1993 was a transitional year for the World Wrestling Federation, but who made the best of it?
Taker didn’t have much going on for the year as he was stuck in a feud with Giant Gonzalez for eight months and had a forgettable feud with Mr. Hughes that was dropped in the summer.
The friendly guy from Hawaii was involved in a lengthy feud with Doink, which he came up short in. Challenged for the IC and World Championships, but came up short against Michaels and Yokozuna. Turned on Macho Man in the fall and changed his look accordingly.
HM:) Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow started the year sending the Big Bossman out of the company with a loss at the Royal Rumble. Earned a rare pin win over Jim Duggan at KOTR before losing to Bret Hart in the finals. Feuded with Tatanka in the summer, but wasn’t able to get a victory. Had a competitive match with Bret on RAW. Finished the year feuding with Doink and his importance on TV dwindling a little bit.
HM:) Marty Jannetty
The Rocker vanished from TV after losing to Michaels at Royal Rumble, but returned in May to win the WWF IC Championship for about a month. Jannetty stayed throughout the year mostly losing to up and coming talents such as Ludvig Borga on PPV. Won a best two out of three falls match against Doink in June. Wrestled Michaels again on RAW in July, but wasn’t able to win the title.
HM:) Doink the Clown
Terrorized wrestlers with his vicious pranks of squirting water in their eyes and destroyed Crush with a fake arm to lead to their Mania match, which Doink won. Failed to qualify for the KOTR losing to Mr. Perfect. Wrestled Jannetty and Savage on RAW in high profile matches. Lost to Bret Hart at SummerSlam. Finished the year during face after SummerSlam and feuding with Bam-Bam Bigelow.
10.) 1-2-3 Kid
Starting off the year as an enhancement talent and by the end of the year becoming one of the most enjoyable underdog characters in WWF history made for quite the year. Kid’s career took off when he defeated Razor Ramon on the May 17th edition of RAW. Kid mostly feuded with Ramon before becoming allies in the summer. Kid also earned a win over Ted DiBiase and wrestled Shawn Michaels in one of the best matches on RAW for the year. In a short amount of time, Kid made quite the impact.
9.) Steiner Brothers
Jumping ship from World Championship Wrestling the Steiner Brothers steamrolled through the tag division managing to win the WWF Tag Team Championships by midyear defeating Money Inc. Steiner’s successfully defended against Money Inc. and the Heavenly Bodies before losing to the Quebecers in September. Following the loss, the Steiner’s weren’t seen much on TV, but were still the top team for ’93.
8.) Mr. Perfect
Perfect started off the year by sending his former business partner Ric Flair back to WCW after a loser leaves WWF match on the January 25th edition of RAW. Perfect wasn’t able to prevail in a feud with Lex Luger losing to Luger at WrestleMania IX. Perfect rekindled his feud with Bret Hart at the 1993 King of the Ring once again losing to the Hitman. In a match that was deemed a dream match, Perfect lost to WWF IC Champion Shawn Michaels by count-out. Perfect would leave the company prior to the Survivor Series.
7.) Randy Savage
Macho Man nearly won the 1993 Royal Rumble before being eliminated by Yokozuna. Savage may not have been heavily featured on television, but when Savage was featured on TV it meant something. Savage wrestled Yokozuna and Doink the Clown on television. By the fall of 1993, Savage started one of the most memorable feuds when his former friend Crush turned on him starting a fierce rivalry.
The undefeated Native American continued that streak for most of 1993. Tatanka pinned WWF IC Champion Shawn Michaels three times on television, but wasn’t able to win the title at WrestleMania. Tatanka was eliminated in the KOTR when he wrestled Lex Luger to a draw. Tatanka’s undefeated streak that lasted nearly two years came to an end in October when Ludvig Borga managed to pin Tatanka with help from a chair.
5.) Lex Luger
Going from a man obsessed with himself to a man obsessed with America, Luger had an interesting first year in the WWF. Luger debuted at the Royal Rumble and was a dominate force on television. Luger won his first Mania match by defeating Mr. Perfect. Shortly after the KOTR, Luger shocked WWF fans by appearing at the USS Intrepid wearing USA gear and not being a narcissist. Luger appeared and slammed WWF World Champion Yokozuna. The moment catapulted Luger into the top babyface spot and challenged Yokozuna for the title at SummerSlam, which he won… by count-out. Luger would spend the remainder of the year determined to get another shot at Yokozuna.
4.) Shawn Michaels
The Heartbreak Kid started 1993 concluding his feud with former partner Marty Jannetty at the Royal Rumble. Michaels struggled with Tatanka, but was able to retain the title when it mattered. Michaels retained against Crush at the KOTR, having regained the title from Jannetty after a brief title switch. Michaels had a disappointing match with Perfect at SummerSlam, which was seen as a dream match. Shortly after the event, Michaels was suspended. Upon his return, Michaels quickly went after Razor Ramon to be the true WWF IC Champion. There was no denying that Michaels found his groove in 1993.
3.) Razor Ramon
The Bad Guy had a rather good year. Challenged Bret Hart for the World Championship at the Royal Rumble, but came up short. Ramon won his first Mania match against Bob Backlund. Lost to 1-2-3 Kid before Kid was known as such on May 17th, 1993, but it was perhaps the best career move for him. Ramon would turn babyface in the summer when Ted DiBiase suggested Ramon be his servant. Ramon defeated DiBiase at SummerSlam. Ramon would win the vacant WWF Intercontinental Championship by defeating Rick Martel on October 11th edition of RAW. Ramon had gone from a hated heel to one of the more beloved characters by the end of the year.
At the end of 1992, it was clear that Yokozuna was destined to have a huge 1993 and he did just that. Yoko won the 1993 Royal Rumble and entered WrestleMania IX as a heavy favorite to dethrone Bret Hart, which he did. However, Hulk Hogan won the title moments later leading to a rematch at the KOTR. Yoko regained the title at KOTR with help from a rouge photographer and some fire. Yoko would start a feud with Lex Luger and retained the title at SummerSlam despite losing by count-out. Yoko wrestled Undertaker several times on the house shows and walked out with the championship each time. Yoko retained against Bret Hart in several steel cage matches, most notably a cage match at MSG in August. Yoko finished the year feuding with the Undertaker and Lex Luger.
1.) Bret Hart
1993 was the first full year for Bret Hart to be the top guy for the WWF. Bret started the year retaining against Ramon at the Rumble and had a gem of a match against Fatu on RAW in March. Bret’s run at the top came to an end at Mania IX when Yokozuna came out on top in the main event. Bret would often times wrestle Yoko on the house shows losing cage matches. Bret also had a house show feud with Lex Luger after Luger attacked Bret prior to the Mania match. Bret won the first televised KOTR tournament defeating Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and Bam-Bam Bigelow. The most memorable feud for Bret was with Jerry Lawler focusing around his family. Hart lost to Lawler at SummerSlam by reverse decision. Bret defeated Doink that same night. At Survivor Series, Bret led a team full of his brothers to beat Shawn Michaels his team, though Michaels replaced Jerry Lawler. Bret’s year came to an end with some friction between himself and brother Owen. Bret was the best in-ring performer and most consistent throughout the year.
What would your list for 1993 look like?
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34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.