History of Summerslam Count-Up – 1991: A Wedding That Goes Badly? What A New Concept!

Summerslam 1991
Date: August 26, 1991
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance: 20,000
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Roddy Piper

Obviously it’s a year later and there’s few differences. The main one is that Hogan is once again the world champion (stunning isn’t it?) and the Deadman has arrived. Other than that, there are very few differences. Hart is a singles wrestler now, so that’s the last major difference that I was forgetting. This card is really forgotten over time if you look at it from an historical standpoint.

The main event is Hogan and Warrior against Slaughter and his two cronies in a handicap match, meaning that Sheik Adnan al-Kaissie and the Iron Sheik are supposed to be equal to Hogan or Warrior? Remember Adnan? Neither do I. He was a manager in the AWA and that’s about it. The other big deal is tonight is the marriage of Savage and Elizabeth, because marriage, the most holy of unions, has to be on PPV right???

Other than that, this card is really forgettable. The main interesting point in this is what the Warrior did. He allegedly threatened to no show the PPV unless Vince paid him some obscene amount. He pulled this a few days before the PPV, and Vince really had no choice but to do what Warrior said.

This is where the “I couldn’t wait to fire him” line came from. Warrior got to the back after the match and was fired immediately. Other than that, there’s next to nothing of interest here, but I’ve seen worse cards be watchable, so maybe this one will be as well. Let’s find out.

Very standard opening with the song playing and the announcers talking about the big stuff that evening. Standard, but fine I guess.

Ricky Steamboat/Texas Tornado/British Bulldog vs. Warlord/Power and Glory

Steamboat is just called the Dragon here, and this is the famous scene where he’s dressed as a human lizard that breathes fire into the air. That’s a shame that he’s fallen this far this fast. He’d be back in WCW in just a few months where he was at least given some decent feuds and no stupid costume. Commentators completely ignore the match to talk about the matches later on in the show. Wait, they mentioned the six man.

You know I think these six…no it was just a quick thing about it. I feel like I’m watching a Nitro taping. Tornado comes in and all of a sudden they can’t stop talking about the match. I think that’s a bit of a shot at Steamboat by Vince. Literally, he was in there two and a half minutes and got one line about him. He leaves and the commentary is all about the match. We’re about 5 minutes into this and I’m still looking for a point to it.

I think it’s supposed to be Warlord vs. Bulldog, but I’m not sure really. It’s just a random group of faces vs. three heels with the same manager. I’m so utterly bored by this match that I can’t actually think of the words to explain it. It is just so standard and basic that I could see it at an FCW show. The wrestling is fine, but there’s no thought here at all. Faces win.

Rating: D. This was just so boring. Like I said, the wrestling was fine, but dang it was just there. There’s no thought, no story, no reason for this to take place. It’s an ok opener, but I would have wanted to see anything else.

Hey kids! Call this number if you want to hear a prerecorded comment from Savage or Liz about their fake wedding! Your parents won’t mind!

Mr. Perfect says he’s a great champion.

IC Title: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

Dang this was on second? This is by far and away the best match on the card and a lot of people, including Norcal, says that it’s one of the best matches ever. These two had such a magnificent chemistry together and it’s hardly ever been topped. I defy you to find a better pair of guys to have such consistent matches with. Stu and Helen are there…again. Has there ever been a match with Bret that they haven’t been at?

You don’t see them at Owen’s matches. No wonder Owen was the bitter one. Coach is there with Perfect, and sadly enough his death got NO coverage due to Misawa dying a day later. They start with a great set of back and forth stuff with no one being able to get an advantage. It’s one of those types of openings where you have a guy in control but he’s not dominating at all. Hart does that here by just having on a basic headlock.

Heenan continues to show why he’s as important as anyone on the roster as his lines about Bret’s parents make you want to cheer for Bret more than anyone else could. Perfect gets his singlet literally ripped apart by Hart which makes him look almost crazed about the match. He looks like he’s in a war despite this having been going about 7 minutes at this point. This is a great dynamic for a match as you have the young lion Bret facing the established veteran in Perfect, who has the exact same style.

Crowd is way into this one too, which is making it better. Perfect’s hair looks like he got a bad shock as his perm has practically exploded. He takes over though as Heenan is singing his praises. We get a hair toss, which isn’t something that you see that often in a men’s match. That would hurt like heck too. Imagine being tossed by your hair. If that’s going to happen to me I better be getting paid for it. There’s a good story playing out here as Perfect counters everything that Hart has.

Hart kicks out of the Perfect Plex as the fans and Heenan lose their minds. Heenan says that no one has ever done that, which is ridiculous as Warrior did it in 1990. Hart brings up the original 5 moves of doom to put Perfect in “a whole heap of trouble.” Coach breaks this up though so Perfect has control again. He drops a let between Bret’s legs and backflips out of it which is cool looking.

He does it again, and in one of the SWEETEST counters I’ve ever seen, Bret grabs his leg, puts the Sharpshooter on him on the mat from his back, spins him over and then pulls back on it for the tap out. That was freaking sweet. Bret runs over to his family to celebrate. We get to hear Stu’s voice, which I never recall hearing other than this.

Rating: A+. These guys were spot on the whole time. It was a nearly 20 minute match and I didn’t see a single botch or anything resembling a botch at all. That counter at the end was absolute perfection and it played so well into the rest of the match. These two had so much chemistry they might as well be a magnet high school. Great match all around.

Hulk Hogan has a special PPV coming up, which is nothing but his “biggest” matches. Forerunner to 24/7 I guess.

We cut to the back to see the Bushwackers and Andre the Giant, which has to the weirdest pairing of all time. Andre was completely gone at this point with big crutches holding him up. This is explained by Earthquake being the guy that injured him. This was his last major WWF appearance save for popping up at a battle royal in London a few months later, which wasn’t televised until on 24/7 and some special releases.

Bushwackers vs. Natural Disasters

It’s so sad to see the Bushwackers have to walk so slow to let Andre keep up with them. He just didn’t need to be out there at this point but you can see it in his eyes that he’s having a ball out there. His love for the business was so obvious and it’s a shame he wasn’t around for the big boom in the 90s, at least to see it if nothing else. Now in case you’re an idiot and can’t figure it out, this is a comedy match.

GREAT line by Piper. Heenan says if he were the manager of the Bushwackers he’s kill himself. Piper says go apply for the job. Piper was a freaking riot when he didn’t like someone. To further make this stupid, the Bushwackers beat them up to start. Can someone explain to me why this makes sense? Piper says that two guys from New Zealand are Americana personified. He can be a riot but he can also be a moron.

Heenan with a Larry, Darryl and Darryl joke to take the lead in the best commentator of the night race. Andre continues to point and grunt about various things. Heenan leaves to interview Hogan as the ND finally take control and the match gets boring in a hurry. Did the Wackers EVER do anything of note? I can’t remember anything.

Anyway, as expected, this ends with a Bushwacker, the one that licked me at a house show, getting pinned. Afterwards the Disasters go after Andre but the LOD run out for the save and the showdown that I’m not sure ever occurred.

Rating: C-. It was a comedy match. What do you really expect here? It was however, pretty short so it could have been far, far worse.

Heenan goes to Hogan’s dressing room with the NWA title to continue what should have been the biggest showdown of all time, but they somehow screwed it up. Heenan’s unveiling of the NWA Big Gold Belt in 91 still ranks in my top five most awesome moments in wrestling history. Hogan (never seen or heard) slams the door in his face.

More Savage/Liz phone line ads. Macho is shown on the phone line. This is just stupid.

DiBiase and Mooney recap the Virgil/DiBiase history. As bad as Virgil was, this match was actually kind of epic as the pop for Virgil finally turning was pretty big. This is the rematch from Mania 7 where Virgil won by countout.

Million Dollar Title: Ted DiBiase vs. Virgil

The wrestling here isn’t the appeal. Virgil has had very few matches at this point while DiBiase is one of the best in ring workers of all time. Surprisingly enough, DiBiase dominates early on. It’s pretty basic with punches and kicks with a roll-up here or there. There’s just not a lot to say about the first half of this match. Both guys are going pretty light out there which is fine I think, as it’s really more about the storyline than the match itself.

Piper was Virgil’s mentor so he’s cheering wildly for him. Heenan gets in a great line about Virgil being so dumb he’ll try to bronze the gold belt. After about 5 minutes of Virgil getting beaten up, he catches DiBiase in a Million Dollar Dream until Sherri runs in to cause the DQ as Piper absolutely snaps.

HOWEVER!

The referee decides that’s not fair and sends Sherri to the back while ordering the match to continue. Now we get a better match as they’re going a bit harder but Virgil is hurt after being hit by the loaded purse. DiBiase proceeds to kick his body guarding self from one side of the ring to the other, but the ref was bumped so we have no one to count the pin.

A piledriver (which is what love feels just like sometimes) puts him nearly out as DiBiase takes off the turnbuckle. Virgil counters and rams him in twice. I don’t like the ending though as it takes Virgil about 20 seconds to get the cover and the win. Piper goes insane over this.

Rating: B. As I said, this was all storyline and it was a very fun one. Virgil rising up to face DiBiase and say that he’d had enough, leading to the big blowoff of him winning the title that literally was DiBiase’s was just perfect. The wrestling was pretty bad, but the emotion makes up for it.

The Mountie says he’ll win tonight.

Big Bossman says he’ll win tonight.

Jailhouse Match: Big Bossman vs. Mountie

The loser spends a night in a New York jail, which is kind of an interesting idea. This was around the time that Mountie was using this stupid shock stick to attack people. Monsoon says this will be a classic. That’s just comical. Piper would finally beat Mountie as he had a vest or something that absorbed the electricity, which is actually brilliant. There’s all kinds of bad prison jokes by Heenan here as this is supposed to be a huge match.

Apparently the loser also gets arrested and will have a criminal record. Dude, seriously, this is absurd. I still can’t get over the fact that Mountie beat Bret Hart and Hogan. You’d think he was Edge or something. This is a pretty boring match as once again it’s all about storyline as the match really just doesn’t live up to the hype.

Gorilla says that Hart is the best advertisement for birth control he’s ever seen. It just kind of happens slowly and no one cares about this match. Bossman wins and they take Mountie to jail, in one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

Rating: D. I can’t believe I liked this as a kid. The styles just didn’t mesh. Mountie was better when he wrestled as a light weight, not this. Boss Man was outliving his usefulness at this point, but that can be attributed to them never really giving him a serious push. This whole gimmick as just dumb and the match was even worse.

DiBiase is mad that he lost the title, which was stolen from him.

Hart is happy about winning the title.

Jimmy Hart is with the Natural Disasters and is FREAKING OUT over Mountie. This is a pretty funny bit from him. The Disasters want the LOD. That’s not a good idea.

Boss Man makes fun of the Mounite as we must be on an intermission.

Gene is talking to Savage who is nervous, so let’s plug his phone call thing.

Holy

Freaking

Goodness

They actually put the intermission clock on the screen! It’s 5 minutes of dead silence, with the Savage phone number on the screen. You can hear the crowd cheering something. Boy it would be fun to actually SEE what they’re cheering for wouldn’t it? This is freaking stupid. I’m sitting here for 5 minutes waiting on a clock to count down. Why in the world was this left on the home video? I don’t want to look at a countdown.

Right now I’d rather read a book or something like that. We would have had to pay for this back in the day. After turning off my Best of Starrcade DVD which is more interesting to look at the box of than this countdown, we come back…to the Summerslam logo! My goodness people wonder why no one bought wrestling PPVs back in the day. At least give us some promos or something. Is it really that hard to do?

We go straight to the jail, where Mountie is arriving. My goodness, WHY WASN’T THIS USED DURING THE BREAK? If you want to have a live intermission that’s cool but don’t waste the money of the people paying by making them watch a freaking clock. That’s just stupid. Yeah this isn’t funny.

The Nasty Boys are in the back and Jimmy is still losing it. This is going to be a street fight for the belts against the LOD. The champions leave but first, we go back the jail where Mountie is panicking over everything, this time being photographed which is apparently like taking his soul.

Gene is with the LOD who say this is right up their alley. This promo is more about the Natural Disasters than the title match they have next. But before that silly thing like a tag title match, we go back for more “comedy” as Mountie is offended by getting his fingerprints taken.

MORE promos as I’m just sick of these now. Slaughter and company say they’ll win. This is just freaking ridiculous as we’ve gone 20 minutes since the end of the last match.

Screw it I give up. Sid has to do a promo now since he’s the referee for the main event. Did we really need the 5 minute clock with all these promos? Was this intermission half an hour? We see a video of Sid being offered a spot with Slaughter’s team.

Tag Titles: Nasty Boys vs. Legion of Doom

What the heck, you mean you don’t want to interview the caterers? Like I said this is a street fight for the belts. It’s kind of funny hearing Gorilla have to play babysitter between the two commentators. LOD is WAY over. Piper says that stands for look out dummy. Actually I believe it stands for Legion of Doom there Roddy. Big brawl of course to start us off.

We talk about Sid a lot as the referee tries to get people to tag in and out. I will never get the point of that in a street fight. And after the first few minutes it becomes a regular tag match. Well sure why not. Hawk plays Ricky Morton in a weird casting decision. Sags hits a top rope elbow on Hawk for two as Animal saves.

Animal comes in off the fairly hot tag and yeah this is going to be dominance. The Nasties get in a helmet (Jimmy’s trademark with them for some reason) shot to Hawk which does nothing for the most part. Hawk hits both guys with it and the Device on Sags gives them their first WWF Tag Titles.

Rating: D. This was pretty weak for the most part. It started and ended fairly hot but the middle is just dull. It’s a tag team match for about 5 minutes and the rest is nothing at all. There’s nothing here worth anything other than the LOD getting their first tag titles which took them forever to get. Pretty weak here but it was quick. One thing though: did ANYONE not see the title change coming? Anyone? Nah I didn’t think so.

Uh oh. I think that crazy Mountie might be up to more hijinks. Let’s see what kind of shenanigans he’s gotten himself into this time, that little rascal. Oh look at this! That hilarious Mountie got put inside a cell! What kind of improbably circumstances could he find himself in there? Wait and see!

Survivor Series promo.

I.R.S. vs. Greg Valentine

Yep, it’s a filler on a show with a 5 minute intermission. I wonder if this qualifies for the worst booked show of all time. Valentine was completely done at this point and this was to do nothing but put over Irwin. Both guys here are great workers though so if you can ignore the stupidity of putting this on next to last after the ridiculous amount of filler we’ve already had, this could be a good match.

Apparently Roberts and Taker are in Madison Square Garden which is a huge deal. Yeah it’s not like those two could be on the card or something like that. Oh hey, did you hear that Mountie is in jail? Not sure if I made that clear, but Mountie is in jail for the night. About five minutes into this match, we address it. Remember what I said about this might be ok? I was wrong, this match sucks.

Valentine puts the figure four on him but he gets to the ropes without really selling it at all. He goes for it again and gets rolled up with a shoulder up and kicking out before the three, but I guess the referee says end this suckage now and I’ll buy you an Air Supply album. That’ll keep Valentine distracted for hours.

Rating: D+. I feel so bad for guys like this when the commentators aren’t the least bit interested in the match. At least give them something to work on. No one wanted to see this and it would have been better being much earlier in the show. It was pretty bad, but if the announcers had actually tried, it would have been at least watchable.

Hogan says to buy his PPV in the fall.

Hogan and Warrior are feeling patriotic apparently. The big problem with the whole Iraq storyline was this: the war had ended 6 months ago. There’s a running story/joke that Vince was hoping the war went until May so the main event of Mania would have made sense. Of course, since the writers were lazy even back then, which I believe the writers consisted of Vince back then, let’s just keep it going for another 6 months instead of having a real main event at Summerslam.

Slaughter/Mustafa/Adnan vs. Hogan/Warrior

Let me make this clear: no one cares. Sid is the referee instead of having him face Warrior in what could have been a big match, or a Warrior/Hogan vs. Slaughter rematch which also would have been an interesting match. Ok no it wouldn’t have been but it would have been a real main event. The world champion is in a freaking handicap match at Summerslam. This is so stupid. Let’s get this nonsense over with please.

In case you can’t tell, I freaking hate this show. The faces dominate early as the fans cheer and no one is surprised. The only interesting thing here is to watch Warrior as he knows it’s his last match. Nothing special from him as Hogan gets beaten down and has to get beaten up by a couple of 50 year olds. He even takes the camel clutch from the man he beat for the world title 7 and a half years ago. That’s just weird to think about.

Hulkamania was born less than 8 years before this. They actually acknowledge that he’s the Sheik which I didn’t remember them doing. Hogan makes his comeback and tags Warrior, who beats up the heels but then gets beaten down himself. My goodness where do they come up with this brilliant storytelling? I’ve never seen anything like it (tonight at least)!

Warrior with his comeback and then it’s a brawl, no one is interested, Warrior grabs a chair and chases the two near senior citizens to the back because he can’t beat them on his own where he’s promptly fired. Hogan uses some powder and pins Slaughter with Sid doing absolutely nothing of note the entire match. Posing ensues as Sid joins him. This was a BIG waste of time.

Rating: D. There is absolutely no thought in this match at all. It’s two faces against three heels. I don’t think there was any buildup, and if there was it’s not mentioned here. Hogan was about to drop the title to Taker in two months, and Taker isn’t even on the card.

There was a home video released where this same match happened, but Taker was in it instead of the old guy not named Iron Sheik. Now wouldn’t that have been better here? This was called the Match Made In Hell. That’s a perfect title, because it would be perfect in the 8th circle of eternal torment. Horrible match and I’m glad it’s over.

And one more time, we see the Mountie in jail, this time being hit on by a fat biker. See, it’s funny because the biker wants to screw Mountie. See why that’s funny? I want to make sure it’s known that this is designed to be a joke, because I don’t think they made it clear enough. That’s a bit risqué for 1991.

We get the whole promo of Savage proposing to Liz, as this is the match made in heaven. See what they did? Match made in heaven and its opposite? See how intelligent Vince was to imply one was good and one was bad? Oh yeah that’s awesome indeed. In case that’s not enough emotion for you, we get a 4 minute music video, highlighting their entire history. The thing at Mania was amazing stuff and for the simple reason of it was spontaneous. This is just overkill.

The wedding is of course in the middle of the ring, which is of course set up to look like a chapel. Savage comes out first, in his hat, which has a, I’m not making this up, two foot high feather on it. We even have stupid flower girls and ring bearers. Could this get any sappier? Liz comes out looking stunning of course as the only thing that’s appealing about the whole thing. They say I do and the show ends.

Now for the actual good part: the reception. This was a bonus on some versions of the tape that has some of the best comedy I’ve ever seen. We get the standard stuff: toast, first dance, cake, etc. One thing that’s funny here is Gene says Mr. and Mrs. Macho. Shouldn’t it be Mr. and Mrs. Savage? Now we get to the really good part, as they open their wedding gifts.

Savage opens one and finds a blender. “WE GOT A BLENDER!!!” For some reason this is just freaking hysterical to me. He sounds like he won the WWF Title or something. Anyway, they get some candlesticks to which Savage shouts that next time they should send money. Liz looks at him, wondering what’s this about next time. Savage turns back and yells KIDDING! Then it kicks off as Liz opens a box to find a King Cobra.

Taker appears out of nowhere and blasts Savage in the head with the urn. Did no one see the SEVEN FOOT TALL GUY IN ALL BLACK AND A COWBOY HAT??? Jake comes in with a snake handler’s glove and another snake, yet no one stopped him either. Sid comes in with a wooden chair to run them off as we end with me laughing my head off at it.

Overall Rating: D. This show sucked. It has ONE good match. The rest is bad comedy and a horrible main event. I literally couldn’t remember what the main event was at this show when I was trying to think of it the other day. That should happen at Judgment Day or something, not freaking SUMMERSLAM.

Half the show was dedicated to an unfunny angle that was a waste of time. There is one match that’s bringing this up to a D from an F-. Watch that, and that’s it. This might be the worst of the big four that I’ve ever seen, including WM 11.

8 comments

  1. Jay says:

    Wow KB a little hard on this Summerslam? I know you will call me crazy but this is one of my Favorite Summerslams. 3 Titles changing hands,the Main Event I thought was fine,and the Savage/Liz Wedding was pretty cool.

    [Reply]

  2. Muffin Top Merkley says:

    What does the term “Plays Ricky Morton” mean?

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the standard tag team formula: face team starts hot and dominates for awhile, heels cheat to take over, beat down one face forever, hot tag for the faces, go to ending.

    This formula was popularized and perfected in hundreds of matches between the Rock N Roll Express and the Midnight Express. Ricky Morton (Rock N Roll Express) was 99% of the time the face that got massacred until he makes the hot tag to Gibson and they go to the finish.

    In short, playing Ricky Morton means being a face that gets beaten from one side of the ring to the other and then makes a hot tag to blow the roof off the place. Morton did it first and could make you believe he was dead in the process.

    [Reply]

  3. Muffin Top Merkley says:

    I thought that was what you were reffering too. I’m not very firmilular with Morton.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Check out some 80s Express vs. Express stuff. It’s definitely worth seeing.

    [Reply]

  4. Anton82 says:

    Wow, I’m totally in shock. I love this ppv. A classic match, a bunch of solid ones and just fantastic booking throughout. I even enjoy things about the main event like Sids involvement and the commentary about it. “I hate to say it gorilla but do u think boobs could be right”? I LOVED this commentary team. I think it would have been funny if u posted your thoughts on this show on 411mania like u did with SS 90. Those cynical jerks would have torn u a new one!!!

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I sent my thoughts in for this one but they didn’t get posted.

    [Reply]

  5. Marc Elusive says:

    I loved this PPV for some reason; the matches weren’t five star classics but the show flowed so well. All of the people who SHOULD have gone over did and some major feuds blew off. I feel the grade may be a little harsh.

    [Reply]

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