WWE Vintage Collection Report: 21st June 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
This week, King of the Ring 1993 takes centre stage. Held on June 13th at the Nutter Center, in Dayton, Ohio, a certain Bret “Hitman” Hart proved to the world why he is the best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be after Hulk Hogan had refused to drop the belt to him. We begin at the Quarter Final stage. Matches are joined in progress. Announcers are Jim Ross, Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Razor Ramon
This was a rematch from the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. Razor had just suffered his ’embarassing’ loss to the 1-2-3 Kid on Raw. The Bad Guy has control following a running powerslam and side slam. Bret dodges three elbow drops, mounts the ‘Bret’ fightback of a side russian legsweep, backbreaker and elbow from the second rope, and nearly wins it with a rollup. Razor counters a running bulldog by sending Bret front first to the corner. Bret escapes the Razor’s Edge, flips over Razor and small packages him for two. Razor blindsides Bret before setting him on the top rope. Bret shifts his weight onto Razor to counter a back superplex and pick up the victory. This was a really good opening match. Winner: BRET “HITMAN” HART.
Mr Perfect vs Mr Hughes w/Harvey Wippleman
Mr Hughes was in possession of Undertaker’s urn and in the middle of a feud with the Deadman. As Perfect bumps around the ring for Hughes, Jim Ross interviews Bret, asking him who he’d like to face. After noting Perfect can match endurance with anybody and labelling Hughes as a brawler, Bret states he’d rather face Perfect for the wrestling and the fact he likes him better. Hughes botches a throw then gets crotched in the ropes. Perfect lands a hiptoss, backbodydrop, snapmare and rolling neck snap. Hughes bashes Perfect with the urn for the DQ. Despite Hughes being horrible in the ring, I have no complaints with this result, as it set up the dream matchup of Bret and Perfect. Winner by DQ: MR PERFECT.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Bam Bam Bigelow
This match was centred around Hacksaw trying to slam the massive Bigelow. Hacksaw was returning from ‘sore ribs’ after Yokozuna sat on him. Bigelow misses a splash. Hacksaw tries a slam, but Bigelow falls on top. Hacksaw bites his way out of a bearhug and finally manages the slam. Hacksaw misses the three point stance clothesline. With Hacksaw down, Bigelow hits a top rope headbutt to advance. Hacksaw was on his way out of the company at this point. Winner: BAM BAM BIGELOW.
The final match in the opening bracket between Tatanka and ‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger is very quickly recapped. Both were eliminated after a time-limit 15 minute draw. Tatanka’s undefeated streak was protected. This gave Bam Bam a bye to the finals.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Mr Perfect
Before the semi-final bout, Okerlund stirs it up backstage with both, trying to twist Bret’s earlier comments. Bret says he respects Perfect’s wrestling ability. Perfect says Bret couldn’t get past Mr Hughes. Bret says he could get past Hughes and Perfect. Okerlund notes both are second generation wrestlers before asking if their fathers (Stu Hart and Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig) ever met. Bret says yes and Stu won. Perfect disagrees and brings up SummerSlam (1991), saying he owes Bret and his dad couldn’t beat his on his best day. Perfect’s style hasn’t changed. He will do what it takes as he’s a winner. King of the Ring is the most important thing at the moment for Bret. Perfect resolves may the best man win, before withdrawing his hand as Bret goes to shake it. Perfect once more reminds us that he owes Bret for SummerSlam and he will prevail. This was a great segment, adding more spice to an already mouthwatering matchup. Most of the match is shown. Bret has his fingers taped up after Razor stomped on them during their match. Good continuity there. Bret scores with a shoulder tackle and hiptoss, while Perfect applies a headscissors on the mat. Both exchange slams and kick the other down. Bret keeps the advantage with several side headlock takedowns, while trying a crucifix and cross body to pin Perfect. Perfect turns the tide with shots to the midsection and a standing dropkick, which sends Bret to the floor. Perfect opens the ropes for Bret, but suckers him halfway in with a kick. Perfect reverts back to his antagonist days, shoving Bret off the apron and into the guardrail, prompting Bret to clutch his knee. Heenan says if Perfect wins and apologises, he’d consider managing him again. Perfect applies a sleeper, with his foot pushed against the ropes for leverage. Bret runs Perfect’s head into the top turnbuckle to escape. Bret throws Perfect down by the hair resulting in Perfect crotching himself in the ringpost. Following the trifecta of moves which make up the Bret fightback, Perfect blocks the Sharpshooter by grabbing Bret’s fingers and stomping on them. Bret blocks a Perfect Plex then reverses a suplex, which sees both men tumble to the floor. Back inside, both are limping. Perfect cradles Bret, who manages to reverse it and pick up the 1-2-3. After initially walking out in a fit of rage, Perfect gets back in to shake Bret’s hand and endorse him for the final. Very classy. Bret signals one more to go. This match lived up its billing and was a true Match of the Year candidate. Winner: BRET “HITMAN” HART.
Backstage, Okerlund tells Bam Bam he must be fresh as a daisy after receiving a bye, while Bret’s had two tough matches. Bam Bam says he has some business to take care of, the opportunity to be the first King of the Ring. He’s getting it done.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow
Right from the start, Bret dodges a charge. Bigelow wins a punch exchange. Bret falls on top of a press slam attempt for a nearfall. Bret works the arm before being tackled to the mat. Bigelow press slams Bret to the arena floor. Back inside, Bigelow drops several headbutts onto Bret’s back. Following commercials, Bret escapes a backbreaker by turning it into a sleeper. A dazed Bigelow throws him off. Bret dropkicks Bigelow into the ropes then pushes him over to the floor. Bret nails a plancha before punching away on Bigelow’s head. Back inside, Bret hits a clothesline from the second rope, side russian legsweep and second rope bulldog. Bret can’t twist Bigelow’s big legs into the Sharpshooter. Bret bites his way out of a bearhug. Bret tries a back suplex, but Bigelow shifts his weight across to fall on top of Bret for two. Bigelow Irish whips, but eats a boot on a charge. Bret climbs on top of Bigelow and hooks a victory roll for the 1-2-3. Bret Hart is the King of the Ring. Savage leaves the announce booth to congratulate him. Even Heenan praises Bret’s accomplishment. These two always had good matches and this was no different. The middle portion of the match wasn’t shown, where Luna Vachon hit Bret with a chair, Bigelow scored a pin, and the match was ordered to restart.
Immediately following the match, officials Rene Goulet and Tony Garea usher Bret to the stage to receive his crown, gown and sceptor from Okerlund. Jerry Lawler interrupts to ‘confront the pretender to his throne’ and tell this ‘imposter’ he is the only king of the WWF. Lawler will allow Bret to be a prince if he gets on his knees and kisses his feet. Bret says Lawler has a lot of nerve as he didn’t have the guts or the integrity to even get in the tournament. Bret asks Lawler where he was when King of the Ring started. Bret calls Lawler the Burger King, instigating a chant from the crowd. Lawler blindsides Bret, destroying his crown and smashing him in the gut with the throne and sceptor. The crowd chant Burger King as Lawler continues to choke Bret with the sceptor. There was good heat for this. Lawler hit Bret with several stiff shots here, which prompted Bret to return the favour with several receipts in their match at that year’s SummerSlam.
Okerlund wraps things up, noting Bret and Lawler’s stirring feud led to years of bad blood. He’s right there.
This was a great show. There wasn’t a single mention of Hogan’s name…….brother. I’d recommend today’s show to any fan and non-fan of the Hitman. This was arguably Bret’s greatest night in the WWF. He had three different matches, with three separate opponents and didn’t beat any of them with the Sharpshooter either. It still baffles me why he was looked over for so long in favour of Lex Luger, as Bret was the one that the fans clearly wanted to see on top. Seeing this has also whetted the appetite to bring back King of the Ring on PPV. WWE need to make this a big deal again. Someone like John Morrison would benefit greatly from this and it would garner mainstream accaeptance from the crowd. There’s some food for thought. See you next week. Shaun.
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