April 3, 1993
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Jerry “The King” Lawler. The hosts are in front of Caesar’s Palace but the matches took place at the 3/7 tapings in Fayetteville, NC.
Mr. Perfect vs. Duane Gill
Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan are on commentary for this show. Perfect dropkicks Gill as the announcers talk about the spectacle of WrestleMania. Perfect then hits a neck snap as the announcers finally talk about the Perfect and Lex Luger match at WrestleMania. Perfect beats on Gill in the corner then clotheslines him as Gill was running on the apron. Perfect lowers a strap on his singlet then slingshots Gill back inside and hits the Perfect Plex for the win (2:48).
Thoughts: On commentary, the focus was about Caesar’s Palace being transformed into Rome Coliseum as they really try to get this over for some reason. Like, the viewer at home isn’t going to give a shit about announcers wearing togas or seeing Caesar and Cleopatra.
Back to Caesar’s Palace as Luger joins the hosts as they are in front of a fountain as Luger does some basic character work about how much he loves himself.
The hosts are in front of another fountain as Savage leaves to spend money as Lawler jokes about how they do not sell wrestling ability here. Funny line by Lawler that would have really been great if said about someone with minimal wrestling ability.
Gene Okerlund welcomes the Mega Maniacs & Jimmy Hart to the interview platform. This was from the 3/8 Superstars tapings in North Charleston, SC. Hogan talks about bankrupting Money Inc. and seize their assets and then help President Bill Clinton with the deficit. Hart talks about lining up teams to face the Mega Maniacs for the titles then have a world tour for teams to face them. Beefcake says he is the “detail man” and will make sure the title belts fit perfectly on the handle bars of their Harley Davidsons. The talk then becomes more nonsensical before Hogan whacks Beefcake with a briefcase to test out his face mask as we get some really goofy sound effects of that and this ends with the typical Hogan “what’cha gonna do” stuff. At least it was not as bad as the “March to WrestleMania IX” promo but it still sucked. And Beefcake is really failing at his role. Calling him the “Bionic Barber” is not getting him over, either.
An ad for WrestleMania IX airs.
Glen Ruth vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow headbutts Ruth as the announcers talk about the Bigelow/Kamala WrestleMania match. Bigelow hits a falling headbutt as Heenan makes fun of New Jersey then Bigelow hits a flying headbutt for the win (1:23).
Thoughts: They still hype the Kamala/Bigelow match that never took place. This crowd was into Bam Bam though as he received a good amount of cheers.
Vince & Lawler walk around the pool to speak with Shawn Michaels, who is in his bathrobe. Shawn is reminded of how Tatanka has pinned him twice but Shawn says that much like the losers who come out to Vegas, Tatanka relies on luck and eventually that runs out. Shawn says he is concerned about one thing and that is he might walk into WrestleMania with a tan line. Shawn remains cocky and they are portraying him as a sex symbol more and more it seems.
Tatanka vs. Barry Hardy
Gorilla has a strong feeling that Tatanka will still be undefeated after WrestleMania. Hardy congratulates himself after pulling up to avoid Tatanka but turns around and gets chopped. Tatanka clotheslines Hardy outside then brings him back inside with a suplex from the apron. Tatanka whips Hardy into the corner twice then hits an atomic drop as Heenan makes jokes at Tatanka’s expense. The announcers then talk about Tatanka vs. Shawn at WrestleMania as Hardy rakes the eyes and lands some shots but Tatanka fires up and soon after that hits the Samoan drop for the win (3:15).
Thoughts: More hype for Tatanka/Shawn as Heenan amped up the ethnic jokes.
Back to Vegas with the Savage returning after going shopping. The announcers then recall Doink attacking Crush with the prosthetic arm.
Doink the Clown vs. Dale Wolfe
Doink cheap shots Wolfe after a break then grounds him on the mat. Heenan puts over Doink’s wrestling skills but Gorilla does not think that will work against Crush. Doink stays in control then uses the stump puller for the win (0:59). After the match, Doink smashes a pie into Wolfe’s face.
Thoughts: On commentary they talked about Doink’s technical ability possibly not being enough to counter Crush’s strength and agility.
The hosts are now in front of the casino and show us the footage of Giant Gonzalez attacking The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. After that, Harvey Whippleman brings out Giant Gonzalez, who is wearing a suit and tie. Whippleman promises that both Undertaker and his “fat friend” will be buried.
Virgil vs. Giant Gonzalez
This match was actually filmed at the 3/8 Superstars tapings as the match they had on 3/7 was apparently so bad they had to re-do it the following day. Virgil dances around to avoid Gonzalez but eventually gets caught and shoved into the corner. Virgil then climbs the top rope to try a test-of-strength in a terrible spot as Virgil eventually falls and lands on his feet. Gonzalez stomps Virgil then slowly attacks him. Virgil tries a few dropkicks but they are brushed off and then he runs into a clothesline. Gonzalez chokes out Virgil then hits a chokeslam for the win (2:52) -**. After the match, Gonzalez hits another chokeslam and maintains the choke hold on the mat as Virgil is out cold.
Thoughts: I can only imagine how awful the original match was that this was the better option to air. Gonzalez was completely inept in the ring and nothing he did even looked like it would cause harm. He could barely get Virgil up for the chokeslam. Not a good sign of what to expect at WrestleMania.
Steiner Brothers vs. George South & Tom Jones
Scott works over South to start. Rick tags in and beats on Jones then the Steiners use the Doomsday Bulldog for the win (2:00).
Thoughts: A quick win to showcase the Steiner Brothers.
The hosts now talk about the World Heavyweight Title match then tell us to order WrestleMania on PPV as Savage wants us to wear a toga. Bret Hart then comes out and Savage talks about respecting him and that Bret will get respect again after WrestleMania and wishes him luck in beating Yokozuna. Oddly enough, Bret said that the day this show aired was when he found out Yokozuna was beating him at the PPV.
The respect video for Bret airs to close out the show.
Final Thoughts: The interviews at Caesar’s palace was a nice touch but the PPV seems as focused on the venue as they are on the matches themselves. And Hogan’s return does not feel like a must-see event as its against a cold tag team act with a partner who is not over.
Anyway, Challenge will be up later tonight then the PPV recap will be posted tomorrow.