Thursday, May 12, 2016

WWF King of the Ring 1994

Time for a rare recap of a Network show with Wayback Playback commentary going on too. I usually enjoy watching them, but recapping them is something I haven't done in quite a while. The time capsule stuff talks about the A and B house show tours, with Razor-Barbarian headlining some of them. 1,000 people attended these shows - which is more than will come to a TNA Impact taping now for free. The history of Art Donovan being a pop culture icon of sorts thanks to his Carson and Letterman appearances to set the scene for Art on commentary. Coliseum Video footage shows Baltimore and some goober backstage holding a boom mic. Jeff Jarrett, Owen, and Bigelow argue with IRS for a bit.

IRS vs. Mabel, Razor vs. Bigelow, Jarrett vs. Kid, and Owen faces Tatanka. I haven't seen this whole show before - but I'm sure I've seen Bret vs. Diesel at some point. It's Champion vs. Champion, and the graphic looks great. King vs. Piper is also on tap, alongside Crush and Yoko against the Headshrinkers. The lead singer of Blackfoot is singing the national anthem. His voice is shot, and his hairline is abandoning him. KOTR door openers fail to open the doors for Bigelow and Luna. Razor gets the doors opened for him, and has his bright gold glittery vest on. The shiny purple and gold gear is a nice upgrade from his usual stuff.
Bigelow jumps Razor and Art puts over the damage. Bigelow misses the headbutt off the top. Great buckle usage here as they go back and forth on whips into the corner, but Razor BASEBALL SLIDES UNDER THE ROPES and crotches him on the post. Razor drops an elbow on the knee a few times. Big enzuiguri misses for Bigelow. Razor winds up for a lariat, but Bigelow side-steps him and sends him over in a smooth bump. Luna goes for a distraction, and it's reasonably revealing for the time. Big enzuiguri lands now and gets 2.

Torture rack by Bigelow - I don't remember him doing that a lot. It doesn't look good either, but Hall is bending around nicely for it. Bigelow just drops him, gets a headlock and eats a gorgeous back suplex by Hall. Bigelow goes up nicely for a slam, and Bigelow goes for a moonsault, but gets tornado bombed off and cradled to end it - great finish.
Mabel is in his bright purple and gold getup. IRS cuts a God-awful promo on Tatanka, while Mabel talks about being M to the A to BEL. They talk about Mo running a Mabel charity show and then taking the money. Art commentary on IS DAT GUY A BUSINESSMAN. Mabel looks like a giant, shiny grape here. Jesus. LOOK AT THE SIZE OF WHATSHISNAME! Art is great.
Mabel is in his bright gold overalls and purple Weird right-arm suplex by Mabel, and it's not pretty. Wrestling takedown by Mabel. High knee to the back by IRS sends him to the floor. Art ran a liquor business while he was in the NFL and used that to buy a COUNTRY CLUB. Boy that place must've been fun. Flying lariat hits and he lands a few elbows afterwards for 2. Ugly small package cradle by Mabel GETS 2!? Why not just have that as a finish since you'll never have a big guy like that do it regularly? CHINLOCK. Fucking hell. Mabel punches and lands a nice backdrop. Back elbow by Mabel and the Bossman slam gets 2. Mabel goes for a flying sofa splash, but IRS...makes him fall and then he falls onto his back and gets pinned via being a beached whale and then he gets his shoulders up constantly. Well, that was dreadful - but entertaining.

Cornette is with his team, and Crush looks so cool in his red, black, and gold gear. Tatanka's theme and look are good - digging the tomahawk lights. Owen is in his slick pink, black, and silver gear. Hiptoss and a Japanese armdrag by Tatanka. Tatanka goes for a running attack, but he gets atomic wedgied to the floor. Tatanka gets posted and we see Razor and IRS argue backstage. Owen rakes the eyes on  the rope and the missile dropkick gets 2. Art gets no-sold by Gorilla - who "couldn't hear him" except to tell him he couldn't hear him. Sleeper by Owen turns into a kneeling one. Tatanka eats some buckles, but gets a war dance. Chops aplenty! In a surprising move, Savage says that Tatanka winning this would be an upset - strange to see the face side with the heel, but good. DDT by Tatanka gets 2. Super tomahawk chop gets 2! Art asks how they can take this beating and Savage says it's because they're the New Generation. Powerslam gets 2 for Tatanka. Owen tries a sneak attack, but eats a chop, and a Tatanka sunset flip is countered ala Bret-Bulldog and Owen wins!

Graphic runs down the results to this point. THE TODDSTER is with Diesel. Recap of Diesel attacking Bret on Raw. We go back to the ring with A GUY DRESSED LIKE FRED FLINTSTONE. Jeff is dressed like an ice cream bar here in orange, purple, and blue. Jeff's lighting show is fairly poor here - theme is solid though. Gear is ungodly bad now, and it was awful then. Kid is in his best face gear - the black, white, red, and gold gear. Looks fantastic compared to his blue and yellow stuff.
Art compares Kid to a boxer with his size, which is a nice way to put him over. Great bump from Kid off the underhand shot. Jarrett dropkick misses, but a stomp lands solidly. Nice snap slingshot suplex hits as well. Big spinkick hits on Jeff, but the somersault senton misses. The rope hung body attack misses and Jeff crotches himself. Kid holds onto a superplex and a high cross gets 2 for Kid. Standing bronco buster thing misses for Kid. Elbows to the knee land for Jeff, but the figure four is countered into a cradle for the win - so Kid advances. Jeff pushes the ref and piledrives Kid THREE TIMES! The refs corner him, so he hops up and hits the fistdrop. Great stuff here. More sloppy fistdrops - boy was he not as good at that as King is even now. Jeff's perm game is on point.


Back to the announce table, where Savage and Gorilla mug and totally blow off Art. New Generation hype video. I totally forgot about this, and they bury Hogan, Andre, Iron Sheik, and Ivan Putski as being old. Bret interview showing him getting beaten up again. I like the paint splatter gear on Bret. Bret puts over the powerbomb huge, and says that Diesel got it once - he won't get it again. Amazing how this is so simple, and effective. "Bret was the victim of injustice, and it will never happen again!" And he wants to face Shawn more. HA!
IC belt looks great with Diesel. Pat and Jim chat about how Diana Hart's book was pulled from shelves for being grossly inaccurate. Jim talks about being a top 40 DJ in this era and Diesel doesn't have "Diesel Blues" here - it's just a horn honking over and over. Neidhart is out, and only looks five months pregnant here. The kinda-sorta main event is the mid-card main event here, due to the tourney and apparently so they can get this done before intermission to sell more tickets. Jim and Pat talk about how much bigger the building looks here than when WCW ran here.

Collar and elbow tie-up does nothing, but Nash avoids a back takedown and lands elbows. Boot choke. Corner Yakuza kick misses and Nash gets crotched. Bret lands a headbutt to the gut. 'O Connor roll gets 2. Nash tackles him down, but misses a big flying elbow. Corner choke by Nash, and a corner kinda-jumping knee misses for Nash. Bret takes him down and snaps and kicks the leg. Bret locks on a figure four - but Nash's height lets him get to the ropes easily. Bret kicks the left knee out from under him. Pat asks why Diesel is wearing leather pants since the idea was that he was a trucker.

Bret posts the knee, and man is he great at this - shocking, but when you see him absolutely carrying a match like this, it stands out. JIM NEIDHART CHASES SHAWN. Bret goes for a flying nothing, and Diesel lands a falling hug. He tries to turn it into a bearhug, and then finally does. Bret rakes the eyes and tosses him to the floor. BRET FLIP DIVE MISSES because Nash is just too quick! Nash works over the back with some elbow smashes.

Bret takes a glorious back bump into the buckle and slowly falls down. Spinning sideslam hits for 2. Backbreaker and backbreaker knee hold are locked on by Nash. Nash lands an elbow for 2. Nash lands a slow body attack on the rope. Bret takes his GLORIOUS chest-first bump in the corner for 2. Neck turner by Nash.
Another backbreaker by Nash gets 2. Canadian backbreaker by Nash. Bret shimmies out of it INTO A SLEEPER. Nice counter there and he runs his back into the buckle - which might've been better if HBK took the pad off properly. Nash shoves him into the ref and Earl gets up first. HBK gets the pad off and Nash tries to throw him into it, but gets countered! Nash warbles around like a drunkard and eats 10 punches in the corner. Odd bit where Nash bumps into the second rope and he falls. Two lariats and a Hart Attack variant finally knock him down.
Russian legsweep hits, then the flying elbow for 2. Flying bulldog leads to a sharpshooter attempt, but HBK distracts and he eats a giant punch. Flying lariat hits for 2. Nash goes for a backslide, but Bret kicks off and gets a small package for 2. Bret's transitions are perfect. Bret headbutts and punches him. Bret hops up and almost eats Snake Eyes, but Bret avoids it and Nash boots him. Nash points the arm up, but Bret sweeps the legs into the Storm crab and he gets a cloverleaf variant of the sharpshooter. Diesel is sent over the top and Jim just...turns around and gets beaten up. HBK bonks Bret with the gold. Flying elbow hits for 2. FIVE STAR bump by HBK off an Anvil punch. Jackknife hits, but Anvil lariats him down for a DQ. HBK piledrives him off-screen. Jim is sent away and Bret gets double teamed. Art says the ref is STEALIN THE BELT! Gorilla says that Anvil being here saved the title, since the powerbomb hit and that showed Diesel could've won. I dig that - they told you AND showed you there. Gorilla calls him the fightingest champion of all-time, which was a great way to put him over too.

Todd is with  King. King has no shirt on here, looking even sleazier with the chest hair. Jim mocks King for buying only one joke book in his career. King gets off a "THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE" bit that is amazing in hindsight. King and his broad acting and comedy love were tailor-made for the WWF. His crazy face closing this out makes him look EXACTLY like Brian Christopher - who I never really thought looked like him until this very point.

"This is my guy Razor, right?!" The time limit is up to 20 minutes for the semi-finals. IRS faces him, and does his usual stuff. Rotundo is put over by Pat and Jim as being a good carpenter. "You'd like to think this was his worst gimmick, but it's not! AND THAT'S SAD!" Razor's punches remain great in 2016. Nice back elbow by IRS. Chinlock with the ropes! We get some great tales on the road from Pat and how guys would just get drunk and toss stuff at each other on the road to amuse themselves. IRS jumps too early, but then jumps properly for the Edge and it's over.
Bret runs around backstage looking for Neidhart. Todd moves the Razor graphic over and says he was hoping Kid was here, and he's embarrassed. Owen comes out to face Kid in one of the best super-short matches you'll ever see. Kid doesn't come out to his theme, which combines with the Todd deal of him being too hurt to do anything. He struggles down to ringside looking sore and/or high. Owen kicks his fucking face off with a baseball slide and then a plancha. Owen takes the Bret corner chest bump blind dive crossbody gets 2! La majistral gets 2. Nip up and flip by Kid and he gets 2 off a kick. Owen's enzuiguri hits and he clubs away. Owen lands a northern lights and gets 3 - but the foot's on the rope. Flip dive by Kid hits and he gets some mounted punches on the floor. Kid goes for his spin kick, but Owen dead-weight Germans him for 2. Owen's super-smooth belly to belly gets 2. Kid almost gets lost on a victory roll, but he gets it and it gets 2. Rana countered into a powerbomb by Owen - which seems to undermine THE JACKKNIFE while putting it over too. Sharpshooter wins it and Kid taps out - probably the earliest WWF example of it. 

We go backstage to see Roddy looking really leathery, with oddly light-brown hair and a really saggy face. He's in light denim everything and taking his pants off. Pat and Jim recap this feud being set up on Wrestling Challenge with Piper sending in crazy promos from home and the WWF editing them into somewhat sensible minute-long ones. Since they're in PA, we get a Hershey bar bit - and it's KING SIZE. Piper rambles on and says words, words, words, words. Jesus. He does the fast shirt-pull bit and stares crazily. Piper is in good shape for his age. Piper says that Coliseum Video are the only ones brave enough to get in his locker room - NOW GET THE HELL OUT. ONE GOOD LINE.

Tag title time. Cornette is in a crazy blue and red jacket. This is an Anoa'i family reunion here of sorts. Pat and Jim talk about how Crush was fired shortly after this for having tons of unregistered weapons. Captain Lou is out without a shirt and a tribal skirt. Crush's gold paint is great. Jim talks about how Samu was much older than he looks, and was actually around in the early '80s in the WWF as Samoan 3.  Headshrinkers attack each other, then the heels headbutt them to no avail. Double headbutt sends Yoko to the floor and Crush soon follows. Samu lands some excellent chops and forearms to the chest of Yoko. No slam - even for family. Crush and Fatu go at it. Fatu hits a gorgeous piledriver on Crush and a diving headbutt off the second gets 2. Flagpole shot to the back sets up a lariat and a Fatu flip sell! Crush piledrives him and he lands right on his knees - so zero chance of injury there. Crush drop toeholds him and a Yoko legdrop gets 2. Crush lands one of those cool standing karate fistdrops. Nervehold.

Yoko misses the corner hip charge. HEADSHRINKERS SUPERKICK PARTY TO YOKO! Samu goes up, but Yoko is sent into the post and that crotches him. Superplex to him by Crush. Luger is out in some AMAZING PANTS. Jesus Christ. Wow. Distraction schoolboy gets 2. Superkick beats Crush while Art asks "WHOS DA GUY WIT DA AMERICAN FLAG?!" "That's Lex Luger!" "Oh Okay!". Lex takes the shirt off to reveal A RED WHITE AND BLUE ONESINE. Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow. He's dressed like a damned Rocket Pop.

Fred Flintstone guy returns, and a guy in a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers shirt is behind him. Owen-Razor is up. Art says the fans are going crazy and Savage says it's all about the New Generation. Glorious Owen intro against the blue lights and the WM X tunnel - always a great look, and it's simple and effective.

Go behind starts this off for Owen, and Razor punches him. Owen flips off an armbar and slaps him. Big slam and an elbow for Razor. Slingshot to Owen, and a guy has a paper Burger King crown...god that brings back memories. Abdominal stretch using the ropes by Owen. Big chokeslam by Razor - always an underrated move of his, it looked great. Art picks Owen now, while Savage says he's entitled to change his mind. Moonsault by Owen, but he gets punched in the leg and crotched for the back superplex. Razor's Edge near the ropes, and you'll never guess - but he gets backdropped to the floor! Neidhart comes down and feigns help - but posts him! Gorgeous flying elbow gets the win! So good to see a non-Savage flying elbow win.
Post-match beating with the Hart Attack. Savage tells the story perfectly here. Bret already lost to Owen before, but now, he's got Neidhart on his side - and Jim ensured that Bret kept the title tonight so Owen could win it. Ray Rougeau chats with Bret for nothing and we go back to the announcers with Art looking PISSED. Art asked them specific questions and they just ignore him and it's pretty insulting.

Todd reads from a giant blue scroll. Todd's voice cracks announcing Owen as king. Tunney goes to present the stuff to him, but Owen only wants Jim to do it. The cape is okay-looking, but the crown and sceptre are astonishingly bad. There's just a WWF sticker on the sceptre. Owen gets over the King of Harts name - a huge upgrade over The Rocket. Owen puts the crown back on, sadly.
Piper-King feud recap, which is basically just that King's Court deal and jokes. King says that Piper should be in Jurassic Park, and Piper says that it was the biggest movie ever, so he's fine with that. Piper has this scraggly beard and looks awful. Replay of the King's Court is kept to the time it should've been - a couple minutes.
Gorilla hypes up "THIS IS THE NEW GENERATION" as the then-40 year old piper battles 45 year old Lawler. Amazingly, 21 years later, King is still wrestling and working the exact same style. If you master the basics, and literally everything else about the psychology of wrestling, you can last forever. Art is confused as to what King is a king of since THEY JUST CROWNED A KING. Valid issue there, actually. Savage says he's a king in his own mind - great save. King cuts every heel pre-match promo he's ever cut. Jim jokes about how since this was 21 years ago, King's new girlfriend was born. King says that he isn't giving a penny of his winnings to kids, and sadly, Jim and Pat miss the joke that he will - but it will be on a date.

 As Piper gets his big bagpiper intro, Gorilla says THE NEW GENERATION IS HERE. Piper brings out the kid, and Savage says Piper forgives him and blames King. Piper grabs a crown from a fan and puts it on the kid. Piper says he's here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and they're all outta bubblegum! Piper is ripped, with a bit of flab. Piper runs at him with the kilt and punches away.
 Piper is very lean here. Way leaner than he'd be in WCW. King looks the same body-wise as he ever has. All hail reasonably clean living. Piper gets him in a full nelson and the kid pokes the eyes. Piper lands his quick shots and some mounted punches. Piper yells at and bullies the ref to the floor. King drops down and Piper hits a giant stomp from a mile away. King goes for it, but Piper catches it and kicks him in the upper upper thigh. Kick to the ass sends him to the floor. Chop and punch combo against the railing. Piper rams his hand into the post. King attacks the kid and punches Piper down on the floor. Piper covers him up. King stomps the rope clearly instead of the kid.

King lands a glorious punch combo and a fistdrop gets 2. Sleeper by King and the WP guys talk about how Piper may have had to work even safer than usual due to movie roles. Kneeling sleeper and Piper kicks the feet around to show a sign of life. Piper goes for a punch, but misses. Picture-perfect piledriver hits for King! King gloats a ton and it only gets 2. Three lefts send Piper down. Piper wants more and is only held up by the ropes. He takes them and goes back down. Good story there - Piper knows he can't take it, but wants it anyway. Piper eats a few, but lands a haymaker. Eye poke and an awful bulldog hit. Second one somehow looks even worse. Boy was Dustin's silky-smooth and that shines with this stuff. Ref goes down and King grabs his balls and finds a weapon - the invisible something hits, and the kid hits King. A shitty back suplex and some weird sonky cradle wins it. This was pretty bad technically and we get an Impact Zone special showing tons of darkness.
Piper holds the kid high and we get some pyro.

After the Titan Sports thing, we get HBK and Diesel talking about Diesel being the dominant force in the WWF.


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