Sunday, January 24, 2010

From the Archives: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Mr. Perfect, SummerSlam 1993

SummerSlam 1993 was a pretty underrated card. Most people will remember it as the epitome of Lex Luger's failed run as a top face in the WWF, scoring a countout win over Yokozuna. It was enough to to give him a boost with a victory over the behemoth WWF Champion, but it showed enough of the lack of faith that the WWF had in him to carry the World Champion, a point that would be reinforced at WrestleMania X. Despite that, there were a lot of damn fine matches and performances on the card. The opener was a fun tilt between Razor Ramon and Ted DiBiase. DiBiase was clearly on the downside of his career, a bit bloated and hobbled from his lingering injuries, but it was still a pretty cool match. The Steiners and Heavenly Bodies rocked the house with their Tag Team Championship match. The Bodies were a lot better than I remembered them. Bam Bam Bigelow showed why he's among the best big-man wrestlers of all-time, and of course, you can't go wrong with Bret Hart wrestling Jerry Lawler, even if it was after a bunch of theatrics and a match with Doink.

The best match on the card though was the Intercontinental Championship match. Shawn Michaels, who was about a year or two removed from throwing Marty Janetty through a plate glass window, took on Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig in a match where Michaels claimed he wasn't only defending the IC Title, but the mantel of "Best IC Champ of all-time". This was strange territory for Hennig. Most of his WWF career saw him as a hated heel, a guy who provided faces such as Kerry Von Erich and Bret Hart a good foil in their feuds. However, this was in the wake of the dissolution of his in-character friendship with Ric Flair, which led to Hennig defeating Flair on RAW in a loser leaves town match.

Anyway, this match had a lot of tension, some good chain wrestling, an early version of Sweet Chin Music when it wasn't deemed to be finisher-grade yet and as exciting a countout finish as you'll find anywhere. Enjoy!