Hosted by Vince McMahon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Can Luger stand up for America and defeat Yokozuna for the WWF title? Who will be the sole King of the WWF? Will Michaels and Perfect provide us with a “classic” match? Let’s find out!
To begin the show, the Lex Express arrived at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 6:02PM EDT. I’d hate to find out what time he’d appear if he took the local bus.
Match 1: The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase versus Razor Ramon
DiBiase took to the offense at the onset, but Ramon reversed an Irish whip and backdropped him.
When he gave DiBiase a fallaway slam, Ramon reversed a cross corner whip and clotheslined DiBiase twice.
He then clotheslined DiBiase over the top rope to the floor much to the delight of the Auburn Hills’ faithful.
With DiBiase on the apron, Ramon brought him back into the ring the hard way.
DiBiase then used momentum to send Ramon face-first into the top turnbuckle.
As the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “Ra-zor,” DiBiase delivered a back elbow.
He then gave Ramon a backbreaker for 2.
Upon clotheslining Ramon, DiBiase got another 2.
He then delivered a swinging neckbreaker followed by a vertical suplex.
When Ramon reversed an Irish whip, he clotheslined DiBiase.
Speaking of DiBiase, he knocked Ramon silly as well as out of the ring.
While the anonymous referee paid attention to Ramon, DiBiase removed a pad from the top turnbuckle. SNEAKY!
He then tried to ram Ramon into the exposed turnbuckle but tasted it himself. Unfortunately, its flavor didn’t resemble the steel railing or so I’ve heard.
Regardless, Ramon hit a Razor’s Edge and pinned DiBiase.
Summary: This match marked DiBiase’s final WWF wrestling match as he did the honors for the up-and-coming Ramon. On the good side, it helped get babyface Ramon over, but on the bad side, the match wasn’t good.
Among the Auburn Hills faithful, Todd Pettengill interviews members of the Steiner family who neither like New Yorkers nor understand kayfabe. Ever the savior of the wrestling business, Cornette interrupts them.
Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: Steiners (champions) versus the Heavenly Bodies (w/ Jim Cornette)
Upon dispatching Scott outside the ring, the Bodies double-suplexed Rick.
They then double-backdropped Rick while keeping Scott outside the ring.
As Scott returned, the Steiners whipped Del Ray into Pritchard in the corner.
Scott then gave Del Ray a monkey flip, and the Steiners delivered a double hip toss to Pritchard.
When Rick clotheslined Del Ray in the corner, Scott hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Pritchard.
He then gave Del Ray a tilt-a-whirl slam while Cornette threw a tantrum outside the ring.
After Scott reversed an Irish whip, he gorilla-press-slammed Pritchard.
Scott then backdropped Del Ray and tagged in Rick.
As Pritchard attempted a hip toss, Rick countered with a Steinerline.
An incoming Del Ray took one as well. They must have been on sale for Black Friday.
When Rick slammed Del Ray, he tagged in Scott.
While the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “Let’s go Blue,” Scott delivered an inverted atomic drop to Pritchard. Buckeye fans were NOT thrilled.
Nevertheless, Del Ray came in again yet experienced an inverted atomic drop for himself.
After Pritchard bulldogged Scott, he hit an enziguri.
While Pritchard baited Rick to distract referee Danny Davis, Del Ray delivered a somersault senton to Scott on the floor. Woohoo!
Del Ray tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Scott.
As Scott reversed an Irish whip, Del Ray hit a tornado DDT. Impressive!
Pritchard tagged in, and the Bodies executed a drop toehold/knee drop combo to Scott.
When Del Ray tagged in, he gave Scott a superkick for 2.
Pritchard tagged in and distracted Davis so that Cornette could jab Scott with his tennis racquet. How dastardly!
After Scott reversed another Irish whip, Del Ray attempted a second tornado DDT.
On the other hand, Scott countered it with a vertical suplex.
Pritchard tagged in, but Scott gave him a double underhook powerbomb.
Hot tag Rick.
As Rick cleaned house, Scott dropkicked each Body consecutively.
Rick then mounted the top turnbuckle and bulldogged Del Ray for 2.
When Scott delivered the ten-punch count-along to Pritchard, Rick powerslammed Del Ray.
Cornette then got up on the apron and tossed the racquet to Pritchard while Davis was occupied with Scott.
After Pritchard WAFFLED Rick with the racquet, Del Ray pinned Rick.
WE HAVE NEW CHAMPIONS!
Shockingly, Rick actually kicked out at 2 ¾.
While Pritchard held Rick, Del Ray mounted the top turnbuckle but nailed Pritchard instead of Rick.
Scott then hit a Frankensteiner on Pritchard.
Summary: Great hometown victory by the Steiners as the tag team psychology in this match was off the charts. Despite all four men being in the ring quite often, the chemistry between them remained solid as well as entertaining.
Joe Fowler (who?) interviews Michaels with Diesel. While Michaels shows bravado, Diesel doesn’t speak in choppy sentences anymore. Where's “Mean” Gene?
Match 3 for the WWF Intercontinental title: The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion w/ Diesel) versus Mr. Perfect
During Perfect’s entrance, Radio WWF was shown with Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross.
While the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “Per-fect,” their hero gave Michaels a cross corner whip.
Michaels then floated over and nailed Perfect with a back elbow.
When Perfect reversed a cross corner whip, Michaels climbed the turnbuckles to float over him again.
Perfect then clotheslined Michaels who provided a 360° sell for 2. Woohoo!
As he gave Michaels a cross corner whip, Perfect came up empty on his follow-through.
Michaels then leaped to the top turnbuckle, but Perfect arm-dragged him down to the mat for 2.
After Michaels attempted a dropkick, Perfect caught and catapulted him over the top rope to the floor.
While Diesel created a distraction between Perfect, referee Earl Hebner, and himself, Michaels superkicked Perfect. Clever!
From the apron, Michaels delivered a double axe handle.
He then hit a series of elbow drops to Perfect’s back before giving him a HARD cross corner whip.
After another HARD cross corner whip, Michaels caused Perfect to loudly exclaim “Damn it.”
He then gave Perfect a backbreaker while Heenan wanted him to snap Perfect “like a Slim Jim.” Ever in doubt, shill, right, Vince?
When Perfect leap-frogged him, he followed with a dropkick, back drop, and knee lift.
Perfect then delivered an inverted atomic drop for 2.
Upon hitting an Axe, he got another 2.
Michaels then reversed an Irish whip, yet Perfect couldn’t secure a backslide.
Instead, he hooked a Perfectplex, but Diesel interjected himself again by pulling Perfect’s leg to save Michaels. Devious!
On the floor, Perfect took exception, nailed Diesel, and caught a leaping Michaels in the midsection.
He then tossed Michaels into the ring causing Hebner to fall down.
When Diesel sinisterly made Perfect HIT THE POLE, Hebner called for the bell.
Michaels somehow won by countout and retained.
Summary: Unlike Summerslam ‘91 for Perfect, this was no classic. While Michaels bumped like a heel, he didn’t allow Perfect to work his magic. Also, they didn’t involve enough psychology to work toward a proper conclusion. Let’s hope they get another chance to make something spectacular.
After the match, Perfect puts a knee into Diesel’s back. However, with Michaels’ help, Diesel knocked Perfect OUT COLD.
In the aisle, Pettengill tries to interview Michaels but gets rebuffed. Perfect then runs backstage to chase after Michaels. Their feud would continue on the house show circuit.
Backstage, Fowler interviews the 1-2-3 Kid who’s nervous about encountering IRS. Perhaps he doesn’t have enough deductions. Notwithstanding, Fowler refers to him as a “hero.”
Match 4: IRS versus the 1-2-3 Kid
Kid leap-frogged IRS and followed with a leg lariat for 2.
As IRS flapjacked him, Kid responded with a dropkick for another 2.
IRS rebounded with a back elbow and tossed Kid over the top rope to the floor.
When IRS brought him in the hard way, Kid rolled him up but couldn’t get 3.
IRS then gave Kid another back elbow followed by an elbow drop for 2.
After he hooked his customary rope-assisted abdominal stretch, the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “1-2-3.”
Kid then delivered a series of kicks in the corner and gave IRS a HARD cross corner whip.
As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Kid hit a moonsault but only got 2.
He then hooked la magistral cradle for another 2.
When he followed with another series of kick, Kid almost got 3.
IRS then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a Write-Off (lariat).
Summary: Showcase match for IRS. While IRS needed a strong win to boost his upcoming singles matches, the Kid needed a loss to maintain his underdog status.
Among the Auburn Hills faithful, Pettengill interviews Owen and Bruce Hart. According to Owen, Stu is convalescing at home after reconstructive knee surgery thanks to the EVIL Lawler.
Match 5: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Doink the Clown
After Bret made his entrance, Lawler emerged on a set of crutches.
Pettengill then asked him about his condition, and Lawler expressed his unrelenting disdain for the Hart family.
When Lawler complained about the shoddy construction of vehicles made in Detroit, he described a “ten-car pileup” involving him.
He then wanted to beat Bret “on one leg,” but doctors allegedly prevented him from wrestling tonight.
As he mentioned a number of WWF superstars ready to dispatch Bret, Lawler anointed Doink the Clown as his replacement.
Doink then made his entrance and tossed confetti into the crowd.
After he grabbed a second pail, he doused Bruce with water. The scoundrel! According to Meltzer, Bruce was NOT in on the joke.
Bret then hammered Doink at ringside, tossed him into the ring, and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
When Bret made him HIT THE POLE, he followed Doink into the ring and gave him a cross corner whip.
Bret then caught Doink’s foot upon his follow-through and nailed him.
As Doink mounted the top turnbuckle, Bret crotched him.
Bret then confronted Lawler so Doink chased after him and put a knee into his back.
After Doink rammed him face-first into the steps, he tossed Bret into the ring.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle.
When he gave Bret a knee crusher, Doink rammed Bret’s left leg into the ring post twice.
He then hooked an STF while the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “go Bret, go!” Are we in Texas?
As Doink put a knee into Bret’s midsection, he delivered an elbow drop for 2.
He then applied a rope-assisted Stump Puller, but referee Bill Alfonso stopped the chicanery.
After Doink slammed Bret, he mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate knees.
Bret then hooked a side-Russian leg sweep, mounted the second turnbuckle, and landed an elbow smash.
When Bret applied a Sharpshooter, Lawler entered the ring and WHACKED Bret with a crutch. It’s all a ruse!
While officials kept Owen and Bruce at bay, Lawler continued to maul Bret with the crutch.
He then assisted Doink backstage until WWF President Jack Tunney questioned Lawler’s health.
As Tunney informed him, ring announcer Howard Finkel informed us that if Lawler didn’t return to the ring, he’ll be “banned...for life.”
Summary: Mere warm-up for Bret as he pined for Lawler’s destruction.
REAL Match 5 (King of the Ring): Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Jerry “The King” Lawler
Bret met Lawler in the aisle and CROWNED him with one of Doink’s pails.
When he backdropped Lawler, Bret followed with a leg drop.
With his brothers’ approval, Bret CLOBBERED Lawler with a crutch to the back.
He then made Lawler taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the DiMaggio at Hoops Sports & Spirits.
As Lawler retaliated with the remains of his crutches, he attacked Owen and Bruce.
He then crotched Bret on the ring post while referee Bill Alfonso ensured Owen and Bret wouldn’t retaliate.
After Lawler nailed him with more crutch remnants, Bret’s trick knee acted up.
Bret then mocked Lawler by pulling down his straps and backdropped him.
When he gave Lawler a backbreaker, Bret got 2.
He then piledrove Lawler, mounted the second turnbuckle, and delivered an elbow smash.
As Bret applied a Sharpshooter, Lawler submitted.
Summary: If you expected Lawler to wrestle hold-for-hold with Bret, your blue marlin just came in. Conversely, Lawler’s heel mannerisms made the whole audience want to see him get his comeuppance.
After the match, officials can’t make Bret break the hold until he reluctantly chooses to do so. Unfortunately for Bret, Finkel declares that Afonso has reversed his decision and awards the match to Lawler. While Lawler’s carried out on a stretcher, Bret, Bruce, and Owen get their licks in. This feud is NOT over.
Vignette airs about Borga who cuts an anti-American promo and singles out both Luger and Jannetty.
Match 6: Ludvig Borga versus Marty Jannetty
Borga gave Jannettty a cross corner whip followed by a clothesline.
As he face-planted and punched Jannetty on the descent, Borga gave him another cross corner whip yet came up empty on his follow-through.
When Jannetty attempted a sunset flip, Borga gave him a knuckle sandwich.
He then applied a bear hug until Jannetty rang his bell.
After Jannetty couldn’t slam him, Borga clotheslined him resulting in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
Jannetty then escaped another knuckle sandwich and delivered a pair of superkicks.
As he mounted the second turnbuckle, Jannetty attempted a cross body block.
Borga then caught and powerslammed Jannetty.
When Borga hooked him in the Torture Rack, Jannetty submitted.
Summary: Who’d Jannetty piss off to get job duty against this guy?
Promo airs for Survivor Series ‘93. It will be LIVE on PPV on 11/24. Order NOW!
Match 7 (rest in peace): Undertaker (w/o Paul Bearer) versus Giant Gonzalez (w/ Harvey Wippleman)
According to Finkel, the stipulations of the match were as follows: no DQ, no countout, and there MUST be a winner.
Gonzalez and Wippleman made their entrance with Undertaker’s urn in their clutches.
When Undertaker delivered two flying clotheslines, he couldn’t take Gonzalez off his feet.
Gonzalez then tossed Undertaker out of the ring, joined, and rammed him face-first into the apron and steps.
As he grabbed a chair, Gonzalez BLASTED Undertaker with it.
He then rammed Undertaker knees-first into the steps and tossed him back into the ring.
After Gonzalez gave Undertaker a cross corner whip, Bearer triumphantly returned with a black wreath. This was his first appearance since Mr. Hughes DESTROYED him on Superstars with the urn (aired 6/12, taped 5/24).
Wippleman then removed his jacket and charged Bearer.
In turn, Bearer clotheslined him out of his shoes.
When he retrieved the urn, Bearer celebrated like it was 1999.
Gonzalez then slammed Undertaker who subsequently laid motionless.
Suddenly, while Bearer held the urn high, Undertaker absorbed its telekinetic power and sat up.
He then clotheslined Gonzalez four times before mounting the top turnbuckle.
As Undertaker hit a top rope lariat, he pinned Gonzalez.
Summary: Total crap, but the Auburn Hills faithful loved Undertaker and his wacky paranormal antics.
After the match, Bearer gives Undertaker the black wreath to commemorate the first pinfall defeat of Gonzalez. Upon returning to his feet, Gonzalez questions Wippleman about the urn. He then chokeslams Wippleman and places the black wreath atop him. WE HAVE A FACE TURN!
Backstage, Fowler interviews Cornette with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. While Fowler mentions all the surprises happening, he predicts a Luger victory as the biggest potential surprise of the show. Cornette’s response: “the biggest surprise...your employment.”
Match 8 (six-man): Bam Bam Bigelow & the Headshrinkers (w/ Luna Vachon & Afa) versus Tatanka & the Smoking Gunns
Tatanka gave Bigelow a shoulder block followed by a dropkick.
Following a back drop to Bigelow, Tatanka and Bigelow traded cross body blocks.
Tags were exchanged on both sides while Fatu delivered a superkick to Billy.
When Billy dropped Fatu down to the mat, he mounted the top turnbuckle and gave Fatu an inverted bulldog.
Samu tagged in while Heenan teased Vince about meadow muffins. HA!
Nonetheless, Samu distracted the anonymous referee while Luna nailed Billy on the floor. Nefarious!
Bart tagged in and delivered a cross body block to Samu for a 1-count.
After Samu gave him a back elbow, he face-planted Bart.
Bigelow tagged in and dropkicked Bart for 2. Wow!
As Fatu tagged in, he powerslammed Bart for another 2.
Bart then face-planted Fatu revealing that he didn’t do his homework.
When Fatu clotheslined him, Bart provided a 360° sell. Woohoo!
While the babyfaces distracted the anonymous referee, the heels double-teamed Bart.
Bigelow tagged in, and he and Samu gave Bart a double back elbow.
After Bigelow gave Bart a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Hot tag Tatanka.
Upon slamming Bigelow, Tatanka delivered a DDT, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a cross body block for 2.
He then performed his war dance until Bigelow LEVELED him with an enziguri.
As Samu tagged in, he mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Tatanka a diving head butt for 2.
Bart came in to save Tatanka, but Fatu superkicked him.
When Billy dropkicked Fatu, Bigelow clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor.
The Headshrinkers then gave Tatanka a cross corner whip, and Bigelow delivered a Headshrinkers-assisted avalanche to him.
After the heels triple-head-butted him, they each mounted a top turnbuckle.
They then leaped but missed a triple diving head butt. Neat spot!
As the Gunns hit stereo planchas to Fatu and Bigelow, Tatanka rolled up Samu.
Tatanka and the Gunns won.
Summary: Bigelow and Tatanka carried the match; hence, they should have wrestled one-on-one.
Inside the Lex Express, Fowler interviews Hank Carter—the bus driver. Carter then describes his admiration for Luger as well as the tour.
Among the Auburn Hills faithful, Pettengill interviews Bruce who’s wearing an all-American toga.
Prior to the main event, Finkel requests “respect” from the Auburn Hills faithful, and they boo him. HA! Subsequently, Kiotika Suzuki sings the Japanese national anthem rather poorly. Next, master of ceremonies “Macho Man” Randy Savage leads Aaron Neville to the ring, and Neville performs “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Match 9 for the WWF title: Yokozuna (champion w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) versus the “All-American” Lex Luger
While the Auburn Hills faithful chanted “U-S-A,” Fuji and Yokozuna tried subterfuge to gain an early advantage but failed.
Luger then gave Yokozuna a back elbow but couldn’t execute a roll-up.
When Yokozuna missed a leg drop, Luger crotched him on the second rope.
He then delivered an elbow drop for 2.
As Yokozuna slammed him, he missed an elbow drop.
Luger then gave Yokozuna a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
After Luger indulged the Auburn Hills faithful with a ten-punch count-along, Yokozuna distracted referee Earl Hebner.
Fuji then tried to toss salt in Luger’s eyes, but Luger blocked it.
When Luger failed to slam him, Yokozuna hit a superkick.
He then head-butted Luger to the floor, joined, and choked him with some of his sumo gear.
As he leaned Luger against the ring post, Yokozuna SQUISHED him.
GET OUT THE SPATULA!
Yokozuna then grabbed a chair but nailed the ring post instead of Luger. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Luger mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a second one.
After he made another trip up top, Luger CREAMED Yokozuna with a flying forearm for 2.
He then clotheslined Yokozuna for another 2.
Next, a double clothesline put both wrestlers down on the mat.
While Cornette got up on the apron to distract Hebner, Fuji tossed his salt bucket to Yokozuna.
As you’d expect, Yokozuna DEMOLISHED Luger with the bucket. Crafty!
Slowly, Yokozuna crawled to cover Luger but only got 2.
He then gave Luger a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2.
When he delivered a belly-to-back suplex, Yokozuna couldn’t get 3.
Luger rebounded and attempted another slam, but Yokozuna fell atop him for yet another 2.
As he hit a leg drop, Yokozuna still couldn’t put Luger away.
He then mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a Banzai drop.
After Yokozuna gave Luger a cross corner whip, he came up empty during an avalanche.
Luger then slammed Yokozuna and nailed Fuji on the apron.
When Luger CLOCKED him with a forearm shiver, Yokozuna fell out of the ring.
Cornette then got up on the apron so Luger nailed him too.
As Hebner reached the count of ten, he called for the bell.
Summary: Are you kidding me? Another title match that ends in a countout? After the match, Tatanka and the Steiners join Luger in celebration. They then hoist Luger upon their shoulders, and balloons fall from the ceiling. Meanwhile, Vince sells Luger as an American hero yet doesn’t mention that Luger didn’t win the WWF title.
To end the show, a music video featuring Lex Luger airs.
When we return to the arena, Yokozuna remains OUT COLD on the floor. Methinks they’ll need more than a spatula in this case.
Back in the locker room, Fowler interviews Luger until Borga interrupts and challenges him.
Conclusion: While Luger earns a patriotic victory to send the fans home happy, this show fails to deliver a truly spectacular moment. Simply, poor finishes on a PPV cause viewers to tune out. Conversely, Lawler uses his character and charisma to become the true highlight of the PPV. On a final note, I simply cannot recommend this show, but what will the rest of 1993 hold for us?