March 22, 2007
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
August 29, 1994
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler
Host: Randy Savage
Buy Rate: 1.3
Celebrity Guests: Leslie Nielsen, George Kennedy
Adam Bomb (Bryan Clark) defeated Kwang (Juan Rivera)
*** This is Randy Savageís last WWF pay-per-view appearance. In October, he decides to not re-sign with the WWF, as Vince wanted him to stay in the commentary booth, while Savage felt like he still had plenty left in the tank as a wrestler. Vince gave Savage a nice send off on an November Raw, wishing him the best. Savage would show up on WCW Saturday Night in December, and remain there until 2000 (he wrestled the whole time, so I guess he was right). This is very sad, as Savage seemed so enthusiastic and happy commentating and just being on camera. He would have some good feuds and matches in WCW during his 6 year run, but watching this show you feel that his career is effectively over, since he was such a vital part of the WWF landscape since his debut in 1985. Savage has not appeared on WWF TV (live anyway) since October of 1994. ***
1) IRS (Mike Rotundo) and Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Charles Bigelow) defeat the Headshrinkers by disqualification at 7:18
Fun Fact: This was originally for the tag team titles, but the Headshrinkers lost the titles to Shawn Michaels and Diesel on the August 27 house show in Indianapolis. The funny part is that the title change was mentioned for the first time on Live! With Regis and Kathy Lee, as Shawn and Diesel were guests on the show the morning of Summerslam. Lawler then mentions the title change at the top of the broadcast.
Scott: This was the first event ever at the new sports complex in the Windy City, as the Bulls and Blackhawks would start their first seasons there in the fall. Eventually it would become a WCW-only arena, with WWF using olí Rosemont Horizon for all its Chi-town shows. The match was ok, with a schmozz ending for no reason. It would be the start of a very up-and-down evening. Grade: 2
Justin: An energetic opener that is marred by a stupid DQ ending. This is the first PPV where DiBiase is managing his Million Dollar Corporation, a faction that would dominate the heel side of things for the next 18 months. Some good effort here, as Bigelow was starting to hit his stride under the guidance of Ted DiBiase and IRS was solid as usual. The Headshrinkers now start to lose some steam and would undergo some major changes during the fall. The match has some solid action and is a fun opener that gets the crowd going. The ending is lame, but I guess you canít job the Samoans back to back nights and you canít have the new Corporation lie down on PPV, so that is what DQs were made for. Grade: 2
2) Alundra Blaze (Debra Ann Miceli) defeats Bull Nakano (Keiko Nakano) to retain WWF Women's Title with a German Suplex/Bridge at 8:15
Fun Fact: This is the first time the Womenís Title was contested at a Summerslam.
Scott: Believe it or not, this was actually an energetic, well wrestled match. The mid-90's was sprinkled with good women's feuds, and my honey Medusa Miceli was right in the middle of it. Here, she battles the huge, ugly Japanese wrestler with the hideous haircut, but great ability and immense power for a woman. Itís quite obvious the women in Japan take their wrestling more seriously, at least their promoters do. The crowd was very much in this match, and there were numerous two-counts. Is it Shawn/Razor or Steamboat/Savage? No, but that's like apples and oranges. After watching debacles like Rockiní Robin vs. Judi Martin 5 years earlier Iíll take this any day of the week. This is a fantastic match and cements Blayzeís legacy as one of the best womenís wrestlers of the past 20 years. Grade: 3.5
Justin: A really good womenís match and I feel like Vince should have brought in more Japanese imports for the division, as womenís wrestling is huge and legitimate in the Land of the Rising Sun. The division could have been really good if given the chance, and the crowd gets into this match big time, popping huge for the end. It is nice to watch a good, solid womenís match without Lawler screaming about puppies and his hard-ons. While Iím on the subject, watching these shows reminds us of how good of a commentator Lawler used to be until he hit a wall in 1999 with his juvenile comments and lack of attention to the storylines. He is solid here and he and Vince got into a nice little groove during the mid-90s. Alundra was also in a great groove as she continues to rule the womenís division. Grade: 3.5
3) Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) defeats Diesel (Kevin Nash) to win WWF Intercontinental Title after Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) accidentally superkicks Diesel at 15:00
Fun Fact: Justinís cousin, Vinny, and Scottís friend Gary actually owned yellow Razor Ramon shirts, which debuts on camera at this show.
Scott: This was one of the very high points of the evening. Razor wins his second Intercontinental Title when Shawn accidentally Sweet Chin's his boy Big Daddy Cool. This would begin the slow facing out of Diesel, which started 8 months earlier at the Royal Rumble. Vince continued trying to use local sports heroes to pump up crowds. This time it was Walter Payton trying to get the Chi-town crowd into it, and unlike poor Art Donovan in Baltimore at King of the Ring, he did. Shawn complains after the match (in a Coliseum Video exclusive) that it was Payton's fault, and not his own, that cost Diesel the match. Diesel clearly is pissed at Shawn, but they patch things up for a few months, then after another blunder on Action Zone, the shit really hits the fan at the Survivor Series. This was a great match that the crowd is all over as the Bad Guy wins back the gold he lost in April. Nice piece of continuity in the match, as Shawn undoes a turnbuckle pad to expose the steel ring, which was the same way Diesel won the title from Razor in the first place. By the way, those yellow Razor Ramon shirts? Hideous, absolutely hideous. Grade: 3.5
Justin: A fun match here that finally brings some closure to the Ramon-Michaels/Diesel feud that began in December í93. Payton at ringside also adds to the atmosphere, as the crowd is pumped to see him, and he plays an active role in the match, trying to negate Michaels at ringside. Diesel was really getting into a great run here. In fact, all three of these men were red hot and it would all boil over into a superb tag match on the Action Zone in the fall. Dieselís cheers were growing louder and louder and they were not being ignored. After the match he is red hot, and in another Coliseum exclusive, claims even though he still has the tag belt, it isnít enough because he wants the I-C belt back. Well, he would never see the I-C title again, but he would see bigger and better gold a lot quicker than anyone thought. This was a very spirited affair with a nice ending and a good moment for the Razor. In a quick look or miss it moment, Razor celebrates with Walter Payton and his young son and current NFL star, Jarrett Payton. Grade: 3.5
4) Tatanka (Chris Chavis) defeats Lex Luger (Larry Pfohl) with a roll-up at 6:00
Fun Fact: The match was actually built up quite well and over a number of weeks. It all started when Ted DiBiase appeared on Raw and announced that he had signed Lex Luger to be in his new Corporation. Lugerís friend Tatanka went on record and announced he believed DiBiase. Over the next few weeks, Tatanka kept catching Luger in compromising situations, but Luger kept denying it. The two decided to square off here at the PPV to settle their issues. In a one of those classic unintentionally funny moments, Todd Pettingill is manning the WWF Superstar Line and is asking fans if they thought Luger had sold out or not. Well, one astute young fan claimed he thought ďTatanka sold out,Ē the phone was immediately cut off and the segment ended right away. Nice call screening. This is the second time this happened, as on the call-in portion of the Sunday Night Slam show the week before, a fan said Tatanka sold out. By the way that call-in show with Vince and Jerry is also unintentional comedy, as the collection of loser fans and hang-ups is classic.
Scott: Boy, was this the show's worst kept secret? Fans weren't too stupid to figure out who was truly heeling out here. What would have been cool was if Luger WAS selling out to the Million Dollar Corporation. That would have shocked me. Instead, the two wrestle a ho-hum match, nowhere near their 1993 King of the Ring performance. DiBiase comes out with a bag of money, distracts Luger, and Luger loses to a roll-up. Afterwards, Tatanka shows he sold out to the Million Dollar Corporation, and beats Luger down. Whoopee!!!! People were getting sick of him anyway. I'm sure if you go to Chris Chavis' website, he'll tell you it was the most shocking moment in wrestling history. Hogan turning at Bash at the Beach '96? That had nothing on Tatanka's big turn. This was definitely a predictable low. Luger stays a useless, pushed down face. Grade: 2
Justin: The story here was pretty solid, and recently having watched a bunch of Raws and Superstars from July and August of 1994, was rammed down everyoneís throats for two months. It seemed like every week DiBiase and Luger were arguing over whether or not Luger had sold out, with DiBiase claiming he had, Luger denying it, and Tatanka accusing Lex of turning his back on the USA by selling out. Of course, it was Tatanka all along, but the story was still good. The match, however, was not. It was very slow and plodding and was just killing 6:00 until they could get to the finish and big heel turn. The turn would rejuvenate the fading Tatanka for a little bit, but his in ring ability seriously nose-dived and the days of his undefeated streak and fun matches would become a distant memory. Luger continues to be buried in the mid-card after choking at the top earlier in the year. DiBiase continues to stockpile talent for his new stable, as he was preparing to overtake the WWF. The beatdown at the end is actually pretty good, as Tatanka gives Luger quite the ass kicking. Grade: 2
5) Jeff Jarrett defeats Mabel (Nelson Frazier) after Mabel misses a splash at 5:54
Scott: Oh god, another low at this show. Mabel sucks, sucks, sucks. And he isn't getting any better. And what's worse? Vince is actually pushing him! Here, he wrestles another shitty match, against poor Double-J. He deserved a better fate than he received. Oscar is also useless, mumbling some type of jive that I don't want to start understanding. They even show Abe ďKnuckleballĒ Schwartz (former Brooklyn Brawler Steve Lombardi), that stupid guy who's walking around with a baseball strike sign. Oh God, how awful. Anyway, to prepare for the next gem, we had to sit through duds like this. Grade: 1
Justin: A quick, useless match that was just used to spell the crowd before the big cage match. With Mo on the DL, Mabel gets a decent push through the end of 1994, but we ainít seen nothing yet. Jarrett would tread water on the heel side for a little bit longer, but in the New Year, he would finally step up and establish himself as a major player. Grade: 1
6) Bret Hart defeats Owen Hart in a cage match to retain WWF World Title when he crawls over the side of the cage at 32:05
Fun Fact: This show marked the return of the British Bulldog, who had spent all of 1993 in WCW.
Fun Fact II: This is the first cage match on PPV since the Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude title match at Summerslam 1990.
Scott: This was the high of the night, and a great sequel to the classic at Wrestlemania. This isn't a 5 in my eyes only because of the cage. You'd think that making it a cage match would make the match better, but in this case, the combatants spend half the time lunging for the door or climbing up the wall, it takes away from more great action. The psychology is really good in that aspect, but I still would have liked to see more action in the ring. There were a few good cage spots, including Owen missile dropkicking Bret off the top rope. Everybody with a last name of Hart was at this match, including the return of British Bulldog, who hadnít been on PPV since beating Bret for the IC Title at Summerslam two years prior. Bret finally gets out of the cage to win the match, and then the fun starts. Jim Neidhart jumps from the crowd, pushed Bulldog and his wife Diana over the guardrail, then he and Owen push Bret into the cage, and chain the door shut. They then proceed to beat the living shit out of him, as the entire Hart family climbs the wall of the cage to get in. Add Flair, Arn, and Tully, and we're looking at a classic 1986 Horsemen moment. This was awesome, as it was well written, and well executed. This was Owen's only PPV title shot, so after losing, he certainly made the most of it, except of course winning the title. This should have ended the show, but we have one more mess to clean up. Grade: 4
Justin: An awesome cage match that focuses more on escaping the cage than beating the shit out of each other. I think that fact causes people to dislike this match as most of the time is spent on false escapes, however, if you really look at it that fit this feud better than most cage matches (where the object is to brutalize each other). The story here is that Owen believes he is the true champion, as he had beaten Bret on the same night Bret won the World Title. Owen is so hell bent on winning that elusive World Title that he is desperately trying to escape the cage, and could care less about beating Bret to a pulp, as he had already defeated him in the past. It may be a different kind of cage match, but the change of pace made sense and fit the story. I also love the NWA-style brawl at the end, and seeing all of the Hart brothers scale the cage to save Bret is an awesome visual. It is too bad this show wasnít in Calgary, as the roof would have been blown sky high. While he wouldnít receive another title shot on PPV, Owen would play a major role in Bretís reign as we close out the year. A great match that needs to be seen and continued this red hot feud. Grade: 4
7) Paul Bearerís Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeats Ted DiBiaseís Undertaker (Brian Harris) with 3 Tombstones at 9:09
Fun Fact: Following Wrestlemania X, rumors began swirling that there had been Undertaker sightings around the country. Every week, the WWF would air little vignettes with local American Joes claiming they saw the Undertaker in their town. Taker was spotted at delis, construction sites and supermarkets, but no one could grab hold of him. Soon after this, Ted DiBiase claimed that he had bought the Undertakerís services, and that he had an in with the Dead Man because he has originally brought him into the WWF (nice continuity). DiBiaseís Undertaker began wrestling on WWF shows, and was close enough to the real thing that most rubes in the audience bought into it. For die-hard fans, though, it was obviously not the real Taker, as the new one was noticeably shorter. Paul Bearer then showed up on the scene denying that DiBiase had bought Takerís services, claiming that he was still in charge of the Dead Man. Well, the WWF then hired Leslie Nielsen to clear up the mess, and he, of course, accomplished nothing in a series of about 5 skits leading up to Summerslam. So, Bearer claimed that his Undertaker would show up at Summerslam to take out DiBiaseís Undertaker.
Scott: This storyline was intriguing, and the real Undertakerís entrance is awesome as usual, until you see the two Takers in the same ring. Then, you realize this truly sucks. Brian Lee, who played the fake Taker, is clearly half a foot shorter than Mark Calloway, and then you have to walk and wrestle exactly like the real Taker, and it made for some really bad moments. Taker debuts the Purple look, which I like a lot, although many feel we reach the low point of Taker's career. Not his fault. They stumble around for 9 minutes, no-selling each other as if no one's even watching which after a while, with the silence in the arena probably felt exactly like that. Then the fake Taker tries a tombstone, which the real Taker reverses into his own, then hits 2 more for good measure, and gets the win. Thank God. You never, ever hear about the fake Taker storyline ever again. Why would you want to? After a huge high with the title match, this is a big low to end the show. Grade: 1
Justin: This is definitely a candidate for worst Main Event ever, as the match is slow and plodding and dies a miserable death. The crowd loses all interest about 30 seconds in, and proceeds to sit in silence to close out the show. The storyline was a neat idea, but the payoff wasnít worth the trouble. Brian Lee did a pretty good job in the role, but this never should have main evented a Summerslam. Sorry, Taker, I guess not much has changed since we last saw you in January. Things wouldnít get much better for the Undertaker for quite a while, so he just had to settle in and bide his time before he would actually be used in some top flight storylines again. Thankfully, this angle is put to rest after the show as this blow-off did just that: blow. Grade: 1
Scott: This was an up-and-down PPV. There were some great moments (Blaze-Nakano, Razor-Diesel, Bret-Owen), and some absolutely awful moments (two Takers, Mabel, predictable Luger/Tatanka storyline). So what comes out ahead? Well, with Owen and Bret putting on another mat classic, and the Clique calling the shots, we'll lean the grade higher than lower. Now with the next PPV, we begin what many consider the biggest drop in modern WWF history. After suffering through the storyline messes of 1993, we'll see if that's true. In any case, this is a pretty good show to watch, just stop the tape and rewind after Takerís entrance. There's no need to watch afterward. Final Grade: B
Justin: As Scott said, this was a very up and down pay per view, that was more of a holdover for some guys than it was a blow off like most major shows are. The strength of the three title matches carries this PPV and the crap isnít bad enough to ruin those matches. This was a transitional show that bridges a solid 7 month period that the WWF had put together to the lowest point in Federation History that was forthcoming. As usual for this time period, the crowd is white hot (well, until the end anyway) and they add a lot to just about every match. We see some nice storyline movement where needed as well, especially in the Shawn/Diesel picture. This show is definitely a fun watch, and while it is nothing mind-blowing, it certainly is quite entertaining. Final Grade: B
MVP: Hart Family
MVP Runner-up: Diesel/Razor
Honorary MVP: Randy Savage
Non-MVP: Runner-up: Mabel