Reaches of His Mind. Perfect quickly sends Demento to the floor following a dropkick. Perfect with some chain wrestling, Demento responds with an elbow. Demento uses the tights to throw Perfect to the floor. The crowd chants something at Demento... LSD? Demento's offense has been literally all punchy-kicky. Perfect starts firing back with chops. Whip to the ropes, boot to the midsection, and a running knee lift from Perfect. He comes out of the corner with the neck snap, but runs into an elbow going for something. Demento meets knees on a splash attempt, and the Perfect-Plex casually ends things at 4:58. 3/4* Nope, couldn't quite get there, although he tried his best at the end. At least it wasn't another "heel puts his head down and gets trapped" finish.

Crush vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger:

Also from the April 26th episode of Raw. Could you imagine how different things could've been had Luger stuck with this gimmick and Crush got the Superman Push throughout the Summer? Crush is STILL having issues with Doink (the Clown), and Luger's kind of in limbo, with his loaded forearm being the only reason to give a shit about him right now. I can't imagine how many times I did this match in Royal Rumble for the SNES. Long lockup, ends with Crush sending Luger to the corner. Things take a while to get going, but Bobby Heenan is GOLD on commentary. They do a test-of-strength, with Luger having to cheat to gain the advantage. Vince calls Crush, and I quote, "The Original Hawaiian Punch." Crush fights free and press slams Luger with ease! Crush reverses a whip and connects with a dropkick as we take a break. We return with Crush working the arm. Crush blocks a hip toss attempt and counters with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Crush misses a charge, and Luger sends him to the floor with a running high knee. Luger follows, ramming Crush's back into the post. Back inside, Luger grabs a bearhug. At least it makes sense in this case. Crush fights free, only to run into a Powerslam. Crush counters a suplex with his own, then brings Luger down with a back suplex. Crush with a slam and leg drop for two. Crush applies the Cranium Crunch, but here's Doink... and Doink?... to create a distraction. Luger uses the opportunity to KO Crush with the loaded forearm, knocking him to the floor for the weak Count-Out victory at 10:47. That as a bit of a fast count. ** Slow at times, but some heavy hitting offense kept it going. I'm OK with the finish: Crush can't afford a pinfall loss here, and Luger's still undefeated.

- The weeks following WrestleMania IX featured a several week long tour over in Europe. If you're looking to see what the WWF was offering to out friends across the Atlantic, then you can check out reviews of shows held in Paris, France on April 8th, Sheffield, England on April 11th and Milan, Italy on April 25th. I still feel bad for sending our old pal Rowe that Sheffield show. That's something nightmares are made of. And how many times have I said I give up doing recaps? I'm due for another empty threat.

Final Thoughts: You can tell we're in a bit of an odd limbo stage for a lot of the key players. They're hyping a Shawn/Perfect program that kind of went on the back-burner almost immediately. Lex Luger's arm is hyped up, but he's not working any kind of angle on television to draw interest to what he's doing on House Show's. WWF Champion Hulk Hogan is non-existant, and former Champion Bret Hart wasn't doing anything on television, either. We did get some decent feature matches: Bam Bam going over the (kind of) repackaged Owen Hart, a solid series of tag matches between the Beverly Brothers and the rest of the division (minus the Bushwhackers), and a surprisingly decent outing between Crush and Luger. May brings us a Super-Sized Punch of action, including the inaugural (televised) King of the Ring Tournament, so we might have to break that month up into two parts.

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