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WWE Network Hidden Gems Review: SummerSlam Spectacular 1993

WWE Network Hidden Gems Review: SummerSlam Spectacular 1993

With only a handful of days to go until SummerSlam 2019, Hidden Gems continues to roll on (nonetheless without an official house on the brand new 2.0 replace). And if we’re this near SummerSlam, then it is sensible for the spotlight to fall back on a routine that’s been proven to work by now. And so, final Thursday saw the add of SummerSlam Spectacular 1993. For these unaware, these particular TV exhibits (typically colloquially known as “Street to” occasions) would often air on the USA Network to serve as a serious push for whatever Pay-Per-View was quickly approaching at the time. When you consider that not even Raw was recognized for recurrently presenting marquee matches simply but, these two-hour specials have been virtually mini Pay-Per-Views unto themselves. Right here in late August 1993, we’ve such curiosities as Jim Duggan in search of revenge towards WWF Champion Yokozuna, whereas the Steiner Brothers defend their WWF Tag Workforce Championships in a steel cage towards Ted Dibiase and Irwin R. Shyster (collectively referred to as Money Inc). The tag workforce cage match, particularly, is usually cited as a match of the yr candidate for 1993, making this fairly unassuming (and never notably rare) particular value its inclusion on the WWE Network by itself. Let’s have a look, we could?

SummerSlam Spectacular 1993

Identify: SummerSlam Spectacular 1993
Date: 22/08/93
Location: Mid Hudson Civic Middle
Attendance: 3000 (reported)


Matches Included
Yokozuna vs “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Blake Beverley vs Razor Ramon
Reno Riggins, Barry Horowitz, and Brooklyn Brawler Vs. The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart Gunn) and Tatanka
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Shawn Michaels © Vs. Bob Backlund
Dwayne Gill Vs. Marty Jannetty
WWF Tag Workforce Championship Metal Cage: The Steiner Brothers (Scott and Rick Steiner) © Vs. Cash Inc (Ted Dibiase and Irwin R. Shyster)


Ideas: Our hosts for the evening are the mixture of Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross. Fairly than operating down the whole card, they specifically promote Jim Duggan Vs. Yokozuna and the WWF Tag Staff Championship steel cage match. There’s also point out of a sitdown interview with primary contender Lex Luger as he continues his “Name to Motion” campaign tour on the Lex Categorical. It’s a shame that so many hidden gems are presently lacking within the transition to the new UI update because if not, I’d advocate testing the “All Aboard the Lex Categorical” gem that was released to commemorate Independence Day final yr. With hours of raw and previously unseen footage from each the aforementioned tour and the preceding “Body Slam Problem”, it might have made an ideal companion piece to this SummerSlam Spectacular. Oh properly, WWE does appear to be preserving their phrase so far as very steadily migrating every part over to the new system, so I’m positive that all the gems will resurface ultimately.

Again to this specific night time and we certainly start things off with Duggan trying to get revenge on the WWF Champion. As Monsoon and Ross very helpfully summarise, Hacksaw was one of many rotund WWF Champion’s first main challenges after profitable the Royal Rumble in January. Duggan did pretty nicely for himself (even being the first man to take Yokozuna off his ft) earlier than ultimately succumbing to a number of Bonsai Drops, significantly injuring the person in storyline terms. So while primary, this can be a comparatively main rematch with Jim still a large enough identify for fans to get behind him in his quest to get revenge towards the large man.

As far as the match itself goes though, it’s fairly obvious who’s being pushed and who is on the finish of their WWF profession. That’s to not say that Duggan gets nothing. He provides the gang hope by placing up a struggle on the rare occasions where he will get an opening (together with Duggan throwing every part on the Champ just to knock him onto his again, which is treated as a victory unto itself until an attempted three-point deal with is snuffed out by Fuji chicanery with a Japanese flagpole) however there’s no denying that the WWF Champion is supposed to be dominant right here. Regardless of how WWF might choose to decorate this up, it is surely an extended squash. Moves like the champion’s leg drop are bought as notably devastating by the veteran and any time that the momentum does change it’s made clear that this is due to Yokozuna’s vanity, relatively than Jim having any critical probability if his opponent was absolutely targeted. That does make sense in fact, because the champion was solely two months faraway from fairly literally “killing” Hulkamania (at the least for the subsequent nine years within the WWF) which was fairly the feat and something that ought to rightly be reserved for a heel that was going to be pushed as arduous as potential. With that in thoughts, this does precisely what it ought to, and continues to be reasonably entertaining within the course of. That’s ok for me. As you in all probability anticipated, all of Duggan’s hearth is ultimately extinguished by a Bonsai Drop for the pinfall victory. Postmatch, Yoko needs to hit another drop however a gaggle of referees rush to get Hacksaw out of the ring.

C grade for being perfectly acceptable as a showcase for the champion while nonetheless having the façade of storyline revenge for a veteran Duggan.

As a ultimate addendum to the Duggan vs. Yoko matchup, Vince McMahon catches up with your complete entourage backstage and gets a word with Jim Cornette, who goes on to plug the upcoming SummerSlam primary occasion towards Lex Luger for the WWF Championship. As you may anticipate, the master of the loaded racket cuts an intense promo insisting that the babyface challenger has no probability towards the dominant “rabid animal” champion.

Forward of the subsequent match, we get a recap of the state of affairs that’s led us to Razor Ramon vs. Ted Dibiase at SummerSlam (which spun off the long-lasting 123 Kid upset earlier in the yr). Ted incessantly mocked Razor for dropping to the inexperienced Child, ultimately resulting in a Ramon face turn. What would grow to be Ted Dibiase’s final ever match as an lively competitor within the WWF should wait though, as tonight sees Razor Ramon battling Blake Beverly.

On to Razor vs Blake and this is quite the competitive outing. Which is barely shocking contemplating that you simply’d in all probability anticipate this to be a showcase for Razor Ramon as he heads into fairly an enormous matchup towards Ted Dibiase. But indeed, this is given a great 10 minutes or so with Blake being afforded greater than sufficient probability to appear to be at the very least considerably of an equal to Ramon. He gets to carry his personal with some chain wrestling, will get up to some illegal shenanigans like the removing of a turnbuckle pad and simply usually comes throughout as more than merely a tag group competitor. In fact, this is nonetheless about making Razor look good and so he ultimately overcomes to hit a Razor’s Edge and decide up the victory.

C- grade for being a showcase for the big-name celebrity while nonetheless being a bit of bit extra even-sided than I expected. That deserves some credit score.

Following a Yokozuna-centric SummerSlam advert, we’re led straight right into a highlight reel for the continued Lex Categorical tour including seeing Luger quite awkwardly fraternize with most of the people in a number of places. No marvel his push never reached the heights that it might have.

As a approach to briefly hype up the Jerry Lawler vs. Bret Hart contest on the upcoming PPV, we’re treated to a pretaped vignette of “the King” in a 1950s pink Cadillac with an Elvis impersonator. This entire setup serves as a car (pardon the pun) for Lawler to take some photographs at Helen Hart’s age whereas usually belittling and threatening “The Hitman” ahead of their confrontation which had been brewing since Hart turned King of the Ring two months earlier. Following that vignette, Jim Ross conducts a quick backstage interview with Bret Hart who tells Lawler he has gone too far by bringing the previous WWF Champion’s household into this and “the King” can pay in a bit over every week.

We lastly get to the subsequent match of the night which is the six-man pitting The Smoking Gunns and Tatanka (who have been heading into a conflict with Bam Bam Bigelow and The Headshrinkers at SummerSlam) towards the jobber All-Star group of Reno Riggins, Barry Horowitz, and The Brooklyn Brawler. All in all, this will get about seven minutes from bell-to-bell, however it by some means appears longer. Once I did my preliminary watch-through of this, I genuinely thought that it was one of the longest bouts on the show. In hindsight, I feel there’s one thing improper with the execution. Like I stated, none of Riggins, Horowitz or Brawler are massive names but they do manage to at the very least stall the momentum of the higher-profile workforce. Admittedly, this perception in all probability isn’t helped by Gorilla Monsoon outright chastising the Gunns and Tatanka for “not being sharp”. Monsoon all the time tended to have a habit of putting wrestlers down when it served no benefit to the tried story. On this case, even Ross feels the need to instantly dispute the veteran colour commentator’s declare, making an attempt his greatest to reward the enhancement trio as an alternative. But consequently, it makes the celebrity trio look dangerous for taking 7 minutes to put away a number of “ham ‘n’ eggers” in a moderately pedestrian and unremarkable exhibition. A bit of a misfire all advised. So yeah, that’s pretty much my entire challenge with this presentation. 7 minutes feels more like 15 because of the meandering tempo and the commentary of Gorilla makes a workforce heading into PPV seem like chumps for not firing on all cylinders. It’s a multitude and counter-productive.

D+ grade for being fairly boring and doing extra hurt than good as far as its objective of promoting a match for pay-per-view.

We get another temporary highlight package deal from Lex’s tour adopted by an in-ring interview with The Undertaker carried out by Gene Okerlund. “The lifeless man” is finally winding up his feud with the terrible Big Gonzalez which began back on the Royal Rumble in January. The planned stipulation for this monumental clash of titans is a “Relaxation in Peace” match. Before proceedings, Ross and Monsoon recommend that we’ll finally uncover what this match sort is. As it seems, we get nothing of the type. Taker says one thing noncommittal about how this Relaxation in Peace bout will only finish when Big Gonzalez’s carcass has every organ eliminated by hand. Thanks, that helped!

Talking of the clumsy devil, Gonzalez shuffles his method right down to the ring with supervisor Harvey Wimpleman in tow. The enormous in a spray-painted bodysuit tells Undertaker that he gained’t rise up this time and would be the one to rest in peace. Thank God that was brief but candy. The SummerSlam opponents do their greatest to stare at one another menacingly and tease a bodily confrontation however nothing comes of it after Gonzales bails out of the ring. Oddly, undertaker follows the enormous down the aisle however doesn’t try and catch up to him, making it look that “The Lifeless Man” actually isn’t that bothered about his hated rival all that much in any case. Fairly the strange strategy to wrap the phase up.

Our gag reflexes are tested as soon as extra with yet one more temporary spotlight reel from the Lex Categorical tour. And other people say that Roman Reigns is forceded down our throats these days!

Subsequent up, we’ve got the WWF Intercontinental Championship contest between champion Shawn Michaels and challenger Bob Backlund. On paper, this looks like a reliable minor dream match. In any case, you might have a man who went on to grow to be probably the greatest in-ring performer’s of all time in Michaels and a former WWF Champion from one other era who held the belt for the higher a part of a decade in Backlund. And although Bob wasn’t notably (he was in his mid-40s at this point) he still had sufficient within the tank to probably give us one thing to recollect here.

Sadly, I don’t know whether or not this was resulting from a clash in types or if this specific matchup was never meant to be anything more than a stopgap, but either approach the result is extraordinarily common. In fact, there’s too much expertise within the ring for this to be notably dangerous nevertheless it simply doesn’t stand out in any specific means as soon as the whole lot is claimed and executed.

In all fairness, it might be because Shawn appears to be a lot more targeted on character work right here as he plays the start out appearing cocky nicely in command of his far more veteran challenger. Things ultimately shake out to an offensive flurry for Backlund but Bob has all the time been more of a standard wrestler so his offense tends to stay to atomic drops, body slams and backslides, even when they do have somewhat additional babyface hearth to them. After which, Michaels makes use of lots of weardown moves to sluggish the pace right down. From a standard heel perspective, this is sensible nevertheless it does feel type of odd contemplating that afterward in his career, even when Shawn Michaels performed the heel, he did so at a faster pace. In this state of affairs, the 40-odd-year-old Backlund is the one choosing it up. He does a superb job of this and the gang appears to react higher than they did for many of his early 90s good man run, nevertheless it by no means fairly feels as epic as it ought to. One admitted highlight is a very crisp swinging neck breaker from the challenger which results in a halfway respectable near fall and no less than a number of the crowd buys into it. The near fall leads to a delayed atomic drop and another attempted pinfall but this time Diesel distracts the referee, saving his charge. This distraction catches the eye of the challenger long enough for the champion to execute a bizarre-looking rollup (which initially seems to be like an try at a low blow) with a handful of tights to offer Shawn Michaels the contaminated victory.

C grade. This can be another a type of instances the place I really feel like I’m being a bit harsh in hindsight but I don’t assume I may give this any larger of a grade. Shawn does too little for my tastes here (which I understand fitted into his character to a point) and although Bob does a very good job of preserving a frantic pace for a short match, his moveset is extraordinarily outdated even by 1993 standards which stops the entire affair from being too fascinating. Strong, however might have been so much more if it was on a show which allowed for more time to be allotted.

The mega push of Lex Luger continues as we now get a sitdown interview with the all-American. Lex talks about his position fashions and what it feels wish to grow to be a task mannequin himself. You recognize, whenever you take a look at this present purely from a historic perspective, it’s arduous to consider that Vince McMahon in all probability already knew that Luger wasn’t going to win the championship at SummerSlam. With that in thoughts, this is an insane degree of promotion for a man that may be quickly seen as a loser by the viewers. It’s baffling actually.

Earlier than we will get to our subsequent contest, Jim Ross throws us backstage to Vince McMahon, set to interview the brand new overseas heel Ludvig Borga who is being positioned as the subsequent foil for Luger. In the event you have been watching this at the time, you virtually definitely anticipated Lex to grow to be WWF Champion at SummerSlam. And in that case, you in all probability anticipated Borga to be the subsequent challenger. No marvel business fell by means of the ground. Anyway, this is the standard “America dangerous, in all places else good” spiel that each antagonistic dangerous man who isn’t from round right here has used since time immemorial.

Speaking of Borga, our penultimate match of the evening sees his opponent for SummerSlam, Marty Jannetty taking over the person who can be Gillberg, Duane Gill. Now, this is the very definition of a squash match. The entire thing lasts somewhere round four minutes and principally includes Marty getting to point out off some technical wrestling alongside together with his highflying expertise. One sequence that notably caught my eye was Gill putting Jannetty on the top turnbuckle, just for Jannetty to dam a punch together with his foot after which hit what might virtually be referred to as a prime rope Diamond Cutter or RKO. Impressive. Jannetty then finishes things off with a flying fist drop to get the win. Let’s be trustworthy, this was about making Marty Jannetty look good before he goes on to be destroyed by Ludvig Borga at SummerSlam. With that in mind, it served its function.

C- grade for being very simple but at the very least having a memorable moment with the prototype diamond cutter.

We nonetheless have almost half an hour to kill, so we head over to the SummerSlam Report studio with Gene Okerlund the place we get a rundown of the complete SummerSlam 1993 card that’s just a little over every week away at the time that this aired.

And eventually, here is our blockbuster major occasion: a steel cage match for the WWF Tag Group Championships, as champions Scott and Rick Steiner confronted the challengers (and former champions) Ted Dibiase and Irwin R. Shyster of Money Inc. As I stated in my introduction, this tag staff battle is usually cited as one of many highest of all the yr. Even when I do say so myself, it’s for a damn good cause.

Frankly, this is able to in all probability be hailed as a basic even if it aired on an episode of Raw next Monday. Regardless of being 26 years previous, it holds up just as properly in the present day as it did again in 1993. Why? As a result of it manages to not only incorporate implausible psychology however it additionally feels hard-hitting all through. It makes use of the principles the place each members of the workforce must exit the cage to be declared the victors and champions. Which means each teams expertly use this to create drama where one member of the workforce will handle to flee but then the other will get into hassle, creating a rollercoaster of emotions where victory isn’t fairly certain for either staff till the very closing moments. However this isn’t just about telling a very good story as the top of the normal blue cage can also be used very nicely, together with a number of superplexes off of the foreboding structure (one of the best beingfrom Irwin to Scott). The entire thing seems like a legitimately desperate brawl and it’s occasions like this that I’m glad I refrain from a real play-by-play evaluation type, as I wouldn’t need to spoil such a fantastic match for anybody who hasn’t seen it but. This is greater than 15 minutes of bell-to-bell motion that has been rigorously planned to by no means permit for a real lull in proceedings and due to extremely strong psychology underpinning all the things, it never feels exhausting. All things thought-about, I feel I might have most popular it if this was Ted Dibiase’s swansong for the corporate, relatively than his lukewarm defeat by the hands of Razor Ramon in the course of the upcoming SummerSlam occasion. This feels worthy of SummerSlam itself (even when the Steiner Brothers vs. Beverly Brothers title bout was strong as properly).

B+ grade. This is likely one of the greatest tag group cage matches in no less than WWF/WWE historical past. I virtually feel dangerous for less than giving a B+ grade. Nevertheless, I attempt to save anything greater than that for issues which might be really near-flawless. As nice as this Tag Workforce Championship conflict is, the cage escape rules do lend themselves to a minimum of somewhat little bit of inherent repetition, even if this specific example does its greatest to mitigate this handicap. Nonetheless, a flaw is a flaw and I have to a minimum of present that in my remaining grading. Who knows, ask me in a day or two and I’d probably bump it up a notch or two. I am a creature of temper.

We shut things out with a rap music video that includes Randy Savage and Men on a Mission (in help of Lex Luger, in fact), which turned considerably of a practice for the TV specials of this era.


General video grade: B-. Once I tally the whole lot up, this can be a very strong show. Positive, only the primary event is actually memorable but when you think about that this was designed to be a hype machine for the WWF’s second-biggest show of the yr, it just about did precisely what it wanted to do. Each Lex Luger and Yokozuna have been promoted heavily, all the different notable points of interest got a chance to shine and every part was topped off with what was given the feel of a serious championship protection. You don’t want to observe all of it. Just watch the primary event in case you’re brief on time however when 90 minutes go as shortly as this did, that’s a superb sign.

Thanks for studying, guys. I’ll see you next time for what I might anticipate to be another SummerSlam-focused gem addition. There’s yet one more stand-alone SummerSlam Spectacular event from 1994 (editions earlier than 1993 have been technically classed as Prime Time Wrestling episodes and WWE has up to now prevented importing any of these PPV hype automobiles separately). I assume we’ll see whether or not my hunch quantities to something tomorrow.


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