August 30, 1993
Location: Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
Announced attendance: 23,954
PPV buys: 250,000 (up 2% from WWF KOTR 1993’s 245,000 buys; down 11.3% from WWF SummerSlam 1992’s 280,000 buys; up 85.7% from WCW Beach Blast 1993’s 100,000 buys)
SummerSlam 1993 came in a transitional period for the company. With the days of Hogan and Warrior in the rearview mirror, Lex Luger steps up to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in an attempt to become the company’s top babyface. Meanwhile, King of the Ring winner Bret Hart battles the self-proclaimed ‘King’ Jerry Lawler. The Undertaker faces Giant Gonzalez in a Rest in Peace Match, and more. Let’s get to it!
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into SummerSlam:
- WWF Champion: Yokozuna [78th day of his 2nd reign] – previous champion: Hulk Hogan
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [85th day of his 2nd reign] – previous champion: Marty Jannetty
- WWF Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner) [72nd day of their 2nd reign] – previous champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
Note: in title matches, the defending champions appear underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan
The broadcast starts with the Lex Express arriving at SummerSlam. Heenan & Vince hype up tonight’s events before we go to the first match.
Ted DiBiase vs. Razor Ramon
DiBiase jumps Razor before the bell and unloads on Razor to start. Razor fights back with a backdrop, hits a fallaway slam and DiBiase bails. DiBiase tries to take back control inside the ring, but Razor shrugs him off with a couple of clotheslines, and a third clothesline dumps DiBiase to the floor. Razor uses the ropes to launch DiBiase back inside the ring. DiBiase begs off, only to grab the tights and ram Razor’s head into the turnbuckle. DiBiase chokes away as he finally gets control of things. Back elbow smash by DiBiase. Backbreaker gets two. Clothesline gets two. DiBiase with a tight chinlock that McMahon thinks is a choke, but Heenan argues that it’s legal and Razor simply has the bigger Adam’s Apple. You won’t find a better analyst anywhere! Razor escapes the hold, but DiBiase drives his knee to the gut. Swinging neckbreaker by DiBiase. He follows it with a suplex and calls for the Million Dollar Dream. Razor counters it with an elbow to the gut, and a clothesline puts DiBiase down. DiBiase stops him by ramming his head into the buckle, and proceeds to expose another turnbuckle behind the ref’s back. However, DiBiase ends up getting sent into the exposed buckle himself, which sets up the Razor’s Edge for the win at 7:32.
Winner: Razor Ramon
- Rating: Solid opener, but not the awesome match these two could’ve potentially had. DiBiase was on his way out and worked his final WWF match here, putting Ramon over big time clean on PPV. They kept it simple but it wasn’t bad, and Razor looked good. **1/2
Todd Pettengill has a very weird interview with the Steiners’ mother and sister, who essentially say nothing before they just throw it to the ring for Jim Cornette’s introduction of the Heavenly Bodies.
WWF Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray & Tom Prichard) (w/ Jim Cornette)
Cornette is wearing a neck brace from an angle in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, which McMahon actually mentions on commentary. The Heavenly Bodies waste no time and go to work on the Steiners right away. They dump Scott to the floor and take Rick down with a double suplex. Flapjack by the Bodies, called a “double back body drop” by Vince because he’s funny that way, and Scott comes in for the save. Scott with a monkey flip to Del Ray out of the corner. The Steiners toss Prichard halfway across the ring, Rick hits a Steinerline on Del Ray and Scott with an overhead belly to belly on Prichard. Tilt-a-whirl slam by Scott on Del Ray and the crowd goes crazy for that sequence from the Steiners. The Heavenly Bodies bail and eventually come back in to take more of a beating. Gorilla press slam by Scott on Prichard and a huge backdrop to Del Ray. Rick delivers nasty Steinerlines to both Heavenly Bodies as the Steiners continue to dominate. Scott atomic drops both Bodies, but turns his attention to Del Ray and that allows Prichard to come in from behind with a bulldog. Prichard dumps Scott and Del Ray lands on top of him with a somersault plancha.
Del Ray throws Scott back in, and comes off the top rope with a flying double axehandle. Scott reverses a whip into the ropes and sets up for a Steinerline, but Del Ray turns it into a sweet floatover DDT. The Heavenly Bodies take over as they cut the ring in half. Del Ray superkicks Scott for two. They continue to isolate Scott in their corner and Cornette adds a shot with the racket. Del Ray goes for the floatover DDT once again, but this time Scott reverses it into a suplex. Butterfly powerbomb to Prichard and the hot tag to Rick! He runs wild and hits the flying bulldog on Del Ray, but Prichard breaks up the pin at two. Rick with a powerslam to Del Ray, but the ref is busy with Scott and Cornette throws the racket into the ring. Prichard hits Rick with it and Del Ray gets on top for the one, two… no! The Heavenly Bodies set up for the moonsault block on Rick, but Scott pulls him out of the way and Del Ray takes out Prichard instead. Scott plants Del Ray with the Frankensteiner and Rick gets the pin to retain at 9:28.
Winners & still champions: The Steiners
- Rating: That was all action from start to finish. It was a pretty good match that saw The Steiners completely dominate until the Bodies started cheating. They traded some nice nearfalls eventually leading up to the Steiners’ win in their home state. This was good stuff. ***1/2
Joe Fowler interviews Shawn Michaels & Diesel backstage. Fowler was the replacement for Mean Gene, and he didn’t last long in the WWF.
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel) vs. Mr. Perfect
The match begins with Shawn taking Perfect down, but he gets too cocky and Perfect takes him down in return. Perfect tries a backdrop suplex, Shawn flips out and lands on his feet. They proceed to mess up a simple spot (seemed like a Shawn armdrag to me) off a criss-cross sequence. That was weird. Perfect drops some knees on the arm and goes to work on it. Shawn reverses it into a headlock that leads into a fast wrestling sequence won by Perfect. We get a stalemate. Shawn takes Perfect into the corner, and that quickly backfires as Perfect unloads with the chops. Shawn goes for the flashy offense, but Perfect’s always two steps ahead of him and takes Shawn’s head off with a massive clothesline. Blind charge in the corner misses, though. Michaels goes up, but Perfect catches him with an armdrag in midair. Armbar by Perfect. Shawn escapes the hold and goes for a dropkick, but Perfect catches him and catapults him all the way to the floor. Perfect goes after Shawn outside, but gets distracted with Diesel and Shawn nails him with the Superkick. Michaels follows it up with a double axehandle off the apron before bringing Perfect back inside.
Michaels whips Perfect into the buckle, who takes a pretty good bump. Michaels arrogantly walks on Perfect’s back and drops all his weight on the back. Backbreaker by Shawn followed by a submission. Perfect eventually escapes the hold and comes back with a dropkick. Backdrop, kneelift and an atomic drop get two. Perfect with a forearm for two. Hiptoss by Shawn is blocked into a backslide attempt by Perfect, but Shawn fights it. He flips out of it, only to get caught with the Perfectplex. One, two… Diesel pulls Perfect out of the ring. Perfect takes it to Diesel on the floor. Michaels tries to come off the apron with a double axehandle, but nails Diesel instead when Perfect moves out of the way. Perfect sends Shawn into the ring, only to get sent into the post by Diesel behind the ref’s back. Perfect is unable to get back in and gets counted-out at 11:20.
Winner by CO & still champion: Shawn Michaels
- Rating: It wasn’t a bad match, but people expected a lot more given the hype. WWF themselves promoted it as the greatest Intercontinental Title match of all time, which ended up costing them. It’s not even close to being the best IC Title match ever, especially with such a weak finish. However, it was still a pretty good match. ***1/4
Perfect goes after Michaels and Diesel inside the ring afterwards. He gets knocked out by Diesel, but gets back up and chases them all the way to the back.
Joe Fowler interviews The 1-2-3 Kid, who wants to keep overcoming the odds.
The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Irwin R. Schyster
IRS strikes first with a shoulderblock, but gets surprised with a spinkick for two. Faceplant by IRS. He goes for another one, but this time The Kid reverses into a dropkick in midair for two. IRS drops him with a back elbow smash and then dumps The Kid over the top to the floor. IRS uses the ropes to shoot The Kidd off the apron into the ring, but Kid lands on his feet and rolls up IRS for two. IRS cuts him off with a back elbow smash yet again, and proceeds to drop an elbow for two. Rope assisted abdominal stretch by IRS and he goes for a chinlock. The Kid escapes the hold with a series of kicks and the moonsault block gets a nearfall. La magistral cradle gets two. Kid gets caught going for another spinkick, but he turns it into an enziguiri instead for two. IRS hits the Write Off clothesline for the win out of nowhere at 5:44.
Winner: Irwin R. Schyster
- Rating: The Kid had his working boots on and clearly wanted to impress on PPV. The match was solid enough, but the finish could’ve been done a lot better. It was literally a clothesline off a criss-cross sequence. Very abrupt. Regardless, it was a nice showcase for The Kid, and honestly I think he should’ve gone over here somehow. **1/2
Meanwhile, Owen Hart & Bruce Hart reveal Jerry Lawler attacked Stu Hart and thus his parents aren’t here tonight.
Bret Hart comes out for his match. Jerry Lawler comes out next… on crutches. Unfortunately, he had a terrible car accident when he arrived here in Detroit. The doctors told him he wasn’t clear, but he still came here like a true king. Sadly he can’t compete tonight, but that doesn’t mean Bret won’t get a beating. Bret’s gonna go up against Lawler’s “court jester”, Doink the Clown.
Bret Hart vs. Doink the Clown (w/ Jerry Lawler)
Before the match, Doink throws water on Bruce Hart at ringside. That was supposed to be confetti, and some have claimed it was Owen Hart’s idea to do it with water as a prank. That does sound like something Owen would do!
Anyway, Bret jumps Doink outside the ring and takes him to the ring to start the match. Bret clotheslines Doink over the top to the floor. He rams Doink into the post outside. Bret throws him back inside, Doink begs for mercy but Bret unloads on him. Lawler encourages Doink on the outside, and Doink goes up top only to get crotched on the top rope. They get into a slugfest after a small distraction by Lawler, won by Bret with a nasty headbutt. Bret leaves the ring to after Lawler, however, and that allows Doink to jump Bret from behind. Doink rams Bret into the steps. Back in, Doink comes off the top with a flying double axehandle to Bret’s back. Doink goes to work on the leg with a legbreaker. Doink leaves the ring to ram Bret’s leg into the post. That gets two back inside. Doink locks in the STF, Bret escapes but Doink catches him with a knee to the gut. Doink locks in the Stump Puller, but Bret makes it to the ropes. Doink goes up top for his flying buttdrop splash finish, but Bret gets his knees up to block. That HAD to be a painful bump for Doink. Russian legsweep by Bret. Middle rope elbow. He puts him in the Sharpshooter… and Lawler runs in to hit Bret with the crutch for the DQ at 9:05.
Winner by DQ: Bret Hart
- Rating: This was more of an angle than a match in more ways than one, but the action was solid and it was entertaining. **3/4
Lawler magically continues the beating on Bret before walking away with Doink. Jack Tunney comes out and forces Lawler to wrestle Bret Hart right now.
‘King of the WWF’ crown: Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler
As soon as Howard Finkel makes the announcement, Bret meets Lawler up the ramp and unloads on on him. He carries Lawler all the way to the ring and bites him in the corner. The crowd is very much into the beatdown. Backdrop by Bret and he sets up for the Sharpshooter already, but drops the low headbutt instead. Bret hits Lawler with the crutch outside of the ring, which isn’t a DQ. Lawler takes the crutch from Bret and hits Bret in the midsection in return. Lawler chokes Bret with the crutch while the ref’s busy with the Hart Family at ringside. More shots with the crutch by Lawler. Back inside the ring, Lawler hits him with the crutch to the throat. Bruce Hart has now jumped the railing and asks the ref if he needs glasses. This is hilarious! Meanwhile, Bret takes the straps down and Lawler wants a handshake now! Bret responds with a series of vicious punches in the corner. His punches look amazing. Headbutt by Bret and a backdrop. Backbreaker gets two. Piledriver followed by the middle rope elbow. Then, Bret does the Batista thums up/thumbs down signal and sets him up for the Sharsphooter. Bret applies it and Lawler gives it up at 6:32.
Bret keeps the hold on for minutes afterwards, and not even a sea of officials are able to break it up. Finally, Owen & Bruce get in the ring and convince Bret to release the hold. However, Finkel announces the referee has reversed the decision because of the attack and thus Lawler is the undisputed king via DQ. Lawler does a stretcher job on the way to the back and leaves with his hand up as the winner! Bret celebrates in the ring. On a side note, Bret Hart claimed in his book that Lawler had hit him so hard in their angle at the end of KOTR that Bret felt it for ages. Thus, Bret put some little extra mustard on the Sharsphooter during this post-match attack as receipt, hyper-extending Lawler’s back & knees for minutes!
Winner by DQ: Jerry Lawler
- Rating: Well, it’s very tricky to rate this one. Much like I said after Bret vs. Doink, this was also more of an angle than a traditional match per se. The crowd was super into it the entire time, even if the match was only six minutes. Still, we have to consider everything that went down here, and overall this was a lot of fun. ***1/2
Ludvig Borga cuts a typical WWF foreign heel promo on America & Lex Luger.
Marty Jannetty vs. Ludvig Borga
Jannetty turns his back to Borga like a dumbass when the bell rings, which allows Borga to pound away in the corner. Clothesline out of the corner by Borga. Faceplant and he drives a punch to the gut on the way down. Borga remains in control with kicks and punches, until he misses a blind charge in the corner and eats buckle. However, Marty runs right into a clothesline and goes down. Marty tries a sunset flip, but he’s overpowered by Borga who blocks it. It’s Bearhug O’Clock. Marty fights out of it, tries a powerslam but his back gives out and Borga plants him with yet another clothesline. Marty blocks a punch and connects with a pair of superkicks. He goes up top, but lands on Borga’s arms, who drops Marty with a front slam. Borga gets him up for the Torture Rack and Marty gives it up at 5:15.
Winner: Ludvig Borga
- Rating: Jannetty tried his best and he sold the back really well, which made sense given Borga’s finisher. Marty would’ve been better off wrestling himself out there, because Borga brought nothing but kicks and punches to the table. With that said, the match was a lot better than it had any right to be, thanks to Marty. *1/2
A video package promoting Survivor Series airs. McMahon announces the traditional elimination tag team matches will be back this year.
Rest in Peace Match: The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez (w/ Harvey Wippleman)
The stip is finally revealed before the match, with Finkel announcing it’s… no DQ. That’s a nice way to steal a couple of PPV buys!
Undertaker starts by slugging away in the corner with KARATE THRUSTS, as called by McMahon. Gonzalez comes back with a headbutt, but Undertaker cuts him off with a KARATE CLOTHESLINE. He can’t knock Gonzalez down, however, and Gonzalez headbutts a charging UT. He gets up with the zombie situp, but Gonzalez dumps him and rams UT’s head into the steps. Gonzalez grabs a chair at ringside and hits UT in the back. Giant Gonzalez gets back in the ring while UT sells a chairshot to the back like death on the outside. UT gets brought back inside the ring by Gonzalez, and he crawls for the urn in the corner. Gonzalez with punches, UT fights back with some more KARATE THRUSTS and goes for the urn, but Harvey takes it away from him. Gonzalez remains in control until we hear a gong. Paul Bearer makes his return and comes down to ringside with a black wreath. Bearer clotheslines Wippleman on the floor and grabs the urn, in what was the best sequence of the match thus far. Gonzalez turns his back to the match and Bearer uses the POWER OF THE URN to get UT back to his feet. UT makes the comeback with five clotheslines, but that’s not enough to put Gonzalez down. He follows it up with a flying clothesline for the win(??) at 8:04. A flying clothesline, really!?
Winner: The Undertaker
- Rating: This really is one of the worst feuds in WWF/E history. At least this match had a finish unlike WM 9, which is the best thing I can say about it. Outside of that, everything about it sucked. Not to mention the ridiculous sensationalist promotion for this match. I’ll gladly never see any of this ever again. DUD
And then, Giant Gonzalez chokeslams Harvey Wippleman after the match. That was supposed to be a big face turn, but it obviously went nowhere and Gonzalez’s WWF career only lasted a few more months.
Joe Fowler is in the back with Yokozuna, Fuji & Cornette. Fowler says it’s been a night of surprises and we could see another one with Luger becoming champion. Cornette says the only surprise here is Fowler’s employment. That was a hilarious response! Corny warns Luger one last time and Yoko yells BANZAI to end the segment. Epic burn by Cornette!
Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) (w/ Luna Vachon & Afa) vs. Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn)
All three heels jump the faces with clotheslines in stereo to start. Bam Bam works over Tatanka, until Tatanka explodes with a dropkick and a backdrop. They collide on a bodypress attempt leading to a double KO spot. Billy and Fatu tag in and get into a slugfest, until Fatu superkicks him. Fatu sets up for a suplex, but Billy turns it into a faceplant. Billy goes up to the top rope and comes down with an inverted bulldog. Fatu runs over with a running shoulderblock, however, and The Headshrinkers destroy Billy with a double headbutt. Samu superkicks Billy right into his corner, which allows Bart to tag in. Bart comes in with a bodypress for two. He ends up running into an elbow, though. Bam Bam in with a dropkick for two. Fatu hits a powerslam for two. Samu comes back in for some biting, and The Headshrinkers double headbutt Bart again. Bigelow adds a headbutt of his own, and he rams Bart’s head into the heads of the Samoans.
Bart comes back with a faceplant to Fatu, but as you know that doesn’t work on Samoans, as Fatu pops right back up and clotheslines Bart. Bigelow & Bart with a double back elbow. Bigelow eats buckle on a blind charge, though, and Bart makes the hot tag to Tatanka. The chops stagger Bigelow, and Tatanka takes him down with a powerslam. He follows it up with a DDT, and then goes up top for a high crossbody that gets two. Tatanka IS ON THE WARPATH… but Bigelow cuts that off with an enziguiri. Nice! Diving headbutt by Samu gets two, with Bart breaking up the pin. Fatu immediately takes him out with a superkick as it turns into a PANDEMONIUM! The heels get rid of the Gunns before turning their attention to Tatanka. Bigelow crushes Tatanka with an avalanche in the corner before all three heels destroy him with a triple headbutt! They all go up to the top rope for a triple diving headbutt, but Tatanka moves out of the way and they all miss it. Meanwhile, The Smoking Gunns get back in to even the odds, allowing Tatanka to roll up Samu for the win at 11:15.
Winners: Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns
- Rating: I wasn’t expecting it at all, but this turned into quite the fun chaotic six-man tag bout. Bam Bam worked really well alongside The Headshrinkers, and Bigelow cutting off Tatanka’s comeback spot was the highlight for me. It started off as a pretty basic tag match, but it got better as time passed. ***1/4
Joe Fowler interviews the driver of the Lex Express. Fast Forward City, baby.
Meanwhile, the National Anthems of both Japan & USA are sang before the main event, with Randy Savage as the ‘master of ceremonies’.
WWF Championship: Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) vs. Lex Luger
Big staredown to start. Fuji sneaks in behind Luger, who knocks him off the apron. Yoko tries to capitalize, but he misses a blind charge and Luger unloads on him. A back elbow staggers Yoko, who blocks a punch and tries to slam Luger, but Luger tries to reverse into an O’Connor Roll, which is also blocked by Yoko. Luger avoids Yoko’s massive legdrop and kicks away at the leg until the big man eventually goes down. Elbowdrop gets two. Yoko slams a charging Luger and goes for an elbowdrop of his own, but misses. Clothesline in the corner by Luger. He goes for the corner punches, but ref Earl Hebner forces the break and that allows Yoko to cheapshot Luger. Fuji comes in with a handful of salt, but Luger ducks it. Luger can’t slam Yokozuna as his back gives out, and Yoko follows it up with a superkick. Yoko takes Luger to the floor, squashing him into the post. Luger avoids a chairshot and throws Yokozuna back into the ring. Back in, Luger comes off the top rope with a flying double axehandle. A second one connects and Yoko is still on his feet. Luger goes up a third time, and a third one finally puts Yokozuna down for two. Running forearm to the back of the head by Luger gets two. They collide on a clothesline for a double KO spot.
Meanwhile, Cornette gets up on the apron to distract the ref, which allows Fuji to throw the bucket into the ring, and Yoko hits Luger with it for two. Belly to belly by Yokozuna gets two. Backdrop suplex gets two more. Yoko goes to the nerve hold as the crowd starts chanting USA. Then, in a brilliant bit, Luger stomps Yoko’s barefoot to escape the hold. He goes for the slam yet again, but this time Yoko lands on top for two. Legdrop gets another nearfall. Yokozuna sets up for the Banzai Drop, but Luger moves out of the way and Yoko lands on his ass. Yoko still gets up before Luger and sets him up for the running buttdrop splash in the corner. He misses and eats the turnbuckle, though, and Luger follows it up with a big slam. Huge pop for it while Bobby Heenan loses his mind saying it was a hiptoss! Luger takes out Fuji on the apron. Hebner gets distracted with that, so Luger takes out the elbowpad and the running forearm knocks out Yokozuna all the way to the floor. Luger takes out Cornette, and Yoko is still out and fails to make it back in at 17:58.
They throw a big celebration for Luger afterwards, with the other babyfaces joining Luger in the ring, balloons falling from the sky and everything, despite the fact Luger technically LOST his one and only title shot!
Winner by CO: Lex Luger (still champion: Yokozuna)
- Rating: Well, let’s get the obvious thing out of the way first – the post match celebration was ridiculous and made Luger look like the world’s biggest dumbass for celebrating what was, for all intents and purposes, a loss. Putting that aside, I liked this match. I thought Yoko and Luger worked well together, and I particularly liked the final 5 minutes or so. The nearfalls got Luger more over with the crowd, since he he kept refusing to stay down. They also did a good job of building up the slam spot. I don’t even mind the finish if you take out the celebration that followed, as it could’ve easily led to a rematch down the road. They wanted to bring it back at WM 10 and have Luger win the title there, but he’d lost nearly all his heat by then. ***
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: This show is the definition of ‘thumbs in the middle’. While there’s good stuff on this PPV that I’d recommend, there are also some awful matches that you should avoid. It also lacked a spectacular match that truly stole the show and would become remembered forever (like Bulldog vs. Bret or even Savage vs. Warrior from the previous year), which is a point against it as well. However, I did like the tag title match, the Bret/Lawler saga and even the six-man tag match, which I thought would be nothing more than pure filler. That was a great surprise for me. The main event was also good, though it had the awful post-match celebration. And while Michaels vs. Perfect was far from bad, expectations were high (and WWF deserves most of the blame since they literally promoted it as the best IC Title match ever in advance!) and they didn’t even come close to that level. The less said about Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez, the better. Overall, I’m going right in the middle for SummerSlam. 5/10
That’s gonna be all from me today. I hope you enjoyed the review, thank you for reading. Don’t miss the upcoming reviews here on the blog. Until next time!