Date: August 29, 1992 (aired on PPV August 31, 1992)
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan
We’re a year removed from the nearly complete and utter crap that was Summerslam 1991. After Warrior was fired, he was back a mere 6 months later to save Hogan from getting beaten up by Sid. After a feud with Papa Shango, he was given a world title match at Summerslam against Macho. However, Flair and Perfect were still mad that Flair had never gotten his title match, so they’ve injected themselves into this.
The story goes like this: Flair says that they’ll be in the corner of one guy, but they won’t say whom. Both Savage and Warrior think someone is going to turn and the fans bought into it completely. Even I thought someone was going to turn. That’s main event #1. #2, and the real main event, was Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith for the IC Belt. This had another great storyline attached to it as Smith’s wife was Bret’s sister.
The angel was that she couldn’t decide whom to cheer for, which makes sense as who are you supposed to side with in a match like that? There’s no right or wrong answer and she eventually went with she hoped no one got hurt. That match is considered by many to be the greatest match of all time.
Now I’m not sure if I’d go that far, but it’s way up there. However, that’s more or less the only match most people remember from the show. This was the first PPV in a country other than the US or Canada, so let’s see how the first truly international show is.
So yeah, screw this up and had written all the way up to the start of Warrior/Savage and the computer died, ending my file which is going to have to be redone. I’m a bit ticked off about that. Actually I’m a lot ticked off about that. Let’s get this freaking thing going…again.
We open the show outside for no apparent reason as we hear the opinions of the fans of whose corner Perfect would be in. Dang some of these people are hard to understand. Learn English people. One of the kids says Bulldog is going to win, whether he wants to or not. Uh, I’m not the smartest wrestling fan in the world, but wouldn’t you want to win every match you’re in?
We hear some horns playing and more random shots of London before going to the stadium. The only thing I can say: DANG! This place looks awesome as the whole place is full and it’s second only to WM 3 as far as I can remember. Heenan is wearing a crown of course. Vince says this is the Summerslam you thought you’d never see.
I know 91 sucked but were they not planning on having another one after it? Were there issues in the company that I just didn’t recall? That’s Vince for you though as he rarely made sense. I have three dark matches on my tape, so let’s get to them.
Jim Duggan/Bushwackers vs. Mountie/Nasty Boys
Matches like these, which are usually not shown on official releases, are always cool to see because they’re unique. Not to mention it’s bonus wrestling so how can it be a bad thing? Mountie’s music is just nothing short of great. He sings it on the way to the ring, adding in commentary to it as he goes. That’s either brilliant or stupid. Heenan makes a Michael Jackson reference.
This is being written for the second time on the 4th of July, ten days after his death, and it still is hard to comprehend that the King of Pop is dead. Heenan goes on to say that New Zealand is a suburb of London as Shadow is face palming. For some reason Duggan, one of the biggest patriots in wrestling history, is cheered. Only a British crowd would chant USA in London for a team mainly made of people from New Zealand.
Both teams try to get cheers from the crowd in a bit of a contest to start. After two of these we get going. I always loved the Bushwackers, mainly because one of them, I believe Luke, licked me at a house show when I was 3-4 years old. Bobby is on fire here with the jokes. This is following a very simple formula: little wrestling, little brawling, lather rinse and repeat. The heels take over or it wouldn’t be a traditional tag match.
As this happens, the fans chant Butch. There’s a bunch of jokes there but I’d get banned for them. The Wackers use their battering ram on a pile of the guys in the corner, bringing forth the really bad Earl of Sandwich jokes from Vince. The bias from Vince is just flat out sad as he cheers when faces cheat and claims it’s horrid when heels do it. I get that he’s a face commentator but this is boarder line Gorilla Monsoon territory.
In a bit of a weird spot, Knobbs and Mountie lock hands for a double clothesline but instead use a boot to the stomach. Just looked odd to me. The announcers argue over the rules again and Heenan asks what’s in Vince’s book? That’s a very interesting idea actually. Can you imagine what a real Vince McMahon autobiography, as in not a WWE-PG one would be like? Some of the stories in there would be insane.
Duggan comes in and amazingly enough we get a big brawl. I think they botch the spot at the end again here as Duggan is set for the three point clothesline but Mountie doesn’t get up. Duggan goes to pick him up but Mountie gets up on his own and Duggan gets back in position, so maybe he was just late. Sags misses a top rope elbow onto Mountie to end it as Duggan gets the pin.
Rating: B. This was perfect for an opening dark match. It wasn’t serious in the slightest and was there to do nothing but get the crowd into the show. That’s just fine and it worked perfectly. Nothing great, but to open the action for a major PPV, this was just fine.
Papa Shango vs. Tito Santana
Now with Shango you have someone that absolutely scared the living tar out of me. He was the voodoo guy and he actually beat up the Warrior. That’s saying a lot when you think about it. Their blowoff match was in Rupp Arena so I was likely there for it. Shango was coming off a huge program with Warrior and they weren’t sure what to do with him at the moment as is evidenced here with him in a dark match.
Santana was in his El Matador gimmick at the time which was the height of stupidity. These two might add up to being the dumbest collection of gimmicks in one place at one time until being eclipsed by the gimmick battle royal. Santana was a guy a lot like Finlay or Regal today in that he could have a very solid match with just about anyone. Since he can do that, why would you ever get rid of him?
That’s what Vince realized so even once Tito was no longer a major player, you could still put him into a program and get a solid performance that you could depend on out of him. That’s a great asset to have and will almost always guarantee you at least employment. Santana gets NO reaction at all. They go back and forth for a bit, but Shango more or less no sells the big forearm, meaning that the move that nearly knocked Savage out isn’t good enough to get a two on a guy like Shango.
The ideas around finishing moves apparently depend on your place on the card which has always seemed bogus to me. He’s rocking the pink boots here, offering further proof that only Bret Hart can pull that off.
Now he hits another forearm and it’s a move of death, so thanks for the continuity there guys. I watch this match and the idea of how absurd Shango’s character is begins to dawn on me. A voodoo medicine man is supposed to have tights, wrist tape, weigh in and have boots? Anyway, he hits what has to be the worst finishing move possible: the shoulder breaker, to pin Santana.
Rating: D+. Yeah this was bad. It just never felt like it got going at all. Shango just didn’t know how to make a match work and with the shoulder breaker, he looked absurd out there. A character like his could have worked very well, but he just didn’t get the way the thought process should have been going at all.
Tatanka vs. Berserker
If you recall what I said about two gimmicks never being more absurd, forget it. These two are miles beyond what the last match had to offer. Tatanka is the Native American and Berserker is a Viking that wants to stab people. I say this with all sincerity: I wonder how many people there had no clue what Tatanka was. Apparently quite a few as he gets a big pop.
I think this match was actually filmed after the show as it’s completely dark except for the lights now, as opposed to the previous matches where sunlight could have lit the arena. For no good reason at all, Tatanka beats him up for the opening of this match. In the only interesting thing you’ll hear from Vince all night, Tatanka means Raging Buffalo. The structure to the ring is kind of weird as there’s the aisle and then some steps to get to what we would call the outside.
I kind of like that, but it’s similar to the setup that caused the end of Rick Rude’s career. They fight on the floor and the racial stereotype takes Berserker down the mini stairs to slam him and then comes back up them. After that waste of time it’s more stereotyping as the Papoose To Go ends it. I wonder if I can get a Papoose for eating in?
Rating: C. It was better than the previous match but that’s really not saying a lot. There was just a weird flow to this match and while it wasn’t horrid, it certainly wasn’t something you wanted to see more of.
Now it’s time for the real show as we get a very standard yet good early 90s opening. In something I like we just go straight to the first match.
Money Inc. vs. LOD
This was in the middle of the interesting three way feud over the tag titles between these four and the champions, the Natural Disasters. Of course, that would all be thrown out the window so Hulk and Beefcake could fight the mega heels at Mania. Part of the reason that match wasn’t the LOD somehow was because of what you’re about to see here: Rocko the Dummy. Yes you read that right.
For some reason that only Vince would know, the LOD were given back their old manager Paul Ellering (which was fine, although it would have been nice for them to tell us who in the world he was as he was their manager in the NWA). The problem came with Ellering’s friend Rocko. Rocko was a ventriloquist dummy. There was nothing more to it than that. He was a wooden dummy that the manager would bring with him and he would talk in the promos.
At least with Head and Al Snow it was a joke. This was with a serious tag team. Hawk got sick of it and quit very soon, maybe even at this show but I’m not sure. Anyway, the intro for the LOD is sweet as all three come in on Harleys. That’s actually really awesome looking, aside from the dummy being on the fornt of the first bike.
As if that’s not enough, Paul carries the stupid thing around at the ring. No wonder Hawk quit over this nonsense. Vince says that the LOD are known for being strong and for their great psychology. Excuse me for one second.
LOD having freaking PSYCHOLOGY??? WOW, and I thought the people that want Kane to remask were imbeciles. They hit people hard. That’s their psychology I supposed. Yeah, that’s just a freaking joke all around. After I laugh very hard at that, I come to a screeching halt as I see something that’s just an ungodly abomination upon mankind.
Ted DiBiase, the Million Dollar Man, to me the greatest heel of all time, is wearing WHITE TIGHTS!!! WHAT IN THE HECKIS THIS NONSENSE??? DIBIASE, A HEEL, DOES NOT WEAR WHITE!!! EVER SINCE HE DEBUTED IT’S BEEN BLACK WITH DOLLAR SIGNS, BUT NOW HE’S WEARING WHITE??? THAT JUST DOES NOT WORK!!! After about three minutes of frustration, I think I’m ok now.
After Hawk beats him up for a minute (absolutely right he should get beaten up) both tag, as Vince says Animal will now start the match for his team. Riiiiiight. The LOD get beaten up with sleepers and a slam on the floor by white tights Magee over there. Not only that but his kneepads are long so it looks like he’s wearing stripper boots. Hart is yelling at Paul about the puppet on the floor which shows that Hart is always thinking out there.
He’s a bit annoying but the guy has always been around and always works as hard as he could. The heels dominate much of this which makes perfect sense here as they’re the thinking wrestlers and all they had to do was wait for LOD to make a mistake. Wow both the heels are over 260? That’s a big surprising.
Eventually Animal gets tagged in and the LOD starts throwing Money Inc. all over the ring. The ending comes out of almost nowhere as they get DiBiase up but IRS dropkicks Animal so he drops him. DiBiase gets powerslammed and pinned to end it. Just a very abrupt ending.
Rating: C+. Certainly not a bad match, but it just didn’t have any flow and while it was a 12 minute match, it felt like about 5. DiBiase’s tights are something I just can’t let go as it’s the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time. This just felt really fast and the ending looked odd to me. Not bad, but just didn’t work that well in my eyes.
In the back, Flair, in his wrestling attire despite not wrestling that night, which is a thread in and amongst itself, is with Gene. I really like this promo by Flair as Gene is demanding to know where Mr. Perfect is. He asks if Perfect is with Savage. Flair opens his mouth and then chuckles. He asks if Perfect is with Warrior.
Flair opens his mouth and then chuckles. Gene demands to know the whereabouts of Mr. Perfect. Flair says “why, he’s in the dressing room of course!” Whose dressing room? “Why, the dressing room of the winner of course. WHOO!” This comes off really well as Flair is just epic on the stick here.
We go over to Sean Mooney and Virgil, who is fighting Nailz tonight. More on Nailz later. Virgil is REALLY bad at promos. He shouts on weird words, he moves around too much, and I think he had 5 catchphrases inside of a 40 second promo. I feel sorry for the heat he gets though. I’ve heard stories of him being at wrestling conventions and autograph shows where he’ll sit at his table for 5 hours and maybe get 4 people that talk to him.
No he wasn’t ever a big star but he’s bigger than that. He’s wrestled at Wrestlemania and Starrcade, so it’s not like he’s never done anything of note. I’d certainly talk to him for awhile. Apparently he’s trying to get revenge for his best friend (WTF??) the Big Boss Man.
Nailz vs. Virgil
Nailz is a character that it’s very possible a lot of you don’t remember and that’s very understandable as he was on the roster less than a year. He had a great bit of psychology to him because he was supposed to be a convict that Boss Man had beaten up in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit. Therefore, Nailz had no training and only used punches, chokes and kicks etc. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
After a match Boss Man had with a jobber, Nailz ran out and beat up Boss Man, putting him out for about 5 months. This match is for Virgil to try to get some revenge for his buddy, and you can guess how this is going to go. Before we get to this match though, let’s go over how Nailz left the company because it’s a story unlike any you’ve ever heard. Nailz tried to kill Vince McMahon. I mean that literally, as in he was choking Vince and Vince was turning blue.
Nailz wanted money but Vince wouldn’t give it to him. Obviously, he was fired immediately thereafter. Nailz was also a guy at the steroids trial that was one of the big witnesses, but his testimony was so far over the top that it actually helped Vince out. Nailz was scheduled for a big feud with Taker as they were on the cover of the WWF magazine, had a staredown on Superstars and had some house show matches.
It’s saying a lot that he was being given Taker to work with and then all that other stuff happened. He was in WCW for all of a week, jobbing to Sting before he was out of the mainstream. Kind of sad as I always liked him.
As for the match, what are you expecting here? It’s a guy that needs wins to prove himself against a glorified jobber. Nailz dominates early but Virgil takes over, leading to the chokeout win. I know that’s really short but that’s the commentary for the whole match. It’s like 3 minutes long and there’s just nothing at all of note in it. Afterwards Nailz beats up Virgil with the stick.
Rating: C. This was really hard to grade so we’ll call it average I guess. It was a squash and it got the point it was trying to make. Virgil fights but loses while Nailz looks dominant, leading up to the return of the Boss Man and their blowoff match at the Survivor Series.
Alfred Hayes can’t get into Savage’s dressing room.
Shawn Michaels vs. Rick Martel
There’s a very interesting pair of twists here. First of all, both guys are heels. Second, there’s an agreement not to hit each other in the face. That’s not something you hear very often. This is still the boy toy era for Shawn as he wasn’t a huge deal yet but was getting there. Sherri’s outfit has no back so she’s more or less in a thong which Vince notices IMMEDIATELY.
Martel cartwheels out of the way of a backdrop and does some jumping jacks. Shawn takes over for the most part early on and Martel is in trouble. And never mind as it’s more or less even. Shawn pulls back to throw a punch but stops. Martel is the de facto face here which is interesting as he was a pretty solid heel.
Shawn is down on the floor as Martel asks Sherri to come with him. They hug and Shawn doesn’t really see it. The cameraman keeps getting shots of Sherri’s back which isn’t that bad I guess. Both guys use the tights as it’s kind of interesting to see all of the heel vs. heel tactic. Also do you think that’s enough back shots in one match?
Sweet chin music hits the chest which makes sense here. Shawn hits a knee to the face and goes for the ropes with his feet but can’t reach them so the referee stops the count before he got there. In other words he’s not counting because they’re following the rules. Ok then. They start slapping each other and Sherri starts to freak.
They square off with fists up as Sherri “faints”. Dang she falls really well. Vince of course thinks she’s had a heart attack. Shawn DRILLS Martel when he tries to give her mouth to mouth. They slug it out in the aisle and it’s a double countout. Sherri gets up to see what’s going on and then pretends she’s out again.
Shawn comes back to carry her off as Vince and Heenan make jokes. Martel runs down and drills him, sending Sherri crashing to the floor. He picks her up and Shawn drills Martel, sending Sherri flying sprawling to the floor again. This is kind of funny as it’s coming off almost like a Weekend At Bernie’s thing which is meant as a good thing. Martel comes out and throws water on Sherri for no apparent reason.
Rating: B. I really liked this actually. It’s definitely a different kind of idea and it worked very well I thought. It’s not often you get a good heel vs. heel match but you certainly did here. This worked very well and the post match stuff was funny yet good at the same time. I liked this far more than I expected to and it worked well.
The Nasties say they’ll get their tag title shot, but for no reason at all they talk about the world title match. You see the beginnings of Jimmy’s jumping to Money Inc and the to his face turn.
Tag Titles: Beverly Brothers vs. Natural Disasters
I’m sure most of you know who the Natural Disasters are, but how many of you know who the Beverly Brothers are? I’m guessing not many of you, because I can fairly safely say that this is the highlight of the WWF run. I think their gimmick was being spoiled rich kids but that was never really explained. They were really just tag team jobbers and little more.
They were a huge deal in the AWA where they were the only tag team to win rookies of the year. They were gone in less than two years and no one noticed they were gone. Anyway, this is a standard tag with the Naturals dominating early but then the heels taking over as Heenan makes fat jokes. BREAKING NEWS: SHAWN MICHAELS HAS LEFT WEMBLEY! Since Typhoon sucks more than Quake, he’s the face in peril.
A shot to the back with the metal scroll of the Genius has no effect which makes me wonder what the point of that was. Quake beats up the Beverly Brother so Typhoon is on his own and can make the tag. Naturally, the talented Disaster known as Earthquake kicks some Beverly faces in. A brief double team leads to the Earthquake to end this.
Rating: D+. The low rating is for one reason: there is a total and complete lack of drama in this. No one believed the Beverlys had a chance and they didn’t at all. It was a title match for a title match’s sake, which never turns out to be anything good. This was a waste of time, but I guess the match itself was fine.
Gene interviews the Bushwackers who want to talk about Perfect being in someone’s corner. Gene makes some dumb British jokes which aren’t funny.
Alfred Hayes can’t get in Warrior’s dressing room either.
Repo Man vs. Crush
Crush is once again a guy that could have been a big star but he never got a push that he needed. It’s a Demolition reunion here as Smash meets Crush. This is pure filler and nothing but a way to kill some time before the world title match. Repo’s offense is about 9 punches, a thumb to the eye, and a belly to back suplex. That’s it. Other than that, we get Crush using the head vice and dominating the whole thing. Boring and quick match which was just a filler, so how much can I complain?
Rating: C+. This was pure filler so what do you really expect from it? Crush looked dominant so he’ll be getting a bit better push. Oh wait he’s about to start feuding with Doink. Nevermind.
We hit the recap button on Warrior and Savage’s feud which is WAY too long. There’s two holes I see in this storyline. For one, Perfect tells both guys he’ll be in their corner. Ok, that’s fine, but couldn’t either guy put two and two together and get they’re being played? I guess that one’s forgivable though as either guy could have planned to lie to the other one.
However, the one thing I can’t get: if Perfect’s such a great manager, WHY IS THE GUY HE’S MANAGING NOT CHAMPION ALREADY? Since when did Perfect become this hot commodity all of a sudden? Savage’s line of “I’m the WWF Champion and you’re not!” is just great stuff.
WWF Title: Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
Oh apparently it’s the Ullllllllllllllllllltimate Warrior according to Vince. Of course Perfect doesn’t come out with either guy at first to build even more suspense which is actually a good move. It’s twilight in London so the scene of the whole stadium is really cool looking. Huge staredown to start which shows off the point that Warrior is now wearing a flesh colored singlet. This was huge for the theory that Warrior was on steroids which he pretty much was a guaranteed user of.
The start of this is a style that I like as nearly the first ten minutes is almost completely back and forth work. Neither guy can get anything substantial going and they just hammer away on the other one, looking for an advantage. Savage is getting booed here so I guess he’s supposed to be the heel? Anyway, eventually he takes a slight advantage as he knocks Warrior to the floor.
They come back in and I guess Warrior botches a spot as Savage is trying to pull him into the turnbuckle but Warrior falls short. You can tell it was a botch as they do the exact same thing about two seconds later. In a weird spot that I kind of like, Savage hits the double axe but Warrior does his hulk up thing. The second takes him down, but he catches the third in a powerslam. Just kind of a weird looking sequence.
Anyway, Warrior takes control as we get a nice little story going of neither guy being able to get a definitive advantage going for them. Warrior hurts Savage’s back and Savage hurts Warrior’s neck. They slow it down now with Warrior having a slight advantage. This is a slower paced match which is fine, as it’s going longer so the slow page helps it a lot I think. After a minute or two of this, Perfect and Flair come down.
This is where I really wish they hadn’t been involved, as Warrior and Savage were putting on a great match so far that had me very interested in it. Warrior does something weird (stunning right?) as he slams Savage, goes to the apron, and turns right back around and comes into the ring. What the heck? He misses a splash which he sells like he got shot in the ribs. Vince freaks because Perfect hasn’t gone to either corner.
Since when are there designated corners for a singles match? Perfect pulls the leg of Savage as Warrior is instantly the heel. I know my jokes have been lacking here, but this has been a great match and it’s hard to make fun of something that you really like. I think Warrior has set a record for most body slams in one match. After another one he goes to the top which I guess was the spot he wanted to do earlier. Maybe he stopped because Perfect and Flair were coming.
That would make sense I guess. Oh the ref is down too. He gets up and Warrior argues with him, leading to a much bigger ref bump. Piledriver from Savage which looks awesome. This time Perfect holds Warrior as Flair hits him with, well I guess since we’re in England it’s a natural born object. Savage however doesn’t see it. After slam #38 the elbow hits but due to no referee, we get a two despite Savage pulling the tights which is acknowledged.
Hulk up by Warrior as he starts the sequence that ended Mania 7’s match. Perfect tries to grab his foot during the set up for the splash but Flair gets him with a chair to the back on the other side as everyone is sure Savage is the guy that bought Perfect’s services. Apparently the crack of a chair, Flair moving away suddenly, and the Warrior suddenly falling down on his face aren’t enough proof that he did anything for the referee.
There’s another very nice little touch to this as Savage hasn’t seen anything that Flair or Perfect have done. Earlier the piledriver could have put Warrior down for as long as Savage was helping the referee, but this time he knows he didn’t touch Warrior, so someone else must have. That’s a nice little touch to add to it. Savage is ticked off that someone is helping him, so no one knows what’s going on.
He sets for the elbow but can’t take the win that way, instead jumping at Flair, WHO HAS A CHAIR! The obvious happens and Savage jumps into the chair, knocking himself nearly out as I can barely believe how stupid that was. This leads to the fastest count out of all time in an ending that I’m really not wild about at all. Apparently the chair hit Savage in the knee as Flair and Perfect destroy Savage soon thereafter but Warrior makes the save.
This would lead to the injured knee of Savage that would eventually cost Savage the title to Flair on a match that is very hard to find. The announcers conclude that no one sold out, which is about as obvious as the statement that Vince is an imbecile at times. He goes on to say that both men are champions. Not really Vince, not really. Savage would lose the belt two days later, before one Hitman would win it about a month and a half afterwards.
Warrior hands him the belt and helps him to the back with the music playing as we go to Perfect and Flair in the back. Since this is integral to the match, I’ll lump them together. They say that the deal was made, but it was between Perfect and Flair. They mention Plan B but won’t say what it is. Spoiler: it’s getting the title back to Flair. Gene thinks this is earth shattering news when it’s really not.
Rating: A. The only thing keeping it from being an A+ is the lack of a definitive ending, which I guess was required to have Savage drop the belt two days later. Anyway, this was an excellent match as both guys beat the tar out of each other and neither really gave an inch.
It may not have been as epic as their Mania match, but it’s good on its own. Perfect and Flair added something to it and I’m very glad neither guy turned as it would have hurt the match in my mind. Great match, but somehow this isn’t the best match on the card.
Official Attendance: less than Mania 3 so who cares?
Undertaker vs. Kamala
Harvey Whippleman does Kamala’s intro, saying he’s from the dark continent of Africa. I was under the impression that there’s lots of sunlight in Africa, so is that a very sly racial joke? I was under the impression that Africans’ skin darkened as a natural defense to the amount of sunlight on that continent. Racial stereotypes rule I guess?
Anyway, this is really just a mini-feud for Taker before the Giant Gonzalez shows up, much like, oh I don’t know: THE SAME FREAKING THING THEY DID WITH DAIVARI, MARK HENRY, MUHAMMAD HASSAN AND KHALI??? Could that be it? Could it be that they just took the EXACT same stupid story and redid it, hoping that no one was watching 13 years ago? Yep, that’s exactly what they did.
I swear these jokes write themselves when you’re making fun of WWE’s writing. Kamala used to scare the HECK out of me when I was like 2 years old. The dude was just freaking creepy. He wants to cook Taker apparently. Taker comes to the ring in the back of a hearse that I think has a sunroof. Oh never mind he’s standing on the bumper. There’s a coffin in the hearse, which is foreshadowing the coffin match at Survivor Series in a month or two.
This is a very quick match and is only to fill in time between the two main events and let the crowd catch its breath for a bit. Taker absolutely destroys him and as he’s going for the tombstone, Kim Chee runs in and hits Taker with his helmet for the DQ. Kamala hits three splashes, including one from the top rope and Taker just sits up. Kamala runs, and we set up for the main event.
Rating: C. I think I’m going to start giving C’s to matches that are too short to grade. The problem is there’s just not enough time in a 3 minute match to tell whether its good or not. It did its job I guess which is to set up the big match next PPV and fill in time here, so I can’t complain I guess.
Mooney is with Davey Boy Smith, talking about the family pressures which was a nice touch that I think the match needed. He says that once they get into the ring, Bret isn’t his brother, but a stranger. Mooney says what will the pressure of wrestling in front of 80,000 people be like. “That’s not pressure. That’s a dream.” That line is either epic or clichéd. Not sure but I’m leaning towards the former.
Bret says that Smith wouldn’t be anything without Bret as Bret introduced Davey to his wife and got him started in the WWF. He says Smith is ungrateful and I am completely hyped for this match.
Some bagpipe players play Roddy Piper’s theme music, which is ALWAYS cool. Oh they’re the Balboa Highlanders. Piper is with them, and the marking out continues as he gets a huge pop. This is actually really cool looking as Piper gets a solo and isn’t half bad. Granted I know nothing about the bagpipes. They play Scotland the Brave, which is an awesome song so this is sweet.
Mooney is with Diana Smith, who says nothing that you wouldn’t expect her to say. Mooney rudely cuts her off and asks who she thinks will win. He cuts her off AGAIN as you can tell she really doesn’t want to do this, or she’s a great actress. Could be a combination of both as this actually isn’t that bad of an interview. She sounds really upset about this, which she should be. Mooney cuts her off a THIRD TIME to send us to ringside. Dang, Mooney was a jerk in this.
Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith
Smith comes out first to the hero’s pop. Lennox Lewis carries the flag for him as a relative unknown at the time which is always cool. The pop for Smith is huge, while Bret gets the textbook definition of a mixed reaction. He’s not exactly a heel, but he’s certainly not the guy the crowd wants to win. As for the match, I’ll be brief about it. I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but if you haven’t, WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
This is an absolute classic and is in the running for greatest match of all time. While it seems that there’s no doubt who would win looking back, at the time, this was a huge upset. Smith had never really done anything of note but was getting the singles push for over a year leading up to this night. Everyone knew Hart was a god in the ring and this was the blowoff match to launch him into the main event scene where he would be for the rest of his career in the WWF.
I’m going to skip the play by play here as I can’t do it justice and go straight to the end of the match. It runs over twenty five minutes as opposed to the already forgotten near 30 minute masterpiece we saw earlier for the world title. Both guys are absolutely spent as this has been back and forth the whole time with Smith wrestling a different style than he usually did and throwing off Bret.
Bret is his traditional perfectly timed self with a balanced assault all around, mainly working on the back though to set up for the Sharpshooter. The crowd is hot the whole match as they pop over every single move. This is a match where it’s two guys doing any move they can think of instead of using the same standard stuff that they always use. Clothesline puts both guys down and Bret tries to do the same thing he did last year to Perfect to get the title in the first place.
Smith does something that’s allegedly never been done and gets to the ropes. Someone else might have done it before but I’m not sure. The announcers royally screw this up by making it sound like Bret had him in a headlock. Hart hits the ropes and goes for a sunset flip and Smith goes for the famous counter of dropping to his knees to get the pin and the title as the place erupts.
The music not playing lets things sink in a bit better as Bret can’t believe it. They announce Smith as the new champion to another epic pop. Bret gets up and eventually holds up Smith’s hand as Diana comes in and they all pose to end the show.
Rating: A+. This is one of the greatest matches of all time and is required viewing for anyone that calls themselves a wrestling fan. That’s all that needs to be said.
Hart would go on to win the WWF Title in October in a complete shock in Canada while Smith would really be a transitional champion, losing to Shawn in about two months to launch Shawn’s singles career. This match and title change was really just for the English fans, but dang, what a treat for them and the moment is certainly worth it.
Overall Rating: A+. This is a fantastic show and unless there’s something I’m completely missing, the best Summerslam ever. The only one that pops into my mind to even approach it would be 2002, but that’s way too far in the future to worry about. There’s two absolute classics along with some other very good stuff.
The fans went home happy, there was a huge crowd, and not really a single bad match as everything is at least watchable. The worst match is by far the tag title match, but even it’s not that bad. Excellent show and it gets my highest recommendation.