Thursday, July 13, 2023

The History of WWE SummerSlam (1993)

Welcome to the most mediocre PPV ever, SummerSlam 1993!

SummerSlam '93 - Palace of Auburn Hills - 8/30/93

Here's a show steeped in mediocrity.  SummerSlam '93 is an odd case of a PPV event providing neither highs nor lows.  Every match except one (Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales) is watchable, but almost none of them are memorable.

The big story going into this show was the rise of Lex Luger as the All-American hero who bodyslammed Yokozuna on the 4th of July.  Luger had been using the goofy Narcissist heel persona that understandably didn't light the world afire, and with the departure of Hulk Hogan the company felt it needed another musclebound superhero to build the company around.  Luger toured the country in a bus to promote the event, and all signs pointed to him becoming the next WWF Champion and posterboy.

The match itself was underwhelming.  It wasn't a bad match per se, but also not terribly exciting.  Luger winning the Championship would've at least provided the big moment the bout (and PPV) needed but strangely the company didn't pull the trigger, instead booking a countout win for Luger, complete with a post-match victory celebration generally reserved for an actual Title win.  This moment was just baffling; Luger and other babyfaces basking in the glory of his All-American countout.  Just bizarre.

YAAAAYYYY!!  Congratulations Lex, on winning........nothing.

The undercard featured a few pretty good matches but again, nothing past 3-star territory.  The highlight of the night was WWF Tag Champs The Steiners vs. The Heavenly Bodies, in a very good undercard tag bout.  Also strong was Bret Hart, mired in midcard doldrums, taking on Doink the Clown, who subbed for the "injured" Jerry Lawler.  Bret and Doink had a solid match which led to Lawler's injury being exposed as a fake.  Bret then had a brief match with Lawler which didn't amount to much at all.

The Intercontinental Title match, which should've been epic, saw Shawn Michaels defending against Mr. Perfect.  HBK vs. Perfect.  Read that and just think about how ungodly awesome that match would be.  Yeah well, it wasn't.  Perfect seemed unmotivated and Shawn was uncharacteristically out of shape, leading to a banal affair that also ended in a countout.  Really?  Both singles Championship matches decided by a countout??

Yikes, Shawn was HUNGRY in those days.

The rest of the show consisted of RAW-caliber matches: Razor Ramon vs. Ted Dibiase, Marty Janetty vs. Ludvig Borga, IRS vs. 1-2-3 Kid, and a six-man pitting Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers.  Nothing of note there.

SummerSlam '93 was a PPV where basically nothing important happened.  When it was over everything was pretty much as it had been the week before.  No titles changed hands, no new feuds were born, no old feuds were resolved, and no matches were must-see.  Lex Luger became a main event WWF star briefly, but that's about it.  Seven months later he was a midcarder again.

Best Match: Steiners vs. Heavenly Bodies
Worst Match: Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales - Seriously, this feud started in January of '93 and didn't end until August.  Seven months of just putrid drivel, spread over three PPVs.  Coincidentally seven months is how long each of their matches felt.
What I'd Change: I mean I'd probably actually have Luger win the belt I guess.  If you're trying to create the next Hulk Hogan you can't have him come up short in his first attempt,right?
Most Disappointing Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect - How they screwed this one up I'll never know.
Most Pleasant Surprise: I guess Bret Hart vs. Doink?
Overall Rating: 6/10
Better than WrestleMania IX? - Yes, this sucky ending is still way better than WM9's sucky ending.


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