June 12, 1993
From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
This is fan-cam footage so there is no commentary although we do hear comments from a guy and a kid throughout the show.
Papa Shango vs. El Matador
Both men fight over a lockup to start then Shango stalls in the corner. Shango then cheap shots Matador in the corner after another lockup and uses biting and taunting. Matador avoids a charge then dropkicks Shango outside. After some pacing, Shango returns and challenges for a test-of-strength then yells at the fans after Matador declines. Shango tries a few more challenges then attempts to kick Matador but that fails. Matador works the arm after using an atomic drop but Shango eventually comes back with a clothesline. Shango roughs up Matador then grabs his stick to taunt the fans on the outside. Matador fights back on the apron and slingshots back inside with a sunset flip for a two count but Shango comes back with a clothesline. Shango gets another nearfall then complains to the ref before applying a rear chinlock. The crowd chants for Matador and he escapes but gets cut off with a knee smash. Shango gets elbowed in the back of the neck after ducking his head for a back drop then Matador fights back and uses a reverse rollup for the win (10:12) *.
Thoughts: Boring house show match with a weak finish. It was also something to see Shango not play up to his gimmick at all. He wrestled it like a basic lower card wrestler from 1986 here. A year ago he was a focal point of the TV and now he’s losing constantly, both on the road and TV. And regarding Matador, this would be his final match at MSG as he would leave the company two months later.
Howard Finkel tells us that Shawn Michaels will not come out unless his music is played first. Shawn comes out with “The Bodyguard” as he was billed then tells the fans to take a look at the Intercontinental Champion
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Shawn Michaels w/ The Bodyguard vs. Razor Ramon
Yes, Nash was billed as just “The Bodyguard” here. Shawn then tells us he’ll show everyone who is the real “bad guy.”Razor shoves Shawn down then chops him hard in the corner. Razor has Shawn hung up across the corner and ends up kicking him to the floor as Shawn takes a crazy bump. The Bodyguard distracts Razor, who was still able to avoid a sneak attack from Shawn. Both men are in the corner where Shawn lands a cheap shot then Shawn fires away. Razor blocks a hip toss then comes back to hit Shawn with an uranage for a two count. Razor catches Shawn in an abdominal stretch then uses a fallaway slam for a nearfall. Razor whips Shawn into the corner a few times but misses a charge as Shawn comes back with a flying clothesline then what follows is a completely fucked up spot where Razor staggers to bounce off of the ropes and dumps outside as The Bodyguard was either supposed to low-bridge him or the move was supposed to knock Razor through the ropes. Shawn heads out and rams Razor into the barricade before taking the action back inside. Shawn gets a two count with a flying double axe handle then applies a front facelock. Shawn now works the hold on the mat and keeps his feet on the ropes for leverage. Razor gets to his feet and tosses Shawn as both men are now down on the mat. Razor fires away as Shawn does a 360 sell of a punch then hits Shawn with the Razor’s Edge but The Bodyguard drags Shawn to safety and takes him up the aisle as Razor wins via count out (8:48) **1/2. After the match, Razor wants them to come back out. Shawn & The Bodyguard return then Shawn teases going back inside and is held back by The Bodyguard before the two once again leave.
Thoughts: The first few minutes were awesome then it really slowed down afterwards. The finish certainly made it seem like this was going to lead to a rematch, which is funny because leading up to this on the “Face-to-Face” segments on TV we saw the two say there match was a mistake with Razor joking about Shawn taking one of the “fat ones” with regards to the chicas in attendance.
Bob Backlund vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Barely any reaction here for Backlund. Bret got a good response though. Bret offers a handshake that Backlund accepts after saying something. Match starts with both men trying to feel each other out. We get another handshake after a few minutes then end up in another stalemate as Backlund is now the one that offers the handshake. Backlund grounds Bret with a headscissors then the two fight over a wrist lock and that ends up with Bret ducking out for a breather as the crowd seems to be a bit restless. Bret returns and Backlund puts him in a side headlock as the crowd gets more restless with some “boring” chants. Backlund almost rolls up Bret after Bret dropped down during an Irish whip sequence then goes back to the headlock. Some kid near the camera is saying how he hates this match because its boring then Bret starts working the arm. I’m still listening to this kid shit on the match as Bret offers another handshake then quickly goes behind Backlund, who reverses. Backlund now works a hammerlock on the mat as the camera loses focus. Bret finally reverses and goes to work on the arm until Backlund turns that into an overhead suplex. Both men are down then Backlund uses a shinbreaker and starts to work the leg. He puts Bret in the Boston Crab but Bret rolls through then that triggers a pinfall reversal sequence until Backlund goes back to work on the leg as the crowd is starting to get a bit interested in the match. We now get some guys in the crowd talking about All-Japan Pro Wrestling, specifically Misawa and Kawada as the guy tells this kid that those guys “fight.” Bret works the arm then blocks Backlund’s attempt at a Gotch lift. Backlund now successfully uses the Gotch lift to place Bret on top but Bret comes back with a crossbody for two. Backlund then hits a back suplex as both men are down then they fight over a suplex as Bert turns that into a small package for two. Bret takes control and gets a few nearfalls until Backlund comes back with a sunset flip. Bret then falls down trying a Sharpshooter so he hits a few uppercuts in the corner until Backlund knocks him down. Backlund now beats down Bret and hits an atomic drop and a piledriver that looks like it could have killed Bret but that only gets two. Backlund tries a suplex but Bret floats over and that leads to a reversal sequence ending with Bret reversing a rollup for the win (32:17) **1/2. Both men hug after the match then Bret poses for the fans.
Thoughts: The first half of this match was painfully boring but they were able to get the crowd into them by the end. Oddly enough, a match like this could really get over with certain crowds today, like maybe EVOLVE or NJPW. This match is most notable though for Bret injuring his ankle, which is awful considering this is the day before the King of the Ring PPV.
Giant Gonzalez w/ Harvey Whippleman vs. The Undertaker
Gonzalez attacks Undertaker from behind and hammers away but Undertaker turns around and fights back. Undertaker chokes out Gonzalez in the corner but after that runs into a big boot. Gonzalez rams Undertaker into the corner and takes him down with a throat thrust. Gonzalez now works a poor excuse of a sleeper and brings Undertaker to his knees. Undertaker gets up and escapes but Gonzalez uses his momentum to toss Undertaker outside. Gonzalez heads out and beats on Undertaker before getting back inside of the ring. Undertaker returns and Gonzalez hits a boot then takes him over the top rope with a running clothesline but Undertaker landed on his feet. Undertaker returns and fires away then grabs Whippleman, who was on the apron, as that allows Gonzalez to take a chair that Whippleman slid inside off camera and use that to hit Undertaker for the DQ (4:34) DUD. The Undertaker sits up as Whippleman prepares an ether rag then beats on Gonzalez and takes him down with a clothesline before using the rag. Whippleman runs in then both men bail with Undertaker standing alone in the ring.
Thoughts: This sucked and since these two were still feuding we got a screwy finish. No idea where Bearer was for this but Gonzalez trying to use an ether rag was a sight to behold. And this would be the only MSG appearance for Gonzalez.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Tatanka
Tatanka flies out to hit Bigelow with a tope before Bigelow even makes it to the ring. The action heads back inside where Bigelow hammers away. Bigelow taunts the crowd in being attacks but Tatanka fights back and gets a one count with a crossbody. Tatanka now hits some chops as someone is now standing in the right side of the camera. Tatanka then clotheslines Bigelow for a two count before using a jumping DDT. Tatanka heads up top and apparently misses a flying body press as the camera lost focus. Bigelow lands a pair of falling headbutts and that gets a two count. Bigelow cuts off a comeback attempt with an eye rake before hitting a dropkick that gets two. The kid in the crowd is trying to say that Bigelow is bleeding from the back of his head as Bigelow crushes Tatanka with an avalanche. Bigelow charges again and eats boot then Tatanka tries to get a sunset flip but Bigelow blocks that with a sit-down splash. Bigelow grounds Tatanka with a chinlock then Tatanka escapes and we get a slugfest. Tatanka starts to fire up to the delight of this kid in the crowd but Bigelow stops Tatanka’s dance with an enziguiri. However, Tatanka gets back up and dances then hits a few chops then the action goes outside where Tatanka hits a Samoan drop on the floor and rolls inside to get the win via count out (11:19) ***. After the match, Bigelow goes back in the ring to attack Tatanka.
Thoughts: Honestly, I thought this was the best match of the night. They worked hard and at a faster pace than anyone else on the card. Not the best finish but there feud was still fresh so they were not close to being done on the house show circuit.
The Headshrinkers & Afa vs. The Smoking Gunns & Kamala
Billy and Fatu start things off. Fatu shoves Billy down twice then taunts the fans. Billy then kicks out Fatu’s legs after an Irish whip sequence and runs wild, leading to all six men entering the ring with the faces clearing the ring. Kamala is now the legal man for his team as he kicks and chops Fatu before tagging out to Bart. Fatu pokes Bart in the before tagging out and Bart dropkicks Samu after a reversal sequence then takes him down with a drop toe hold, a move Samu avoided a few seconds prior. Fatu low-bridges Bart then rolls him back inside as The Headshrinkers & Afa take control of the match and frequently run interference. Bart comes back to hit the Headshrinkers with a double clothesline then tags out as Billy runs wild. Fatu then attacks Billy from the apron and Kamala comes in to splash Samu but unable to turn him over then Afa distracts Kamala, allowing Samu to use a rollup for the win (8:07) *1/2.
Thoughts: Luckily the use of Afa and Kamala were kept to a minimum. Fine for what it was I suppose as Kamala’s lack of intelligence cost his team as he remains directionless without Slick as this was his final match at MSG. Kamala would be gone from the company before the end of July.
Howard Finkel runs down the card for 8/13. Matches include: Doink the Clown vs. Marty Jannetty, Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Title in a steel cage match and Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart. Well, the last match happened and inside of a steel cage. Doink faced the 1-2-3 Kid and Shawn and Perfect were on opposite sides of a six-man tag that also included Jannetty. The whole show looked good on paper (Also had a Savage vs. Lawler match) but unfortunately I do not see a handheld of that available anywhere.
Lex Luger comes out for his match against Mr. Perfect and poses in the mirror. Before Perfect is introduced, Finkel announces that per WWF President Jack Tunney, Luger is required to wear a protective pad over his forearm. And, if Luger fails to comply, he will be fined $25,000 and face a six month suspension. Luger becomes irate then begrudgingly accepts the conditions.
“The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect
Luger slaps Perfect across the face after some jaw-jacking then Perfect fires away. Luger bails and gets chased back inside of the ring as the kid wonders why a lot of fans are leaving. Perfect works the leg of Luger for a bit until Luger hits him in the face. Luger tosses Perfect outside and takes his time before going out and that gives Perfect enough time to fight back. The action heads inside where Luger regains control. Luger whips Perfect into the corner before sending him back outside as Luger paces around before going out to ram perfect into the apron as the kid in the crowd groans “again.” We go back into the ring where Luger hits a backbreaker then once again paces around the ring before delivering an elbow drop that gets a two count. The crowd chants for Perfect as he tries to fight back. Luger yells at the ref and that allows Perfect to sneak up for a two count then Luger beats him down before once again yelling at the ref. Perfect chops away until Luger cuts him off and works a chinlock as we see people walking by the camera as I assume they’ve had enough and are leaving. Perfect escapes but runs into a clothesline then soon after uses a sunset flip for two as he pulled down Luger’s tights to take him over. Luger gets pissed then Perfect blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as both men are down. Perfect then hits an atomic drop and a clothesline as the camera lost focused for a bit and continues to run wild. However, Shawn Michaels & The Bodyguard come out with Shawn distracting Perfect from the apron and as that happened, Luger took off his forearm padding and hit Perfect with the running forearm smash for the win as the kid calls Luger an asshole (14:01) *1/4.
Thoughts: Bad main event with a terrible performance by Luger. He moved around stiff and awkwardly with pretty much nothing he did looking good. The finish was fine as it played into the Shawn/Perfect feud and the storyline regarding the forearm of Luger. And speaking of Luger’s forearm, the rule about the padding has yet to be mentioned on TV so I guess we will be hearing about that quite soon.
Final Thoughts: In all honestly this was a solid house show. Sure, the main event was a disappointment but the matches that stunk were the ones you thought would and there was some good stuff despite the fact ticket sales even with a promotion for kids under 12 getting in for $2 it only drew 9,100 fans.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Superstars 6/12/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/13/93
Wednesday: WWF All-American Wrestling 6/13/93
Thursday: WWF King of the Ring 1993
Friday: WWF Monday Night RAW 6/14/93, WWF Mania 6/19/93
Monday: WWF Superstars 6/19/93, WWF Challenge 6/20/93