History of Summerslam Count Up – 1990: Very Sentimental Favorite

Summerslam 1990
Date: August 27, 1990
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 19,304
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Roddy Piper

This is the first PPV that I ever had bought for me and we literally went through three copies of it as the tape itself was literally falling apart. As far as updates go, a few things have happened since we were last around for Summerslam. Ventura is gone which kind of sucks. For once, and this was very rare back then, Vince is handling commentary tonight.

Warrior won the title at Mania, having dropped the IC belt down to no one but Perfect won it in a tournament, becoming one of the best IC Champions of all time. Hogan has been out of action all summer after Earthquake beat him up, and tonight is his triumphant return to face the big man. Warrior is having a token title defense against Rude in a cage, in what would be Rude’s last match with the company before taking a year off before debuting as the Halloween Phantom in WCW a year later.

Finally, and this is actually the most important thing you’ll see, a mysterious person has been sending Sapphire very expensive gifts. It would turn out to be DiBiase, who would begin to feud with Rhodes, leading to November’s Survivor Series. At that show, DiBiase would bring in a mystery partner, who was from Death Valley. It blows my mind to think that matches this old were two months before his debut. He might have even been on some house shows at this point.

Anyway, this show is going to have a lot of high grades for pure nostalgia for me, so expect a high overall rating as I know about half the commentary for the show despite having watched it once in about 15 years.

Before the show starts, the version I have comes with a bonus promo from Warrior, standing behind a cage wall. There’s no ring or other three walls. It’s just a single wall of a cage that the belt is handing from. Well of course he’s got a piece of a steel cage!

Don’t you have one sitting in your living room? Standard Warrior insanity here as the big deal was supposed to be that Rude has been in cage matches before but Warrior never has. Does anyone remember Rude in a cage match that meant anything?

In something completely random that’s an exclusive, we get Brother Love’s Summerslam picks. This is very weird as Gene says you can make your picks now, for the MONDAY night showing of Summerslam. Yes, back then, PPVs weren’t always on Mondays. On my tape (homemade), this is AFTER the IC Title match, which is weird because he makes a pick for that match. I put this here because it makes more sense here, but I don’t remember this at all.

It’s billed as a double main event, but it’s Hogan as the centerpiece as usual. Roddy on commentary is just weird but kind of cool at the same time, aside from his anti-Iraq line in the first 15 seconds. This is getting annoying as I’m quoting everything both guys are saying.

Rockers vs. Power and Glory

Shawn is legit hurt coming into this as you can see him limping to the ring. They play on that by having Hercules (Power) hit him in the knee with the chain, making this a handicap match. We start with Paul Roma (Glory, and somehow a future Horseman) against Jannetty. It’s a handicap match which is all it can be. They touch on Shawn’s knee injury as they knew about it coming in so they pretty much had to keep this short.

Almost a third of the match is the brawl where Shawn’s knee is hurt and then the rest is Jannetty fighting for all he’s worth, even hitting the top rope punch at one point. However, he of course falls to the suplex/splash combination and gets pinned rather easily. Shawn gets in after the match is over and they beat on him even more. He of course acts like he’s been shot and caught in a bear trap as he’s put on a stretcher and is carted out.

Rating: B-. Absolutely perfect for an opener. This was all over the place and you had to pay attention to keep up with it. It was fast, in your face, and not bad at all. While for a regular match it would have been horrible, the crowd was hot as always being a Philly crowd, and this got them very awake.

Now the IC Title match is up next and it was supposed to be Beefcake winning the belt from Perfect, but he had the famous parasailing accident that pretty much ended his career. That wasn’t mentioned but it was the case. Anyway, this rookie named The Texas Tornado, Kerry Von Erich took Beefcake’s place and he’s getting the match on about a week’s notice.

Intercontinental Title: Mr. Perfect vs. Texas Tornado

Before the match we get promos from both, with Perfect saying he’s perfect. Now we move on to Tornado’s promo, and for some reason I have always loved this one. There’s not much to it, but it just is great to me for some reason. He talks about how he’s going to touch down in the ring and destroy everything in his path, then take the IC title back into the clouds. Something about this is just sweet to me.

Maybe it’s that Von Erich was an amazing talent that sadly would be dead in three years. There’s a somewhat infamous glitch here as Hennig is wearing yellow and Von Erich is wearing yellow in his promo. However, when he comes to the ring he’s wearing white, so I guess they had him change in between. His music is completely awesome too. Yes, I think I’m a Von Erich mark. He’s even rocking the old school sequin robes.

You can tell they made a quick switch as he still had the yellow knee pads on. The crowd here is so ridiculously hot it’s hard to believe. The match itself is actually pretty short and very standard stuff. The crowd being as into it as they are and Hennig’s mind blowingly good selling makes it work though.

He gets Kerry in the corner and slaps him a bunch of times before Von Erich goes off on him, landing a slingshot into the corner which busts his head on the post. Claw hold and Tornado Punch follow for a title change! Afterwards, Hennig falls out of the ring (likely legitimately drunk) and Tornado celebrates as Piper makes fun of him.

Rating: B. This was just pure fun. Perfect was so hated it was unbelievable and Tornado had the skills already that he could make it look good too. That’s the beauty of bringing in a guy from a glorified indy fed: there’s no learning curve. He didn’t have to spend time working with no name guys and you could throw him into the fire, knowing you’d get something good. Great way to put him over here, and it worked like a charm.

Gene is supposed to talk to Sapphire but she’s nowhere in sign. I smell a show wide angle! Heenan runs in to whine about the Tornado breaking rules. Perfect and Hennan’s freaking out is absolutely great. He really did go insane as well as anyone ever did.

Sensational Sherri vs. Sapphire

Oh lord this isn’t going to be good. Sherri is at least good in the ring, but Sapphire? DANG, I saw one of her matches and it made Jackie vs. Trish from Raw in 03 look good (Yes I know it was a tag match so save your corrections). Sherri is in a mask and paint. I guess there’s a point to that. Sapphire doesn’t come out. The music starts again and a third time and no big fat blue rock. Sherri wins by count out. This was purely a way to play to the major angle later on.

Dusty is in the back with Gene saying that something strange is going on. When I was a kid this always gave me chills. In a completely random cameo that becomes unintentional comedy, Dusty calls over Hacksaw Jim Duggan and asks if they’ve seen her. He says no but they’re still looking. Duggan leaves.

He’s on screen all of 6 seconds but it’s just so random that it made me laugh. Dusty talks about the gifts she’s been getting, which are ridiculously expensive. Somehow no one picked up on the fact that DiBiase hadn’t been seen in awhile and only he could afford this. Dusty really is great on the mic. There’s something about his delivery that just flows perfectly.

Tito Santana vs. Warlord

If there has ever been a guy that had all kinds of opportunities thrown to him but just never could pull it off, it’s Warlord. He had an awesome build, a great look, a cool name and he got multiple mini pushes. I think the problem might have been he was too different looking. Maybe it’s that he wasn’t great in the ring. For some reason though, nothing ever worked for him. He wasn’t lazy or annoying or anything like that.

Simply put, he just never caught on. He was a generic big man with muscles, and I’ve never really understood why he didn’t get at least a bit of a reaction. At the time, Tito was a complete and total jobber to the stars. He was in the middle of nothing at the time and was just out there to make people like Warlord look good. Santana would become El Matador soon and it would kind of revitalize his career but not that much.

He was always good for a solid performance though, so it was clear why he stayed around as long as he did. I think I’m starting to get why Warlord never did anything: he’s the most generic guy I’ve ever seen in my entire life as a fan. There is nothing about anything he does that stands out. There’s nothing of note here really, as Santana tries as hard as he can but Warlord hits the powerslam to win the match in the end.

Rating: C+. This is quite acceptable on all levels. It was meant to make Warlord look good and that’s what Santana did. That’s why people like Finlay and Regal have jobs: they can make young guns look good and be realistic threats at the same time. Talents like them are hard to come by which is why they rarely get let go.

Demolition is in the back, and Mooney is confused about why Crush is there. The idea is that the Harts don’t know which two members of Demolition they’re facing. Apparently it’s Smash and Crush tonight. At the time, Demolition is considered untouchable and while the Harts were known to be great, they were thought to be past their primes at this point and only together in name.

You know, they’re actually quite funny on the mics. They tease the showdown with the Legion of Doom, and my god, the collective orgasms that 80s wrestling fans would have had for that match at Mania for the belts would have flooded a small country.

Tag Titles: Demolition vs. Hart Foundation

Norcal and I have called this the greatest tag team match of all time, and I’m still waiting on another to top it. It’s certainly the best gimmick tag match of all time, at least in my mind. Before the match, the Harts say they don’t care which members of Demolition they face. Anvil says he’s not paid to think. He’s paid to be tough like an anvil. That’s a great line.

As they give the promo about giving Demolition massive heart attacks, I’m watching CNN’s coverage of Michael Jackson’s heart attack, which kind of kills the mood. Good night the Harts were over. I’m getting chills watching this. We go about 4 seconds of Smash and Bret before we get a brawl. Anvil comes in and just levels them both, leading to Roddy asking Vince how he would like it if a guy like Anvil came up to him and asked for a date with his daughter.

That’s quite funny considering who Vince’s daughter would become to us. Imagine Neidhart getting the HHH hate. That would be freaking hilarious. I swear his beard has magical powers. Roddy is OUT THERE on commentary. Crush hits a big move and looks at the crowd. Roddy: “We ain’t looking for dairy products here, we’re fighting!” What in the heck does that mean? Am I missing a joke here or something?

This match has one of the best flows to it that I’ve ever seen. For the most part, it’s back and forth the whole way with neither team ever truly dominating the other. That’s a very difficult thing to do but when it’s done right, you have a great match. Hart is still the best guy out there, but it’s not like he’s blowing them all away. Demolition were a great team even with the change of Crush, and Neidhart it the absolute perfect complement to Bret.

It’s power and speed vs. a lot pf power, which is a great combination as always. Eventually of course we get a brawl, leading to Jim being knocked to the floor and Bret taking Demolition’s finisher for the first fall. This is what I don’t like about 2/3 falls matches. Demolition just pinned the Harts clean, in a standard tag match, yet the Harts get two more chances at it? I get the stipulation changed the way the match works, but that’s always made me scratch my head.

We begin the second fall with Crush and Hart again, just like the end of the last one, as Hart sells like the master that he is. Piper says that Hart needs to get his body under his feet. Wouldn’t that mean having your feet in the air and sitting down?

The style of this fall is completely different as it’s Hart getting beaten down instead of a back and forth match, which works very well for psychology, as we get a great flow to the match, using Demolition’s finisher as the turning point of the match. Anvil finally gets a tag and just kills Demolition. Easily the best I’ve ever seen him look as at that moment, he looked like he could have beaten just about anyone.

Bret gets back into it and the Hart Attack connects, but Crush, after missing his cue and having the referee save him, dives onto the referee, before picking him up and carrying him around the ring, which causes a DQ. Dang, after that kind of a save and he jumps the referee? Someone get that man a hot pretzel and a ham sandwich. He’s earned them. Crush should get a sandwich as well.

He was just giving the nice little man a hug for saving him on the blown spot. Shame the referee won’t open up his heart and let a little love in. The best part of this is Crush shaking his head, as if to say what did I do? It’s either bad acting or unintentional comedy, but either way it’s funny.

In between falls, Bret gets knocked to the floor. As Jim is looking at him, Ax comes down and hides under the ring. Now we get to the fun parts of this match, which is saying something as this has been great stuff so far.

So here we are now, one fall to a finish for the tag titles. We get down to a good old fashioned 80s style tag match and there’s absolutely nothing sweeter than this. It’s the Harts in control early with their powerslam/splash move, which despite having been used many times is still surprising to Vince. Geez how bad is this guy’s memory? He can’t remember how bad a lot of the stuff he puts on now is and he couldn’t remember stuff 19 years ago?

Anyway, Ax comes out from under the ring for the illegal switch and the Harts are in trouble all over again. Wow, who saw that coming? Did anyone ever have an issue telling Demolition apart? I certainly didn’t. Anvil keeps making save after save as Bret is looking like a human punching bag. As all this is happening, the fans are getting loud for some reason, and as we cut to the entry way, we see why: the most awesome team of all time, the LOD are here!

They pull Smash out from underneath the ring and break up another Demolisher (I know that’s not the name but screw it that’s what it should be called), leading to a slingshot shoulder block into a rollup to give the Harts the titles as the fans go nuts! The best part here is the Harts’ music not playing.

It makes you feel like it was a great shock and that the sound guy wasn’t sitting there waiting to press a button. I’ve always liked how Bret would kiss whatever belt he had at the time. It’s recaps a go-go as the music plays and the fans are going off.

Rating: A+. The fans wanted the Harts to win, they wanted Demolition to lose, and they got it in a SWEET style. This was a great tag match with all 5 guys in perfect flow the whole time. The Harts were the underdogs that we all wanted to cheer for and we got to do it. That’s exactly what the fans wanted and it made the fans happy. Couple that with GREAT wrestling and drama and you get a classic match. Norcal and I are right: this is the best tag team match ever, just for how much fun it is.

Promo for WM 7. My lord they messed this up. There were supposed to be 100,000 people. Naturally, this didn’t happen, so there was a bogus excuse to move the show to a smaller place. I love the promo though and could recite the phone number to you by heart.

The LOD are in the back, saying they still want a piece of Demolition, saying they’re the real big men. The Harts show up saying they’ll fight anyone. The emotion in their voices and the looks on their faces are absolutely perfect.

We go to Sean Mooney who is outside Demolition’s locker room, and he says all heck is breaking loose. I certainly don’t remember this much cursing on a 1990 PPV. I’m quite surprised at this. Apparently they’re mad at the LOD.

Gene is with Sherri, who is so proud of winning, and says she’s been hearing rumors about Sapphire.

Sean Mooney (what are these backstage interviewers getting paid tonight?) is with Volkoff and Duggan, who are a tag team for no good reason. They’re going to win tonight apparently. We get a really bad pun about if their opponents are the Orient Express, this is the American Express, and don’t leave home without them. Dear lord just take me now.

Earthquake and Bravo are with the other interviewer along with Jimmy Hart. It’s a recap of the feud with Hogan and Quake.

Jake Roberts vs. Bad News Brown

Brown allegedly has over 200lbs of sewer rats but we never see them which is a good thing probably. Yep Jake appears to be drunk. Oh and Big Boss Man is the special referee. No reason at all for it but who cares about logic? Brown jumps him as the referee is on his way to the ring. Brown takes over and goes for a cover with his foot on the chest.

Both guys go for their finishers which of course don’t connect this early on. Brown grabs a chair and drills Jake in the stomach with it in front of Boss Man which is all cool apparently. Jake gets sent into the corner and flashes a screw you sign as he goes down. Classy dude there. Brown goes for a middle rope punch but Jake gets out of the way.

Brown’s offense is different but cool. Piper says something about oily heads and Arabs which Vince naturally ignores. Brown pops him with the chair again and that’s the DQ. That was rather anti-climactic but whatever. He tries to drop a leg on Damien afterwards but Boss Man makes the save. Roddy: you don’t want to hiss off any snakes. Brown jumps him and Jake gets the snake out to run him off.

Rating: C-. This was fine and the fans popped for the DDT as always. For the life of me though, I don’t get why there needed to be a guest referee. He was going to be in the real main event later on, so what’s the point of having him here?

Gene is with Demolition, who says the Harts cheated. For the love of god, how did we never get Demolition vs. LOD? Seriously, this had to be the easiest lay up of a feud of all time, and we never got it.

Brother Love Show time. There’s little point here. Love gets a medal from Sgt. Slaughter as we officially kick off he’s the next top heel in the Iraqi sympathizer angle that few cared about but some will say gave you one of the best Mania main events ever. He runs down Volkoff, which would lead to a match…in February I believe. This was just an odd angle that didn’t work for me due to the timing of it, as the war was over when this really got going.

Sean is with the Orient Express and Fuji who say Japan will win. This team was pretty much nothing until the masked one showed up and they started going to war with the Rockers. Those matches were freaking awesome to say the least.

Gene finds Sapphire but she goes into a locker room. She won’t talk to anyone.

Orient Express vs. Duggan/Voljoff

Pure filler here as there’s no point to this other than to further the US vs. Iraq storyline. The faces sing God Bless America as my ears bleed a bit. Duggan proves to be a patriot as this was what he’d always hit Nikolai for when it was the Soviet anthem. Now for your pop of the night (so far) Duggan says bless the troops in the Middle East. This is a very, and I do mean very, basic tag match as Volkoff gets beaten up and Duggan makes the big save after the tag and gets the pin off the three point clothesline.

Rating: D+. It was just so bland that it wasn’t any good. It was pure filler and nothing of note happens here. It wasn’t bad, just completely unnecessary.

Dusty is pounding on the door Sapphire went through but she won’t come out. He has to go to his match but he’s going to get to the bottom of this tonight.

Dusty Rhodes vs. Randy Savage

Savage is the king at this point so he’s feuding with the Common Man, Dusty Rhodes. That’s a perfect feud for both so for once they got something very right. Rhodes’ music is just awesome. He power walks to the ring as the man boobs are bouncing big time tonight. Mooney is in the back standing on a ladder to talk to Savage who is on the throne. He also talks about the rumors that are going around which he still won’t reveal.

He does say that Sapphire is smart for not wanting to spend her life with a common man. Were Sapphire and Dusty supposed to be a couple? I never quite got that. Savage comes out on the throne. Dang I’ve always loved that entrance. How cool does it look? Savage fit this persona so well because he could back it up in the ring which isn’t something most kings could do. Savage was just so great back then.

Pomp and Circumstance fits the king gimmick so well too. Perfect match all around for him. Right as Savage gets in, you hear the best laugh of all time as DiBiase is on the stage, saying he’s going to prove everyone has a price.

Of course he’s the guy that’s been buying Sapphire everything and he puts it perfectly: “Who but the Million Dollar Man could afford to do it?” At the same time, everyone says a collective DUH! This is pure evil here and it supports my claim that he’s the greatest heel of all time. Sapphire comes out and takes a bag of money. Rhodes chases them but Savage stops him.

The match itself is about 2 minutes long and there’s nothing worth talking about. Savage starts in control, Rhodes fights back but doesn’t have the fire to do anything. However, Piper does mention that Sapphire didn’t want to be married to a common man all her life, so at least that’s some clarification. Sherri interferes and Rhodes takes a loaded purse to the head to end it.

Rating: N/A. This wasn’t about the match and at two minutes it’s not fair to give it a grade. For the angle, easy A though as this was just basic heel vs. face stuff, but given the performers, it was great.

Sean is in the garage as I wonder what kind of running shoes he has because he could be the fastest man on the planet given the exercise he’s had tonight. Virgil, DiBiase and Sapphire get into the limousine and leave as Rhodes chases them. Ok more like wobbles after them, but he goes down the driveway after them. However, he can’t catch them and I always got very sad about this. It was depressing to see him lose everything he had. In retrospect, this was a great angle.

Hulk Hogan vs. Earthquake

Quake comes to the ring with no real build. That’s rare to see anymore and I really like the way they’re doing it this way. After the heels are in the ring, Hogan and Boss Man are with Okerlund. Hogan says this is for Tugboat, who was the reason Hogan got the support that he did. Boss Man says the heels have the right to be served justice by Judge Hogan. Hogan compares himself to Washington and the Boss Man is Jefferson and it’s time to go!

Boss Man comes out first and the pop is so loud you can barely hear his music. For the love of goodness how loud is Hogan’s going to be? Yep, I’m deaf now. The roof gets blown off and you literally can’t understand what Fink says after Hogan comes through the curtain. All the standard Hogan stuff before we get going and the fans are so hot it’s insane. The wide shot here is awesome as it’s that little yellow thing that is causing the explosion.

Hogan should change his theme to Pac Man’s song. It’s the same idea: a yellow thing that is all over the place and at certain points is completely invincible. Sounds like it to me. Anyway, we get the bell and we’re up and running. They trade power displays and despite Hogan being announced at 302lbs, Vince thinks he’s at about 287, even though he looks exactly the same as he always has, if not a bit fat.

Very soon the two outside guys get involved and both should causes disqualifications but the referee lets it go for no apparent reason. Hogan, like an idiot, goes for a slam. Now he knows better than that. He’s WAY too healthy to do something like that. Why would he think he can do something that doesn’t go against any human sense? Come on Hulk you’re smarter than that. Wow I just said Hogan was smart. I’m working too hard I think.

Quake does a weird sequence where he goes to the top and then puts on a Boston Crab. More interference follows of course, leading to a Hogan comeback. Once again he goes for a slam and it doesn’t work, leading to the true signature Hogan match move: the sleepy hug! It must be sleepy since it needs so much rest. For some reason Hogan tries to grab at the referee and he rips his shirt. I don’t want to see Earl Hebner’s stomach, I truly don’t.

Hogan goes for a freaking cross body. Think about that for a second. That’s just weird to type let alone actually watch. Of course Hogan takes two Earthquakes before the power kickout. I love the way Earthquake hits the ropes. He just leans into them and it’s either great or lazy and I’m not sure which. Do I even need to explain what happens here?

Bravo gets the referee to prevent the pin after the leg drop though, allowing the true star of the match, the man that’s involved with Wrestleicious (ooo Wrestleicious baby!) to interfere before getting beaten up as well. At this point, it occurs to me that he and Hogan are the only two wrestlers involved in this match that are still alive. That’s a very sad thing to think of. Earthquake gets Hart thrown at him, which knocks him down.

So wait, Hogan jumping at him is an easy catch, but Hart knocks him down? Piper’s cheering for Hogan cracks me up as only in pro wrestling could you go from the feud they had to this kind of cheering in just a few years. On the floor, Hogan, in Phila-freaking-delphia of all places, slams Earthquake onto a table. This was over three years before Heyman even got to that city. I’m not even sure if Eastern Championship Wrestling was around yet.

The table doesn’t break and just falls over, but I wonder if this is what inspired ECW. There must be something in the water in that city. Seriously, what’s with the tables thing there? Anyway, Hogan wins by count out before jumping in the air like the end of a bad 80s movie. Come on now; give me some bad pop song as the shot freezes with him in the air pumping his fist. If that happened, I might have died of pure laughter. Post match…come on.

What do you think happens after the match? Actually, it’s not the most obvious answer. Quake completely no sells everything that’s just been done to him as he hits Hogan a few times and chokes him with Hogan lifted off the mat. Boss Man grabs a…I guess that’s supposed to be a chair but it looks more like a small ladder and blasts Quake a few times with it to no result.

The spinning of the nightstick of DOOM gets rid of the heels though so we can have our traditional music and posing. What made this posing thing so cool? It’s just him standing there showing off his muscles, which was odd because there were guys with bigger muscles in the company. I guess it’s just that Hogan is who he is and gets cheers for whatever he does. He could even put on a tutu and dance and it would get high ratings.

Scratch that as Mr. Nanny bombed. Hogan dances around the ring like a chicken which is something that’s going to haunt my dreams for a long, long time. As he poses Boss Man, who also was Hogan’s mortal enemy about a year ago, kind of strolls around the ring doing nothing. Piper reaffirms my faith in him as he says it was a hollow victory and that Boss Man deserves a lot of the credit.

Now I feel better as that’s the Piper I know and love. He’s right too. What did Hogan really prove? That along with another guy he can win with a count out and not get a pin like he normally would? Yeah that’s certainly a great victory.

Rating: B+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be: a chance for the fans to lose their minds over Hogan. It left the door open for the rematch later with Hogan having no rust so he can beat Quake on an even playing field, but that never came at least not on PPV. This definitely should have gone on last though as there’s no doubt that this is the real main event. I remember when I was a kid I hardly ever watched the cage match after this as it just didn’t mean anything to me.

Granted I wasn’t ever much of a Warrior guy after he stole my hero’s title back in April. Anyway, this was a very fun match but from a technical standpoint, kind of sloppy, which given who’s in this, what were you expecting? Fine all around though, so this was a very solid match.

We cut to the back and see Rude with Heenan and Mooney. Rude cuts a very good promo talking about how Rocky Balboa and life imitating art. This is either off a script or great. Heenan is clearly ad-libbing, but Rude I’m not sure on.

Rhodes is here now, talking about chasing down Sapphire but not being able to catch up to her. This is a great promo, talking about how he’s been crushed and he’s only got the fans left to shelter him. This is 80s style at its best. The more promos I hear from Dusty, the more impressed I am by him.

We cut again down to Lord Alfred Hayes, who is in front of the cage that is being built and talking about how the crew is trying to break their record for building a cage, which is kind of interesting but the only thing I can think of is who cares about the cage being built? It’s kind of different and therefore kind of cool I guess. They talk about the way the cage is put together and the weight and dimensions. That’s actually quite cool.

We go BACK to Gene, who is talking with Hulk. I miss the interview centers at PPVs. Hogan is so juiced here it’s amazing. This is a promo that makes so little sense I don’t know where to start. Hogan beat Earthquake. Ok, that’s fine. However, he says he want to be #1 contender to the WWF Title. Again, nothing weird so far. He then says that if he’s not the #1 contender yet, he’ll beat Earthquake as many times as it takes until he’s the #1 contender.

What kind of sense does that make? If that’s the case, why not get Brooklyn Brawler and beat him 1000x until you’re named #1 contender? Hogan’s promos sometimes made less sense than Warrior’s. Also, he debuts the 4th demandment: Believe in yourself. He’s getting a new surfboard too. Hogan surfing is just funny.

Roddy and Vince kill more time, talking about the cage match as Roddy actually picks Rude to win it.

We cut to the back with Earthquake, Bravo and Hart screaming at Hogan and Bossman, saying that it’s not over. Actually it pretty much was. They hooked up at Survivor Series and a very, and I do mean very, brief encounter at the end of the 1991 Royal Rumble.

For the final (and it dang well better be) interview of the night, we go to the Warrior, who has a joke. What do Heenan/Rude have in common with the Liberty Bell? One is cracked and the other is a ding dong. While it’s not funny, it’s just out there to hear from Warrior. He’s literally snarling the whole time Gene is talking.

This is not at all surprising. He says he has an inalienable right to the WWF Champion, which is a line that I really like. He’s going through the Preamble to the Constitution, which is actually really good, and comes dangerously close to making sense.

WWF Title: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude

In a cage remember. This would be Rude’s last major and perhaps last period match in the WWF as he bailed for WCW, but didn’t show up for a year. I guess he was doing indy shows or something. This was odd as he had been insulting Boss Man’s mom, paving the way for a feud between the two of them. Crowd is trying to care but they’re just so worn out from the Hogan match that I guess the break due to building the cage was a great thing for them.

Rude won’t let Warrior into the cage which is kind of stupid. You can’t win until he’s inside, so let him in. They fight on the edge, with Warrior outside and Rude inside. This is a pretty slow paced cage match where the cage is just kind of an accessory. I’m pretty impartial to matches like these, as they can be good or pretty bad, but occasionally you get a great one like at Summerslam 94. This is a far cry from that, mainly because it’s only about 11 minutes long.

That’s a bit of time, but still far from enough to really be effective and show off what the cage can be like. Maybe they’re trying to protect Warrior as they know he’s not the best in matches like this, but maybe they were just low on time. Rude gets the neckbreaker blocked for about the 112th time by Warrior which is still something the announcers have never seen before. Does Vince ever watch a match?

Rude more or less dominates here and screws up huge as he goes to the very top of the cage while Warrior is down and just sits there. He hits a big punch and knocks Warrior silly, but dang man he could have built a new freaking cage in the time he had up there. It made no sense and Piper is losing his mind over how stupid it was on Rude’s part. When Piper says you’re stupid, you’re stupid. What could possibly be stupider than that? HE DOES IT AGAIN!

Good grief no wonder he never won the world title. He was too stupid to do it I guess. Anyway, Rude gets knocked down and here comes the comeback that you all knew was coming. Rude stops it though which surprises me. They go back and forth until Heenan gets in somehow and gets beaten up. NOW we get the real comeback and you know the drill here.

Piper makes an interesting question: when Warrior does the pumping press slam motion, WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN??? Warrior gets the slam and the splash and climbs out, swiveling his hips as he leaves to keep the belt. He poses with the blue/purple belt by swinging it over his head. We plug Survivor Series one more time as we go off the air.

Rating: C-. Crowd just didn’t care after the Hogan match and the 10 minute wait to put up the cage. It was an ok match but absolutely nothing of note happened here. It was exactly what you would expect and no one thought Rude had a freaking prayer. This was ok, but that’s all.

Overall Rating: A-. It’s personal bias, but I freaking love this show. You get a pure classic in the tag title match, some GREAT promos all night, although too many promos in general, a show long story, a white hot crowd, and some nice chances to catch your breath with some filler and how do you not have an awesome show? That’s the thing about filler: it can be a great tool to have, but it’s so easy to go overboard with it and if that happens, you’re in real trouble because the fans are bored.

Feuds were begun and ended, stories were advanced, and the crowd went home happy. How does that not sound awesome? Definite recommendation as they nailed the formula here: have a big card without being as serious as Mania but treat it like Mania, if that makes sense.

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