'WWE Vintage’ TV Report #293 – January 12th, 2013
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: Yokozuna career retrospective. Matches featured this week included: Yokozuna vs Bill Jordan (Yokozuna's tv debut, WWF Superstars, October 1992); Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Yokozuna in a challenge match (WWF Superstars, February 1993); Highlights from the 1993 Royal Rumble match (January 1993); Bret Hart vs Yokozuna for the WWF title (Wrestlemania 9, April 1993); Hulk Hogan vs Yokozuna for the WWF title (King of the Ring ppv, June 1993); Yokozuna vs Bret Hart for the WWF title (Wrestlemania 10, March 1994).
Plus Yokozuna's posthumous induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, April 2012, and also Jimmy & Jey Uso interview comments on their uncle (Yokozuna) were shown throughout the show.
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young.
1) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Bill Jordan. This was Yokozuna's tv debut and aired on the October 31st, 1992 edition of 'WWF Superstars', taped in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on October 12th, 1992. This was taped at the same tv taping as Bret Hart's first WWF title win over Ric Flair. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Mr Perfect. As you'd imagine, a total squash, as Yoko suplexed Jordan, delivered a legdrop, followed by a Bonzai drop for the win.
Throughout the show, Renee Young interviewed Jimmy & Jey Uso in the studio, getting their thoughts on the late Uncle. This was really cool. The Usos told a funny story about being 7 year olds when Yokozuna debuted, gathering around the tv set to watch, and being shocked to see their uncle as a sumo wrestler. Jimmy noted, "We shouted to mom, why is Uncle Rodney Japanese?"
2) Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) in a special challenge match to knock Yokozuna off his feet. This challenge aired on the February 6th, 1993 edition of 'WWF Superstars', taped in San Antonio, Texas on January 5th, 1993. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler & Randy Savage. After several clotheslines, Duggan eventually knocked Yokozuna off his feet for the first time. The crowd went nuts and a jubilant Duggan waved the U.S. flag. The celebration didn't last long, as Yoko threw salt in Duggan's eyes and destroyed him with a big belly to belly suplex, followed by three Bonzai drops in the corner, then delivered a fourth Bonzai drop on Duggan with a U.S. flag draped over Duggan's body. Duggan was stretchered out doing an injury angle and didn't return to the ring until May.
More from Renee Young's sitdown interview with Jimmy & Jey Uso. They noted that Yokozuna was a funny guy and a big family man. They noted that he enjoyed playing basketball, despite his massive size. The Usos said that their favourite Yokozuna match was an Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs New Headshrinkers (Fatu & Sionne) match, that took place on the May 6th, 1995 edition of 'WWF Superstars'. A brief clip of the match was shown. They noted they picked this because it was the only match featuring their father (Rikishi/Fatu) going against their 'Uncle Rodney' (Yokozuna).
3) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) won the Royal Rumble match. This was the main event of the 'WWF Royal Rumble 1993' pay-per-view event, held in Sacramento, California on January 24th, 1993. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. The match started from Yokozuna's entrance as entrant #27. Yokozuna threw out Tatanka and Carlos Colon. Yoko squared off against Earthquake, culminating in Yoko belly to belly suplexing Earthquake to the outside. The match cut to the final 3 left - Yoko, Bob Backlund and Randy Savage. Yoko dumped out Backlund. Savage knocked Yoko down and delivered a flying elbow off the top. Then, in one of the more inexplicable Rumble match finishes ever, Savage pinned (?!) Yoko by the ropes. Yoko did a Superman kick out, that propelled Savage over the top rope and to the outside, resulting in Yokozuna's win.
4) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF title. This was the main event of the 'WWF Wrestlemania 9' pay-per-view event, held in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 4th, 1993. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Macho Man Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan. Match was joined in progress with Bret using the ropes to trip Yoko. Bret had offence, connecting with a bulldog, only for Yoko to kick out of the pin attempt. Bret knocked Yoko down with two clotheslines, then accidentally pulled off the turnbuckle pad. Yoko crashed into the exposed turnbuckle, leading to Bret applying the sharpshooter on Yoko. The finish saw Mr Fuji throw salt in Bret's eyes, causing Bret to release the hold and collapse to the mat. Yoko then pinned Bret for the WWF title win.
A very brief clip of the aftermath aired, with Hulk Hogan defeating Yokozuna for the WWF title.
5) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WWF title. This match took place at the 'WWF King of the Ring 1993' pay-per-view event, held in Dayton, Ohio on June 13th, 1993. Announcers for this match were Jim Ross & Macho Man Randy Savage & Bobby Heenan. Match was joined in progress. Yoko gave Hogan a big belly to belly suplex, but Hogan did a Superman kick out of the pin attempt and Hulked up. Hogan threw punches, delivered a big boot and legdrop, but Yoko kicked out. Hogan decked Fuji on the ring apron, but then a 'ringside photographer' (played by Harvey Wippleman in disguise but never revealed as such) took a photo on the ring apron, with a fireball shooting out of the camera and blinding Hogan. Yoko then delivered legdrop to score the pinfall win to regain the WWF title.
A video package aired, recapping the 'Stars & Stripes Bodyslam Challenge' that was fought aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York City on July 4th, 1993. Various WWF stars and invited professional athletes tried and failed to bodyslam Yokozuna, until Lex Luger showed up via helicopter and slammed Yoko, turning babyface in the process.
More from the Usos, in which they noted they never thought anyone could slam their uncle and were stunned when it happened.
Clips aired from Yokozuna's disqualification victory over Lex Luger at Wrestlemania 10. Luger nailed Yoko with a forearm smash, beat up Jim Cornette and Mr Fuji and had Yoko pinned. Rather than count the pinfall, special referee Mr Perfect checked on both Fuji and Cornette, before disqualifying Luger for manhandling him.
6) Bret Hart defeated Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji & Jim Cornette in his corner) to win the WWF title. This match was the main event of the 'WWF Wrestlemania 10' pay-per-view event, held at Madison Square Garden, New York on March 20th, 1994. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler. Match was joined in progress, as special referee Rowdy Roddy Piper decked Jim Cornette on the ring apron. Bret scored several nearfalls. Yoko climbed the ropes to deliver a Bonzai drop, but fell off the ropes and Bret pinned him for the WWF title win.
Clips aired from Yokozuna's induction into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame, with Rikishi and the Usos delivering Hall of Fame speeches for their departed loved one, Yokozuna.
Closing thoughts: Really enjoyable show. WWE produce these career retrospectives on individuals extremely well. The addition of new interview footage involving the Jimmy & Jey Uso was great and added to the show.
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1) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Bill Jordan ('WWF Superstars' - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: taped on 12/10/92, aired on 31/10/92).
2) Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) in a special challenge match to knock Yokozuna off his feet ('WWF Superstars' - San Antonio, Texas: taped on 05/01/93, aired on 06/02/93).
3) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) won the Royal Rumble match ('WWF Royal Rumble 1993' pay-per-view event - Sacramento, California: 24/01/93).
4) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF title ('WWF Wrestlemania 9' pay-per-view event - Las Vegas, Nevada: 04/04/93).
5) Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji in his corner) defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WWF title ('WWF King of the Ring 1993' pay-per-view event - Dayton, Ohio: 13/06/93).
6) Bret Hart defeated Yokozuna (w/Mr Fuji & Jim Cornette in his corner) to win the WWF title ('WWF Wrestlemania 10' pay-per-view event - MSG, New York: 20/03/94).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. For other reports like this one, be sure to check it out my website archive at http://www.classicwrestlingreports.com .
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.