WWF 1994 King of the Ring

June 19, 1994

From the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Art Donovan

 

We get a video package to hype up the show. It was well done.

 

Rickey Medlocke from Blackfoot sings the National Anthem. It did not go to well. And the lighting was terrible. It should be known that Vince McMahon was not present at the show due to surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. Bruce Prichard & Pat Patterson instead ran the show. Bruce Prichard told the story on his “Something to Wrestle With” podcast that Medlocke called and said he was across the street from the venue and he offered to sing the anthem before he went to his concert. Prichard said the sound check went okay but when the show went live it just did not work out.

 

The hosts talk about the show. Gorilla refers to Donovan was “Art O’Donnell.” Donovan believes that Razor Ramon will win the King of the Ring. Savage thinks Diesel will become the World Heavyweight Champion.

 

King of the Ring First Round Match: Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon vs. Razor Ramon

Bigelow beats on Razor to start. He scoops up Razor for a slam then uses a falling headbutt and a leg drop but heads up top and whiffs on a diving headbutt. Razor slides underneath Bigelow and goes outside to pull Bigelow down and crotch him against the post. Razor then flies off of the middle rope for a bulldog that gets two. Razor now works the leg as Donovan wants to know why Luna is screaming. Razor ducks an enziguiri and staggers Bigelow with a clothesline but charges and gets tossed outside. The camera zooms in on Luna’s ass as she stands on the apron while Bigelow rolls Razor back into the ring. Bigelow stomps away then covers for a two count as the announcers talk about Bigelow wanting to win after being runner-up last year. Donovan mumbles about Bigelow and already you can tell that Savage is losing patience. Bigelow uses an enziguiri for a nearfall then uses a backbreaker submission. Razor is able to get down and hits Bigelow with a back suplex as both men are down. Razor wins a slugfest then avoids a charge in the corner and hits a slam. Bigelow fights out of a super back suplex attempt as Savage mistakingly said he was going for a Razor’s Edge. Bigelow then goes up for the Luna-sault but Razor slams him off and uses a rollup for the win (8:28) **.

Thoughts: The match was fine but far from memorable with an anticlimactic finish. After being in the finals last year, Bigelow loses in the first round. And after losing in the first round last year, Razor advances. Also, this was the first we got to hear from Art Donovan on commentary and boy was that something. And if you thought it was bad for this match then you ain’t seen nothing yet.

 

Backstage, Todd Pettengill is with IRS and Mabel as the two talk-trash before their match. Oscar then says they will take IRS out and while they like Razor, Mabel will go through him before winning King of the Ring.

 

King of the Ring First Round Match: IRS vs. Mabel w/ Oscar

Donovan astutely points out how IRS looks like a businessman. Good for him. And asks if Mabel is going to wrestle with his clothes on as Mabel avoids a sneak attack in the corner. Mabel scoops up IRS for a slam with one arm as Donovan asks how much Mabel weighs and says its not fair because IRS only weighs half as much and talks about leaving. Jesus Christ. Once again, Donovan asks about Oscar’s name and jokes he thought he was going to take IRS to the hospital. IRS is able to sidestep Mabel as the latter crashes to the floor as Donovan said this match is far more dangerous than playing football. IRS hits a clothesline then drops a pair of elbows but that only gets two. Mabel busts out a small package for a nearfall but IRS comes back and puts on a chin lock. The announcers are doing their best to avoid Donovan maybe in the attempt he would cease speaking but that did not happen. Mabel fights out and hits a back drop then a clothesline. Mabel plays up to the crowd and hits an uranage for a nearfall. Mabel goes up to the middle ropes but IRS shakes them and covers with his arms between the ropes while he hooks Mabel’s leg and gets the win (5:38) 1/2*.

Thoughts: The match sucked but sadly it exceeded by incredibly low expectations. I thought how IRS pinned Mabel looked dumb but they needed to protect Mabel since he was not advancing. Donovan was in rare form for this match, answering questions no one watching would ever needed to be answered for them.

 

Stan Lane is at the WWF Hotline with Lex Luger, who blames Crush as to why he is not in the King of the Ring Tournament as we see a replay of that on the screen. Luger is asked on who will win and said either Razor or his good friend Tatanka. Apparently they have a great friendship. And those two fought to a draw at last year’s show.

 

King of the Ring First Round Match: Tatanka vs. “The Rocket” Owen Hart

Donovan is still asking how much the wrestlers weigh even after the ring announcers have told us this information. Tatanka immediately attacks Owen and gets two with a back drop. Suplex gets two. Owen rakes the eyes as Tatanka wants to know how much Tatanka weighs as Savage guesses then says the “intestinal fortitude” means more as Tatanka hits a pair of arm drags. Tatanka slows it down with a side headlock then lands on his feet after being tossed outside and drags Owen outside for a brawl. Owen rolls back inside after sending Tatanka into the post and chokes him out as we see IRS and Razor being separated backstage. Donovan asks more dumb questions as Savage deals with him as patiently as possible. Owen now heads up top after a suplex and hits a missile dropkick for two. Owen applies a chin lock then catches Tatanka with a sleeper. Donovan screams about the need for more doctors in the building as Owen has Tatanka down on the mat with the sleeper. Tatanka fires up and hits a few chops then uses a DDT for a nearfall. Tatanka slams Owen and heads up top with a flying chop that gets two. Running powerslam gets two. The crowd seems into the nearfalls then Tatanka yells at the ref but turns around in time to block a sneak attack. Tatanka then tries for a sunset flip but Owen blocks it and hooks the legs for the win (8:18) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid match with Owen advancing to the next round. Again, Donovan was terrible on commentary. And Tatanka was slightly more aggressive than usual and even took a lot of time to yell at the ref near the end. Its something to keep an eye on in the future.

 

Pettengill is now backstage with Diesel & Shawn Michaels. We see a replay of Bret getting attacked on the King’s Court and how Bret said it was one of the most painful experiences in his career. Diesel then tells Bret he has two words: “jack knife” and vows to become champion tonight. Shawn is not concerned with the family member in Bret’s corner because Bret’s family dislikes him then introduces Diesel as the new champion.

 

King of the Ring First Round Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Donovan puts over Jarrett’s tan while saying that Kid looks like a boxer. The comment about Kid was in the so dumb its hilarious category. Jarrett beats on Kid to start. He continues to rough him up and hits a clothesline as Donovan marvels at the amount of clotheslines he has seen tonight. Kid avoids a dropkick then uses a victory roll for a two count but Jarrett goes right back on the attack. Jarrett uses a slingshot suplex then a fist drop from the middle rope but soon after that runs into a spinning heel kick. Kid heads up top but misses a somersault senton then Jarrett misses a running attack and crotches himself on the ropes, causing Donovan to laugh. Both men fight up top then Kid comes off with a crossbody that gets two. Kid lands some kicks in the corner but misses a running attack as Jarrett taunts the crowd. Jarrett softens up the leg and tries a figure four but Kid catches him with a small package and gets the win (4:39) **1/4. After the match, Jarrett hits three straight piledrivers followed by a few of flying fist drops until several referees get him to stop.

Thoughts: Short but good action for the time they were allotted. I did like the finish but as we see later it really did not play much into the tournament. Donovan was fairly amusing for this match but that trend would not continue.

 

The WWF New Generation ad airs. They painted Hulk Hogan as a legend in the mold of wrestlers whose primes were in the 70’s, which is hilarious in many ways.

 

Pettengill is now with Bret and we see Diesel giving Bret the Jackknife. Bret talks about how painful the move is and says Diesel is a long way from putting that move on him again. Pettengill then asks about Bret’s family member that will accompany him to the ring but says we will have to wait until the match.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Diesel w/ Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart w/ Jim Neidhart

Donovan asks if Shawn is a wrestler. Neidhart is in his wrestling gear and identified as Bret’s brother in-law. Diesel shoves Bret into the corner to start. He then backs him into the corner to break a waist lock and ends up winning a slugfest. Bret ducks a big boot and Diesel crotches himself. Bret hammers away then uses a reverse rollup for two. Diesel comes back with a slam then misses an elbow drop as Donovan says this is like David vs. Goliath. Bret continues to hammer away but Diesel traps him in the corner where he misses another attack. Bret now works the leg then uses a figure four until Diesel is able to reach the ropes. Diesel sends Bret outside but Bret trips him up and rams his leg into the post. Shawn then drops Bret with a clothesline and ends up getting chased around by Neidhart. Bret heads up top and they mess up a spot where Diesel is supposed to catch him with a bearhug as they stumble then Diesel gets up and rams Bret into the corner before applying a bear hug. Bret escapes and dumps Diesel over the top rope and gets cheered but he ends up whiffing on a pescado. Diesel brings Bret back inside and rams him into the corner then huddles with Shawn, who is on the apron. Diesel gets a nearfall with a side suplex as he has taken firm control of the match. Shawn mocks Bret from the floor then slaps him across the face. Bret manages a two count with a rollup but Diesel clotheslines him for a nearfall of his own. Diesel cranks the neck then hits a backbreaker for another two count. The ref keeps yelling at Neidhart and that allows Shawn to untie a turnbuckle pad as Diesel uses a backbreaker submission. Bret slides off and puts on a sleeper until Diesel rams him into the corner. Bret fights back again and re-applies the sleeper until they run into the referee. The ref is back up and yells at Neidhart again but Bret blocks a turnbuckle smash and sends Diesel into the exposed steel. Bret fires away as Diesel staggers around the ring until he finally drops. Shawn yells at Diesel to get up then Bret drops him after three clotheslines to get a nearfall. Bret heads to the middle after a neckbreaker and gets two with an elbow drop. He then hits a bulldog from the middle rope and puts on the Shaprshooter. However, Shawn is up on the apron and Bret knocks him off. Bret then gets another nearfall this time with a flying clothesline as Savage said Neidhart would have gotten Shawn off but he had a late start. They fight over a backslide then Bret flips over and uses a small package for two. They have a reversal sequence ending with Diesel hitting a big boot. Diesel signals for the Jackknife but Bret trips him up and puts on the Sharpshooter. Diesel quickly reaches the ropes as Gorilla said this is one of the greatest title defense he has ever seen. Bret takes Diesel outside but heads out and gets attacked. Diesel rolls Bret inside where Shawn hits Bret with the belt from behind. Diesel heads in and drops an elbow but that only gets two. Diesel then hits the Jackknife as Neidhart and Shawn brawl then Neidhart runs in and attacks Diesel for the DQ (22:51) ***1/2. Neidhart then leaves all pissed off as Diesel & Shawn are beating on Bret. The announcers all yell over each other like morons with Donovan very concerned over what the referee is doing with the belt. Bret gets an ovation from the fans as Savage proclaims Bret as the greatest of all-time.

Thoughts: Very good match, especially since Diesel was wrestling with a torn groin. There was some rough spots early but the second half of this match really clicked. The finish raised a lot of question marks but we would find out why this was the case later on in the show and with Neidhart leaving Bret to get beat down it was his heel turn. And given the fact he was in his old Hart Foundation gear that was used as a way to swerve the fans, which was a nice touch really.

 

Pettengill is now with Jerry Lawler. We hear Lawler make fun of Donovan for mumbling and being an idiot and dissing Pettengill’s attire before addressing Piper. Lawler says he will make sure no money goes to the kids in Canada.

 

King of the Ring Semifinals Match: Razor Ramon vs. IRS

We get another lame IRS promo where he calls everyone a tax cheat but this time Razor runs out and attacks him on the floor. Razor hammers away then they head back inside where IRS takes control. IRS uses an elbow drop to get a one count then hits a backbreaker. IRS charges but Razor ducks and he spills outside as Donovan compares that to missing a “trap lock.” Razor heads out and rams IRS into the steps before tossing him back inside. IRS drops Razor with a back elbow smash then applies a chin lock. The announcers wonder if Kid will be able to wrestle in the second round after the attack by Jarrett as IRS hammers away. Razor fights back then sends IRS into the corner before tossing him down by the tie. IRS comes back with a clothesline then signals that its over but he gets kicked in the face then Razor uses the Razor’s Edge for the win (5:13) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Another lousy match featuring IRS on this show. At least this time he does not advance. The announcers also pushed the story as to whether or not Kid will be able to wrestle this round

 

Pettengill is supposed to be with Kid but has not heard from him and unsure whether or not if he is going to wrestle Owen in the second round. We will see whether or not Owen receives a bye into the finals.

 

King of the Ring Semifinals Match: “The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Kid eventually comes out and looks more like he is ungodly hungover than injured  but is met with a baseball slide before entering the ring. Great spot and it was shot well too. Owen flies out with a tope and rolls him back inside where he hits a splash for a two count. Kid reverses an Irish whip and hits a crossbody for two. La Magistral gets two. Kid works the arm as Donovan keeps calling Kid a tough guy. Both men trade arm wringers that ends with Kid dropping Owen after a series of kicks. Gorilla says this is what the New Generation is all about as Owen drops Kid with an enziguiri. Kid uses a Northern Lights Suplex for two as Owen got his foot on the ropes. Kid wipes out Owen with a somersault plancha but gets caught trying a kick as Owen uses a bridging German suplex for two. Owen then uses a belly-to-belly suplex for two then they trade rollups. Kid tries for a hurricarana but Owen counters with a powerbomb then uses the Sharpshooter for the win (3:37) ***1/4.

Thoughts: The action here was crazy as these two packed as much as they could into the far too short amount of time they received. However, my complaint is why did they even bother with the Jarrett attack and let Owen/Kid tear it up in the first round instead? In theory, the Jarrett attack would get more sympathy and play up Kid’s underdog gimmick but Kid did not sell the attack whatsoever in the match. According to Kid, Bret Hart came up to him after this match and said it was one of the best he had seen in this time period.

 

We see Stan Lane and Ted DiBiase in the Hotline area.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match: Yokozuna & Crush w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette vs. The Headshrinkers (c) w/ Afa & Capt. Lou Albano

Donovan is blown away by Yokozuna’s size. We get a brawl following a stare down then The Headshrinkers hit themselves to show they are crazy and end up clearing the ring after using headbutts. Things settle down with Yokozuna and Samu as Samu chops away. Yokozuna blocks a slam but gets hit with a thrust kick then Samu takes Yokozuna outside. Fatu and Crush are now in the ring as we see Fatu no-sell a mat slam then hit a piledriver. Fatu heads up to the middle rope and lands a flying headbutt that gets two. Fuji jabs Fatu with his flag pole then Crush hits a clothesline as Savage claims “HeadshrinkerMania” is sweeping the nation. Crush now hits a piledriver that only gets a one count. Yokozuna drops a leg but Samu runs in for the save. Crush now uses a nerve hold then tags out as Yokozuna hammers away. Fatu avoids an avalanche as both men are down. Both men tag out then Samu runs wild on Crush. The match breaks down then The Headshrinkers use a double noggin knocker before sending Yokozuna outside with a double thurst kick. Samu is now in the ring with Crush and heads up top but Yokozuna was rammed into the post and that caused Samu to get crotched. Crush now hits a superplex and Yokozuna & Crush now take control but we see Luger in the aisle taunting Crush. Samu rolls up a distracted Crush for a two count then Crush clotheslines Samu outside as the crowd chants USA. Donovan then asks “who is the fellow with the American flag.” Maybe someone should have briefed him before each match as to who these people were because that never happened before the show. Then again, maybe it would not have mattered. Crush is distracted again and that allows Fatu to come in and surprise Crush with a thrust kick then he covers for the win as Samu tripped up Yokozuna to prevent the save (9:31) *. After the match, Crush attacks Luger but Luger fights back and the faces stand tall.

Thoughts: The match was lousy and lacked heat but more about advancing the lukewarm at best Luger/Crush feud than it was about the titles. The current tag team scene was really weak and it was only going to get worse as we will see later on in the year.

 

Pettengill is with Owen Hart. He asks him about having the opportunity to win King of the Ring. Owen says he will win then calls Bret a loser before wishing his father a Happy Father’s Day. Good stuff by Owen.

 

King of the Ring Finals Match: Razor Ramon vs. “The Rocket” Owen Hart

They trade arm wringers as Savage asks Gorilla if Stu Hart is proud of Owen. Razor gets slapped then catches a crossbody attempt and hits a slam. Owen lands a few shots as Donovan is concerned about how much Razor outweighs Owen. Razor gets two with a rollup then works a side headlock on the mat. We get a clunky reversal sequence ending with Razor using a backslide for a two count then he goes back to the side headlock. Owen catches Razor with a dropkick then softens up the leg. Owen now uses an abdominal stretch while grabbing the ropes for leverage. Razor comes back with an uranage for a two count then we get another reversal sequence that ends with Owen using a Russian leg sweep. Owen heads up top for a moonsault block but Razor cuts him off and hits a super back suplex. Razor sets up for the Razor’s Edge but Owen counters with a back drop that sends Razor over the top rope. We now see Neidhart run out to check on Razor while Owen talks to the ref and Neidhart cheap shots Razor and runs him into the post. Neidhart then rolls Razor inside and Owen comes off the top with a flying elbow drop to get the win and become King of the Ring (6:35) *1/2. Owen & Nedihart then hit Razor with a Hart Attack then stomp away. The crowd chants for Bret then Owen & Neidhart leave.

Thoughts: Disappointing match as I felt these two lacked chemistry but Owen winning was the best result as now he has won the same tournament is brother did last year and with Neidhart leaving Bret alone to get beat up after his match its clear that Neidhart made sure Bret kept the title so Owen could now beat his own brother for the World Title.

 

Raymond Rougeau is backstage and asks Bret about what just happened. Bret says he cannot believe what he just saw then leaves. You could ask as to why Bret did not help Razor but it would also make sense to be completely shocked over another family member fucking you over.

 

Back to the hosts as Savage said he figured out what happened: Neidhart made sure that Bret kept the title so Owen could beat him for it down the line. Donovan then asks Savage and Gorilla if they acted like that when they wrestled and gets ignored.

 

We now see the coronation ceremony which is hosted by Pettengill. His voice even cracked at one point. WWF President Jack Tunney is also present. Owen tells all the “dumb” people that he set out what he said he was going to do and demands respect worthy of a king. Owen said he wants the only family member he can trust to present him and that’s Neidhart. Owen then yells at Pettengill to get on his knees. Owen says his first proclamation as King is to be referred to as the “King of Hearts.” Owen was great once again this night and acted as a complete prick here. One of the few bright spots in 1994 WWF.

 

An ad for SummerSlam airs. It will take place on August 29th at the new United Center in Chicago, IL. Also, it will be sponsored by Domino’s Pizza. That’s a big sponsorship for the company.

 

Maryland Governor William Schaeffer. The governor likes Piper to win then jokes how he is an old Hulk Hogan fan himself as Pettengill does his best to not address that subject and the segment ends very soon afterwards. It was unintentionally hilarious. Of course, Hogan’s signing with WCW was announced prior to this show.

 

Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Roddy Piper

Before the match, Lawler rags on the announcers and the governor before saying the sick kids in Canada will not get one single dime from Piper and will not give even one cent to anyone. Piper gets a bagpipe entrance. Piper even comes out with the impersonator then tells Lawler they came to “kick ass and chew bubblegum and are all out of bubblegum.” The announcers explained this as Piper not being mad at the impersonator and felt sorry due to Lawler using him. Okay then. Savage yells about Piper being ripped as Piper has a more defined midsection but weighs about 180 lbs. Piper tosses his kilt at Lawler then beats him down for a minute. Lawler bails and heads up the aisle but Piper brings him back and holds him up so the impersonator can poke Lawler in the eye. Piper yells at the ref to stop intervening as he beats down Lawler then goes back on the attack. Piper blocks a stomp and kicks Lawler in the groin a few times before spinning him around and hitting an atomic drop that sends Lawler through the ropes as that got next to no reaction. It was appalling at how quiet the crowd was for that spot. Piper heads out to beat on Lawler some more. Lawler then grabs the impersonator by the throat and goes after him and eventually nails Piper. Lawler stomps away as Piper covers up the impersonator then Lawler drags Piper off and goes after the kid but Piper hugs him then pushes him out despite the fact the kid was trying to do that in the first place. Lawler punches away as Donovan thinks Piper is in trouble. Lawler catches Piper with a sleeper and brings him to the mat. The crowd mildly gets behind Piper then Lawler hits a piledriver but Piper is able to kick out at two. Lawler yells at Piper then Piper starts fighting back. Piper uses an eye poke then hits a pair of running bulldogs but tries a third and gets shoved into the referee. Lawler reaches down his tights for a foreign object and decks Piper and covers with his feet on the ropes but the impersonator shoves them off. Lawler now yells at the impersonator and that allows Piper to hit a back suplex then uses a bridge for the win that looked like shit (12:30) DUD. Piper shoves Lawler outside then raises the impersonator onto his shoulders as fireworks go off.

Thoughts: Where to begin. With the show pushing the “New Generation” slogan they gave us this dogshit between guys who were not that old at the time but wrestled much older than their age for this match. Another problem was that there was zero confrontation between the two leading up to this match as it was all done by Lawler on commentary or his King’s Court segments while Piper did all of his on taped “Bottom Line” segments shot by himself on his own camcorder and shown exclusively on “All-American Wrestling.” The match itself was crap and the impersonator involvement was awful and quite frankly never should have happened. Why would the crowd care if Lawler kicked his ass or not? It should have been a heated brawl but it was just a farce with Piper using a lot of hokey spots Lawler had to sell. The crowd was into Piper winning but not for the match itself.

 

Final Thoughts: The show itself had a good title match and Owen winning King of the Ring worked out well but the main event was horrendous and the show was mostly remembered for the wrong reasons, namely the commentary from Art Donovan.  Savage seemed to try but was clearly frustrated and Gorilla was also frustrated but hasn’t given a shit on commentary since the 1992 Royal Rumble for the most part and added nothing himself. If Donovan did this stuff during one match it would have came off as being amusing to some but having it go on for the whole show was just death. Plus, the build of this show was bad and as a result the crowd was dead. . Vince not being present was felt and Prichard hinted on his podcast that Piper kept tying him up prior to the show as one of the reasons why the show was produced as poorly as it was then admitted the show was terrible with Vince even telling him as much on the phone. The New Generation was not off to a strong start and like I said it was going to be downhill into the new year. Overall, a below average show with the more memorable moments being for the wrong reasons.