Monday, September 24, 2012

Summerslamania 1993

I decided to watch Summerslam 1993 this weekend, wondering if perhaps this time Lex Luger would win the title. Of course, I couldn't be content with just watching it, so I stayed true to my passion of watching old videos of grown men pretend to beat each other up and then writing about it. What follows is a very brief, unhelpful overview of the event. And a highlight video. You should probably watch that.

The show's best matches were, of course, the Bret Hart matches against Doink and Jerry Lawler, which garnered tremendous crowd reaction as the match advanced the already white-hot feud with a finishing sequence that is the stuff of legends. Bret Hart writes in his book that he had been looking to get back at Lawler for real ever since Jerry genuinely hurt him at the King of the ring in a beatdown that included Lawler throwing a throne down onto Bret's back. Hart got even more mad after Lawler swung his crutch at him from behind with full force, breaking it in half before the match. As payback, Hart put as much pressure as he could on Lawler when he locked him into the Sharpshooter, a fact even more astounding considering that he was booked to keep the hold on for over three minutes. That's better revenge than just crapping in his crown.

The three title matches were also solid, but not spectacular. The Lex Luger-Yokozuna, even with its infamous countout ending, is the best match the two would ever have with each other, which isn't saying much when you consider their awful Wrestlemania match, but it is worth a viewing or two. The highlight would have to be when Lex Luger, who traveled over 9000 miles on the Lex Express, bodyslammed Yokozuna, leading Bobby Heenan to scream "Hiplock!" five times, each time louder and more franticly than the last.

The Perfect-Shawn Michaels match was good while it lasted, but seems like it ended with about ten more minutes left in the match. Mr. Perfect was apparently going through some serious back pain at the time, as evidenced by his audible "Dammit!" after Michaels crashed down on his back. Like the WWF title match, this one ended with a countout.

The Steiners-Heavenly Bodies match was up to the usual standards of the Steiners, though I think their cage match with Money, Inc. was better.

Speaking of Money, Inc., DiBiase and IRS were in adequate singles matches with Razor Ramon and the 123 Kid, respectively. It's jarring to see the Kid's winning streak end abruptly with a clothesline, though.

The six-man tag match was fairly good, with the highlight being an attempted triple headbutt by the heel team on Tatanka off three different turnbuckles. It makes you wonder why the Headshrinkers would be passed over for a tag team title shot on the next Raw in favor of the Quebecers.

The Marty Jannetty-Ludvig Borga match was about what you would expect for a match designed to put over the Finnish newcomer, but it may have done irreparable damage to Jannetty's stock in the WWF, as he had come off a hot summer that included an IC title reign and many exciting matches on Raw. This kind of pay-per-view quasi-squash is what Virgil was for.

The Rest in Peace match, which ended up being a no holds barred match, is as good as you can expect from Giant Gonzalez. The Undertaker continued his streak of winning dull matches at Summerslam, having beaten Kamala the previous year and beating the fake Undertaker and Kama the following years. His streak would be doubly broken with his loss to Mankind in a good match in 1996.

Razor-DiBiase: :/
Steiners-Heavenly Bodies: ✔
Michaels-Perfect: Incomplete
IRS-123 Kid: Pass
Hart-Doink/Lawler: Excellent
Borga-Jannetty: Thumbs down
Undertaker-Gonzalez: √-1
Tatanka/Gunns-Bigelow/Headshrinkers: Hit
Luger-Yokozuna: 8

Overall Rating: Wrestlemania 24

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