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wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Summerslam 1993

July 28, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

As we work our way to this year’s edition, it’s time for…

The Netcop Retro Rant for WWF Summerslam 1993.

– Live from Auburn Hills, Michigan.

– Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan.

– Opening match: Ted Dibiase v. Razor Ramon. As it turned out, this is
Ted Dibiase’s retirement match. This was the blowoff match that
resulted from the (somewhat) complicated Ramon-Kid-Dibiase feud (Kid
beats Ramon, Dibiase laughs at him, Ramon causes Dibiase to lose to Kid,
feud starts). Note to Ramon: Pink doesn’t work on tough guys. Kick
and punch match. Dibiase is sadly decayed at this point and it was a
smart move to retire when he did. Dibiase gets control, but Ramon
blocks the Million $ Dream, but gets dumped from the ring. Dibiase
takes off a turnbuckle, but as usual gets rammed into it face-first,
Razor’s Edge, and Dibiase calls it a career by jobbing in the opening
match.

– WWF World tag title match: The Steiner Brothers v. The Heavenly
Bodies. Toad Pedophile does a famous interview with the Steiner family
at ringside pre-match where the sister calls Rick “Rob” by mistake,
breaking kayfabe. Cornette, master of said kayfabe, is wearing a neck
brace to sell an injury he received in SMW. Steiners destroy the Bodies
with a hot series of double-teams to start, blitzing them with suplexes
to really show what Scott could do at the time. But a nifty double-team
turns the tide and Scott ends up playing Ricky Morton. For those who
keep asking, Ricky Morton (of the Rock N Roll Express) made a career of
being beat up during tag team matches and the WWF subsequently based
every tag team match since 1986 on that formula, and hence the guy who
gets beat up by the heels for the majority of the match is “playing
Ricky Morton”. The Bodies looked really, really good here against a
declining Steiners team and I’m surprised they didn’t get more over than
they did. Could someone please interpret the crowd’s chant during this
match? I got the “Let’s go” part but the rest was lost on me. Hot tag
to Rick, Steinerlines abound. Bulldog off the top, for two. Powerslam
but the ref is distracted. Pritchard smacks Rick with the racket for
two. Del Ray to the top for the moonsault, but it misses, Scott in with
the Frankensteiner for three. Really good match, one of the Steiners’
best in the WWF. ***1/2

– Current informercial shill Joe Fowler (think Pocket fisherman)
interviews Shawn and his big buddy Diesel.

– Intercontinental title match: Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel) v. Curt
Hennig. Diesel was a non-factor at this point. This was hyped as the
greatest I-C title match ever. Before it even happened, mind you. But
these two never really clicked together for some reason, probably due to
Perfect’s declining health. The match is all build and no action as
Shawn works on Hennig’s back, but it goes nowhere. Hennig comeback with
a couple of two-counts but nothing effective. And when they fight over
the backslide, you just know someone’s trying to book a classic and not
succeeding. Hennig goes for the perfectplex but Diesel pulls him out
and a fight outside the ring ensues. Hennig gets tossed to the steps
and counted out. Very disappointing. **1/2

– Fowler interviews a short haired, clean shaven, skinny 1-2-3 Kid.
I can’t even reconcile this guy with X-Pac.

– I.R.S. v. 1-2-3 Kid. Irwin stomps the Kid (who works in a high spot
every couple of minutes) almost non-stop. It’s basically a Superstars
squash. Irwin of course does the rope-assisted-abdominal stretch spot
(as per his contract). Kid comeback but he gets caught with the
Writeoff clothesline out of nowhere for the pin. Blah. *1/2 Booking
made absolutely no sense.

– Bruce and Owen Hart deliver words of warning to Jerry Lawler from the
audience.

– King of the Ring match: Bret Hart v. Jerry Lawler. Hart won the
first King of the Ring tournament but was attacked by Lawler for obvious
reasons. Lawler spent the next few months verbally attacking the Hart
family until this “king v. king” match was signed for undisputed rights
to the “King of the Ring” name. Bret enters first and Lawler follows,
on crutches, with a huge icepack on his knee. Old school Memphis heel
shit that draws instant heat. By way of explanation, Lawler launches
into a hilarious story about being on the way to the arena and having to
save a bus full of orphans after a car wreck caused by a little old
lady. You can imagine how well that went over with the crowd. So
Lawler offers a suitable replacement for Bret to fight: Doink the
Clown. Doink was, by the way, one of the great underappreciated
gimmicks of the day. Doink dumps a pail of water on Bruce Hart, and
Bret attacks. He absolutely slaughters Doink, literally beating him
from one end of the ring to the other. Heenan relates the rest of the
Lawler story for us. Bret goes after Lawler and Doink blindsides him.
Doink takes control, working on the leg. Doink ends up going for the
Whoopee Cushion (top rope butt splash) but Bret moves. FIVE MOVES OF
DOOM, ending with the Sharpshooter for the submission, but Lawler
attacks from behind, with Heenan yelling about a miracle. Lawler helps
Doink back to the dressing room and that’s that.

But wait, Jack Tunney (remember him?) is out and orders Lawler into the
ring to fight Hart, or be banned for life. Hart attacks and the brawl
is on. Hart goes medievel on his ass, getting pops for every move.
Lawler gets one of the crutches and chokes Bret out with it. He gets
mileage out of the other crutch, beating Bret over the head while Fonzie
yells at the Hart brothers. But Bret gets pissed off and pulls down his
strap (which goes completely over the announcers’ heads) and destroys
Lawler with (you guessed it) the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. Sharpshooter for
the submission.

But wait, now Bret won’t let go. The ring fills with officials and
Bret holds onto the move as Lawler screams in pain. Bruce and Owen come
into assist and finally talk Bret into releasing the hold. But Fonzie
reverses the decision and awards the match to Lawler, making him the
undisputed King of the WWF. Lawler gets put on a stretcher and the
Harts go berzerk, beating him up on the way back to the dressing room.
Now *that* was epic booking. **** for the whole spiel.

– Ludvig Borga (the evil Fin) has some words for Lex Luger and America
in general. Nuke Finland! Oh wait, got caught up in the spirit of the
good old USA there…

– Bret comes out, claiming he’s been…oh, never mind.

– Marty “Rock Rock Til He Drops, Rock Rock Never Stop” Jannetty v.
Ludvig Borga. Borga uses the Mountie’s french horn entrance music.
Another Superstars squash. Borga…moves…so…slow. Must be the
ICOPRO plan. GoldBorga punches a lot and sells nothing. Borrrrrrring.
Marty works in the triple flip with a half-gainer clothesline sell,
trying to outdo Shawn’s effort on the same move earlier in the night.
Marty wins that particular contest. In this one, however, he falls
victim to the HUMAN TORTURE RACK for the submission. Borga actually
pulls it off better than Lex does. 1/4*

– “Rest in Peace” match: Undertaker v. The Worst Wrestler In The
History of Our Sport, Giant Gonzalez. Yes, it’s yet another Bad Guys
Steal the Urn angle. This was thankfully Jorge’s retirement match as
well, as he was fired/quit right after and has thankfully not been
hired by either promotion since. I don’t know how I forgot about this
one for Netcop Busts. Numerous sources have named this as one of the
worst matches, ever. The WWF didn’t even bother to explain what an RIP
match was until the actual ring introductions (it’s no DQ, no countout,
btw) Undertaker gets beat up lots and gosh if it doesn’t look hopeless.
Gonzalez walks in circles and yells in Spanish a lot. Then, suddenly,
Paul Bearer makes his dramatic return, waddling out from the dressing
room with a black wreath. Bearer beats up Harvey Wippleman and takes
the Urn back. Meanwhile, UT is so beat up he can barely do the zombie
situp. But wait, Bearer transfers the power of the urn into the
Undertaker (hey, Vince said it, not me) and UT sits up. UT does about
14 clotheslines and Gonzalez does his all-purpose bug-eyed selling. UT
with a really beautiful top rope clothesline and thankfully it’s over.
The finisher boosts it to DUD. Gonzalez takes out his frustrations on
Harvey.

– Jim Cornette does the obligatory pre-main event rant on behalf of
Yokozuna. I didn’t know one man could talk that long without taking a
breath…

– The Smoking Gunns & Tatanka v. Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers.
Who would have thought that 5 years later, the Gunns would STILL be
active in the WWF and getting pushed, and seperately at that? Life is
pretty fucking weird. T-t-t-t-t-tanka and Bam Bam do a good hot opening
sequence to get the crowd into it. Billy looks utterly different with
long hair and moustache. The future TAG TEAM CHAMPION OF THE
WOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLD, Billy, shows some nice stuff, including an
inverted bulldog off the top. Bart plays Ricky Morton. Quick tags from
the heel side means resting is kept to an absolute minimum. Bart casts
his lot into the clothesline selling contest with a double somersault
with a twist variation, but comes in a weak third to Shawn and Marty.
Bigelow goes headfirst to the post and Bart makes the hot tag to
Tatanka. Chops, slam, DDT and a bodypress off the top rope. Tatanka
must have eaten his Wheaties or something. Bigelow hammers away, but
it’s the Pissed off Racial Stereotype…oops, enzuigiri. Have a seat,
Tatanka. Samu with a top rope headbutt for two. A donnybrook breaks
out. Shrinkers whip Bigelow into Tatanka. Triple headbutt. Crowd is
getting rabid. Heels go for a triple swandive headbutt, but miss.
Whoa, that would have been pretty fucking cool. Samu is staggered and
Tatanka rolls him up for the pin. Weak ending, but this match was DA
BOMB! Best match I’ve seen out of ANY of them in a long time. ****,
and no that’s not a typo.

– Some Japanese guy sings the Japanese national anthem and Aaron Neville
does the Star Spangled Banner, but I’m Canadian so I fast forward
through all of it.

– WWF Title Match: Yokozuna v. Lex Luger. Luger slammed Yokozuna on
the deck of the USS Intrepid to set this up, thus throwing away a great
Narcissist gimmick in hopes of creating another Hulk Hogan. The Lex
Express toured America in hopes of getting Luger over, and it didn’t
really work. But nevertheless, we got this main event anyway. This was
also Luger’s one and only title shot. All conventional common sense and
logic pointed to Luger wiping the mat with the evil Yoko and winning the
title, but that never stopped Luger from choking before. He actually
hits the HORIZONTAL ELBOWDROP OF DOOM (the move he hits once every five
years) early on. Lots of “USA” chants in case any tourists forgot which
stop on the itinerary this was. Yoko fights back with devastating
chokes (in honor of Luger) and attempted cheating from Fuji. Luger
tries the slam but Yoko blocks and hits the sweet 34 chins music.
Luger is stunned outside the ring! Can our hero recover? More choking
by Yoko and an avalanche against the post. Back in the ring and Luger
goes aerial with a double axehandle. Nice to see him vary the offense.
Yoko won’t go down even after two of them. Flying steel forearm of
doom, but only gets two. So how come a running loaded forearm is more
devastating than a top rope one? Oh, right, the elbow pad.
Malfunction at the junction and both guys are out. Yoko nails him with
the salt bucket but only gets two. Belly-to-bellies suplex and more
choking. Have I mentioned how grotesquely fat Yokozuna is?
Bellies-to-back suplex for two. And a nerve pinch, oh great. Whose
bright idea was it to book Yokozuna in a 20 minute match? Bodyslam
attempt #2 but Yoko falls on him for two. Hulkbuster for two. Banzai
drop misses and the superman comeback begins. Luger slams him, nails
Fuji, and pulls off the armpad for the LOADED FOREARM OF DEATH! Yoko
falls out of the ring and…gets counted out??? Uhhh…that’s not
supposed to be how a match like this ends… They kind of gloss over
the fact that titles don’t change hands on a countout as the faces storm
the ring to celebrate and balloons drop. Still, not bad effort from
both guys, all things considered. **1/2

– We throw in a video tribute to Luger which just underscores the fact
that he didn’t actually win the title.

The Bottom Line:

Sucky ending aside, this show kicked ass. Some unheard of workrate from
the six-man and the tag title match and a great angle with the
Bret-Lawler match makes this an easy thumbs up in an era that produced
some of the biggest turdburgers in the history of wrestling (on both
sides of the fence). Luger blew it again, of course, but what else is
new?

Definitely worth a look if you’ve never seen it before.

NULL

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