We will finish up our run through bad PPVs with 4 more events. We start things off with the 1993 SummerSlam. 2 decades before WWE tried to force a new fan favorite while trying to forget about Hulk Hogan, they were the WWF trying to force a new fan favorite while trying to forget about Hulk Hogan. Well now we don’t have to travel very far, so let’s start.
We see from earlier today, at 6:02 PM EDT, that the Lex Express, before it’s days as Adam Rose’s party/meth bus, has pulled into the arena for his WWF Championship match with Yokozuna. Consider him Roman Reigns: Better than he gets credit for, but push far beyond what he should’ve been. Luger is here in Auburn Hills, MI to become Champion.
Vince McMahon nearly pops a blood vessel introducing the show, himself, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Ted DiBiase vs. Razor Ramon starts the show. DiBiase headlined the first SummerSlam. Heenan refers to Razor as Desi Arnez. Thankfully no one gets angry about this. Vince wants Razor. 3 year will change that. DiBiase attacks Razor before the match starts. However, a “BACK BODY DROP” helps Razor sway things by his way. DiBiase rolls outside to get a breather before getting back in. Razor wrestles him into a corner before DiBiase briefly takes over. Razor again sends DiBiase to the outside. When DiBiase tries to slowly enter, Razor hurls him back in. When DiBiase tries begging him off, he suckers him in with a pull of the tights. DiBiase then chokes Razor several times while a young Jimmy Korderas orders him to stop. DiBiase then targets the back for only two. DiBiase then uses a chinlock while Vince acts like he’s being murdered. Strange for Heenan to try to make something legal seem weasely. Razor powers out of the hold before DiBiase knees him in the gut. He then uses a swinging neckbreaker before using a suplex. DiBiase goes for the million dollar dream, but Razor uses his elbow to take over momentum. It is short-lived as DiBiase sends Razor outside. With the referee working on Razor, DiBiase removes the turnbuckle pad. When DiBiase tries to use the buckle, Razor reverses and sends DiBiase into it. After a Razor’s edge, Razor gets the win. A sign the New Generation shows it is a new day. Yes it is.
Todd Pettengill, basically, Renee Young is she weren’t cute, and was a bit too annoying, is interviewing the mother of WWF Tag Team Champions the Steiner Brothers, as well as their sister. We find out their dad is at home. Their sister accidentally refers to Rick Steiner by his real first name as Jim Cornette interrupts her to introduce the Steiners’ opponents, the Heavenly Bodies. The Bodies are a tag team that wrestle in Cornette’s Smokey Mountain Wrestling. Think NXT is it had a more regional feel. The promotion will give wrestling The Gangstas, as well as Kane. So not a bad deal overall. Given this is 1993 Scott Steiner, we won’t get something like “CORNETTE! AFTER WE TAKE YOUR FAT ASS OUT! YOUR OLD LADY WILL LEARN WHY DERE’S A 141 AND 2/3S CHANCE AH ME BEIN’ DA BIG BAD! BOOTY DADDY”! Again, heels attack before the bell. The Bodies keep Scott out of the ring as they dissect Rick. Scott gets some traction under him, and gets in the ring to take the Bodies to #SuplexCityBitch Cornette looks like he’s blowing a gasket as the Bodies regroup. Scott starts with Dr. Tom Prichard. Tossing him in the air, and even dispatching of Jimmy Del Ray. When Rick tags in, Dr. Tom tries to out-power him, to no avail. Again, Cornette yells about having an aneurism while the Bodies regroup. Scott tags back in. And when Dr. Tom’s begging off gets a kick to the gut, it is not preceded with “AH F--- YOU”! Scott sends him across the ropes before delivering inverted atomic drops. With Del Ray distracting Scott, Dr. Tom takes advantage. Del Ray tags in briefly, and keeps Scott down for a bit with a DDT before tagging Dr. Tom back in. Heenan scores this match as 1112-9. Still more legit than most sports scores. Del Ray uses a superkick, but only gets two. Until 2010, that will rarely ever happen again. Even Cornette gets in on the action when he rackets Scott in the throat. Del Ray tries another DDT before he is suplexed. Scott tries to tag in, but needs one more suplex to get Rick in. Rick starts Steinerlining everyone in sight before Scott is sent outside. Referee Danny Davis is distracted by Scott being outside, that he doesn’t see the racket used by Dr. Tom on Rick. It only gets two. When Scott recovers, he prevents another double team, and Frankensteiners Del Ray. Which allows Rick to get the pinfall victory. There are no questions the Bodies got Steinerized.
Backstage, College sports announcer Joe Fowler interviews Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels, who is flanked by Diesel, before his match against Mr. Perfect, who is one of two former AWA World Heavyweight Champions in action tonight. Fowler talks about how the Intercontinental Championship seems to be in and out of Michaels’ hands regularly. Michaels says that tonight will answer who is the greatest Intercontinental Champion. Fowler points out how Perfect basically cost Michaels the IC belt, and Diesel in effect won it back for him. Michaels says he’s the one wearing it. Diesel says he’s only there to keep Michaels safe outside.
Michaels vs. Perfect is next up. The way Vince says Sexy Boy is scary. We see that announcing the event for the Armed Forces Network are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon. A team that needs to happen more often. The match begins with Perfect sizing Michaels up, but Michaels briefly bringing him down. Perfect gets out of a chinlock, and targets the back of Michaels. Both men reverse a series of hammerlocks before Perfect takes Michaels down and avoids an elbow. Heenan says that they are showing you more moves than a go-go dancer, which gets a chuckle. After a tie-up, Michaels slaps Perfect and punches before Perfect chop him. After Michaels attempts to reverse a whip into a moonsault, Perfect gets him down and armbars him. Michaels powers out, and begins working in Perfect briefly. Perfect starts armdragging him. Perfect again focuses on the arm before Michaels sends him off the ropes. Perfect is able to block a dropkick into a slingshot out of the ring. When Perfect is distracted by Diesel outside of the ring, Michaels superkicks him. At this point, Michaels attacks Perfect’s back before sending him into the buckle. Young Curtis Axel is watching this match looking at how Perfect wrestles, while young Dolph Ziggler watches while looking at how to sell. Michaels keeps whipping while Heenan says the ring has been moved to Flint. Michaels stretches Perfect’s back while Heenan remarks that Michaels should snap him like a Slim-Jim. Vince starts whitewashing Bret “The Hitman” Hart 4 years early when he forgets Perfect has submitted before, most notably to Bret. Perfect fights out of the holds while Heenan denies he ever said you do what you have to do to win. Perfect dropkicks Michaels, and keeps on him while Heenan says you do what you have to, and says he’s quoting Vince. Perfect tries to backslide Michaels, but Michaels rolls out into a Pefectplex. Diesel pulls Perfect’s leg, sending Perfect out to brawl with Diesel. When Michaels tries to attack, Perfect is able to block him. But when referee Earl Hebner is distracted, Diesel sends Perfect into the steps, leading to a win by countout for Michaels. After the match, Perfect attacks both men, but the two-on-one advantage is too much. Todd says Michaels cannot be proud with how he won, but Michaels believes the questions have been answered. The Kliq are 2-0 tonight as Perfect runs in pursuit.
Fowler interviews the 1-2-3 Kid before his match with Irwin R. Shyster. Fowler says he is nervous being at his first PPV, and asks Kid if he is as well. Kid admits he is a little bit. We can see who the original Face of Fear is. Fowler says that while IRS may be bigger than Kid, that most of Kid’s opponent’s have been. When Kid goes to answer, we find out IRS is in the ring. This must be where we get static, followed by “DAP”! Fowler tells Kid to enjoy the moment, something Kid thanks him for as he heads to the ring. IRS says Detroit used to be the Motor City, now it’s the Cash Cheat City. Jeez, that’s not that inspirational. Heenan says this is the first time Kid has been up after 8:00. A tie-up starts this match before IRS uses his power advantage. Kid tries to pin him, but only gets two. IRS stays on him, and pantomimes 1, 2, 3. Heenan says Kid was higher in this arena than any basketball thrown by Michael Jordan. IRS sends Kid outside. When IRS tries sending him in the hard way, Kid lands on his feet, and attempts a pin. IRS again uses power to strike Kid, and put him in an abdominal stretch. When IRS uses the rope for leverage, Heenan says it is only cheating if you get caught. We prefer when he says that it is not cheating if you don’t care. IRS locks in a chinlock while fans yell “1,2,3”. Kid battles back, and uses his quickness for a moonsault and la magisterial. Again, IRS is able to use power when he clotheslines to get three. Heenan uses his telestr… Brain Scan to show the win.
Todd talks to Bruce and Owen Hart, who talk about being sick and tired of Jerry “The King” Lawler, the other former AWA Champion in action tonight, and his attacks on the Hart family. Owen says Stu and Helen are rooting at home for their son Bret.
Bret walks out for his match with Lawler to decide the King of the WWF tonight. Yep, the Burger King and the Dairy Queen Destroyer on on the same show here. Too bad Ken Patera is not in the WWF here, and Heath Slater is still a kid. The fast food jokes would hit critical mass. Bret is only the second Triple Crown Champion in the WWF behind Pedro Morales. Lawler emerges on crutches with an ice-pack on his knee. We know it’s not a staph infection, or we’d have to make a #ZPak joke. Lawler is another person with an unofficial developmental promotion for the WWF. His being the USWA. Years before Vince will become a major heel, he will play one in the Memphis-based promotion. Even wearing the USWA World Heavyweight Championship belt after WWF star Tatanka wins it. In fact, most, not all, WWF faces are also USWA heels while Lawler is a USWA face. The original bizarre world. Anyway, Lawler is more limp than most before Viagra while Todd asks what’s going on. Lawler starts yelling about how he hates Bret’s family, and wishes he could wrestle, but he’s hurt. Lawler alleges that because of his rental car got into a pile-up to avoid hitting an old woman. Lawler claims he emerged out of the crash with only the leg injury. 16-year old Brock Lesnar scoffed big hearing that while rotating a horse over an open fire. Bret finds he seemingly will not be facing Lawler tonight. Bret is told he is hated by many in the locker room. So Lawler recruited Doink. Don’t worry, this is the original, good one. Doink throws confetti on one fan, and water on Bruce. This sends Bret outside to retrieve Doink. After a brief Brawl, Bret sends him outside. Between Bret, Lawler, and Doink, it is surprising Doink would wrestle at the first WrestleMania. Bret would only have to wait a year before doing that, while Lawler would wait almost three decades. Bret brawls with Doink outside before sending him back inside. Bret punches and kicks Doink before the clown prince of the WWF would be sent back outside. Despite a punch to Bret on his way back in, Doink would continue to face an assault when in the ring. Owen yells for Bret to save a piece for Lawler afterwards. After he knocks down Doink, Bret tries to go after Lawler, but Doink goes after him, and hits him with confetti. After Bret gets back in the ring, Doink follows him and stomps on him. When Doink goes to punch Bret, we get a quick yay/boo before Doink attacks Bret’s leg. Lawler yells to break Bret’s leg. Doink goes for a pin, but only gets two. Doink is the original clown to use an STF before turning it into a chinlock. Bret uses elbows to get out, but Doink uses a knee to get back into this. Doink uses a submission hold before referee Bill Alfonso notices Doink is using the rope. Doink stays on the assault until Bret gets his knees up to block Doink’s splash. After a few moves of doom, Bret locks in the sharpshooter to win. Lawler comes in and attacks Bret with his crutch. Bret’s brothers are kept away by referees Davis and Tim White, and official Tony Garea. When Lawler limps to the back, WWF President Jack Tunney furthermores Bret vs. Lawler to begin by threatening to ban Lawler a few months before he actually is due to a legal issue that takes months to sort out. Takes Tunney 30 seconds to start a match on PPV. The Authority need 20 minutes for a match on RAW.
Bret brings Lawler in and bites him, legdrops him, and uses other assorted strikes. Bret uses the crutch, but the pre-heel ECW referee Alfonso allows both Bret and Lawler to bash each other with it. Lawler then chokes Bret with the end of the crutch before throwing it aside to avoid a DQ. He then uses another piece though, so maybe not that worried. Lawler crotches Bret with the post. Lawler says the Harts are trying to get involved, and when Alfonso goes to yell, Lawler uses the piece. When Lawler takes a breather, Bret low-blows him. Bret then pulls his straps down like Lawler does or The Undertaker will do. After punches and a back body drop, Bret then uses Lawler’s piledriver before going for an elbow drop. After gauging finishing Lawler using a thumbs up/thumbs down straight from a gladiator movie, Bret locks in the sharpshooter to get a submission win. However, given the personal nature of the feud, Bret refuses to break, resulting in a DQ reversal. Lawler may win the match, but the moral victory goes to Bret. This seems to be the end of the string of good-to-great matches.
A video for Ludvig Borga airs. Borga before, and after this run would be in movies like Lionheart and Die Hard with a Vengeance, an MMA fighter, a boxer who would win he Finnish Heavyweight Championship and even a politician. Anyway, the video has him berating a dilapidated building claiming this is what Americans stand for. Strangely, 16-year old John Cena may be booked to beat him.
Borga faces Marty Jannetty. Strangely, Jannetty doesn’t fit what his name is sadly brought up with. A former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion. When Jannetty turns around, he is attacked by Borga, who’s tight kind of prevent him from looking like a CAW of Lesnar. He throws Jannetty around the ring. When Vince says it is impressive, Heenan says “It is to me”. After a two-handed choke, Borga deposits Jannetty into the corner and punches. Despite Jannetty using several kicks, Borga keeps using his power. Borga has only been here two months, so that’s why he’s still in squash mode. After a bearhug, Borga uses a clothesline. When Jannetty battles out, it is short-lived when he is in a world’s strongest slam. After a few power moves, Borga ends it with a torture rack. Borga’s squashes, and finisher, bring the idea that this is Luger’s next feud.
A Survivor Series ad is next. Spoiler: Taker’s American flag under his trenchcoat is badass. The comentators talk about the elimination possibilities.
Taker vs. Giant Gonzalez in a Rest in Peace match. Basically the only way to win is by pinfall. Taker’s first SummerSlam rematch after a bad WrestleMania match. Harvey Whippleman has Paul Bearer’s urn, stolen from Bearer. Taker emerges without Bearer for the first time in a long time. Taker is in the middle of a long period where he faces nothing but big men. Taker takes the fight straight at Gonzalez at the start. Punching and choking Gonzalez before Gonzalez, the 3 in 3-0 uses a kick, and clubbing. Despite a clothesline series by Taker, Gonzalez knocks him down. Taker with a Jason Spot before being sent to the outside. Both men brawl before Gonzalez sends Taker into the steps. Gonzalez then uses a chair to hit Taker several times. Gonzalez then sends Taker into the steps. Taker reaches out to someone while struggling to get back up. Taker is sent back in the ring by Gonzalez, where Taker reaches for the urn before Gonzalez punches him. Taker keeps trying to get to the urn, but Gonzalez keeps throwing him around. Suddenly, Bearer emerges after a bell tolls. Bearer shows up with a black wreath that says “Rest in Peace”. Whippleman goes to attack Bearer, but Bearer is a World Class performer. After clotheslining, Bearer gets the urn. When Gonzalez goes to attack Bearer, Taker does another Jason spot. Taker then throat thrusts and clotheslines Gonzalez five times before doing one more off the top rope to get the win. Gonzalez then attacks Whippleman and give him the safest chokeslam ever to possibly turn face. Not a great match, not a great feud, but thankfully, it’s over. It may not be the strangest Taker match at SummerSlam.
Fowler talking with Yokozuna, Cornette, and Mr. Fuji. Between Cornette maintaining the earlier match is a tainted victory, and that Luger won’t leave as Champion. Guess the Japanese wrestler as Luger is told he will meet with Yokozuna’s power.
Tatanka and the Smoking Gunns vs. The Headshrinkers and Bam Bam Bigelow. James Storm will laugh when we ask him to walk down with cap guns before his match at the first TNA PPV. Again we see JR and Gorilla for the Armed Forces Network. Heenan tells everyone Michaels has left the building. After a brief brawl, Bam Bam sends Tatanka down. He then uses power until Tatanka uses a dropkick and “BACK BODY DROP”! After a desperation move by Bam Bam, Billy Gunn and Fatu tag in. In this Attitude Era exchange, Billy briefly dominates before Fatu out-powers him, and tags in Samu. Billy tags in Bart Gunn. Bart tries a clothesline, but hits Samoan head a bit too hard. Bam Bam tags in and dropkicks Bart. After a few more moves, Bam Bam tags in Fatu, who also uses power before tagging in Samu. After Samu dominates, he tags in the fresh Bam Bam. When Fatu tags in, he again displays the Samoan head gimmick perfectly. When Korderas is distracted, a double team occurs. Heenan says you’d need a SWAT team against the Headshrinkers. Samoan SWAT Team joke, or Shield joke. When Bam Bam misses, Bart is able to tag in Tatanka. After he delivers chops to Bam Bam, Tatanka DDTs Bam Bam. When Bam Bam recovers, Tatanka starts to war dance before another power move by the big man. Samu tags in and headbutts to get two. After a schmozz, Tatanka gets attacked with a triple headbutt. When they try a triple splash like Tatanka was Jimmy King, he moves out of the way. After a brief brawl, Tatanka rolls up Samu to win.
Fowler interviews Lex Express driver Hank “Don’t Call Me Dixie” Carter. Hank looks like Alex Jones if he smiled. Hank will be watching the match from the bus. Guess he has the advantage of being able to get out early. Hank says a highlight is driving with Luger to a children’s hospital. After jokingly being asked who will win, Hank says Luger.
Todd interviews a man named Bruce, who is wearing an American flag toga. Heenan thinks Jimmy Carter drove the bus. Heenan is on fire tonight.
There is a performance of the Japanese national anthem. Say what you will about the WWF, but sometimes, they make some wrestlers, and even the most innocent of actions, into the biggest heel offenses. Aaron “Don’t Call Me Adrian” Neville comes out with the man that is the Master of Ceremonies for this match, Macho Man Randy Savage. Savage is the elder statesman in the WWF, though he still has enough for one more good run. Savage introduces Neville to perform the American national anthem. You can tell this could’ve been an interesting WrestleMania moment. Though there is still the pink and black problem with that. After the “You better cheer for Luger” moment, we get Yokozuna vs. Luger. Strange to think two decades after this match, one of the top faces in NXT will be Japanese. Unlike 2015, 1993 actually has the man selected to be the face being cheered. Likely tkayfabe and time to develop the character helps. A Polaroid is presented. An instant photo. Doesn’t get much better than that. After a staredown, Fuji tries barging in, when Luger goes to attack, Yokozuna goes to attack, but Luger is able to bring him down with punches and kicks. Luger elbow drops, but only gets two. When Luger goes off the ropes, he is bodyslammed. But is has little effect, as Luger gets Yokozuna into a corner, and sends him across. We see him instruct Yokozuna before sending him across the ring and 10-punches. Yokozunauses an opening to take some of the wind out of Luger. When Fuji’s blinding powder attack is blocked, Luger battles Yokozuna some more before Yokozuna uses clubbing hits and Samoan? Japanese? Headbutts to send Luger outside. Luger is then choked with a hairband by Yokozuna, who chops Luger and splashes him. Luger battles back, and gets Yokozuna in the ring. Luger uses two double axehandles and a forearm to get Yokozuna down, but only two. When Yokozuna gets up, Luger clotheslines him. Only two. A double clothesline bring them both down. Fuji’s bucket is used thanks to a distraction by Cornette. Yokozuna goes to pin, but only two. Yokozuna chops Luger several times before a belly to belly. Again, only two. Yokozuna chokes Luger with the middle rope. Yokozuna then uses a side suplex. Once more, this only gets two. After a snapmare, Yokozuna claws Luger’s shoulders while the fans belt out USA chants. Luger starts powering back out, elbows Yokozuna, and almost bodyslams him. After Yokozuna uses a legdrop, Luger kicks out. Yokozuna goes for the Bonzai drop, but Luger rolls out of the way. Luger briefly battles back against Yokozuna, but Yokozuna brutally chops Luger before whipping him across. When Yokozuna goes to splash, Luger gets out of the way. Luger forearms bashes Yokozuna out of the ring. Cornette and Fuji both taken down as Luger wins be countout. The fans bonkers, and Vince’s idea are different. Despite Luger acting like he won the gold, everyone looks dejected. The plan was that Luger would win it later, though this moment ended that interest. Even the music video after the event seems like Luger was going to win it here. Sadly, holding off killed the momentum in this angle.
SummerSlam 1993 may not be completely bad, but given the randomness that a 1-2-3 Kid vs. IRS feud had, the trodding Taker vs. Gonzalez match, and a match that didn’t even need The Rock looking confused to symbolize how when it came to building the next big face, they blew it. You really notice that the WWF needed a kick in the nuts to get going. Well that’s the review this week. Hope you laughed through this event like we really did.