September 20, 2008
Summerslam 1991, August 26, 1991, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan & Rowdy Roddy Piper
Opening Match: Ricky Steamboat, Kerry Von Erich, & Davey Boy Smith vs. Power and Glory & The Warlord (w/Slick)
With the exception of Bulldog/Warlord, there are no feuds here, so this is really just meant to be a good, hot opener. Steamboat and Roma start, with Roma giving him a boot, followed by a slam and dropkick. He poses on the 2nd rope, but Steamboat armdrags him off into an armbar. Roma makes the ropes and elbows him on the break. Corner whip, but Roma misses the charge and falls victim to another armdrag, followed by a dropkick and snapmare. He tags Hercules, who also gets armdragged a couple of times before Steamboat tags Kerry. They trade armwringers until Kerry controls and rams him to the buckle ten times. He mounts for punches, but Herc soon goes to the eyes and tags Warlord, while Kerry is able to tag Davey. Davey is able to knock him down with two clotheslines, and then gets a suplex for 2. Tag to Steamboat, who comes in with a chop off the top, and then hits more chops in the corner. Corner whip is reversed, but Warlord misses the charge. Steamboat tries a monkey flip, but Warlord just throws him off and tags Roma, who also comes in with a shot off the top rope. Clothesline by Roma, followed by a slam attempt, but Steamboat slips out and gets a rollup. Herc tries to save, but misses, however the distraction allows Warlord to come in with a clothesline. Steamboat tries to come back with punches, but Roma grabs a front facelock and hits a suplex for 2. Three backbreakers hit, and Roma tags Hercules, who comes in with a press slam. He cuts off another comeback attempt and tags Warlord, who gets a slam before quickly tagging back out to Roma. Roma works the back and makes a quick tag of his own to Herc. Irish whip sees Steamboat slide through the legs and try some punches. He sends Herc off the ropes, but it gets reversed and Steamboat is caught in a stungun. Tag to Warlord, who slams him and tries a 2nd rope move, but hits the boot. Now Steamboat makes the tag to Kerry who is in with punches for everyone. Tag to Davey, who can’t get Warlord down on a bodypress attempt, but Kerry helps him out by nailing the Tornado Punch. This gets 2 and Warlord is able to tag Roma, who is soon powerslammed, but that only gets 2. Tag back to Steamboat, and he comes in off the top with a flying bodypress on Roma for 3 at 10:44. This was all that it needed to be, got the crowd going, and kicked the show off right. **
Intercontinental Championship Match: Mr. Perfect (w/The Coach) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart
Perfect is coming in here with a pretty severe back injury, but he apparently insisted on being here to put Bret over no matter what. This would be his last match for about 15 months. Lockup leads to a side headlock for Bret, who gets fired off, but nails a shoulderblock. Perfect comes off now, but Bret catches him and tosses him down. Perfect bails to regroup. Back in, Bret works another side headlock and is sent off, but this time hooks a crucifix for 2. Back to the headlock, and Perfect can’t send him off, so he just knees his way out. Irish whip, but Bret ducks and comes back with a bodypress for 2. Sunset flip also gets 2 followed by Bret getting a side headlock takedown. Perfect is up with some chops. Irish whip, but Bret boots him and sweeps the legs. Corner whip is reversed and Perfect hits a slam. Bret kicks him off and comes back with his own slam, and clotheslines Perfect outside. Perfect looks to run away, but Bret catches him and gets him back in the ring. Lockup and Perfect hits a cheapshot on the break, and then boots him outside. Bret makes it to the apron, only to be knocked back down again. The second time he makes it to the apron, Perfect slingshots him right off in to the barricade. Finally back in the ring, Bret comes back with some punches and tries a corner whip but it’s reversed. On the charge, Bret leaps over top and gets a rollup for 2, but Perfect then nails him. He rams Bret to the buckle and gets a chop, followed by a hard whip to the corner for 2. Jumping neck snap and a rollup get 2 for Perfect. Irish whip is reversed, but Perfect kicks him anyways and gets a dropkick to send Bret out. They brawl on the outside briefly, before getting back in. Perfect climbs up top, and Bret joins him, but Bret is the one who gets knocked down. Perfect gets 2 from that and argues with the ref about it. Hairtoss leads to an Irish whip and sleeper. Bret’s arm drops twice before he comes back, elbows out and tries a crucifix again, but this time Perfect Samoan drops him for 2. Chops and a corner whip, with Bret taking a chest first bump get 2 for Perfect. Perfect hooks the Perfetplex, but Bret kicks out at 2 and gets a big reaction for doing it. In his book, Bret says that Perfect insisted that he kick out of the Perfectplex during the match. Bret fires back and gets a couple of atomic drops and a headbutt. He follows that with a Hairtoss that sends Perfect to the post crotch first. Suplex gets 2.5, as does a small package and the Russian legsweep as Perfect kicks out at just the last second, making the crowd even hotter. Backbreaker and 2nd rope elbow get another nearfall, and now Bret argues with the ref. This lets Perfect get a rollup for 2. To the outside now, where Perfect gets whipped to the post. Back in, Bret goes to work on the legs. He tries the Sharpshooter, but Coach is on the apron, so Bret nails him, but that allows Perfect to get a shot from behind. Perfect stomps away and drops a leg to the groin. Second try sees Bret block it, grab the leg, and roll over into the Sharpshooter. Perfect submits before the move is even fully applied, and Bret is the new Intercontinental Champion at 18:04. Great moment for Bret, great effort from a badly injured Perfect, and overall, just a great match. I want to go ****, but since that’s the same rating I gave their KOTR 1993 match, and I liked this one better, I have to give it the bonus and go ****1/4
Important segment is up next. Bobby Heenan knocks on Hogan’s dressing room door holding the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt. This was a huge deal at the time. He challenges Hogan on behalf of the holder of that belt, Ric Flair, but Hogan cowers in fear and slams the door in Heenan’s face. They didn’t want to mention the name “NWA” of course, so Flair is only billed as “The Real World Heavyweight Champion”.
The Natural Disasters (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers (w/Andre The Giant)
A while back on Superstars, Tugboat was teaming with the Bushwhackers against Earthquake and the Nasty Boys, but he turned on his partners and formed a new team with Earthquake called the Natural Disasters. This, then is the first big match for the Disasters, and the Whackers are looking for revenge. They’ve even recruited Andre The Giant, who is on crutches due to (in storyline terms) an attack by Earthquake after Andre refused to join with Jimmy Hart. Typhoon and Luke start out, with Typhoon backing him to the corner, but Luke reverses and bites him in the ass. He punches away and avoids an attack by Earthquake. All four in now as the Whackers whip Typhoon into Earthquake, then use Quake as a battering ram on Typhoon and knock Quake down as well with a double clothesline. Disasters regroup and Quake now takes control on Butch. Snapmare leads to an elbow, which misses, but Quake cuts off the tag, and now successfully drops an elbow. Tag to Typhoon who gets a backbreaker and runs Butch to the corner. Tag back to Quake, who grabs a bearhug. Butch punches out, but ends up in another backbreaker. Tag to Typhoon who gets an Irish whip and elbow for 2 as Luke saves. Quake is in now, but Butch avoids the attack and the Disasters run into each other. Tag to Luke, who takes Typhoon down and all four are quickly going at it. Battering Ram hits on both Disasters, followed by whipping them into each other again, but Luke only gets 2 on Typhoon. Quake back in, and he hits a splash. Now he gets the tag to become legal, and hits the Quake Splash for 3 at 6:27. Pretty much just a competitive squash as they build the Disasters for a program with LOD. Speaking of LOD, they make the save as Quake and Typhoon stalk Andre post-match. DUD
Million Dollar Championship Match: Ted Dibiase (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil
This feud has been running since the breakup in January, and is finally reaching closer to an ending with the Million Dollar belt going up for grabs. Virgil jumps him to start, nailing a backdrop off a corner whip, two clotheslines, and a third one to send Dibiase outside. He tries a dive to the outside, but misses and Dibiase runs him to the stairs. Back in the ring, Irish whip and clothesline hit, followed by a fistdrop. 2nd rope double axhandle gets 2 as does a backdrop off a corner whip. Irish whip, but Virgil ducks and hooks the Million Dollar Dream. Sherri attacks with the purse, but instead of calling for the DQ, the ref simply banishes her and lets the match continue. Both guys gradually recover, and Virgil is able to maintain control by ramming Dibiase to the buckle ten times. He keeps on Dibiase with more punches in the corner. Corner whip is reversed, and the reversed back with the ref getting squashed in the corner. Dibiase taunts Piper (Virgil’s mentor) and then nails three suplexes, followed by a piledriver. The ref is still out, so he takes the turnbuckle pad off. Virgil blocks the attempt to ram him, and he rams Dibiase instead. Ref recovers just in time to count 3 and give Virgil the Million Dollar title at 13:13. Good match, and the reaction for Virgil’s win was huge. This was also the high point for Virgil’s career as well since everything from this point on was downhill hard and fast. **
Jailhouse Match: The Mountie (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Big Boss Man
This has one of the most unique stipulations ever: The loser will be arrested and forced to spend a night in jail. The most shocking thing about it is that we never saw the stip reused during the Attitude era. This is exactly the kind of thing you’d think Vince Russo would get off on. Mountie trash talks right off the bat, so Boas Man nails him and we get a slugfest going. Boss Man sends him off the ropes, and then nails an elbow and splash for 2. Headbutt and choking on the ropes sets up the rope straddle. Boss Man tries it a second time, and Mountie moves, but Bossman just slides through and punches him. Mountie goes to the eyes to take over, but comes off the 2nd rope and is caught with a spinebuster. Boss Man makes the mistake of going after Jimmy Hart, so Mountie comes from behind and runs him to the steps. In the ring now, Mountie gets an Irish whip and elbow, followed by a couple of fistdrop. Corner whip, with Boss Man hitting hard and a slam get 2. Another corner whip is reversed, but Boss Man misses the charge. Mountie snapmares him down and drops a couple of elbows for 2. Irish whip and dropkick also get 2. Boss Man tries a comeback, but Mountie bites him and nails a piledriver. Hart then distracts the ref so Mountie can use the shock stick, but Boss Man avoids it and it’s not used. Now Boss Man is able to come back and he even nails the Boss Man Slam, but Mountie kicks out at 2.5. Mountie trips him on the way up and tries the piledriver again, but Boss Man uses a unique counter, picking him up by the legs and dropping him with a spinebuster, which gets the 3 count at 9:39. No much as far as a match goes, but the stip is great. For the ret of the show we get several awesome segments with the Mountie being hauled off to jail, getting his mug shot taken, being fingerprinted, and finally being put in with a gay cellmate. ½* for the match, but the entertainment value is great.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match, No Disqualifications, No Count Outs: The Nasty Boys (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Legion of Doom
Considering LOD was already building up their next feud earlier in the night, I don’t like the Nasty Boys’ chances here. Big brawl kicks things off with the Nastys getting tossed, leading to more brawling on the outside. Knobbs and Animal finally get it going in the ring with Animal getting a powerbomb for 2 as Sags saves. Hawk nails an ensiguiri on Sags, and then gets a shoulder tackle for 2, with Knobbs making the save. Sags takes control by spraying something in Hawk’s eyes, and then nails him with a drink bin. Tag to Knobbs and they hit a double boot and choke him with the tag rope in the corner. To the outside, where Hawk is run to the steps, and Knobbs drops a double axhandle. Back in, they keep working him over in the corner, and an elbowsmash gets 2. Tag to Sags, who rams Hawk to the buckle and whips him to the corner. He then whips his partner into Hawk, and hits an elbow off the top for 2, with Animal making the save. Knobbs tries a splash, but Hawk gets the boot up and is finally able to make the tag to Animal. Animal’s the house afire, beating up both guys. Powerslam on Knobbs gets 1 with the save made by Sags, and now all four guys are in. Hawk gets dumped, allowing the Nastys to double team. The motorcycle helmet is thrown in and Animal is nailed, but that only gets 2. Hawk is back and he gets hold of the helmet and nails both guys. Doomsday Device follows on Sags and LOD wins the Tag Team Titles at 7:46. This also made them the only team to ever hold the AWA, NWA, and WWF belts during their careers, as JR used to like to remind us about. Match was pretty much just a brawl, but really lacked intensity, and maybe could have even used some blood. *
IRS vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Valentine starts with a wristlock, but IRS makes the ropes. Now Valentine goes to a side headlock and gets fired off, but comes off with a shoulderblock. Back to the side headlock and he gets fired off again, this time getting a hiptoss and clothesline. IR regroups and comes back with a knee and some punches. Irish whip, but Valentine gets a sunset flip for 2. Slam and IRS bails again. Valentine chases, but when he gets back in, IRS puts the boots to him. IRS gets an abdominal stretch, making sure to grab the ropes, but the ref soon catches him and breaks the hold. He then gets a clothesline and drops an elbow for 2. To a rear chinlock, from which Valentine elbows out, but IRS gets a slam. He goes to the tope rope, but Valentine slams him off. Corner whip is reversed, but IRS misses a charge, and Valentine goes to work on the leg. Figure four is hooked, but IRS makes the ropes. Valentine misses an elbow, but maintains control and keeps working the leg. Figure four is tried again, but this time IRS gets a small package for 3 at 7:06. Just a nothing match to put IRS over and flesh out the show. ½*
Main Event, A Match Made In Hell: Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, & Gen. Adnan vs. The Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan
This match was made famous in The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, with Vince alleging that Warrior threatened to not go on unless he was paid a large sum of money. Vince heroically gave in for the sake of saving the show, but fired Warrior immediately afterwards. Sid Justice is the special referee for this match, and he catches Slaughter with a foreign object right off the bat and confiscates it. A lot of the buildup for this match focused on whose side he would take, if any. Slaughter starts out with Hogan, and Slaughter controls with an eye rake and some shots in the corner. Corner whip, but Hogan comes out with a clothesline. Hogan gets in some shots, as does Warrior from the apron. Tag to Warrior, and they hit a double clothesline. Warrior gets an inverted atomic drop and tags back to Hogan so they can hit a double big boot. Hogan rams Slaughter to the buckle for 2. Irish whip and elbow hit followed by a tag to Warrior who works him over and rams him to Hogan’s boot. Tag again to Hogan, who gets a double axhandle for 1 with Mustafa making the save. Corner whip and Hogan follows him in with a clothesline. He keeps working Slaughter over in the corner, but Justice pulls him off. This allows Slaughter to get in a cheap shot and take control. Tag to Adnan, who uses eyerakes, kicks and backrakes before tagging out to Mustafa. Mustafa gets a gutwrench suplex and hooks the camel clutch, but Warrior breaks it up. Tag to Slaughter, who gets a backbreaker for 2, rams Hogan to the buckle and chokes him out. Now Justice pulls Slaughter off as they try to establish that he’s his own man. Corner whip is reversed and Hogan is sent right into Justice, who doesn’t move. Slaughter nails Hogan and tags Adnan, who gets in a few shots before tagging back to Slaughter. He goes up, but Warrior shoves him off. This allows Hogan to make the tag and Warrior is the house afire clotheslining the entire Triangle of Terror before running into Justice as well, still with no effect. But that allows Slaughter to take advantage once more and they work over Warrior in the corner making a few quick tags. Mustafa tries a suplex, but Warrior reverses. Tag is made to Slaughter and he chokes Warrior. Adnan gets in some cheap shots, but Justice sends him back out. Short clothesline is hit by Slaughter, but when he sends Warrior off the ropes, Warrior ducks and nails a clothesline of his own. Warrior makes the tag to Hogan, who is in with punches and boots for everyone. All five in the ring now, but Warrior grabs a chair and chases Mustafa and Adnan to the back, where he runs right in to Vince McMahon and is promptly fired, possibly while the match was still in progress. Justice is distracted watching all this, so Hogan takes advantage to throw some powder in Slaughter’s face, hit the legdrop and get the pin at 12:40. Not a great match or anything, but it wasn’t horrible either and had really good sustained heat. *1/2 Hogan invites Justice to pose with him and cement his babyface status.
A Match Made In Heaven: The Wedding of Randy Savage & Elizabeth
First, we get an extended video package going over the history of Savage and Elizabeth, and then a recap of the proposal on Superstars. That gives them time to get the ring setup for the wedding, which is played as a real wedding, and not just the “angle alert” screaming WWE weddings we’ve seen over the past few years. Heenan keeps making jokes, most of which are pretty good, but Monsoon and Piper threaten him until he shuts up. Savage feigns having cold feet, but in the end they go through with it to become married in WWF storylines in addition to the fact that they had been married for real since 1984. Sadly, they would divorce, in storyline and real life, only about a year later. Really good moment for what it is though.
This was a real fan friendly show with faces winning every major match and the two matches with heel wins were only with guys that were getting built up. Looking at just my star ratings, it doesn’t look like that good of a show overall, but I think I liked it far more then those ratings would indicate. For example, while Mountie/Boss Man is a ½* match, it leads to those jailhouse segments that are really entertaining. Virgil winning the Million Dollar belt is also an example of something that’s way better for the “moment” it generated rather than the match. Perfect/Bret is the one great match we have here and the only thing from a wrestling standpoint that I would consider must see here. It just goes to show that workrate and great matches are not the only things that go into putting on a great show. Everything has to click, and I think that overall, everything here clicks enough to be worthy of watching. Thumbs up for Summerslam 1991.