August 30, 1993
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Palace Of Auburn Hills
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
After Hulk Hogan was bounced from the WWF after the King Of The Ring in June, the WWF was looking for a new star. Instead of going with the obvious choice in the very over Bret Hart, they instead followed their "smaller guys can't be on top" philosophy, and instead looked to make another "American Hero" type like Hogan. They settled on Lex Luger, who turned face on July 4, 1993 and dropped his Narcissist gimmick in favor of becoming an all American hero by becoming the only man to bodyslam Yokozuna. Now decked out in red, white, and blue, Luger toured the entire USA in his tour bus, aptly dubbed the "Lex Express" and was pushed as American #1. He was set to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Title at Summerslam and as a result, this show has one of those USA themes to it. Meanwhile, Bret Hart, who the fans loved just as much without a desperate cheap heat gimmick, never got his return match against Yoko, and was thrown
into a feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler instead.
Razor Ramon vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
In May, Razor Ramon lost to an unknown jobber on Monday Night Raw, a jobber that was then renamed the 1-2-3 Kid. Razor, infuriated over the fluke, challenged the Kid to yet another match, which The Kid also won. Ted DiBiase mocked Razor over the loss, and Razor turned face to start a feud with him. Leading up to Summerslam, DiBiase also wrestled the Kid on Raw, trying to prove he was better than Razor, but when Ramon came out to distract him, the Kid scored an upset win over DiBiase with a rollup. After this, the Kid and Razor actually became friends. DiBiase jumps Razor before the bell, but Razor fights back, and DiBiase has to bail twice. Back in, DiBiase uses the tights for leverage and takes control. A suplex sets up the Million Dollar Dream, but Ramon won't let him hook it. Razor comes back, taking DiBiase's head into an exposed turnbuckle (DiBiase's own doing earlier in the match), and finishes him off
with the Razor's Edge at 7:30. ** This would prove to be the final match of DiBiase's career, as he retired due to a back injury. Way to do the job, Teddy. We'll miss you.
1-900-420-SLAM is the number for the Summerslam hotline. Ray Rougeau has the honor of seeing what's going on, as the Undertaker takes calls from the fans. Dave from Kentucky asks a question about Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts, both of whom are no longer with the WWF. In 1993, that's a big no-no folks. Anyone who's still active in the business and not with the company isn't supposed to exist anymore. They're literally erased out of history. So Heenan interrupts the guy and takes us to...
Todd Pettengil talks to the Steiner Brothers' mother and sister in the crowd. Good interview, except they refer to them as "Rob and Scott", breaking kayfabe and telling everyone Rick's real name. Oops.
Tag Team Titles: Steiner Brothers (Champions) vs. Heavenly Bodies
This is the Steiner's homecoming. The Bodies jump them and nearly drop Rick on his head in a double backdrop. The Steiners use some great double teaming to come back. Scotty throws a few suplexes. The Bodies regroup with their manager Jim Cornette on the outside. Heenan mentions the Steiners' address as being 18714 Grand River Ave., but I'm pretty sure he just made that up. Scott handles both Bodies with suplexes again, Rick comes in and does the same, and the Bodies bail again. They finally comeback with a nice bulldog on Scott to take control. Jimmy Del Ray hits a moonsault from the apron to the floor, but the director missed it. Del Ray hits a floatover DDT inside. A crescent kick gets two. Corny nails Scott with his tennis racket. Del Ray goes for the floatover again, but this time Scott suplexes him to counter. The hot tag is stopped by Tom Pritchard, so Scott double underhook suplexes him, and
then makes the tag to Rick. The Steiners hit their top rope bulldog on Del Ray, but Pritchard saves. All four come in and Pritchard dumps Scott to the floor. Cornette nails Rick with the racket, and Del Ray covers for a close two count. The crowd is getting really hot by this point for their hometown boys. Del Ray goes for another moonsault, but this time he accidentally hits his own partner, Prtichard, and Scott hits the Frankensteiner for three. The Steiners retain at 9:28. Really enjoyable match. ***1/2 Not surprisingly since all four are awesome. Mom and sis like.
Joe Fowler, making his WWF PPV debut, talks to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Fowler actually isn't that bad. In fact, he's pretty good. Looks familiar too, but I can't quite put my finger on where else I've seen him. Is Shawn Michaels the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time? We'll find out next.
Intercontinental Title: Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels (Champion)
The winner will apparently be considered the best Intercontinental Champion of all time. The WWF hyped this to be a classic for months , but it just goes to show that you can't bank on, or predict, a classic. Savage/Steamboat, Bret/Bulldog, Bret/Owen; these were all classics that no one expected to be classics before hand. Shawn and Perfect are both great wrestlers, but for whatever reason, they just didn't mix here. The first five minutes are really good with Perfect getting the better of a sequence that caters to Perfect's tenacity and Shawn's speed. Shawn takes over with a crescent kick on the floor and goes to work on Perfect's back inside. Shawn goes off on a boring beatdown for awhile, but Perfect comes back like a house of fire. He dropkicks him and hits a backdrop for two. A big fist gets two. A hiptoss is blocked, and they fight over a backslide. Perfect counters into a
Perfect-Plex. Diesel pulls Perfect out at two, so Perfect nails him. Diesel posts him, and Perfect is counted out at 11:19. Shawn retains. *** That one needed more time, some more back and forth stuff, and a clean pinfall finish to be any higher. Post-match, Diesel beatdowns Perfect. The feeling out process in this match was great, but not much happened during the middle portion.
Todd joins Shawn in the aisle. Shawn's holding the belt so he must be the best Champ. Can't argue with that logic. Perfect gives chase down the aisle.
Fowler talks to the 1-2-3 Kid, two first time PPVers.
1-2-3 Kid vs. Irwin R. Schyster
As mentioned earlier, The Kid holds a win over DiBiase, so IRS has challenged him here. The pace is quick when the Kid is in control, but IRS's segment is slow. He works in the abdominal stretch as usual. Kid comes back with a moonsault and a reverse enziguri gets two. IRS comes back with the Write Off (flying clothesline) for the win at 5:35. ** I can understand putting IRS over since everyone figured the Kid would pull off another upset. It's not an upset anymore if the Kid wins every time.
Todd talks to Bruce and Owen Hart in the front row. They're pulling for Jerry Lawler to get what's coming to him.
Jerry Lawler comes out for his match with Bret Hart, but he's on crutches and there's a huge bandage around his knee. Lawler stops in the aisle and Todd interviews him on the house mic. Lawler goes into a completely over the top story about how he was involved in a thirty car pile up on I-95 earlier in the afternoon, and despite being horribly injured in the crash, saved several people's lives. He paints himself as a hero and even gets some more verbal insults in on the Hitman, which he's been doing on TV for months now. Lawler's drawing unbelievable heat here, and Heenan is supporting his outrageous fabricated story the entire time. Lawler says that he'd still love to fight Bret Hart tonight, but his doctor has told him that he can't, so he's found a replacement, the court jester, Doink the Clown.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Doink
Bret is pissed, and everybody can't believe how big of a fraud Lawler is. Doink comes out and dumps some confetti on Bruce and Owen, seated at ringside. Bret goes out there and absolutely kicks his ass, while Lawler makes his way to ringside to watch. Lawler cheers on Doink, but the match is almost all Bret. Bret finally hooks the Sharpshooter in, and Lawler sneaks into the ring and nails Bret with one of his crutches from behind, causing the DQ at 9:01. ***1/4 There's nothing wrong with his leg at all! Lawler proceeds to beat Bret down. Vince, Bruce, Owen, and the crowd are all pissed. Heenan is loving it.
Lawler starts his walk to the back, as officials take him away. Before he can get to the curtain, however, WWF President Jack Tunney comes out and confronts Lawler about his fake injury. Lawler tries to weasel his way out and sell the injury all over again, but it's too late now. Tunney gives him an ultimatem: Wrestle Bret Hart, or be suspended from the WWF forever. Before he can make a decision, Bret jumps him in the aisle, and beats on him all the way back to the ring.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler
Bret pounds on Lawler in a really intense brawl, but the King grabs a brief advantage by nailing Bret with his crutch again. It doesn't last long though, as Bret makes the big comeback and gets the submission win with the Sharpshooter at 6:34. *** Bret cinches back and won't let go of the hold after the match. Officials try to get him to let go, but he won't. This is Bret's revenge for weeks of Lawler insulting his mother and father. Even Bruce and Owen come into the ring to try to get him to let go of Lawler and he finally does. The ref then rules that since Bret refused to let go of the hold, he has DQ'ed him and reversed the decision, therefore the winner of the match is Jerry Lawler. Bret is hot, but Bruce and Owen calm him down. A slew of refs and officials stretcher a beaten Lawler out, and Lawler holds one finger up in victory. After all that, he's technically the winner of the match.
Awesome booking. Bret, Owen and Bruce are left in the ring. It should be noted that Lawler was in the very painful Sharpshooter for a total of two and a half minutes, which is more than some Raw matches last today. Heenan says that this feud won't end until one of them (Bret or Lawler) is out of the WWF for good. At that time I figured there was no way Bret could lose that one. Regardless, this wonderfully chaotic mess ruled, and the whole ordeal lasted about half an hour.
Shawn and Diesel are on the Superstar Line.
A Ludvig Borga vignette is shown, as he denounces America from some craphole of a neighborhood.
Marty Jannetty vs. Ludvig Borga
Squash central, as this is here to put Borga over someone with credibility. Jannetty was actually the Intercontinental Champion for three weeks in May. Jannetty never even knocks Borga down; that's how hard they were pushing him. A backbreaker submission finishes at 5:15. *
A Survivor Series promo is narrated by Mean Gene Okerlund, even though he left the WWF along with Hogan.
Vince and Heenan talk about Survivor Series briefly, and Vince announces a return to the elimination format.
Rest In Piece Match: The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
Before the match starts, we find out that an RIP match is simply No DQ and No Countouts. After Harvey Wippleman's men stole The Undertaker's urn in June, Paul Bearer disappeared, and during each of Giant Gonzalez's matches, a mysterious figure would bring a black reef to ringside. This is the blowoff. Taker keeps crawling to the urn that Harvey has sitting in the corner, but Gonzalez keeps punching him. Finally, the bell tolls and Paul Bearer makes his return, carrying a black reef. Bearer clotheslines Harvey and grabs the urn. Now that Paul has the urn, the Undertaker sits up. Four Taker clotheslines send Gonzalez down to one knee. Taker goes to the top and hits a nice clothesline and gets the pin at 8:05. This wasn't quite as bad as their Wrestlemania IX match. 1/4* Gonzalez would leave the company after this, so he does the obligatory face turn and chokeslams Harvey after the match. Harvey's year
long quest to find someone to beat the Undertaker is over, and he's failed.
Joe Fowler is with WWF Champion Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji, and James E. Cornette. Joe mentions that this has been a "night of surprises" and Corny says, "The biggest surprise is your employment." Gotta love Cornette.
Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers
Tatanka and Bigelow were the singles stars, but are now washed up, and Billy Gunn and Fatu are current singles standouts. Bart and Samu never amounted to much on their own and faded into obscurity. Weird. Bobby Heenan mentions that "Shawn Michaels... has left the building." He also brings up the irony of cowboys teaming up with an indian. Billy and Fatu start with a hot sequence. Billy did not suck in 1993. Samu comes in and hotshots him. Samu crescent kicks him right into his corner so he can tag Bart. Bart controls, but Samu hits an elbow and the heels run through their offense. Tatanka finally gets the hot tag and DDT's Bam Bam. He hits a top rope crossbody for two. Bigelow ghettoblasts him to stop the comeback. Samu's headbutt gets two and a pier-six erupts. The Shrinkers dispense of the Gunns. All three heels go to the top rope and try a simultaneous triple headbutt on Tatanka, but he moves and
rolls up Samu for the win at 11:16. *** Good match.
Joe Fowler talks to the Lex Express bus driver, Hank Carter, who says that of all the stops on the tour, he liked Philadelphia the most. He says that Lex Luger is a hero to sick kids across the country. Why the hell is this guy still in the bus? He drives around the entire country and they won't even let him sit in the arena for the main event? That's cold.
Todd talks to a party animal in a toga in the crowd. Hey, dude, Wrestlemania was in April.
Pre-match festivities: The Japanese National Anthem is sung to a chorus of boos. "Macho Man" Randy Savage comes out in a USA outfit to introduce Aaron Neville, who sings the American National Anthem.
WWF Title: Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna (Champion)
This is Luger's only shot at the Title, as the result of a clause that Yoko's spokesman, James E. Cornette, managed to sneak into the contract. So the pressure is on Luger to get the job done. Luger grabs the advantage to start, hitting a big elbow, but Yoko comes back with the usual. Luger goes for a bodyslam, but Yoko hits a crescent kick. Yoko avalanches him against the post on the floor. Back in, Luger hits two double axehandles and the running forearm, but only gets two. Yokozuna hits him with his salt bucket when the ref is distracted, but only gets two. He hits a belly to belly suplex for two, then takes a rest with a nerve hold. Luger tries to slam him again, but Yoko collapses on him for a two count. This whole match is like a cookie cutter Hogan vs. Big Guy match except with a little more athleticism, bigger movesets, and better execution. A Yoko leg drop gets two, but he misses the Banzai Drop.
Luger makes the big comeback and bodyslams him. Fuji gets on the apron, so Luger nails him, and admist the chaos, removes his forearm pad and nails Yoko with the unpadded forearm. Yoko falls to the floor and is counted out at 17:57. Good job, Luger, you moron. **1/2 A surprisingly decent match. The fans go nuts and Luger is congratulated by Savage, Tatanka, and the Steiners, but everyone fails to mention that he didn't win the Title, and now never has a shot to again. The USA heroes celebrate their worthless victory as the show goes off the air.
This was a good show from top to bottom. The Bret/Lawler stuff was terrific, the Tag Title match was great, and the main event, six man tag, and IC Title matches were all good. The only stuff that wasn't so good was short, and this show did a good job of putting the right people over, in Razor, the Steiners, Shawn, and The Undertaker.
Summerslam 1993 Key Stats Matches: 10
Total Wrestling: 92:00
Average Match: 9:12
Average Match Rating: **1/4
Top Moments: DiBiase's final match, the Tag Title match, Lawler's shenanigans, Paul Bearer's return, Luger's win