So, yeah, Summerslam was the other day. That ending sure was a thing that happened, eh? While the use of Kevin Nash is head-shaking, I’m okay with the split angles. Why? Because you aren’t allowed to beat Cena in a feud unless it’s unceremonious and he gets distracted by someone else to the point that he forgot about you. That’s how it’s worked for Sheamus, R-Truth and now CM Punk. It’s the best we can get.
The highlight for me was Sheamus vs. Mark Henry because I dig everything Mark Henry-related from the last several months. His matches feel like a Godzilla movie, only with better workrate. I absolutely loved the creative ending of Sheamus going through the guardrail and failing to crawl his way to the ring in time while Henry stood triumphant. It also led to this gif from Jerusalem:
Other than that, Orton’s match with Christian was so good that it makes me forget that I like Christian as champ better. Barrett going over Bryan is how it should have been and the opener was good fun. Really, WWE should have just stretched everything out with this angle. Summerslam should have been Cena vs. Mysterio, which I still believe to be a money match that they wasted by throwing on Raw with no hype. The disappearance of CM Punk could have lasted up until after the main event, where he would have made his big appearance to mess with Cena. Then save all the champion vs. champion drama for Night of Champions, which works great because of the goddamn title. All the Nash/Del Rio stuff would have made it a bit easier on a lesser PPV like that.
9) SUMMERSLAM 91
Date: August 26, 1991
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
Known as: The Match Made in Heaven and the Match Made in Hell
Summerslam 91 is a pretty intriguing show when you look at it. It actually may be the most optimistic and face-heavy wrestling show in history. It’s a show based entirely on sending people home happy with only one minor exception. There’s a double main event, if you can call it that, where one of the big features is the wedding between Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Savage is “retired” and this is a way for him and his already-in-real-life wife Elizabeth to renew their vows while setting up for his return to the ring in a rather weird way. On the more violent side of things, Hogan is at the tail end of his feud with Sergeant Slaughter and is going to take him on in a big handicap match. Only who has the handicap is arguable. Sure, Slaughter has the numbers with Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan, but Hogan has the Ultimate Warrior on his side. In the present, that would be like Cena and Orton facing the team of Miz, Primo and Ricardo Rodriguez. Also, the special guest referee for this would be enigmatic newcomer Sid Justice. Will he act as a face or a heel? Time will tell.
Vince goes completely crazy over the wacky intro graphics while screaming about THE MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN AND THE MATCH MADE IN HELLLLLLL! Several commercials are shown for the Hulk Hogan Hot Ticket, which was like a look back at his career in PPV form. Lot of fun promos throughout on this show. Mr. Perfect tells Bret Hart that he may be the Excellence of Execution, but perfection > excellence. The Mountie gets ready for his match by getting in the faces of a couple New York cops and almost making one laugh. Everything with the Mountie is fantastic, but I’ll describe those better after I get to his match. Great promos from the likes of Dibiase, Big Boss Man, Bret Hart, the Natural Disasters, the Nasty Boyz, Legion of Doom and Sergeant Slaughter. Hogan and Warrior try to push how important their tag match is supposed to be, then join together for a, “What’cha gonna do?!” Speaking of Hogan, Bobby Heenan comes to his dressing room to confront him over how he has the belt of the Real World’s Champion Ric Flair. Hogan proceeds to slam the door on him. There’s also footage of Slaughter and friends trying to befriend Sid Justice in hopes of getting him on their side.
I guess I should cover the wedding here. The wedding is actually the main event, since they have to take down the ring to set it up. To kill time, they show a music video about the relationship between the two. The wedding is incredibly mundane, just like pretty much every average wedding, saved slightly by having Heenan and Piper on commentary. I mean, I guess I should be glad that they didn’t dance around like that one awful YouTube video, especially because that would make me want to punch Elizabeth in the face and I don’t want to think of such things. They get married and they’re happy. Great. The weirdness comes from what happens AFTER. See, during this time, WWF had a weird concept of feud-building. Like, when Hogan beat Slaughter for the belt at Wrestlemania 7, it was this big happy ending. Then on the next episode of Prime Time Wrestling, they showed that later that night, Slaughter ambushed Hogan in his locker room with a fireball. They do the same thing here. Nothing actually happens during the PPV, but at the reception, Jake Roberts and the Undertaker (who don’t even compete at the show) raise Hell after Elizabeth finds a snake in one of her gifts and Sid comes to the rescue.
The eventual blow-off to Savage vs. Jake is done in the same, “I can’t believe you missed this!” cliffhanger shit. They have a match on Saturday Night’s Main event, Savage wins, and after the show ends, Jake hides backstage with a chair, waiting for them behind the curtain and the Undertaker makes his first faceturn by grabbing the chair from him.
The opener is a six-man tag of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich and “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. the Warlord and Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma). The bad guys don’t even get entrances, though to be fair, I can’t even remember any of them as having theme music. Roma starts with a bodyslam on Steamboat, then taunts the crowd over it forever. He’s quickly armdragged off the second rope to shut him up. Tornado mixes it up with Hercules, delivers a 10-count of slamming Herc’s head into the corner, then another 10-count of mounted punches. Bulldog has a flashback to his awesome Wrestlemania match with Warlord with a series of rapid shoulderblocks and clotheslines. He does his delayed vertical suplex, but Warlord throws him off the pin at 1. Steamboat goes in to fight Warlord and screws himself over when failing to give Warlord a Monkey Flip. Roma works on Steamboat, a clusterfuck occurs and in the confusion, Warlord clotheslines Steamboat from behind. Herc delivers a Stun Gun and Steamboat can’t stand up against the no-selling of the Warlord.
Warlord jumps off the second rope and gets a boot to the face. Steamboat tags in Tornado, Tornado goes to work for a sec, tags in Bulldog and he goes after his rival. Warlord picks Bulldog up over his head, leaving him defenseless against a Tornado Punch from an interfering Texas Tornado. Bulldog delivers the running powerslam to Roma while Tornado puts Herc in the Von Erich Claw. Roma kicks out, which may or may not have been a botch (I don’t think Bulldog was supposed to make the cover) and Steamboat finishes him off with a flying crossbody pin. Sweet-ass opener.
Mr. Perfect defends the Intercontinental Championship against Bret “The Hitman” Hart in one of the all-time best Summerslam matches. Great wrestling mix-up to start with some golden chemistry. Bret’s offense is crisp and Perfect’s selling is off the charts. In terms of grappling, Bret has him overwhelmed and ends up clotheslining him out of the ring. Perfect decides to walk away and get counted out, but Bret grabs his singlet, tears part of it and throws him back into the ring. When the ref tries to separate the two, Perfect suckerpunches Bret and kicks him to the outside. Bret climbs back to the apron, Perfect shoves the ropes forward and Bret goes flying back into the barricade. Bret gets his wind back and tears into Perfect, only to receive a thumb to the eye. Perfect dominates and counters any comebacks. They brawl on the top rope and Bret gets knocked into the ring. Perfect tries for a pin while putting his legs on the ropes, but Bret kicks out. Bret tries for a Crucifix, but Perfect falls on his back and crushes him. Again, Bret kicks out.
Perfect goes to finish him off with the Perfect Plex. Bret actually kicks out! In one of the coolest sells, Bret grabs Perfect by the hair and flings him across the ring so that Perfect slides and ends up hitting the corner post with his nads. Bret keeps getting near falls and grows more and more frustrated at his inability to put Perfect away. Soon Bret is kicking Perfect’s legs out from under him, which Perfect sells like he’s in moon gravity. Bret puts on the Sharpshooter, but has to let go because Mr. Perfect’s short-lived manager the Coach is on the apron and is in dire need of a punch to the face. Perfect kicks up the second rope, which gets Bret right in the nuts. The crowd is strongly behind Bret here. Perfect grabs Bret’s ankles and tries to legdrop him in the midsection. Bret puts his hands up to catch Perfect’s boot. Then he wraps Perfect’s legs together, turns over, gets to his feet and turns it into a Sharpshooter. Perfect gives up immediately. Bret for some reason strips Perfect to his underwear and uses the singlet as a trophy of sorts. In the stands, Lord Alfred Hayes keeps awkwardly butting in and trying to get a word in with Stu and Helen Hart while they’re too busy hugging their son.
The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) take on the Bushwackers (Luke and Butch), who have Andre the Giant in their corner. Previous to all this, Earthquake had assaulted Andre and destroyed his leg. Now Andre is wandering around on crutches. The Disasters come over and threaten him, but the Bushwackers show up, poke them in the eyes and put their hats on Andre for safekeeping. The Bushwackers look strong early on with Butch biting Typhoon on the ass and then throwing him into Earthquake. Then they do the Battering Ram into Earthquake, knocking him into Typhoon. They celebrate and the Disasters get back at them. Earthquake and Typhoon make frequent tags while working on Butch until Earthquake accidentally hits Typhoon and we get a hot tag. They hit both heels with the Battering Ram, go for the cover and Typhoon kicks out. Earthquake sneaks up from behind and crushes Luke into Typhoon, hits the Earthquake Splash and pins him. Surprisingly solid for what’s supposed to amount to a squash match. The two stalk Andre until the Legion of Doom storm out and scare them away. Hawk, Animal, Luke, Butch and Andre all celebrate getting the last laugh and even with the heels winning, it’s a positive experience.
I just noticed that at six and a half minutes, that’s the shortest match of the night and yet they still were able to give it a respectable amount of time. Consider that a plus for the overall show.
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase defends the Million Dollar Championship against Virgil in one of the few actual matches for that belt. Virgil goes right at his former boss, laying into him with jabs, clotheslining him out of the ring and throwing him into the steps. They get back in, he Atomic Drops Dibiase back out and screws it all up by missing a splash to the outside. Dibiase throws Virgil into the steps, gets him back in the ring and does his trademark falling punches. The two have some fantastic chemistry, selling for each other like champs. Dibiase hits a second-rope axe-handle and works him over until Virgil pulls out the Million Dollar Dream out of nowhere. He’s in the center of the ring, so Dibiase has nowhere to go. Sherri attacks him, which would normally amount in a disqualification, but instead the ref lets the match continue with Sherri ejected.
Virgil gets it going again until being whipped into the ref. Dibiase hits a series of suplexes and a piledriver, notices that the ref is still knocked out and decides to remove the corner pad. He taunts Virgil to his face and in a spurt of energy, Virgil is able to grab Dibiase by the head and slam it into the unprotected corner twice. This right here is one of my new favorite match endings. See, this isn’t one of those moments where a delayed pin attempt will end with Dibiase kicking out. No, he’s completely out cold. Virgil, on the other hand, is exhausted and has collapsed. The ref is back up and starts making the ten count. Virgil can’t stand, so the final moments of the match are a race against time as Virgil has to crawl over to Dibiase before the ref can finish the count. Before it’s too late, Virgil makes the cover and becomes the new Million Dollar Champion. Had it not been for Bret/Perfect, this would have been the match of the night. The fact that Virgil’s in-story buddy Piper is on commentary, pushing it as hard as he can, only helps to make this a great match.
The Big Boss Man fights the Mountie in a Jailhouse Match where the loser has to spend the night in a NYC jail cell. Mountie walks right into a series of punches and we get plenty of minutes of Boss Man ruling the match, even despite Jimmy Hart’s interference and a thumb to the eye. He delivers a MASSIVE spinebuster on the Mountie and then stalks Jimmy until Mountie gets him from behind and beats on him on the outside. Mountie’s heel offense is pretty uninspired and starts to kill the match. He tries for a cover and gets thrown out of the ring instead. Mountie presses the advantage and gets Boss Man with a piledriver. While Jimmy distracts the ref, Mountie brings in the cattle prod, but proceeds to miss. Boss Man delivers a surprise uppercut, gets back to his feet, delivers the Boss Man Slam and Mountie kicks out. Mountie goes for another piledriver, only to have Boss Man pick him up and drop him with the Alabama Slam. Boss Man pins him and Mountie is put in handcuffs and led away.
Throughout the rest of the night, we’d see Mountie dragged around by police officers while repeatedly screaming some variation of, “YOU CAN’T DO THIS TA ME! I’M DA MOUNTIE!” It actually gets into PG-13 territory here. He has his fingerprints done and is told to give them his finger, leading to him angrily flipping off the cops. Towards the end of the night, when put in a jail cell, he gets stuck with a crazy dude and a gay biker with the suggestion that he might be getting raped overnight. Good times.
The good times continue with the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) defending the WWF Tag Team Championship against the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) in a Street Fight. LOD immediately hand the Nasty Boys their asses and heave them from the ring. Hawk and Sags brawl on the outside as Animal powerbombs Knobbs. Sags makes the save. He then sprays some stuff into Hawk’s eyes, causing him to leave the ring. He follows up by hitting him in the back with a tray of sodas. The definition of a Street Fight comes into question when Knobbs and Sags are able to beat on Hawk and troll Animal while Animal is forced to stay in his corner. Eventually, Knobbs jumps off the second rope and is greeted with Hawk’s knees to his gut, which allows Hawk to crawl over and make the hot tag. Animal cleans house against the other two and soon Hawk’s back in there, albeit too weak to make much of a difference. Sags grabs Jimmy Hart’s helmet and almost hits Knobbs with it. He stops himself at the last second and still nails Animal. Animal kicks out of the pin. Hawk gets his hands on Jimmy Hart and steals the helmet away. First he hits Knobbs with it and then when Sags is bouncing across the ropes, Hawk hits him too. They give him the Doomsday Device and it’s over. Even Bobby Heenan is impressed.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine faces Irwin R. Schyster, showing that Mike Rotundo lasted an awful long time making that gimmick work. Also of note is that the dude has one HELL of a mullet here. It’s a pretty ho-hum match. Hammer out-wrestles him for a bit, IRS escapes to regroup and gets thrown back in. IRS then gets up and stomps the entering Valentine before putting him in an abdominal stretch while holding onto the rope. The match gets pretty slow until IRS goes to the top rope, stops to yell at some fans and then gets thrown into the center of the ring by Valentine. IRS runs into the corner with a high knee and misses. Sensing blood in the water, Valentine works on that leg. He puts IRS in the Figure Four, but he grabs the ropes. IRS fights back, gets taken out in the knee again and Valentine tries again for the Figure Four. This time, IRS rolls him up for a Small Package and gets the pin. There you have it, IRS is the only bad guy on the show to have his head held high at the end.
Our main event is the Match Made in HELL! as we get Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Sergeant Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan with Sid Justice as the special guest referee. Slaughter continues to butter up Sid so that he’ll end up siding with him. He pulls off his belt in hopes of using it as a weapon, but Sid won’t allow it and takes it away. Hogan and Warrior are quick to lay into Slaughter and bounce him back and forth with punches to the head. They follow that by giving Slaughter a double boot. Like with all Slaughter matches of the time, he sells like crazy until the time comes for him to suck wind (which only takes a few minutes, sadly). Sid gets on Hogan’s case for getting a little overzealous in the corner, but doesn’t see when Slaughter gives Hogan a thumb to the eye. Adnan comes in and his only act of offense is to back rake Hogan again and again. Sid continues to be easily distracted, which I enjoy very much. Hinting that he’s going to be heel is kind of played out, but having him be completely incompetent as a ref? That’s entertainment!
Mustafa puts Hogan in the Camel Clutch and Warrior runs in to break it. Slaughter throws Hogan into Sid, which causes a faceoff between the two. Adnan comes in and starts biting Hogan, though Sid seems extremely lax about it. Slaughter climbs to the top rope and Warrior shoves him off. Hogan makes the tag and, much like his partner, Warrior makes the mistake of running into Sid. They too stare each other down. Behind Sid’s back, Slaughter’s boys team up on Warrior. Sid is really the worst referee. Slaughter is completely out of breath by this point and Warrior gets him with a surprise clothesline. He makes the tag and the ring fills up with all five wrestlers. Hogan delivers a boot to Slaughter and Warrior chases Mustafa and Adnan to the back with a chair. After he runs off into the distance, he’s fired by Vince McMahon in real life. Hogan throws powder into Slaughters face – as if he needs to cheat – and gives him a legdrop. Sid’s distracted by the Warrior situation, but turns around and makes the three-count. The match is pretty much just there. Zero drama to it, especially since neither Hogan nor Warrior had to even Hulk Up at any point.
The post-match is fun. Hogan calls out Sid to join him in the ring. A frightened Sid peaks out from behind the curtain with only his head sticking out and Piper accurately points out, “Looks like the Grim Reaper!” He comes into the ring and Hogan tears off his ref shirt before making him pose with him. It admittedly comes off as adorably gay and Heenan picks up on it with, “This must be the marriage made in heaven!”
It’s too bad that the two main events are what hurt the show. I mean, the Hogan tag match isn’t the worst thing in the world, but something stronger could have made the show better remembered.
8) SUMMERSLAM 89
Date: August 28, 1989
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Known as: That one with Zeus in the main event
Hulk Hogan had starred in the Academy Award-winning movie No Holds Barred, which was about him facing the unstoppable monster Zeus in the wrestling ring. Zeus went from being actor Tiny Lister playing a character in a movie to a character in the WWF reality, as he appeared before Hogan and attacked him based on past transgressions. Zeus soon aligned himself with Hogan’s former friend and now sworn enemy Randy Savage. To even the odds, Hogan has brought his good buddy Brutus Beefcake into the fray to stand by his side. Can Mr. Nanny and Zodiac defeat the terror tag team of Bonesaw and Deebo? Hogan may be tough, but can he stand up against the man who would one day become President of Earth?
For some reason, they decided to share the theme song for Royal Rumble here. Whatever the reason, we’re given the worst of all the Summerslam intros. Because when I think of Summerslam, I think of clips of WWF Wrestling Challenge jobber squash matches and clips of people doing stuff that’s relative to summer.
If you want to talk about promos, you aren’t going to see a better set. We got crazy awesomeness from Dusty Rhodes, Rick Rude with Heenan, Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect (okay, his was kind of generic), Roddy Piper, Ted Dibiase, Hogan with Beefcake and ESPECIALLY Randy Savage and Zeus. Those two loom over the Cauldron of Madness as Sensational Sherri does some kind of witch’s spell. The Genius performs a poem about the main event and at one point Mean Gene is surprised and a bit disturbed to find fired wrestler Ronnie Garvin all dressed up in a tuxedo.
The best thing, though? They have a six-man tag that features the team of Jim Duggan and Demolition. At the time of this, Hacksaw is the King of the Ring and mixing that with his teammates leads to him cutting a promo in one of the craziest outfits in wrestling history. He has a cape, a crown, American flag facepaint, a black hockey mask, a patriotically-colored 2×4 and a tiny crown for that 2×4. Hail to King Demolition, baby!
We begin with some tag action as the Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) face the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard). The Brain Busters are the tag champs, but it’s non-title. To start it off, the faces are able to outclass the heels via different combinations. It’s kind of interesting to see Arn as the heel in peril in the sense that the ref doesn’t see Tully make the tag and won’t allow it, while Anvil does the kind of stuff you’d usually see a heel do in these tag situations. When Tully does come in, he chops Anvil, Anvil no-sells it and punches him across the ring. The Brain Busters start to cheat together and Bret takes the fight right to them, causing them all to roll out of the ring. The Hart Foundation is still dominant until Bret whips Anvil into the corner at Tully and Arn pulls Tully away. They work on Anvil, who looks kind of cool trying to fight his way out of the situation rather than just take the damage. Bret gets tagged in and cleans house, leading to all four scrapping it up. Arn and Anvil take the fight outside while Bret deals with Tully. With Anvil victorious, Bret slingshots him into the ring so that he shouldertackles Tully. Then Anvil does a reverse powerslam to Bret, making him land on top of Tully. As Heenan distracts the ref, Arn flies off the top rope and hits Bret in the back of the head with an elbow. Tully makes the pin and the heels retain… wait, it wasn’t for the title. Well, they get bragging rights and the winners’ purse. Sweet match.
Next is “the American Dream” Dusty Rhodes vs. the Honky Tonk Man. Before the fists fly, the two have a strut off, which is perfect for the two guys involved. According to the incredibly hot crowd, Dusty wins. Dusty also wins out their opening mix-up and when he tries for an elbow, Honky Tonk escapes. He still holds Honky Tonk under his thumb and proceeds to enrage him by messing up his hair. Jimmy Hart pulls Dusty’s leg and Dusty chases him around. In the confusion, Honky Tonk hits Dusty in the gut with the megaphone and goes for a cover. Dusty kicks out. He proceeds to work over Dusty’s midsection and goes into a lengthy chinlock. Fans lose interest and I’m with them. Dusty makes an equally slow and boring comeback. Dusty gets knocked into the ref. Honky Tonk holds Dusty back so Jimmy can swing the guitar, only Dusty moves out of the way and Honky Tonk is on the receiving end instead. Dusty drops an elbow and gets the pin. Afterwards, Honky Tonk Man is too delirious to give a coherent interview.
Mr. Perfect wrestles the Red Rooster in what’s basically a squash meant for anything but PPV. Mr. Perfect outwrestles the Rooster for a bit, then copies his chicken strut to taunt him. Rooster gets a brief comeback, using his quickness to his full advantage. Then when he picks Perfect up for a bodyslam, he ends up falling back. …Really? You’re doing that spot for a guy the size of Mr. Perfect? They brawl on the outside, go back in and Mr. Perfect just pulls him in for the Perfect Plex. He wins and we get a waste of time, a waste of a match and a waste of two talented performers who could have done much better.
After that is Tito Santana and the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) against Rick Martel and the Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond Rougeaus) Jacques wants to shake hands and Tito rightfully refuses. Instead, the faces triple team him. Man, without context that doesn’t paint an accurate picture of who’s face and who’s heel. The heels get to work on Marty until he escapes and Tito comes in. Using some cheating methods, the heels take down Tito and tag in his former partner Martel. Tito gets a very brief one-two punch combo in there and the crowd goes nuts, but it goes back to him remaining in peril. Jacques mistakenly knees Raymond and Tito makes the tag. Michaels comes in and cleans house. After a top-rope punch, the ring fills up. Although Tito knocks Martel out of the ring with a flying forearm, Martel is able to reenter the ring and take Marty out with a punch and a roll-up. Yep. A suckerpunch is what does in this match. Yikes.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude defends the Intercontinental Championship against the Ultimate Warrior. I’d say that this is even better than their cage match for the WWF Championship at Summerslam 90. Rude starts with a lot of sticking and moving. Warrior no-sells and clotheslines him out of the ring. Rude tries for a Sunset Flip, it fails and Warrior proceeds to press slam him back to the outside. He keeps on him for a bit and in a moment of weirdness uses the title belt on Rude’s back. On commentary, Ventura throws a fit and calls him out on what should be a disqualification. The match continues with Warrior pressing the offense again and again, only for Rude to kick out of every pin attempt. Warrior does Rude’s gyrating taunt and then gives him an Atomic Drop to the mat instead of his knee. When Warrior climbs to the top, Rude grabs the ropes and causes Warrior to crotch himself.
Rude goes for the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out. He tries a sleeper hold instead and receives a jawbreaker. They both collide with the ref. While Rude gets up first, Warrior begins to Hulk Up. Warrior throws him around like a ragdoll, but there’s no ref to make any count. He delivers a piledriver and although the ref is awake for it, Rude puts his foot on the rope. Warrior gives him a powerslam and then goes for the splash. Rude saves himself by putting his knees up, gives him a Tombstone piledriver and Warrior kicks out. Rude jumps off the top and punches the prone Warrior, but again, kickout. Although Rude has everything well in hand, Roddy Piper comes to ringside. He bends over and pulls up the back of his kilt, which appears to be bare from our less-graphic view. Rude stands on the second rope, yelling, which proves fatal. Warrior grabs him for a powerful German Suplex, a Gorilla Slam and finishes him off with a splash. Warrior is a two-time Intercontinental Champion and Roddy would go on to explain his actions by claiming that he can be “ruder than Rude”. Really, I can’t blame them for trying to push Rude as a main event opponent for Warrior a year later. The two had excellent chemistry.
Now, here’s a shocker of a good match. Andre the Giant and the Twin Towers (Big Boss Man and Akeem the African Dream) take on King “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Demolition (Ax and Smash). To start it, Hacksaw outfights Akeem, who does some fantastic selling. Lot of cool big man brawling going on throughout the match with the faces mostly in control. That is, until Ax finds himself in the heel corner and gets immediately destroyed. Akeem misses a corner splash (kind of by a mile, but whatever) and Smash gets tagged in. He bodyslams Boss Man, bodyslams Akeem and then Andre nails him from behind. The ring fills up and it’s complete bedlam. Akeem hits a second-rope splash onto Smash and Hacksaw uses his 2×4 on Akeem. The ref is too distracted by Andre trying to point out what’s going on and Akeem finds himself pinned. I didn’t even see the face team’s victory as being a possibility, so that was a surprise.
Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine is a short match carried by an amazing angle. Remember a year ago when John Cena was “fired” from the WWE and proceeded to win his way back by breaking into the arena week after week to attack the Nexus with zero repercussions whatsoever? Like the police were never called and somehow he got his job back? Remember how outright stupid that was? Greg Valentine vs. “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin is a version of that feud that’s a million times better. The two had their feud that got so heated that they had a Loser Leaves Match. Garvin lost and had to retire, only to come back as a ref. That lasted only so long due to him getting into physical altercations with the heels, but it was a fun way to mess with Valentine. For Summerslam 89, he’s a ring announcer. He does a good job when it comes to calling in Hercules. But for Valentine?
“His so-called opponent, being led to the ring by a little pipsqueak poor excuse for a manager, ‘the Big Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart! Here is a man… Here is a man who says he’s from Seattle, Washington! He claims he weighs 249 pounds! To me, he looks like he’s overweight by 30 pounds! This individual, who can’t take for himself and when he goes to his wimpy manager for advice, little Jimmy can’t give him any! He’s the only wrestler I’ve ever seen with two left feet! Wears a robe with cheap rhinestones! Can’t tell if he’s coming OR going! Made the biggest mistake of his life when he asked for me to be reinstated! Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine!”
Garvin rules. He and Valentine face off, but Hercules – the actual opponent – nails Valentine from behind. Valentine escapes the punishment, gets distracted by Garvin at ringside and then gets rolled up. He kicks out and gets his head into the game. When he tries the Figure Four, he’s booted out of the ring. He spends the rest of the match uneasy at Garvin’s presence, but eventually gets a win by rolling up Hercules and putting his legs on the ropes. Garvin at first claims that Hercules won, but when the referee corrects him, he says that Hercules won by disqualification. Hercules and Valentine duke it out and Garvin overwhelms his rival with a suckerpunch. Now THAT is how you pressure your enemy into getting you back on the roster.
Next is “the Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in an okay outing. Dibiase opens it up by badmouthing Jake Roberts, who he had put on the shelf, but that’s building for payoff on another day. No Jake return here. Dibiase tries to blindside Snuka and it doesn’t work. Dibiase gets knocked into Virgil on the apron, Snuka gives him an Atomic Drop and Dibiase’s blasted out of the ring. Snuka botches a leapfrog attempt and Dibiase turns it into a situation where he has control. That is, up until he misses a reverse elbow drop from the second rope. Snuka hits a headbutt from the second rope, but chooses not to go for the pin. Instead, he climbs to the top. Virgil goads him and Snuka gives chase. Dibiase gets his hands on him and slams him headfirst into the post. Dibiase wins by a count-out, but it’s not totally over. Snuka attacks the heels and ends up doing a Superfly Splash to Virgil.
Also, there’s a big sign in the crowd that says “BURTIS”. I thought it was funny.
Speaking of him, that leaves the final match of the night, Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Zeus. Though Savage’s theme does play, it isn’t he who walks out first but Miss Elizabeth, apparently in the corner of Hogan and Brutus. On the outside, Brutus beats up Savage, but inside the ring, Zeus no-sells Hogan’s offense. Any double-teaming from the faces doesn’t work and they find themselves in trouble early on. Zeus gives Hogan a bearhug and at the same time Savage gives Hogan an axe-handle off the top. The heels make regular tags while sticking it to Hogan. Savage starts to miss elbow drops repeatedly and Hogan makes the hot tag. Brutus delivers the high knee and puts Savage in the sleeper, but Savage pushes himself into the corner and makes the tag. Brutus thumbs Zeus’ eyes and puts him in a sleeper, but Savage takes Sherri’s loaded purse and smacks him with it. It’s up to Hogan to keep breaking any pin attempts.
As Hogan rescues Elizabeth from Savage, Zeus strangles Brutus in the ring as the ref tries to pull him off. Savage tags himself in, which turns out to be a mistake when he and Brutus clothesline each other. Brutus tags in Hogan, who suckerpunches Zeus, boots Savage out of the ring and goes for a suplex, only for Sherri to grab him by the leg. Savage goes to the top and hits his flying elbow, only for Hogan to spring back up like it’s nothing. Hogan works on Zeus and punches him to the point that Zeus staggers. A clothesline drops Zeus to one knee, which gets a thunderous reaction. Elizabeth trips Sherri and prevents her from interfering. Savage goes to the top rope with the loaded purse, but Brutus shoves him off the ropes. Hogan steals the purse and nails Zeus with it. After a bodyslam and a legdrop, Hogan pins his movie nemesis and all is well. Sherri is too late to break the pin and gets rewarded with an Atomic Drop. She bounces right in the direction of Elizabeth, who drops Sherri with a swing of the purse. The crowd is going nuts as Brutus takes out his scissors and cuts off Sherri’s ponytail. A really well-booked match, made even more impressive when you remember that Zeus is there! He’s 1/4 of the match! And it’s good!
Funny thing about Zeus is that they never fed him any jobbers, so the guy’s entire WWF career is nothing but losses. The guy’s record is worse than Zack Ryder’s.