The Summerslam Countdown: Day Three

August 6th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, WWE released a handful of wrestlers. There’s Gail Kim, who just eliminated herself within seconds during a Diva battle royal just because she wanted to see if anyone would notice. Then there’s Melina, who I wouldn’t mind not having to see ever again. David Hart Smith is gone and… yeah, that was a long time coming. Then there’s Chris Masters, which is the biggest shame because the dude actually went to Japan to improve his craft only to get completely underpushed. Seriously, he’s good in the ring these days!

The one that wounds me the most is the loss of Vladimir Kozlov. Sure, he isn’t the best wrestler by any stretch, but I enjoyed him for the most part regardless. Here is his finest moment.

Second best moment is when he dramatically delivered the line, “Then it is settled. Next week I get what I want… OR I will destroy MacGruber.”

Oh well. Maybe he can go back to Baltimore and work with the Greek again. What? You didn’t know he showed up on the Wire for like two seconds?

Anyway, the list.


Date: August 29, 1988
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York
Known as: The Rise of the Ultimate Warrior

It’s the very first Summerslam and like with every PPV, they need to get the kinks out of it. Randy Savage had won the WWF Championship in a tournament after defeating Ted Dibiase. After some really neat segments, involving Savage getting beaten down while Elizabeth is forced to watch, Savage would have a match signed with his new best friend and tag team partner Hulk Hogan. It would be the Mega Powers vs. the Mega Bucks and the referee spot is given to tweener commentator Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Considering how Dibiase would hand him money to butter him up, many speculated that this match would be far from fair.

The Atmosphere

The intro is probably the most effort put into one of these things for the era, but I have to laugh at how silly it is. Check it out, it’s the main event players starring in Take On Me.

The show dedicates a strong chunk of time to a Brother Love segment where he interviews “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, who basically just warns him to get out of the ring or he’ll sodomize him with his 2×4. No, he seriously suggests that. To show why Brutus Beefcake isn’t involved in the Intercontinental title match, they show footage of “Outlaw” Ron Bass cutting up Beefcake with his spurs. It’s shown in probably the most effective way to sell blood I’ve ever seen by putting a big X with “CENSORED” over it over half of the screen. You can still see the blood in some shots, but it’s mostly obscured and helps give you the idea that this is some serious shit.

The promos are all top-notch. Honky Tonk Man refuses to hear Mean Gene’s speculation of who his new opponent is going to be because he wants to be surprised. Hogan and Savage talk like only they can and discuss their “secret weapon” against the Mega Bucks. They also do this ridiculous handshake where they’d wind their arms back, over enunciate the movement in slow motion and then clasp their hands when they meet in the middle. I need to do that more often. Jesse Ventura only slightly acts heelish, pointing out the obvious about Dibiase giving him the money: what kind of idiot would give back free money?! Bobby Heenan makes a stop at the commentary booth to explain what everyone in the main event is up to, which includes the Mega Powers locking themselves in their dressing room so nobody can drag them out. After losing his title, Honky Tonk Man appears backstage pissed off and for some reason wanting another piece of the winner, the Ultimate Warrior.

The Ultimate Warrior, on the other hand, hangs out with his fellow face wrestlers. You know, that’s something that seems kind of off. We rarely ever got to see the Warrior hanging out with the rest of the locker room. It humanizes his character ever so slightly. I do like how everyone slowly clears out of the room when he goes overboard on his rantings. Even Junkyard Dog is like, “Man, I don’t even understand this guy.”

The Matches

Once again we have a match that looks great on paper, but doesn’t work out in the end. This time it’s The Fabulous Rougeaus Brothers (Jacques and Raymond Rougeaus) vs. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid). Sure, it starts out great. The Rougeaus try to shake hands with the Bulldogs and get stared down until they back off. Davey begins to slam Raymond’s head into every corner post repeatedly and Raymond briefly gets a breather via a suckerpunch. The Bulldogs continue to overpower Raymond and Jacques tries to start a “USA!” chant in a match with no American wrestlers, which gets him a series of boos. At first, it’s kind of strange to see a heel in peril for so long, only it’ll make sense later.

Jacques trips Davey and gets tagged in. He and his brother work over the leg and they do a lot of different double-team attacks on it. Eventually, it’s starting to drag, but Davey makes the tag. Dynamite delivers an awesome flurry of offense, throws Raymond out of the ring and Davey attacks him on the outside. Davey delivers a running powerslam on Raymond and Jacques breaks the pin. As Dynamite repeately punches Raymond in the corner, Jacques grabs him from behind and hits a back suplex. The match is really good so far, but then he starts to overdo it with the rest holds. Soooo many rest holds. Even more false tag spots. They go forever building up this hot tag and what happens? Dynamite simply chops Jacques, walks over and makes the tag. Davey kicks some Rougeaus ass, presses Dynamite into the air and drops him onto Jacques. Raymond distracts the ref and the bell rings. It’s a time limit draw.

Yeah. A time limit draw. That would be fine on its own, but time limit draws are the worst because in matches like this, they waste as much time as possible via rest holds. What would have been a great match is turned to garbage because they keep finding themselves ahead of schedule. Anyway, the Rougeaus try to shake hands, suckerpunch both Bulldogs and get chased to the back.

This atrocious first hour continues with Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera. Brown isn’t very good, but at least he’s cool to watch when he’s in the ring with someone who knows what he’s doing. Patera is not one of those guys. Brown attacks him upon entering the ring and although Patera gives him a terrible clothesline and a bodyslam, Brown still presses on with a series of offense that’s mostly punch-based with some choking mixed in there. Patera, who should have the more exciting offense due to being a face, is instead boring as hell. He puts Brown in a bearhug and to Brown’s credit, he sells it wonderfully until escaping with a thumb to the eye. Patera keeps trying for the full nelson and Brown keeps running into the corner to stop him. Patera botches up a storm while tossing Brown into the corner and the two keep twirling around on their way to the post, unsure of what kind of reversal spot they’re supposed to be doing. Patera misses a shoulder tackle, hits the post and gets treated to the Ghetto Blaster. Brown gets the pin, though Patera is back on his feet only seconds later. Way to sell. Definitely one of the worst Summerslam matches of all time.

Up next is “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Junkyard Dog. I’m interested in this match since Rude is one of those guys who is brilliant at getting a good match out of someone so limited in the ring, but strong on charisma. Remember how in the late-90’s we’d see genuinely good looking women fawning over Val Venis as he removes his towel? Madison Square Garden in the 80’s wasn’t especially great in comparison.

Yikes. Though I guess that frumpy girl in the preview frame isn’t that bad.

They start it strong. JYD backdrops Rude so that Rude lands right on his ass, then JYD hits his crawling headbutts. Rude rolls out of the ring and gets dragged back in. It isn’t until JYD misses a falling headbutt that Rude is able to regroup. Rude gets him with a top-rope axe-handle and some strangling when Heenan has the ref distracted. In a rather comedic moment, Rude puts JYD in an armbar and stands with the arm between his legs. He jumps up, trying to slam down on the arm with his body. Apparently, JYD’s so tough that Rude hurts himself and his two little friends instead. JYD tries to get his hands on Heenan, but opens himself for a Rick Rude Russian Legsweep. Rude climbs to the top rope and pulls down his pants to show another pair of pants with Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ wife airbrushed all over. He delivers a punch to the prone JYD, Jake Roberts runs in, beats the crap out of Rude and clotheslines him out of the ring. Rude wins by disqualification and Jake has to explain to an angry JYD that he didn’t win.

After the match, Gorilla Monsoon announces, “That was a beauty!” No, Gorilla. No it was not. This match could have been a fun match, but it ended before it could really go anywhere. Not only that, but I can’t see why they didn’t use the PPV format to sell the Jake/Rude feud instead of just using it as slow buildup. I didn’t even know this angle was going on until the ending and had I watched it at the time, I’d know that JYD was going to be window dressing.

Time for The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov) vs. the Powers of Pain (Warlord and Barbarian). The Powers of Pain are faces here, acompanied by a hooded guy in facepaint called the Baron. On commentary, Billy Graham refers to the Bolsheviks’ manager Slick as “Oil Slick” which sounds pretty damn racist to me, but what do I know. They brawl immediately and the Powers of Pain come out on top. Volkoff tries sneaking out the ring and grabbing Warlord by the leg, only it barely does anything. He and Barbarian still clear the ring. Warlord holds the advantage for his team, giving a nice belly-to-belly suplex to Zhukov, but Volkoff breaks the pin. Warlord acts as the face in peril, but it’s barely effective as he never goes off his feet and he still fights them off regardless. On the outside, Baron and Slick begin to face off, but Slick turns tail. Volkoff gives Warlord a spin kick and it still won’t drop him. A double backdrop from the Bolsheviks is met with a clobbering on both their backs. Warlord tags, Barbarian lets loose, boots Volkoff out of the ring, the two do a double shoulder tackle to Zhukov, Warlord delivers a running powerslam and Barbarian finishes it with a headbutt off the top. The match isn’t pretty by any means, but does a good job in building up the Powers of Pain. Not only in that it shows them as more dominant than the other team, but even for their limited skill, they look like gold compared to Volkoff and Zhukov.

The first really good match of the show comes from Honky Tonk Man walking out and claiming that he doesn’t know who his replacement opponent is. “Get me somebody out here to wrestle. I don’t care who!” Then the iconic electric guitar theme kicks in and we get Honky Tonk Man defending the WWF Intercontinental Championship against the Ultimate Warrior. It’s 30 seconds of Warrior running through Honky Tonk like the Elvis impersonator is made of wet paper. After a big splash, it’s over and we have a new Intercontinental Champion. Quick, but exceptionally well done. Keep in mind, Honky Tonk had that belt for over two years at this point. He finally got what was coming to him.

Don “The Rock” Muraco faces Dino Bravo and the quality drops again. While not as quick as the previous match, it is mercifully short. They feel each other out to start and test each other’s power with Muraco getting the advantage. Dino sells very awkwardly from a monkey flip and a hiptoss and Muraco spends a while completely in control. Monsoon states that the tide has changed repeatedly but it really hasn’t! Dino hasn’t gotten in a single offensive maneuver! The match is pretty basic, but not too bad, honestly. Muraco attacks Dino’s manager Frenchy Martin, picks up Dino for a bodyslam and the ref gets hit in the face. Muraco lets go and Dino puts him down with a side suplex. For the most part, they work well with each other, but Dino taking a beating and then winning with nothing more than a sidewalk slam is stupid.

More tag action as Demolition (Ax and Smash) defend the WWF Tag Team Championship against the Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart). Ax overpowers Bret in the opening lockup, but Bret responds by pummeling both of them. He outwrestles Smash, tags in Anvil and he goes to town. Ax saves his partner by kicking Anvil in the back when he gets close enough, but Anvil’s still able to punch Smash back and tag in Bret. Smash throws Bret chest-first into the corner and they work over Bret for a while. I tell you, having so many tag matches on one show isn’t the best idea. We get the same spots again and again, made worse by how the opening match drew it out to a ridiculous degree. Bret spends a while unable to make a tag that the referee sees until Smash runs into Bret’s boot and a hot tag is made. Anvil clears the ring and grabs the rope. Bret, on the outside, pulls the rope back and launches Anvil into Smash on the floor. Anvil gives Smash a powerslam and he kicks out. They do some double-team moves and Smash continues to kick out. Anvil takes a break to pummel Mr. Fuji who completely no-sells it all and during the confusion, Ax slams Jimmy Hart’s megaphone into the back of Bret’s skull. They get the pin and retain.

I forgot to mention Jimmy Hart. Since the Hart Foundation has gone face, their contract with Jimmy is still valid and he proceeds to hang out at ringside in all their matches and run them down on his megaphone. I dig that idea.

Luckily, these two teams have a far better showing two years after the fact.

Big Boss Man vs. Koko B. Ware is another squash that doesn’t belong on a PPV, but the two guys are good enough to make it watchable. Though Boss Man is at his fattest, he still moves like a rocket. Boss Man attacks Koko from behind and throws him out of the ring. Koko fights back with some dropkicks, which Boss Man sells especially well, causing him to fall into the ropes and get tied up. Koko delivers a jumping headbutt on the tied Boss Man, but soon after he frees himself and crushes Koko with an Avalanche. He chooses not to pin Koko and instead goes for a top-rope splash. He misses, but still gets up first. He misses a Mafia Kick in the corner and crotches himself. Koko starts bombarding him with boxing punches, takes him down with a Missile Dropkick and splashes onto him. He gets a two-count as Boss Man throws him off. Koko pounces at him and gets thrown out of the ring. Soon after, Boss Man delivers the Boss Man Slam and gets the win. After the match, he beats Koko with his nightstick. Good chemistry for such a one-sided matchup.

Hercules faces Jake “The Snake” Roberts and while Heenan is supposed to be Herc’s manager, he isn’t at ringside at all because the main event is too important. While the match has an air of unimportance to it, they still work incredibly well together. You get an idea that it’s about Jake’s brains vs. Herc’s brawn. There’s a cool spot early on where Herc keeps swinging at Jake and every single punch gets blocked. Herc tries running at him instead and gets bodyslammed. Herc takes over and puts Jake in a chinlock, only I’m not complaining. Jake sells it so well that you actually feel like rooting for him! It’s a resthold that doesn’t come off as a guy just taking a break. When Jake tries to break out and turn it into a hammerlock, Herc elbows him in the ribs and Jake falls out of the ring. Jake finally gets his mojo going with a jawbreaker, a series of jabs, a short-arm clothesline and sets up for the DDT. Instead, he’s backdropped. He fires back with a kneelift, but misses and goes flying into the corner. Herc goes for a bodyslam, Jake slides out behind him and puts him down with a DDT. After the pin, he drops Damien onto Herc’s prone body and that is that.

Now for the main event. In yet another tag match, the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage) take on the Mega Bucks (“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant). Surprisingly, the Mega Powers come out together to Savage’s theme. I would have expected separate entrances to sate Hogan’s ego. Before the match, special referee Ventura makes it apparent that he’s not going to take Hogan’s shit. Savage starts the match with the dumbest move he can by locking up with Andre. As you can guess, he’s overpowered and Dibiase is tagged in. Dibiase doesn’t want Savage and instead asks him to tag in Hogan. Savage obliges. Hogan gives him an Atomic Drop and Dibiase bounces towards Savage, who punches him back into Hogan, who punches him back into Savage and so on.

This whole thing reminds me of an old arcade game WWF Superstars, which featured 6 playable characters in tag matches where the final level is the Mega Bucks. The whole thing was a pain in the ass because while Dibiase is definitely beatable, Andre isn’t, so if he’s tagged in, you’re going to lose some quarters until he tags out. That’s how this match is.

Hogan and Savage make very frequent tags and work Dibiase over, even tossing in a double boot. Dibiase kicks out. Savage attacks Andre on the apron, which sets the Giant off. He proceeds to deliver headbutts to both Mega Powers members and then starts sitting down on Hogan. He squeezes Hogan’s trapezius, but then starts to strangle Hogan with the Tarzan strap of Andre’s singlet. Dibiase works him over, Hogan Hulks Out of a chinlock (seems a waste to me, but okay) and the two clothesline each other. Hogan is able to tag Savage and the brief show of Savage vs. Dibiase is some awesome, awesome stuff. Then Andre comes in and crushes Savage. Dibiase plays with Savage for a bit, only to miss an elbow drop off the second rope. Hogan beats on Dibiase, Andre runs in and gets clotheslined down. Hogan tries putting him in a sleeper hold and Savage follows by jumping off the top rope. Andre catches him with a boot to the face, gets up, headbutts Hogan and clears the ring. Ventura starts to count them out.

This is when things get completely silly and so extraordinarily 80’s that I can’t help but laugh my ass off and enjoy the show. Elizabeth stands on the apron and all the heels look at her and yell at her to get down. Then she removes her dress and reveals a pair of shiny red panties underneath. The idea is great. Andre is confused. Dibiase is angry. Ventura is drooling. The problem is that they do it for so long that they keep having to stay in character and never stop. Outside the ring, the hurt Hogan and Savage sneak around and do the MEGA POWERS HANDSHAKE OF SUPER FRIENDSHIP that I described earlier before Hogan points upwards at the corner post. Elizabeth throws her dress into Dibiase’s face, Savage gives Andre an axe-handle off the top rope, Hogan bodyslams Dibiase, Savage delivers the top-rope elbow and Hogan follows with the legdrop. Ventura is a little reluctant to count, but Savage forces him to do it by physically grabbing Ventura’s arm and shoving it to the mat.

And so the day is saved, thanks to… THE MEGA POWERS!

Hogan’s theme plays after all. Oh well.

The show has a pretty terrible undercard, but damn if the Warrior, Jake “The Snake” and main event matches didn’t keep me entertained.


Date: August 29, 1994
Era: New Generation
Location: United Center in Chicago, Illinois
Known as: Dominos presents Undertaker vs. Undertaker

Since losing a Casket Match the Royal Rumble, the Undertaker had vanished into the ether. There was no sign of him anywhere. Ted Dibiase came out to say that he had used his resources to unearth the undead one and reintroduced him to the public. This Undertaker seemed a bit different and was far more corrupt, taken in by the power of Dibiase’s money. Paul Bearer saw something was wrong and had a match signed of Undertaker vs. Undertaker. How could such a thing be possible outside of a videogame? Leslie Nielson is on the case… apparently.

Meanwhile, Bret Hart has won the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania, but this is only hours after losing to his own brother Owen. Jealous and feeling he deserves the belt, Owen wants a piece of Bret in the steel cage.

The Atmosphere

There’s no intro to this show. Instead, Randy Savage comes out with a microphone as the master of ceremonies and proceeds to talk up the show. A couple times later, he’d do so again and just talk about stuff we already know. Seeing as how this is his final WWF PPV appearance, it’s understandable why he would want to leave. He wants to be a wrestler and Vince has him doing… this. Backstage, Leslie Nielson meets up with his Naked Gun co-star George Kennedy and they work together to figure out the mystery of there being two Undertakers. Unfortunately, this stuff isn’t funny in the least. There’s little attempt at humor.

The promos of the show are pretty sweet. Diesel is both Intercontinental Champion AND Tag Team Champion, so he calls himself Midas because everything he touches turns to gold. Tatanka gets on Lex Luger’s case for supposedly selling out to Ted Dibiase, even though Luger insists that he’s innocent. Over half the fans at home believe Luger to be guilty based on a phone poll. Because of the time needed to set up and take down the steel cage, they kill a lot of time by doing lengthy video packages for the final two matches and spend a while interviewing the Harts in the audience, as well as an extra smug Jim Neidhart. Bret gives one of his best, most emotional interviews where he claims that he doesn’t hate Owen’s guts. He just pities him. Neidhart on the other hand… yeah, Bret totally hates his guts.

The Matches

To start we have the Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu) vs. Irwin R. Schyster and Bam Bam Bigelow. This is supposed to be for the tag belts, but the Headshrinkers just lost those belts to Michaels and Diesel at a show a day or so earlier. Got to love the Clique. Fatu and Bam Bam mix it up, which is a great big man match. Fatu tries to bodyslam him and instead falls back. Bam Bam hits a sweet enziguri and misses a headbutt off the top. Both Headshrinkers give Bam Bam a superkick and he scrambles to tag in IRS. HUGE heat for this guy even though he’s been doing the same stuff for three years by this point. IRS lunges at Samu with a jumping clothesline, misses and goes flying to the outside. When Fatu runs the ropes, Bam Bam pulls them down, causes Fatu to spill out of the ring and Bam Bam slams Fatu’s head into IRS’s briefcase. The two end up in the ring where they both go for a crossbody at the same time. They each make a tag and Samu opens up on IRS with backdrops and headbutts. He gets a second-rope headbutt on him only to have Bam Bam break the pin. The Headshrinkers do their double forward Russian legsweep move on IRS, Samu hits a splash off the top and the ref is too distracted to make the pin. Bam Bam pulls Samu out, punches Captain Lou Albano and a pissed off Afa slides into the ring to beat the everloving crap out of Bam Bam. The Headshrinkers are disqualified, but with Afa, they hit a triple headbutt on Bam Bam. Both teams brawl to the back and I have to say, this match rules. Everyone works especially well with each other and even the DQ ending makes me smile based on how I like the idea of this feud continuing.

Next up is another great showdown with Alundra Blayze defending the WWF Woman’s Championship against Bull Nakano. There are some girls in the ring who hand each woman some flowers. Luna Vachon is in Nakano’s corner and hits Alundra with one weak-ass flower shot as if it means anything. The two wrestlers shake hands and Nakano kicks Alundra in the stomach. They attack back and forth and the crowd completely eats it up. It’s a really hot crowd here. Alundra does a surprise hurricanrana and follows with some roundhouse kicks. She misses one and gets a double chokeslam from Nakano. Nakano does what I guess I should label as a Texas Cloverleaf, but she doesn’t even cross the legs. It’s like she just does a Boston Crab with both legs being held by one arm. It’s pretty impressive-looking. Alundra gets the ropes and Nakano changes the hold into something I… I can’t even describe what the hell she’s doing to her. All I know is that it looks like it hurts and it looks cool.

She lets go of it and Luna attacks Alundra. The champ gets back up and starts getting Nakano with some jumping takedowns. She puts Nakano in piledriver position and not only does Nakano refuse it, but she holds her hand out and wags her finger no. She backdrops Alundra. Another hurricanrana attempt is turned into a powerbomb. Alundra kicks out. Nakano misses a legdrop off the top, Alundra takes a second to punch Luna, gives Nakano a German suplex and pins her. The crowd goes completely nuts, which is amusing when you compare their reaction to the main event.

Diesel defends the Intercontinental Championship against Razor Ramon. Since they’re best buddies in real life, you know that they’ll put together a passable match. In fact, I’d say that we’re getting a hat trick of fantastic matches. Since Diesel has Michaels in his corner, Razor has Walter Peyton because… why not? Razor flicks his toothpick at Big Daddy Cool, ducks a clothesline and then lets loose with a lot of punches until Diesel falls out of the ring. Michaels calms him down with a pep talk and Diesel reenters and takes control. Razor ducks a boot and hits Diesel with a clothesline. He relies on more and more punches and throws in a backdrop, which is countered with Diesel spiking Razor’s skull into the mat. Razor escapes a sleeper hold and rushes Diesel, but all that gets him is a trip out of the ring. Michaels removes a pad from one of the corners and starts shit with Peyton. While the ref isn’t looking, he then jumps off the steps and clotheslines Razor. The ref begins to count him out, but Razor rolls in before it’s too late.

The ref notices the bare corner and stops Diesel from using it. As he argues with Michaels over the missing pad, Diesel throws Razor into the aforementioned corner and follows with a Sidewalk Slam. Razor kicks out. Razor fights back, gets put down with a boot and escapes the pin by putting his foot on the rope. Diesel holds Razor with an abdominal stretch and grabs the rope. Peyton gets the ref to notice it and Diesel has to let go. Razor tries the same hold and instead receives a hiptoss. Diesel gets shoved into the padless corner, is rolled up and kicks out. Razor keeps on him, even with a second-rope bulldog, but can’t put him away. He shoves Michaels off the apron and into the guardrail and gets elbowed in the face when trying to suplex Diesel from behind. Diesel goes for the Jackknife, which is reversed into a backdrop. Razor sets up the Razor’s Edge, which we know will never happen and Michaels distracts him from going through with it.

Michaels comes up with a plan of pretending to pass the Intercontinental belt into the ring, only to have Peyton tug of war with him over it. The ref yells at Peyton and Michaels helps double-team Razor behind it all. Diesel holds Razor up for Sweet Chin Music, Razor moves out of the way, Diesel gets clobbered, Peyton keeps Michaels from reentering the ring to break the pin and Razor succeeds in pinning Diesel. Having lost his title, Diesel is pissed at Michaels while Michaels is just frustrated in general.

Our next match is still not too bad, though is still a huge step down from the previous three matches. Lex Luger takes on Tatanka. Tatanka has been insisting that Luger is in Dibiase’s thrall and that we’ll see how corrupt Luger really is tonight. Luger says that isn’t true. I notice that that’s a theme at Summerslam.

Ludvig Borga: You stand for destruction of the environment!
Lex Luger: No, I don’t!
Tatanka: You’re a scummy, greedy person!
Lex Luger: No, I’m not!
Diesel: You’re here to help the bad guys!
Lex Luger: Seriously! I’m not! Screw this, I’m going to WCW.

Luger gets the infamous “Cena reaction” from the fans with loud cheers mixed with equally loud boos. It’s hard to say if it’s because half of them believe Tatanka’s accusations or if half of them just outright don’t like his patriotic ass. Tatanka keeps yelling at Luger that he’s sold out repeatedly to the point that I can’t understand how anyone with half a brain wouldn’t expect shenanigans on Tatanka’s side. They wrestle back and forth with a slow build until they start wailing on each other back and forth with punches. Tatanka starts doing his Hulk Up dance around Luger while chopping him, gives him a suplex and then a chop off the top rope. A crossbody off the top misses and Luger clotheslines him. Around this time, Ted Dibiase walks out with a smug look on his face. Luger gives Tatanka a powerslam and then yells at Dibiase, telling him to stay out of his life. Tatanka rolls Luger up for a pin that doesn’t look all that effective, but wins anyway. Really, the thing that holds down this match is it’s only 6-minutes of action as the whole face vs. face appeal could have been fun for a bit longer.

Still, I enjoy the follow-up. Luger is mad at what’s happened, but understands Tatanka taking advantage of a match in progress. He goes to confront Dibiase with Tatanka now believing Luger’s word. He then attacks Luger from behind and gives him two Trail of Tears (Samoan drops). Tatanka and Dibiase hug and leave while talking trash. Dibiase, having the grandest time, suggests that they give Luger a little more. They come back to the ring, Tatanka gives Luger the Million Dollar Dream and then places a dollar bill in his mouth.

The next match is surprisingly good too. It’s Jeff Jarrett vs. Mabel. Yeah, I don’t know either! Jarrett sucks against D’Lo but looks good against Mabel. It’s crazy. Jarrett dodges the big man’s punch and struts. Mabel performs an armbar takedown and struts himself. The next time Jarrett does his strut, Mabel simply grabs and strangles him. One of the more impressive moments comes from a spot where Jarrett actually leapfrogs over Mabel as Mabel bounces across the ropes! When Jarrett then lays on the mat so Mabel will jump over him, Mabel decides to just elbow drop him. Jarrett is knocked out of the ring and angrily shoves Oscar before tripping Mabel. He gives two second-rope axe-handles and goes for one off the top. He’s caught and put in a bearhug, escaping by scraping the eyes. Jarrett goes for a sleeper and gets crushed twice into the corner. Mabel shows off his ability to do the spinning heel kick and for some reason they decide to show us the crowd where baseball-based wrestler Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz is on strike. Hoo boy.

Back to the good stuff. Jarrett kicks out of a powerslam and again scratches Mabel’s eyes. He attacks Oscar once more, only this time Mabel grabs Jarrett and allows his manager a modicum of revenge via slapping him. Back in the ring, Mabel misses a splash off the second rope, but shoves Jarrett off of him. Jarrett tries a Sunset Flip. Mabel counters by sitting down on him, only for Jarrett to scoot out of the way. He immediately rolls Mabel up – convincingly, I might add — and gets the upset pin. Mabel proceeds to chase him backstage. Great job getting the new heel over while making Mabel keep his status as a threat. Come to think of it, that may have been the best Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V match I’ve ever seen.

Look at that. So far, I’ve been having a blast with this show. How come it’s this low on the list? I’m going to get hated for this, but a smidgeon of it has to do with our next match where Bret “The Hitman” Hart defends the WWF Championship against “The King of Harts” Owen Hart in a Steel Cage Match. The two of them had one of the all-time best wrestling matches at Wrestlemania 10 and keep that chemistry in this match. They honestly come off as two guys who want to beat the hell out of each other and all the moves are as crisp as they should be. It’s just that after all the lead-up and high hopes that come from such a rematch, we get over a half hour of one of the most tedious wrestling matches I’ve ever seen.

The opening couple minutes are pretty cool with that tense offense on both sides, but the moment Owen hits his enziguri and tries to climb out, the match falls flat. Here’s how the match goes: Owen either tries to climb out or tries to escape through the door. Bret stops him. Then Bret tries to climb out or escape through the door. Owen stops him. Occasionally, a single move will happen to break the monotony, but it goes back to the two of them trying to escape until the other pulls them back in. It goes on and on and on and I really can’t see the appeal. Fast forwarding to the end of the match, Bret gives Owen a superplex off the top of the cage and then crawls towards the door. Owen puts him in the Sharpshooter, which Bret reverses into his own Sharpshooter. Bret climbs the cage, Owen follows and they both fall off. Owen climbs up the cage, Bret follows and on the outside of the cage, they fight it out. Owen’s head is slammed into the cage and his leg gets caught, so he’s suspended in the air. Bret climbs down and wins. In the crowd, Jim Neidhart jumps Davey Boy Smith, brings Bret back into the cage and locks the door. All the Hart family members try to climb in and Bulldog and Owen try to stop them one by one while taking turns hurting Bret. Eventually, the Harts get in and the two heels escape. They follow up with an angry promo backstage about how the whole family’s turned on them.

I’m not saying I hated the match, but I really can’t see what’s so great about it. It’s the same spot on repeat for most of it.

Now for the main event, the Undertaker vs. the Undertaker. Out first is Dibiase’s Undertaker (who I will from here on out refer to as the Underfaker), wearing his gray gloves. In actuality, he’s Brian Lee, also known as Chainz from the Disciples of the Apocalypse. Paul Bearer comes out next with a casket with him. Inside the casket is a new urn with a flashlight inside. This whole intro segment takes forever and when you add it with the recap video packages, it might take even longer than the match itself. The real Undertaker arrives in his new purple gloves.

Once in the ring, there is an aura of coolness to it. They take their hats off at the same time. They face off and the real Undertaker does the cutthroat motion before catching a punch. They shoulderblock each other, but there’s no budging in either, so they continue to stare. Undertaker knocks his evil clone out of the ring and Underfaker proceeds to stalk Paul Bearer. He’s pulled back into the ring with a suplex. Underfaker at one point tries for Old School, but gets chokeslammed off the ropes. He sits back up. Undertaker completes his own version of Old School, runs at Underfaker and receives a very botched rendition of the Stun Gun. The crowd here is completely dead and I can’t blame them. Two zombies stalking around and no-selling everything isn’t a fun match. At least when we got Undertaker vs. Kane, they showed passion.

Underfaker keeps hitting Undertaker, but he just refuses to sell. You can see in one moment that Underfaker is getting frustrated. He delivers a chokeslam and after a delay, Undertaker sits back up. Underfaker does the Tombstone and stands there, making the money gesture with his fingers until Undertaker sits back up. A second Tombstone is flipped over so that Undertaker is the one standing. He drops his doppelganger with a Tombstone, picks him up, Tombstone, picks him up again and Tombstone. He gets the three count and the crowd suddenly wakes up to cheer. Dibiase runs off and in the back, George Kennedy decides that Leslie Nielson has figured out the mystery based on a nearby briefcase being closed. They really slept through that writers’ meeting.

I’m glad that one’s done with. To think that they tried the same angle with Kane and had the same results. Oh well. Tune in tomorrow where we get our first show from the past decade.

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4 comments to “The Summerslam Countdown: Day Three”

  1. Ahhhh, someone else who thinks the Bret/Owen cage match is something other than an all-time classic! Good man.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing that Santino/Sheamus video. They are my two favorites and, as I am new to the world of wrestling, I had never seen that segment. Thank you good sir, thank you!

  3. […] This mornings post was extra exciting to me because, at the very top I see that Gavok has included a youtube video titled “WWE Raw 11.8.10 – Santino Marella And Vladimir Kozlov Hosts Tea Party With Sheamus.” Santino and Sheamus showing up together in the ring, for a tea party no less… AWESOME! While watching the video I find out that there was apperently a match between the two that I have not heard about. WHAT?! How did I miss this? […]

  4. Ludvig Borga: You stand for destruction of the environment!
    Lex Luger: No, I don’t!
    Tatanka: You’re a scummy, greedy person!
    Lex Luger: No, I’m not!
    Diesel: You’re here to help the bad guys!
    Lex Luger: Seriously! I’m not! Screw this, I’m going to WCW.


    Macho Man: You’re in league with the Dungeon of Doom! Admit it!
    Lex Luger: Ah, cripes. No, I-
    Lex Luger: If you would just watch replays of the show, you’d see-
    Sting: Are you with the nWo or not?
    Lex Luger: Well… yeah, I guess I am.