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WWF Summerslam Preview Show - August 1, 1993

by SamoaRowe

-This show is also known as the “Summerslam Spectacular.” The show opens with a hype video setting up Yokozuna as a dominant force.

-Live from Poughkeepsie, NY. Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are our hosts for the evening. Tonight’s big main event will be the Steiners vs. Money Inc. in a steel cage!

Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
The WWF Championship is not on the line. Duggan is very animated in his crowd pandering and it’s actually scary how over he is. Duggan fires away on the champ in the early going and teases using his 2x4 as a weapon. The ref takes away the wood, allowing Yokozuna to take control. Mr. Fuji naturally gets some cheap shots with the Japanese flag. Yokozuna works a bear hug, but can’t pick up the victory as we head into a commercial. After the break, the bear hug continues. Duggan bites his way to freedom, but gets knocked off his feet. The crowd is really going nuts as Duggan is showing signs of life against Yokozuna’s offensive onslaught. Duggan finally knocks Yokozuna off his feet with a series of clotheslines. Mr. Fuji grabs Duggan’s boot to cut off his momentum. Yokozuna squashes Duggan from behind and nails the Banzai drop for the win at 8:26 (shown). This was much better than it had any right to be, **¼.
Winner: Yokozuna

-Yokozuna tosses away the official and attempts a second Banzai Drop, but a group of referees pull Duggan to safety. What an animal!

-Vince McMahon is backstage with James E. Cornette, Mr. Fuji, and Yokozuna. Cornette cuts an epic promo putting Yokozuna over as a beast and a rabid animal. Yokozuna makes a bunch of scary faces as Cornette declares that he doesn’t have a conscience. I believe it.

Blake Beverly vs. Razor Ramon
This is a great live crowd as they are really into Ramon as well. Razor tosses his toothpick into Beverly’s face to set the tone for the match. Blake slaps the face in return, but that only pisses Razor off. Blake flees to ringside and lures Razor coming back into the ring. Blake works a side headlock. Ramon escapes and accepts a test of strength, but Blake cheap shots. Razor gets dumped to ringside and Blake exposes a turnbuckle. Neckbreaker by Beverly and an Irish whip into the exposed steel! Backbreaker by Blake and a power slam! Razor counters a cover, but Blake rebounds with a clothesline. Razor reverses a whip into the exposed steel and delivers the Razor’s Edge for the victory at 6:10. Surprisingly good stuff here, **½.
Winner: Razor Ramon

-Jerry Lawler is hanging out with an Elvis impersonator in an old car outside. Lawler talks some smack about Bret Hart, suggesting his mother was already 79 when Elvis bought the car in 1959. They address Hart impersonating Lawler, and that just boils their blood. Lawler promises to break Hart in half at Summerslam.

-Jim Ross talks to Bret Hart, who is backstage. Hart says that Lawler has crossed the line and gone too far by dragging his family into their feud. Lawler has made a fatal mistake and he will pay for it at Summerslam.

The Smoking Gunns and Tatanka vs. Barry Horowitz, Brooklyn Brawler, and Reno Riggins
Billy Gunn kicks the match off against Horowitz in an evenly wrestled contest until Barry thumbs the eye. Billy counters into control and tags in Bart Gunn. The Brawler tags but runs into a drop toe hold. Tatanka makes an illegal tag but enters the match anyhow and works over the Brawler. The good guys try to keep the Brawler isolated, but he gets to Horowitz. Billy becomes the face in peril, as Brawler takes control with a neckbreaker and the bad guys start making quick tags. Billy eventually hits a desperate forearm and tags in Tatanka, who immediately goes on the warpath. The Smoking Gunns drop-kick Horowitz and Brawler from the ring and Tatanka nails the flying cross body on Riggins for the win at 7:02. Sheesh, another match that was better than it really should have been. Is this really a 1993 show? **¼.
Winners: The Smoking Gunns and Tatanka

-Mean Gene Okerlund interviews The Undertaker in the ring. You see, the Undertaker/Giant Gonzales match at Wrestlemania was apparently such a big hit they felt they needed to do it again at Summerslam. Okerlund asks what the stipulations of the Rest in Peace match will be, and Undertaker answers with a menacing soliloquy. The match stipulation for Summerslam is apparently when Undertaker rips out the Giant’s organs. In other words, it’s just a normal wrestling match. The threat lures out Giant Gonzales and Harvey Wippleman. Gonzales says that this time Undertaker will rest in peace. They pay writers to come up with this stuff? Taker is ready for a fight, but Gonzales slowly retreats. Okay, this show feels like 1993 again.

Intercontinental Championship:
Shawn Michaels © (with Diesel) vs. Bob Backlund

HBK sets the stage with an immediate scoop slam. HBK delivers a second one and rests on the ropes. Backlund rebounds with a series of takedowns, capped off with a delayed scoop slam. Backslide by Backlund gets 2! HBK lures Bob into a chase and tries to hide in the ropes to no avail. After a commercial, HBK has taken control and is pummeling Backlund in the head. Front headlock by Michaels, who is purposefully looking bored. Backlund sits HBK on the top rope and slaps the face, leading to a flurry of offense. Big time inverted atomic drop should have ended it for Backlund, but Diesel provides a distraction. Michaels grabs the tights and gets a roll-up for the victory at 6:20 (shown). Hot damn, Backlund looked great here, **¼.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels

-Vince McMahon interviews Ludvig Borga backstage. Borga cuts a promo in Russia and resents having to speak in English because the American audience only knows one language. Actually, if I did know a second language, it definitely wouldn’t be Russian (Editor's Note: uhh...wasn't Borga supposed to be from Finland, where Finnish and Swedish is spoken?). Borga says he isn’t here to win titles, only to dish out pain.

Duane Gill vs. Marty Jannetty
They exchange arm work in the early going. Monkey flip by Jannetty sets up an armbar. Jannetty reverses a hip toss and sets up another armbar. Jannetty counters a back drop but slightly botches his cover attempt. Kick to the face by Jannetty and a back drop. Cue the chinlock! Gill sits Jannetty on the ropes and suffers a modified DDT as a consequence. Flying fist drop by Jannetty finishes it at 3:18. Squashtastic!
Winner: Marty Jannetty

WWF Tag Team Championship Steel Cage match:
Rick and Scott Steiner © vs. Money Inc

The Steiners jump Dibiase as IRS tries to make a quick escape. The Steiners stop IRS but Dibiase almost gets out too. Rick and IRS brawl while Scott squares off with Dibiase. The Steiners get knocked off their feet, allowing Money Inc to make an escape attempt but both are foiled. IRS is pulled by in by his tie. IRS crotches Scott on the ropes, but Dibiase suffers a similar fate on the top of the cage. Scott gets himself over the cage, but IRS blocks him. Rick tries to make the save, but Dibiase suplexes Scott back in. Money Inc. double team Scott and almost miss Rick climbing the cage. Both Steiners get to the top but IRS suplexes Scott off the top and Dibiase drags Rick in for a headlock. Cue the commercial! After the break, they are wildly battling it out on the cage itself. They fall back to the ring, where Money Inc. finally manages to establish some dominance. Scott and IRS both escape the cage, leaving it to Rick and Dibiase. IRS returns to stop Rick from escaping. Scott climbs to the top and nails a double axe handle off onto IRS! Money Inc regains control as we head to another commercial. After the break, Scott is back at ringside as Rick is alone against Money Inc. Scott returns, but IRS gets out. Dibiase is almost out but is dragged back in. Dibiase is stuck in a tree of woe and both Steiners are all over him. The Steiners climb, but IRS prances in and cuts them off. Rick is out but Scott manages to fight off Money Inc. Irwin climbs over, but Rick carries him on his shoulders, saving the match as Dibiase gets to the floor. Scott escapes and the Steiners retain at 17:57! This was an absolutely wild match that made fantastic use of the escape stipulations, ****!
Winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions: Rick and Scott Steiner

Final Thoughts: This was a surprisingly great little show to sit through. All of the matches were entertaining for what they were and a lot of them totally surpassed the (somewhat low) expectations I had set for them. The main event is awesome and I really wish they would have more cage matches nowadays where the only way you can win is to escape. That would help differentiate the cage matches from Hell in a Cell matches just a little bit more. I’ll note that the Lex Luger interview segment was cut out of the WWEClassics.com version for some reason, but that only made this more enjoyable.

Thumbs up!

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