Friday, September 16, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: KING OF THE RING 1993 REVIEW

Nutter Center
Dayton, OH.
Attendance: 6,500

I obviously suck, for my long hiatus from the project, but I've been working on something special that hopefully one day I get to tell you guys and gals about. The good news is that I'm taking a slight break from that to fit in something I've been looking forward to since I started this project. SO LET'S DO THIS.

RAZOR RAMON vs. BRET "HITMAN" HART
Obviously not as good as their Royal Rumble match because of time but these two work really well together. Razor just has an amazing physical charisma, and it really helps the segments where he's in control. Razor also has the best "missing elbow drop" ever. He throws everything into it and Bret is never there for it. My favorite moment may be a perfectly executed nearfall. The ref counted evenly and never made it look like it wasn't the finish and Razor kicked out at the last possible second where you weren't sure one way or the other if he made it in time. Good times.

MR. PERFECT vs. MR. HUGHES
The battle of the Mrs. That.... that can't be the right way to do that. Whatever. Mr. Hughes has some CRAZY hops. Dude flies into hiptosses and you think he's going to hit the front row. This one is pretty quick, but I'd love to see these guy's do more. Hughes snaps and nails Perfect with the urn he stole from the Undertaker to get DQ'd. PERFECT ADVANCES.

BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
No good.
Duggan almost quelled my excitement by starting this off by throwing some of the limpest clotheslines you could imagine. Bigelow takes over working over the ribs, but the bear hug on Duggan looks pretty lame. Mostly because Duggan stands there raising the roof while Bammer is bent over applying the hold. WHAT A MANEUVER. Duggan makes the quick come back and goes for the 3 Point Stance but ends up going headfirst into the turnbuckle, allowing Bammer a window to fit in his flying headbutt for the win. Decent match.

TATANKA vs. LEX LUGER
They started things off by telling Luger he has to cover his elbow or he'll forfeit the match. His reaction was amazing and the crowd loved it. Tatanka showed up and shoved the mirror in his face to start things off hot. Some how these guys go on to have a pretty decent 15 minute draw. The crowd was definitely into it, because when Luger said he wanted 5 more minutes they went crazy. Tatanka is such a good utility guy, he can go 15-20 minutes and hang with a Luger or a Michaels or whoever.

MR. PERFECT vs. BRET HART
This is the sequel to probably my favorite match of all time. Some folks think it's better and I wouldn't argue, but Summerslam has a special place in my heart. I don't feel like I can say much that hasn't been said about this match. If you have ever enjoyed watching Mr. Perfect or Bret Hart, you've probably seen this match.

It's a great character piece for Mr. Perfect, as he resorts to using some pretty nasty tricks. As far as Bret goes, it's a great second act to his night. Perfect really lays into him and by the time it's over you can't see Bret being able to overcome Bigelow, who got a Bye. And when it's over you really love both guys more than you did before the match. I think that's what's so magical about these two getting together, is because you never want it to end. You just become enamored with their style and how perfect they play off of one another.

And beyond that is the AMAZING commentary. Macho Man is gushing over them calling them the toughest guys in the WWF, and Heenan TOPS him by saying they're the toughest guy on the planet. That's when you know you're watching something special, when Bobby Heenan bringing the love.

Just go watch the stupid thing, and enjoy your day.

WWF TITLE MATCH
HULK HOGAN (c) vs. YOKOZUNA
This match is pretty sweet. It's a perfect match-up for both, because Hogan is a tremendous seller and Yokozuna's moves look so devastating. Hogan may be the best guy to ever sell a bear hug ever and his convulsions after the belly to belly suplex made it feel like it was nearly over for the Hulkster.

FACT: Hulk Hogan does not have maxillary canines.
Yoko got put over huge, despite the exploding camera gimmick. He never got body slammed, it took three big boots to put him down, he kicked out of the leg drop, and he finished Hulkster off with a leg drop of his own. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that. Solid solid match, and the official end of an era.

SMOKING GUNNS & THE STEINERS vs. MONEY INC. & THE HEADSHRINKERS
Scott and DiBiase started this off really well. DiBiase was bumping around great. Things got a little dull when Bart was getting worked over but picked up when Billy got tagged in. Pretty interesting ending, as DiBiase put him Billy to sleep with the Million Dollar Dream, and let it go to taunt everyone. When he went to pick up Billy, Billy hooked him with an inside cradle for the flash pin. Nothing really memorable other than the finish though.

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS(c) w/ DIESEL vs. CRUSH
Really great match for Crush. Probably one of his best ever. Shawn made him look like a million bucks with his bumping, and for the first time in a while Crush was really fired up and working the crowd. Savage was also putting him over huge on commentary saying that he thought Crush could bodyslam Yokozuna. The corpse of Hulkamania was still warm, mind you. There's a nasty hotshot that Shawn takes that you should see as he takes it while going outside of the ring. Looks extra rough and I wonder why you never see it.

Worth checking out if you ever wanted to see a really good crush match.

KING OF THE RING FINALS
BRET "HITMAN" HART vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
This is great except for the weird false finish. Bammer destroys Bret and eventually Luna comes down and blasts Bret with a chair while the ref is turned around. Bigelow then hits the flying headbutt for the win. Then Hebner comes down and says there was some chicanery and that the match must continue. WHERE WAS HE AT WRESTLEMANIA IX? Why didn't some one run down and say, "Bret got salted by Fuji, restart the match."? I hate that shit.

Still, it's a tremendous match and an amazing testament to the ability of Bret Hart. He wrestled 46 minutes total. The Razor match was a bit of a warm up, the Perfect match was brutal, and The Bigelow match was just as rough. And we also see a huge difference between our new King of the Ring and the Hulkster. Hogan, while still delivering a solid performance, did his same formula. He got beat up and Hulked up, and while this served him many times before, it got old and at King of the Ring it didn't work out. Bret Hart got beat up but he didn't "Hulk Up". He eeked out a win by using smarts and wrestling ability. Same as the 123 Kid did to Razor, and the same as Shawn Michaels does. It feels more believable and it paints the picture of these new heroes and villains of the WWF as underdogs not just against each other but against the wrestling industry.

THE KING HAS ARRIVED
After the match, Jerry Lawler came down and ruined the coronation, telling Hart he wasn't a real king. Then he beat the snot out of them to the boos of the Dayton crowd. Not a happy night to be a young fan. Hulkster gets murdered by Yoko, Crush can't be HBK, and Bret Hart gets owned by Jerry Lawler. Tough night for the good guys. At least Billy Gunn won for his team.

OVERALL SHOW: GREAT SHOW. Some solid action from everyone. The weakest match would have to be the 8 Man tag, but it's not even that bad, it's just a breather to get the crowd back into it after watching Hulk lose. Hogan went out with a great performance and Yokozuna looked like the baddest man on the planet. Bret Hart looked like a world beater and Lex Luger and Tatanka got together for 15 minutes and put on a great show. A great PPV with a lot of variance in styles and matches. Certainly one you should have seen, and if you haven't seen it in a while, check it out again.

2 comments:

  1. Tatanka/Luger is one of my favorite draws ever, up there with a couple of the Sting/Flair draws.

    Gotta give love to Steiner yelling at DiBiase after Billy Gunn surprised him with the cradle, "That's what ya get for bein' STOOPID!"

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  2. Let me give you my input on Hulk Hogan's 10-year legacy:

    Hulk Hogan is one of the greatest superstars in professional wrestling history. He sold out arena after arena after arena. He headlined seven WrestleManias, and countless other pay-per-views, and is a 5-time World Champion. But, by late 1991, times were changing, and "Train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins" was getting awfully stale. Then, Hogan is shaken by the arrival of Ric Flair, who instantly cut a hysterical promo on Hogan, calling him "Thunderlips", and pretty much challenging him to a world title match. Instead, Hogan and Vince McMahon convolute some bizarre events with Flair, Sid Justice, Mr. Perfect, Jake Roberts, Randy Savage, and The Undertaker, to avoid being embarrassed on TV by the "Real World's Champion". In the end, everyone in the storyline looked better than Hogan. Just watch the 1992 Royal Rumble to prove that point.

    Hogan really needed to leave the WWF at that point in time; he looked out of place with the younger, more vibrant superstars coming up the ladder.

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