Summer Slam ’89


1. Hart Foundation vs. Brain Busters


First off, who on earth is that doing the commentating?  It’s sure not Jesse and Gorilla.  It’s Jesse and someone else.  Wikipedia tells me it’s Tony Schiavone.

And the Brain Busters have the title.  Huh.  I guess they won it from Demolition sometime after WM5.   And for some reason this isn’t a title match, something to do with them booking the match when Brain Busters weren’t the champions.  So lots to be confused about.

This match has tons of quick action and good momentum.  The Hart Foundation take the early offense, and then it’s the Brain Busters turn.  Pretty evenly split.

The fight ends up spilling outside the ring, with all four men going at it.  The Hart Foundation end up back inside with Tully Blanchard and do a move so fucked up I don’t even know what it’s called.

A reverse power Bret Slam
A reverse power Bret Slam

It’s fantastic.  Unfortunately, the Brain interferes, Arn Anderson kicks Hart in the head, and the Brain Busters get the pin

Overall: Great match with an incredible finish

 


2. Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man


As I write this (Jun 2015), Dusty Rhodes literally just died about a month ago.  So this is a bit depressing.  Dusty Rhodes was never one of my favorite wrestlers, but the guy was an icon in the business, helping to shape both the WWE and the NWA.

He also did the
He also did the “are you not entertained” pose a full 10 years before Russell Crowe

Rhodes is great at playing to the crowd, so he keeps the entertainment level pretty high.  Honky ends up throwing Dusty into the ref and Hart uses the opportunity to hit him with the guitar.  Dusty moves, Honky gets clocked and Dusty gets the 1-2-3

Overall: Honky really never moved above low-mid card after losing the best, did he?

 


3. Mr Perfect vs. The Red Rooster


I just can’t take the Red Rooster seriously, I’m not sure why.  Is it the ridiculous entrance theme with the chicken noises?

The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it's Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?
The dumb hair? The outfit? The fact that it’s Terry Taylor? The whole goddamn absurd character?

I really feel like one bird-themed wrestler is enough for the WWE.  They already have Koko B. Ware, they really don’t need to explore more birds.  Also, if they were going for the attack chicken theme, shouldn’t they have gone with the Fabulous Fighting Cock?

I’m not sure if this is Mr. Perfect doing a great job of selling, but he seems genuinely irritated to be in this match.  He slaps the Rooster alot and seems to throwing a ton of potatoes.  He demolishes the Rooster pretty quickly and gets the pin with the Perfect Plex

Overall: A perfectly serviceable match

 


4. The Rockers with Tito Santana vs. The Rougeaus with Rick Martel


This should be a good one.  Plenty of talent in the ring.  I don’t understand why Tito is still wearing his Strike Force tights.  Will… will the WWE not spring for new tights?

The Rockers immediately jump into the ring, do like six insanely athletic moves and clear house.  The Rougeaus get the upper hand though, and start putting a beating on Tito.  Every time Martel gets in the ring with him, he does a ton of showboating for the crowd.  They hate it and it gets the audience really fired up.

Weirdly, Jacques Rougeaus ends up slowing down the match by throwing on an Abdominal Stretch.  It gives Tito a breather and the beating of Tito continues.  Honestly, I think the offense against him goes on for about 14 minutes.

He finally makes the tag and Shawn Michaels comes in a house of fire.  The action goes insane for about 3 solid minutes of high flying moves and the audience is on their feet the whole time.  Obviously it culminates in a flying forearm and obviously I’m going to screen cap it

Drink it in, it always goes down smooth
                      Obviously

Unfortunately, Martel ends up getting an illegal hit on Marty Jannetty and the Rougeaus get the win.

Overall: Pretty decent match.  Tito is awesome

 


5. Intercontinental Title Match: Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude


Didn’t I just recap this match in Wrestlemania V?  I didn’t love it then, why would I want to watch it now?

Warrior – again – no-sells every single move Rude puts against him, while Rude does a great job over-selling every move Warrior does

For example, look how high Rude lifts himself
For example, look how high Rude lifts himself

I feel like Warrior ushered in the new style of wrestling that we see reflected in the modern era.  He is just a big, powerful guy that throws out punches and power moves.  Half the match happens outside the ring, he’s doing moves that used to be disqualifications (like hitting Rude with the belt) and there’s no real wrestling to speak of.

I guess Vince really liked this approach.

This match is really lopsided, with Warrior beating the ever-loving crap out of Rude.  Rude kicks out of a bunch of pin attempts.  Eventually the momentum shifts and Rude gets the sleeper on the Warrior.  As the Warrior powers out of it, there is a three way collision between Warrior, Rude and the Ref and all three men are out.  Warrior Hulks out, hits a power slam, but there’s no ref to count the pin.

I’ve got to hand it to Rude, this is the second match where he’s made the Warrior seem like an actual wrestler.

Both men hit the piledriver on each other, but neither can get the pin.  The momentum is now shifting back and forth every 2 minutes.  The crowd is losing their mind.

Then Piper comes out.

Sure, why not?
Sure, why not?

You can guess what happens next.  Rude is distracted, Warrior comes from behind and slaps on the big press slam and gets the pin.

Overall: A surprisingly great match.  So far this is way better than Wreslemania V.

 


6. The Twin Towers with Andre the Giant vs. Demolition with Hacksaw Jim Duggan


Here’s some early thoughts.  Twin Towers (an unfortunate name in retrospect) enter to “Jive Soul Bro” which is Slick’s opening theme.   Is Slick the only manager to have a theme song?   Do all of the guys in his stable enter to Jive Soul Bro?  Should I refer to it as his “stable”?  I get that he’s a pimp, but is that too on the nose?

Hacksuck sure gets included in a bunch of tag matches.  I expect it’s because he’s completely, completely horrible and is unwatchable in solo matches

This match is a very standard punch-only match.  What’s most surprising is they actually tag in Andre.  I didn’t even think he was mobile at this point in his career.

Ax also seems really surprised
Ax also seems really surprised

Anyway, this match ends the same way any match with Hacksuck does.  With a 2×4 to the face while the refs back is turned

Overall: I’m just glad it’s over

 


7. Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine


This match starts off with Ronnie Garvin doing ring announcing.  I have no idea what the backstory is for this, but as he announces Greg Valentine he spends 2 minutes insulting him.  This entire thing is just filthy with C-level wrestlers.

Both the Hammer and Hercules are looking a little long in the tooth.  Just a bit slower on the pace of this one.  The match comes to a surprising and unexpected end very quickly when the Hammer gets a pin by putting his feet on the ropes

Overall: Oh, there was more stuff with Ronnie Garvin.  I just don’t care

 


8. The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka


Wow, Snuka must be like 60 at this point.  Let’s check.  Hmm, nope.  46.

Much like Hercules and the Hammer, Snuka is a couple beats off his game.

Case in point
    Case in point – he was supposed to jump over Dibiase

Still, pretty good for 46 I guess.  Through the whole match, Jesse refers to Snuka as alternately  “an animal”, “a neanderthal” and “a gorilla”.  Jesse’s racism is on fine display in this match.

The match is mostly lop-sided to Dibiase.   Snuka briefly gets the upper hand and goes for the Superfly off the top ropes.  Virgil distracts him, Dibiase hits him out of the ring and Snuka loses by count out.  All is not lost however because he still manages to hit Virgil with the big splash

Screencap provided because it's awesome
Screencap provided because it’s awesome

Overall: Snuka!

 


9.  Macho Man and Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake


This match features Lanny Poffo (Macho Man’s brother) and Brutus Beefcake (Hogan’s very good friend) in a main event.  So this match is all nepotism.  Hogan, stop trying to push Beefcake on us.  He’s just not that good a wrestler and “The Barber” is not that great a shtick

"This is my favorite wrestler!" - Nobody, anywhere
“This is my favorite wrestler!” – Nobody, anywhere

Hogan comes out by himself to a huge, enormous, deafening pop.  Man, he was popular.  Miss Elizabeth also gets a chance to come out to her own ovation and the crowd has another chance to lose their minds.

So Zeus is in this one.  This is right after No Holds Barred then, the horrible Hogan action movie.  I can’t remember how long Zeus lasted in the WWE, but it wasn’t long.  The match starts off with Zeus in the ring and he no-sells every single move.  They are obviously setting him up to be this indestructible, unstoppable monster.

Savage gets in the ring and he quickly puts a sleeper hold on Hogan.  He tags in Zeus, who gets Hogan in a bear hug.  This is like 6 minutes of rest holds to start the match.  So, dull as shit.  But finally, the tag to Beefcake… who puts Macho in a sleeper hold.

Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action
Pictured: Unrelenting, slow-paced action

Jesus.

Then Zeus comes in!!!! And… Brutus puts him in a goddamn sleeper hold.  Okay, I’m pretty much done reviewing this match.

Anyway, the match ends with Hogan vs. Zeus.  Hogan does his standard moves of punching and eventually hits Zeus with what seems to be a lead-filled purse.  The match ends!

And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.
And then Hogan physically assaults a woman.

Overall: A pretty dull match, but Macho is still fantastic.

 

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