August 22, 2009
Summerslam 1994, August 29, 1994, United Center, Chicago, IL
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry “The King” Lawler
In 1994, Summerslam was headlined by the double main event of Bret Hart defending the WWF Title in a cage against brother Owen Hart, and the return to the ring for the first time since January of The Undertaker, who will take on Ted Dibiase’s imposter Undertaker. Macho Man Randy Savage opens the show by playing to the crowd, and he then throws it to Vince and Lawler, who note that the Tag Team Titles were won last night by Shawn Michaels and Diesel, and that the entire Hart Family is here to see the cage match, including the returning British Bulldog. This then leads us into our first match.
Opening Match: Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS (w/Ted Dibiase) vs. The Headshrinkers (w/Afa & Lou Albano)
So, this was originally scheduled to be a Tag Team Championship match, but as mentioned in the opening, last night at a house show in Indianapolis, the Headshrinkers lost the belts to Shawn Michaels and Diesel, so now we just have a regular match. Bigelow and Fatu start off with Bigelow hitting a couple of shoulderblocks. He misses a charge to the corner though and takes a crescent kick for 2. Fatu fails on a slam and Bigelow falls on top for 2, and then hits an ensiguiri. Headbutt off the top misses, so Fatu hits a clothesline and tags Samu. They hit a double crescent kick for 2, but then Bigelow manages to make the tag. Samu controls IRS though with a slam, hiptoss, and clothesline for 2. He misses a bodypress, but when IRS charges, he misses too and goes to the floor. Fatu rams him to the steps and gets him back in. Tag to Fatu, who gets sent off and Bigelow pulls down the ropes to send him crashing to the floor. Bigelow works him over a bit and then tosses him back in. IRS drops some elbows for 2. Tag Bigelow, who collides with Fatu, and the both guys tag. Samu takes over with a backdrop on IRS and then one for Bigelow. He drops a 2nd rope headbutt on IRS for 2 with Bigelow saving, so Samu dumps him. Fatu is in now and they hit the double faceplant on IRS, and then Fatu connects with the top rope splash. Dibiase has the ref though which draws Albano onto the apron where he gets nailed by Bigelow. So now Afa comes in after Bigelow and the result is a triple team headbutt. The ref has turned around by now and so he calls for the bell, awarding the match to Bigelow and IRS via disqualification. The teams brawl to the back which would seem to suggest that this issue is not over, but they never really came back to it. Good match for what it was though. **
Oh yeah, as part of the buildup for the show, Leslie Nielsen was brought in to do a series of skits where he attempted to solve the mystery of what was up with the Undertaker. He’s at the show here too continuing that angle with another skit here. In this one he meets up with George Kennedy and they’re now both on the case. Which, of course, means that they are literally standing on an open briefcase. If you like the Police Squad/Naked Gun style of humour, you’d probably like it, and I did, but more in a “it’s so cheesy you just kinda have to laugh” way. And it’s still funnier then pretty much anything on Raw these days.
Women’s Championship Match: Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano (w/Luna Vachon)
Since being revived in late 1993, the Women’s division has consisted of only Alundra and whoever was challenging her at any given moment. Fortunately by this point, they’ve brought in someone good to challenge her in the form of Japanese star Bull Nakano. Nakano was introduced on the August 1 episode of Raw when she and Alundra fought to a double count out. Because of that, a rematch was signed for this show, and now here we are. Nakano starts with a clothesline, but Alundra comes back with a dropkick. Second one misses though and leads to hairtosses by Nakano. Alundra fires back to no effect, and then gets clotheslined and legdropped for 1. To a rear chinlock, but Alundra makes the ropes, so Nakano faceplants her for 2, even with an arrogant cover. Alundra comes back with a rana for 2 and hits a spin kick. Another kick misses though and Nakano hits a throat toss. She hooks a modified Boston crab, but Alundra manages to struggle to the ropes. Nakano keeps working the back, and then hooks what could be described as an inverted Sharpshooter while pulling Alundra completely off the mat by the hair. The crowd is oohing and aahing after that one, but it doesn’t last long before she lets go. Luna takes a shot from the floor, but Alundra still manages a rollup for 2. Nakano works an armbar, with Alundra getting on top for 2. Alundra gets sent off, but comes back with a clothesline. Two more connect and put Nakano down for 2. She sets up a piledriver, but Nakano backdrops out. Slam gets 2 for Nakano, and then she follows with a clothesline. Corner whip sees Alundra come over top and get a backslide for 2. Next, she tries a rana, but gets powerbombed for 2. Nakano goes up, but misses the legdrop off the top. Alundra recovers and hits the German suplex for the pin to retain at 8:19. Another good match puts this show on a bit of a roll. **1/2
Intercontinental Championship Match: Diesel (w/Shawn Michaels) vs. Razor Ramon (w/Walter Payton)
Diesel won the Title from Razor on Superstars back in April thanks in large part to the interference of Shawn Michaels, so for the rematch here, Razor brings legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton with him to even the odds. Their introduction actually gets one of the biggest pops of the night by the way. And as already mentioned, Shawn and Diesel are the new WWF Tag Team Champions, with Shawn parading around ringside wearing the belt for the entire match. Razor throws the toothpick and then attacks, knocking Diesel to the floor where Shawn has to pump him back up. Now Diesel takes control, going right to work on the back. He misses a boot though and takes a clothesline. Corner whip, but Diesel gets the elbow up and puts the boot to the throat. We also see Shawn pulling Razor’s hair from the floor. Diesel hooks a sleeper, but Razor suplexes out. He then charges at Diesel, but gets tossed. Shawn works to get a turnbuckle pad off, which is a call back to the match where Diesel won the belt. Payton comes over for some words with Shawn, but when the ref gets in between them, Shawn takes off, runs around the ring, and clotheslines Razor. Diesel looks for the countout win, but Payton helps Razor back in. Diesel goes back to work now and tries a whip to the exposed buckle, but the ref gets up to block it. Then Shawn gets on the apron, so the ref leaves Diesel on the honour system and goes to deal with him, which of course results in Razor getting whipped to it. Side slam gets 2, and then he follows with Snake Eyes and some choking on the ropes. Razor starts a comeback, but runs into a boot for 2. Diesel the hooks an abdominal stretch, hooking the ropes for leverage several times until Payton gets the ref to catch him in the act and break the hold. Razor then briefly gets his own abdominal stretch, but Diesel hiptosses out. Diesel now goes for Snake Eyes on the exposed buckle, but Razor slips out and gets a rollup for 2. Now Razor finally gets his comeback as he gets in some shots, sends Diesel to the corner, and then drags him groin first to the post. 2nd rope bulldog gets 2, as does a slam, and then he stops to knock Shawn off the apron. He sets Diesel on top, but Diesel elbows him off. Diesel sets up the Jackknife, but Razor backdrops out and sets up the Razor’s Edge. Shawn provides the distraction though and that lets Diesel attack from behind. Payton has had enough now and chases after Shawn, who tries to get in the ring. The ref breaks them up, but again Shawn gets away. He gets in the ring where Diesel is holding Razor, and goes for the Superkick, but Razor moves and Diesel takes it. From there, Payton grabs Shawn and keeps him at bay while Razor covers and gets the 3 count to regain the IC Title at 15:03. Huge pop for the finish and the post match celebration with Razor, Payton, and Payton’s son Jarrett. Dissention is teased for the first time between Shawn and Diesel, but they keep it together for now. The clique always worked harder together and went out of their way to make each other look good, so the result here was another really good match. ***1/2
Tatanka vs. Lex Luger
Something tells me that the streak of star ratings increasing with every match ends here, but in any case, on we go. The idea here was that they are friends who have been torn apart by Ted Dibiase’s attempts to get Lex Luger to join the Corporation. Tatanka believes that Luger has sold out and turned his back on the fans, while Luger is adamant that is not the case. The tension grew so much, that Tatanka challenged his buddy to a match here tonight. They have a hotline fan poll that says 54% of people believe that Luger has sold out for what it’s worth. Tatanka gets a pretty low key reaction from the fans while Luger gets mainly cheers, (while Vince tries to sell to us that it’s the other way around) which suggests the fans are a step ahead of the game here. They argue for a bit and then do a couple of intense lockups. For now they just work a basic babyface match, trading holds and counters until Tatanka nails him. Bodypress gets 2, which is followed by Luger getting a small package for 2. Luger then gets a hiptoss and suplex for 2, but misses an elbow. Tatanka sends him off the ropes and hits a powerslam for 2. A series of tomahawk chops also gets 2. He then hits a suplex and goes up for the big chop, which gets another 2. He goes up again, but this time he misses, so Luger nails a couple of clotheslines. Ted Dibiase makes a ringside appearance as Luger nails a powerslam. Dibiase pulls out the money as Luger argues with him, but that allows Tatanka to come from behind with a rollup for 3 at 6:03. ˝* Luger and Tatanka argue a bit with Luger then cementing his face status by getting in Dibiase’s face and kicking the bag of money away, but then Tatanka attacks him and reveals that it was a setup all along and it was in fact Tatanka who joined the Corporation.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Mabel (w/Oscar)
No real setup here. This one is pretty much just a filler match. Mabel shoves Jarrett off, but Jarrett avoids the next shot and struts. To a wristlock, which Mabel easily breaks and then he mocks the strut. Jarrett gets cocky again after avoiding a boot, but ends up getting slammed and clotheslined to the floor. Oscar gets in his face, so Jarrett shoves him down, and then he trips Mabel up. Something off the 2nd rope hits, and he then follows with a couple of double ax handles. He then goes up, but gets caught coming down. He rakes the eyes to escape though and hooks a sleeper. Mabel breaks it, then sends Jarrett off and hits a spin kick for 2. We cut to a shot of Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz, who is on a sympathy strike in support of his fellow baseball players. That was definitely a short lived gimmick. Jarrett tries a bodypress but gets powerslammed for 2. Jarrett rakes the eyes again to retake control, but opts to go after Oscar instead, so Mabel catches him and hold him so Oscar can take a shot. Mabel then squashes Jarrett against the post. Back in, Mabel goes to the 2nd rope, but misses a splash and Jarrett gets 2. Jarrett gets sent off and tries a sunset flip, which Mabel looks to block by dropping down, but Jarrett moves and then hooks the leg and gets 3 at 5:56. They were clearly grooming Jarrett for bigger things, but he never quite got there. Strangely enough though, Mabel would find himself in the main event of next year’s show. ˝*
The cage match is up next, but we need time to set up so we start out by finding Nielsen and Kennedy in the arena with the Undertaker appearing right behind them, but they just can’t turn around in time so the mystery continues. Then we get an extended look back at the buildup for Bret/Owen, covering the initial falling out at Survivor Series, the full fledged turn at the Royal Rumble, Owen’s win at Wrestlemania, Jim Neidhart’s involvement at King of the Ring helping Bret retain the Title and Owen win the tournament, and several interview segments building up the cage match tonight. Vince and Lawler then make their way over to where the family is sitting where Vince gets comments from Stu and Helen while Lawler tries to stir the pot by accusing them of driving Owen to do what he’s done. We also get comments from the returning British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, and Bruce Hart. After a pre match promo from Bret, we’re finally ready to go.
WWF Championship, Cage Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “The King of Harts” Owen Hart
Owen jumps Bret as soon as he enters the cage and works him over. Bret comes back with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline, but Owen takes back control with a rake of the eyes. Bret again comes back with a DDT and climbs the cage, but Owen pulls him down and hits an ensiguiri. Owen climbs now, but Bret stops him by suplexing him off the ropes. Bret goes for the door, but Owen gets him by the leg. Bret gets a bulldog and goes for the door again, but Owen saves and then they go into a sequence of trading dives for the door only for the other guy to stop them each time. Bret climbs now, but Owen slams him off the ropes. Owen climbs over, but Bret grabs him by the hair and drags him back in. They trade shots on top of the ropes with Owen knocking Bret down and hitting a missile dropkick. Owen kips up and climbs, but Bret catches him by the foot and climbs with him. He knocks Own down, but loses his balance and can’t capitalize. They collide mid ring, after which Owen goes for the door, but Bret holds on and then drops an elbow. He climbs, but Own pulls him down and crotches him on the ropes. Owen for the door again, but he gets dragged back. Bret misses a 2nd rope elbow and Owen makes it over the top, but Bret again drags him back by the hair. Bret tries to go over, but Owen pulls him back and takes him down with a Samoan drop. There’s another series of escape attempts before Owen hits a piledriver. He climbs again and manages to kick Bret away, but falls and crotches himself on the ropes. Bret goes for the door, but Owen gets the foot. Bret keeps struggling, but can’t get out. Now Owen tries the door, but Bret drags him back and catapults him to the cage. Bret goes for the door again, but Owen dives to make the save and then sends Bret to the buckle. Owen slips out of a slam attempt, but gets run to the cage anyways. Bret sells that he’s reinjured the knee, but nothing comes of it. He climbs, but Owen drags him back and hits a spinkick. Owen makes it over the top, but gets pulled back. They trade shots up top with Owen getting knocked down, but Bret can’t get out. Owen climbs again, but gets suplexed down off the top of the cage in our biggest highspot of the match. Bret goes for the door, but Owen grabs the leg and hooks the Sharpshooter. After it’s been on for a bit, Bret reverses and holds it himself. Finally he lets go and climbs. Owen meets him there, but both guys fall down. They climb once more, and this time they both make it over the top. After trading some shots, Owen’s leg gets hooked which allows Bret to drop down and retain the WWF Title at 32:11. Post match sees Neidhart clothesline Bulldog over the barrier and then help Owen get Bret back in the ring for a beatdown, padlocking the door behind them. The other Hart brothers at ringside try to climb in for the save, but keep getting knocked down. Finally, Bulldog makes it in, so Owen and Anvil flee the scene. Great little angle at the end there. This is the match that really exposes the limitations of the WWF’s escape rules cage matches. Throw some dramatic nearfalls in there at the expense of some of the climb/save spots that started to get a little repetitive near the end and I have no doubt that these guys could have followed Wrestlemania with another ***** performance. The slight repetitiveness is also a symptom of the match being a little bit too long, but that’s a pretty minor nitpick. All in all, I give the match ****1/2.
Main Event: The Undertaker (w/Ted Dibiase) vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)
So back at the Royal Rumble, Undertaker lost that infamous Casket Match to Yokozuna and was declared dead as a result. In reality he was taking some much needed time off, even missing Wrestlemania as a result, which he probably regrets today. Just after Wrestlemania though, a series of clips began airing on TV of people who claimed to have seen him. Ted Dibiase then announced that he had made contact with the Undertaker, and would be bringing him back shortly, which he did on an episode of Heartbreak Hotel. It didn’t take Paul Bearer long to determine that this wasn’t the real Undertaker though, so he resumed his search and then promised to bring his Undertaker to Summerslam to face Ted Dibiase’s one. The Fake Undertaker (or Underfaker as many people called him, which is also what I will use in the play by play for the sake of differentiating them) was played by Brian Lee, who would go on to become Chainz of DOA. After drawing it out as much as possible, Bearer brings out the real deal, who uses this show to debut a new version of his music, as well as the purple look that he would use for the next two years. They start with a staredown, followed by UF trying the first shot, but UT blocks it. UF then tries a shoulderblock to no effect. He comes off again, but gets hit with a big boot and sent out. UF stalks Paul Bearer, but UT grabs him by the hair and suplexes him back in. The intro got a pop, but there has been no heat whatsoever for this match so far. UT tosses UF again and rams him to the apron, but as they get back in, UF pulls him down on the ropes. UF sets up the ropewalk, but gets pulled down. UF sits up, but he still gets hit with UT’s ropewalk. Irish whip is reversed and UF gets UT with a sloppy looking stungun and then uses two clotheslines to put him down. Elbow misses though and UT hits a clothesline. Charge misses and UT goes tumbling to the floor. The issue of no heat has continued this whole time with Vince trying to sell that the fans are in awe, but really the return was the only thing they cared about. The result of the match is a foregone conclusion and the fact that they’re having a really bad match so far is just making matters worse. UF sends UT to the post and the stairs, then stomps him back in the ring. Chokeslam hits, but UT sits up. UF then hits a Tombstone, but again UT sits up. UF goes for a second Tombstone, but UT reverses it and hits one of his own. That’s not enough though so he hits two more and finally brings this debacle to an end at 9:10. UF gets wheeled out in the casket, which is then found backstage by Nielsen and Kennedy, but when they open it, it’s empty. But the case from earlier is now closed and that’s good enough for them, so Summerslam 1994 reaches its conclusion with this main event never to be mentioned again, and for good reason. -**
You know, this was actually a pretty good show. Provided you shut it off after the cage match that is. That Undertaker vs. Undertaker main event is something that probably sounded cool in the wee hours of the night nearing the end of an all day booking meeting, but once they actually had to execute it, it pretty much flopped. While you get the feel good ending of our hero returning, you also get the feeling that they could have done it a lot better. The rest of the card, led by the Bret/Owen cage match and the Diesel/Razor IC Title match is pretty good and earns the show about as high a Thumbs in the Middle as a show can get because I just can’t go Thumbs Up with a -** main event. The show is recommended for a rewatch, but like I said, turn it off after the cage match.