January 26, 2007
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
November 24, 1993
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan
Buy Rate: .82
Celebrity Guests: Ray Combs
Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) pinned Brooklyn Brawler (Steve Lombardi) in 7:46.
1) 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Razor Ramon & Randy Savage defeat IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel & Adam Bomb
Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) pins Diesel (Kevin Nash) at 10:18 with the Flying Elbow
IRS (Mike Rotundo) pins Randy Savage at 16:46 with a roll-up
Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) pins IRS at 20:32 with a Razor’s Edge
Razor Ramon is counted out at 20:42
1-2-3 Kid (Sean Waltman) pins Rick Martel (Richard Vigneault) at 25:49 with a Sunset Flip
Marty Jannetty (Marty Oaks) pins Adam Bomb (Bryan Clark) at 25:59 with a Sunset Flip
Fun Fact: Mr. Perfect was originally scheduled to be on the face team, but he left the WWF the week before the event. WWF did not even announce that he wasn’t going to be there until the match began. Ramon got on the mic and said that Mr. Perfect wasn’t the “Perfect Partner” because he “tagged out before the match even began.” Instead, Ramon brings out Randy Savage to be the fourth member of his team. Sav-age was inserted into the match so they could continue the Savage-Crush feud on a PPV stage.
Fun Fact II: Adam Bomb debuted alongside his manager Johnny Polo on the May 22, 1993 Superstars. Johnny Polo was played by longtime WCW mid carder Scotty Flamingo, real name Scott Levy. Levy cut his teeth in the Portland promotion before heading south to Atlanta. He was a mainstay in the Light Heavyweight division for a couple years before heading to the WWF as a manager. Adam Bomb was por-trayed by Bryan Clarke who was known as the Nightstalker in Memphis as well as WCW.
Scott: Macho Man makes his return to the PPV ring for the first time since Yokozuna tossed him out at the Royal Rumble. He's replacing Mr. Perfect, who left after injuries and backstage problems ended his in-ring career for the moment. This is also the in-ring debut of Diesel, who is quickly pinned by Savage after 10 minutes. Then, Macho Man's last WWF feud continues, as Crush, who is now a heel, comes out to distract Macho Man. Savage is pinned by IRS, and Savage chases Crush into the back. We will get into that feud more in upcoming reviews. The action is pretty good as Razor, the new Intercontinental Champion, is the centerpiece here, even though he is counted out. Kid and Jannetty clean up the mess in the end to pick up the win. Grade: 3
Justin: Pretty solid match, and it ends up being the second best on the show. It has some fast paced action and some pretty good intertwining storylines, mainly involving Razor Ramon, who was feuding with Diesel (via Shawn Michaels), Rick Martel (who he beat in the finals of the I-C Battle Royal) and IRS (over the whole Money, Inc.-1-2-3 Kid storyline). This match is also good because it continues feuds that would last for the next few months. I remember being surprised at the time that the Kid and Jannetty won the match (it kind of had that Survivor Series 1987 feel when the Killer Bees and Young Stallions survived all of the great teams), but they were being groomed for a quick run at glory in the new year. We also see the PPV debut of Adam Bomb. Bomb debuted over the summer, with the great Johnny Polo in his corner, but hadn’t made a PPV appearance. Over the fall, Polo started managing the Quebecers, so he sold Adam Bomb to Harvey Wippleman. For the past couple of months, Diesel has kind of been a ship without a rudder, as Shawn Michaels was suspended. He has a quick showing here and his head would be squarely on the chop-ping block before fate (and some feisty Rhode Islanders) intervened on his behalf at our next PPV. Rick Mar-tel had been MIA for a few months, but made his return in September facing off against Tatanka on Raw. He would get a solid push and last a little bit into 1994. IRS is continuing his singles push and his feud with Ramon would be kicked into high gear shortly after this event. Anyway, a good opener that is pretty much the highlight (wrestling wise) of the show. Grade: 3
2) Keith Hart, Bruce Hart, Owen Hart & Bret Hart defeat Shawn Michaels, Black Knight, Blue Knight & Red Knight
Owen Hart pins the Black Knight (Jeff Gaylord) with a dropkick off the top rope at 10:46
Bret Hart makes the Red Knight (Barry Horowitz) with the Sharpshooter at 18:03
Owen Hart makes the Blue Knight (John Wisniski, Jr.) submit with the Sharpshooter at 23:43
Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) pins Owen Hart at 27:11 with a roll-up
Shawn Michaels in counted-out at 30:52
Fun Fact: This match was supposed to be a continuation of the Lawler-Hart Family feud that began at KOTR ’93, however, Lawler was accused of rape by a young girl, thus Vince pulled him from the show and the WWF until he could sort out the mess. Now, Vince is left hanging with one of his biggest matches on the card. So, let us backtrack a little bit. In early-September, Vince and Shawn Michaels had a falling out (Shawn mentions in his book that he failed a drug test, but he disputed it and took the suspension instead of arguing it), so Vince stripped HBK of the I-C Title and took him off of TV for 3 months. During that time, Razor Ramon won the I-C Belt in a Battle Royal on Raw (in Scott’s hometown arena, the New Haven Coliseum). When Vince found Lawler was in trouble and wouldn’t be wrestling, he brought back Michaels to try and salvage the match as well as having somewhat of a back story. It is funny seeing Michaels with the Knights, because it really makes no sense unless you know the whole story. Also, when Michaels returned, he brought HIS I-C Belt with him, thus igniting a feud between him and Ramon over who was the “Real Intercontinental Champion.” Lawler was acquitted of all allegations when the girl admitted she had lied and he was brought back to the WWF in time for Wrestlemania X.
Scott: This was only good for the feud to follow, but from a match quality aspect, it was a com-plete clusterfuck. First, Shawn Michaels replaces Jerry Lawler, who left temporarily to handle a rape allega-tion. So Shawn and the "Knights" made absolutely no sense. The pre-match interview was so bad; Shawn just didn’t know what to say because he hadn’t had any contact with Bret since their match one year earlier at Survivor Series 1992. They tried to use that as a plot point, but it was still really stupid. Secondly, it was pretty much 4 on 2, because Bruce and Keith Hart are two of the ugliest retard kids I've ever seen in my life. Neither can wrestle, at all. Maybe Bruce used to be able to in Stampede in the late 70s/early 80s, but he was way past his prime here. Did Keith ever have a prime? How those two survived in the Dungeon, I just don’t know. So, Bret and Owen do most of the work. After being out of action for a couple of months, after a few good matches in a row, Shawn Michaels was not on his game, looking winded and out of sorts. The key to this match is the end. At one point, Bret gets poked in the eye, which he proceeds to way oversell. He's standing on the apron, however, and Owen gets whipped into him and pinned. Owen's not happy. Owen is the only guy on the team to be pinned, and after the match, he gets upset and pushes Bret, saying he lives in his shadow and it’s always all about him. This leads to one of the best storylines in WWF history, and actually salvages the end of 1993, and makes for an entertaining 8 months of 1994. Grade: 1
Justin: A very bad match that told a very good story, and I imagine the story would have been even better if Lawler had been in the match instead of Michaels (who, as Scott said, looks very winded and out of ring shape). Ray Combs does commentary (because the match had been dubbed a “Family Feud” match) and is actually pretty funny in doing so, but then I was always a Ray Combs mark (RIP). Anyway, Scott detailed what happened with Owen and Bret, so you all know why this match has some redeeming qualities. It was about time Vince finally pushed Owen, and the move paid off in spades. This wouldn’t be the last time Bruce and the other Harts would be involved in this storyline. Michaels would work the rust off and get back into great shape, so this is more of an aberration than anything substantial. Just for trivia purposes the Knights were perennial jobber Barry Horowitz, WWE Hall of Famer Greg Valentine and USWA main-stay Jeff Gaylord. Grade: 1
***Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon take over for Vince and Bobby for this one match.***
3) The Heavenly Bodies defeat the Rock 'n' Roll Express to win the SMW Tag Team Titles when Tom Pritchard pins Robert Gibson after Jimmy Del Ray (James Backlund) hits Gibson with the racket at 13:41
Scott: A non-sanctioned match put on the card to promote Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain promotion, which was sort of a "minor league" for WWF. The Boston crowd was kind of dead for this match, not because the match was bad, it really was OK, but because Boston fans know NOTHING about Smoky Mountain wrestling, so to them it was almost like a dark match. Match was solid, as the Rock and Roll Ex-press were one of most technically sound teams of all time. I always wondered whether fans realized where The Rockers stole their gimmick from. In any case, good Southern cheating leads to the title change. This match also was good because Jimmy Del Ray hits a moonsault, revolutionary for 1993. Grade: 3
Justin: A really good, Southern-style match that doesn’t really get over with the Boston crowd for two reasons: 1) they were not familiar with the style and 2) they were not familiar with the teams. It is too bad, really, because the four guys put on a solid 14 minutes of action and provide a nice break from the heavy storylines and slow wrestling. The match was part of Vince’s cross promotion with Jim Cornette’s Smokey Mountain Wrestling and looking back, it would have been cool if they had more crossover matches. This was a good, but forgotten classic match buried in the middle of the show. Grade: 3.5
4) Luke, Butch, Mabel & Mo defeats Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, Fatu & Samu
Luke (Brian Wickens) pines Samu (Samu Anoia) at 3:04
Mabel (Nelson Frazier) pins Bastion Booger (Mike Shaw) at 6:00
Butch (Robert Miller) pins Fatu (Solofa Fatu) at 8:31
Butch, Luke, Mabel and Mo (Bobby Horne) pin Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Charles Bigelow) in 10:57
Fun Fact: Doink turned face on Raw in September when he tossed his bucket of water on an unsuspecting Bobby Heenan. Shortly after the turn, he ambushed Bigelow with a pie to the face on an episode of Superstars, so a Survivor Match was made. Bigelow assembled his team and Doink said his team would be made up of 3 other Doinks. So, the official match was Doink, Doink, Doink and Doink vs. Bigelow, Bastion Booger and the Headshrinkers. At the show, everyone learned that the Doinks were being played by the Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission. After the show, Jack Tunney decreed that there would be no more double, triple or quadruple Doinks, so Doink was very upset, until Christmas that is, when Doink was given Dink (a midget clown) as a present from Santa Claus. Thanks a fucking lot Santa. The Doink-Bigelow feud would burn on into the New Year.
Scott: Not much to say here, except MOM dresses like Doinks, for what reason I don't really know. Another match with the Bushwhackers, although I'm not as annoyed with them as I used to be. As they definitely are not as annoying as Jim Duggan always was. Bigelow was a pretty loyal guy during his mid-90's time in the WWF, and if it wasn't for the Clique, he could have been good enough to become World Cham-pion. That’s for future reviews. Right now he’s really over as a heel, but takes the loss here. I never under-stood MOM. Rappers? Fat rappers? Oh well. As for Doink? Matt Borne is now a crazed, white make-upped comrade of Shane Douglas in ECW. DAMN!!! Ray Liachelli, the new babyface Doink? Ugh… Grade: 2
Justin: Just a comedy match here to get the crowd ready for the main event, and I will take the MOM and Bushwhackers over 6 midgets (like we will see in about 12 months time) any day. It is just sad to see Bigelow and the Headshrinkers tear the house down at Summerslam but get stuck with this garbage at this show. Also, the REAL Doink is as good as dead, as Ray Apollo (Ray Liachelli) takes over the duties from Matt Borne, and the character is pretty much castrated and turned into a pure comedy act. Ah, well, what can you do? The four Doinks pile on Bigelow to polish off the heel in short order and send the kids into a massive celebration throughout Beantown. Grade: 2.5
5) Undertaker, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner & Lex Luger defeat Ludvig Borga, Jacques Rougeau, Crush & Yokozuna
Ludvig Borga (Tony Halme) pins Rick Steiner (Robert Rechsteiner) with a powerslam at 5:02
Crush (Brian Adams) is counted out of the ring at 11:52
Lex Luger (Lawrence Pfohl) pins Jacques (Jacques Rougeau) with an elbowdrop in 14:01
Yokozuna (Rodney Anoia) pins Scott Steiner (Scott Rechsteiner) with a Legdrop in 16:52
Yokozuna and the Undertaker (Mark Calloway) are counted out at 23:02
Lex Luger pins Ludvig Borga in 27:54 with a flying forearm
Fun Fact: There were actually two replacements in this match, as the Undertaker is subbing for Tatanka and Crush is filling in for Pierre. Tatanka was taken out of the match due to injury (storyline wise) after he was destroyed by Ludvig and Yokozuna on the 10/30 Superstars (taped 9/28) after Borga ended Tatanka’s win streak at 19 months. As the match wound down, the ref was knocked out and Borga took the chance to smash Tatanka with a steel chair to end his long running streak. After the match, Yoko came into the ring and proceeded to Banzai Drop Tatanka right out of the PPV. Luger evened the odds by knocking Pierre out cold with his metallic forearm on Raw a couple of weeks before the show. So, due to his ties with Mr. Fuji, Crush was added to the heel team, and Taker joined forces with the faces by opening his black robe to reveal an American flag. So, the feuds heading in were Luger-Yoko, Luger-Borga (due to Luger saving Tatanka on Superstars), Steiners-Quebecers (the Quebecers beat the Steiners for the tag titles on Raw in October) and the feuds coming out were Undertaker-Yokozuna and Crush-Savage. The story was there, but the match failed to deliver.
Fun Fact II: On the September 13 Raw, the Quebecers faced off against the Steiners in a “Province de Quebec Rules” match. One of the rules was that the titles could change hands on a DQ. Halfway through the match, Johnny Polo wandered to ringside (he had not yet been revealed as the Quebecers man-ager). As the match was coming to a peak, Polo jumped on the apron and dropped his polo club in the ring. Scott Steiner grabbed it and drilled Pierre in the gut, causing a DQ and a HUGE upset and title change.
Scott: The heat for this match was crazy as the crowd is awash in red, white and blue. Yoko was the champ, so his heat is ready-made. Ludvig Borga took out Tatanka and broke his unbeaten streak, so they added Taker to the mix. Luger, although still looking stupid after his empty win at Summerslam, is still really over with the crowd, and after getting pounded for a good portion of the match, makes a big comeback and pins Borga for the win. The action was average, but a lot comes from this match. The Steiners are already fading and they don’t last very long into 1994. Crush is there as a protégé of Mr. Fuji, but also to continue his feud with Randy Savage, who comes out a couple of times during the match and eventually causes Crush to be counted-out. Luger gets the pin at the end and stays the second most over face (next to Bret). The feud that starts after this match is Yoko/Taker, as Vince rewards the Deadman for tolerating that unwatchable Giant Gonzales garbage with a title feud. We’ll see where that goes in our next review. This was a decent main event that served its purpose on many levels. Grade: 2.5
Justin: A decent match that is remembered more for the resulting Yoko-Taker feud than the match itself. Vince was trying as hard as he could to get the fans to rally behind the “All-Americans” by having them face the evil “Foreign Fanatics.” Vince never quite learned when and when not to use Patriotism and Foreign heels, as he often tried to hard to shove the sentiments into the fans’ faces and it never really clicked. The match is nothing to write home about and is about as basic as a Survivor-style match can be. Just a simple face/heel dynamic and match psychology that ends with the big face going over clean. Borga looks pretty good and seemed to be on his was to a major push, but things would go haywire early on in 94. Jacques also looks pretty good as he represents the Tag Team champs, and it is always great seeing the very under-rated Johnny Polo wandering ringside. Anyway, nothing special here except for the building of the Royal Rumble main event and the finish to the Borga-Luger mini-feud. To top off the great action, Luger celebrates with Santa Claus to close the show. Grade: 2
Scott: Not an absolutely awful show, but nothing earth-shattering. The first match and the Smoky Mountain match were pretty good. The Harts/Shawn match was poor storyline-wise (since it was last minute, it gets a pass), but definitely not good from a wrestling perspective. Bret/Owen becomes the signature feud for 1994. The last two matches were really not that good, but they were useful in ending and beginning storylines. 1993 is finally over, a disaster in many ways, but definitely a wake-up call for the higher-ups that it's time to move on to the future and get out of the past. Hulk Hogan is gone, as are many of his cronies, and 1994 would be a positive chapter in the history of the World Wrestling Federation. Final Grade: C
Justin: A pretty pedestrian show that is just sort of there, as is the norm for most Survivor Se-ries shows that featured the elimination style matches. If anything, the show helped build some solid feuds for the next year and featured two solid matches. Thankfully, 1993 was coming to a close. 1993 was a year that saw the WWF start to descend very quickly into the abyss that they would reach in 1995, before finally bot-toming out and rebuilding in 1996. It was a weird year, filled with controversy and changes, but was a year that was necessary in the eventual growth and resurgence of the WWF. 1994 was on the way, and with that came hope that Vince would finally wake up and put the company in the hands of young, new, fresh talent. Anyway, an OK show that has no resounding historical significance. Final Grade: C
MVP: Bobby Heenan (honorary because it is his last PPV)
Runner-Up: Heavenly Bodies/Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
Non-MVP: Family Feud Match
Runner-Up: Mr. Perfect