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WWF Wrestling Challenge - June 13, 1993

by Scrooge McSuck

- Anyone tired of these random reviews yet? I'm assuming you're saying yes, so I'll just respond with it doesn't matter, because it's my call, and I can do as many of them as I want to, so hah! We're setting the WAYBAC Machine to the day of the inaugural King of the Ring PPV, but with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let us head to ringside and let everything unfold itself.

- According to the graphic, we're taped from Sydney, Nova Scotia's Centre 200. Bobby Heenan and Jim Ross are calling all the action. I forgot that Ross took over for Gorilla Monsoon sometime after Wrestlemania, officially bringing an end to a broadcast team era. I don't think Monsoon and Heenan would call another show together, which is a little sad to think about. We're going to see the Smoking Gunns take on Money Inc. in a Non-Title Match, as well as Mr. Hughes, Tatanka, and the Narcissist will be in action.

Tatanka vs. Reno Riggins:

Tatanka is scheduled to meet the Narcissist, Lex Luger, in the opening round of the Tournament. Interesting, considering both men are undefeated in singles competition. Talk about booking yourself into a corner. Riggins tries to jump Tatanka, but fails and gets pounded on. Irish whip, and Tatanka with a back body drop. Riggins heads out of the ring, but Tatanka follows. They head back in, but Tatanka sling shots Riggins back to the floor and comes off the apron with a chop to the head. Whip to the corner, followed by an atomic drop. Tatanka with an inset promo, and he's looking forward to meeting Bam Bam Bigelow in the Semi-Finals, after he gets through Luger. Irish whip, and Tatanka with a powerslam. Tatanka with more nasty chops, followed by a scoop slam. Riggins rakes the eyes and the back of Tatanka, utilizing the Hulk Hogan Offense Plan™. Tatanka gets rammed to the buckle, but it's War Dance time! Tatanka comes off the ropes with chops. Tatanka scoops Riggins up and plants him with the Papoose To Go for the three count at 3:26. Pretty lively for a squash match, and that's all you can ever hope for sometimes.

- Special Report, brought to us by Lord Alfred Hayes, courtesy of the WWF Merchandise Catalog, featuring WWF Jackets. Last sunday in Albany, NY, Shawn Michaels, along with a new, unnamed bodyguard, regained the Intercontinental Championship from Marty Jannetty. We get a couple of photos to gloss over it. Shawn Michaels will defend his newly won title against Crush at the King of the Ring. Lord Alfred Hayes plays it up as a heel supporter in this special report. We get comments from both men regarding the upcoming title bout.

Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. Scott Despres:

Our old pal Dangerous Danny Davis is the referee here, always nice to see him. Hughes is scheduled to face Mr. Perfect in the first round of the King of the Ring Tournament. Hughes quickly pounds away on his opponent and slams him across the ring. Irish whip to the corner, with authority. Inset promo from Mr. Perfect, who guarantees victory. Hughes catches Despres off the ropes with a back breaker, then drops a knee. Hughes cranks the ears of his opponent, then connects with a big boot. Jim Ross runs down Mr. Hughes college football credentials, as Hughes plants Despres with as high impact sidewalk slam for the three count at 2:14. The good thing about terrible workers is that their squashes were usually entertaining because they only had to do their 2 or 3 good moves.

- Mean Gene Okerlund is standing by for Face-To-Face. The WWF is coming back to the Nassau Coliseum on June 27th. Sensational Sherri squares off against Luna Vachon, Crush takes on Doink (the Clown), and Money Inc. defends their Tag Team Titles against the Steiner Brothers. We get a promo from the Steiners. Also, Bob Backlund goes one-on-one with Mr. Hughes. Talk about a complete styles clash. We get a promo from Harvey Wippleman, with Hughes standing by, looking menacing.

- Bonnie Blackstone is standing by with a special podium interview with the former WWF Champion, Bret "Hitman" Hart. He's scheduled to face Razor Ramon in the first round of the tournament. Hart makes a point to rub it in Ramon's face that he (Razor) was pinned by some unknown Kid, the 1-2-3 Kid that is, and gets the crowd to chant along "1-2-3" with him to further fuel the fire.

- King Of The Ring Report, brought to us by Mean Gene Okerlund. The King of the Ring is coming to us, "this weekend", from the Nutter Center in Dayton, OH. The card looks as followed...

    Opening Round Tournament Matches...
  • Bret "Hitman" Hart (Bye) vs. Razor Ramon (d. Tito Santana)
  • Mr. Perfect (d. Doink) vs. Mr. Hughes (d. Kamala)
  • "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (d. Papa Shango) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (d. Typhoon)
  • Tatanka (d. Giant Gonzales) vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger (d. Bob Backlund)
    In Non-Tournament Action...
  • WWF Champion Hulk Hogan defends the title against Yokozuna (Hulk Hogan cuts the last promo we're going to see of him on the WWF syndicated shows, and he keeps saying things turn him on)
  • Shawn Michaels defends his newly won Intercontinental Title against Kona Crush
  • In 8-Man Tag Team Action, it's the Steiner Brothers and Smoking Gunns taking on Tag Champs Money Inc. and the Head Shrinkers.

"The Narcissist" Lex Luger vs. Mike Davis:

As mentioned earlier, Luger is scheduled to meet Tatanka in a Battle of the Undefeated. Thanks to unfinished booking, Luger seems like a good choice to make it to the finals, thanks to a program with Bret Hart was somehow got aborted after Wrestlemania IX. Hulk Hogan being shown the door jumbled things up even more. Luger's mirror seems unimpressive compared to some larger ones he's had in the ring. Lockup into the corner, and Luger gives a surprisingly clean break. Luger with a headlock, then turns it into a hammerlock. Luger gives another clean break in the corner. Inset promo from the Narcissist, who pretty much gurantees victory. Luger with a suplex, and he comes off the ropes with the loaded forearm of doom. Luger puts a knee on the chest and poses as the three count is made at 2:23. Lex Luger should never have been turned face. He was just too believable as an arrogant heel to be turned into a stupid flag waving, baby-kissing good guy out to fight the evils of foreigners.

The Smoking Gunns vs. Money Inc.:

(Billy & Bart Gunn vs. Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
Seems odd to include this as the feature match when both teams are facing each other later in the same day on a live Pay-Per-View. The Gunns had only debuted about a month earlier, so people were only making fun of Billy Gunn for being a gay cowboy rather than, well, everything else. It's amazing how much heat I.R.S. can get by just calling people tax cheats. The Gunns were actually using prop guns at this point. I guess someone got offended by this, forcing them to just finger-bang the air. Inset promo from the Head Shrinkers and Afa as the match gets underway. Dibiase and Billy Gunn start with a lockup into the corner. Dibiase with a knee to the midsection, followed by chops. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Billy takes Dibiase over with a back drop. The Gunns with clotheslines and dropkicks to clear the ring of the Tag Champions. Commercial Break time, and we come back with I.R.S. tagging in against Billy Gunn. Lockup, and I.R.S. works a wristlock. Billy counters and takes I.R.S. down. Bart tags in and works the arm, as well. I.R.S. with a knee to the midsection. Whip to the corner is reversed, and I.R.S. tries sliding out of the ring, but Bart steps on the tie to keep him in the ring. Irish whip, and Bart with a hip toss on I.R.S., followed by a dropkick to Dibiase. Billy comes in and dropkicks I.R.S. out of the ring, and once again, the Gunns are standing proud in the middle of the ring. Now we get an inset promo from the Steiner Brothers. Two promos in one match? My God, the WWF was breaking new ground, even in 1993. Back to the action, Bart slaps a headlock on Irwin. Irish whip, and I.R.S. dumps Bart out of the ring, then taunts Billy, allowing Dibiase to work Bart over outside the ring. Back in the ring, and Dibiase connects with a clothesline, then chokes away. I.R.S. tags back in and pounds away, then plants Bart with a slam. I.R.S. heads to the top rope, but comes off to introduce himself to the boot of Bart Gunn. Both teams make tags, and Billy hammers away on Dibiase. Whip to the corner followed by a back drop. Billy with a clothesline and elbow drop on Dibiase for a two count. Bart comes in to brawl with I.R.S., then sends him out of the ring with an atomic drop. Irish whip, and Billy gets tripped up from outside. Dibiase with a knee to the back, and a roll up for the three count at 7:01. Hey, didn't Ted Dibiase defeat Jim Duggan the same way at Wrestlemania IV? ** Perfectly acceptable tag team wrestling. Not too long, not too boring. Just right.

- We're going Face-To-Face once again, brought to us by Mean Gene Okerlund. Remember, the WWF returns to the Nassau Coliseum in two weeks. Call TicketMaster now for tickets to this great WWF Live Event. Bob Backlund meets Mr. Hughes, The Steiner Brothers challenge for the WWF Tag Team Titles, and in a Lumberjack Match, Yokozuna, along with Mr. Fuji, is going to take on his arch nemesis, diabetes, taking the physical form of some goober named Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan cuts a promo and doesn't even say he's going to win. Talk about confidence. Also, it's a return match from the Meadowlands, between Crush and Doink, who are both invited via split-screen. I'm sure everyone's looking forward to that one.

- Promotional consideration paid for by the following... WWF Figures (Hulk Hogan! Virgil! I.R.S! Macho Man!). G.I. Joe: Real American Hero! WWF Royal Rumble available on the Super NES, featuring Mr. Perfect!

Rather than hype up next weeks episode of Challenge, Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan invite us to join them, along with "Macho Man" Randy Savage, for the King of the Ring PPV. Who's going to win? Who's going to lose? Who's going to be the Champ-ee-on?

Final Thoughts: Not a terrible waste of 45-minutes (exclusing commercial breaks, of course). The feature match was somewhat enjoyable, there was a clear attempt at hyping the King of the Ring PPV, and Lord Alfred Hayes acting like a douche-bag is always a treat. I've always been a sucker for the Event Center/Face-to-Face promos too, because the hyping of the local live events made everything seem important, and gave lesser feuds a chance to develope through constant promos broadcasted over the course of a month or two, depending on the frequency of the trips to your area.

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