Before we start reviewing SummerSlam, let’s all take a moment to mourn the passing of Rowdy Roddy Piper. He is commentating on this one with Vince Mcmahon, and as they kick things off, Piper spends the entire segment eye-fucking the camera harder than anything. He’s the best.
Anyhoo, on to the matches
1. The Rockers vs. Power (Hercules) and Glory (Paul Roma)
So. Power and Glory, huh? At Wrestlemania, Hercules was a face, so I guess he turned. Or Roma for that matter. Well, whatever.
Before the bell, Hercules attacks Shawn Michaels with his chain and leaves him beaten outside the ring. Marty Jannetty is left to fight by himself.
This is the match that made me really start to respect Marty Jannetty and think he was dramatically under-rated in the WWE. Michaels never gets up from the Hercules attack, so Jannetty needs to wrestle in essentially a handicap match. He carries this whole match by himself and gives an unbelievable performance. This is one of my favorite, favorite matches. If Roma and Hercules were more dynamic or technical wrestlers, I really believe this would have gone down as a classic.
They beat Jannetty pretty quickly, unsurprisingly, but still. Good stuff. This starts to setup the inevitable Rockers breakup.
Overall: Great start to the event
2. Intercontinental Championship Match – Mr. Perfect vs. Texas Tornado
Wikipedia tells me that after Wrestlemania VI, the Ultimate Warrior vacated the belt and Perfect won it during some tournament.
Kerry Von Erich makes his WWE PPV debut here. I’m looking forward to a pretty good match. It starts off entertaining, with Perfect going on offense pretty quickly and playing with Von Erich.
If you can’t tell from the picture, that’s the Texas Tornado grabbing Mr. Perfect’s head. I don’t know what that move is called. I call it “Stupid, Dumb Head Grab”. After that garbage, he spin-punches Perfect and gets the pin. Texas Tornado is the new champion.
Overall: Not a perfect match
3. Sensational Queen Sherri vs. Sapphire
Well, I’m not actually going to dignify this match with a review. This is 100% a comment on the farce of putting an actual wrestler like Sherri against a nothing like Sapphire. Apparently Sapphire agrees as she refuses to come to the ring. After announcing her twice, she never shows up. Sherri wins by forfeit
Overall: That farce of an ending still beats an actual match
4. Tito Santana vs. The Warlord
I have a sinking feeling that Tito is again going to be used to put over another wrestler on his way to the top. Roddy begins the match by reassuring us that he’s not going to call Tito a bean eater. That’s… great to know Roddy.
Warlord takes control of this match really quickly. I expect Tito is very distracted by how much he looks like Stone Cold Steve Austin
Tito eventually manages to mount some offense and shit, we know what’s coming!
It’s not enough though. Warlord kicks out of the pin and gives him the ole power slam for the pin.
Overall: Ah Tito. Will you ever win?
5. Tag Team Title Match – Demolition vs. Hart Foundation
We now enter the phase when Crush joins demolition. Wikipedia lets me know that the reason they added Crush was because Bill Eadie had developed an allergy to shellfish (which he attributed to his frequent trips to Japan) which hospitalized him, and McMahon wanted to add a third member to the team just in case the illness put Eadie out of action for an extended period of time.
This is a 2 out of 3 falls match, always great to see them switch it up a little.
The match starts with a ton of great action. Neidhart ends up getting hurt outside the ring. Bret Hart does a great job of fending off Smash and Crush but eventually gets pinned after a double team, so Demolition takes the first fall.
Bret continues to get beaten up in the ring and nearly gets pinned a few times, but eventually makes the tag to Neidhart who comes in a house of fire. After some beatings, the Bret goes for the pin, Demolition throws the ref out of the way, and Hart Foundation get the pin by DQ. It’s tied at a fall apiece. During the melee, Ax runs out to the ring and hides under the apron.
Hart Foundation start the last sequence in control with Bret Hart dominating Smash. Pulling an old Killer Bees trick, Smash runs out outside the ring, Ax crawls out from under the apron and starts wrestling. The Ref can’t tell them apart. Ax is totally fresh, so manages to turn the tide on Bret Hart pretty quickly.
Then the Road Warriors…. oh wait, that’s the Legion of Doom. Sorry. The LoD come out to interfere and throw the right guy (Smash) in the ring. Or Crush. Or whoever. I can’t tell any of them apart. In the confusion, the Hart Foundation get the pin, the win and the belt!
Overall: Really good match with a great crowd pop when the Hart Foundation got the pin
6. Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Bad News Brown with Big Boss Man as Guest Referee
I despise “guest referee” matches. You’re almost always guaranteed a fairly crummy match with a ref-based disqualification finish, where one guy ends up fighting the ref. Bleh.
I’d love to see this applied in any other sport. Because the implication of these matches is that the refs are so terrible at their jobs, you need an actual wrestler in the ring to keep control. They should have football players officiate NFL games and have Serena Williams ref every tennis match from now on.
Why even stop there? Why not have Bon Jovi as the first base coach at the world series and then you could have President Obama ref the Stanley Cup.
Oh look, while I was typing, Bad News Brown was disqualified by Big Boss Man and they ended up fighting. Surprise
Overall: This is a very up and down SummerSlam
7. Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff vs. The Orient Express
Yeah, like I said in Wrestlemania VI, I refuse to cover Hacksuck Jim Fuckhead matches anymore. I don’t even give a shit why Nikolai is a good guy now
Overall: Don’t care
8. Dusty Rhodes vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a good match. Both these guys are great performers in the ring.
As a side spectacle, before the match starts Ted Dibiase comes out and grabs the mic. This whole thing is has a backstory where Sapphire was bought by Ted Dibiase, betraying Dusty Rhodes. For those keeping score at home on their racist-ometer, Ted Dibiase, a rich, white man, has a character where he buys black people and he now owns two.
Ah, WWE. You do make it hard to defend you.
Anyway, as all this stupid, stupid bullshit goes on, Macho Man attacks Dusty from behind to start the match. They go back and forth a bit and Sherri interferes, prompting Dusty to seize the moral high ground from Dibiase by threatening to assault a woman.
Well this match is certainly filled with just a metric fucking ton of moral ambiguity. Macho man hits Dusty with an iron-filled purse and gets the quick pin
Overall: Lots of feelings here
9. Earthquake (with Dino Bravo) vs. Hulk Hogan (with Big Boss Man)
This is literally the first PPV since 1984, that Hogan hasn’t headlined.
For anyone counting, that’s like 16 main event PPVs in a row. I wonder if that’s a record even John Cena beats? I think that’s pretty impressive.
Rather than recap this match, I’m just going to go back and watch Wrestlemania II and watch Hogan / Bundy. Because seriously, this is basically the same match. Lots of Hogan-can’t-get-Earthquake-down-oh-my-god-he-got-him-down followed by oh-my-god-Hogan-won’t-get-up-from-that followed by Hogan hulking the fuck out after two splashes. Honestly, really standard stuff.
The only part of the match that is a deviation is that Jimmy Hart interferes and the action spills outside and Earthquake gets counted out.
Overall: Of course he slammed Earthquake
10. World Heavyweight Championship Cage Match: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior
So a cage match, huh? This is the 2nd cage match we’ve seen at a PPV, the first one being Hogan / Bundy in Wrestlemania 2.
Rude and Warrior get right into it and spend the first 5 minutes throwing each other into the cage. Rude gets busted open right away. I rewatched, but I couldn’t see the cut. The Warrior follows right after him with a cut of his own.
I feel like Rick Rude was trying to prove something in this match, but I don’t know what. For example, here he is jumping off the top of the cage, which is a level of acrobatics somewhat out of character for him
Warrior unsurprisingly pulls out the win after beating up Heenan for awhile and then climbing out of the cage
Overall: Third time’s the charm. I remain very impressed by Rude’s ability to pull an actual wrestling match out of the Ultimate Warrior