The clouds hovering over the shrinking WWE empire in June 1994 were growing more threatening. Not only was Vince McMahon on the eve of facing a jury in his very-public steroid distribution trial, but his greatest all-time star, Hulk Hogan, had just popped up in WCW as his rival's newest acquisition. Pay-per-view buyrates were falling, sponsors were bailing, and public interest in the sports entertainment empire was drying up rapidly.
The show pressed forward with the second annual King of the Ring pay-per-view, emanating from Baltimore. To try and dress up the event, "celebrity" involvement was employed in the form of anthem singer Rickey Medlocke, long-time frontman for southern rock band Blackfoot, as well as William Donald Schaefer, the Governor of Maryland. Not exactly headline-maker Mike Tyson in a DX t-shirt.
As if that weren't enough, and truly it wasn't, the cherry on the bile sundae was Art Donovan, legendary NFL ruffian-turned-affable public figure. That charm was hardly evident when 70-year-old Donovan joined the announce desk and proceeded to show that he knew nothing about the WWE product whatsoever, asking inane questions at the worst times.
In the end, Owen Hart reigned as King, setting him on a collision course with brother Bret, who reigned as WWE Champion. At least there was that.
Here are ten facts about the 1994 King of the Ring you may not have known.
10. The Steiner Brothers Left WWE Following The Qualifiers
Despite reigning as two-time WWE Tag Team Champions during their year-and-a-half with the promotion, it hardly feels as though Rick and Scott Steiner were even a part of the company, given that they were bigger stars in WCW and New Japan. Throughout 1993, the siblings were indeed highly visible on WWE programming, but by early 1994, their wattage had begun to fade.
The Steiners grumbled about wanting to work in Japan in conjunction with WWE, something Vince McMahon forbade, so long as they worked for him. After a European tour in February 1994, Rick and Scott vanished from WWE cards, not even appearing at WrestleMania.
They resurfaced in April of that year for three days of TV tapings, culminating with Scott Steiner losing a King of the Ring qualifier to Irwin R. Schyster in a match taped April 13 (aired May 7). After that match, the Michigan-born brothers left the promotion.