August 30, 1993
From the Palace at Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan
Gene Okerlund narrates a video of Lex Luger stepping off the Lex Express in front of the arena. Okerlund was only heard on the show doing voiceover work as he was heading to WCW.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs. Razor Ramon
DiBiase attacks Razor before the bell and hammers away. DiBiase now chops Razor in the corner but Razor reverses an Irish whip and back drops DiBiase. Razor then uses a fallaway slam and decks DiBiase, who rolls outside. Razor takes off his vest as DiBiase paces around the ring before heading back inside. DiBiase backs Razor into the corner and lands a few more chops but ets caught with a clothesline. Razor then clotheslines DiBiase over the top rope and brings him back inside where he gets lured into the corner. DiBiase chokes out Razor using the top rope then clotheslines him for a two count. DiBiase now works a chinlock then Razor gets up to his feet and escapes only to get caught with a knee smash. DiBiase hits a swinging neckbreaker and a suplex then takes him outside after failing to apply the Million Dollar Dream. DiBiase exposes the steel cable in the corner but Razor reverses a turnbuckle smash and sends DiBiase into the steel then hits the Razor’s Edge for the win (7:32) *1/2.
Thoughts: It started off decently enough but really slowed down and ended up being an uneventful match and last WWF for DiBiase as he would leave for All-Japan Pro Wrestling. According to DiBiase, his wife confronted him about his drug use and womanizing while on the road so he decided to leave the WWF then go on one last tour of AJPW as he said there was less pressure over there.
Vince plugs the SummerSlam Hotline. We then see Raymond Rougeau with Bret Hart and The Undertaker as fans ask them questions. One fan asks Undertaker about “Jake the Snake” and Hulk Hogan then the announcers immediately talk over Undertaker while he answers the question then we cut away back to the arena.
Todd Pettengill is in the crowd with the Steiner Brothers mother and sister. We learn that the father is sick today and at home. Pettengill does some lame humor that is interrupted by Jim Cornette’s introduction of the Heavenly Bodies.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: Heavenly Bodies w/ Jim Cornette vs. Steiner Brothers (c)
Steiners are sporting Michigan University colored singlets. The Bodies jump the Steiners before the bell. They dump Scott then beat Rick down until Scott comes back in for the save as the Steiners now take control. The Bodies bail after a flurry of offense from the Steiners and regroup with Cornette. The Steiners now take turns beating on Prichard then do the same to Del Ray. Scott then beats on the Bodies until Prichard bulldogs him from behind. Prichard then nails Scott with an enziguiri and sends him outside where Del Ray takes him down with a somersault senton from the apron that Heenan calls a “moonsault.” The Bodies now cut the ring in half as Del Ray almost puts Scott away with a thrust kick. Cornette cheap shots Scott but soon after that Scott counters a floating DDT with an overhead suplex. Prichard tags in but ducks his head and gets powerbombed then Scott makes the tag. Rick runs wild then the match breaks down. Prichard whacks Rick in the back with Cornette’s tennis racket but that only gets two. Prichard then holds up Rick so Del Ray can use a moonsault but Rick moved out of the way then Scott uses the Frankensteiner on Del Ray for the win, despite neither guy being legal (9:28) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Really good match that was all action for the most part. It was paced similarly to a “Saturday Night’s Main Event” match. Anyway, the Steiners retain in their hometown and can now move on to a program with another team.
Rougeau is backstage with Shawn Michaels & Diesel. Shawn says he will prove to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Diesel then says that everyone knows that chicks dig Shawn and he is there to keep them off the champ. The build heading in was that this match would decide who is the greatest Intercontinental Champion and that the match itself would be a classic.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Shawn Michaels (c) w/ Diesel vs. Mr. Perfect
Heenan claims that Diesel taught boxer Roberto Duran how to punch. We get some rather uninspired back-and-forth action ending with Perfect working the arm. This time they do a better sequence but that ends with Perfect chopping Shawn hard in the corner. Shawn then elbows Perfect but misses a moonsault and gets clotheslined as Perfect covers for two. Perfect goes back to the arm and even catches turns Shawn’s flying clothesline into an arm drag. Vince reiterates how the title can only change hands via pin fall or submission as Perfect maintains an armbar. Perfect blocks a dropkick then slingshots Shawn over the top rope but heads out and gets distracted by Diesel until Shawn attacks. Shawn comes off the apron with a double axe handle to the back then goes back inside and continues to target the back. Shawn hits a backbreaker then stretches out Perfect over his knee. Perfect escapes then dropkicks Shawn after an Irish whip sequence. Perfect follows with a back drop and a knee lift then uses an inverted atomic drop for a two count. Perfect chops Shawn against the ropes before catching him with a clothesline that got two. Perfect now uses the Perfect Plex but Diesel pulls Perfect outside, unbeknownst to the referee. Perfect fights back and rolls Shawn inside on top of the referee but Diesel sends Perfect into the steps and the ref ends up counting him out as Shawn retains (11:20) **1/2. Perfect fights back but gets outnumbered then knocked out cold by Diesel.
Thoughts: Really disappointing match. Shawn did fine but Perfect looked slow and a step behind for a majority of the way. They also gave away what was going to happen on commentary with Heenan claiming Diesel taught Duran how to punch and Vince saying the title can only change hands via pinfall or submission. The finish itself sucked too both in plan and execution. In his book, Shawn said that both Perfect and himself were great at making their opponents look good but not used to being the dominant one in the match and they struggled to gel together.
Pettengill catches Shawn & Diesel in the aisle and asks how can he be happy winning this way. Shawn says the question as to who is the best Intercontinental Champion has been answered. Perfect then comes to and runs backstage.
Joe Fowler, in his WWF debut, interviews the 1-2-3 Kid. Kid is nervous about being on his first PPV as Fowler asks him about most of his opponents being bigger and stronger. Kid is hopeful he can pull it off then Fowler tells him the match is about to begin and despite his shyness, Kid is a hero. According to Prichard, he was watching TV and saw Fowler on some sort of public access show. He then called up Vince and they watched him together and they ended up hiring Fowler and paid him a lot of money but Fowler was apparently overwhelmed by how much work he had to do in the role formerly held by Gene Okerlund and it didn’t work out to say the least.
IRS vs. 1-2-3 Kid
IRS tells the crowd that instead of the Motor City they are now known as the “Tax Cheat City.” IRS beats on Kid in the corner but Kid comes back with a spinning heel kick for a one count as Vince was screaming about how the match was over. IRS then pancakes Kid and mocks Kid with a 1-2-3 finger gesture but this time Kid counters the pancake with a dropkick. IRS elbows Kid down then slingshots him back inside but Kid lands on his feet and surprises IRS with a rollup for two. IRS drops Kid with a back elbow smash then drops an elbow for a two count. IRS now uses an abdominal stretch then switches to a chinlock. The crowd gets behind Kid then Kid escapes and beats on IRS in the corner. Kid climbs up top and hits the moonsault block for two then uses a La Magistral for another nearfall as Heenan is going out of his mind about the possibility of IRS losing. Kid then hits an enziguiri for a two count but runs into the Write Off clothesline as IRS gets the win (5:44) **. Heenan then uses the Brain Scan to draw a “1040” on the screen to mock Kid for being written off.
Thoughts: The action was passable but the decision was baffling as you have Kid win matches against Razor and DiBiase only for him to lose clean as a sheet to someone as bland and uninteresting as IRS.
Pettengill is with Owen & Bruce Hart. Bruce tells us that their parents are not here due to Stu needing knee surgery. Owen says they are making sure to represent Bret to show how the Hart family rules. Speaking of Owen, he wrestled Barry Horowitz in the dark match of this show and per Wade Keller of the “Pro Wrestling Torch”, who was live in attendance, Owen was noticeably limping backstage after his match.
Bret Hart comes out to the ring. However, Jerry Lawler comes out on crutches. Pettengill asks Lawler what’s going on as Lawler tells us how he hates the Hart Family and cannot wait to get his hands around Bret’s neck. Lawler then shits on the crowd and said that he rented a supposed luxury limousine made in Detroit and how nothing worked then got caught in an acccident caused by an old lady. Lawler shows an ice pack on his leg as he claimed to pull himself out of a fiery wreck and denied medical treatment in order to come to the arena. And after saying he can beat Bret with one leg, Lawler tells us the doctor refused to let him participate tonight as Vince calls this a rip off. Lawler then says he will let his self-appointed court jester, Doink the Clown, take his place. Lawler was fucking tremendous here. I can’t say enough about his performance on this show.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Doink the Clown
Doink messes with the fans until Bret runs out and attacks. Bret then takes Doink inside only to clothesline him over the top rope. Several officials separate Owen & Bruce from ringside as Bret beats the crap out of Doink. They go back inside then Bret cuts Doink off of the top rope and drops him to the mat. Bret now goes outside towards Lawler but is attacked from behind by Doink. Doink now works over Bret’s leg to the delight of Lawler then applies a STF. Doink tries for the stump puller then hits a slam. He heads up top and tries for the sit-down splash but Bret got his knees up as both men are down. Bret now fires away then turns Doink over for the sharpshooter but Lawler comes into the ring and whacks Bret with his crutch for the DQ (9:05) **1/4. Lawler continues to beat down Bret with the crutch as Bruce & Owen are being restrained by officials on the outside. Lawler now celebrates then leaves with Doink but are met in the aisle by WWF President Jack Tunney then we hear from Finkel that per Tunney, Lawler will be banned from the WWF for a month if he does not come in and wrestle Bret.
Thoughts: The match itself was fine I suppose but the real brilliance is what took place afterwards. Doink was just a pawn in the Bret/Lawler feud.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler
Bret beats the crap out of Lawler in the corner before using a back drop. Lawler ducks outside then Bret follows and whacks him with a crutch. Lawler rolls back outside then chokes out Bret with the crutch then crotches Bret against the post while Heenan laughs on commentary. Lawler brings the broken crutch inside then distracts the ref before jabbing Bret in the throat. Bret then low blows Lawler in the corner then fires away. Bret then hits a piledriver then applies the sharpshooter until Lawler gives up (6:32) ***1/2. However, Bret refuses to let go after the bell. The bell keeps ringing and four referees are now trying to pull Bret off but are unsuccessful. Owen & Bruce are enjoying themselves as more officials are in the ring but Bret keeps the hold. Bret is finally pulled off then we learn that the decision was reversed due to Bret refusing to break the hold as Lawler is now the winner and called the undisputed king of the WWF. Bret then attacks Lawler and Lawler ends up on stretcher but still manages to raise his hand in victory while being wheeled backstage and even got attacked by Bruce.
Thoughts: Again, tremendous stuff with both guys beating the crap out of each other and Bret costing himself the match because he wanted to make Lawler suffer after his parents were tormented. Both guys and this feud are white hot now coming out of this feud.
We take another look backstage as IRS, Shawn, and Diesel are on the SummerSlam Hotline.
Ludvig Borga is shown from earlier today in Detroit near some shitty abandoned building. Borga says the building is crumbling like America and how the Lex Express never stopped here. Borga then calls out Luger and shits on Americans for collecting welfare then promises to show us all what he is all about. Its clear they are building up Borga as Lex’s new opponent.
Marty Jannetty vs. Ludvig Borga
Borga beats on Marty in the corner as Vince says Borga was a boxing champion as a teenager. Borga continues to hammer away then punches Marty in midair after a pancake. Vince now puts Borga over for deadlifting 989 lbs as Marty finally lands a couple of punches only to run into a clothesline. The announcers now talk about Borga and Tatanka both being undefeated in the WWF as Borga turns Marty inside out with a clothesline. Marty tries a sunset flip then avoids Borga’s attempt to break it up and lands a super kick but gets caught and hit with a powerslam then Borga puts Marty away with a torture rack (5:15) *.
Thoughts: Marty tried but Borga is not over and did not impress in this match despite it being a total squash. According to Keller, Marty wrestled this match with a fractured ankle. And, given that they randomly brought up Tatanka’s undefeated streak during Borga’s match it seems that those two will be facing each other soon.
An ad for the Survivor Series airs. It will take place on Thanksgiving Eve.
Rest in Peace Match: Giant Gonzalez w/ Harvey Whippleman vs. The Undertaker
We never did get the rules of this match. Undertaker chokes Gonzalez in the corner. Whippleman causes a distraction on the apron and then Gonzalez catches Undertaker with a big boot. Undertaker fights back but gets knocked down. However, Undertaker sits right up. Gonzalez then tosses Undertaker outside and heads out to rough him up. Gonzalez paces around the ring and yells for a bit. Gonzalez rolls Undertaker back inside then cuts off Undertaker’s attempt to grab the urn. Gonzalez lands some shots but Undertaker tries to fight back. Whippleman then takes the right before Gonzalez whips Undertaker into the corner. Gonzalez chokes out Undertaker as Paul Bearer makes his return coming down with a black wreath. Whippleman charges at Bearer then gets clotheslined and how Bearer has the urn. Gonzalez hammers away and hits a slam before staring down Bearer. Bearer then holds up the urn and Undertaker sits up and starts punching away. Undertaker staggers Gonzalez with several clothesline then takes him down with a flying clothesline for the win (8:04) DUD. Bearer then sets up the wreath in the ring and leaves with Undertaker. Gonzalez and Whippleman now have a problem and that ends with Gonzalez hitting a chokeslam and places what is left of the wreath on top of Whippleman and leaves by himself.
Thoughts: Apparently, the “Rest in Peace” stipulation was no DQ. The match itself was awful with an anticlimactic ending but the big news was the return of Paul Bearer. And since the real heat was on Undertaker and the recently fired Hughes, with Gonzalez barely appearing on TV since Hughes stole the urn, there was little energy for the match itself. Now, Undertaker can move on to feud with someone else. It also appeared that Gonzalez has turned face after chokeslamming Whippleman but this would be one of Gonzalez’s final appearances with the company.
Fowler is now backstage with Yokozuna, Cornette, and Mr. Fuji. Fowler rags on Cornette for the Bodies losing. Cornette blames the refs then says the same will not happen to Yokozuna. Cornette talks as the camera slowly zooms in on Yokozuna’s face as Cornette tells Luger all of his strength and strength from the people will not be enough. Cornette then has Yokozuna scream “bonzai” to show the final thing Luger will hear tonight. I liked the production of the promo as it made Yokozuna look like an even bigger threat.
Smoking Gunns & Tatanka vs. The Headshrinkers w/ Afa & Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Luna Vachon
We see Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon high up above calling the action for radio WWF. Headshrinkers & Bigelow beat down their opponents to start. Bigelow then works over Tatanka until Tatanka fights back. Tatanka hits a dropkick and back drop then hammers away. Both men now collide attempting crossbodies then eventually tag out. Fatu drills Billy with a super kick then that triggers a fast-paced sequence. Bart and Samu are now in and are able to maintain the pace. Bart gets trapped in the opposing corner then Bigelow dropkicks him for a two count. Bart is still in trouble until he avoids an avalanche from Bigelow then tags out. Tatanka runs wild for a bit then the match breaks down. Tatanka gets hit with a triple headbutt then Headshrinkers & Bigelow all head up top for another triple headbutt but miss then Tatanka rolls up Samu for the win (11:15) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good, action-packed match. These six had chemistry together and did work a lot together for a few months leading up to this but this was treated mostly as filler until the main event.
Fowler now talks with Hank Carter, driver of the Lex Express. Carter puts over Luger for being genuine and passionate. He also talks about Luger making terminally ill children feel great just by walking into the room. Fowler then says he is going to use his one stupid question to ask Carter who will win and Carter says Luger. Man does Fowler suck in this role. Why didn’t they just used Pettengill, who was more natural at doing this type of stuff?
Pettengill is now with some patriotic fan in the crowd with a homemade bandana and cutoff shirt.
The announcers talk about Luger as Heenan jokes that President Carter was the driver of the bus.
Akio Sato is in the ring holding the Japanese flag while someone else sings the Japanese National Anthem. After that, Randy Savage comes out to introduce Aaron Neville, who sings the American National Anthem. The set up for Neville to sing took a very long time.
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna (c) w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette vs. Lex Luger
Luger and Yokozuna have a staredown then Fuji tries to sneak into the ring for a distraction but that fails. Luger hammers away then perks up after avoiding a leg drop and starts kicking Yokozuna’s leg. Luger fires away in the corner as we get USA chants from the crowd. The ref stops Luger from using mounted punches and that allow Yokozuna to fight back. Yokozuna chokes out Luger in the corner then Fuji tries to throw salt in Luger’s face but that misses and Luger is now firing away. Luger fails to slam Yokozuna then gets drilled with a thrust kick as Fuji waves the Japanese flag. Luger gets knocked outside then Yokozuna heads out and chokes him with a rope. Yokozuna avalanches Luger against the ring post then grabs a chair but misses the swing and now Luger is firing away. The action heads back inside where Luger hits a pair of flying double axe handles then finally drops Yokozuna with a flying forearm from the top rope that gets two. Luger then hits a clothesline to the back of the head but that only gets two. Both men are down after clotheslining each other then after Cornette distracts the ref, Fuji gives the bucket to Yokozuna and Luger gets whacked. Yokozuna then crawls towards Luger but that only gets two as Heenan screams about the referee counting slow. Yokozuna chops Luger then hits a belly-to-belly suplex but that only gets two as Luger was just able to turn over as the crowd seems confused because that looked like a three count. Yokozuna chokes out Luger against the middle rope then gets another nearfall that the crowd barely reacts to and is in a state of disbelief. Yokozuna now uses a nerve hold as the crowd chants USA for a bit. Luger escapes then tries another slam but Yokozuna falls on top and gets a two count. Heenan is impressed over Luger’s courage as Luger kicks out of another pin attempt then Yokozuna sets up for the Bonzai drop. Luger is able to avoid the move then keeps fighting back after Yokozuna uses turnbuckle smashes. Yokozuna sets up for an avalanche but misses then Luger uses a slam. The crowd goes nuts as Luger knocks Fuji out then sends Yokozuna through the ropes with a forearm smash and Yokozuna ends up getting counted out as Luger wins the match but not the title (17:58) **. After the match, Savage runs out as do the Steiners & Tatanka with the Steiners hoisting Luger on their shoulders as Luger holds the American flag. We then see red, white, and blue balloons drop from the ceiling as Vince tells us that their will be pressure on President Tunney to grant Luger a rematch and when that happens you can guarantee that Luger will be the next champion. And after going off on Luger for being an American hero we close out with the “I’ll be Your Hero” music video then cut back to the arena as Yokozuna is still out cold with Cornette trying to revive him.
Thoughts: The match itself was okay but lost steam near the end with Luger’s kickouts less effective each time. The crowd reaction was also not where it needed to be for a main event. And the finish was fucking terrible. I mean why isn’t Luger even attempting to get Yokozuna back into the ring? You can’t win the title by countout. And speaking of the end, having Luger get hoisted on the shoulders of the Steiner Brothers complete with balloons dropping from the ceiling all for a count out win was tone deaf as playing this up as some sort of win for America did not resonate. You celebrate count out win for a face when they are an underdog, not built up as the savior. Building up Luger for the past several weeks all for this According to Bruce Prichard, Luger was originally planned to win the title here but it was switched for some unknown reason. Luger himself said Vince told him they were going to go with Yokozuna for a bit longer as champion then said Vince told him if he would win the title it would take place at WrestleMania X. And if you wanted to have Luger chase and somehow get around the no rematch clause fine but have him get screwed over instead of winning by count out.
Final Thoughts: The Bret/Lawler stuff was fantastic and besides Undertaker/Gonzalez the rest of the actual matches were at least passable. However, the main event finish was terrible and did not help business in the slightest going forward. When you hear why 1993 gets a bad rep despite RAW itself being a good show its because the main event scene was a shit show. Overall, the show is alright but again, the main event ended up being a big failure on many levels.