Classic Wrestling Review: SummerSlam ’91

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

SummerSlam

August 26, 1991

Madison Square Garden

New York City, New York

There is much to discuss before I begin the review, so I’ll try to touch on all the important points. Quite a lot has happened since WrestleMania. After the WWF Title Match at Mania, Hogan headed to the back to celebrate. He opened the door to his locker room, only to find Sgt. Slaughter waiting. Slaughter threw a fireball in Hogan’s face and proceeded to attack him. In the following weeks, Slaughter added a new member to his corps, Col. Mustafa. He is the Iron Sheik with a new name, which is odd since Sheik is from Iran, not Iraq. I guess the WWF didn’t realize that there’s a difference. A match was set for SummerSlam between Slaughter’s corps and Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior. However, Warrior has his own set of problems.

Before I can discuss the Warrior’s issues, I have to set the table first. There is another man involved in this tale who has gone through his own ordeal. Throughout the summer, Jake the Snake Roberts began a feud with Earthquake that led to Quake hitting the Earthquake Splash onto Damien’s snake bag. Damien was squashed. (Not really. They used panty-hose filled with meat to simulate the snake in the bag.) If that weren’t bad enough, Quake went on Prime Time Wrestling and presented Vince McMahon and company with his famous Quake Burgers. The problem is, he revealed that they were made from snake meat. This was too much for Roberts, who began showing a darker side to his personality.

Meanwhile, the Ultimate Warrior was feuding with the Undertaker. At one point, Taker locked Warrior in a casket and Warrior had a panic attack. The Warrior realized that he needed to overcome this fear, so he sought the help of Jake Roberts. Jake put him through a series of trials. First, Warrior had to spend some time inside a casket until he overcame the fear. Then, Warrior was buried up to his head in a grave and left overnight. Finally, Warrior had to enter a snake pit. Inside the pit, Warrior had to cross a room filled with snakes and open a small casket. When he did, he found a cobra inside that bit him. Warrior frantically fought to get out of the room and managed to break down the door. He escaped, but he began to lose consciousness. As he faded, he looked up to see Undertaker and Jake Roberts standing over him. Jake laughed and said, “I’m a snake. Never trust a snake.” Jake Roberts turn to the dark side was complete. It was ridiculously over the top, but it was so well executed that it was one of the more memorable storylines of this time. Sadly, Undertaker and Roberts aren’t booked on this show, but you will understand why I presented this backstory when we reach the end of the review.

The last bit of business to discuss is the marriage of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. After Mania, Randy took on the job of a commentator on Superstars. He still showed signs of favoring the heels, which was a nice touch. I’m glad they didn’t have him immediately change. However, he did have his soft spot in Miss Elizabeth. Then, one Saturday, he finally got the courage to propose to Liz. Gene was interviewing her in the ring and Savage joined them. He was nervous and began rambling about wanting to return to the ring before finally telling Liz that he loves her. Then, he pulled out a ring and a fan yelled for him to get on his knees. He did and then said, “Elizabut—Elizabut—will you marry me!?” She took a moment before responding, “Oooh yeah!” The WWF then announced that their wedding would take place on the SummerSlam broadcast. In reality, they had been married since 1984, but their characters were finally going to tie the knot.

The show opens with the SummerSlam logo panning across the screen and moving images of action spill out of the logo in an almost 3D fashion. Vince McMahon yells about the match made in Heaven. He invites everyone to the wedding of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Then, Vince claims that nuptials will turn to napalm for the match made in Hell. Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior will face Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa, The Triangle of Terror, in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match. He then announces that it’s time for red hot action because it’s time for SummerSlam!

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes everyone to the show and he’s joined by his fellow commentators for the night, Bobby Heenan and Roddy Piper. Gorilla talks about Savage tying the knot, but Heenan responds that the only knot Savage will tie is a noose. Then, Gorilla talks to Piper about Sid Justice being the special ref for the match made in Hell. Justice is the former Sid Vicious from WCW. He joined the WWF in the summer and was named the ref for the main event to spread intrigue as to his motives in the company. Piper claims that everyone involved in the match hates each other and I think that might partially be a shoot comment.

The British Bulldog, The Dragon, & The Texas Tornado vs. Power & Glory, & The Warlord (w/ Slick)

Ricky Steamboat is back in the WWF, but Vince apparently never forgave him for leaving. They simply dubbed him The Dragon and didn’t acknowledge his past with the company. In fact, they practically treated him like a rookie. This run wouldn’t last long for Steamboat. This is his only PPV appearance because he saw the writing on the wall and headed back to WCW.

The Dragon enters first and he’s wearing a ridiculous dragon costume. He has a torch in his hands and uses it to breathe fire, which gets a great reaction. Gorilla jokes that he hopes it singed Heenan’s eyebrows. Tornado enters next and Piper talks about him being Texas born, Texas bred, and someday Texas dead. That comment hasn’t aged well, considering what happens to Von Erich. Then, Bulldog enters and Piper exclaims, “Is that boy in shape, or what?” You know that Vince fed him that line over the headset. Power & Glory and the Warlord are already in the ring and Fink introduces them. I can’t help but notice that Hercules appears to have aged ten years since we saw him last. What happened!? Life has not been kind to Herc.

Dragon and Roma start the match and Paul gets an early advantage until he leaps off the turnbuckles and Dragon arm drags him. Roma tries to fight back, but he keeps getting arm dragged, so he tags Hercules. Tornado then enters the match and trades arm wringers with Herc before attacking Herc’s arm. Hercules fires back with an eye-rake and tags Warlord, while Bulldog enters the match. They trade shoulder blocks and then Davey hits a clothesline and a suplex. The Dragon returns with an axehandle and a shoulder block, but Warlord blocks a monkey flip and tags Roma. He fights with Dragon and Dragon does an O’Connor Roll, but the ref is distracted, so Warlord clotheslines Dragon. Roma, Herc, & Warlord all take turns working him over with a snap suplex, backbreakers, and double team attacks. Dragon tries to fight back with ineffective forearms to the Warlord, but Warlord slams him. Warlord then goes to the top, but Dragon gets a boot up on a dive and tags Tornado, who punches all of his opponents. Warlord answers back with a sunset flip, but Tornado tags Bulldog in mid-move. Davey jumps off the turnbuckles, but Warlord catches him, so Tornado knocks Warlord down with a discus punch. Bulldog only gets a 2 and Warlord tags Roma, but Bulldog gives Roma the running powerslam. Davey seems a bit confused as to what to do next. He covers for a 2, but then tags Dragon, who hits a flying cross body on Roma for the win.

This was a fun opener. There were a couple of shaky moments, but it was otherwise good. I do wish that Dragon could have gotten more offense, but at least he got the pinfall. I don’t blame Steamboat for leaving again so soon. He would do much better things when he returns to WCW.

Winners: Bulldog, Dragon, & Tornado (10:43)

Sean Mooney is backstage with the Intercontinental Champion, Mr. Perfect, and his new manager, The Coach. No, it’s not Jonathan Coachman. It’s former Canadian wrestler, John Tolos. Perfect had to get a new manager because Heenan is now officially retired from managing. The Coach loudly blows his whistle because he has the same annoying gimmick that Bill “Fonzie” Alfonso later has in ECW. Mr. Perfect then speaks and says history will be made tonight because it’s the excellence of execution versus perfection. He points out that it says wrestling champion on the belt and he claims that you have to be perfect to be a champion. Then, he tells Bret Hart that he may be excellent, but he’s not perfect because there’s only one Mr. Perfect. The promo then ends with the Coach blowing his whistle again.

Intercontinental Title Match: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (c) (w/ The Coach)

Over the summer, Mr. Perfect developed bad back problems. Years of taking ridiculous bumps finally caught up to him and the WWF was worried he might not be able to compete at this event. They gave him a few weeks off to prepare, so he decided to go through with the match. It becomes obvious that he’s in pain. It’s very reminiscent of Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV.

Bret Hart enters first and they show his parents, Stu & Helen Hart, in the crowd. Helen seems happy, but Stu looks like his usual grumpy self. At one point, Gorilla says that they have to be concerned for Bret. Heenan replies they’re concerned because they sneaked into the arena and the usher is looking for them. Mr. Perfect enters next and the camera pans across the crowd. You can see Vlad the superfan. He was at both this show and Great American Bash. He is one busy fan. Perfect leaps over the ropes to enter the ring and the belt falls off, but he doesn’t seem to notice. He’s too busy trying to convince everyone that his back is fine. He then throws his towel and Coach catches it, while Bret heads outside to give his sunglasses to a young fan. When Bret tries to return, Perfect shoves the belt in his face.

Bret keeps getting the advantage with a headlock early, so Perfect pulls at his hair. Bret returns the favor by pulling him back into the headlock by the hair, so Heenan complains on commentary. Perfect bails outside and even tries to throw Bret to the floor, but Hart answers with a sunset flip. They fight back and forth and trade slams before shoving each other way with their feet. Then, Bret clotheslines Perfect out of the ring and Perfect decides to leave. Bret chases him and pulls him back, but he rips Perfect’s singlet in the process. Perfect finally gets the advantage with a cheap shot and knocks Bret out of the ring. Bret gets back to the apron, but Perfect shoves him to the guardrail. However, Bret’s fall is cushioned by a photographer, so Bret re-enters the ring and does an O’Connor Roll for 2. Perfect fires back with punches and whips Bret into the corner hard enough to make the turnbuckle creak. Perfect follows that up with a neck whip and a jackknife pin for 2. The two of them then fight to the top rope and Perfect knocks Bret off his perch. He falls onto him for a pin, but he gets mad at the ref for the count. Hebner threatens to DQ him, while Perfect beal tosses Bret around by the hair and locks him in a sleeper hold. Bret fights back, but Perfect reverses his attempts and whips him into the corner for Bret’s chest-first bump. He then hits the Perfect Plex, but Bret kicks out at 2! Perfect is in shock, so Bret uses the opening to return the favor for the earlier beal toss. He then hits a suplex, Russian leg sweep, backbreaker, and diving elbow, but none get more than a 2. Bret complains to the ref, so Perfect tries a roll-up, but it doesn’t work. Perfect bails outside, but Bret sends him into the post and sends him back inside for a Sharpshooter attempt. The Coach distracts Bret, so Bret punches him, but Perfect kicks the ropes into Bret’s crotch. He then drops a leg across Bret’s abdomen and goes for another. However, Bret catches the leg and turns it into the Sharpshooter while Perfect immediately submits.

This was a great match. It built at a good pace to a crescendo and the finish was amazing. They told a really good story and did about as much as can be expected with Perfect’s back injury. I have to give Perfect credit because he was taking bumps he didn’t have to take in his condition. He would take over a year off from in-ring competition after this show, but he will still be around in a managerial role.

Winner: Bret Hart (New Champion) (18:04)

After the match, Perfect gives Bret a cheap shot on his way out of the ring, so Bret grabs him. He ends up pulling off the tattered remnants of Perfect’s singlet and keeps it as a trophy while he celebrates with the belt. Then, Bret goes to celebrate with his parents. Lord Alfred Hayes is there and tries to get a word with Stu Hart. He asks him what he thinks of his son. Stu replies, “It’s wonderful,” but Hayes cuts him off and claims that Stu is speechless. I don’t know if Alfred couldn’t hear him or was trying to be funny.

Then, they show an ad for a special PPV called Hulk Hogan: Real American Story. It is apparently a documentary about the rise of Hulkamania. I wonder if that’s on the network.

Next, Mean Gene is backstage with the Bushwhackers and Andre the Giant. Gene says that in moments, the Bushwhackers will face the Natural Disasters and Andre will be in their corner. Gene then shows a clip of Earthquake attacking Andre and injuring his leg. Gene tries to ask Andre a question, but the Bushwhackers start yelling about licking and eating the Natural Disasters. They say that after they’re done, they’ll feed them to Andre and Andre says that will be his chance to get even. Wait, are the Bushwhackers and Andre supposed to be cannibals now?

The Natural Disasters (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers (w/ Andre the Giant)

Andre the Giant wanted to continue making appearances on WWF TV, but his deteriorating health made that difficult. He has to walk with crutches now, so the WWF built a storyline reason for this. They had Earthquake attack Andre and injure his leg. The story was that Andre had been searching for a new manager and Jimmy Hart lied and said he was the one. When Andre confronted him, Quake attacked. The Bushwhackers offered to help Andre get some payback, so they teamed with Tugboat to face Quake & The Nasty Boys. However, Tugboat shocked everyone by turning on the Bushwhackers and joining forces with Quake. Tugboat then changed his name to Typhoon and the Natural Disasters were born.

The Disasters enter first and Gorilla says the Bushwhackers will have their hands full. I guess that’s his subtle way of calling the Disasters fat. Piper also mocks them by saying they’re proof that Chernobyl happened. Then, the Bushwhackers and Andre enter the arena. A balding fan volunteers to have his head licked by the Whackers. I guess he was hoping it would cause his hair to regrow. The Disasters leave the ring and threaten Andre, so the Bushwhackers approach them and tap them on the shoulders. They turn and the Whackers poke them in the eyes before placing their hats on Andre’s head and entering the ring.

Butch and Typhoon start the match and Phoon backs him into a corner. He misses a forearm, so Butch starts biting him on the butt. Quake tries to splash Butch, but Butch moves and Typhoon takes the move. The Bushwhackers then whip the Disasters into each other and hit a Battering Ram before giving Quake a double clothesline. The Disasters bail outside, so the Whackers do their march around the ring. Quake returns and the Disasters take control through frequent tags and double teaming. Quake ends up locking Butch in a bear hug for a moment, so Bobby Heenan takes the opportunity to announce that he’s heading backstage to confront Hogan. Gorilla and Piper are confused by his behavior. Quake soon hits a backbreaker and tags Typhoon, but the Disasters fall victim to miscommunication. Luke finally tags in and hits some clotheslines and a headbutt before Quake enters the ring. The Whackers then hit a Battering Ram on both men and whip the Disasters into each other again. Quake stumbles out of the ring, but he decides to go after Andre. Butch follows, so Quake gives him a backbreaker and then re-enters the ring. The Disasters sandwich Luke and then Quake tags in to hit the Earthquake Splash for the win.

This was a slow match and I’m not sure why they decided to make the Disasters look so foolish. They were constantly running into each other. That’s not a good way to establish a new team, especially since they’re already planning a big feud for them. They were at least smart enough to give them the win.

Winners: The Natural Disasters (6:27)

The Disasters then leave the ring and threaten Andre. He fends them off with his crutch until the Legion of Doom arrives to even the odds. Hawk and Animal chase the Disasters around and the Bushwhackers corner them, so Quake and Typhoon decide to leave. This would be the last TV appearance for Andre. He would finish the European tour and then head home. Sadly, he would pass away in early 1993.

Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan is backstage and tells the cameraman to follow him. He arrives at a door with a sign taped to it that reads, “Hulk Hogan.” In his hands, Bobby has—IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS!? Oh, someone is getting sued! Heenan is carrying the NWA Title (The Big Gold Belt) and he knocks on the door. It opens, but you never get a shot of Hogan. Heenan says that he’s challenging Hogan on behalf of the real world champion—Ric Flair! Hogan slams the door in Bobby’s face, causing him to drop the belt, so Heenan yells that Hogan wouldn’t do that if Flair was there. He then yells at the cameraman to turn off his camera before storming off down the hallway. Oddly enough, the WWF hadn’t officially signed Flair to a contract yet, but it was a foregone conclusion. They trusted each other enough to begin the hype.

Gorilla and Piper have a laugh at Heenan’s expense before they talk about a hotline that fans can call to talk with Randy Savage on his big day. They show Savage backstage on the phone. He tells the fan he’s petrified, but he says he has everything ready and will be dressed to the max. Then, the fan apparently asks about his honeymoon, but Savage becomes paranoid that the fan will tell Elizabeth the surprise.

Next, Sean Mooney is with Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri. Mooney talks about how they are moments away from DiBiase defending his Million Dollar Championship against Virgil. He then shows clips of Ted humiliating Virgil in the past. DiBiase laughs and says that’s nothing compared to the humiliation Virgil will face tonight. He tells Virgil that he’s facing the master in his own city of New York. Then, he instructs Virgil to cancel any celebration plans and pick a gutter where DiBiase will leave him laying. Finally, he says he’s not insensitive, so he offers Virgil a small token—a crying towel. Ted tosses the towel on the floor and has a good laugh with Sherri.

Million Dollar Championship Match: Virgil vs. Ted DiBiase (c) (w/ Sensational Sherri)

Sherri leads DiBiase to the ring while Gorilla talks about how Ted made sure the Million Dollar Belt can only change hands on a pin or submission. I guess he learned his lesson after the Jake Roberts feud. Then, Piper talks about once kissing Sherri and Gorilla asks if Roddy got hoof and mouth disease from it. Next, Virgil makes his entrance and he’s finally got theme music. He still gets a pretty good reaction, but it’s not as strong as it was at Mania. Virgil high-fives Piper and then enters the ring to attack DiBiase.

Virgil hits a quick back drop and clotheslines Ted out of the ring, so DiBiase takes a rest. Virgil is having none of that, so he follows and rams Ted into the apron and the steps before rolling him back inside. Then, Virgil hits an atomic drop and DiBiase stumbles out of the ring again while Heenan returns to commentary and claims Hogan took a cheap shot at him. Meanwhile, Virgil attempts a slingshot cross body to the outside, but Ted moves and Virgil crashes on the floor. DiBiase sends him back inside and hits a clothesline, some fist drops, a flying axehandle, and a back drop for a few 2 counts. Ted tries to follow up with a clothesline, but Virgil ducks and locks Ted in the Million Dollar Dream. Sherri senses trouble, so she clocks Virgil with her purse and Hebner calls for the bell. The fans are dejected, but Earl tells Fink that he’s decided to eject Sherri from ringside and restart the match! WWF officials have to escort Sherri to the back before both men recover and continue fighting. Virgil blocks and reverses Ted’s attempt to ram him into the corner and then hits ten punches. However, DiBiase reverses a whip and sends Virgil crashing into Hebner. Ted then taunts Piper, so Roddy begins screaming for Virgil to fight. Then, DiBiase hits three suplexes and a piledriver, but the ref is still unconscious. He decides to use the opportunity to remove a turnbuckle pad and grabs Virgil, but Virgil reverses DiBiase into the exposed buckle twice. Both men are down, but Virgil slowly crawls to make the cover for a 3 count.

This was much better than their Mania match. It was a good blend of storytelling drama and good wrestling. Plus, it had a satisfying finish as opposed to Mania. The only issue is that if a ref can restart a match, then why don’t they do it more often. That’s one of those plot devices that inadvertently expose other plot holes.

Winner: Virgil (New Champion) (13:11)

Piper is going crazy with joy on commentary, as Virgil does a flip in the ring to celebrate. Bobby Heenan claims that Virgil will hang the belt on the mirror of a 1979 Caddy. He also says that taxes have to be paid by Virgil. Is he foreshadowing a feud with IRS?

Mean Gene is backstage with the Mountie in front of a paddy wagon and some New York police officers. Gene shows a clip of the Mountie handcuffing Boss Man to the ropes and zapping him with the cattle-prod. The Mountie says that after he’s done beating Boss Man’s fat mug, these hick cops are going to handcuff him. He then turns to the police and tells them he doesn’t want them to do it New York-style. He wants them to do it Mountie-style. He tells them to shackle Boss Man’s ankles, throw away the key, and take him to the New York caboose house. The policemen can barely contain their laughter throughout this promo.

Then, Sean Mooney is with Big Boss Man for a retort. Boss Man says, “I believe the Mountie has the wrong idear!” What the heck is an idear? He then says the Mountie shouldn’t be out there talking to New York’s finest. He says Mountie should be praying to god that he makes it through the long hard night in jail. It was a short promo, but it was straight to the point. Plus, I got a good laugh out of the word idear.

Jailhouse Match: Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart)

This is pretty much the perfect feud for Boss Man. It’s almost natural to pit these two against each other and the stipulation is perfect. The loser of this match has to spend the night in jail. The only other perfect feud I could think of would be if Boss Man feuded with a former prisoner. Hmm, I wonder if we will ever see such a thing.

The Mountie enters first while Heenan speculates about what it would be like to spend a night in jail. Piper jokes that it would be just like home for Bobby. Then, Boss Man enters and he runs to the ring. He slides in so quickly that everyone in the ring jumps, including the ref. Boss Man then puts away his nightstick, but the Mountie is reluctant to drop his cattle-prod. Jimmy finally takes it and the Mountie turns to face Boss Man, who uppercuts him.

They trade punches and Boss Man gets the advantage before hitting a running knee attack on the ropes. He attempts another one, but Mountie moves, so Boss slides outside and chases Jimmy Hart. When he returns, the Mountie thumbs him in the eye and dives off the turnbuckles, but Boss Man catches him for a spinebuster. He then locks the Mountie in a head vice, but Hart distracts him and Boss gives chase. The Mountie follows and sends Boss Man into the steps, so Heenan says, “He’s fallen and he can’t get up!” The Mountie continues his attack with a back elbow, some fist drops, and a slam for some 2 counts. Boss tries to fight back, but he misses a corner charge. The Mountie answers with some elbow drops and a dropkick, but Boss Man powers out of the pin and sends Mountie to the floor. They fight back and forth and Mountie bites Boss before hitting a piledriver. Boss Man sells the move by convulsing. However, the Mountie doesn’t cover. He waits for Jimmy to distract the ref and then grabs the cattle-prod. He attempts to use it, but Boss Man moves. Then, Boss Man whips Mountie to the ropes and the Mountie leapfrogs him until Boss Man slides under and hits an uppercut. Boss then follows it up with a Boss Man Slam, but he only gets a 2! Boss is in shock, so the Mountie trips him and attempts another piledriver, but Boss Man lifts him up and hits an Alabama Slam for the win.

This match was slow at times and not great, but it was more about the storyline than anything. What comes next more than makes up for the lackluster match. Also, I’m surprised that they had Mountie kick out of the Boss Man Slam. Was Boss Man trying to switch to the Alabama Slam as his new finisher?

Winner: Big Boss Man (9:38)

Boss Man immediately drags the Mountie to the apron and the cops come to handcuff him. They drag the Mountie through the back and past Ricky Steamboat, who casually watches the events unfold. Mountie cries that they’re hurting him, but no one listens. They reach the paddy wagon and Boss Man pushes the Mountie inside before saying, “Bye bye jailbird!”

Mean Gene is backstage and he tries to comment on the events, but DiBiase and Sherri arrive. Ted tells Gene to shut up because he has something to say. He claims there has never been a bigger rip-off in wrestling than what happened to him. He complains about Virgil attacking from behind and he complains about the ref restarting the match. Then, he tells Virgil that he stole the Million Dollar Belt and he’s going to pay.

Then, Mooney is with the new Intercontinental Champion, Bret Hart. Sean says it has a great sound to it and Bret replies that this is the greatest day for the Hitman. He says he proved to Mr. Perfect that there’s no such thing as perfect and he got to find out the hard way what the excellence of execution is all about. He also tells Perfect that he wasn’t good enough and he’s looking at the WWF Intercontinental Champion.

Next, Mean Gene is with the Natural Disasters and a distraught Jimmy Hart. Gene says that Jimmy has to be concerned about the Mountie because he’s on his way to the slammer. Jimmy replies that he wants his lawyers on the phone because they’re not getting away with this. Jimmy then loses his cool, so Gene decides to talk to Quake instead. Gene says the Disasters stuck their noses where they didn’t belong, but Typhoon is the one who answers. He tells the LOD that they’re going to eat them up, chew them up, and spit them out. He literally spits while he says it. Also, what’s with all the threats of cannibalism on this show? Then, Quake says that the LOD were the ones who stuck their noses where they didn’t belong. He says they had the problem with Andre and LOD prevented them from getting him, so they’re history.

After that, Sean is with a very sweaty Big Boss Man and he tells him he should be happy about the Mountie spending a night in jail. Boss Man answers by telling a joke. He asks Sean what kind of bird can’t fly and then answers, “A jailbird!” Then, he says this is a small sample of what the Mountie has to look forward to because he will be booked and thrown in a cell with god knows who. Boss Man also says he promised everyone that he is the law and order in the WWF. He finishes by calling the Mountie a criminal and a bad cop.

Mean Gene enters Savage’s locker room and finds him still on the phone. Randy corrects a fan and tells him he’s not nervous, he’s petrified. Gene tries to get a word with Savage, but Randy tells him he’s on the phone. Gene says he’s going to have to go to Elizabeth’s locker room instead, so Savage sets the phone down and stops Gene from leaving. Savage questions why Gene wants to talk with Elizabeth and then tries to put Gene on the phone. Gene says it’s time to take a break, so Savage asks, “What do you want broke?”

The show then goes to intermission and returns to Gorilla, Heenan, and Piper. They recap the night and talk about the remaining matches. Piper sings about the Mountie dancing to the jailhouse rock and then Heenan speculates about Sid Justice as a special ref. Bobby says he doesn’t trust Sid because Sid has been quiet all day.

Then, they show the paddy wagon arriving at the jail. The police remove the Mountie from the van and he yells, “You stupid!” They drag him into the building, so he calls them local hick cops and yells, “I’M THE MOUNTIE!!”

Next, Sean is with the tag team champions, The Nasty Boys, and Jimmy Hart, who says his lawyers are on the way to the jail. Sean tells him to worry about the Nasty Boys’ tag title defense against the Legion of Doom. Then, Sags claims that Jack Tunney and LOD coagulated to make these rules. I don’t think that’s what the word means. He tells the LOD that Tunney won’t be with them when they come to Nastyville and it’s one trip they’re not coming back from. Is Nastyville anywhere near Dudleyville? Next, Knobbs wants to tell us something. He says there’s no more crying and whining because the heat is on and it will melt their face. The Nasties then leave, but Sean tells Jimmy something is happening at the jail.

The police drag the Mountie into a room for his mugshot. He refuses to lift his head, so someone off-screen says, “I guess Boss Man kicked your butt, huh?” The Mountie lifts his head to scowl and they snap a photo of him. Jimmy Hart complains that they can’t do that because it’s an invasion of privacy.

Gene is with the Legion of Doom and he talks about the Street Fight for the Tag Team Titles. Gene says there are no count outs or disqualifications and Animal replies that’s right up their alley and it’s what they like. He then says they were getting ready when they saw the Natural Disasters going after Andre, so they took it upon themselves to even the odds. Then, he tells the Disasters that they’re not afraid of them. Hawk speaks next and says, “It seems to me that it seems to be!” He says the Disasters bit off more than they can chew, so someday they will chew them up and spit them out like the tartar that was stuck to their teeth. Here we go again with the threats of cannibalism. Did the WWF shut down catering for this show? Then, Hawk says that the Nasty Boys are on their rotten minds. He claims that when they’re done with the Nasty Boys, they will be the Basty Boys because there are boys and men, and then there are monsters. He points at himself and Animal when he says the latter. Then, he finishes by saying, “OHHH WHAT A RUSH!!”

Back at the jail, the police drag the Mountie into the fingerprint room. He tries to fight it, so the cops say, “Give us your finger!” So, the Mountie gives them the finger—and they proceed to fingerprint it. That was great!

Next, Sean is with Sgt. Slaughter and company. He says that Slaughter can relate to the Mountie’s situation, as they prepare to face Hogan and Warrior in a Handicap Match. Slaughter replies, “What do you mean outnumbered!?” I don’t think Sean used that word. Either someone flubbed their line, or Slaughter has gone insane. Sarge says they aren’t the ones who will be outnumbered. Hogan and Warrior will be outnumbered before the match begins. He then jokes about Warrior being snake-bit and Hogan having a gash in his head. Then, he claims the match will be easier than he thought and says he might have one more little surprise.

Gene is then with Sid Justice and he asks him how he’s going to call the match. Sid says that people ask him where he stands, but he’s a man who stands alone. However, Gene shows him footage of Slaughter and company talking with Sid backstage. Sid explains that they approached him, but he didn’t make any promises to them or Hogan & Warrior, but he does promise that justice will be served.

Street Fight for the Tag Team Titles: Legion of Doom vs. The Nasty Boys (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart)

The Nasty Boys enter first, which is odd since they’re the champs. The cameraman finds a female fan in the crowd who has custom-made Nasty Boys Cabbage Patch dolls. She kind of looks like that fan from the WCW show who was holding up action figures a few reviews ago. Piper then calls the Nasties, “Big Bird and Leon.” I guess I don’t get that reference. Then, The Legion of Doom enter and Piper says, “L.O.D. stands for look out dummy!” He must be a mind reader because the LOD immediately attack the Nasties and send them to the floor.

The four men brawl in and out of the ring. Animal hits Knobbs with a powerbomb, but Sags breaks up the pin. The ref finally gets control and Hawk and Sags face each other. Sags catches Hawk’s kick, but Hawk hits an enziguri and a shoulder tackle. All four men brawl again and the ref tries to regain control, so Sags uses the opening to spray Hawk with mace. Hawk stumbles to the floor, so Sags hits him with a tray of drinks and the Nasties choke him with the tag rope. The ref keeps preventing Animal from entering. I thought this was No DQ. The attack on Hawk continues as they send him into the steps and double team him in their corner. They also hit an assisted corner splash and a flying elbow drop, but Animal breaks up the pin attempt. Hawk finally gets a boot up on a corner charge and tags Animal, who hits a flying axehandle and powerslam on Knobbs. All four men brawl again and Sags tries to hit Animal with the motorcycle helmet. Animal moves, but for the first time in wrestling history, Sags stops short of hitting his partner. He manages to hit Animal on the second try, but Animal powers out of the pin and sends Knobbs to the floor. Hawk has enough and goes after Jimmy Hart. He kicks the helmet out of his hands and hits both Nasties with it before LOD hits the Doomsday Device for the win.

This was a fun brawl. They found some good ways to convincingly give the Nasties a chance in the match, but they kept it short enough for the LOD to look dominant. On a side note, with this win the LOD became the first team to win the AWA, NWA, and WWF Tag Team Titles.

Winners: Legion of Doom (New Champions) (7:45)

Then, the police lead the Mountie to his cell. He is still yelling that they are hurting him, but he then becomes calm and says he’s learned his lesson. He requests that they let him walk on his own and they oblige, but he tries to run. They grab him and push him into the cell, so he continues yelling.

Next, they show an ad for Survivor Series. Heenan is glad to hear that it’s on Thanksgiving Eve, instead of Thanksgiving. He says he can be home to get presents, which amuses both Gorilla and Piper.

Irwin R. Schyster vs. Greg the Hammer Valentine

Mike Rotunda has arrived in the WWF. They repackaged him with the new gimmick of Irwin R. Schyster, or IRS. He wrestles in a dress shirt, slacks, suspenders, and a tie and plays the part of an evil accountant. The gimmick is supposed to represent Vince McMahon’s hatred of the IRS.

The Fink introduces IRS and hands him a mic. He tells the fans that when it comes to paying taxes, they’ve become finger-pointers and cry-babies, but it’s time to cut the crying and start paying. Piper then starts mocking the name Irwin and says that it’s because he got audited. Then, Valentine enters and gets a surprisingly good reaction, but I still have trouble buying him as a babyface.

The two men start by trading arm wringers, but soon Valentine keeps hitting shoulder blocks and grabbing a headlock. He follows that up by hitting a hip toss and clotheslining IRS out of the ring. IRS regroups on the outside, so Gorilla takes the opportunity to address a rumor that Undertaker and Jake Roberts were spotted backstage. Heenan speculates that they’re going to crash the wedding. Meanwhile, IRS returns and makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop. Valentine hits a sunset flip, so IRS bails and Valentine chases him. He attacks Greg when they get back inside and locks him in an abdominal stretch while using the ropes for leverage. He eventually gets caught, so Valentine hits a hip toss, but he misses a knee-drop. IRS responds with a running clothesline and an elbow drop for 2 before going to a chinlock. Valentine tries to fight back, but IRS hits a backbreaker and goes to the top. However, he pauses to taunt the fans and Valentine slams him. Valentine then attacks the leg and locks IRS in a Figure Four, but he makes the ropes. The two of them trade off missed moves until Valentine hits a shinbreaker and goes for the Figure Four again, but IRS rolls him up for the win.

This was a very basic and uninteresting match. Sadly, IRS becomes a bit of a bore in this gimmick. I liked Rotunda’s work in WCW, but he never really clicks in the WWF until he forms a tag team with DiBiase.

Winner: IRS (7:07)

Then, they show another ad for Hulk Hogan: Real American Story before Gorilla talks about the match made in Hell. Heenan asks if that means the wedding is next because he thought that was the match made in Hell.

Mean Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior. Hogan says the battleground of MSG is the only appropriate place for a match made in Hell. Wait, did he just call MSG Hell? I’m sure the people of New York appreciate that. He then says he’s been looking for a rush like this since he won the title in 1984. He claims that if they don’t wipe out Slaughter’s corps, history in the WWF could change again. Then, Gene says that the Warrior has gone through Hell the last few weeks. Warrior responds by asking Hogan if they’re loaded down and ready to go into the pit. Hogan says yes, so Warrior claims that one strike from a cobra isn’t enough to hold back Hulkamania and Warrior Wildness. He also says they won’t come by tank or by air, but they will walk side-by-side while the Warriors and Hulkamaniacs jump on their backs. Then, he says they will leave as they walk in, as the same. Huh? What does that mean? Next, Hogan says that the bite from the cobra and the toxins just put more gas on the fire of the Warrior. He also tells Slaughter that his corps is doomed and finishes with his signature line while the Warrior echoes him. The Warrior attempts what looks like a hug, but Hogan is having none of it.

Handicap Match: Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa

Sid enters first in a referee tank top. He poses on the apron, while Piper nearly calls him a big son of a bitch. Roddy stops short of saying it and gets reprimanded. Heenan then says he doesn’t like the look in Sid’s eyes. Then, the Triangle of Terror enter and Mustafa is doing the Bushwhacker march, for some reason. Gorilla calls Slaughter the Benedict Arnold of the WWF. Slaughter enters the ring and smiles at Sid, so Heenan claims they shook hands. Next, the Warrior enters and runs around the ring, while Heenan calls him Captain Schizo. Hogan enters separately and Piper says that Hogan and Warrior don’t like each other. I’m pretty sure he’s correct, as far as Warrior is concerned. Hogan then tosses Sid the WWF Title and tears his t-shirt, while Heenan talks about the mind games that Undertaker and Roberts have played with Warrior.

Hogan and Slaughter start the match and Sarge tries to use a belt, but Sid takes it from him. Hogan soon whips Slaughter around and Sarge bumps hard before Hogan and Warrior punch him back and forth like a pinball. Hogan and Warrior then hit a double clothesline and a double big boot before Mustafa breaks up the first pin attempt. Then, Hogan and Warrior use frequent tags to keep Slaughter under control. Hogan ends up hitting a running clothesline into the corner and chokes Slaughter, so Sid warns him that it’s one, two, three, and you’re out! I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a five count. How long has Sid been wrestling? Sarge takes advantage of the opening and rams Hogan into Mustafa’s boot before tagging Adnan, who only appears to know how to do back rakes and eye rakes. Mustafa tags in next and hits a gut-wrench suplex before applying the Camel Clutch. Piper makes a reference to 1983, so Gorilla quickly speaks over him. They’re not supposed to acknowledge that Mustafa is the Iron Sheik, even though it’s obvious. Warrior breaks up the hold and Hogan fights back until he’s accidentally whipped into Sid. The two have words, so Adnan tags in and continues his back raking. Hogan finally makes the tag after Warrior shoves Slaughter off the top rope and Warrior hits rapid-fire clotheslines. However, he almost hits Sid and the two also have words. Slaughter’s team use the opening again and double team the Warrior until he hits a flying clothesline. Warrior then fires himself up by randomly humping the air, for some reason. He finally tags Hogan, who hits Slaughter with the big boot. Adnan and Mustafa try to interfere, so Warrior chases them to the back with a chair—and is never seen again—for a year. Sid is distracted by this, so Hogan throws powder in Slaughter’s eyes and hits the leg drop for the win.

This match was more entertaining than I expected. That’s not to say it’s great, but they did a decent job with the intrigue surrounding Sid. Thankfully, this is the end of the Slaughter storyline. On a side note, if you’re wondering why I said Warrior wasn’t seen again, it’s because he was suspended directly after this match. Warrior had a disagreement with Vince over his pay from Mania. He threatened to no-show this PPV if Vince didn’t give him more money. Vince acquiesced, but when Warrior came through the curtain after the match, Vince handed him a note that told him he was suspended. Warrior wouldn’t be seen again until the next year.

Winners: Hogan & Warrior (12:40)

After the match, Hogan poses in the ring while Heenan asks where Warrior and the corps went. Piper speculates that there’s one hell of a fight going on in the locker room. He’s right, but it’s between Vince and Warrior. Hogan then continues posing, but he motions to the back. Sid pokes his head through the curtain and asks, “Me?” Hogan says yes, so Sid joins him in the ring and Hogan rips off Sid’s tank top. He then invites Sid to pose with him, so Sid does Hogan’s poses while Heenan jokes that this is the marriage made in Heaven.

Then, they go back to the Mountie in his cell. He’s yelling for someone to get him out of there, so one of his cellmates tells him to hush. The Mountie yells at him, so the man asks if he wants to fight his buddy. The Mountie turns to see a biker who asks him if he likes the way leather feels on his body. Real subtle, WWF. The Mountie continues yelling, as they go back to the arena.

Next, they show a recap of Savage proposing to Elizabeth on Superstars. It’s followed by a video package about the relationship that is set to a sappy love song. They show clips of the two of them together and Liz looking at him lovingly. They also show clips from Manias III & IV, as well as clips of Liz saving Savage from Honky Tonk Man’s guitar shot. I’m sure that Honky demanded royalties for that clip. They also show clips of the reunion at Mania VII. The video goes on a bit long, but they needed time to set up the ring for the wedding.

Randy Savage enters the arena to his theme music and he’s wearing a gaudy white and gold tux with a hat that has a comically large feather in it. Heenan jokes that he wants to see what kind of cheap dress Liz is wearing, which sets off Piper. He calls Heenan a son of an unnamed goat and yells at him. Randy’s best man comes out next. I don’t recognize him. It’s too bad that the Genius is still a heel because he would have made more sense. A flower girl and a ring bearer come out next and the flower girl throws petals that land on the camera lens. Then, Liz enters and she looks beautiful. The crowd gives her a great reaction. The wedding goes off without a hitch, which is unusual for a wrestling wedding. When they reach the I dos, Savage answers by saying, “Ohhh yeah!” Liz answers by simply saying, “I will.” Then, only Savage recites the vows, for some reason. Doesn’t that mean the marriage isn’t valid? Wait, what am I saying. None of this is valid. The two of them have been legitimately married since 1984. This was just a kayfabe wedding. Finally, Savage kisses the bride and the crowd cheers while Randy’s theme plays again. Balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling. Gorilla and Piper are happy, but Heenan complains that confetti is getting on his suit. Savage and Liz then share one last kiss as the show fades to black.

What I’m going to cover next isn’t on the network version, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include it. On the home video release and on the next week’s Superstars, they showed footage of the reception. Wrestlers and WWF officials attended and shook hands with the bride and groom, but Savage requested that someone escort Heenan out of the party. Randy and Liz shared a dance and then they began opening presents. The received the normal things like a blender and candlesticks, but then Liz opened one gift to find—a cobra.

Liz screamed and Savage pulled her to safety, but the Undertaker and Jake Roberts appeared. Taker hit Savage with the urn, while Roberts grabbed the cobra and taunted Liz with it. He continued until Sid arrived and chased them away with a chair.

Jake was supposed to feud with Warrior after SummerSlam, but Warrior’s suspension caused them to switch the feud to Savage. Randy had intended to stay retired because he wanted to try and have kids with Elizabeth, but Vince needed someone to fill the void left by Warrior and convinced Savage to return. The reception angle would lead to a Savage/Jake feud, but we will cover that in due time.

The Good:

– Bret/Perfect was awesome.

– There was a lot of great storyline work on this show.

– The Mountie in jail segments were gold.

– The main event was surprisingly decent.

The Bad:

– A couple of the matches were dull.

– The intermission section went on forever.

Performer of the Night:

Mr. Perfect because he went out there and bumped like a boss for Bret, despite his bad back. I have all the respect for Curt Hennig for doing that.

Final thoughts:

This was a very entertaining PPV. It was fun and almost everything delivered. It was a great example of the good mix of wrestling and storytelling that the WWF had. Plus, almost all the babyfaces won their matches, so it was a feel-good show.

Thank you for reading. You can follow the Facebook page for this blog here and the Twitter page here. I always post various bonuses and goodies on the Facebook page and I look forward to hearing your feedback there.

My next review will be WCW Halloween Havoc ‘91 featuring the Chamber of Horrors! Look for it next Saturday!

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I chronologically review NWA/WCW and WWF/WWE PPVs on the WWE Network. I put out a new review every Saturday. Like and Follow the Facebook page for this blog here: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicWrestlingReview. Also, follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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