Monday, August 17, 2015

WWF King Of The Ring 1994

Apparently, the inaugural King Of The Ring PPV event in 1993 was such a resounding success that they decided to have another one and make it something of an annual thing. This would last until 2002 for those keeping count, when Brock Lesnar won and killed the event. Longtime voyeurs of Wrestlecrap will know this show for being the one with football great Art Donovan doing commentary and such a bang up job he does, as well... although poor guy should do a little more prep work. After all, shouldn't he already know how much these guys weigh?

Sigh... how sad is it that all three members of the announce team are now deceased?

Oh, well. On with the show, I guess.

Once more, we begin with the quarter-final matches and much like yesterday's musings, we'll just blow through these relatively quickly since they're relatively short and my mind sorta wanders through these anyway.

Razor Ramon beats Bam Bam Bigelow. I liked this match better when it was in the arcades, but what are you gonna do? It was alright.

I.R.S. beats Mabel... if only I.R.S. was around for the following year's event, then the world would've been a better place.

Owen Hart beats Tatanka... buffalo. I've got nothing.

1-2-3 Kid beats Jeff Jarrett with an inside cradle... which follows with Jarrett piledriving Kid three times... this Jarrett fellow should be fined for such a heinous act. Good thing he never ends up anywhere... oh wait.

Okay, so those were things that happened in a relatively short span of time... but, at the very least, there were no time-limit draws, so no one got a free pass to the finals of the tournament. I suppose that counts for something.

Intercontinental champion Diesel beat WWF Bret Hart via disqualification when Jim Neidhart attacked Diesel. No title change, no real resolution. This would be the first of several encounters between Bret Hart and Kevin Nash and for what it's worth, this is a pretty decent match. They would, of course, have better ones, such as their Survivor Series '95 match.

First semi-final match; Razor Ramon beats I.R.S. Not much to say here; IRS cheats, but still loses. That's fine. It was short but sweet.

Second semi-final match; Owen Hart beats 1-2-3 Kid. Kid obviously hurt from that heinous piledriver barrage... This was good stuff, actually; lots of fast-paced stuff, lots of high-flying stuff, left me (literally) wanting more as the match was far shorter than it probably should've been. Shit, it was barely 3-4 more minutes long and they could've went a little longer. This almost seems like a match they'd have in the future or something... okay, maybe not.

WWF World Tag-Team Champions The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) beats Yokozuna & Crush to retain the titles. Okay, so this was a thing that happened... for some reason.

So, now we have Owen Hart beating Razor Ramon after a timely interference from Jim Neidhart and now Owen is the king of harts and eventually gets a WWF title shot against Bret at Summerslam. The match itself was fine - nothing amazing, but given how tired the two must have been, it was fine - and if it were the last match on the card, I would've been fine with that... but it isn't, because next up, we've got a "special" main event between youngsters Jerry "The King" Lawler and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Did I say "youngsters?" I'm sorry, I meant to say "elder statesmen."

(Alright, this is where I have to digress into a little editorial addendum because it does, unfortunately, bare mentioning. Obviously, the majority of this posting was written long before the passing of Roddy Piper and as such, some might perceive the tone I'm taking with this next match as being somewhat disrespectful. Nothing is further from the truth; while I'm not the self-professed lifelong Roddy Piper fan, I actually dug the guy's work, whether it'd be the Piper Pit segments or some of his matches. I can appreciate some of his accomplishments and contributions to the wrestling business. That's why I held off starting the daily run with KOTR musings until now when things have settled down. Okay, digression over.)

Yeah, so Piper beats Lawler in a match that... yeah, there's no way in hell I could possibly sugarcoat this. This was sad to watch... to watch these two legends hobble around the ring and putting on a match that wouldn't be passable fare at an independent wrestling event being held at a strip joint. I'd dare say that if I were watching this in 1994, I would mock the living fuck out of this match. Because this is supposed to be the NEW WWF Generation, which is supposed to emphasize the younger talent, but instead, we have a main event featuring two old guys. Two old guys who could barely move about as they once could... and this was in NINETEEN NINETY-FOUR. If this was the standard your legends was putting out in NINETEEN NINETY-FOUR, what makes anyone things they'd put on a good showing a few years later in another promotion, let alone a DECADE OR SO LATER?

Yeah, so this show was a thing that happened. In all honesty, just to see Owen go through that whole tournament, there's a bit of merit in watching this. And the Bret-Diesel match, while not the best they've done, is still pretty decent. But this show was just going through the motions and then you had the "Old Folks" match... swap Lawler for any other old-timer and that would be your WCW main event picture in the late-90s.

Yeah, I got nothing.

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