WWF started off 1994 with the Royal Rumble PPV as usual. Apart from the 30-man Royal Rumble match, Yokozuna defended his WWF Title against The Undertaker in a Casket match. In addition, The Hart Brothers challenged The Quebecers for the tag team titles, and Razor Ramon defended his Intercontinental Title against IRS. Find out the best and the worst matches from the show in this post.
5. Yokozuna vs. The Undertaker (WWF Championship: Casket Match)
I initially went into this match expecting another sh*tty 90s Undertaker match. After the initial brawl between Yokozuna and Undertaker though, I started liking the match. However, after that they overbooked the match to death. We saw many heels interfere in the match and attack The Undertaker. Undertaker kept fighting, but more heels kept arriving and attacking him. It was a pain to go through the whole sequence as Undertaker was finally locked in the casket. But it wasn’t enough as we saw an Undertaker promo from the casket. I found all of this to be quite corny. I can see myself going crazy for it if I were watching it as a kid or as a casual, but as someone who actually reviews wrestling, it wasn’t fun for me. I feel they should have just had ‘Taker and Yokozuna brawl, as their brawling sequence was enjoyable. (DUD)
4. Razor Ramon vs. IRS (WWF Intercontinental Championship)
This wasn’t a great bout, but it was solid enough to be watchable. We saw Shawn Michaels involved in the match to continue his rivalry with Razor Ramon. Shawn hit Razor with his Intercontinental belt, and the referee counted to three and awarded the victory to IRS. But the match was restarted, and Razor hit the Razor’s Edge on IRS for the win. (**3/4)
3. Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
This match was originally going to be Tatanka taking on Ludvig Borga, but due to an injury to Borga, Bam Bam Bigelow replaced him. Usually, I get disappointed when the original match doesn’t happen, but in this case, I was glad we got this match instead. The match was a very good opener. Bam Bam stopping Tatanka’s comeback was a very unexpected moment, and I was shocked when I saw that. Bam Bam attempting the moonsault was also great, even though he didn’t connect. Tatanka hit a crossbody on him to win the match. I was quite satisfied with what we got but wouldn’t have minded the match to go for some more time as I was really enjoying the contest. (***1/4)
2. 30-man Royal Rumble Match For A WWF Championship Match At WrestleMania X
This Royal Rumble was certainly better than the 1993 rumble, and actually one of the better Royal Rumbles of the 90s. Diesel had a great performance to set the tone initially as he kept eliminating wrestlers, until many wrestlers worked together and eliminated him. The match was enjoyable for most part, but it did get boring in the middle. The finish is quite well-known, and while it isn’t the best, I can understand what they were going for and I don’t mind the finish as it was kind of unique. Other than the winners Bret Hart and Lex Luger, Crush, Shawn Michaels and Bam Bam Bigelow also had good performances in the match. (***1/2)
1. The Quebecers vs. The Hart Brothers (WWF Tag Team Championships)
On to the best match of the night. All four men in the match played their parts perfectly, and we got a great tag team contest with solid action throughout. In the final minutes, I could really feel the frustration Owen Hart was going through. After such a great tag team contest, the kind of finish we saw here wouldn’t be ideal, but storyline wise it made perfect sense. Bret Hart’s selling of the leg was absolutely incredible, and Owen’s frustration was also great. Absolutely loved the way they are building up this rivalry. (****)
And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next post of this series where we will rank the matches of WrestleMania X. Have a nice day!
Welcome to part 7 of The Blog Of Kane. On this edition, Kane challenges The Rock for the WWF Championship on the August 28 2000 edition of Monday Night RAW.
PREVIOUS ENTRY –>
KANE VS. THE ROCK
Kane & X-Pac’s friendship was a positive boon for the Big Red Machine. They won the Tag Team Championship twice in 1999 and were voted the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 1999. Unfortunately, the alliance/bond didn’t last as WWF Champion Triple H rebuilt D-X, married Stephanie and ushered in the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. X-Pac followed suit, betraying Kane for the money and the power. Alas, the subsequent Kane/X-Pac feud was arduous, lacklustre and just daft. Kane somehow ended up dating Tori (DON’T ASK!), Tori ultimately ended up ditching Kane for X-Pac and joined D-X’s ranks, none of the bouts were particularly special…and FINALLY the tedious storyline ended at WrestleMania 16 when Kane & Rikishi defeated X-Pac & Road Dogg.
During this time, Kane joined the likes of the Rock, Cactus Jack, Rikishi & Too Cool and the Dudley Boys in the war against the McMahon-Helmsely Faction. Paul Bearer returned to his son’s side for a time, but he disappeared again. The Undertaker returned after a long absence to help destroy the McMahon-Helmsley Regime once and for all. The Rock won the WWF Championship from Triple H and Mick Foley ultimately took power as the new WWF Commissioner. But whilst Kane had been fighting on the front line, he seemed to have got lost in the shuffle.
That all changed when he turned heel in the summer of 2000, attacking his brother to restart their rivalry. Now sporting new attire, Kane was also in contention for a WWF Championship Match with The Rock the night after SummerSlam. Could he get back on top?
The Match Itself
Both combatants have entered the ring, and Kane’s staring deep into the Rock. As ever, Dwayne’s facials & mannerisms are PERFECT. The Great One knows EXACTLY how to express the correct emotions; whatever the mood and circumstances. He’s the WWF Champion, and the Rock KNOWS he’s got a major challenge ahead of him tonight. 24 hours after retaining the title at SummerSlam…he’s got KANE. It’s no surprise that Dwayne Johnson transitioned to Hollywood so successfully…he LIVES the story. He reflects it PERFECTLY.
The Greensboro Crowd begin with the “Rocky!” Chants, JR & King are selling Kane as the challenger brilliantly, we have a big-time match on our hands…it’s the WWF IN 2000, BABY!!! The bell rings, the fight is on! Champion and challenger exchange blows! Rock ducks a clothesline and smacks Kane with some right-hands. Kane reverses an Irish-whip and smacks the Brahma Bull with a big boot! Already in control, Kane has Rock firmly on the ropes, but the Rock is able to connect with a side-Russian leg-sweep for a two-count.
Kane’s back-up quickly and is soon pummelling Rocky in the corner. Kane’s brutal blows…Rocky’s SELLING…things of beauty! Kane takes a moment to intimidate Earl Hebner, but that gives Rocky enough time to recover and start laying the SmackDown on his challenger! But Kane turns the tide with a NICE running power-slam! AGAIN, Dwayne sells the impact fabulously!
Meanwhile, Kane kicks the Rock whilst he’s down, as Good Ol’ King says that the Monster wants to represent the People as their champion! The fantastic crowd rally behind the Great One with “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” as Kane batters Dwayne (Hey, that rhymed! Sorry…). Anyway, Kane follows up with a great suplex on the People’s Champion for a near-fall. Rocky won’t go down without a fight, though! But another comeback attempt is shut-down courtesy of Kane’s brutal sidewalk slam!
Kane heads-up for the top-rope and then nails the Great One with a SPECTACULAR flying-clothesline! The WWF Champion is in trouble! But the Rock manages to kick-out before 3! Rocky tries again to fight back, but Kane is far too powerful and soon has him on the ropes again. However, the Rock manages to reverse an Irish-whip into a Samoan Drop! Which buys the Champion some much-needed time! However, Kane sits-up first as the ‘Rocky’ chants start-up again. The Great One manages to land a terrific-right, and another, and another, and another! He now has the Big Red Machine on the ropes! As usual, JR and King put over both combatants big on commentary!
The Rock scores a fantastic clothesline on Kane to take him down! Then he nails a DDT, but that only gets a two-count. Kane then reverses the next Irish-whip attempt and flings the Rock into the ref. Poor Earl is down again. The Rock counters a Tombstone attempt into a spine-buster! The crowd knows what’s coming next! WE ALL DO! Most Electrifying Move in ALL Sports-Entertainment – THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE! – The People’s Elbow! Rocky covers Kane, but of course, Earl’s too hurt to count! As soon as Dwayne leaves to check on the ref, Kane is back up to deliver an almighty choke slam to the champion!
Earl manages to recover enough to make the count…1…2…NO! The Rock JUST kicks out in time! That was genuinely close! Kane clutches his hair tightly in frustration and roars monstrously at the ref! Kane batters the Rock furiously! He has him on the ropes again! But the Rock suddenly counters with a ROCK BOTTOM! OUT OF NOWHERE! 1…2…NO! KANE KICKED OUT OF THE ROCK BOTTOM!!! ANOTHER CLOSE NEAR-FALL!!!
The crowd’s unglued, Dwayne can’t believe it, JR asks’ “What does the Rock have to do to beat this monster?!” …this is a REALLY good match, y’know!
The Brahma Bull clotheslines his challenger over the top-rope to the floor, Kane lands on his feet, the fighting now spills out to ringside and into the crowd itself…and then, Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass” starts playing! The Undertaker’s here! Kane finishes pummelling the Rock and then goes off to play with his brother! The crowd still love Taker and Kane slugging each other! However, Earl is too busy checking on the Rock (awww…!) to notice Taker nail Kane with a thunderous choke-slam in the ring!
Rocky finally manages to crawl back into the ring after all the abuse he’s taken! Earl is right there to count! 1…2…NO! Kane kicks out AGAIN?! Incredible! Rocky’s had enough now! With a look of sheer anger and determination, he nails the Big Red Machine with a SECOND THUNDEROUS Rock Bottom! THAT gets the 3-count! THE ROCK RETAINS THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP AT 8:08!
Jim Ross: “The Rock knows he had Lady Luck on his side tonight!” Jerry Lawler: “AND the Undertaker!”
THIS was simply a great Raw main-event! Was it classic or memorable? No, but it was a standard, hellacious match that you’d expect to find consistently on television during the World Wrestling Federation’s most successful period. 2000 was simply THE year for WWF, and it shows here. Amazing crowd, fantastic action from start-to-finish, unmatched commentary, and two proven main-eventers who are simply legends of this industry.
As we know, the Rock is one of the greatest wrestlers/WWF Champions of all-time. Interviews, personality, charisma, timing, in-ring ability, facial expressions, selling…Rocky VERY seldomly made a mistake. And very much like Triple H in 2000, it wasn’t JUST the big-time Pay-Per-View matches that Rocky delivered in as WWF Champion. It was night-after-night on Raw AND SmackDown too! Just like Triple H made you believe he could lose to the likes of Chris Jericho, Tazz and Taka Michinoku…Rocky could make both himself and his opponent look good whilst defending the belt. In this case, it was Kane.
Kane looked a legitimately credible threat to the WWF Title again; something he hadn’t looked like in ages thanks to that stupid storyline with X-Pac & Tori. But it’s also important to remember that Glenn Jacobs was also really starting to show what he could do as in-ring worker here. Obviously, his body-language and character-work were stellar from the get-go, but now Kane was getting to showcase more of his wrestling ability. Here, he competed in a fast-paced, exciting match with the Rock, and Kane would go-on to wrestle some excellent bouts against the likes of Austin, HHH, Angle, Jericho, Benoit and Edge over the following years. Of course, you can take or leave the Undertaker interference, but it made sense given that Rocky would soon be booked to defend the WWF Championship against Taker, Kane and Chris Benoit at Unforgiven. As for this match, I recommend watching this one!
Join us again next time in 2001 where Kane goes after the Hardcore Championship!
Check out the match here –>
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After an abomination of a show that was WrestleMania IV, we’re back once again with yet another installment of my retrospective WM series. This time, we will be looking at an event worth one year of build-up, the place where the Mega Powers explode – the fifth edition of WrestleMania! Elsewhere, The Rockers made their ‘Mania debut against the Twin Towers, Rick Rude defended the Intercontinental strap against the Ultimate Warrior, Strike Force battled the newly-arrived Brain Busters, and much more. And with the introduction out of the way, let’s head to the show.
Date: April 2nd, 1989
Venue: Trump Plaza Convention Center
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura.
WWF Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin sings ‘America The Beautiful’ to open the show. Dang, they must’ve run out of famous singers to hire. She didn’t do very well, by the way.
Hercules vs. King Haku [w/ Bobby Heenan]
Hercules is now a babyface after Bobby Heenan attempted to sell him to DiBiase as a personal slave. He got a nice shine at the start before Heenan’s interference allowed Haku to take over, giving us a short heat segment in this throwaway undercard opener. Haku catching Herc coming down with a Savate kick was a cool spot that I didn’t expect. Hercules eventually won this one at 6:54 with a bridging belly-to-back suplex. Just a simple, inoffensive match to kick off the PPV. Not too shabby. [**]
The Rockers vs. The Twin Towers
The former Midnight Rockers of the AWA faced the colossal duo of Twin Towers in this exciting tag team battle of power versus speed. The Rockers overwhelmed their much-larger opponents using innovative, fast-paced tandem offense. Bossman, Akeem, and Jannetty all looked great, but it was Shawn who stood out from the pack. He bumped all over the place like a pinball and took a helluva beating from the Towers, including a vicious lariat from Akeem that looked like it could’ve decapitated him! We got a badass finish, with Bossman catching the future HBK with a spinning powerbomb in mid-air, before an Akeem splash brought this one to an end at 8:04. [***]
Ted DiBiase [w/ Virgil] vs. Brutus Beefcake
Beefcake’s WrestleMania stinker record continued with another abysmal matchup. DiBiase did his best to carry this with all his bumping and heel work, but it was hopeless when you’re in there with the legendarily bad Bruti. Beefcake would improve himself by the summer of ‘89, but I’m afraid he’s as awful as he’s ever been in this one. This got thrown out the window at 10:01 after Virgil intervened, and both men won’t stop fighting on the floor past the referee’s count. The finish was like a rotten cherry on an already messed-up cake. They did a post-match brawl afterward, but DiBiase retreated to fight another day. This was a chore to sit through. [*]
The Fabulous Rougeaus [w/ Jimmy Hart] vs. The Bushwhackers
I refuse to believe the Sheepherders and the Bushwhackers are the same teams. That’s just impossible! You know the deal when you’re watching a Bushwhackers match that lasted more than five minutes. They went through their usual bullsh-t comedy routine, making their opponents look like fools as a result. The Rougeaus made the common heel error of celebrating too early, and they paid their price for it in the form of a Battering Ram and a double gutbuster at 5:10.Absolutely horrendous. I gave it a quarter star for The Rougeaus as they were actually TRYING something to make this watchable. [¼*]
Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer
Mr. Perfect and Owen Hart made their WrestleMania debuts in this underrated, action-packed sprint from the Trump Plaza. They both went all out here, dazzling the crowd with a string of high-impact maneuvers that were rarely seen within the Fed at the time. The fact they managed to pack this much into 5 mins is certainly impressive! After getting a nearfall off a crucifix and arguing with the ref about it, Blazer got nailed from behind for his trouble before a PerfectPlex put things to an end at 5:38. A fun sprint from a horrible ‘Mania. [**¾]
American hip hop group Run-DMC performed a WRESTLEMANIA RAP. Moving on.
WWF Tag Team Title: Demolition (c) vs. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji
This showed slight potential in the first few minutes with some solid clobberin’ from all four hosses. Mr. Fuji became the deciding factor of the bout when his distraction allowed the POP to gain the advantage on the Demos. They worked over Ax in a decent segment until a Smash hot tag finally brought some life to this insufferable New Jersey crowd. The finish, which saw Mr. Fuji misfiring the salt and taking the loss for his team via a Demolition Decapitation at 8:55, actually received a nice pop from the crowd, much to my surprise. Far from good, but watchable enough overall. [*½]
Dino Bravo [w/ Frenchy Martin] vs. Ronnie Garvin
What’s worse than a regular squash on a PPV? A squash by the absolute WORST. Yes, you read that right. This was done simply to reestablish Bravo as one of the top WWF midcard heels, but no one could have cared less. Ronnie Garvin is making his singles PPV debut here in the WWF, and he couldn’t have been any more unlucky being fed to the Canadian strongman. Bravo put a stop to Garvin’s comeback with his side suplex, and that’s all she wrote at 3:58. Another thing to note is that Jimmy Snuka made a cameo appearance before the bout, and he got no reaction from this deader-than-dead crowd. [½*]
The Brain Busters [w/ Bobby Heenan] vs. Strike Force
Strike Force made their return after Martel’s injury put a stop in the team’s tracks for almost a full year. They gained the early upper hand on the former Horsemen as Jesse questioned how well Tito and Martel can work together after not teaming up for so long. Martel became visually pissed after he was on the receiving end of an accidental flying burrito by Tito, and soon his frustration came clean when he refused to accept Tito’s tag and left him all alone against the Busters. Tito tried his luck, but it was no use, as he fell victim to a Spike Piledriver at 9:17, marking the end of the duo known as Strike Force. I was expecting a 10+ mins barnburner between two of the best tag teams North American wrestling has to offer at the time, but what I got was a classic heel isolation segment before a tremendously well-executed angle kicked in. [***]
Piper’s Pit, w/ Brother Love & Morton Downey Jr.
Holy cow, this show just won’t end, will it? I love Hot Rod, but this segment wasn’t needed whatsoever. Piper barely got any pop from the crowd during his entrance. He insulted Brother Love and sexually harassed him before taking off his pants – ahem, I mean kilt – and sending him running in horror. Roddy then cut a promo on Morton Downey, as I struggled to make any sense of, well, whatever this was. And FINALLY, we ended this stupid segment with Piper blasting Downey Jr. with a fire extinguisher. Hooray… except we still got about an hour and a half left on this never-ending show.
Andre The Giant [w/ Bobby Heenan] vs. Jake Roberts
Big John Studd is your special guest referee here, and he looked like a man hanging onto his last legs. He did nothing of value until the last few minutes of the contest. Andre was done by this point – I mean, the man can barely wrestle a proper match, let alone take a bump. Jake put in a decent effort, but there’s only so much you can do here. Andre choked and held Roberts for what felt like an eternity before Ted DiBiase made a run-in to steal Damien, causing Roberts to chase him to the back. Meanwhile, Andre attacked Studd, earning him a disqualification at 9:39. We finally ended this mess with Roberts returning to the ring and scaring the Giant away with his pet snake. Giving Andre ophidiophobia in this feud wasn’t ideal, but it at least provided some amusement to this feud. [DUD]
The Hart Foundation [w/ Jimmy Hart] vs. Rhythm & Blues
The Harts opened this with a fun opening shine that Valentine and Honky did a solid job bumping and feeding for. Valentine stopped the shine by evading Bret’s patent elbow drop, and they worked a short but worthwhile FIP segment into this time filler bout. Neidhart came in with a hot tag and actually woke up the crowd a bit with the fire he showed. Things slowly broke down, but as Jimmy Hart distracted the ref so his team could use the megaphone, Neidhart intervened, giving Bret said object instead. Hart then used it to knock Honky out for the win at 7:40, foiling the heels’ plan to a shockingly good pop from the audience. A perfectly acceptable tag match placed in a dead slot of a dead PPV. [**½]
WWF Intercontinental Title: The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Rick Rude [w/ Bobby Heenan]
Rick Rude carried the Ultimate Warrior to his first-ever good match. Rude tried to blindside Warrior at the bell, only to end up kneeing the belt instead in a funny spot. Warrior still looked awkward and clumsy in his movement, although that was redeemed by Rude’s humorously over-the-top bumping. Rude bumped huge for Warrior to make him look like a million bucks! Warrior’s two bearhugs might’ve been overblown, but Rude being unable to do the hip swivel as a result of that was a nice little payoff from it. Heenan eventually got involved, tripping Warrior and holding his feet down so Rude could pin him for the three at 9:42. The finish was clever, though the execution was far from it, as Warrior clearly had both his feet under the ropes. It put over how much Warrior was screwed here, at least if you wanna look at it the other way. [***]
Bad News Brown vs. Jim Duggan
Brown jump-started the bout by attacking Duggan right at the bell, only for Hacksaw to withstand it and send him bailing. Brown picking Duggan’s head as a body part to target was an interesting move. They brawled outside and we got a 2×4 v. steel chair showdown in the ring. They both went for the shot at the same time, and the ref called it a double DQ at 3:49. Another utterly pointless filler, but hey, at least it was short. [¼*]
Bobby Heenan [w/ The Brooklyn Brawler] vs. The Red Rooster
More filler to fill time between the IC Title match and the World Title main event. Heenan came out with an injury to sell the post-match assault from the Warrior earlier, which was reported to be legit. Anyway, the less said about this, the better. Taylor ducked a blind charge from Heenan and then pinned him in a mere 0:31 for a quick win. [N/R]
WWF World Heavyweight Title: Randy Savage (c) vs. Hulk Hogan
This has tons of backstories behind it, arguably dating back to late 1987 when the Mega Powers initially united. Miss Elizabeth was in a neutral corner, and Jesse Ventura hilariously accused her of being a gold digger as she walked down the aisle. I consider this one of my top Hulk Hogan bouts ever, but truth be told, his opponent was actually the one who did most of the heavy lifting. Savage turned in an amazing heel performance, cheating like a maniac and riling up the crowd with his shady antics. Macho using Liz as a human shield was a genius heel move that you can’t help but smile at. Hogan received colors after getting kicked square in the forehead, and Savage was just a crazed man targeting that cut. Elizabeth finally got ejected from ringside after her troublesome appearance nearly caused a brawl that could’ve halted the whole match. Savage continued his onslaught by jamming away at Hogan’s throat in a brutal fashion. He went up top and landed the Macho elbow, but Hogan immediately hulked up, landed the boot, and dropped the big leg for the win at 17:54.
I’m of the opinion that Savage should’ve gone over and held the belt until SummerSlam, but it’d be counterproductive in this era to see a heel standing tall or having a non-finish of any kind to end a show, so I get why they’d go with their decision. Regardless, this is a very underrated WrestleMania main event, easily the best of its kind up to this point, and one that should garner more praise among fans. This was a marquee bout between two of the biggest stars in wrestling, with spectacular build-up and off-the-chart heat. [***¾]
Much like its predecessor the year before, WrestleMania V was a way-too-long-of-a-show that simply never ceased to end. While there are some gems on this card – and that main event absolutely belongs in the conversation of most iconic ‘Mania main events of all time – the show just felt wayyyy too darn long overall, making it a mission impossible to sit through the whole thing in one round. Furthermore, this rotten Atlantic City crowd didn‘t give a crap about 80% of the show, giving off a tepid atmosphere that is more than enough to kill an entire PPV event by itself.
Rating: 4 out of 10.
That’ll be all for today, people. Thank you so much as usual for checking in. And make sure to be alert for my next review, where we will take a look at the first time WrestleMania INVADED Canada! Stay tuned!
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WWF had a huge roster in 1992, but when they moved on to 1993, they lost many wrestlers. However, WWF kept signing new wrestlers and managed to have a pretty decent roster in 1993 despite many wrestlers going out. Let’s take a look at the top 5 wrestlers from the year who stood out from the rest.
5. Razor Ramon
Razor Ramon made his debut in 1992, and he became one of the most popular wrestlers of the roster by 1993 itself. Razor Ramon started 1993 as a heel with a feud against WWF Champion Bret Hart. He lost the title match at Royal Rumble, but he showed his potential as a singles wrestler. After winning his WrestleMania debut against Bob Backlund, Ramon started a mini feud with The 1-2-3 Kid. Later he would become friends with The Kid as he turned face and feuded with Ted Dibiase and IRS. After Shawn Michaels had to vacate the Intercontinental Title, Razor Ramon won the vacant belt in a Battle Royal on the October 4 episode of RAW. He started a feud with Shawn Michaels and ended the year as the Intercontinental Champion, going into 1994 with huge momentum. Overall, a great year for The Bad Guy as he had shown potential of a future main-eventer in his first full year.
4. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels started off the year as the Intercontinental Champion. For the majority of the year, he feuded with his former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty. The two had some really good matches, which were some of the best matches of the year. Apart from Jannetty, Shawn consistently had good matches on RAW against other opponents as well. He somehow managed to have decent matches with the likes of Kamala and Jim Duggan, which seems impossible for any other wrestler. In the year, he also hired a bodyguard in Diesel. His title reign was going well, and I would have ranked him higher, but he missed out a chunk of the year after SummerSlam due to a suspension for testing positive for steroids. He also had to vacate his Intercontinental Title, which hurt his momentum. Despite vacating the title, Shawn would carry the IC Title around and claimed he was the real champion, as he feuded with Razor Ramon.
3. The Steiner Brothers
Usually, it is hard for tag teams in WWF to have a good ranking as the WWF doesn’t focus much on their tag team divison. However, the tag team of Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner, known as “The Steiner Brothers” had a fire year in 1993. They were great from their debut as they had many great matches in the year against the likes of The Beverly Brothers, The Headshrinkers, Money Inc., The Quebecers. Basically, they had good matches against every tag team they faced. Even their squash matches were very entertaining. Their explosive style of wrestling was awesome. They also managed to win the tag team titles during the year. Although the reign could have lasted longer, they had a very strong reign for the time it lasted. Their run wouldn’t last very long in the WWF, as they would be gone from WWF in 1994, but what a year they had in 1993!
2. Bret Hart
After WWF lost a few top stars, Bret Hart stepped up as the top star and received a big push. Bret Hart started the year as the WWF Champion and successfully retained the title against Razor Ramon at Royal Rumble. He lost the WWF Title to Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX. He was supposed to beat Hulk Hogan, but of course Hogan’s ego wouldn’t allow it. Bret won the King of the Ring tournament and began a feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler from there on to determine the real king of WWF. The feud was very personal as Lawler repeatedly insulted Bret’s family. The two had a match at SummerSlam where Bret unleashed his anger on Lawler. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see a proper conclusion to the feud as Lawler had to be taken off TV. Towards the end of the year, tensions rose between Bret and his brother, Owen Hart as WWF slowly built up the story between them. Overall, Bret didn’t have as many good matches as he had in 1992, but he had a pretty solid year as he cemented himself as the Face of the company in 1993.
1993 was the year of Yokozuna. It was hard deciding between Yokozuna and Bret Hart for the top spot, but in my opinion, Yokozuna had a more impressive year. He received a monster push as he won the Royal Rumble and later won the WWF title from Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX. He lost the title immediately to Hogan which hurt Yokozuna, but he regained the title not long after at King of the Ring. Following that, he feuded with Lex Luger, as they had a typical “American Hero vs. Foreign Villain” storyline. They feuded for a long period of time as they faced off at Survivor Series as well, with Yokozuna leading The Foreign Fanatics against Luger’s All-Americans. At Survivor Series, Yokozuna started a rivalry with The Undertaker which would continue to 1994. Overall, Yokozuna had a very good year and was truly the top wrestler of the year. He did have his flaws like his mic work, but they were taken care of by Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette. It is unfortunate that Yokozuna didn’t remain at the top of WWF for a long time as he had a lot of potential.
And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next post where we will review all the WWF title reigns from 1993. Have a nice day!
The 2000s was a beautiful decade for the Intercontinental Championship. Starting with the year 2000 – the single-greatest year for then-called World Wrestling Federation – the Attitude Era was still going strong, with new faces rising to take their rightful place in history, and the overall product being virtual perfection. The mid-card was SO strong, and a new generation of gladiators claimed Intercontinental Gold to continue its legacy as one of the most prestigious championships a wrestler could hold.
When the Attitude Era ended, and the Ruthless Aggression Era began, the Intercontinental Championship scene remained strong and glorious (we WON’T talk about the title being temporarily retired from October 2002 to June 2003, alright?), with so many newcomers building & building upon the championship’s prestige and make more epic history, former tag-team specialists now looking for their big break as a singles star, and even legends who had moved away from the world title picture gave themselves and thus the IC title a new lease of life. Overall, the 2000s really gave us some absolute legends as Intercontinental Champion.
When Christian became absolutely jealous of Edge’s success as the 2001 King of the Ring, and then the Intercontinental Champion…Christian turned heel with a one-man Con-Chair-To to his former-best chum. Then won his first Intercontinental Championship at Unforgiven 2001, subsequently joining the Alliance during the whole Invasion storyline. Fast-forward to 2003, Christian got a new haircut, upgraded his heel persona and enjoyed another two dastardly reigns as IC Champ before finally losing the title to Rob Van Dam in one of the greatest Ladder Matches ever on Monday Night Raw. Captain Charisma used his time as IC Champ wisely to get to where he is today. For his Peeps, of course.
Johnny Nitro/John Morrison
When MNM sensationally split-up in 2006, Johnny Nitro went from SmackDown to Raw, and picked up his first Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance 2006 in a spectacular triple-threat against Carlito and Shelton Benjamin. After that came a great feud with Jeff Hardy, which saw the belt change back-and-forth in various ladder and cage matches. Then when the real-life John Hennigan upgraded himself to John Morrison, he defeated the legendary Rey Mysterio to win his third & final IC Title in 2009 for an impressive run. John, you did alright with this one, mate.
On paper, Kurt Angle’s sole IC Title reign seems inconsequential compared to his glorious world title reigns; especially given that his run only lasted 35 days. But it was EVERYTHING that Kurt did with the championship in that time that was so unforgettably brilliant! Beating Chris Jericho at No Way Out 2000 for the title whilst already European Champion, Angle became the third, final and most successful ‘Euro-Continental’ champion of all time. And when he lost both titles at WrestleMania 16, Angle wasn’t even involved in either loss! Kurt Angle would never have ascended to main-event status if not for his brilliance as the Euro-Continental Champion! It’s true! It’s true!
Already a former world champion, tag champion and established main-eventer, Kane picked up his first Intercontinental Championship at Judgement Day 2001 by beating Triple H in a brutal chain-match (the best bout ever in Kane’s career, in my opinion) and although his first reign only lasted 39 days, Kane was a fighting champion, successfully defending it on weekly TV against the likes of Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian and Rhyno before dropping it to Albert (of all people!) after some incredibly good matches between the two. Kane won his second IC Title in 2002 by beating Chris Jericho, and although his second reign lasted 20 days, Kane remained a fighting IC Champ, as well as a Tag Team Champion simultaneously, winning one of the greatest TLC matches all by himself! The Big Red Machine can be proud of his work as Intercontinental Champ!
In the twilight of his career, Ric Flair won his only Intercontinental Championship from Carlito at Unforgiven 2005. He became the oldest champion in history at 58-years-old, his reign lasted 155 days before dropping the title to Shelton Benjamin, and he feuded with the likes of Edge and his former Evolution bestie Triple H. The greatest moment of that run was unquestionably a classic cage match at Taboo Tuesday 2005, which saw the Nature Boy retain the title against Triple H. It was one of the greatest IC Championship bouts in the title’s history and another classic courtesy of Ric Flair. WOOOOOOOO!!!
Santino was absolutely ace. Ergo, he was an absolutely ace Intercontinental Champion. Picked at RANDOM by Vince McMahon (yeah, right!) from the Milan, Italy audience during 2007 to challenge then-champ Umaga on Raw, Santino scored a shocking upset (with Bobby Lashley’s help!) to win his first title in WWE! Marella reigned for 77 days before dropping the title back to Umaga. In 2008, Santino was now partnered with Beth Phoenix and ‘Glamarella’ became a successful power-couple, holding both the Intercontinental and Women’s Titles respectively, after Beth scored the win at SummerSlam 2008. And of course, there was the genius ‘Honk-A-Meter’; Santino’s week-by-week attempt to break the Honky Tonk Man’s unbeaten 64-week reign. He failed miserably…but it was STILL genius!
10. Eddie Guerrero
Shortly after Eddie Guerrero’s fantastic run as the European Champion came to an end in 2000, Latino Heat soon moved onto the Intercontinental belt, albeit ‘accidentally’. Shortly after his beloved “Mamacita” Chyna picked up another historic Intercontinental Championship, Eddie asked Commissioner Mick Foley to insert him into her title defence against Kurt Angle. Chyna had been knocked out by Kurt, Eddie took care of him and then ‘accidentally’ pinned Chyna whilst trying to revive her. Only a legend like Eddie could’ve pulled that off…!
Of course, it was a precursor to Eddie’s inevitable lying, cheating, & stealing. Eddie turned heel, and reigned with the Intercontinental Championship for 80 days before dropping it to Billy Gunn. At Backlash 2002, Eddie Guerrero won his second Intercontinental Championship from Rob Van Dam and held it for 36 days, feuding with RVD throughout the entire reign, retaining the title at Insurextion and Judgement Day before finally dropping it to Van Dam in one of the best Ladder Matches ever on Raw. Eddie had one of the greatest careers of all time, and the Intercontinental Title remains an important part of his legacy.
9. Triple H
Triple H had already picked up two Intercontinental Championships in the 90s. His first reign lasted 115 days as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and his second reign came after defeating the Rock at SummerSlam 1998 but was cut short when Hunter had to vacate the title due to a knee injury. Helmsley used his IC Title victories to get to the main-event level. But even after HHH had cemented his legacy as a THAT-DAMN-GOOD WWF Champion…Triple H went back to the Intercontinental Title in 2001 and continued to be an amazing champ
Uniting with former arch-nemesis Steve Austin to form the Two-Man Power Trip, ‘The Game’ defeated Chris Jericho to win his third IC Title. This reign only lasted 7 days before he was shockingly upset for the title by Jeff Hardy! Hunter got the belt back three days later, and with Austin, renewed his hostilities with the Undertaker & Kane. The Two-Man Power Trip beat the Brothers of Destruction for the Tag Titles at Backlash 2001, with Hunter becoming the second-ever Grand Slam Champ, and he and Austin (who was WWF Champion) now had all the gold and power in their possession.
Triple H was finally dethroned by Kane for the IC Title at Judgement Day after 34 days, and then in 2002, Hunter unified the IC Title with the World Heavyweight Championship. Although Triple H’s time with the championship was brief in the 2000s, the Intercontinental Belt transcended to the main-event whilst in his hands.
8. Chris Benoit
Obviously, it’s very hard to discuss Chris Benoit without thinking about the horrific and inexcusable Benoit Tragedy. But in the context of this list, Benoit the WRESTLER remained a fighting Intercontinental Champion. Determined to make an impact in the WWF after jump-shipping from WCW in February 2000, Benoit immediately set his sights on championship gold, and found himself in the two-fall triple-threat match at WrestleMania 16 for the European and Intercontinental Titles with Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho.
Benoit won the Intercontinental Championship that night, and then took on all-comers on Raw, SmackDown and Sunday Night Heat, with his heated-rivalry with Chris Jericho standing above all other challengers throughout 2000 and into 2001. The title switched back-and-forth between the fierce rivals in an excellent series of matches, with the greatest being an epic Ladder Match at Royal Rumble 2001. Benoit picked up his fourth & final Intercontinental Championship in 2002 before losing it to Rob Van Dam at SummerSlam. Benoit’s reigns may have been brief, but he always made them count, and then he ultimately claimed the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 20.
Edge had already won his first Intercontinental Championship in July 1999 from Jeff Jarrett. Alas, his reign only lasted 24 hours, but the groundwork had been laid for Edge’s success as a singles-wrestler in the 21st Century. After becoming 2001 King of the Ring, Edge again set his sights on Intercontinental gold and regained the title from Lance Storm in a damn-fine match at SummerSlam. He lost the belt a month later to a jealous Christian at Unforgiven, but got his revenge in a Ladder match at No Mercy. Sadly, it was another brief reign when he lost the belt to Test 15 days later, but Edge scored another thrilling triumph at Survivor Series when he unified the IC title with the United States Championship.
Edge’s fourth reign lasted 63 days before he was defeated by William Regal at Royal Rumble 2002, and then Edge picked up his fifth & final championship by ending the Legend Killer Randy Orton’s almighty reign at Vengeance 2004. After 57 days, Edge surrendered the title due to injury. Although his reigns were brief, Edge was a happy & proud Intercontinental Champion, using his time with the belt to grow as a performer, wrestler and superstar, before going-on to be the world champion. Another classic success!
6. Jeff Hardy
The Hardy Boys rank among the greatest tag teams of all time, and both Matt and Jeff had already proved that in their feud with Edge & Christian and the Dudleys from No Mercy 1999 to WrestleMania 17. But it was during April 2001 when Jeff received his first big break as a singles-wrestler. During Team Extreme’s feud with the Two-Man Power Trip, Jeff Hardy scored a shocking upset over Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown! He also made history as the youngest Intercontinental Champ ever, winning the title at 23-years-old! Jeff sadly lost the belt back to Hunter three days later, but the victory cemented Jeff’s single-status as a superstar.
Hardy would win his second Intercontinental Championship over five years later on 02.10.2006, then embarked on wicked feuds with Johnny Nitro and Umaga in some absolutely fantastic matches (the best being a cage match at New Year’s Revolution 2007 with the former, and a rollercoaster match with the latter at the Great American Bash later that year). Defending the title regularly on weekly TV and on pay-per-view, Jeff even challenged for the WWE Championship whilst Intercontinental Champion! From 2006 to 2008, the Charismatic Enigma had captured the belt four times at this point, spent a combined total of 323 days as IC Champ, and became yet another wrestler who successfully went on to be WWE World Champion. So amazing was Jeff as the Intercontinental Champ, he won the belt for a fifth & final time in 2020.
5. Shelton Benjamin
From late 2002 to early 2004, Shelton Benjamin was one-half of the World’s Greatest Tag Team (with Charlie Haas); and they had plenty of credentials to back up that claim. When the World’s Greatest Tag Team was split-up in the 2004 Draft Lottery, Shelton ended up on Raw and immediately became a huge singles-star by beating Triple H for three weeks running! Fast-forward to Taboo Tuesday 2004, the fans voted for Benjamin to challenge Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship…and Shelton won!
Shelton’s first run with the title was a spectacular 244-Day reign (the LONGEST of the 2000s), resplendent with first-class title defences against Christian at Survivor Series 2004 and Chris Jericho at Backlash 2005. Shelton entered the first-ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 21 as IC Champ, and raised the value of the title even higher with his performance in that bout, becoming the MVP of MITB matches going forward.
Shelton picked up another two great Intercontinental titles in 2006, feuding with the likes of Ric Flair and Rob Van Dam (the highlight being an excellent Winner-Takes-All match for the IC Title and MITB briefcase at Backlash 2006), before dropping the championship in a fantastic triple-threat at Vengeance 2006 involving Carlito and Johnny Nitro. Although Shelton Benjamin may never have reached world-title heights in WWE, as an Intercontinental Champion, there ain’t no stoppin’ him! NAAAAHHHH!!!
4. Rey Mysterio
On paper, Rey’s two Intercontinental Championship reigns from 2009 may not seem impressive (his first lasted 63 days, his second lasted 68 days), but Mysterio MAXIMISED his time as champion to not only provide one of the best Intercontinental Title runs in years, he also reminded us why Rey Mysterio is one of the most spectacular & awe-inspiring wrestlers of all time.
Beating JBL in a shocking 21 seconds at WrestleMania 25 to become Intercontinental Champion, Rey became the 21st Triple Crown Winner in WWE, then embarked on a legendary feud with Chris Jericho. A series of classic matches on PPV (Judgement Day and Extreme Rules) – with each one better than the last – saw the title change hands between the rivals. And it culminated in an epic Title-vs.-Mask affair at The Bash 2009, with Rey ending the feud, and moving-on to a rivalry with Dolph Ziggler, with the title-defence at SummerSlam really putting Ziggler’s name on the map. After losing the title to John Morrison, Rey Mysterio became involved in high-profile feuds with Batista & CM Punk, regained the World Championship in 2010, and then won the WWE Title in 2011. The Intercontinental Title brought Rey back to the Promised Land, and vice versa.
3. Rob Van Dam
One of the most popular newcomers to have come to the WWE during the whole Invasion storyline, Rob Van Dam immediately achieved success as the greatest Hardcore Champion of all time. Then in 2002, he won his first Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 18 from William Regal. One of the most spectacular, innovative and amazing athletes of all time, RVD also cemented himself as one of the greatest to have ever held this championship.
Although Van Dam didn’t enjoy an undefeated, record-breaking run like his unforgettable 23-month reign as the ECW World TV Champion, Mr. Monday Night nevertheless made history many times as IC Champ. From 2002 to 2006, Rob was a six-time champion, involved in thrilling feuds with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Christian, Randy Orton and Shelton Benjamin, partook in several classic matches on TV and PPV, unified the Intercontinental Title with the European and Hardcore Championships, briefly held the IC Title and MITB briefcase simultaneously…and of course, went on to become WWE Champion at ECW One Night Stand 2006. Just like every other time, RVD was the Whole F’N Show as Intercontinental Champion.
2. Randy Orton
Randy Orton’s sole Intercontinental Championship reign from Armageddon 2003 to Vengeance 2004 stands above most in the title’s lineage. Lasting 210 days, it was the longest reign of any IC Title-holder since The Rock’s 264 day run from December 1997 to August 1998. Having joined the ranks of Evolution and established himself as the Legend Killer, Randy simply shined brighter than ever with the gold. Improving more-and-more as a heel, on the mic and in the ring, the Legend Killer reigned supreme with Evolution; who now had every male championship on the Raw roster.
Defending it routinely on TV, Orton’s IC Title reign also revolved around his legendary feud with Mick Foley. Having dared to spit in the Hardcore Legend’s face, Orton scored the winning pinfall on Foley at WrestleMania 20 when Evolution beat the Rock ’n’ Sock Connection, and then at Backlash 2004, the Legend Killer retained his title against Cactus Jack in one of the bloodiest, most brutal classics EVER waged for the Intercontinental title; a No-Holds-Barred Match that remains the greatest bout in both Randy and Mick’s careers. And when Orton was finally dethroned by Edge at Vengeance 2004, the WWE Universe rejoiced!
A month after that, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all time and the rest was history.
1. Chris Jericho
Really, who ELSE could it have been for single-greatest Intercontinental Champion of the 2000s? After beating Chyna for his first Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon 1999, Chris Jericho brought the championship into the new millennium, and from 2000 to 2009, the man dominated the decade overall as IC Title holder; being involved in so many legendary storylines/feuds and classic matches involving the championship.
Feuding with a who’s-who of wrestling, Jericho battled Chyna, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, William Regal, Triple H, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio over the Intercontinental Title; continuing to make the title one of the most prestigious in all of wrestling, as well as put over so many new stars/titleholders for the belt. Jericho even has the distinction of co-holding the IC Championship with Chyna in a storyline that worked brilliantly!
Although Jericho’s accumulated total of 311 days as Intercontinental Champion is surpassed by others, Y2J nonetheless still holds the record for most title victories with a staggering NINE IC Championship wins! Not just one of the greatest technical wrestlers/performers who ever lived, Chris Jericho easily ranks in my Top 10 Intercontinental Champions of ALL TIME.
So…what do YOU think of this list? Agree with the picks? Who were YOUR favourite Intercontinental Champions of the 2000s?
WWF hosted a total of 5 PPVs in the year 1993. In addition to the usual Big Four PPVs, WWF also held the first-ever King of the Ring PPV in 1993. How good were all those PPVs? Find out in this post as we rank all the PPVs from worst to best.
5. WrestleMania IX
Date: April 4, 1993
Main Event: Yokozuna(c) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF Championship)
Match of the Night: The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers (***1/2)
Let’s start off with the worst PPV of the year, WrestleMania IX, which is also considered to be one of the worst ‘Manias ever. I am not quite sure if this is the worst WrestleMania but it is definitely one of the worst. It started off very well with two solid matches in Shawn Michaels vs. Tatanka and The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers, but then we had a number of mediocre matches with retarded finishes up until the main event between Yokozuna and Bret Hart. It was a good match but unfortunately, it gets overshadowed by the post-match Hogan bullsh*t. Hogan had no right to win the belt here. It was horrendous booking and one of the worst PPV endings ever.
Overall Rating: 3.5/10
4. Survivor Series
Date: November 24, 1993
Main Event: The All-Americans vs. The Foreign Fanatics (4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match)
Match of the Night: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Heavenly Bodies (***1/2)
It seemed like the theme of this show was every match being changed. We got none of the originally promoted survivor series matches, and there were changes in all of the matches. Coming to the match quality, the show had mostly decent matches along with one completely bad match, which was the Four Doinks Survivor Series match. The opening Survivor Series match was the best Survivor Series match among the four. We got a good tag team match between The Heavenly Bodies and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express which ended up as the best match of the night. The other two survivor series matches weren’t very good but overall decent. The show saw the beginning of two feuds in Bret/Owen and Undertaker/Yokozuna. Overall, a watchable show but not recommended.
Overall Rating: 5/10
3. Royal Rumble
Date: January 24, 1993
Main Event: 30-man Royal Rumble match for a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania IX
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty (****)
If we go by the undercard of this show, it had some really good matches. The Steiners had a great WWF PPV debut against The Beverly Brothers. The WWF Title match between Bret Hart and Razor Ramon, and the IC Title match between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty both were also good. The only bad part of the undercard was Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Big Boss Man. Despite the great undercard, the PPV’s main part which made up for most of the show- the royal rumble match didn’t deliver at all. Yokozuna was a good winner, but the rumble match was very boring. The undercard makes this PPV watchable but overall, it was disappointing.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Date: August 30, 1993
Main Event: Yokozuna(c) vs. Lex Luger (WWF Championship)
Match of the Night: Bret Hart vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler (***3/4)
I didn’t have high expectations from the show, but I enjoyed it and it was easy going through the event. There were only two bad matches on the show, and the rest of the matches ranged from being okayish to good. The whole Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler stuff was my favorite part of the show. The two tag team matches were also great. Post-match aside, the main event between Yokozuna and Lex Luger was also a solid WWF title match. The only problem with this show is probably the fact that it didn’t have a GREAT match which would be talked about for years. Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect had the potential of being that match, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to the hype. All things considered, this was a solid PPV and deserves more love among the people as it seems to be underrated.
Overall Rating: 7/10
1. King Of The Ring
Date: June 13, 1993
Main Event: Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (King of the Ring Final match)
Match of the Night: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (****3/4)
This was really the Bret Hart show. He had three really good matches, each of them being with opponents who worked completely different styles and the matches also ended up being very different from each other with unique finishes. His match with Mr. Perfect was the match of the night, and in fact, also the match of the year. Other than Bret’s matches, the rest of the card was fine, but nothing was very good and memorable. The only bad part of the event was Hogan/Yokozuna but that also had a positive which was Hogan losing the belt and leaving the company for good.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next post where we will talk about the top 5 wrestlers of 1993. Have a nice day!
WWF held the Survivor Series 1993 on Thanksgiving Eve. The highly promoted matches saw the team of All-Americans take on The Foreign Fanatics, and The Hart Family took on Shawn Michaels and his Knights. Let’s rank all the matches from the show and find out what were the best parts of the show.
5. The Bushwhackers & Men on a Mission vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, The Headshrinkers & Bastion Booger (4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match)
The match was promoted as Four Doinks taking on the team of Bam Bam, Headshrinkers and Bastion Booger. But we didn’t get the original Doink and instead, the four doinks ended up being The Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission. Seriously who thought this was a good idea to have this kind of match? As soon as I heard The Bushwhackers’ theme, I was sure this was going to be a disaster and it was. The match just sucked, and the worst part is that the heel team which actually had some serious talent had to lose to 4 clowns. (DUD)
4. Shawn Michaels & His Knights vs. The Hart Family (4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match)
This match was doomed from the beginning. Firstly, this match was supposed to be The Hart Family taking on Jerry Lawler’s team, but Lawler was replaced by Michaels as he faced r*pe accusations. Due to the replacement, the match had already lost a lot of heat and it wasn’t interesting. The match was very boring and at times painful to watch. Bret Hart also didn’t get involved a lot in the match which didn’t make any sense. The best thing coming out of the match was Owen Hart getting frustrated at Bret Hart as they slowly built up the feud. (**1/2)
3. The All-Americans vs. The Foreign Fanatics (4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match)
The team of All-Americans contained of Lex Luger, The Undertaker and The Steiner Brothers. The Foreign Fanatics were represented by Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, Crush and Quebecer Jacques. The match wasn’t bad at all, but disappointing given the talent involved. It was used to set up the Yokozuna/Undertaker feud as both got disqualified by a double count-out. In the end, Ludvig Borga tried a lot to pin Luger but Luger prevailed and won the match for his team. It was a good victory for Luger but I didn’t care about him. (**3/4)
2. The 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Razor Ramon & Randy Savage vs. IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel & Adam Bomb (4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match)
A good bunch of talent was involved in this match, and it was quite enjoyable. Savage replacing Mr. Perfect got a great reaction which was good to see. The match got boring in the middle, but it picked up towards the end. The babyface team won as Marty Jannetty and The 1-2-3 Kid were the survivors. (***1/4)
1. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Heavenly Bodies (SMW Tag Team Championships)
It’s weird seeing a non-WWF title match on a WWF PPV. In fact, this was the only title match of the night. Anyway, this match was very good with some really good moves, but sadly the crowd didn’t care at all. I can’t blame them because this type of wrestling wasn’t common back then, but it is funny that the match the crowd was into the least actually ended up being as the best match of the night. (***1/2)
And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next post where we will rank all the PPVs of 1993. Have a nice day!
January 24, 1993 Live from Sacramento, CA (ARCO Arena) Announced attendance: 16 000 (capacity: 17 317) PPV buys: 300 000 (up 50 000 from Survivor Series 1992’s 250 000 buys; up 40 000 from Royal Rumble 1992’s 260 000 buys)
It’s the first PPV of 1993. For the first time in history, there’s a WWF Championship shot in the main event of WrestleMania on the line in the annual Royal Rumble match. Who will make history and guarantee a title shot at ‘Mania IX? Plus, Bret Hart defends the WWF Championship against Razor Ramon. The former Rockers go to war as Shawn Michaels defends his IC Title against Marty Jannetty, with the returning Sensational Sherri standing in a neutral corner. All that and much more!
Here is the list of WWF champions heading into this PPV:
WWF Champion: Bret Hart [104th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [89th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [103rd day of his reign] – previous champion: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan
The Steiners Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly)
The Steiners’ WWF theme is a huge downgrade from their previous WCW song. It sounds more like one of those Christmas sales adverts and it doesn’t really fit them at all. Scott goes for a single-leg takedown on Beau early, but the latter holds on to the ropes to stay on his feet. Scott takes him down aggressively into a hammerlock, but Beau makes it to the ropes. Scott throws Beau with a hiptoss out of the corner as Beau complains about some pulling of the tights. Tilt-a-whirl slam by Scott and Beau bails. He tags out to Blake back in the ring, who stops to shove Rick, who’s on the apron. Scott gladly makes the tag, but Blake throws Rick off his game and catches him with a powerslam. Leapfrog attempt by Blake, gets caught by Rick who powerslams him. Off to Scott for a belly to belly. He sets Blake up for the butterfly powerbomb, but the illegal Beau comes in to break it up with a clothesline.
Backbreaker by Beau gets two. The Beverlys proceed to use quick tags in and out of the ring, as they wear Scott Steiner down in their corner. Blake even uses the tag rope to choke Scott behind the ref’s back. Double-arm suplex by Beau gets two. Nice back-and-forth between Gorilla and Heenan on commentary – GM: “You’re not gonna beat the Steiners that way, forget about it.” BH: “They gotta hook the tights!” GM: “WHAT!?” BH: “Nothing wrong with hooking the tights… if you don’t get caught!” These two shared some great chemistry together! Meanwhile, Blake puts Scott in a Boston Crab, and then they take turns dropping elbows on Scott’s back. Suplex attempt by Beau, but Steiner easily reverses it into one of his own. Why would you even try to suplex a Steiner? Blake comes in off the tag to prevent Scott from making the hot tag, though. However, Scott explodes with the butterfly powerbomb on Blake. HOT TAG RICK! Backdrop to Blake, German suplex to Blake, running clothesline to Beau, running clothesline to Blake. He’s a house of fire, BY GAWD! He covers Blake but Beau breaks up the pin. Scott tags himself back in and the Beverlys try a Doomsday Device on him, but Scott uses a roll-up on Blake (who had him up on his shoulders) for a two count while Beau goes flying to the outside. Rick takes care of him on the floor, allowing Scott to put Blake away with the Frankensteiner in the ring at 10:34.
Rating: It was a simple match to put The Steiners over in their WWF PPV debut. The Steiners started the match in control, The Beverlys then used some cheating to turn things around until The Steiners made the comeback to win in the end. It was good for what it was. Scott Steiner was amazing in the finishing sequence, reversing the Doomsday Device and hitting the Frankensteiner for the win. **3/4
We see a video package covering the HBK/Jannetty story narrated by Gene Okerlund. We see their run as The Rockers, Shawn’s heel turn in the famous Barber Shop window the previous year, and Marty’s return with Shawn “accidentally” throwing Sherri in the way of Jannetty’s shot with the mirror.
WWF Intercontinental Championship – Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty
Sherri is of course at ringside in a neutral corner, finally making her return after the attack with the mirror. Shawn gets in Marty’s face, who wastes no time and punches him in the face right away. Shawn takes a walk already. He tries to catch Jannetty back inside off the pursuit, but Marty faceplants him. Marty with an atomic drop followed by a knee lift that sends Shawn flying to the outside. Jannetty uses the ropes to pull Shawn back inside, only to then clothesline him back to the floor. Suicide dive by Jannetty. Marty comes flying off the apron with a fist to Shawn on the floor. Then he tries one off the top rope and Shawn finally catches him with a shot to the gut in mid-air. Michaels powers up Jannetty on his shoulders and rams his right shoulder into the post. Jannetty sells his left one instead, so Shawn rams his left shoulder into the post the second time around. Hm, that was weird. Back in, Shawn drops Jannetty on his knee with a shoulderbreaker. He slugs away on Marty’s shoulder in the corner, who has no choice but to bail. However, Shawn meets him there and leaves him lying on the floor. Jannetty breaks the count back in, only for Michaels to continue to work on the bad shoulder. Shawn rams Marty’s shoulder into the buckle, and follows it up with a flying double axehandle onto the bad shoulder. Armbar by Shawn. Jannetty fights his way out of the hold, but Shawn immediately takes him down by the left arm. Jannetty fights back but Shawn rakes the eyes to cut him off. Shawn with a powerslam, up top for the Vertical Jumping Move That Always Misses which SHOCKINGLY only finds Jannetty’s boot.
Jannetty finally makes his big comeback only for Shawn to dump him to the outside by the tights. Shawn tries to suplex him off the apron to the ring, but ends up getting suplexed off the ring to the floor by Jannetty instead. Sherri gets close to Shawn as if she’s worried about him, but then gives him a huge slap (when the ref wasn’t looking) to cement her face turn. Backdrop suplex by Jannetty gets two. Jannetty sends him to the outside for a trip to the steps, before bringing him back inside for a powerslam. Marty goes up, Shawn avoids the attack, but Jannetty lands on his feet and immediately DDTs him for two. Shawn tries a superkick, Marty avoids it and superkicks Shawn instead for a two count. Jannetty sits on top of Michaels to block a sunset flip and gets two, then avoids Shawn’s attempt at a pinfall reversal sequence and catapults Shawn into the post for a nearfall. Ref bump while Shawn went for a punch. That draws Sherri in, who takes her shoe off and takes a swing at Michaels, errantly hitting Jannetty instead to knock him down. Shawn adds the superkick as an exclamation point to stay IC Champ after 14:20, as Sherri runs to the back.
Rating: I thought this was quite the fantastic match, although not a classic or even a MOTY contender or anything like that. The action was good as these two are very good athletes, but the psychology wasn’t always the greatest and some of the flip bumps that both guys took to sell normal moves at different points of the match looked pretty ridiculous. But outside of that, the in-ring action was mostly very good and the story was engaging. The finish left me interested in seeing the next chapter of this storyline, so props for that. ***3/4
– Mean Gene finds Sherri in the back and tells her to calm down, but Shawn Michaels walks in and finds her. Marty Jannetty goes to the back next and gets into a fight with Shawn there to extend their program.
That is until Jannetty got fired again due to drugs just a couple of days later, as Michaels moved on to an Intercontinental Title feud with Tatanka heading into WrestleMania. Jannetty would soon be rehired and they would resume their feud over the belt shortly after WrestleMania, though.
The Big Bossman vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Usual nice reaction for Bossman, who would exit the WWF just a number of weeks after this event. Bam Bam starts off unloading on Bossman in the corner. Bigelow with a running splash in the corner. Bigelow follows it up with the CLUBBING BLOWS as Gorilla brings up that time when Heenan mocked Bossman’s mother. What a weird callback as that went nowhere due to Rick Rude’s departure. Bossman fights back with a clothesline and he slugs away on Bam Bam with ten punches. Ten more punches in the corner by Bossman. Bigelow catches him with a backdrop suplex to turn things around, but Bossman moves out of the way of a falling headbutt attempt by Bam Bam. Bossman charges but Bigelow backdrops him over the top rope to the floor. More CLUBBING BLOWS by Bigelow followed by a bearhug of sorts. Thrilling stuff.
Bossman escapes the hold and tries to fight back, but Bam Bam catches him with a stungun and gets two. Back to the bearhug goes Bam Bam. This time he keeps the hold on for about 2 minutes. Ugh. Bossman finally fights out and hits a suplex, but his back is too hurt from the DREADED BEARHUG OF DEATH and Bam Bam comes back with a headbutt to Bossman’s back. Bossman avoids a crossbody and backdrops Bam Bam. Running guillotine buttdrop as Bossman makes the comeback. However, Bossman ends up eating boot on a blind charge in the corner. Bigelow goes up and the flying headbutt finishes Bossman in one of his final matches of his first WWF run at 10:10.
Rating: This wasn’t very good at all. About 25% of this midcard match was spent in a bearhug, which wasn’t necessary. Maybe it would’ve been better had it been 3-5 minutes shorter. At ten minutes, it was pretty tedious. *
We see a recap of Razor Ramon’s cheap attack on Owen Hart in the dressing room a number of weeks before this show.
They air a taped segment with Raymond Rougeau interviewing Razor Ramon. He promises to add more gold to his collection, similar to what he said on TV during the build-up to this title match.
– Mean Gene interviews WWF Champion Bret Hart in gorilla position while Razor Ramon makes his entrance. Bret says it’s beyond personal and way more than a title match at this point.
WWF Championship – Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
Razor Ramon throws his toothpick at the same kid that received Bret’s shades. Bret immediately goes after him leading to a big slugfest to start. It looks awesome because both guys throw great punches. Razor gets the upper hand with an Irish whip into the buckle, with Bret taking the classic Bret Hart bump. Razor charges with a high knee, but finds no water in the pool and his knee hits the turnbuckle. The champion immediately starts working on the leg like a shark smelling blood. Figure Four by Bret with Razor making the ropes to escape. Bret drops some elbows on the knee and rams his leg into the post. Razor cuts Bret off with a knee to the gut, though, and whips him gut-first into the post. Razor slams Bret onto the post on the outside. Back in, Razor goes to work on the midsection with a fallaway slam for two. The cameras catch Helen Hart (Bret’s mother) in the audience covering her eyes in a great shot. A brutal Irish whip featuring another Bret Hart bump, this time sternum-first, gets a nearfall. Abdominal stretch by Razor Ramon. Bret turns it around into his own abdominal stretch, Razor hiptosses his way out of it but misses an elbowdrop. Shoulderblock by Razor gets two.
Razor pounds away on The Hitman’s ribs while the crowd boos him. Bret ducks a clothesline and gets a crossbody for two. Springboard sunset flip attempt by Bret, Razor sits on top of him for two, but Bret completes the move and gets two of his own. Razor sits on Bret’s back and applies a chinlock, followed by a long bearhug. Difference between this and the previous match being that it actually makes sense here given the psychology and it’s not just time killing. Bret resorts to biting to escape the hold. He backdrops Razor to the outside and meets him there with a suicide dive. Bret lands on top of Razor on the floor and continues to slug away on the challenger. Into the steps goes Razor before Bret sends him back to the ring, where he unloads on Ramon aggressively. Bret with an atomic drop into a clothesline for two. Backbreaker into a flying clothesline get two more. Bulldog out of the corner gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret sets him up for the Sharpshooter, Razor holds on to the ropes to prevent it, Bret pushes him to the middle of the ring so Razor “accidentally” shoves the referee on top of Bret to escape that predicament.
Razor takes him up top for what looks to be a backdrop superplex off the top rope, but Bret uses Razor’s back to roll through into a regular backdrop suplex of his own. Bret goes up for the middle rope elbow, but Razor gets his foot up. Razor’s Edge attempt, Bret perfectly turns it into a backslide for a nearfall. That was sweet. Razor takes back control with another whip into the buckle as Bret can barely stand anymore. Razor kicks at Bret’s midsection while in a test of strength, but Bret manages to wrestle him down into a pinning combination for another unique nearfall. While both guys are down, Bret locks Razor’s legs in Sharpshooter position and rolls over with the hold locked in. Wow! Razor Ramon gives it up as Bret retains at 17:52.
Rating: Brilliant action. The match had a methodical pace for most of it as the cocky Razor Ramon took his time while he was in control, which made sense. Razor’s selling of the leg injury he suffered early on wasn’t always the greatest, as he was still a bit green at this point in time and early into his run as “Razor Ramon”, but it didn’t hurt the match in a major way. It just would’ve added to it like Bret’s selling of the midsection did. The reversals in the final couple of minutes were fantastic. Bret knew exactly how to fight from underneath against a big bully like Razor Ramon, using his wrestling ability to avoid Razor’s power moves. I enjoyed the finish with Bret locking in the Sharpshooter while both guys were down on the mat. ***3/4
Bobby Heenan unveils “Narcissus”
It’s obviously Lex Luger. He does some posing in front of a mirror and challenges Mr. Perfect in a promo afterwards.
“Julius Caesar” and “Cleopatra” invite everyone to the upcoming WrestleMania IX event. Yep. Welcome to 1993 WWF, people.
Royal Rumble 1993 Match: No. 1 Contender for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IX
Ric Flair is #1 while Bob Backlund draws #2. Backlund wants a handshake before the match but gets a WOOO instead! Backlund fires away with a pair of takedowns and shoulderblocks. The crowd doesn’t react much to his in-ring stuff when he’s on offense. Flair takes Backlund to the corner for some chops, but Backlund gives him a backdrop out of the corner. Delayed atomic drop by Backlund leads to a Flair flop. The clock appears on the screen for the third entry. It’s Papa Shango at #3. Meeeh. Shango chokes Backlund on the ropes as soon as he enters the action, but Flair comes up from behind to toss Papa Shango to give us our first elimination already. Thanks, Flair! It’s back to him and Backlund all over again. Flair pounds away on Backlund for a while. Ted DiBiase comes in at #4, making what would be his final Rumble appearance as an active wrestler. Gorilla and Heenan remember all his previous Rumble performances, including that time he purchased the #30 spot from Slick, as well as that year he was the iron man of the whole match. Flair and DiBiase team up to get rid of Backlund, but the former WWF Champion keeps holding on to the ropes to stay in the match. The Nasty Boys’ Brian Knobbs is #5. He goes right after DiBiase since the Nasty Boys are in a feud with Money Inc over the tag team titles, finding himself at odds with Flair in the process as well. He runs wild on both guys and gives them a double noggin knocker. Knobbs tries to dump Flair over the top but Naitch holds on to the top rope. Knobbs with a Pit Stop to DiBiase. Virgil enters at #6. Atomic drop by Virgil on DiBiase. He runs wild on his former boss with a backdrop. DiBiase avoids a charge by Brian Knobbs, who goes flying over the top rope to the outside for an elimination. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler is #7. He gets into a slugfest with Flair and gets the better of it, with Naitch taking a powder outside of the ring to stop it. He went under the bottom rope, of course. Max Moon comes in at #8 with a dropkick to Lawler. Backdrop to Flair. Moon rams Lawler’s face into the turnbuckle. Max Moon is a house of fire in this Rumble match! Lawler gets rid of him. Genichiro Tenryu is #9 to absolutely no reaction. He gets into a chopfest with Flair in the corner while Virgil slugs away on Lawler over in the other corner. Bunch of kicking, punching and lying around in the corners at this point in the match. Mr. Perfect is #10 to close the first third of the field. Time for a much needed paragraph break!
The crowd wakes up as Perfect goes after Naitch. Perfect slams him off the top. Perfect necksnap. Flair turns things around with a thumb to the eye and he chops away. Perfect fights back with punches in the corner. Gorilla finally addresses what would happen in case one of them won the Rumble and then lost the Loser Leaves Town match the following night on RAW. Apparently he would no longer be the no 1 contender. Would there have to be a second Royal Rumble match all over again, then? Skinner enters at #11 while Perfect tosses Flair out with a clothesline. Huge reaction for that! Bobby Heenan is beside himself on commentary. Koko B. Ware in his stupid pijama he wore around this time is #12. Perfect tosses Skinner, he skins the cat back inside to avoid elimination, but Perfect dumps him for good with a dropkick. There’s still way too many guys in there to follow the action. Samu is #13 with headbutts abound. Koko finally stops that flurry by stomping his barefoot. Lawler and Perfect go at it for a while. The Berzerker comes out next at #14. He does nothing of note and joins the kicking and punching in the corners. There goes Lawler courtesy of a backdrop by Perfect. DiBiase and Koko try to eliminate Perfect, who resists elimination. However, the already eliminated Lawler gives them a hand from the outside and Perfect is gone. That early?? Perfect and Lawler go at it on the outside. The Undertaker is #15. Apparently Virgil was tossed out by The Berzerker somewhere in the middle of all this, which I totally missed. Samu greets Undertaker in the ring with a pair of Samoan headbutts. Berzerker attacks Backlund with a chair on the outside, but neither guy is eliminated yet. There goes Samu at the hands of UT. Berzerker slams Backlund on the floor to leave him lying on the outside. UT eliminates Tenryu. ‘Terrific’ Terry Taylor is #16 but he quickly gets dumped along with Koko by DiBiase. Chokeslam by UT to DiBiase and a clothesline puts the Million Dollar Man out. Taker backdrops The Berzerker out. Here comes the debuting El Gigante (not officially in the match) cornered by Harvey Wippleman. He gets in Undertaker’s face inside the ring. Meanwhile, Damien Demento is #17. He waits outside while Gonzalez dumps UT with a sloppy chop. Gonzalez throws UT into the stairs on the outside. Gonzalez chokeslams UT before finally walking away. Irwin R. Schyster is #18. The action in the ring resumes with Demento and IRS going after Backlund, who just made his way back to the squared circle. Tatanka is #19 and he goes after the heels. Out comes Paul Bearer with the POWER OF THE URN to help Undertaker to the back. Tatanka with a powerslam to IRS. Jerry Sags from The Nasty Boys is #20.
The ring is filling up yet again after that flurry by Undertaker. Atomic drop by Sags to IRS. We’re back to kicking, punching and lying around. Typhoon comes out at #21 as Heenan accidentally calls him Tugboat, his previous ring name from 2 years before. Yes, that’s the highlight of this match at this particular point. Tatanka chops some people as I wait for an actual contender to come out. The crowd is dead after that attack by Giant Gonzalez on Undertaker. Fatu is #22 and he gets zero reaction as well. Fatu superkicks Typhoon. Heenan: “I knew it would be good, but nothing like this.” No, just no. Earthquake comes in at #23. At least he gets some kind of a reaction. Quake surprisingly goes after his own partner Typhoon right off the bat. He eliminates Typhoon with a backdrop of sorts. Too many people in there to follow any kind of action. Kicking, punching, kicking, punching, repeat. Carlos Colón is in at #24, whom Gorilla calls a youngster. What the f-ck? For the young readers who don’t know who Colón is, he’s the father of future WWE wrestlers Carlito and Primo. Colón dumps Demento with a backdrop. Backlund escapes elimination in the corner at the hands of Earthquake. ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana is #25. Backlund gets rid of Fatu. Tito tries to put Backlund out but he avoids elimination yet again. Rick Martel is #26 and he goes after Tito. Some things just never change! Tito rams his head into the buckle repeatedly while IRS gets tossed by Quake. Tito comes pretty close of eliminating Backlund once again. The crowd cheers Backlund for his performance thus far. Yokozuna is #27 and sh-t is about to get real. Tatanka goes after Yoko immediately like a geek. He gets casually eliminated in short order. Colón tries his luck next and he’s gone as well. Earthquake gets in Yokozuna’s face and gets a pretty good reaction for it. A number of clotheslines stagger Yoko but he doesn’t go down. However, Earthquake misses an Avalanche in the corner and Yoko puts him out. Owen Hart entered at #28 while the big guys were facing off. Yoko goes after Tito next. The cameras are pretty much following only Yokozuna and ignoring everything else. Tito somehow avoids elimination from Yokozuna. Repo Man is #29. Everyone stops to go after Yoko and try to put him out, but Yoko shoves each one of them away. Randy Savage comes out last at #30. He goes immediately after Repo Man, whom he was briefly feuding with on RAW. Yoko eliminates Tito. Owen dumps Sags with a dropkick. Martel tries to eliminate Owen, but he skins the cat back in and stays in it. Yoko sends Owen flying to the floor. Savage eliminates Repo Man. We’re down to the final four.
Final four: Bob Backlund, Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Rick Martel
Yokozuna crushes Savage in the corner. Martel tries to dump Backlund but somehow he stills holds on. Martel sets up Backlund for a suplex, Backlund blocks it, places Martel up on the top rope and shoves him out to eliminate him. We’re down to three. Yokozuna gets in Backlund’s face. Backlund tries to dropkick, but Yoko easily gets rid of him. The crowd boos that elimination. It all comes down to Savage v. Yokozuna. The big man slowly pounds away on Macho Man. Yoko chokes him in the corner and tries to dump him. Savage unloads with punches to stay in the match. A clothesline staggers Yokozuna. A flying double axehandle does the same. Another one to the back takes Yoko down to one knee. The crowd is finally coming alive for Savage’s comeback. However, Savage charges right into Yokozuna’s superkick. Belly to belly by Yoko. Legdrop follows, brother. Yoko with a running buttsplash in the corner. A second one only finds turnbuckle, though, with Yokozuna taking himself off his feet. Savage drops the Macho Elbow. He goes for a pinfall for some reason, as Yokozuna shoots him all the way to the outside. Yokozuna wins the Royal Rumble after 66:35, and the right to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in the main event of WrestleMania IX.
Rating: What a boring Rumble match this was. It had some highlights, such as the interactions between Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, the returning Bob Backlund breaking the longevity record set by Flair the previous year, Undertaker’s brief run in the Rumble before that stupid angle with the debuting Giant Gonzalez that totally killed the flow of the match for the next 20 minutes or so (and led to a terrible 8-month feud between them), and Yokozuna’s impressive run in the end. But that’s about it. Outside of those things I mentioned above, it was nothing but midcarders punching and kicking each other in the corners for over an hour. The ring was filled with too many people on a number of occasions, which didn’t allow many folks to stand out. Yokozuna was the right winner, although the finish with Savage going for a pin was beyond stupid. This Rumble is a recommendation to avoid for me. **
– WWF Champion Bret Hart gets in Yokozuna’s face in the dressing room to promote the main event of WrestleMania IX as the broadcast fades to black.
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: I came into this show expecting that both title matches would deliver. They did, so that’s a pair of positives about this show. The Steiners’ debut on WWF PPV was good too, a basic opening match that put them over the Beverly Brothers. Outside of that, Bossman v. Bam Bam was not fun to watch and the Rumble turned out to be a huge disappointment, especially after the spectacle that the previous year’s Rumble match had been. Regardless of all that, I still think it’s an overall decent show, mostly because of Bret Hart v. Razor Ramon, which I think was the best match by a slight margin, and Shawn Michaels v. Marty Jannetty. It just ended on a bad note because of how soulless and boring the Rumble match was. 6/10
Considering this is a PPV with a very unique match, there will obviously be some changes to the point system. As far as all the regular preliminary matches go, I will use the regular point system, which you can see here. As far as the Rumble match itself goes, every elimination made will be worth 1 point. An elimination gives the wrestler a negative -1 point. Also, for every full minute alive in the match, the wrestler earns 0.1 points. As for winning the whole thing, it will earn the victorious wrestler three points.
For the participants in the regular wrestling matches:
For the participants in the Royal Rumble match:
That’s all for today’s post. Make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming reviews of pay-per-views from both WWF and WCW, episodes of Monday Night RAW and other stuff like WCW Clash of the Champions. See you next time!
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The Biggest Party of the Summer in 1993 saw the American Hero Lex Luger challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in the main event with the support of the whole USA. WWF had also promised the best Intercontinental Title match ever in the form of Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect. Was it the greatest match? Find out in this post as we rank all the matches from the show.
10. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez (Rest In Peace Match)
So after so much promotion of the ” Rest in Peace” stipulation, it turned out to be just a No DQ, No count-out match… I doubt anyone was excited for this match, but WWF could have at least tried. This match was slightly better than their ‘Mania encounter but that doesn’t say match and it was still very bad. If I had to watch either of their matches again, I would probably prefer to stop watching wrestling. (DUD)
9. Ludvig Borga vs. Marty Jannetty
I don’t mind squash matches if done right and if done with the right wrestlers, but this was the occasion where the chosen wrestler was wrong. The Ludvig Borga character is totally bland and uninteresting and this squash match was very boring. (*)
8. IRS vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
I am not sure if this should have been on the card but it was a fine match and didn’t get boring. It had some good stuff but I genuinely want to know what was the point of IRS winning when The 1-2-3 Kid had been on such a roll. The Kid should have definitely won here with a roll-up or something. (**)
7. Bret Hart vs. Doink
This was supposed to be Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler but Lawler faked an injury and instead we got Doink face Bret Hart first. The match isn’t anything special and is way below the standards that Bret Hart had set for his PPV matches. But the match was never supposed to be good technically anyway, and I would say it served its purpose and was a nice bridge to go into the actual match. (**1/2)
6. Ted Dibiase vs. Razor Ramon
This match was obviously done to put over Razor Ramon. Razor was a very popular wrestler and was loved by the fans, and Dibiase was the perfect veteran to do the job here. The match was solid and even though the ending was quite generic, with these two wrestlers it made sense and I didn’t mind it much. Razor came out of the match looking quite strong. This match also marked the end of Ted Dibiase’s in ring career in WWF. (**1/2)
5. Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect (WWF Intercontinental Championship)
This match was one of the most promoted matches of the show and the WWF had promoted it as The Greatest Intercontinental Title Match you would ever see. It made sense as both Shawn and Mr. Perfect were great wrestlers, and it was expected from the two to deliver great matches on more occasions than not. However, the match didn’t live up to the hype at all. It was a fine and perfectly watchable match, but it lacked chemistry and was a huge failure. The count-out ending also made no sense and left everyone even more disappointed. (**3/4)
4. Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger (WWF Championship)
The story behind this match was great and the way they had build up Luger as the American Hero so far was pretty good and he had tremendous support. The match was also quite well done for most part and it was a solid main event. However, everything they had done promoting and building up Luger as this huge babyface was destroyed with the finish. I am not saying the count-out finish was necessarily bad, as they could have built up a rematch from here. But, why the hell did Luger have to celebrate a count-out win? We are not even talking about a little celebration here, it was huge and it seemed like he had won the title, when he hadn’t. The celebration was very retarded and made Luger look like a big idiot. This was their only chance of putting the belt on Luger and Luger’s character and popularity only went down after this. (***)
3. Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers vs. Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns
I went into this match with not much expectations and thought it would be just a time killer before the main event, but it actually turned out to be one of the best matches on the show. After the Borga/Jannetty and ‘Taker/Gonzalez matches, this one did the perfect job of uplifting the mood. All talents involved played their roles perfectly and made for a very nice match. (***1/2)
2. The Steiner Brothers vs. The Heavenly Bodies (WWF Tag Team Championships)
Another great match in the tag team division, thanks to The Steiners. This was a really fun match with lot of great action. It was a fast paced match which was not very common at the time and thus this match had more of an impact. The Heavenly Bodies also had a great showing and garnered interest of the fans in their act. I was quite satisfied with the match but I would have loved for this to go on for a few more minutes. (***1/2)
1. Bret Hart vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler
If we only focus on the actual wrestling in this match and ignore the story, the match is probably not that good. But, with all the story and pre-match and post-match angles combined, this was absolutely fantastic. It was so satisfying to see Bret Hart get his revenge on Lawler after he had talked so much trash about the Hart Family. Bret refusing to break the hold on Lawler’s leg was perfect and showed how much frustrated he was. Bret losing the match hardly mattered as he was the one who was standing. The two were originally supposed to meet in the ring once again at Survivor Series, but Lawler had to be taken out due to r*pe accusations on him. It’s a shame as this feud was very interesting and I would have loved to see more of the two in the ring. (***3/4)
And that’s all for today’s post, thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for the next part of this series where we will take a look at Survivor Series. Have a nice day!
Welcome to part 6 of the Blog of Kane! As always thanks for your support! And we now move-on to 1999, and the next chapter of the Big Red Machine’s career!
PREVIOUS ENTRY –>
KANE & X-PAC VS. OWEN HART & JEFF JARRETT
Much had happened to Kane since winning & losing the WWF Championship in those 24 hours from June 1998. Successful alliances with Mankind and (incredibly!) the Undertaker followed. Kane won the Tag Team Championship twice, he continued to decimate the entire roster (either by himself or with the Undertaker), continued his pursuit of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWF Championship…
His alliances with Mankind & the Undertaker were ultimately short-lived, and even Paul Bearer betrayed his own son to renew his relationship with the Undertaker! Forced into Vince McMahon’s Corporation, Kane formed another alliance with Chyna, but this didn’t last long either. Chyna betrayed him and reunited with Triple H, who in-turn betrayed X-Pac and D-Generation X to join the Corporation. Kane was subsequently booted, and now found himself at odds with Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.
And after inadvertently helping each other out after suffering betrayals, Kane & X-Pac were now scheduled to go after the Tag Titles together! It was the beginning of a strange, yet beautiful friendship…
The Match Itself
Immediately, the Long Island crowd chants ‘Nugget!’ at Owen (God, did he brilliantly embrace that or what?!) and once again, we’re treated to Owen Hart vs. Sean Waltman to kick things off. Side-headlock from Owen, X-Pac shoves Owen off, Owen hits the ropes, then nails the Kid with a shoulder-block takedown. Owen bounces off the ropes again, X-Pac’s back up, NICE leap-frog(!), and then a FANTASTIC spinning heel kick to take the Rocket down! Lovely fast-paced action to kick things off!
X-Pac then goes for an arm-wrench, Owen escapes with his trademark agility, then nails X-Pac with a clothesline. Owen tags-in Jeff, who goes to work on the Kid, whilst the relentless crowd continue to taunt Owen with “Nugget! Nugget! Nugget!”. X-Pac reverses the Irish whip, Jeff counters the hip-toss attempt, X-Pac uses his trademark agility to escape, he ducks Jarrett’s clothesline, X-Pac hits the ropes, then nails the Chosen One with a wicked flying clothesline! X-Pac then grabs Jarrett for a side-headlock…all the while, Michael Cole does a good job calling the action and promoting X-Pac’s showdown with Triple H for Backlash 1999.
Owen tags in whilst Jarrett shoves off X-Pac into the ropes, and then the King of Harts nails a running Kid with a BEAUTIFUL spinning heel kick of his own! Owen then tags Jarrett back in and together they double-team the Kid with a double-clothesline and then a double-leg-pull to play havoc on X-Pac’s groin! OUCH! Michael Cole continues to do good work on commentary by remarking on X-Pac’s situation at the time (suffering from Triple H and Chyna’s betrayal), whilst Jerry Lawler continues to be the smart-assed, unsympathetic heel behind the announce table.
Jeff then catches X-Pac with a nice powerslam, but only gets a two-count. Owen and Jeff continue to work over the face-in-peril. Owen nails a textbook backbreaker on X-Pac, the “Nugget!” chants start up again, Owen Irish-whips Sean HARD into the turnbuckle cover, Jeff applauds his partner/friend (quite right, too.), and then Owen delivers a textbook suplex for a two-count. Owen then tries to Irish-whip X-Pac again but the Kid counters, but so does Owen! Spring-boarding off the ropes for a BEAUTIFUL cross-body, which X-Pac rolls-through into a close two-count! God, the pure-wrestling here is beautiful! But given the talent here, what would you expect?
Owen then nails an enziguri on X-Pac. Jeff thoughtfully rests his boot on the top rope in his corner, so Owen introduces X-Pac’s face to said-boot, and the heels make another tag. The crowd now starts chanting, “We want Kane! We want Kane!” as Jarrett traps X-Pac in a sleeper hold. Michael Cole (in my opinion, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a commentator) notes that Kane hasn’t yet tagged in this match, and wonders if Kane must he be thinking if he can trust X-Pac. Can he trust anyone anymore after all the betrayals he’s endured?
X-Pac counters the sleeper with a back suplex on Jeff. Both guys are down. Jarrett crawls over to Owen, X-Pac crawls over to Kane, but Owen’s tagged-in and stops X-Pac by giving him a BLATANT low-blow! Referee Mike Chioda admonishes Owen, but doesn’t disqualify him…? As much as I love the Attitude Era, there was a lot of nonsense to it, I’ll admit. Owen nails a bodyslam, raises his arms cheering ‘WOOOOOO!!!’ (God, I miss Owen Hart so much…), the “Nugget!” chants are right on cue, but a high-risk attack is countered when X-Pac gets his foot up! X-Pac gets back up, he and Owen run the ropes together and then take each other out with a double-clothesline!
Jeff and Debra rally Owen to get up and make the tag, X-Pac crawls over to his corner and FINALLY TAGS IN KANE! THE CROWD ERUPTS! Owen makes the tag, and Jeff runs towards a devastating flying clothesline from the Big Red Machine! Kane smacks Owen right in the mush, then nails a big boot on the King of Harts! Jeff also eats a big boot from Kane! Powerful clothesline to Owen, Kane goozles Jeff, whilst X-Pac gives a Bronco Buster to Owen lying helpless in the corner! GOD, what a chokeslam on Jarrett! The Raw crowd are loving this!
WHAT ON EARTH?! Kane’s got X-Pac by the throat?! He gorilla-presses the Kid over his head…a recovering Owen wonders what’s going on just like the rest of us…!
Kane then DROPS X-Pac on top of Jeff, before nailing Owen again! 1-2-3! The crowd erupts! Kane and X-Pac are your winners and NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS AT 5:58!
So after his amazing debut in October 1997, such award-winning feuds with Mankind, Vader and the Undertaker, winning the WWF Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin, and being an established main-event player throughout 1998…what next? Obviously, Austin was still the company’s biggest star heading into 1999, the Rock was hot on his heels, Mankind was also enjoying his time in the spotlight, Taker was busy with his Ministry of Darkness, Triple H was ascending up the card…so where did that leave Kane?
On paper, the idea of Kane teaming with such a polar-opposite like X-Pac was daft. But in practice, it was a huge-success. In-ring-wise, Glenn Jacobs and Sean Waltman shared a great chemistry. Story-wise, Kane and X-Pac shared common goals and could relate to one-another after all the betrayals they suffered. And going forward, X-Pac would help the damaged Kane find his humanity again. It was fascinating development for the character. Kane willingly granting Austin a rematch for the WWF Title the night after he won it showed that this monster had honour. The alliance/friendship with X-Pac took that hidden depth and realised its full potential; showing that Kane wasn’t just a one-dimensional monster. He was as deep as the Undertaker.
THIS BOUT…was simply a great Raw bout. Short, sweet, fast-paced and exhilarating. Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett made for GREAT Tag Team Champions, and this was a kick-ass way for their reign to end. Owen, Jeff and Sean were all first-class workers in their prime and they wrestled an excellent tag bout, with a white-hot Long Island crowd eating up everything they did. The bout was perfectly laid out, and Kane making the hot-tag right at the end to destroy the champs, tease turning on X-Pac, only to brilliantly swerve us at the end for a creative finish…I loved this gem. And of course, X-Pac and Kane would have a fantastic run together, winning the Tag Titles twice and being the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of 1999. GOOD STUFF.
Cheers as always for your support! Next time in the Blog of Kane, it’s 2000! Kane is back in title-contention and he goes ONE-ON-ONE…WITH THE GREAT ONE!
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