The show opens up with Gorilla Monsoon introducing tonight's announce team, which also includes Macho Man Randy Savage (recently reinstated as an announcer on Raw after the end of his feud with Crush), and Art Donovan, whom Gorilla calls, "Art O'Donnell." Since this event takes place at the Baltimore Arena (formerly the Baltimore Civic Center, and now the 1st Mariner Arena, site of my college graduation), it makes sense to invite a Baltimore sports legend to commentate, right? Wrong. Even if Art Donovan were a competent color commentator with a basic understanding of pro wrestling, this choice would still make no sense precisely because the event does take place in Baltimore. The only people who could possibly be interested in Art Donovan on commentary are wrestling fans who live in Baltimore. However, many of those people (who might otherwise have bought the event on pay-per-view) are in attendance at the arena itself and thus will not hear any of Art's commentary. Meanwhile, the viewers at home (of which a smaller-than-usual portion are Baltimoreans) are subjected to a sports figure for which they have no particular affinity (if they have heard of him at all).
Art Donovan, when asked for a prediction for the tournament winner, says without hesitation, "Razor Ramon." The Macho Man, however, predicted that Bam Bam Bigelow, Razor's first round opponent, would win it all, plowing through not only the Bad Guy but fellow heels IRS and Jeff Jarrett. Bam Bam, whom Monsoon calls, "The Beast of the East" (which sounds like a Wizard of Oz character), but whom everyone else calls, "The Beast from the East," enters first, followed by Art's pick. Randy and Gorilla remind us that the first round of matches each have a 15 minute time limit, but fortunately there will be none of those at this year's tournament, although 1993 and 1995 saw boring encounters between Lex Luger and Tatanka, as well as Shawn Michaels and Kama, respectively.
Bam Bam hits a "leg drop, and a beauty" on Razor, prompting Monsoon to remind Art that that kind of move isn't allowed in the NFL. "I can't even stand to watch it!" says Art, but Randy offers to hold his hand. Monsoon mentions that Bam Bam weighs 400 pounds, plus, perhaps inspiring Art to ask about every single other wrestler's weight throughout the night. Razor crotches Bigelow with the ringpost, prompting this probing question by Donovan: "Now, that hurt? That hurt." Randy, meanwhile, wonders if Luna will like Bam Bam the same after that move, and Gorilla pretends not to know that he's referring to Bigelow's injured testicles. Monsoon heard that Savage had been invited to the Luna-Bam Bam wedding, which is too bizarre a pairing to be real. Now, Luna Vachon and Gangrel, that's a real married couple. "What's the girl over there screamin' at?" asks Art, adding, "Oh, okay, I see, now I get it" after Monsoon explains the situation. "It looked like he t-- he tore off the time -- the top rope!" says Art after Razor is tossed over the top rope.
Monsoon mentions that winning the King of the Ring did great things for Bret Hart's career, despite the fact that he was given the crown as a kind of compensation for Hogan refusing to drop the belt to him. Bam Bam hits an enziguiri on Razor, about which Art asks, "When ya do that kind of work with your feet can ya hit 'im?" "He's -- he's really some, uh, some athlete, really!" he adds.
With Razor in a torture rack on Bigelow's shoulders, Art asks, "What's he gonna do, throw 'im outta da ring?" He then notices that "this is the guy I picked to win, Razor!" seven minutes after Ramon's entrance. Fortunately, Donovan didn't place any bets, seeing as, in his words, "I don't have any money, Randy!" They didn't pay well in the NFL back in the day, apparently. "Gorilla, is he dead?" asks Art out of concern. Eventually, Bam Bam lets Ramon out, only to be dropped by a belly-to-back suplex by "The Razor Man," which is still a better moniker than Monsoon's previous nickname for Scott Hall, "The Ladder Man." "I thought the poor guy was dead! Now they're both out! What happens now?" Razor picks up the victory after "The Beast of the East" attempts a moonsault but gets pulled all the way down for a school boy, which is the only time I've seen that roll-up move delivered from the top rope.
Art, in addition to his many questions, has thus far offered up such helpful tidbits as, "Whooooooaaaaaa!" "Whoa oh!" "Oohhh!" and similar ejaculations (of the verbal kind, thankfully).
Art's Question Count: 6
We go backstage where Todd Pettengill is standing with the "KORB," an unnecessary acronym for "King Of the Ring Board," where Razor's name has been advanced in the tournament bracket. IRS proves why he's the master of promos, vowing to beat Mabel, then Razor, and hopefully Tatanka, "'cause this is the last time he'll... hafta... face IRS." Mabel tells IRS, who has already rushed out of the room, that he better worry about "M to the A to the B-E-L." He claims to have a personal grudge against IRS, although they have no history together. Mo, by the way, has been injured, giving Mabel an opportunity to prove himself as a singles star and giving Vince McMahon an opportunity to see how bad an idea a singles push for Mabel would be and cancel all future plans with the 500-pounder. Sadly for wrestling fans watching the next year's King of the Ring, Vince would not take that latter opportunity.
IRS goes on his typical rant about tax cheats, also threatening the camera man, telling him to "get that outta my face or I'll ram it down your throat!" I bet Pat Patterson wrote that line for him. "Randy, is this one of the wrestlers? ...He looks like... he looks like a business man!" IRS ends his rant by pointing out one last tax cheat in the audience, admonishing him to get a job and pay some taxes in this country. Which one is it, Irwin? Is he a tax cheat, or just unemployed? Mabel then enters to Oscar's rapping, leading to an easily misinterpreted and potentially offensive remark by Macho Man, who notes to Monsoon, "IRS doesn't like this, Gorilla." That comma makes all the difference in the world; without it, Randy would sound more like Michael Hayes, who would commentate the next year's tournament. Both IRS and Mabel qualified for the tournament by beating wrestlers from tag teams on their way out of the WWF (Scott Steiner and Quebecer Pierre, respectively).
"Is this the way he's gonna wrestle, with his clothes on?" asks Art. "Oh, no, he takes all of that off, Art," clarifies Gorilla. "Oh, I see, yeah. Look at the size of that what's-his-name?" says Art. Gorilla calls the wrestler in question, "five hundred pounds worth of Mabel of Men on a Mission," pre-emptively answering Art's impending weight question. Art asks it anyway.
"How, how much does that guy weigh?" "Five hundred pounds, plus, Art!" "Oh that's not fair! The only guy, the other fella only weighs half the amount!" "I think I'm gonna get outta here. Dis is dangerous!"Don't think that Art is alone in his commentary gaffes on this show, as Monsoon shows off his pop culture knowledge by "recognizing" a chant of "Oops, There It Is."
"Gorilla, who's the guy in the white suit?" "That's Oscar, the manager of Men on a Mission, Art." "Oh, I thought maybe he was the guy comin' to take 'im to the hospital. Ha!"Randy Savage then uses the forbidden R-word ( rasslin'); perhaps that's why he's not in the Hall of Fame.
"Did you two guys enjoy doin' this? ...I can't imagine that! This is far worse than playin' football. At least we had pads on!" Don't tell Rima Fakih, Art. She'll get in trouble on Tough Enough.IRS hits "the best-executed clothesline that ever was," in Randy's words, to flatten Mabel, but gets powered out of a pin. Mabel then hits the largest small package in history, which could have been dubbed the "Large Package" and used as a finisher during his "World's Largest Love Machine" gimmick. It would have at least been better than his dry-humping move. Art, meanwhile, thinks that somebody is bleeding (they're not), then notes Mabel's gold teeth and says, "He's got a lotta gold in his mouth there, huh? He must be a very wealthy fella!" "He could hunt a bear with a switch, that guy!" "Gorilla, they're gonna go right through the ring one of these times!"
IRS finally prevails when he shakes Mabel off the second rope, then pins him with the help of the ropes. Mabel is unable to kick out, despite only one of his shoulders being actively held down by Irwin.
|Note: He would not get him back.|
|"Whoomp, There It Is"? |
But Gorilla said it was "Oops, There It Is"...
Art's Question Count: 13
The Twice-Defeated Native American Tatanka, who beat Crush in a lumberjack match thanks to interference by Lex Luger, enters first, as Art asks, "How much does this fella weigh? Tatanka. How much does he weigh? Tatanka" He gets no answer, however, as "The Rocket" Owen Hart enters and immediately gets attacked by Tatanka. A pin attempt by the Native American is "a little premature," which might explain why his wife decided to cheat on him with Paul "Max Moon" Diamond in early 1993. "How much does he weigh? Tatanka." The third time is the charm, as Randy finally gives an estimate of 260-280 pounds. "Really?"
Owen had to defeat "The Doinkster" to qualify for the tournament, which was "no easy task" according to Gorilla. Hey, it's 1994. Tatanka then hits a "leapfrog, and a beauty" on Owen and hits another beauty of a Japanese arm drag (or, as McMahon likes to call it, a Mexican arm drag). Art thinks that both men would make great linebackers. "Put some pads on 'em, they'd scare the hell outta the other team!" "The key to success is survival," opines Randy. "Even the officials have to survive, huh?"
As the action spills to the floor, Macho Man says that he refuses to pick a winner in this match, which is just as well, seeing as he has picked Owen and Tatanka, respectively, on consecutive episodes of Raw. Hart rams the Native American, who does not have Hall of Famer Joe "Jay Strongbow" Scarpa in his corner, into the steel pole at ringside. "He knocked the hell outta the ring post!" says Art. "These guys need a helmet with a face mask!"
The Double Feature split-screen shows a fight backstage between IRS and Razor Ramon. Owen lands a missile dropkick on Tatanka, but only gets a two-count. "I can't believe the whole thing! They're killing each other.... Gorilla, is Tatanka getting any, uh, any air at all?" With the babyface in a sleeperhold, Monsoon pretends not to have heard Art. In fact, he actually says, "I couldn't hear you." Gorilla is apparently catching on to Donovan's schtick. Tatanka goes on the warpath, demonstrating his resolve to even the densest of viewers. "He really means business now!" Tatanka hits a "DDT, and a beauty" and a flying tomahawk chop, but still only manages near-falls on The Rocket. "How can a man take that type of beating?"
After even more near-falls, the Twice-Defeated Native American Tatanka attempts a sunset flip, but gets blocked by Owen for the three-count, making him the Thrice-Defeated Native American. "Hey, Randy, there's gonna be a lot of American Indians mad."
Art's Question Count: 20
Double J, who defeated Lex Luger by countout thanks to interference by Crush, comes to the ring next. "Double J is going after what, 1-2-3? ...They're not as big as some of these other fellas, are they?" Art thinks that Jarrett must have been down in the islands, somewhere, based on his tan. Gorilla Monsoon remarks about how big an ovation the 123 Kid gets during his entrance, so naturally, Art asks, "Who's this now, Randy?" "Who are we talking about, 1-2-3? ...He looks like a boxer!" The Kid defeated Adam Bomb to get into the tournament, and who could forget his upset victory over "The Razor Man" (Monsoon's term, not mine) back in May of last year?
|The dreaded ass-to-face |
|Surprisingly, The Kid makes no mention of |
the three piledrivers he got after the match. I guess
the WWF Magazine editor who wrote this quote
forgot to watch the end of the match.
The Kid gets the surprise pin, but gets spiked with three piledrivers by Jeff Jarrett. "They better call out the Marines!" "Well, what's wrong with the official? Why don't he stop it?" More officials arrive, warning Jeff visibly with the "money" hand gesture, but the defeated country singer continues to hit fist and knee drops. "How can this poor guy wrestle anymore, after taking a beating like this?" Macho Man explains the difference between being famous and being infamous, a distinction that most wrestling announcers today are unaware of. Ever heard of the "infamous" Savage-Steamboat match? "Double J, brother, you're infamous. And that doesn't mean, 'famous,' that means, 'infamous.'" Are you listening, Michael Cole?
Art's Question Count: 28
Diesel comes to the ring for his WWF title shot, marching down to his classic theme song. Great, now I'm going to have it stuck in my head all day. Accompanying him is Shawn Michaels, with whom Art Donovan is (and this will shock you) unfamiliar. "Hey Gorilla, who's the guy leading? Is that his second? ...Is he another wrestler?" At least Monsoon is acknowledging Art again. Gorilla then wonders who the Hart family member will be who seconds Bret, predicting either Bruce or Keith (which would surely result in a refund to the live and PPV audience) or even his father, Stu. As for Diesel, Art is impressed. "How'd you like to face him on the line?" Does that count as a question? Yes, it does. It's also about the tenth football reference of the night, putting Art about an eighth of the way to Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler's total at the Raw Bowl. Art doesn't let up, though, pointing out that Bret's "second," Jim Neidhart, looks like an offensive guard. "How 'bout the big guy here, uh, Diesel?" "Did he play football, also?" Questions aside, Art volunteers to defend Randy Savage should Diesel get physical with him, suggesting that he get undressed and be Randy's "second."
|Diesel corners Bret and pounds away with forearms, then chokes him with his boot, exhausting half his arsenal. Hart ducks a big boot, though, then teases a sharpshooter before headbutting Diesel's, uh, "abdomen." Art compares this match to David and Goliath. "We know what happened in that story," says Gorilla. "Yeah," says Art. "He hit 'im widda rock. Ha!" After Big Daddy Cool (or "Cool Daddy," as Jerry Lawler recently called him by mistake) gouges Hart's eyes, Art is outraged. "Can he do that? That's like sticking your fingers in the facemask. Can you stick your fingers in the guy's eyes? That's not kosher." "I'm not sure that actually happened, Art Donovan," says Randy. Amazingly, it did happen. Art Donovan is on the ball right now. Speaking of rule-breaking, Diesel chokes Bret in the corner, with his hand this time, but misses another big boot to the corner and gets taken down, where Hart works his legs. Careful with those quads, Bret. The champion then clamps on the figure four leglock. Bad Bret, bad. "Right now, Diesel looks like a shrub." |
"They're right back at it, huh?" Indeed they are, Art, as Diesel hits Hart with a side slam, erroneously called a "side suplex" by Monsoon. Meanwhile, Jim Neidhart looks on intensely, stroking his beard with concern. Art says that there's "no way he can -- he can win this match now, the way that guy's beatin' him up." I think that Art is the reason Vince put a ban on the announcers using pronouns in place of the wrestlers' proper names. "What's that?" I said, Vince doesn't like his commentators calling the superstars, "him," "he," or "that guy."
Shawn slaps Bret while he's down, and Diesel follows up with an Irish whip to the turnbuckle, a bump the Hitman takes chest-first. The WWF champion nearly scores a surprise pin with a schoolboy, but Diesel kicks out. Art thinks that Bret is basically fighting two guys, but Macho Man says that Diesel alone is like two guys, so with Shawn Michaels he's like three guys. "Then it's three, the guy-- is, uh..." "I know what you're talking about," assures Randy. I don't think he does. As Diesel lifts Bret over his shoulder for a backbreaker, Art tells his colleagues to "look at this guy's move!" Savage, meanwhile, thinks that Jim Neidhart has got Shawn Michaels in his "danger zone." Bret counters the move into a sleeperhold but gets backed into the corner. "Diesel with a sense of knowing where he is!" says Savage, reminiscent of Mike Adamle's praise of Shelton Benjamin and Kofi Kingston's "ability to do a variety of different things."
|He sure did.|
|She's going to submit to |
Bret's "sharpshooter" tonight.
Art's Question Count: 46
|IRS corsping? Send for the man...|
When both men enter the squared circle, IRS tries to turn the tide with a "backbreaker not all that well-executed" (in Monsoon's words). "The Razor Man" recovers quickly and lets Irwin fly over the ropes after ducking a clothesline. "That's like missing a trap block!" "Well, you'd certainly know about that Art!" says Gorilla. "Exactly like it, except completely different!" adds Macho. Irwin gets back into the ring and starts stomping at Razor's legs. He then switches up to the upper body, which Monsoon points out is bad strategy. Announcers today just don't point out bad wrestling psychology anymore. Irwin puts Razor in a sleeper on the mat, using the ropes for leverage. "What does that, what does that give him when he has his two feet on the, on the rope?" The announcers then wonder if the 123 Kid would even be able to compete. "He'll never show up!" says Art, in a valiant effort to sell the Kid's injuries. When Razor starts whipping IRS around the ring, Art thinks that he might have picked the winner. Credit goes to Art for remembering who Razor Ramon is. Razor puts Irwin in the Razor's Edge for the victory, sending Art's pick to the finals.
Art's Question Count: 48
Meanwhile, Bret searches for Jim Neidhart backstage, but can't find him, despite yelling a lot.
The Toddster is backstage with the KORB, but the 123 Kid is still nowhere to be found, either. What if Jim Neidhart and the 123 Kid are the same person!? And he's left the arena to try out as an offensive guard and/or boxer?!
Owen Hart is out once again as Art details the rest of the card. "Now after this... semifinal, then the final, and that's it, huh?" "How much does this fella weigh?" asks Art. "235, give or take an ounce," says Randy. After much hesitation, the Kid walks through the entrance way but gets dropkicked hard right as he tries to enter the ring. Owen grazes the Kid with a plancha, then takes him back to the ring and hits a splash for two. "That Kid is a tough guy, I'll tell ya!" Owen then gets whipped chest-first, Hitman-style, into the turnbuckle and gets hit with a body press, then a magistral cradle for two-counts. Macho Man puts over the New Generation as Owen and the Kid flip in and out of wristlocks. Macho is at a loss for words, and hopefully Art is, too. Owen hits an enziguiri for a two-count, forcing Randy to give him "not a little bit of credit, but a lotta little bit of credit!"
Owen Hart, who could very well go on to face "The Razor Man," Razor Ramon in the finals, telegraphs a back body drop and is nearly pinned with a Northern Lights Suplex by the 123 Kid. Owen gets his foot on the ropes before the ref counts to three. Owen exits the ring, but The Kid then levels him with a somersault plancha, erroneously called a "moonsault" by Monsoon. Randy announces his official retirement from the sport; if he had followed through on that promise instead of jumping to WCW, he would be in the WWE Hall of Fame right now. Owen counters a spinning heel kick by the Kid with a German suplex, then hits a belly-to-belly after whipping the Kid to the ropes. "How can you be so agile?" asks Art. The Kid then tries a victory roll, which is later reversed for dueling near-falls. Owen catches the Kid with a powerbomb, then puts him in the sharpshooter for a submission victory in one of the best short matches of all time. "What kind of a hold was that?" asks Art, after having seen Bret do it to Diesel two matches earlier. If this match had gone about 26 minutes longer, Razor would have won the King of the Ring crown by default, and Art would be a richer man (in spirit only; remember, he doesn't have any money).
Art's Question Count: 52
Now it's time for the match everyone has been waiting for, the tag team title match between the Headshrinkers and the challengers, Yokozuna and Crush. The wait is over, people. You no longer have to hold it in. As the ring announcer introduces the title match, a smattering of cheers are heard, faintly, presumably from people now rushing to get in line for the bathroom (Hey, it's a famous bathroom; in 1996, a lady would come into the men's room to watch Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan duke it out in front of the urinals, to Dusty Rhodes's amazement). "So this is it, then?" asks Art, apparently thinking that this is the finals of the tournament. Jim Cornette comes out first but must wait for Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna to waddle out, followed by Crush. "How, uh, how, how much does this guy weigh? Is this Owa-zuna?" "600 pounds, plus." "Oh, a-ho!" Gorilla praises the "cunningness" of the challengers. The Headshrinkers then enter with Capt. Lou Albano and Afa. That means that both teams are made up of Pacific Islanders, each with one foreign manager and one American manager. Art Donovan, now overwhelmed, asks, "How many guys are gonna wrestle now?" The Headshrinkers, Macho Man says, beat the Quebecers for the titles, then beat them again on the Countdown to the Crowning special on Monday Night Raw (in the French-Canadians' last WWF match as a team until 1998). Johnny Polo even had to shave his beard as the result of a bet. Art is still confused, though. "Who are these guys? These guys from the Pacific Islands or what?" "They're from America Samoa," says Randy, in a sentence that I have in no way altered or misspelled.
Macho Man's "new favorite tag team of all time" awaits the return of the challengers to the ring. Samu, sporting his new mullet, goes at it with Yoko while Art complains of being unable to see because of Mr. Fuji's flag (though he doesn't identify "the guy" by name). Art is apparently not looking at his monitor like announcers are supposed to (which to me is a rather silly practice, considering that the commentators have the best seats in the house, yet are expected to watch the action on a tiny TV). Fatu, the future dancing man in a thong, squares off against Crush, a future KISS-themed wrestler replaced by Dale Torberg, after their partners tag out. Crush hits one of his patented crappy piledrivers, then tags in Yokozuna, of whom Art says, "He'd take over a whole defensive line." Yoko, AKA Rodney Anoa'i hits a legdrop on his cousin Solofa Fatu, but the pin is broken up by their cousin Samula Anoa'i. Fatu gets isolated by the heel team, but Yoko misses a running butt splash and falls on his face to the mat. The crowd chants "USA" for the Headshrinkers, even though Crush is the only one in the match (kayfabe) born in one of the fifty states, while American Samoa is the kayfabe origin of not only the Headshrinkers but Yokozuna as well. Okay, technically, Yokozuna is from "Polynesia," but he was really born in San Francisco, anyway.
Art's Question Count: 60
Before the finals of the tournament, the announcers congratulate Art Donovan for his prognostication skills, pointing out that his pick, Razor Ramon, is a win away from the King of the Ring title. "And then he'll be a king? He'll be crowned the king, right?" Razor Ramon makes his third entrance of the evening, and "the fans are going' crazy here!" Actually, the fans are rather polite in their cheering of The Bad Guy. Randy Savage says that history will remember the winner of this match, but not the loser. Art is more concerned about Razor getting rid of that toothpick in his mouth. As Owen enters, Savage says that he'll need a psychiatrist if he doesn't win. In truth, the only Hart who might need a therapist after a loss would be Bret sometime around November 1997. Monsoon claims that Stu Hart is proud of all his children. "Equally?" asks Savage. Of course not, Randy. One of his children named his daughter, "Satanic Ecstasy Hart."
|Sadly, "The Tough Latino" never replaced "The Bad Guy" |
as Ramon's nickname.
Monsoon then sends it to "The Toddster" for the coronation ceremony.
Owen stands on stage with fellow Canadian Jack Tunney and fellow pink-wearer Jim Neidhart. Owen demands respect from everyone, then rejects Jack Tunney's presentation of the crown and robe, opting instead for Jim Neidhart to crown The Rocket. He then issues his proclamation, declaring himself the King of Harts. He's certainly come a long way since last year, when he was simply cannon fodder for Jerry Lawler's feud with Bret.
Art's Question Count: 69
We then see a video package promoting tonight's "main event" and documenting the feud between Jerry Lawler and Roddy Piper, which consists of The King making fun of Roddy Piper's movies, "dress," and talk show, then Roddy Piper responding via home video and not letting the insults faze him, until The King speaks ill of The Hospital for Sick Children, which the Hot Rod thinks is going too far. Piper vows to donate his winnings to the sick children. Who booked this feud, Helen Lovejoy? For good measure, Lawler brought out a Roddy Piper impersonator to kiss his feet two weeks ago on Raw. "This is the New Generation! This is what it's all about! This is the WWF as only we can deliver it!" At least that's what Gorilla Monsoon says. In reality, this is about the worst possible match the WWF could have chosen to showcase the "new generation," since it consists of one man who's been wrestling since the 1960s, and another who was a star in the 80s and is coming out of retirement for one match only (he says). And all this comes after a King of the Ring showcasing Owen Hart, the 123 Kid, Razor Ramon, Jeff Jarrett, and Tatanka. It's like if the WWF had chosen to launch the "Attitude" campaign with a pay-per-view main event of Doink the Clown vs. Bob Backlund. But, hey, they can't have the night end with a heel victory, so they picked this match to send the crowd home happy. And by "happy," I mean, "early," because the only thing this match is good for is an opportunity to get a head start on exiting the parking garage. Believe me, I've been stuck in the garage for literally hours after crowded events at the Arena.
The King then heckles Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, who is not amused. He'll be even less amused when he watches this match. Lawler and Schaefer have a lot more in common than they think, by the way. The King then vows that the sick kids in the hospital at Sick Kids Hospital won't get a penny because he's going to beat Piper tonight. "He's not very well-liked, is he?"
|More guts? Just wait till you hit your 50s, Roddy.|
|If Roddy had actually brought |
his daughter to ringside with him,
Jerry Lawler would have been far more distracted.
Roddy comes out swinging, whipping Lawler to the corner. "Boy, he's really mad, huh?" The King tries to duck out early, but Piper hauls him back into the ring. "We are seeing, no question, vintage Rowdy Roddy Piper," says Monsoon, foreshadowing a decade of Michael Cole commentary in the 21st century. "You know, I don't think Roddy Piper likes this guy." When he hears that Piper is a former boxing champion, Art is incredulous. "Really?" You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on old Art. After Roddy has clobbered Lawler for several minutes, Monsoon claims that Lawler "has been hammered ever since the get-go," perhaps confusing him for Jake Roberts. King oversells some more for Piper's punches, kicks, and atomic drops. Lawler chases after the fake Piper, but gets stopped by Roddy, who blocks his punch and rams the King's fist into the ringpost. Lawler continues to pursue the impostor Piper, choking him and throwing him into the ring as Roddy tries to protect him. I don't know how old this kid is, but Monsoon keeps calling him a "youngster," so I can assume that he's no older than 44, which was Carlos Colon's age at the 1993 Rumble.
The King gets Roddy on the ground and starts dropping fists at a leisurely pace. "I think Piper's in trouble!" "You know what, Art Donovan? I think you're right." "Huh-huh-ho!" Lawler then puts Piper in the "patented sleeper of his," which has not only been used tonight by Owen Hart, Bret Hart, and IRS, but was Piper's finisher for years. I hope Gorilla never worked at a real patent office. It would be a shame if Lawler were to win because, you know, the sick children. Piper takes wild, blind swings, then falls prey to a Lawler piledriver. The Hot Rod kicks out as Randy urges him on. "Do it for the kids in Toronto!" "And then start playin' the bagpipes!" The two men stagger around and trade punches. Piper then spits at Lawler (a fire-able offense in this day and age) and continues trading punches. He then pokes Lawler in the eyes, Stooges-style, then hits two bulldogs. A third bulldog attempt is blocked, with Jerry pushing Roddy into the referee, who goes down. Lawler hits Piper with a foreign object hidden in his tights. The ref counts at about a mile an hour as Lawler blatantly uses the ropes for leverage.
The fake Piper pushes Jerry's feet off the ropes at the last second (or, to use a more appropriate phrase given the speed at which the referee was counting, at the eleventh hour). Roddy then hits a weak belly-to-back suplex and pins Lawler for a very slow three count. Roddy lifts the kid in a kilt up on his shoulders. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that the emaciated young man dressed in the Hot Rod shirt is going to be one of the beneficiaries of Piper's donation to the Sick Kids Hospital. At least that's what I assumed when I saw his picture in WWF Magazine.
|Until 1996. And 2003. |
And 2006. And 2009
Art's Question Count: 73
As always, I refuse to give "objective" ratings to any of these matches, as I am unable to discern the difference between a two-and-a-half and a two-and-three-quarters star match. This was a good pay-per-view overall, despite the baffling ending, with the highlights of the night being every match featuring a Hart brother. And of course, with Art Donovan on commentary, it's like your grandpa is on the couch watching with you!
|See, I told you you might learn something.|