Welcome once again to Coliseum Corner! Just before WrestleMania, we explored “WrestleMania’s Forgotten Matches”. Now, in this latest edition, we move to another legendary PPV and look at King of the Ring’s Forgotten Matches.
Coliseum Video released the first five events of the mid-year Pay-Per-View and as always here in the Corner we will re-visit matches pre-1998. So here are the chosen five…
Shawn Michaels vs. Crush – King of the Ring, June 13, 1993
Challenger Crush entered this title match looking focused and ready for action. Both he and HBK started off exchanging wrestling holds, but it wasn’t long before fan favourite Crush reverted to what he did best…power moves.
He hit Shawn with a series of takedowns before executing a spinning backbreaker. Crush used his strength for his Gorilla Press Slam. He sent the Heartbreak Kid to the outside on more than one occasion. The big Hawaiian dominated much of the match but became distracted by Shawn’s new bodyguard, Diesel.
Diesel, managed to distract the challenger while champion Michaels snuck up from behind leaping off the ring apron, driving Crush’s head into the ring post. He took another blow to the head when Diesel slammed his head, once again into the ring post. The champion put the icing on the cake when he repeatedly smashed Crush’s head into the post, knocking him out. However, he still kicked out of a pin. As the big man recovered he began to gain momentum. He once again dominated Shawn but two Doinks showed up smoking cigars!!! The end came when Michaels superkicked Crush to the back of the head, ultimately knocking him down via the turnbuckle, leading the champ to victory.
Razor Ramon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – King of the Ring, June 19, 1994
(1st Round Tournament Match)
In the opening match of the PPV, the tournament was underway with the ‘Beast From the East’ meeting the ’Bad Guy’. As ever, the frightful main squeeze of Bigelow’s, Luna Vachon was at his side. She proved to be a useful tool, in distracting the referee to the advantage of Bam Bam. He dominated the early going of the match using his weight advantage to weaken Ramon. Bigelow pounded Razor, putting him flat to the mat. The Bad Guy showed resilience, clawing his way back into the game. He recovered steadily and hit some heavy right hands followed by his signature tornado punch.
Seeing an opportunity, Razor climbed to the second rope and executed a bulldog. However, it wasn’t enough to put the beast away. Bam Bam was a dominant force with a fierce reputation and brought another beating back on Ramon. Razor had missed a clothesline which sent him to the floor. As Luna occupied the ref, Bam Bam pummelled his opponent. Back in the ring he continued his dominance by using the torture rack. Satisfied with the punishment he had delivered, Bigelow went to the top rope to execute his signature moonsault.
The Bad Guy saw what was to come and rushed to his feet. He ran to the turnbuckle and then sent the ‘Beast from the East’ plummeting to the canvas with a modified powerbomb. Razor Ramon made the cover which led him to victory and to the semi-final of the King of the Ring.
Savio Vega vs. Yokozuna – King of the Ring, June 25, 1995
(1st Round Tournament Match)
It was supposed to be Razor Ramon competing in this tournament, but an injury to the ribs prevented him from wrestling. Instead of automatically qualifying, his friend Savio Vega would have to qualify by getting past I.R.S in the pre-show… and that he did.
The mammoth Yokozuna entered the match as the favourite, as he always did. Savio, a newcomer to the World Wrestling Federation (although he wrestled as Kwang) was somewhat untested. The Puerto Rican sensation took it to Yoko in the early going, managing to get some stiff shots to the sumo warrior’s head. He almost knocked the former WWF champion off his feet but the power and might of Yokozuna brought Vega crashing down. For much of the match, the mighty Yoko applied nerve holds and crushing blows. There were no fancy moves nor technical wrestling involved. At times, Savio showed signs of life and managed to sneak some punches to his opponent’s head, but it just wasn’t enough.
Eventually the Puerto Rican fought his way back and used the same tactics to attempt to knock Yoko off his feet. The blows to the head just didn’t cut it, so he came off the ropes with a spinning heel kick which took the 641 lb. giant down. In the closing moments of the match, the two battled outside of the ring where the mighty giant charged and missed his opponent, inadvertently knocking himself out on the ring post. Savio made it back into the ring and beat the count, advancing to the next round.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler – King of the Ring, June 23, 1996
This rivalry escalated after Lawler had smashed a picture of the Warrior over the Warrior’s head. At the Pay-Per-View, the King entered the arena with mic in hand, insulting the Milwaukie crowd. The Ultimate Warrior soon followed.
Before the bell, Lawler used his sceptre to choke the man in paint. The King was able to capitalise on Warrior’s weakened state and used an illegal choke hold to keep the man down. Jerry managed to get the Ultimate one in his finisher – the piledriver, but the Warrior stood right up after it was executed!
He used his wild adrenaline to absorb every blow the King delivered and made his comeback. He ran the ropes and threw a series of clotheslines. Then, in his final move, the Ultimate Warrior shot his body at Jerry Lawler with his patented shoulder block to secure the victory.
The Undertaker vs. Faarooq – King of the Ring, June 8, 1997
In the main event of the King of the Ring 1997, the WWF Champion had his work cut out with challenger Faarooq.
Being the leader of the Nation of Domination, his henchmen were at ringside. They interfered on his behalf on numerous occasions, which allowed Faarooq to dominate much of the match. The Nation of Domination’s advantage didn’t last as members; Savio Vega and Crush argued outside. Disctracted by this, their leader left the ring to investigate. The Undertaker was given ample time to recover and gain momentum.
Faarooq was punished and beaten by the WWF Champion, before succumbing to the Tombstone Piledriver. After the match had ended, Ahmed Johnson made his way to ringside and verbally abused the ‘Deadman’. Ahmed then hit the champion with his Pearl River Plunge and the PPV ended with Johnson standing over Taker.
That’s just some of KOTR’s forgotten matches. Feel free to leave a comment below with any others that come to your mind, and stay tuned for more Coliseum Corner.
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The pic in the section about Shawn and Crush is actually from their KOTR qualifying match that ended in a double count out.
That could be an interesting article, the best qualifying matches. As I remember some of them were really good and did have storyline/feud significance.
KOTR anthology would have been great…but i had to settle for the Tagged Classics for 93-99.
Surprised 2001 doesn’t get too much love. I thought it was one of the better events, you had Angle wrestling 3 great matches – one being MOTY contender, Jericho/Austin/Benoit, decent X-Pac/Jeff Hardy and Tag title matches and the debut of Booker T.
1996 was also stacked.
Made me want to watch every one of these matches. Thank goodness for YouTube!
WWE needs to seriously bring back the King of the Ring pay-per-view. If the winner of the Royal Rumble gets a title shot at WrestleMania every year, then the King of the Ring winner should get their title shot at SummerSlam, just like in 2002. The tournament could start on Monday Night RAW and SmackDown! and just have the final 3 tournament matches happen at the actual PPV. I forgot what year they did it like that, maybe it was 1997 or something.
A great PPV. Always one of my favorites every year.
They had the semi-finals and finals on PPV from 96 to 98 and 01-02. I liked the concept too, it gave enough times to all matches.
I remember WCW Spring Stampede 2000 had like 3-4 different sets of tournaments for all their titles. 14 matches in 3 hours…it wasn’t pretty.
Not only did it give enough time for the matches, but it also gave the entire roster a chance to enter the tournament. Not just 8 guys like the earlier events had.
I just recently watched Spring Stampede 2000 on Classics On Demand. You’re right… it wasn’t pretty at all actually.
How the hell did you put Bigelow vs. Razor on here over the Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid match? That match is one of the best, if not THE best, under five minute match ever and was easily the best match on KOTR94 outside of the WWF Title match.
its a forgotten match. the match you are referring to has been featured here before on the owen hart tribute. nobody has forgotten that tournament win
This article just makes me sad that WWE didn’t just release the King of the Ring Anthology.
Amen, brother. The KOTR ppvs had some AMAZING cards. Shame they just released a “best of”….wish they would’ve done an In Your House anthology, too. Looks like its gonna be “best ofs..” from here on out
Random King of the Ring Fact:
Before WWF No Way Out 2002, King of the Ring 1993 was the only WWF PPV where all three original members of the nWo (Hall, Nash & Hogan) appeared at the same event, they only appeared altogether at three PPV’s, the third being WrestleMania X-8, but KOTR 93 is the only event they all made an appearance at when the nWo was never in existence.
Some other overlooked favorites:
Owen Hart -vs- 1-2-3 Kid, 1994 – Best three minute match you’ll ever see.
Bret Hart -vs- Diesel, 1994 – A great start that gets overlooked in favor of the other two matches in their loose trilogy (Royal Rumble and Survivor Series in ’95).
Shawn Michaels -vs- Steve Austin, 1997 – Not entirely ignored, but definitely not as much attention paid to it as its WrestleMania XIV counterpart.
I’d throw Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon in there too. That was a nice match. It was the first one that came to mind before I read the article. Probably over shadowed by his match with Mr Perfect and the match where he won against Bam Bam Bigelow.
No love for the Bret/Diesel cage match, February of 96? That wasn’t a trilogy, it had four parts, lol.
I think most King of the Ring PPVs were bad. Some editions were great, but for example1999 was really bad and 2002 also. Nevertheless it was a good concept and far better than those gimmick PPVs nowadays (like Hell in a cell, Elimination chamber, TLC..).
2002?! That was a great show! I was there and got to witness Kurt Angle force Hogan to tap out! One of the best things I’ve ever seen at a live event! Plus we had Flair and Eddie and Brock going all the way to win the last PPV King of the Ring. Not a bad event.
I think you mean 95. That PPV was awful. Why did they give the KOTR to Mabel? And why was Shawn Michaels eliminated in the first round? That’s some screwed up booking.
Great arcticle. I always loved the King of the Ring. It was a great concept and it’s a shame that WWE canceled the PPV years ago.