King of the Ring 1994 was the second annual King of the Ring professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on June 19, 1994 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. "King of the Ring" is also the name of the tournament that was the focus of this pay-per-view event. The tournament to determine which wrestler would be crowned King of the Ring actually began the month before the pay-per-view, as the wrestlers gained entry in the tournament by participating in qualifying matches. These matches were held throughout May 1994 on WWF television programs, although the WWF did not explain how wrestlers were selected to compete in the qualifying matches. The second, third and fourth rounds of the tournament were televised on the pay-per-view broadcast on June 19.
Owen Hart won the tournament by defeating Doink the Clown to qualify and by winning three matches at the pay-per-view. Over the course of the evening, he defeated Tatanka in the quarter-finals, the 1-2-3 Kid in the semi-finals and Razor Ramon in the final match. He used his coronation ceremony to criticize his brother Bret, with whom he was feuding. The Hart brothers' feud led to a Steel Cage match for Bret's WWF Championship. Although Owen lost the title match, the feud carried on as more family members got involved.
In addition to the tournament, several other matches were held at the event. The main event match was a grudge match between two semi-retired wrestlers, Jerry Lawler and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, which Piper won. The undercard also featured Bret Hart defending his WWF Championship against Diesel. Diesel won the match when Hart's brother-in-law Jim Neidhart interfered. As a result, Hart retained the title. The other match was for the WWF Tag Team Championship, in which The Headshrinkers successfully defended the belts against the team of Yokozuna and Crush.
Participants in the tournament qualified in matches televised during WWF programs in the weeks prior to the event. The first qualifying match took place on May 7, 1994. Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) defeated Scott Steiner in a match televised on WWF Superstars. The next qualifying match took place on the May 9, 1994 episode of Monday Night Raw, when Razor Ramon defeated Kwang with a Razor's Edge in a qualifying match to enter the tournament. In a match televised on May 14, 1994, Mabel (of Men on a Mission) defeated Pierre (of The Quebecers) to qualify for the tournament. Two days later, the May 16, 1994 edition of Monday Night RAW featured a qualifying match between Bam Bam Bigelow and Thurman "Sparky" Plugg. Bigelow got the victory and was entered in the tournament.
The remaining qualifying matches built up to the tournament and developed storylines that played out on the pay-per-view. Lex Luger faced Jeff Jarrett in a qualifying match on May 21, 1994. During the match, Crush came to the ring and fought with Luger. Jarrett won the match by countout and advanced to the tournament. Owen Hart was scheduled to wrestle Earthquake on May 23, 1994 for a spot in the tournament, but the plan was changed after Earthquake left the WWF. To explain Earthquake's absence, the WWF showed footage of Yokozuna wrestling Earthquake and claimed that Earthquake had sustained an injury. Doink the Clown took Earthquake's place, but Owen Hart won the match to qualify for the tournament. Next, on May 28, 1994, a qualifying match between the 1-2-3 Kid and Adam Bomb was televised on WWF Superstars. The Kid won after Kwang attempted to interfere on Bomb's behalf. Kwang accidentally spat green mist in Bomb's face, allowing the Kid to get the victory. In the final qualifying match, Jimmy Del Ray was originally scheduled to face Tatanka in a match televised on Monday Night Raw on May 30, 1994, but Crush took Del Ray's place. The kayfabe reason given was that Crush's manager, Mr. Fuji, made a deal with Jim Cornette, Del Ray's manager, to allow Crush to compete. The match ended in a double countout, after Fuji and Chief Jay Strongbow, who was seconding Tatanka, got involved. This led to a Lumberjack match on Monday Night Raw the following week. Tatanka won the match and the spot in the tournament, after Lex Luger gained revenge for Crush's interference in his match by attacking Crush.
The Headshrinkers had recently become faces after signing Captain Lou Albano as their manager. They received an immediate push and won the World Tag Team Championship by defeating The Quebecers. Meanwhile, Yokozuna was being buried by the WWF after losing the WWF Championship at WrestleMania X and being defeated by Earthquake in a Sumo match. He teamed with Crush, who was also managed by Mr. Fuji, to challenge The Headshrinkers for the tag team title at King of the Ring.
After beating Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Championship in April 1994, Diesel was in the midst of a major push. He was considered the top contender to Bret Hart's WWF Championship, and a match was booked for King of the Ring in which only Hart's title would be on the line. The feud intensified on the May 30, 1994, edition of Monday Night Raw during Jerry Lawler's interview segment, The King's Court. During an interview with Hart, Lawler invited Diesel and his friend Shawn Michaels to confront Hart. After a verbal confrontation, Diesel performed his Jacknife Powerbomb on Hart, after which Diesel, Michaels and Lawler attacked Hart. The following week on Monday Night Raw, Bret announced that he would have a family member, whose identity would be a secret until the pay-per-view, in his corner to help prevent Michaels from interfering on Diesel's behalf.
The buildup to the main event match began at WrestleMania X. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper had served as the guest referee during the main event match between Bret Hart and Yokozuna, and Jerry Lawler was a commentator. Following WrestleMania, Lawler used his interview segment, The King's Court, to insult Piper. After a match was signed between the two, Lawler insulted Piper further by introducing a scrawny fan dressed as Piper on The King's Court. He claimed that this impersonator was Piper himself, and he made the fan kiss Lawler's feet.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Thurman "Sparky" Plugg defeated Kwang
- Razor Ramon defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (8:24)
- Irwin R. Schyster defeated Mabel in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (5:34)
- Owen Hart defeated Tatanka in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (8:18)
- 1-2-3 Kid defeated Jeff Jarrett in a King of the Ring Quarter-Final match (4:39)
- Diesel (w/ Shawn Michaels) defeated Bret Hart (c) (w/ Jim Neidhart) by DQ in a WWE Championship match (22:51)
- Razor Ramon defeated Irwin R. Schyster in a King of the Ring Semi-Final match (5:13)
- Owen Hart defeated 1-2-3 Kid in a King of the Ring Semi-Final match (3:37)
- The Headshrinkers (c) defeated Crush & Yokozuna to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (9:16)
- Owen Hart defeated Razor Ramon in the King of the Ring Final match (6:35)
- Roddy Piper defeated Jerry Lawler (12:30)
The tournament took place between April 13 and June 19, 1994. The tournament brackets were:
|Bam Bam Bigelow||8:24|
|Bam Bam Bigelow||Pin|
|Thurman "Sparky" Plugg||6:28|
|Irwin R. Schyster||5:13|
|Irwin R. Schyster||Pin|
|Irwin R. Schyster||Pin|
|Doink the Clown||Pin|
|The 1-2-3 Kid||3:37|
|The 1-2-3 Kid||Pin|
|The 1-2-3 Kid||Pin|
Other on-screen talent
- King of the Ring 1994 on WWE Network
- King of the Ring 1994 at CAGEMATCH.net
- King of the Ring 1994 at Online World of Wrestling
|King of the Ring|
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|1994 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • WrestleMania X • King of the Ring • SummerSlam • Survivor Series|