October 16, 2010
Steve Riddle

Summerslam 1993
August 30th, 1993
The Palace
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Celebrities in order of appearance: Joe Fowler and Aaron Neville

Dark Match:
1. Owen Hart defeats Barry Horowitz.

Actual Show:

We see highlights from earlier tonight of the Lex Express arriving at the arena.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

1. Razor Ramon pins “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase with the Razor’s Edge at 7:32.

The Buildup/Face Turn: This whole issue started over the spring when Razor was consistently being humiliated by the newcomer 1-2-3 Kid. Dibiase started mocking Razor, offering him a job as a janitor. Razor would pull one over on Dibiase, costing him a match against the Kid, officially turning Razor face and this match being set up.

Farewell: While he would stick around until 1996, this is Ted Dibiase’s last in ring PPV. He would retire after a brief stint in Japan. He would be a manager in both the WWF and WCW before retiring from wrestling all together. He currently is a minister and occasionally makes appearances here and there. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010 by his sons, Brett and Ted Jr.

Analysis: The sixth installment of Summerslam kicks off with a solid affair. After months of fans wanting a turn, Razor becomes a face and faces off with the veteran. Dibiase has had a very solid run since his debut, but his back is failing him and he needs to call it quits. Razor gets off to a big start, until Dibiase takes over and wears down Ramon. Dibiase gets desperate and takes off the turnbuckle pad, but he ends up eating it. One Razor’s Edge later, and Ramon gets a big win. Dibiase is done, as far as his in-ring career goes, and Ramon would take a big step in the midcard. Grade: 2

Vince hypes the Summerslam Hotline and we see Bret Hart and the Undertaker fielding questions.

Todd Pettengill interviews the family of the Steiners, who reminesce on the Steiners’ childhood.

2. The Steiner Brothers defeat the Heavenly Bodies (w/ James E. Cornette) when Scott pins “Gigolo” Jimmy Del Ray at 9:28 to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.

Debuts #1 and 2: The Heavenly Bodies are Dr. Tom Prichard and “Gigolo” Jimmy Del Ray. Prichard began his career in Los Angeles before moving to the CWF and USWA. He was part the opening of Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1992. He is also the brother of Bruce Prichard, better known as Brother Love. Del Ray got his start in Florida in a tag team with Brett Sawyer. He jumped to SMW in 1992 as well. The original Bodies were Prichard and Stan Lane, until Lane left and Del Ray took his place. They came into the WWF prior to this event.

Debut #3: Jim Cornette began his managing career in 1982 with the NWA. He became the manager of the Midnight Express, and his best known during their feud with the Road Warriors, where during a scaffold match, Cornette fell off the scaffold and broke both his ankles. During the time when WCW formed, Cornette would be a commentator and feuded with Paul E. Dangerously before leaving in 1990. He helped open Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and at this time was in a working agreement with the WWF. Cornette made his WWF debut on RAW in August with the Bodies.

Title Changes: The Steiners won the Tag Team Titles from Money Inc. on June 14th. Money Inc. recaptured the belts on June 16th, before dropping them again to the Steiners on June 19th.

Analysis: A pretty solid title defense for the Steiners. The Bodies were a very underrated team and had great chemistry, and they would stick around in the WWF for a while, but would never come close to the titles. The Steiners, who get a big pop in their hometown, go move for move with the Bodies, and the Bodies show some innovative stuff, such as a moonsault from Del Ray. The Steiners end up getting the win after a Frankensteiner on Del Ray. The Bodies move on to a new feud, and the Steiners have reached the peak of their WWF career, and sadly it would just go downhill from here. Grade: 2.5

Joe Fowler interviews Shawn Michaels, who says that he is the greatest IC Champion of all time and will defeat Mr. Perfect.

3. Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel) defeats Mr. Perfect by countout at 11:20 to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

The Buildup: This feud began all the way back to Wrestlemania IX, when Michaels assulted Perfect after his match with Lex Luger. Perfect would continue to taunt Michaels, and also cost him the title on an episode of RAW. After Michaels regained the belt, these two continued taking pot shots until this match was made. It was billed as “The Greatest Intercontinental Championship Match” in history.

Farewell: Aside from the 2002 Royal Rumble, this is Mr. Perfect’s last in-ring PPV. He would leave later in the year, making an appearance at Wrestlemania X, costing Lex Luger the WWF Championship. Perfect would return in 1995 as a commentator before leaving in 1996. He jumped to WCW and would be a fixture in the midcard, as part of the Four Horsemen, the NWO, and the West Texas Rednecks. After a brief stint in the XWF, he returned to the WWF in 2002 for one last run, but was let go in May after getting into a fight with Brock Lesnar. He would briefly appear in TNA for his final run. Curt Hennig would sadly pass away on February 10th, 2003 from what was ruled a cocaine overdose. His legacy continues today through his children Joe and Amy who are third generation wrestlers. Joe was seen on WWE NXT Season 2 under the name Michael McGillicutty. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 by Wade Boggs.

Analysis: On paper, this looked like it could be a 5-star classic. Perfect was in the prime of his career, and Michaels was continuing to get better. On this night, however, for some reason nothing seemed to click. Even though the build has been very solid, you do feel a little disappointed in this match. Both men never seem to get a good rhythm, and the end leaves a lot to be desired. The match itself is not terrible, but again considering who was in the match, could have been so much. Michaels wins by nefarious means, and Perfect takes a beating from Diesel after the match. Perfect would step away for a while, and Michaels would also be off camera, but for a different reason. Grade: 2.5

Todd Pettengill interviews Shawn Michaels, who says it’s now confirmed that he’s the greatest Intercontinental Champion.

Joe Fowler interviews the 1-2-3 Kid, who says he nervous to be on his first PPV, and he hopes to do well tonight against IRS.

4. Irwin R. Schyster pins The 1-2-3 Kid with the Write Off at 5:44.

Debut: Sean Waltman began his career in the PWA and GWF, winning numerous titles in both promotions. He would come to the WWF in the spring of 1993 as a jobber, using different names like the Lighting Kid, the Kamikaze Kid, the Cannonball Kid, and simply the Kid. He would score a huge upset win over Razor Ramon on RAW, and then embarrase Ramon again taking $10,000 from Ramon during another match between the two. The Kid would then call himself the 1-2-3 Kid, and upset Ted Dibiase thanks to Ramon. This is the Kid’s WWF PPV debut.

Analysis: An ok match that is more like a squash, which is weird as the Kid was on a huge roll and logic would state he go over the veteran, but alas IRS gets the win and kills all the heat the Kid had gained. Sure IRS was heading into a big feud, but he could have put the Kid over, but hindsight is 20/20. IRS dominates most of the match, with the Kid doing his high-risk offense to make his comeback, until IRS gets the win with his clothesline. A decent match as we head to one of our featured matches. Grade: 2

Todd Pettengill interviews Bruce and Owen Hart, who say they are proud of Bret and hope he defeats Jerry Lawler.

5. Bret “The Hitman” Hart defeats Doink the Clown (w/ Jerry “The King” Lawler) by disqualification at 9:05.

The buildup: After KOTR, Jerry Lawler began insulting Bret and his family, specifically his parents. The biggest moment was on an episode of RAW where Stu and Helen were guests. During Bret’s match, Lawler appeared and taunted Stu and Helen and caused Bret to get counted out of his match. This match was made to determine the Undisputed King of the WWF, but before the match, Lawler comes out with an ice pack on his knee and crutches, saying he was in an accident and can’t compete, and announces Doink as his replacement.

Farewell: This is Matt Borne’s last PPV. He would be fired for repeated drug offenses, but the Doink character would remain for several years. Borne would compete in ECW as Doink and Brone Again, but his stay there would be brief as well. He would get cleaned up and his currently semi-retired. He reprised Doink for RAW’s 15th Anniversary Battle Royal.

Analysis: Bret comes out to a big pop, as he gets ready to tear the King apart, but Lawler comes out on crutches, obivously scared to face the Hitman. So he calls on Doink as his replacement. Bret and Doink have a knock down, drag out fight as Matt Borne continues to show how underrated he is, and Bret has never been better. Bret eventually gets the Sharpshooter on Doink, until Lawler hits Hart with the crutch, showing he was not hurt. Lawler is proud of himself, but Jack Tunney comes out and tells Lawler he must wrestle or face a lifetime ban. As for this match, it is very good, and it is bittersweet as Borne would be let go, and Doink would become a useless comedy face act. As for Bret, he now gets his hands on Lawler. Grade: 3

6. Jerry “The King” Lawler defeats Bret “The Hitman” Hart by reverse decision at 6:32.

Analysis: After his plan to get out of this match backfired, Lawler now has to face the music and wrestle Bret. Bret proceeds to pound Lawler all over the ring, with Lawler getting the advantage with the crutch. The crowd is loving every minute of it, seeing their hero tear apart The King. Hart gets the win with the Sharpshooter, but then won’t let go of the hold, causing the ref to reverse the decision and DQ him. He, along with Owen and Bruce, continue to pound Lawler and he gets taken out on a stretcher, but not before he raises his arm in victory. The feud was to continue, but we will see what happens. For now, a second straight match for Bret, and the heat is amazing, and the match is good. Grade: 3

We see Shawn Michaels, Diesel, and IRS on the Summerslam Hotline.

We see Ludvig Borga in the streets of Detroit, running down the city.

7. Ludvig Borga forces Marty Jannetty to submit at 5:15.

Debut: Tony Halme began as a boxer before being trained by Verne Gagne. He competed in UWF as the Viking and also competed in New Japan. He came to the WWF prior to this event as Ludvig Borga, an athlete from Finland who was disgusted with America. This is his PPV debut.

Analysis: A basic squash match to establish the next big heel. Borga came in and was pushed quickly, while Jannetty was on the bottom of the ladder, just mere months after winning the IC title. I guess Vince couldn’t rely on him due to his personal issues, but that’s what happens. For now, Borga wins decisively with a Torture Rack, which is coincidentally Lex Luger’s favorite submission, which would help set up their potenial feud. Grade: 2

We see an ad for the Survivor Series.

8. The Undertaker pins Giant Gonzales (w/ Harvey Wippleman) in a Rest In Peace match at 8:04.

The buildup: After WM IX, Gonzales and Wippleman stole Undertaker’s urn and put Taker and Paul Bearer out of action for a time. Taker makes his return here and faces Gonzales in a match with no DQ’s and no countouts.

Farewell: This is Giant Gonzales’s last PPV. He would face out after the match and was set to feud with Wippleman and Adam Bomb, but left in October. He would compete in New Japan before retiring in 1995.

Analysis: Do we really have to put up with this again? As if the WM match wasn’t enough, we have a rematch which is even worse than that match was. It’s the same as the last one, except it’s longer and more boring. Finally, Paul Bearer returns and retrieves the urn, and Taker finishes off Gonzales for good. Gonzales would depart for good, and Taker would finally move on to a better feud. Grade: 0

Joe Fowler interviews Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji, and Jim Cornette, who says that Lex Luger would be squashed tonight by Yokozuna.

9. The Smoking Gunns and Tatanka defeat The Headshrinkers and Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Afa and Luna Vachon) when Tatanka pins Samu at 11:15.

Analysis: Clearly the best match of the night by a mile. All 6 men put everything they had into this match and put on a great effort. The Shrinkers and Bam Bam were building great heat, and the Gunns and Tatanka were getting over big time. The Shrinkers and Gunns were still low on the tag team chain, while Bam Bam and Tatanka were still toiling in the mid card. The heels dominate most of the match, until the faces take over and Tatanka, who is still undefeated at this point, gets the pin for the win. All 6 men move on to new feuds as we move on to our main event. Grade: 3

Joe Fowler is outside and interviews the Lex Express’s driver, who hopes that Lex Luger wins the title.

Todd Pettengill is in the crowd and interviews the fans who are excited to be there.

We see the opening festivities for the main event, including the singing of the Japanese National Anthem by Kiotika Suzuki and the singing of the National Anthem by Aaron Neville.

10. Lex Luger defeats Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and James E. Cornette) by countout at 17:58. Yokozuna retains the WWF Championship.

The Buildup/Face Turn: On July 4th, on the USS Intrepid, Yokozuna held a bodyslam challenge to all American athletes. No one was successful until a helicopter arrived and out stepped Lex Luger. Luger came in and bodyslammed Yokozuna, turning him face. He then issued a challenge to Yoko for a title shot, which was refused. Lex would then travel cross country in the Lex Express gaining support. The match was eventually made, but Jim Cornette, revealing himself as Yoko’s American spokeperson, added a clause saying this would be Luger’s only title shot.

Analysis: We come to our main event. After Hulk Hogan left, Vince felt like he had to have an All-American face to try to beat Yokozuna, so he chose Luger, who was at his peak as a heel as the Narcissist, and he becomes the All-American Hero. As I mentioned before, when Lex had the right guy to carry him, he could have good matches. But when he has to carry the matches, he very rarely has good matches. Here he has to carry Yoko, and here doesn’t do a terrible job. The ending is very cheesy, as Luger doesn’t attempt to get Yoko in the ring, and just celebrates like he won the belt, which he didn’t. This was to be the only title match, but Vince felt he could get another match and get a bigger reaction from the fans, but we will see how that turns out. For now, the show tries to end on a high note, but just feels very forced. Grade: 2.5

Lex Luger poses with Randy Savage, The Steiners, and Tatanka as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: Overall, this Summerslam is pretty good, not as good as the year before, but not in the bottom ranks as well, as it is just in the middle. The two tag matches are the best ones of the night, while the Lawler/Hart feud had the most heat. We get a few debuts in some squash matches, and Razor takes a big step as a face. The main event is not bad, but the ending could have been so much better. The only real black spot is the Taker/Gonzales match while the IC title match is the most disappointing. Overall, 1993 is still on the low side, but there’s one show left, but we’ll see if it can salvage the year. Final Grade: B

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