With the 30th installment of The Biggest Party of the Summer just around the corner, join us as we take a look back at the history of SummerSlam. The ups, the downs, the moments, the stars, and the final parking spot of the Lex Express.
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Yokozuna vs Lex Luger for the WWF Championship
Mr. WWF Hulk Hogan had left the company months before SummerSlam. Hogan’s departure paved the way for Lex Luger to step in and become the new face of the WWF! The start of the build would be to have Luger come off of a helicopter and “slam” the mighty Yokozuna, give him a bus called the Lex Express to travel the country in and culminate is his first championship win at one of the biggest shows of the year!
Or…or Luger could win by countout and not actually win the title but still celebrate like he did. Yeah…that.
To those who think that Roman Reigns has been pushed too hard, jump on the WWE Network and watch a few shows from 1993. WWF did everything to try and make Luger the new leader of the company. It just didn’t take. The match was decent at best and would really be a proper main event for a mediocre show.
Side note – this would be the only main event in SummerSlam history where neither of the competitors were even with the company for the previous SummerSlam.
TME TO GRAB SOME SNACKS
Just like Luger was made to be the man, Ludvig Borga was being built as the next anti-American unstoppable force. Borga would show us the worst parts of Detroit saying that “THIS is the America that Lex Luger is defending!” Just like Luger, the Borga idea would fizzle out as well. So, take that Finnish disappointment and throw in Marty Jannetty on the other side of the ring and you have yourself a chance to make a few bags of popcorn.
By the way, while you’re getting that snack, check out the poster for this show. It’s Yokozuna doing the Bonzai Drop on the American Flag with the tagline “FAT Chance” … because he was a large individual…hhmmm…
GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
As I said before, Hogan had left WWF a few months ago to pursuit a full-time acting career fueled by the expected success of Thunder in Paradise (pause for laughter). This would be the first pay-per-view show for the Hogan-less WWF. As we know, the transition got off to a rocky start as ratings would be brutal for a few years before WWF finally got some Attitude.
MATCH OF THE NIGHT
It was legitimate difficult to determine a match of the night for this one. Nothing really stood out. Not too many were dreadful by any means, but you won’t find any match on this card in any all-time list. The tallest midget in this one would probably be Shawn Michaels vs Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship. The two had a match you would expect from these two legends.
OTHER TOP MATCHES
Razor Ramon vs The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Bret Hart vs Doink … and then Bret Hart vs Jerry Lawler
The Undertaker vs Giant Gonzales in a Rest in Peace match (still don’t really understand what that meant)
Remember when I said that the transition after Hogan’s WWF run was a bumpy one, well this show is a great example of it. Everything about the show was based on Luger’s pursuit and the match ended in a countout. Bad. Very anti-climactic…even though the post-match celebration would make it seem like not only did Luger win the title, but Vince just put WCW out of business.
OVERALL SCORE – 4/10