WWF All American Wrestling – October 17th, 1993
By Dave Newman on 7th May 2023
This week we’re at the tail end of All American, with perennial host Mean Gene heading to the competitor, so the weird dynamic of the next best thing (and next guy to jump) being a heel host. Let’s see how it goes.
Weird to see the Hulkster, not set to return for nine years, still in the opening alongside the very 1993 array of talent like Lex Luger, Tatanka, the Smoking Gunns and Adam Bomb.
Hosted by the awful Joe Fowler and Bobby Heenan in front of the world’s most obvious green screen.
Pat Tanaka vs. Marty Jannetty
Weird deal of Pat being back to do some matches in some sort of tribute to Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna. Marty has gone without anything on his arms and looks naked. These two of course had load of action in the ring together in the AWA and the WWF, so it’s straight to action with a Marty dropkick out, followed by a plancha. Tanaka shoulders his way back in and a headbutt, but Marty just bounces him around. Marty gets in close with a side headlock and whispers something, probably checking whose bag they’re going to steal the pills out of, but gets caught on a leapfrog into a sit out powerbomb, which Danny Davis has no idea to count even with Tanaka shouting at him. Just as bizarre as Tanaka’s slight return is the dynamic between JR and Gorilla on commentary, with Gorilla being far more knowledgeable about both guys but really sitting back and letting JR do the work. Nice superkick, followed by a jumping headbutt to the groin as we hit the break.
Back from break with Tanaka getting his forearm. Another sit out powerbomb, with Davis correctly counting it this time. Marty gets tossed and stumbles about like a drunk man. Not sure if that’s a literal or metaphorical simile in this case. Back in, he fires out of the corner with a clothesline that sends Pat flipping five different ways. Tanaka runs into a boot, but ducks a flying clothesline. Tanaka sets up for a tombstone, but Marty reverses it for the win. That looked deadly, with Tanaka’s body bending inhumanly. Really nice match, although not one with much consequence, not that it always needs to be that way.
Back to Joe and Bobby. Joe’s saying words without having a clue of what he’s saying, with Bobby just playing along out of kindness. Announcement of the two main elimination tag team matches at Survivor Series. Bret and Jerry’s tag team partners are left in silhouette, which seems daft when you think of Owen being on the roster and an obvious partner for Bret.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Arn Armstrong and Ricky Rich
The jobbers are actually Killer Kowalski trainees better known as Flex Armstrong and Richie Rich. I hated the collegiate music the Steiners used in this run, especially considering the cool shit they used in WCW like Welcome to the Jungle. The goofy yellow boots and wristbands weren’t a great look either. Scott starts with Armstrong and puts him wherever he wants to put him, culminating in a dragon suplex. Rich is in, taken straight down and elbowdropped. Gorilla compares the alopecia-suffering Rich to Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard, “the most unethical guy I’ve ever met in my life… uncouth too!”. JR doesn’t ask him to expand. Armstrong comes back in to a Tiger Driver, then Scott hoists him up for the elevated bulldog finisher. The Steiners dismantling guys never gets old.
Promo vignette time for the debuting Jeff Jarrett, outside the Country Music Hall of Fame. He talks about how he’s from a wrestling family and has already become the greatest wrestler, so he’s flexing towards taking over country music. Couldn’t ever really get into the country music theme, but at least it gave him the guitar as weapon for life.
Adverts for Ico-Pro, starring Tatanka, and the Hasbro wrestling figures. The audacity of IRS takes on the madness of the Macho Man!
Owen Hart vs. Scott Taylor
Yeah, that Scott Taylor, before he was Too Hotty. Nice heel scowl and demeanour for Taylor, who’d be twenty at this point. Owen works the arm in various manners, all good. Gorilla talks about how Stu Hart used to do all the cooking in the Hart house, seemingly holding himself back from telling the cat shit on a spatula story. Owen dropkicks Scott out, with Scott just about making it out despite the ropes, then follows with a plancha. Back in, a gutwrench suplex and kneedrop, followed by a snap suplex. Weird to think that Owen’s gear at this point is intended to evoke a more neon version of his Stampede gear. Scott gets a quick bit of offence in, but Owen runs through the belly-to-belly suplex and finishes with the missile dropkick and Northern Lights suplex to win. The Rocket was always good for an interesting squash match.
Rick Martel vs. Razor Ramon
From Raw, the match for the vacant intercontinental championship after it was stripped from Shawn Michaels after what might’ve been a steroid scandal but was more likely a pissing contest. Martel’s return was fairly incongruous, but he was always good as a mid-card contender at this point. Martel tries to gain the advantage with speed and cheap shots, but Razor meets him with power and force, like the sack of shit that sends him rolling outside. Razor controls the arm until the break, but back from it the Model has the advantage outside the ring, targeting the back. Back in, a back suplex leads to an attempted pin with feet on the rope, but Earl Hebner catches it. Boston Crab, but Razor gets the ropes pretty quickly. Side suplex and Martel goes back to the submission hold, but this time Razor powers out. They go through some pin attempts before the Model gets a dropkick. “Back and forth, see saw!”, declares Vince. You know he likes it, then. Razor catches a boot and spins it around into an attempt at his back suplex off the second rope, but Martel elbows out and gets a crossbody block that’s reversed for two. “This is the toughest match I’ve never been in!”, declares Macho. So, he likes it too. Martel goes for a back body drop, but Razor kneelifts him, kicks him in the gut and gets the Razor’s Edge for the win and his first of four intercontinental championship reigns, the belt he’d look incomplete without for the rest of his run. His look at the camera when he first straps up is a classic. Say hello to the new intercontinental champion, indeed!
Joe and Bobby take us back to one of the weekly shows, with Ludvig Borga bumping into Tatanka and asking for him to give him a rain dance. Actually, that’s one of the least racially or ethnically insensitive things Borga could say, knowing him. That sets them up for the inevitable match where Ludvig ended his “undefeated streak”.
Ludvig Borga vs. Tony Roy
Straight in with the body shots on Roy. If Borga had any natural instincts and wasn’t such a detestable person, to where the boys backstage weren’t warm on him, he might’ve had something, seeing as he looks like a hard case out of a film. JR subtly alludes to him being “anti-everything”. Lift up into a gut shot off the ropes. Torture rack, stolen off Lex Luger, gets the submission. “Mercifully, it’s over”, declares Gorilla. You know he doesn’t like it, then.
Joe and Bobby close it out, boasting about the live Raw tomorrow night… in Poughkeepsie! Only the big shows go there(!). It’s the Savage/Crush summit, with Bobby shovelling it on Macho as the show comes to an end.
The red, the white, and the blue: Worst bit of the show was any time Joe Fowler was talking. Best bit is the classic moment of Razor getting his first bit of gold around his waist, although the Jannetty/Tanaka match was good, as were most of the squashes. Most bizarre was Jeff Jarrett using wrestling as a device to achieve stardom in country music, when it was actually in reverse… and actually getting over by the end of it!
Next week we’ll bounce back into the eighties, as will be the case for the duration of these reviews, alternating between the decades as best as possible.