August 23, 1993 Taped show (on August 16, 1993)
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York, USA (Mid-Hudson Civic Center)
Announced attendance: ca 3000
TV rating: 2.8 (USA Network) [down 13.3% from the previous RAW’s 3.2] the original airing on Aug. 22, 1993 did a 2.9 rating
A replay of WWF SummerSlam Spectacular (that aired originally the previous night) was shown during the RAW time slot this week. It was a TV special to promote SummerSlam, which would happen the following week. The Steiners defend the WWF Tag Team Championship against Money Inc. in a Steel Cage Match. Shawn Michaels puts the Intercontinental Title on the line against Bob Backlund. Yokozuna battles Jim Duggan.
Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into SummerSlam Spectacular: (lengths considering the date of the RAW replay – Aug. 23)
- WWF Champion: Yokozuna [71st day of his 2nd reign] – previous champion: Hulk Hogan
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [78th day of his 2nd reign] – previous champion: Marty Jannetty
- WWF Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner) [65th 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 Gorilla Monsoon & Jim Ross
The show kicks off with a video package narrated by Jim Ross highlighting the Yokozuna/Duggan feud. That match is coming up right now.
Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Jim Duggan
Duggan assaults Yokozuna from behind during his traditional bow. He grabs the 2×4 for a shot, but the referee Mike Chioda prevents Duggan from using it and that allows Yokozuna to cheapshot him. Yokozuna pounds away and Fuji chokes Duggan on the ropes too. The crowd’s USA chant gives Duggan some adrenaline as he fights back, until Yoko cuts him off and legdrops him. Bearhug by Yokozuna. Duggan fights out of it and actually tries a powerslam, but his back gives out and Yokozuna lands on top of Duggan for two.
We’re back with Duggan trying to fight out of yet another Yokozuna bearhug. Duggan resorts to biting after a while, but even that isn’t enough to stop Yoko. He releases the hold and opts to choke Duggan on the ropes instead. Duggan is still showing some life, but he’s still unable to put Yokozuna down. Duggan moves out of the way of Yoko’s running buttdrop splash in the corner, which opens the door for Duggan’s comeback. Cue the USA chant. DUGGAN IS HULKING UP, BROTHER! A running clothesline… Yoko staggers. Second one… Yoko staggers. A third one… finally puts Yoko down! Duggan calls for the Three Point Stance, but Fuji pulls Duggan’s leg to distract him. That gives Yokozuna enough time to get up and squash Duggan with a running avalanche in the corner. Banzai Drop ends it in 8:30.
- Rating: I didn’t expect much, and it definitely didn’t set the world on fire or anything like that, but it was a really solid match. Duggan did a nice job of making Yokozuna look good, putting him over big time. Yoko sent Duggan packing out of the WWF ahead of the SummerSlam title match with Luger and looked unstoppable doing so. Duggan only got his hope spot after Yokozuna himself missed a move and ate the turnbuckle, which was a good touch. **1/4
Yokozuna wants another Banzai Drop, but several referees come out and help Duggan to the back.
Afterwards, Vince McMahon is backstage with Yokozuna, Cornette & Fuji. Corny says he’s heard rumors (including from Vince himself) that Lex Luger has awaken the sleeping giant. The thing is Yokozuna was never asleep, he was always a beast. But now, he’s a mad dog and he’s ready to destroy Luger at SummerSlam. Cornette adds Luger asked for this title shot, so now it’s up to Luger to take the responsibility for what Yoko will do to him. He doesn’t want it on his conscience. Mr. Fuji doesn’t want it on his conscience. Yokozuna doesn’t even have a conscience! When Yokozuna comes down with several Banzai Drops, Luger is gonna roll over and beg Corny & Fuji to stop Yokozuna, but Yoko won’t be stopped. He’ll finish Luger as well as the fans’ hopes and dreams. Fantastic promo by Cornette!
We see a recap of Razor Ramon‘s face turn.
Razor Ramon vs. Blake Beverly
Beverly gets in Razor’s face and gets the toothpick in the process. Lockup to start and Beverly bitchslaps Razor in the corner twice. Uh, I wouldn’t do that! Razor takes it to Beverly immediately, who wants no part of it and bails. Beverly with a cheapshot as Razor enters the ring. Beverly uses a handful of hair to get control via a headlock. Ramon finally escapes it, Beverly goes for the hair again, so Razor shoves him down by the hair in return. Beverly calls for a test of strength, only to hit Razor with a cheap kick to the gut. Razor fights back with a series of rights, with the last one sending Beverly flying. Razor’s punches are incredible. Razor charges, but Beverly ducks and dumps Razor to the floor with a backdrop. Beverly exposes one of the turnbuckles while the ref Danny Davis is counting Razor out. Back in, Beverly with a great looking neckbreaker. He proceeds to whip Razor back first into the exposed turnbuckle. Beverly goes to work on the back now. Backbreaker followed by a powerslam. Beverly goes for a cocky pin that Razor turns into a pin of his own for two. Beverly clotheslines Razor but gets too cocky yet again, allowing Razor to whip Beverly right into the turnbuckle that he exposed. Great comeuppance spot there. The crowd is going crazy for Ramon! Razor picks him up for the Razor’s Edge at 6:11.
Winner: Razor Ramon
- Rating: Very fun match. Beverly already proved he could go as a singles wrestler on a recent RAW against 1-2-3 Kid, and he delivered here yet again. Razor was on fire as the babyface and Beverly had a great heat spot. The stuff with the exposed turnbuckle was good and added a lot to this match. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands and put on a fantastic little match here. ***
Jerry Lawler is in a car with Elvis Presley in Memphis. He hates the fact Elvis is impersonated by many people, and Elvis hates that Lawler is being impersonated by Bret Hart as the ‘king’.
Bret Hart responds and says Lawler took it too far when he got his family involved. Bret says all his family will be at ringside at SummerSlam to witness the beating Lawler will receive at the hands of Bret.
Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn) vs. The Brooklyn Brawler, Barry Horowitz & Reno Riggins
Billy Gunn and Horowitz fight over a wristlock to start. Riggins gets in and walks right into a Japanese armdrag by Billy. Off to Bart for a regular armdrag, and Reno tags out and brings in the Brawler. Tatanka goes to work on the Brawler’s arm before taking him down with a scoop slam. Billy comes back in, only to get caught in the heel corner with a cheap knee. Horowitz follows it up with a northern lights suplex for two. Brawler with a neckbreaker for two. Riggins in with a sideslam for two. The jobbers are actually getting a lot of offense here, shockingly. Billy finally cuts Reno off with a sunset flip, but Horowitz breaks up the pin at two. Billy gets triple-teamed in the heel corner while ref Earl Hebner is distracted with the faces. Billy explodes with a flying forearm on Reno and makes the hot tag to Tatanka. He explodes with the chops and it soon turns into a PANDEMONIOUM! The Gunns get rid of Brawler & Horowitz and Tatanka is ON THE WARPATH BY GAWD. He comes off the top with a high crossbody for the pin on Reno at 7:04.
Winners: Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns
- Rating: I wasn’t expecting to see that much offense from the jobbers, so it was fun in that regard. They got some good stuff in there, but I’m not particularly sure if it made the faces look great ahead of a PPV match with Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers. The work itself was decent, though. **1/2
We see a clip of Lex Luger‘s call to action campaign.
The Undertaker interview
Mean Gene is in the ring to conduct this interview. Gene wants to know the rules of the RIP match. Undertaker says the RIP match will end when he goes into his carcass and extracts every living organ and the soul of Giant Gonzalez. Da fuck, man. Giant Gonzalez interrupts and cuts a promo of his own: “this time YOU rest in peace”. Gonzalez walks out of the ring and Undertaker leaves the ring as well. What the hell was this? What a terrible, absolutely awful promo.
Another clip of Lex Luger and his legion of fans.
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel) vs. Bob Backlund
Shawn begins with a series of powerslams and even rests in the corner. Backlund fights back with a number of armdrags and sends Shawn flying with a big slam. Backlund with a backslide for two and Shawn rolls out of the ring for a breather. Shawn spits at Backlund, leading to a pursuit with Shawn hiding from Backlund in the corner.
We’re back with Shawn in control as he slugs away. Shawn with a front facelock and he seems quite bored to be there. Michaels’ facial expressions are great here and he looks like such a prick. Backlund escapes the hold and slaps Shawn in the face. Backlund makes the comeback with a backdrop, a dropkick and a swinging neckbreaker for two. Backlund with a delayed atomic drop and he goes for the cover, but Diesel has the referee distracted. Michaels grabs the tights and rolls up Backlund for the pin to retain in 6:20.
Winner & still champion: Shawn Michaels
- Rating: First of all, it’s an odd match on paper. The bout itself was solid. Shawn’s heel work was great in this one, and Backlund did a good job with his hope spots. The finish was really abrupt and could’ve been a lot better, but it was a solid match overall. **3/4
Meanwhile, Lex Luger tells you to always try your best no matter what. I can’t wait for SummerSlam to be over so I don’t have to see any more of these endless sitdown interviews.
Ludvig Borga threatens Marty Jannetty in an interview with Vince McMahon. He’s here to destroy people & specifically Americans, not to win titles.
Marty Jannetty vs. Duane Gill
Jannetty wrestles Gill to the mat where he goes to work on the arm. Gill tries a backdrop that Jannetty turns into a cradle for two after landing on his feet. The idea was there, but the execution wasn’t great. It was a hard move to pull off, though. Anyway, Jannetty catches Gill with a superkick when he gets back up. Marty launches Gill with a backdrop while JR mentions the debut of Radio WWF. There’s a project that didn’t really go anywhere. Marty hits a spinning reverse DDT off the top rope, goes back up top and comes down with a flying fistdrop for the pin at 3:21.
Winner: Marty Jannetty
- Rating: Short and sweet victory for Jannetty ahead of his PPV battle with Ludvig Borga. 1/2*
SummerSlam Report w/ Mean Gene
- Aaron Neville will sing the American National Anthem at the show
- Gene with a rundown of the full card:
- Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger for the WWF Title in the main event
- Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler
- Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect for the IC Title
- The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez in a RIP Match
- The Steiners vs. Heavenly Bodies for the WWF Tag Team Titles (if the Steiners retain up next)
- Tatanka & Smoking Gunns vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Headshrinkers
- Ted DiBiase vs. Razor Ramon
- IRS vs. The 1-2-3 Kid
- Marty Jannetty vs. Ludvig Borga
Steel Cage Match – WWF Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
No pinfalls or submissions in this one. Both team members must escape the cage to win.
DiBiase slaps Scott and both Steiners go after him. IRS tries to escape the cage already while the Steiners are busy with Ted, but he’s caught eventually. That’s actually bad strategy, because the Steiners could’ve easily crushed DiBiase 2-on-1 and then walk out of the cage together. DiBiase tries to leave the cage from behind as well, only for the Steiners to bring him back to the ring. Now it’s the Steiners’ turn to leave the ring, both at the same time, but Money Inc. are there to prevent it. Money Inc. try to escape the cage together but the Steiners are there to stop them yet again, with Rick exposing DiBiase’s ass while pulling him down. Scott with the ten punches in the corner, but IRS grabs his boots and crotches him on the top rope. Meanwhile, DiBiase is nearly out on the other side of the ring, but Rick grabs Ted’s foot and pushes down, eventually bringing him back in. Scott and IRS fight on top of the cage. Rick comes in to pull IRS away, but DiBiase comes in just in time to grab Scott by the hair and bring him back in with a superplex. That was nice. Money Inc. prevent Rick from escaping and beat him up together for a while until Scott comes back in. The Steiners both climb to the top of the cage and seem close to winning, only for IRS to superplex Scott down. DiBiase pulls IRS back to the middle of the ring as well.
We’re back with the heels going for the win together. The Steiners cut them off yet again, with Scott ramming DiBiase’s face into the steel. The Steiners try to escape once more. IRS pulls Rick down by the legs, but Scott is already on the other side of the cage. The crowd is going crazy now. DiBiase grabs Scott’s hair and manages to place his head in between the cage bars, choking Scott before bringing him back in with a front facelock. Very creative spot, very well done. Meanwhile, Rick with a Steinerline on IRS inside the ring. Money Inc. try everything in their power to prevent the Steiners from escaping. Scott uses IRS’ own tie against him, choking him to get some distance, but DiBiase is there to help IRS and bring Scott to the ring. Huge sense of struggle in this match, which is great. Rick and DiBiase collide in the middle of the ring, and both Scott & IRS decide to walk out at the same time. They both walk out of the ring, leaving it down to DiBiase vs. Rick for the belts.
Rick Steiner gets up first and starts climbing the cage… but IRS climbs back inside and prevents Rick from getting the win. That draws Scott back inside as well, with Scott delivering a flying double axehandle to IRS off the top of the cage. All four men are back inside the ring, and Gorilla & JR say this means both members have to escape again. So Scott & IRS escaping a while ago is essentially nullified. Money Inc. manage to stop the Steiners from climbing the cage together, and DiBiase chokes Rick down with his own headgear as we take another break.
We’re back once more with Scott on the floor, but he goes back in again because Rick is being double-teamed. Scott tries to prevent IRS from leaving, but IRS smartly goes behind the post (where he can’t be reached) and climbs down. DiBiase is nearly out as well, and we get a brilliant tug-of-war spot with The Steiners pulling DiBiase into the ring while IRS tries to pull him out. Obviously, The Steiners win that exchange and DiBiase is back in the ring. The champs go for the escape, but IRS comes back in and stops Scott from leaving. However, Rick does make it to the floor. He thinks about coming back since Scott is being double-teamed, but he changes his mind once Scott explodes with a double clothesline. All three men are down as Rick cheers on at ringside. They battle on the cage, but Scott gets knocked down and Money Inc. have everything to win. DiBiase climbs down! Rick places IRS on his shoulders to stop him from winning! DiBiase gets involved as he tries everything to get his partner to touch the floor, but that leaves room for Scott to climb down and retain the titles after 17:58.
Winners & still champions: The Steiners
- Rating: Absolutely amazing cage match. Fantastic match that felt like a struggle all the way, like I said earlier. Both teams tried everything in their power to come out on top, with the Steiners eventually finding a way to win. They had the crowd’s attention from beginning until the end. I highly recommend watching this cage match. ****
The show ends with Randy Savage & Men on a Mission rapping in support of Lex Luger. Yep, exactly what you’re reading!
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Just a fun show with no pressure that was a very enjoyable watch. There were some squashes in here, but the steel cage delivered big time and boosts the show’s overall rating. Plus, Razor vs. Beverly, Yokozuna vs. Duggan and Michaels vs. Backlund were fun to watch as well. A very good TV special that felt more like a glorified house show at times, so it’s a very easy watch. Also, good rebound after a couple of shitty RAWs in the last couple of weeks. Well done, WWF! 7/10
That’s all from this post. Make sure you don’t miss the SummerSlam PPV review, which is coming up next. See you next time!