Friday, June 22, 2012

WWF SUMMERSLAM 1993 REVIEW

08:30:1993
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, MI
Attendance: 23,954


It's Bobby Heenan and Vince McMahon on commentary. No Macho or Jim Ross. BUMMER.

TED DIBIASE vs. RAZOR RAMON
This started off pretty hot with Razor getting attacked from behind and making a quick comeback and tossing DiBiase out of the ring. Once it settled into DiBiase controlling the match, the crowd kind of settled back. I don't know if I can get into Razor Ramon getting beat up and selling so much yet. I just didn't have much sympathy for him. It's difficult to get that kind of reaction normally, and it's even more difficult when you're a big bad ass son of a bitch like Razor Ramon. Finish was a little abrupt too. DiBiase undid the turnbuckle while Ramon was outside, and then Ramon just came in and smashed Ted's face into the steel ring before finishing him with the Razor's Edge. Not a bad match, but a tad underwhelming. I think Razor is mostly trying to figure out how to get that strong face reaction from fans, and the WWF hedged their bets by putting him with one of their top heels.
Pettengill getting a little too close to the Steiner Sister.

WWF TAG TITLE MATCH
THE STEINERS(c) vs. THE HEAVENLY BODIES
Hell yeah, this match was exactly what I wanted. Heavenly Bodies got to control with some slick team work, and the Steiners got to fit in their smash nose style at the right moments. There's an awesome moment where Del Rey baseball slides under Scott, and when Scott bends over to try and catch him Pritchard nails him with a bulldog. Del Rey was particularly awesome, fitting in neat stuff like his Hurricane DDT(the one the Rock would make famous later) and a running front flip off the apron to the outside, and looking like a total sleazebag the whole time.

 The pace was great, hometown crowd was hot and the layout was perfect for both teams. Probably my favorite Steiner match in the WWF so far, and one of the best matches of the year. Check this one out.


INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS(c) vs. MR. PERFECT
For a lot this is a disappointing match because of the two guys involved. It's certainly not among either man's best matches from 1993, but it isn't a bad match either. I think the layout of it was pretty good, but neither guy really clicked the way Bret/Perfect clicked or even Shawn/Backlund. It appears like Mr. Perfect just had trouble moving. His back problems are notorious, and not long after this match he'll be back on another hiatus with back problems. And his squash matches have been shorter than anyone's. You can tell some of the miscommunications are just Perfect being slow to move. Finish came when Diesel ran Perfect into the steps behind the ref's back, leading to a count out.

After the match Perfect attacked both Diesel and Shawn backstage, and honestly that stuff was more entertaining than some of the match.

1-2-3 KID vs. I.R.S.
It's crazy how much Vince and Bobby were putting over Schyster. Vince called him one of the premiere athletes of the WWF and was maybe more dangerous as a singles competitor than as apart of a tag team. He even kicked out at ONE on Kid's Moonsault which put away Razor Ramon. Even more surprisingly is that he beat Kid clean with a jumping clothesline. WHY? It was a pretty solid match regardless, with Kid doing some neat stuff, but I can't believe they built him up so well just to have him get dropped by IRS. And why are they rebuilding Schyster? I'm totally perplexed by this result.

JERRY LAWLER ALMOST DIED
Jerry Lawler comes out on crutches for his match with Bret Hart. He tells a harrowing tale about how this blue haired old lady caused a ten car pile up that involved his terrible Detroit-made Limo. Doctors told him to stay in the hospital but he crawled his way to the Palace so he could confront Bret Hart. Sadly the WWF medical team barred him from competing. Doink will be his replacement.

BRET HART vs. DOINK THE CLOWN
Not a classic, but a solid match for sure. Doink did well in control working on Bret's leg, busting out the stump puller. Loved Bret countering the Whoopie Cushion with a double knee to the junk, to set up his finishing sequence. Before Doink could tap to the sharpshooter Lawler hit the ring and cracked him across the head with a crutch leading to a DQ.

Jack Tunney then came out and said, "Holla Holla Holla, if you can walk, you can wrestle playa. Get to steppin' or you're out of a job, holla holla holla."

BRET HART vs. JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER
What an awesome brawl. Jerry was getting straight evil with the broken crutch, jamming it into Bret's throat. What's even better is that Bret made his comeback like a face Jerry Lawler, dropping the straps and hitting a piledriver, before applying a sharpshooter. For a guy who said he didn't like the Memphis style, Bret works really with Lawler.

Once the match ended, Bret wouldn't let go and it took a bunch of people to get him off. They decided to reverse the decision and make Jerry Lawler the winner because he was on the other end of a post match ass whipping. This makes him the UNDISPUTED KING of the WWF. Weak. Besides the goofy finish, this was tons of fun, and both guys brought some hate to the match up. Want more, please.

LUDVIG BORGA vs. MARTY JANNETTY
This is actually Borga's best outing, and it's got a lot to do with Jannetty being a fantastic bump and sell guy. Borga was just slow and methodical, and Jannetty was bouncing around for him like a champ. Ludvig's strikes and moves run the gamut of nasty to weak looking and it hurts the overall package. For example, his punches don't look very threatening but his power slam had a lot of impact. This has been the case since his debut, and someone should really show him what to cut out and what to improve. Borga wins with the Torture Rack, which looked like he just stood there with Marty on his shoulders.

REST IN PEACE MATCH
THE UNDERTAKER vs. GIANT GONZALEZ
This wasn't awful.  A step up from their Mania match for sure. Gonzalez is still awkward as hell but this worked out okay. I still have no idea what an RIP match is. I guess No DQ. Finish came when Paul Bearer made his return, KO'd Whippleman, and took control of the urn. This of course gave Undertaker the power to give Gonzalez a flying clothesline for the win. Afterwards, Gonzalez chokeslammed Harvey.

TATANKA & THE SMOKING GUNNS vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW & THE HEADSHRINKERS
So much fun. The Headshrinkers and Bigelow maybe one of the coolest trios ever. And the Headshrinkers work really well stylistically with Billy and Bart. The Gunns work fast with high energy and the Samoans look awesome cutting that kind of offense off with superkicks and headbutts. Tatanka brought the goods as well matching Billy's intensity. All these guys really brought out the best in each other.

Finish was super fun with Bigelow and The Samoans going for a Triple Flying Headbutt and missing. Tatanka took advantage and just rolled someone up for a pin. Heenan was yelling "Who was the legal man?!" which was a nice save for the heels. Go find this match.


WWF CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
YOKOZUNA vs. LEX LUGER
I miss this guy.
Before the match they had a Japanese guy singing the national anthem of Japan. The crowd booed him voraciously. Then Macho Man came out with Aaron Neville who sang the National Anthem. Then Macho introduced the red, white and blue clad Lex Luger to a pretty nice ovation from the crowd.

This match was really really good. Yoko was killer beating up Luger, and Lex looks awesome getting his ass handed to him too. It's easily Luger's best match since coming to the WWF and it might be one of the best Yokozuna performances too. Luger's reaction when he came out wasn't much bigger than say Bret's or The Steiners, but over the course of the match he got over in a big way. It makes the ending even more frustratingly stupid. You could tell people in the crowd had finally bought into Lex Luger mega-face, and then he pulls his pad off and KO's Yokozuna, who falls to the outside for a count out.

Are you kidding me?

Lex Luger, who's being booked as this All-American Baby Face, decides he needs to cheat by using his steel plated forearm. He KO's Yoko, gets the count out win, and celebrates like he just won World War II. Wrestlers come out to put him on their shoulder while red, white and blue balloons fall from the rafters. Ridiculous. All that work and hype to create to get this character over, he has a great match with Yoko that would have legitimized him with fans, and they toss it out the window. The fact that he's celebrating like he over came all the odds and vanquished the monster makes him look even dumber. Yoko is still the champ, genius.

No wonder fans said, "Screw this guy," and wanted Bret instead. What a joke.

OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS
There are some awesome matches on here. Steiners vs. Heavenly Bodies, the six man, all the Bret stuff and nearly all of the main event stuff is worth looking up. Some matches were disappointments like Perfect/HBK and DiBiase/Ramon, but I wouldn't say anything was out and out bad. Even the Gonzalez match exceeded expectations.

The only real low points are the quizzical booking of two hot new faces - 123 Kid and Lex Luger. Kid's been on fire and just lost with no build, and Luger was booked like a goober in his first big main event.

Still everyone should check this show out. Despite some of the weirdness it's one of the most solid wrestling cards of the year.

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