Episode 25 - July 12, 1993: Tora! Tora! Tora!

This episode brings us the Yokozuna/Crush match that we were promised last week. I don’t usually care about Yokozuna matches, but this one manages to set itself apart from the usual fare. For one thing, Crush kicks Yokozuna between the ropes and out of the ring, which I don’t think I’ve seen before. He also gets knocked down twice in a row after that. To Yokozuna’s credit I’m actually kind of surprised he’s able to take those bumps on top of maintaining a much more vigorous pace than his typical match. He even manages to pull off a snapmare for maybe the first time in his life. Just when it seems like Crush may actually come out on top, Mr. Fuji interferes allowing Yokozuna to build up his momentum and finish off Crush with the patented Banzai Drop. Winning isn’t enough though. To punish the cocky Americans, Yokozuna performs three more Banzai Drops in a row onto the already thoroughly flattened Crush. Tatanka tries to come to his aid, as well as two other jobbers, but they just get smacked in the face for their troubles. Finally, Randy Savage can’t stand it anymore and manages to save Crush from one last Banzai Drop. At this point the paramedics are brought in to cart off the badly injured Crush. What a tragedy. Can no American defeat this Japanese invader?!

 Wait, back up. The Hawaiian guy got sneak attacked by the Japanese guy? This is a match which will live in infamy.

Wait, back up. The Hawaiian guy got sneak attacked by the Japanese guy? This is a match which will live in infamy.

Later on we get a match with Mr. Hughes VS Tony DeVito. At this point I’m no longer interested in Mr. Hughes, but this match actually gets kind of interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, as the match starts, a mysterious man brings out a black funeral wreath and sets it at ringside. Written across it is a banner stating “Rest In Peace”. This is clearly an ominous foreshadowing of the Undertaker exacting his revenge on Mr. Hughes for attacking Paul Bearer and stealing his urn. The second interesting thing is seeing that Mr. Hughes, rather than getting rattled by this, actually taunts the Undertaker by finishing off his opponent with a big chokeslam, one of the Undertaker’s signature moves. After getting the pin, Mr. Hughes heads over to the flower arrangement and rips it apart in seconds. Hughes puts on a tough act, but we’ll see how tough he is when he actually comes face to face with the Undertaker in the squared circle.

 Mr. Hughes beginning to understand how screwed he is.

Mr. Hughes beginning to understand how screwed he is.

The rest of the show is pretty lackluster. The Headshrinkers nearly kill their jobbers, Tatanka obviously wins against his jobber, and Adam Bomb still hasn’t been given a challenge and so he takes it out on his jobber.

Conversely, the next episode features the “1-2-3” Kid, Marty Jannetty challenging Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship, the debut of a new tag team called Men on a Mission, and Jerry Lawler interviewing Tiny Tim. If they threw the Undertaker match in there somewhere, it would be the best episode of the year. As it stands, it may still be that.

 This guy knows!

This guy knows!