Summerslam Spectacular 1991
Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan host.
Road Warrior Hawk vs. Brian Knobbs
I see no way this can be good. Knobbs stalls for a good while to start. Hawk wins a slugfest and a face buster sends Knobbs to the cement. Hawk unloads on Knobbs back in the ring but Hawk charges at him and runs into the corner. Knobbs cracks Hawk with a chair and locks on a Boston crab and a chinlock. Hawk rallies back but Knobbs rakes his eyes. Hawk manages to get a big boot and deliver the flying clothesline for the pin. Boring…
A replay airs of Jake Roberts taking The Ultimate Warrior to his snake pit – then double-crossing him. That freaked the heck out of me when I was 9. Vince says Warrior suffered “neurological paralysis.”
“NUPTUALS TURN TO NAPALM!” I love that line in the Summerslam ad, said as only Vince could say it.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. The Barbarian
Barbarian chucks Bret around and uses his bulk and muscles to control the pace of the early portions of the match. Bret is knocked to the floor and that finally convinces Hart to take a total scientific approach to this contest. Hart works Barbarian’s arm over but proves to be too close to his foe. Barbarian chokes him and sends Bret into the ringpost twice. Barbarian flings the Hitman chest first into the turnbuckle and it’s beginning to look like Bret made a critical error in accepting this match so close to his Summerslam IC title match.
Barbarian hits a brutal looking clothesline and a delayed vertical suplex. Barby locks Hart in a bear hug to drain the last of the Hitman’s strength. Bret manages a desperation clothesline from the second rope and that allows him to hit a reverse atomic drop. Hart tries to daze the big man with a plethora of punches and a side Russian leg sweep. A second rope elbow fails to get the win and Bret argues with the ref instead of focusing so Barbarian knocks him to the floor. Hart manages to reverse a powerslam into a roll up for the fluky pin. Good match.
Mean Gene brings out Sid Justice for a special interview. Sid says the WWF doesn’t know him yet but he’s his own man and at Summerslam Justice will be served.
The Triangle of Terror (Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan and Col. Mustafa) is gleeful that a snake bit the Warrior and they predict a 3 on 1 beatdown of Hulk Hogan at Summerslam.
Mark Thomas vs. IRS
IRS quickly nails a series of elbows, a flying clothesline and an abdominal stretch. Thomas’ face is rubbed in the mat and a Samoan drop finishes it in barely over a minute.
Just a squash.
We get clips of Macho Man’s bachelor party from last week. A belly dancer seduces Randy as Slick dances to her Egyptian music in a cute bit. She then strips and Piper loses his mind. A massively obese woman ends up as the surprise in the last cake and she kidnaps Heenan for love making purposes.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, The British Bulldog and “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich vs. The Orient Express (Kato, Pat Tanaka and Sato)
Vince calls Mr.Fuji “the avocado king” – I don’t get it. Ricky and Tanaka start and they go through a fast paced tit for tat sequence that Steamboat gets the better end of. Bulldog tags in and Tanaka has no chance against this roided up man until Kato sneaks in and kicks Smith in the kidneys. Kato then briefly controls the bout with martial arts, but Bulldog dropkicks him and tags in Von Erich. Kerry has little trouble with Kato and Sato tags in and shares that fate. Kato sneaks a kick to the Tornado’s kidneys and that allows Sato to unload with some martial arts blows.
Steamboat tags in and Sato and Kato take turns hacking away on Ricky. Steamboat tries a piledriver and ends up being drilled with a flying forearm by Tanaka and whacked with Mr.Fuji’s cane. All 3 heels trap Steamboat in their corner and take turns torturing the Dragon. Kerry gets all bent out of shape and charges the heel corner. Tanaka and Sato both deliver nice looking side kicks on Steamboat. They drape Steamboat’s throat over the top rope and propel down unto him.
Dragon finally gets a side kick of his own and manages to make the tag. Bulldog charges in and press slams the heels one by one. Kato is powerslammed but Tanaka breaks up the pin. The Tornado locks Pat in the clawhold as Steamboat nails Kato with the flying crossbody for the pin. Solid match. Crowd went bonkers for the finish.
Bobby Heenan suddenly whips out the NWA World title and announces Ric Flair is the real World’s champion. Wow, I thought that big reveal happened at Summerslam?!?!
World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Hogan clears the ring of all 3 heels with his title belt. Sarge takes a walk before Hogan can lock up. Hogan unloads on Sarge and flips him head over heels. Hulk sends Sarge head first into the steel ringpost. Sarge rakes away at Hogan and knocks him to the floor. Adnan and Mustafa take turns jamming his head into the ring edge. Sarge hits a weak looking chair shot across Hogan’s back. Sarge boots are driven into Hulk’s back and he stomps down on his back from the top rope. That sparks a Hulk up. Big boot hits but the legdrop is interrupted by a handful of powder. All 3 heels then charge the ring and lay a beating into Hogan. The camel clutch is applied until Sid Justice charges in. Hogan grabs a chair to clean house and Sid takes that away from him. Match was just hitting its stride when they went to the finish.
We see clips of Andre the Giant having his knee injured by Earthquake. Andre was actually quite upset at being essentially benched by Vince McMahon after Wrestlemania 6 and he showed up in the UWF to try and stick it to Vince a bit. It wasn’t long after that Andre was re-inserted into WWF storylines as he prepared to find a manager for his “return”.
The Natural Disasters vs. Ray Garcia and Ross Greenberg
Typhoon hits a dropkick(!) and both heels squash poor Garcia in the corner. They quickly hit dual splashes for the pin.
“The Barber Shop” interview segment featured Sensational Sherri. Sherri wants to slap Macho Man and puke all over Elizabeth. She calls Savage “over the hill and over rated”. Sherri is appalled that the wedding will take place at Summerslam. She implies she’s going to mess with the nuptials. Not a very good promo by Sherri.
Virgil vs. Masked Man of Mystery
A masked man is paid off by DiBiase to injure Virgil. The man under the mask is apparently Barry “Demolition Smash” Darsow. The masked man pound away with some relatively uninteresting offense and Virgil doesn’t exactly light the world on fire on his end either. A stun gun sets up Virgil being locked in a sleeper, Virgil manages to lock on his own “Million Dollar Dream” but Dibiase yanks him to the floor. Virgil is suplexed but hits a forearm or something while being splashed and makes the fluke pun. Another stinker.
The Mountie tours a New York City jail to show the Big Bossman what he’s in store for after losing the “Jailhouse” match at the PPV.
Vince and Bobby close with a hard sell for the PPV.
A fairly dull affair overall with no major hot final angle to sell the show. Some matches made Virgil, Bret Hart and even the babyface trio look awfully vulnerable heading into their PPV bouts, but I suppose overcoming the odds is a sign of babyface virility. The key to selling tickets can largely be traced to heels having heat though and the Triangle of Terror were due a defining loss and Jake Roberts and Underaker are waiting in the wings for whatever is left of our heroes. Then of course Ric Flair is also invading so business should trend upwards heading into the Fall.
Summerslam Spectacular 92
Warrior rambles thru a promo threatening the Macho Man with the end of his title reign.
Bobby Heenan (dressed as Sherlock Holmes) and Vince McMahon call the action. Heenan is trying to detect which side Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair will be on during the main event of Summerslam.
El Matador vs. Ric Flair
Tito out wrestles Flair to start. The men go through some grappling and reversals until Flair gets chippy and pisses Santana off. Tito unloads on Flair and sends him to the floor, where he greets Flair with a clothesline. Flair slows things down and chops away at El Matador’s chest. Ric sends Tito to the floor the hard way. Perfect gets his licks in.
Another chop wakes Tito up and he fires away on Slick Ric and locks on a figure-four. Flair is nearly pinned from the pain but he fights his way to the ropes. Santana takes advantage of Flair’s weakened state and locks on another figure four. Flair is able to make it to the ropes again. They bump heads on what looked like a blown spot both men flop on to the canvas.
Flair tries a figure-four and Santana gets a small package. Flair decks him for his spunkiness. Flair is slammed off the top rope and is set up for Santana’s flying forearm to the back of the head finisher. Tito connects to my surprise but Perfect breaks up the pin. Flair tries a roll up as Santana attacks Perfect but Tito kicks out and gets a roll up of his own! Tito unloads on Flair but Ric manages an eye poke prior to a Flair flop. Flair is sent up and over the turnbuckle and knocked to the floor. Tito nails a suplex but Perfect disrupts another pin. A crossbody gets 2.5. Perfect trips Tito again and whacks El Matador’s knee with a chair. The Nature Boy locks on a figure-four and Tito STILL fights with everything he has! Finally Santana succumbs to the pain. Fantastic match! One that certainly doesn’t get much pub anywhere I’ve seen.
Mean Gene is as orange as Hulk Hogan during the Summerslam report. Mike Enos cuts a bad promo. The Natural Disasters scream a lot.
Tatanka vs. Kato
Kato in Japanese means “Paul Diamond in a mask”. How coincidental. When I was 9 Tatanka debuted and wrestled Pat Tanaka. I was so confused by the call of the action “Tatanka…Tanaka…” It was probably only me. Kato hits some martial arts throws and poses like Daniel LaRusso. Heenan makes some vaguely racist comments toward Tatanka.
Kato is clotheslined to the floor. Kato hits some judo thrusts but Tatanka screams and shows off the vast array of hip tosses and body slams he knows. Tatanka charges at Kato one time too many and is tossed over the top rope. Fuji cracks the Native American’s ribs with his cane. Vince plugs ICOPRO as Kato works over Tatanka. Tatanka fires up but a double clothesline both men down. War Dance leads to a flying chop and the Samoan drop for the pin. Fuji runs in and is chopped down to give Berzerker a reason to want to hurt Tatanka at Summerslam. Solid, basic match. Went about 5 minutes longer than I was expecting.
Mr. Perfect gives the Nasty Boyz hints on how to beat Macho Man and Warrior in tonight’s main event.
Ken Wayne vs. Nailz
Wayne is Memphis Wrasslin’ star “Nightmare” Ken Wayne. Nailz chokes and chokes. Wayne flops over the top rope in a violent fashion. A mule kick leads to more choking. Wayne is caught in the ropes-hangman style. Another choke/facelock finshes the squash. Wayne bumped like a champ. Fine jobber work.
Undertaker and Paul Bearer join Mean Gene for a podium promo. Mean Gene rolls his eyes at Bearer’s voice. I laugh. Taker and Bearer debate how to bury a fat man like Kamala.
The Ultimate Warrior and “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. The Nasty Boyz
Warrior and Savage get in each others faces to start. Warrior no sells Saggs’ clubbing blows and nails a flying shoulderblock. Knobbs is sent flying with a big clothesline. Warrior nails a double DDT. Moveset! Savage is gruffly tagged in. He wipes out both Nasties as well and hits both heels with a simultaneous double ax handle. Savage tags out roughly. Warrior nails a flying double ax handle on Saggs. Lucha Warrior!
Knobbs knocks the faces together and that makes them get in one another’s grills again. Warrior is clotheslined to the floor. The Nasty Boyz take turns working over the Warrior. Warrior makes his own save and whips both heels by himself. Macho Man tags in and tries a piledriver but Saggs cracks him with a motor cycle helmet. The Nasties double team Savage while Flair and Perfect run down and assault the Warrior. The ref is busy napping in the ring. Warrior chases Flair and Perfect to the back. The ref wakes up and counts Macho Man out. Savage gets the helmet and unloads on the Boyz. Good story told during the match.
Hulk Hogan plugs “Prime Time Wrestling” during a commercial. Hogan was “retired” at this point.
Mean Gene interviews an enraged Ultimate Warrior. Warrior is convinced Macho Man has paid off Perfect.
“Jumping” Joey Maggs vs. “The Model” Rick Martel
Martel rotates between hip tosses, cart wheels and jumping jacks. Sherri comes down to admire “The Model”. When I was a kid, my neighbors and I knew from the Apter magazines that Sherri’s last name was Martel so we assumed Rick had the hots for his sister. Rick flexes for Sherri and is rolled up. Martel is pissed now and quickly locks on a Boston crab for the win.
Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage. Macho Man uses reverse psychology and decides that Warrior was attacked by Perfect and Flair to lead the fans off the scent.
Kamala vs. Burt Stiles
Just a squash.
The Bushwhackers vs. Money Inc.
The heels attack the marching morons from behind. The Whackers quickly toss the heels together and bite their gluteus maximus. They clear the ring and celebrate with heavy petting. The heels miscomunicate back in the ring and they are repelled again. Money Inc jump Luke and choke him with a rope. Restholds drag the match out until Luke can tag out. A battering ram downs IRS. Jimmy Hart runs in and Butch chases him. IRS nails a knee to the kidneys and scores the pin. Bleh.
Repo Man screeches through a promo on repossessing Crush’s career.
LOD and fucking Rocco the Dummy cut a promo on Money Inc. The Road Warriors try and cut an intimidating promo even with a puppet making faces between them.
IC Champ Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Skinner
Skinner out smarts Bret and sends him crashing to the cement. Skinner abuses Hart with his alligator foot. He chokes Bret with it after bashing the foot into the Hitman’s throat. Bret plays possum and entraps Skinner. Russian leg sweep and a back breaker swing the momentum until Skinner catches him with a boot. Skinner tries a low blow but Bret reverses the move into the Sharpshooter for the submission. Match was fine.
Heenan and Vince do a comedy bit to end their night.
Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect say “WOO” and we fade to black.
After a tremendous first hour, this show fell off the tracks. I really wanted to see this PPV at the time though as Savage/Warrior, Bret/Bulldog, Taker/Kamala and LOD/Money Inc were all highly anticipated in my house. Try and catch Santana/Flair sometime as it was great – obvious winner and all.
SummerSlam Spectactular 1993
The roster has undergone major changes on all fronts since last year. The World champ and his number one contender (Yokozuna and Lex Luger) weren’t even on the roster last summer and neither were tag champs the Steiner Brothers. The number one contenders to the IC and tag titles are also new since last year as The Heavenly Bodies and Mr. Perfect are set to challenge the Steiners and Shawn Micheals.
Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon host. I have a bad feeling about this dynamic. Monsoon waves to pretend fans as they stand in front of a green screen.
World Champion Yokozuna vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
We start right off with a big rematch as Hacksaw gets a chance at revenge against the man who squashed him eight months earlier. The announcers do a great job of ramping up the drama by talking about Duggan’s injuries last time and showing him with his new baby daughter. The implication being if Yoko kills him again, Duggan may not be able to support his family. But what about his twitter account? These announcers don’t understand drama! #WWEUniverse.
Hacksaw jumps Yokozuna to start and rocks Yoko with All-American fists to the face. Then he goes for his 2X4 like a moron and gets blasted in the throat. Fuji chokes Duggan and whacks him with his flagpole for good measure. 90 seconds in and JR is already declaring Duggan as DOA. Hacksaw gets a head of steam on the floor and runs right into another Yoko attack in the ring and has his face smashed by a giant legdrop. A bear hug prompts a “USA” chant. This fires Duggan up and he breaks the lock and tries a slam, because he’s not very smart. This leads to Hacksaw being trapped in another bearhug until he bites the champs face.
Duggan tries to rally again but Yoko no sells and whacks Duggan down again. Yoko misses a corner charge and that gets Hacksaw’s adrenal glands flowing. He delivers a series of clotheslines –Yoko wobbles but doesn’t go down. Finally inertia takes effect and the champ collapses to the mat. Hacksaw cheers instead of going for the kill. He lets Yoko stand back up and attempts another clothesline but Fuji trips the proud American. Corner splash and a banzai drop end Duggan’s night. Yoko goes for another one to end Duggan’s career and a litany of refs rush in and save the day. Solid encounter for what it was.
Yoko transports magically from the ring to the back where Jim Cornette cuts a promo plugging Summerslam on his client’s behalf.
Monsoon: “Cornette thinks it’s going to be a picnic at the Palace, but Lex Luger might make it Yokozuna’s last supper!”
Flashback!: Money Inc want Razor to be their servant and Razor’s beats on them to cement his face turn. Dibiase challenges the 123 Kid to prove he’s better than Razor. Dibiase gets cocky during the match and the Kid gets the upset.
Razor Ramon vs. Blake Beverly
Monsoon brings up some unspecified grudge between these two. Blake slaps the machismo out of Ramon’s face. Razor retaliates with a bevy of chops. Razor pulls hair, Blake stooges. Ramon charges at Beverly and gets a free trip to the floor. Blake removes a turnbuckle pad while Ramon is down in agony. Once back inside, Razor is chucked into the exposed steel back first. Blake gets some offense in before Razor manages to whip him into the exposed steel and a Razor’s Edge finishes it. Perfectly acceptable wrestling.
Mean Gene interviews The Undertaker. Taker is immortal even without his urn – he draws his power from the fans. Giant Gonzales will be eviscerated at Summerslam. The Giant joins us for a retort and then he walks off when Taker starts to undress for battle.
Lex Luger kisses babies and hugs cripples kids.
IC Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Bob Backlund
Shawn dismisses Backlund as rubbish. A bored Michaels perches in the corner after slamming Backlund. Bob gets a big slam of his own and tries a backslide. Shawn bails to the floor and spits at Backlund. A chase ensues and Backlund teases throwing a punch, which breaks his goody goody rules.
We come back from break with Backlund eating a series of punches of his own. Shawn locks in a headlock and makes more faces to indicate he’s bored with this old man trying to wrest away his title. Bob slaps Shawn and delivers a flurry of offense. An atomic drop is enough for Shawn to be down for a visual 3 count but Diesel has the ref tied up. Shawn grabs a hand full of tights and snags the tainted victory. Styles clash, but not a bad affair.
Lex Luger talks about being a 240 pound muscle bound high schooler. Lex is ready to be a role model for America.
Ludvig Borga sets himself up to be the next challenger for Lex Luger after he wins the title.
Steel Cage: World tag team champions The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc
Off the top of my head, I think this may have been the first televised WWF steel cage match since Hogan/Bossman in May of 1989. I suppose Prime Time Wrestling may have shown one randomly, but I didn’t have access to that show as a kid.
Both Steiners attack Dibiase as IRS tries to leave right away. Both Brothers then focus on IRS and Dibiase tries to make his exit. A four way brawl breaks down. The heels try to escape and IRS’ tie costs him a successful escape. Rick yanks on Dibiase’s tights and the crowd gets a look at the Million Dollar Buttocks. To add injury to insult, the Million Dollar Genitals are crushed as Dibiase’s crotched on the top of the cage. Ditto IRS.
Scott is suplexed off the cage. Then all four men scale the cage and IRS superplexes Scott off the top of the cage. Rick belly to belly suplexes IRS off the cage. Scott has his head jammed through the bars and Dibiase lays his weight on Scott’s throat. IRS uses his tie to hang Scott. Then Scott reverses that on him. They are working most of the match scaling on the cage, which is a unique method.
Rick and Dibiase collide mid-ring and that allows Scott and IRS to escape. IRS sees Rick getting out, so IRS climbs back in. Scott climbs to the top of the cage and delivers a double ax handle! The men climbing back in was an unseen twist for a cage match for me when I first saw this 20 years ago and it blew my little mind.
IRS escapes again and he tries to yank Dibiase out but the Steiners are able to pull him in and double team him. Ted is all tied up and the faces try and escape, but they waste too much time and IRS halts their progress. Rick escapes anyway, but now Scott is trapped two on one. Scott manages a double clothesline and all 3 men are down and out. IRS escapes but Rick blocks him before he can hit the floor. Rick holds IRS up as Dibiase rains down punches into his ribs to try and bring him down. Scott escapes and the crowd goes bonkers. Great finish. Really good match.
We close with Men on a Mission and Macho Man rapping about the “Lex Express”. It’s so bad, it’s good.
A heck of a show to build to the PPV. Lots of competitive match ups to build to a really good Summerslam event a week later. The tag team cage match gets a lot of love online and is certainly worth checking out.
My copy of this show did not include: The Smoking Gunns and Tatanka Vs Barry Horowitz, The Brooklyn Brawler and Reno Riggins or Marty Jannetty vs. Duane Gill
I do not have a DVD copy of 1994’s “Sunday Night Slam” that promoted that year’s Summerslam PPV. I declined to dig through my VHS pile in an attempt to complete this series and for that I apologize. Here are the results:
The Undertaker (w/ Ted Dibiase) defeated Sonny Rogers
WWF IC Champion Diesel (w/ Shawn Michaels) pinned Typhoon in a non-title match at around 4:20 with a boot to the face and clothesline
Bull Nakano defeated Heidi Lee Morgan (sub. for WWF Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze)
Razor Ramon defeated Todd Becker
Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS defeated Bob Holly & 1-2-3 Kid
Lex Luger pinned Crush with the running forearm after Crush became distracted by Ted Dibiase at ringside
Vince and Jerry Lawler then hosted a live call in special where fans could ask them questions.