Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are tonight’s hosts. Monsoon tells Heenan that he does not appreciate how he left last week’s show. He says that he has seen Hogan and he is okay but could be doing better.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are starting a new set of television tapings in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a location the WWF does not highlight in the show’s opening. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the taping took place on May 15.
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are in the studio and handle tonight’s broadcast. Heenan blasts Tugboat’s gimmick, arguing that kids should want to be the President of the United States rather than “a stupid boat.” Monsoon has a good counter, asking Heenan what the Barbarian wanted to be as a kid.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura handle commentary today, taped from Austin, Texas. This was the same location as the recent Saturday Night’s Main Event taping, taking place on April 23 and attracting 8,500 fans.
WWF KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCHES (1993):
* So for this week’s “Dream Matches” column, I decided randomly to take a look at the build up to 1993’s inaugural King of the Ring. As a 12-year old fan, I was way into the idea of this big tournament, and even now the set-up seems great- you have an 8-man tournament in one night on PPV, and in the weeks leading up to the show, you stick your stars up against JTTS guys in “Qualifying Matches” that are mostly foregone conclusions, except a couple of them have a legit question mark. It lets your “Featured Matches” actually count for something, and gives your name guys a big win on TV- and if you were watching back then, you know you only saw “Star vs. Star” matches once per week if you were lucky. I’ll see what I can find on YouTube for these (turns out it’s everything but Shawn/Crush, which ended in a Double Count-Out, which disqualified BOTH for some reason, so we had a different Qualifying Match instead).
The issue with KOTRs, of course, is that with 16 guys, 15 have to do the job. And when times are tough, Vince is squirrelly about letting guys drop legit falls. The real purpose of the first King of the Ring, of course, was to return some credibility to former champion Bret Hart, and set off his new feud with Jerry Lawler.
RAZOR RAMON vs. “EL MATADOR” TITO SANTANA: * So Razor had debuted the previous year and been given arguably his biggest solo push ever, teaming with Ric Flair in the main program at Survivor Series and then facing Bret Hart for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble. After his loss there, he was cycled into the upper-midcard, beating Bob Backlund at WMIX. Here, we’re a little bit away from the face turn that would forever change his career. Santana, meanwhile, has fallen all the way down the card and is only rarely featured on TV anymore- he’s been a JTTS for years by this point, and was looking pretty flabby compared to the ’80s. Both guys are in black, here- I don’t recall Tito in that look.
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are manning the studio. Monsoon announces that the Ultimate Warrior is the new WWF Champion, and adds that Hulkamania has now achieved immortality. Heenan challenges the Warrior to put the title on the line against an undetermined member of the Heenan Family.
Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Toronto, Ontario, Canada in what will be Ventura’s last appearance calling a WWF pay-per-view. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a sellout crowd of 67,678, a new attendance record for the venue. It drew a buyrate of 3.8 (an estimated 550,000 purchases). This was a decline from the 5.9 buyrate of WrestleMania V, but this can be attributed to more homes getting pay-per-view access by 1990, thereby messing with the buyrate average.
Robert Goulet sings the Canadian National Anthem. According to Bruce Prichard, Goulet was picked for this spot because he badly botched signing “The Star Spangled Banner” several years earlier and this was a chance for him to redeem himself in front of a live crowd. The WWF put the lyrics on the Skydome’s video screen to ease Goulet’s nerves. And if you watch his body language during the performance, he goes from a bad of nerves to a guy having the time of his life halfway through. His wife, who watched backstage, cried her eyes out after he nailed the song.
Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon call today’s action from a new round of television tapings in San Francisco, California. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a sold-out crowd of 14,500, with 500 fans attending for free.