The SmarK Rant for WWF Superstars – 08.21.93 (Plus a Bonus Rant!)
Thank god we’re almost at Summerslam so we can hopefully not hear about Lex Luger for 5 minutes.
Jerry Lawler is hanging out in a park somewhere in Memphis in our cold open, and he introduces the real King: An Elvis impersonator, who cuts a promo on Bret Hart and then drives off. Let’s not linger too long on Jerry Lawler hanging out in a park with no shirt on.
Taped from Utica, NY
Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler & Randy Savage
Marty Jannetty v. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz pounds away in the corner with forearms, but then makes the mistake of telling us “I got him!” at which point Jannetty takes him down with a hiptoss. Barry gets a kneelift and jawbreaker, but Marty puts him down with a superkick and finishes him off with the flying fistdrop at 1:41. “He’s been on a roll as of late!” notes Vince. Really? He hasn’t even been on TV since losing the belt to Shawn, I don’t think. Why must this man lie to us so blatantly?
FACE TO FACE! WITH SCHEME GENE!
Did you hear the great news that Summerslam is available on PAY PER VIEW? Gene runs down the card and we get an actual face to face segment between the Heavenly Bodies and the Steiner Brothers, building up their match with no backstory. It must have killed Dr. Tom to cut his hair in 1996 as Zip because then he couldn’t spend minutes at a time fluffing it anymore.
The Quebecers v. Dan Dubiel & Scott Despres
Apparently Jerry Lawler was singing “In The Ghetto” at some point, which Vince and Randy mock him for, but it was cut from this edit of the show. The Quebecers quickly double-team Dubiel and hit the Boston Crab/Legdrop combo and Pierre seems ready to take the pin, but the other guy makes the save!? What a moron, take your $50 payday and call it a night. So the other guy comes in and Pierre beats on him before they hit him with the old Rougeau Bomb, and Jacques stresses that WE’RE NOT THE MOUNTIES before cannonballing Pierre off the top onto Despres to finish at 2:16. See now THESE guys deserve a title shot at the Steiners, not the Heavenly Bodies. Hopefully they get one soon, hopefully with a ruleset that is fair to competitors from the Province of Quebec.
UPDATE! WITH GORILLA MONSOON! BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHEVY TRUCKS! TOUGH LIKE THE ROCK!
Gorilla wants to stress that although Lex will be making his stops in California, he has to make sure to turn the bus around be in Detroit on time for the show. So let’s have more talk with Lex Luger, who’s really speaking to the kids right now. He’s hotter than the Miz! Anyway, he got kicked out of the University of Miami for disciplinary reasons, and that’s how he knew it was time to grow up and be a MAN. And we get a rebuttal from Jim Cornette, who notes that it doesn’t matter how many people vote for Luger, he’s still gotta beat Yokozuna. See now, maybe they should have kept Luger as a heel and put Cornette with HIM. That might have been something.
Adam Bomb v. Mike Moraldo
At this point Vince does a backpeddle for the ages after Cornette’s promo about how Yokozuna is a kamizake pilot, suddenly pointing out that it’s not 1942 and Yokozuna does not represent Japan, or Asian-Americans of any kind. Meanwhile Adam tosses Moraldo out to the floor, where Johnny Polo dumps a drink on him, and the Atom Smasher powerbomb finishes at 2:18.
Meanwhile, Rappin’ Randy Savage teams up with MOM, and wouldn’t you fucking know that they’re doing a rap about GODDAMN LEX LUGER. All they do is spend weeks TELLING US and TELLING US about how great Luger is, but he’s never on TV winning matches or doing anything other than talking and talking and talking.
Mr. Hughes v. Mike Bucci
Hughes beats on this geek and hits him with a dropkick while Lawler takes a phone call from Elvis and bails on the match. Meanwhile Hughes finishes with a Bossman Slam at 1:19. Apparently Bucci invented getting squashed in a minute on TV, too.
Bret Hart joins Boni Blackstone for the special interview this week. Holy shit, she’s still around? She did better than Stephanie Wiand for longevity. Bret is offended that someone like Lawler thinks he can just declare himself King without winning a tournament like he did. Also abusing his parents made him mad as well.
Meanwhile, Yokozuna goes flying out of an arena and lands on some guy in a backyard pool. To promote Summerslam. Because reasons.
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Bobby Who
Wait, so is this jobber also played by Jim Neidhart? Why wasn’t he teaming up with Chaz Ware at this point? Bam Bam beats him down and slams him to set up the diving headbutt at 0:58. Eh, Who cares? Jerry Lawler also returns and notes that he was saving Elvis from being harassed by a bunch of young girls outside. Hopefully they don’t accuse him of rape to get revenge on him!
SUMMERSLAM REPORT! WITH SCHEME GENE! BROUGHT TO YOU BY SOME KIND OF PROGRAM MAGAZINE DEAL!
Still no word on what the hell a “Rest in Peace” match is. But I’m sure they’re strenuously looking into it. Anyway, Gene wants to stress for all first-time PPV viewers that the action will be incredible and indescribable. But he doesn’t have to tell repeat viewers that. Good to know.
Meanwhile, Randy Savage destroys a library through the power of beef jerky.
Men on a Mission v. Jeff Libolt & Iron Mike Sharpe
Sir Mo gets a suplex on Sharpe while Vince claims that Summerslam will not only be a PPV, but a PARTY, bringing together families to watch Lex Luger challenge for the title. I feel like they’re overreaching with this one. Mabel comes in and Iron Mike tries a slam, but that fails and Mabel slams him in turn, and then hits his dying orca back kick. Over to Libolt and MOM chokeslams him and then Mabel finishes with a splash at 2:10.
FACE TO FACE! WITH SCHEME GENE!
Gene just wants to clear up one point: Even though you might not be able to join the party in Detroit, you can still order this show on PPV TV and watch it at home! HOLY SHIT! This is amazing news for sure. They should make sure everyone knows about it. And we finish with Shawn and Perfect doing a face to face segment, with is only notable for Diesel telling to Perfect to “stay over there in your Bobby Sherman workout suit and shut up”.
NEXT WEEK: No word, but apparently before Summerslam there’s a show called The Summerslam Spectacular on the USA Network and there will be HIGHLIGHTS here next week. And I don’t think it’s actually on the Network, so here’s my review as a bonus from when it was on the WWE online on-demand service:
The SmarK Legacy Rant for Summerslam Spectacular 1993
– Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY, somewhere around August 16 1993. Probably that night.
– Your hosts are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon. Huh.
– I’m delighted that this show, hyped for three weeks on the 1993 RAWs, is in fact available under Mike Rotundo’s “Where are they now?” page. Gotta love the WWE’s video library.
Yokozuna v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
This is non-title as Duggan continues his jobbing tour on the way out. Duggan actually has the poor sportsmanship to attack while Yoko is bowing to Fuji in the corner, but the ref stops him from using the 2×4. Good. Yoko chops him down and chokes away on the ropes, as Fuji adds a cheapshot with the Japanese flag. Yoko tosses Duggan, but he pops right back in with “All American rights and lefts” according to JR. Yoko no-sells it all and puts him down for the Hulkbuster legdrop. So much for made in America. And we go to the bearhug, and Yoko gets two. We take a break and return with another bearhug, then more choking in the corner. Yoko’s evil facials + Duggan’s goofy selling facials = Not a pretty sight. Yoko misses the corner splash and Duggan makes the comeback, but Yoko won’t go down. Finally three clotheslines gets him on the mat, but Duggan is so stupid that he actually sets up for the three point stance right in front of Fuji. Bing bang boom, buttdrop and we’re done at 8:27. Duggan knew his role and exactly how to play it. **1/2
Meanwhile, Jim Cornette and Yokozuna cut their money promo on Lex Luger. Well, mainly Cornette.
Razor Ramon v. Blake Beverly
Random thoughts that come to you at 3:00 AM: Was Ramon supposed to be his first or last name? Blake gets in Razor’s face and eats a toothpick as a result. Not a smart man, he bitchslaps Razor in the corner, resulting in a beating that sends him running. Back in, Blake wants a test of strength and then immediately cheats, resulting in another beatdown, but Ramon charges and ends up on the floor. Blake uses that moment to undo a turnbuckle, then puts Ramon down with a neckbreaker. Razor goes into the STEEL turnbuckle and Blake goes to work on the back and gets a backbreaker. Powerslam gets two. Ramon reverses the pinfall for two, but Blake clotheslines him down again. Irony proves to be a fickle bitch, however, as Ramon whips Blake into his own steel turnbuckle, and the Razor’s Edge finishes at 6:08. Hey, this didn’t suck at all. **1/2 Strangely, 3 years later Blake would be wrestling in a nothing match on Nitro, and Ramon would do a run-in that changed the face of wrestling forever. That’s wrestling for ya.
Meanwhile, Jerry Lawler hangs out with Elvis Presley in Memphis. Bret cuts a bitter promo in response.
The Smoking Gunns & Tatanka v. Barry Horowitz, The Brooklyn Brawler & Reno Riggins
It’s like the jobber all-star squadron! Billy trades hammerlocks with Horowitz and puts him down with a kneelift, and Reno comes in to get abused by Bart. Over to Brawler and Bart drops a knee on him, and Tatanka comes in with a flying chop. He pounds on the arm and follows with a powerslam, but Horowitz actually hits Billy with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Brawler with a neckbreaker for two. Reno with a jawbreaker for two, and Barry with a kneedrop for two. I would be remiss in not mentioning that Reno and Barry have matching neon green tights, Barry sporting handprints and Reno using dice. AWESOME. Back to Riggins, but Billy gets a sunset flip for two. Barry uses a Nash choke in the corner and throws forearms in the neutral corner, and Brawler chokes him out on the top rope. Back to Reno, but Billy hits him with a flying forearm and it’s hot tag Tatanka. Chops for everyone! The Gunns clean house, leaving Reno alone with Tatanka, and that goes about as well for Reno as you’d expect. Flying bodypress finishes him at 7:00. Could’ve been a squash, but they gave the job guys a ton of offense and make it an entertaining match. I love to see that. Well, I love to see it if the jobbers are good, like here. Otherwise it’s just boring. **3/4
Undertaker joins us for a special interview, clarifying what a Rest in Peace match is: It’s when he takes your carcass and reaches into the flesh to extract your heart still beating from your chest. Well that’s an oddly specific stipulation. Giant Gonzalez comes out to actually cut his own promo, and it’s also like someone reaching into my chest and ripping out my still-beating heart, so that fits in well. This made me want to see this match even less, and I already know how bad it is.
Intercontinental title: Shawn Michaels v. Bob Backlund
At the time, if someone went back in time and told me that a year or so from this match that Shawn’s bodyguard would beat Backlund to win the WWF World title…well, really I’d be skeptical about the whole time-traveling thing in the first place, so I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Shawn (starting to enter his pudgy de-roiding phase) gets a slam and mugs in the corner. Backlund fires back with his own, much more dramatic slam, and a backslide for two. Shawn runs away and we take a break. Back with Shawn slugging him down for two. Shawn with a double axehandle off the top and he goes to a front facelock. Bob puts him on the top rope to break and makes the comeback, getting a swinging neckbreaker for two. The ATOMIC DROP OF DOOM gets nothing, as Diesel is distracting the ref. Weird finish as Shawn kind of rolls him up for the pin using the tights, at 6:23. Cookie cutter stuff from an unmotivated Shawn. *1/2 Also weird, they completely downplayed the IC title match with Perfect, barely mentioning it here.
Marty Jannetty v. Duane Gill
Marty takes Gill down with a monkey-flip and works the arm, then takes him down with a flying headscissors and goes to the armbar. Rollup gets two. Superkick and backdrop, then he hits a DDT and finishes with the flying fistdrop at 3:15.
WWF World tag titles, cage match: The Steiner Brothers v. Money Inc.
Both team members have to escape to win. Big brawl to start and Scott sends Dibiase into the cage, but can’t make it out, as Dibiase brings him down with a backdrop suplex. Money Inc. tries to climb out, but the Steiners bring them down. Scott pounds on IRS in the corner while Dibiase sends Rick into the cage, but Scott tries to climb and gets crotched by IRS as a result. Dibiase gets to the top of the cage and Rick brings him down the hard way as well. They all fight on the cage and Dibiase brings Scott down with a superplex. Money Inc double-teams Scott, allowing Rick to try to sneak out the other side, but he gets caught. Then both Steiners make it to the top of the cage, but IRS brings Scott down with a top of the cage superplex (!!) and we take a break. Back with the heels climbing again, but Rick brings IRS down and Scott sends Dibiase into the cage to stop him. Scott actually makes it out of the cage and halfway down, but Dibiase pulls his head through the cage and chokes him down to stop him. Cool spot. But again, that allows Rick to climb out across the ring, so Dibiase has to haul him back in and nearly delivers a piledriver from the top rope in the process. Scott chokes IRS out with the tie and nearly makes it out again, but Dibiase manages to bring Scott back in. Irwin climbs up, but Scott brings him back in with an electric chair, which Dibiase breaks up. Collision in the middle takes out Rick and Dibiase, so Scott and IRS climb out on opposite sides and we’re one man out a piece. So they’re out of play and it’s down to Rick and Dibiase. And then IRS decides to cheat and heads back in, so Scott comes in with a flying axehandle from the top of the cage, and we’re back to 2-on-2 again. The Steiners climb again, but now Dibiase hauls Rick down by the head-gear and chokes him out with it. And we take another break. Back with Scott leaving the cage, as Rick is alone against Money Inc. So again Scott changes his mind and climbs back in. And now IRS climbs out and Dibiase NEARLY sneaks out, but the Steiners head him off just in time and haul him back in. Ted gets tied up in the Tree of Woe and the Steiners wisely try to climb out then, but IRS comes back in to make the save. Ted brings Scott down with an atomic drop, but Rick manages to escape. Money Inc. double-team Scott, so Rick heads back in, but Scott gets a double clothesline and Rick changes his mind. Scott gets to the top rope and has to fight off Dibiase, while IRS climbs out. However, Rick climbs the cage and puts IRS on his shoulders, preventing him from hitting the floor, and he endures Dibiase beating on him while Scott climbs out for the win at 18:00. That is a fucking BRILLIANT finish. This should have been on the PPV, it was well worked with intricate cage spots and gigantic bumps. Who would have thought that the Heavenly Bodies had a chance in hell at Summerslam after watching the Steiners dominate here, though? ****1/4
As a show this was fabulous, especially for the time period, and is well worth checking out today. This probably didn’t sell a single PPV buy, though, and in some cases made me want to watch the show even less. In fact I’d probably say this was better than the PPV ended up being.