May 2, 1993
From the America West Arena in Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan
This week, Bob Backlund vs. Lex Luger in a King of the Ring qualifying match. Also in action are Shawn Michaels, Money Inc., and Mr. Hughes.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Al Burke
Duggan takes Burke over with a hip toss as Heenan says Duggan should be part of the “King of the Humanoids” tournament and makes fun of him for liking TV dinners and having rented furniture. Duggan continues to beat on Burke then starts up the USA chants before tossing Burke to the floor. Duggan brings Burke back inside for a slam then uses the Three Point Stance for the win (2:47).
Thoughts: A win for Duggan to keep him strong for his house show matches against Yokozuna.
WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. This recapped the incidents between Tatanka and Bam Bam Bigelow from last week’s “Superstars.”
Mr. Hughes vs. Mark Ming
Heenan laughs over the news of Tatanka getting his haircut. Ross puts over Hughes’s football career and how all managers want to sign him. Hughes runs over Ming a few times as we then hear from Slick in an insert promo telling Hughes he prides himself on being able to recognize raw talent but that he’s heading in the wrong direction and needs his energy channeled into a positive light. Hughes stays in control then hits a sidewalk slam for the win (1:47). After the match, Hughes tosses Ming to the floor.
Thoughts: They are still doing the deal with every manager wanting to sign Hughes as even a babyface manager like Rev. Slick wants him as a client.
The Smoking Gunns vignette we saw this week on “Superstars” airs.
Shawn Michaels vs. Brian West
Heenan makes fun of the Gunns for being dumb hicks. We see shots of women in attendance cheer for Shawn. Match starts with Shawn toying with West as Ross says we will find out about the King of the Ring main event. Shawn dumps West outside and flies out with a double axe handle from the apron then poses inside of the ring. Shawn then brings West back inside where West fights back until he runs into an elbow smash in the corner. Shawn then hits a super kick and picks up West just to shove him back down and gets the win (3:15).
Thoughts: Unlike on “Superstars,” where Vince just mentioned the King of the Ring main event casually after a match ended, they built up the announcement here. Shawn’s portrayal as a sex symbol is becoming more obvious too.
King of the Ring report airs.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Bob Backlund
Ross thinks its good that Bret is the #1 seed in the tournament as Heenan tells Ross he’s new and that it only means Bret greased Jack Tunney’s palms. Heenan makes fun of Backlund for going to school at North Dakota State as Backlund gets a two count with a school boy then uses a few more cradles and keeps the action at a brisk pace until Luger bails. Luger heads up the aisle then returns where Backlund hammers away in the corner. Luger cheap shots Backlund then tosses him into the corner as the announcers talk about the Luger/Bret feud. Backlund hip tosses Luger then hits a slam after reversing an Irish whip and has another flurry of offense until Luger shoves him outside to break up a the bridging cradle the Luger knocks Backlund off of the apron with a forearm smash and gets the win via countout (4:19) **.
Thoughts: I liked this match and how Backlund kept going after Luger as fast as possible. It was a much better match than anything else we’ve seen from Backlund since his return. Luger winning was not a surprise as he is getting a strong heel push after defeating Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania and feuding with Bret Hart while Backlund isn’t doing much of anything.
Crush vs. Reno Riggins
Riggins bounces off of Crush before running into a dropkick. Riggins rakes the eyes and uses a throat thrust but gets caught in a backbreaker. Crush press slams Riggins back into the ring from the floor and stays in control until the head vice gets the win (2:25).
Thoughts: Another win for Crush as his feud with Doink continues.
Randy Savage shills the WWF Fan Club.
Money Inc. vs. Jesse Storm & Raven Clark
Before the match, IRS tells us filing for an extension does not mean you can get away with cheating. IRS beats on Storm as Heenan continues to make fun of Ross for driving a pickup truck. Ross says that the Steiners have signed for a title match against Money Inc. and thinks they will become the new champions. DiBiase is in now and grounds Clark as Money Inc. stays in control until IRS uses the Write Off clothesline for the win (3:04).
Thoughts: Looks like we are getting a title match between the Steiners and Money Inc and you’d think it would take place at the PPV but you would be wrong.
Next week, the Steiner Brothers are in action. Also, an interview with Luna Vachon plus Papa Shango vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a King of the Ring qualifying match.
Final Thoughts: These shows will revolve around hyping the King of the Ring until the day of the PPV with these qualifying matches being the focus. The rest of the card should be announced soon as we are six weeks away from the inaugural King of the Ring PPV.