SummerSlam Heats Up The Motor City!
RANT SPORTS TOP 10 WWE SUMMERSLAM’S
Date: August 30th 1993
City: Auburn Hills, Michigan
Venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Combined Attendance: 23,954
Sub-Theme: “Stars and Stripes Forever”
If you were the kind of person who didn’t have a patriotic bone in your body and you turned on SummerSlam 1993, I promise you, after the 3 hour spectacle; you would be leading your neighborhood in singing “God Bless America. From the floor to the ceiling the palace of Auburn Hills was decked out with red, white and blue and it was only fitting that the venue would take place in the heartland of America, Detroit Michigan!
The road to SummerSlam actually started on the weekend of July 4th. The WWF held a “bodyslam” contest on the USS Intrepid in New York. Challenging professional athletes from all different sports and pro wrestlers to try to bodyslam the WWF Champion, Yokozuna. Oh did I mention that he is a 500+ lbs massive behemoth? Many men from different sports, football, baseball, boxing, all tried, but no dice. Even former WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage tried, and nothing. And just when it looked like that Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna would have the last laugh, a helicopter arrives and out comes The Narcissist Lex Luger. Lex decided to give it a shot and hitting Yoko with that loaded elbow, Lex gives Yoko the slam heard around the world. The crowd rips up as Luger scores one for the US.
This rolls out to a challenge, a very rare challenge, where the WWF Champion Yokozuna, now accompanied by both Mr. Fuji and now James E. Cornette, challenge Lex Luger and will put the title on the line at SummerSlam. Lex accepts the challenge but Cornette would have the advantage where he put a clause in the contract stating that this will be Lex’s ONLY title shot at Yokozuna. If he is not victorious, he will not get another shot at the title. Lex appreciates the challenge and takes it on head first. This would be the beginning of the cross country tour of the Lex Express. And the last stop of the Lex Express would be SummerSlam in Michigan.
SummerSlam would be a stacked card featuring all of the top talent. One of the matches on the card, which in my opinion is a SummerSlam all time great, would be the match for the Intercontinental Championship. The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels defending the WWF IC championship against Mr. Perfect. This match would be to see who is the greatest IC champion of all time where the past meets the future. This, by far, is the quintessential passing of the torch match. Perfect is a ring general who is able to display a wide range of ability and talent, but matching that up against Shawn Michales may not be enough, as Shawn Michaels gains the victory via count-out.
SummerSlam 93 was a very pivotal PPV to bring conclusion to feuds and The Undertaker was looking to make an example of this. At Wrestlemania 9, the Undertaker faced the Giant Gonzalez and won via disqualification after the Giant smothered him with “chlorophyll”. The Giant had had the advantage over Taker one too many times as it was only fitting for this feud to conclude at SummerSlam in a “Rest In Peace” match. The rules to an RIP match are no DQ and No Countouts. With these rules, Taker had the world at his hands to punish the Giant. The advantage was more than enough as Taker made easy work to get the victory from Gonzalez.
The night peered low, but the crowd energy was high as it was time for the WWF Championship Match. Macho Man Randy Savage would be dubbed as the “Master of Ceremonies” as he would be the man to introduce the wrestlers. After country music legend Aaron Neville graced us with the Star Spangled Banner, the energy was electric in the arena. Enters the WWF Champion Yokozuna, with his Japanese inspired zen theme music piping through the speakers of the Palace, and you didn’t need to tell this crowd of 23,000 strong how to react as their “boo’s” were deafening. When the music lowered, Macho Man proudly announced “The Next WWF Champion” Lex Luger and the palace was on fire hearing stars and stripes forever. Luger, with the heart of a champion already, marched to the ring ready for battle. And a battle it was. Luger would be tested like he never has been before, going up against the monster. Yoko is a big man, but moves with the agility of a cat, which makes him absolutely dangerous. Yoko would dominate most of the match, but that couldn’t put the All American away. Luger would find himself gaining the advantage with a series of offensive moves. From clotheslines to punches, the offense was not stopping. Luger had Yoko worked up enough where he was able to deliver the bodyslam to him, shades of the USS Intrepid on July 4th. Luger would expose his loaded elbow and blast Yokozuna with his elbow sending him to the outside. Lex Luger would literally be the last man standing as he stood in the middle of the ring victorious via count-out. After the match, he takes in all of the adulation and triumph as Savage, Tatanka and the hometown heroes, the Steiner brothers would celebrate with him in the middle of the ring, in a storm of confetti.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer with Rant Sports