Retro Review: WWE King of the Ring 1994

Owen Hart King Of The Ring

Welcome to the New Generation. We constantly get told that throughout the show.

Hulk Hogan has left for WCW and Vince and Co. is in a panic. Not only because of that, but Vince McMahon is ready to face the United States government in his steroid trial. So this is a pretty crazy time behind the scenes in the WWF.

On screen? Lex Luger never lived up to the hype and Bret Hart is now once again WWF Champion. And his brother Owen is sick of being in his shadow. Roddy Piper is also back as well, and Diesel is ready to fight for the WWF title for the first time.

We get a special coliseum video look of all the heels advancing themselves on the bracket board and arguing over who will win.

The matchups are as follows:

  • I.R.S. vs Mabel
  • Razor Ramon vs Bam Bam Bigelow
  • Jeff Jarrett vs The 1-2-3 Kid
  • Owen Hart vs Tatanka

Some guy named Ricky Medlocke sings the national anthem and he is just awful. Speaking of awful, our commentary team is Gorilla Monsoon, Randy Savage and Art Donovan. Vince McMahon had recent neck surgery so he was not at the show. Get ready for some unintentional hilarity with these three.

Bam Bam Bigelow w/Luna Vachon vs Razor Ramon

Bam Bam of course made it to the Finals last year and lost to Bret Hart. Bam Bam uses his strength to knock Razor down to start but then misses the headbutt of the top. Razor posts Bam Bam and Art Donovan lets out an OW THAT HURT. Luna is yelling at ringside and Art asks why she is screaming as Gorilla says it’s because she wants her man to win.

Bam Bam is able to toss Razor to the outside and regain control. He applies a torture rack but it looks awful. At least Lex Luger would shake the guy over his shoulders. It is so bad that Art asks IF RAZOR IS DEAD. Bam Bam lets it go for some reason then Razor back drops him. Both guys are down and Art asks what happens now. This is worse than I remember.

Razor starts his comeback and bodyslams Bam Bam. Razor goes for his back drop off the top but Bam Bam knocks him off. Bam Bam goes to the top for the moonsault but Razor gets up and pushes him off the top and gets the pin. Art Donovan lets out a WOAH WOAH after the win so I guess we know where Renee Young got that from.

IRS and Mabel are backstage for some prematch promos. IRS stumbles over his words in the annual tradition of Mike Rotunda being awful at these.

I.R.S. vs Mabel w/Oscar

Irwin is running down the crowd walking to the ring. Art asks if he is one of the wrestlers and says he looks like a businessman. Irwin asks some young kid if he has a social security number. I didn’t know what that was at this kid’s age. Oscar is rapping coming to the ring. Men on a Mission was not great in the ring but hey they were over. Art asks if Mabel is going to wrestler with all those clothes on then asks his name.

Mabel moves out of the way of an Irwin charge and hits a suplex. Gorilla says “OOPS THERE IT IS” which is not what the M.O.M. saying is. Art asks who the guy in the white suit is. Art thought it was the guy to take Irwin to the hospital. Mabel goes over the top to buy Irwin some time. Irwin then hits a clothesline on Mabel. Mabel goes for an awkward small package and Irwin barely kicks out. That was rough.

Irwin locks in a sleeper but Mabel backs him into the corner. Mabel, already gassed, tries to start a comeback. Mabel goes to the second rope but Irwin shakes the ropes. Mabel falls off and Irwin grabs the ropes for leverage and pins Mabel for the win. A fan holds up an I.R.S sign. I can only assume that is a family member because no one would willingly have one of those. Maybe not even a member of his own family. Must have been paid.

Tatanka vs Owen Hart

Tatanka attacks Owen as Owen gets into the ring. What a heel. Maybe the Million Dollar Man already bought him off at this point. Owen tosses Tatanka to the outside but he lands on his feet. Owen meets him there and throws Tatanka into the post which just amazes Art.

Owen slows things down in the ring as Art can’t believe they are killing each other. Owen keeps the headlock in long enough for Tatanka to catch his breath and start a comeback to get out of it. Tatanka hits a DDT for two. If you notice, Tatanka doesn’t have that red streak in his hair here. He stopped doing it because it was causing rapid hair loss.

Tatanka hits his axe handle off the top then a running powerslam for two. He goes for a sunset flip but Owen sits down and hooks the legs to get the win.

Diesel and Shawn Michaels are interviewed. Bret has been promising a family member to be in his corner. Shawn isn’t worried. Diesel then says he has two words for Bret: Jack Knife, then proceeds to continue to talk.

Double J vs 1-2-3 Kid

Gorilla and Macho have started to ignore Art. He asks who the 1-2-3 Kid is coming out. Art thinks he looks like a boxer for some reason. Art brings up Double J’s tan and asks if he’s been on the islands. Lots of quick action here. A nice roll up attempt by the Kid. Art thinks the Kid won’t win the tournament and will get murdered.

Kid hits a spinning heel kick and goes for a spinning leg drop off the top but misses it. Jarrett misses a charge into the ropes. He crotches Kid on the top but Kid recovers and hits a crossbody for two. Jarrett tosses Kid into the corner and Jarrett starts to work over the legs of the Kid, but Kid rolls up Jarrett to get the pin for the win. Nice little short match.

Jarrett attacks Kid after the match. He hits a DDT and Piledriver on the Kid and just lays in a beat down until the referees break it up.

WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) w/Jim Neidhart vs Diesel w/Shawn Michaels

A WWF title match mid show? That is normally bad news for the face Champ. Just look at Hulk Hogan last year and Hulk Hogan again at Survivor Series 1991. Neidhart is the surprise family member for Bret.

The match starts with Diesel powering Bret into the corner and laying in some knees. Bret counters by trying to chop down Diesel and go after his legs. Diesel misses a charge in the corner and Bret goes back to work on the legs of Diesel. Bret goes for a Figure Four but Diesel fights out of it. That doesn’t stop Bret from continuing his work on the legs of Diesel.

Bret posts Diesel and continues his work on the legs until Shawn Michaels comes over and knocks him down. Neidhart chases after Michaels quite hilariously around the ring. Bret jumps off the top. Diesel is suppose to catch him and does but Bret’s jump is all off and they fall to the mat. Diesel recovers and locks in a bear hug. Bret breaks it up as Diesel bails to the outside. Bret goes for a senton over the top but Diesel moves and Bret lands on his back.

Now Diesel switches it up as he works over the back of Bret. Michaels is able to land some cheap shots on Bret as he is in the ropes and Diesel distracts the ref. Art says Diesel probably eats like two guys instead of one. Well, he probably drinks enough Pino for two guys.

Diesel applies a backbreaker. At least Art knows enough not to ask if he is dead this time. Bret applies a sleeper but Diesel breaks it up, then tosses Bret into the ref. Shawn distracts the ref and this allows Diesel to take the turnbuckle pad off. Diesel goes to throw Bret into it but Bret blocks it and puts Diesel into it.

Bret lands some of his trademark offense then knocks Michaels off the apron. Bret gets two on a rollup and small package. Bret goes to throw Diesel into the corner and Diesel just stops running. That was awkward. There were reports Diesel had a torn groin going into the match so maybe that played into it. Diesel grabs Bret and throws him into the ropes and hits a big boot. Bret escapes Diesel and applies a Sharpshooter but Diesel quickly gets to the ropes.

Diesel gets sent to the outside. Neidhart creeps up on Diesel, then turns his back allowing Diesel to nail him. Meanwhile, Michaels sneaks in and hits Bret with the IC title. Diesel goes for the pin but only gets two. Neidhart finally gets up and nails Michaels, then comes into the ring and clotheslines Diesel to cause a DQ. Neidhart is pissed and leaves ringside. Diesel and HBK lay into Bret after the match, which was really good. Diesel and Bret had great chemistry in the ring. And the awkward finish even plays into what happens later in the night. Just good story telling all around.

King of the Ring Semifinals: Razor Ramon vs I.R.S.

Art asks if this is his guy. Yes Art, yes it is. We get some more D Level promo work from Irwin on his way to the ring. They brawl on the outside to start. They get back in the ring only for Irwin to charge at Razor and Razor ducks, sending him to the outside. Razor then throws Irwin into the steps.

Razor whips Irwin around the ring with his tie and Gorilla wonders why no one has done that before. Pretty sure they have. Did you ever wonder if Irwin had a deal with like JCPenny’s on bulk white shirts? Anyways, Razor kicks a ducking Irwin then hits the Razor’s Edge for the win.

King of the Ring Semifinals: Owen Hart vs 1-2-3 Kid

Art has to ask again if Razor is on his way to the Finals. Did he not just watch the last match? Art asks how much Owen weighs for some reason. Apparently he isn’t listening to the ring announcer. The announcers wonder if the Kid will come to the ring as he slowly finally makes his way down.

Owen catches him with a HARD sliding dropkick coming into the ring and then another. Kid tries to end it early in the ring with some quick near falls then a reverse crossbody off the top for two. Owen is able to connect with an enziguri kick. Kid bridges Owen for a pin but Owen gets his foot on the ropes.

Kid hits a senton over the top. He goes for a spinning kick but Owen catches him and hits a German suplex. More near falls as these guys are going full speed. Kid goes for a hurricarrana but Owen stops it and powerbombs him. Owen then applies a Sharpshooter and gets the win as Art asks what kind of a hold is that. Those guys went all out for the few minutes they were given.

WWF Tag Team Championship: The Headshrinkers (c) w/Afa and Cpt. Lou Albano vs Yokozuna and Crush w/Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette

Guess what? Art is amazed at how much Yokozuna weighs. He is also wondering how a tag team match works. Though to be fair this match has managers, advisors and American representatives. Yoko and Crush try what you shouldn’t do against Samoans: knock their heads together. They send Yoko stumbling to the outside.

Crush seems way out of place in this match. Randy Savage says Headshrinker-Mania is running wild across the country and I would really like to know his sources on that. Mr. Fuji hits Fatu in the back with the flag and then Crush knocks him down with a clothesline. It only lasts for a bit though as Yoko charges at Fatu in the corner but Fatu moves and tags in Samu.

All four men are in the ring as Yoko gets kicked out of the ring. Fatu throws Yoko into the post and Samu was on top when it happened as he gets posted. Crush hits a superplex and Yoko hits a leg drop with the ref distracted. Out comes Lex Luger who distracts Crush. Samu rolls Crush up for two. Art asks who Lex Luger is, and while he does, Samu kicks Crush and Yoko can’t get inside the ring in time as the Headshrinkers retain.

King of the Ring Finals: Razor Ramon vs Owen Hart

Art continues to be obsessed with weight as he says Razor outweighs Owen by 30 pounds. Can someone please give this guy a rundown of everyone and their weight. Art, who picked Razor to win, now thinks he is going to lose. Then follows it up with a “C’Mon Razor!”

Okay now lets get to the action. A couple quick near falls from both men and Owen gets catapulted into the corner. Owen goes to the classic heel spot of the abdominal stretch and holding the ropes. Razor escapes and hits that chokeslam like drop he would do more in WCW later for two. I really like how he does that move.

Razor hits the back suplex and goes for the Razor’s Edge but Owen tosses him over the top. Razor sells his knee on the outside as Jim Neidhart comes out. Neidhart helps him out then clotheslines Razor. Owen hits an elbow drop off the top and gets the pin for the win.

Bret is pissed backstage and Randy Savage then brings up that the only reason Neidhart was in Bret’s corner was likely to keep the title on Bret so Owen could take it. He had to be fed that because no way would Savage figure that out on his own.

Owen doesn’t want Jack Tunney to give him his crown and instead wants Neidhart to do it. He makes Todd Pettengill get down on one knee. I kind of want that scepter with the WWF logo on it. Looks cool. Owen demands going forward that he be known as the King of Hearts. Owen in that ridiculous attire was perfect and a great way to elevate Owen even more to get him ready for his match at SummerSlam with Bret.

Roddy Piper vs Jerry Lawler

We get a video package of the buildup for this and it was just awful. They have been hyping the New Generation all show and two guys who were famous in the 80s are main eventing this show. Art asks if Lawler was the king before. Lawler runs down the crowd and the fact that Piper is going to give some of his winnings to sick kids in Canada. Art says he should have been a preacher. Piper gets a bagpipe procession coming to the ring. Piper also comes out with the kid Lawler had making fun of him on RAW, so they were apparently in cahoots.

Piper throws his kilt at Lawler and lands some shots. Lawler tries running but Piper brings him back, and the kid pokes Lawler in the eye. Monsoon and Savage have completely tuned out Art at his point. For a New Generation this match is straight out of a house show from the 80s.

Piper hits an atomic drop sending Lawler to the outside then throws him into the railing. Lawler keeps going back to the outside after this kid. He gets him into the ring as Piper covers him up and Lawler lands some boots. Lawler has slowed things down as he applies a sleeper.

Lawler hits a piledriver but only gets two as Piper starts his comeback. Lawler throws Piper into the ref. Lawler hits Piper with something from his trunks. Lawler puts his feet on the ropes for the pin but that kid knocks him off. Piper then hits a back suplex for the win and oh my gosh thankfully that ended.

A dud ending to a meh show. Owen Hart brought it in all three of his matches. Bret vs Diesel was very good but otherwise everything else was forgettable.