January 7, 2009
Sean Zern

Summer Slam 96
August 18, 1996
Cleveland, Ohio
Gund Arena

Commentators are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Mr. Perfect. I like that Mr. Perfect is thrown in as a commentator here. I always liked there being a heel and face team. It always worked with Monsoon and Heenan and Monsoon and Ventura. Perfect didnít say much, but when he did he was very effective.

Owen Hart vs. Savio Vega

Savio Vega is out to the ring first. Now Owen Hart comes out to the ring, with his Slammy and the cast still on his left hand. This was my favorite stretch of Owen Hart, when he was the King of Harts and the Slammy Award Winner. He was a whiny baby, but it was hilarious. The bell rings and Savio is complaining about the cast already. The ref warns Owen not to use it as a weapon, which Owen tries right off the bat. They lock up and Vega gets Owen in an arm bar but Owen breaks it. Savio again with the arm bar and he tries slamming it in the corner, but Owen blocks it pounds on Savio and then sends him into the ropes. Savio with the leap frog and then slams Owens hand into the corner a few times and then gets him in the arm bar again. Savio with a body slam and then attempts an elbow and misses, Owen tries an elbow and he misses. Savio now has the arm bar on Owen again. Owen eye rakes Savio and then gives him a shoulder block. Owen runs the ropes again and Savio monkey flips him. Savio now with a couple arm bar takeovers and then an arm bar again on the mat. Owen tries fighting out of it, but Savio sends him in the corner and then attempts a roll up, but Owen pushes Vega into the corner post shoulder first. Owen is now working on the shoulder of Vega. Owen now has Vega in the arm bar with pressure on the shoulder. Owen then with an arm bar takedown that looks like it hurt like hell and then gets Vega back in the arm bar again. Vega bites Owens leg to get out of the hold. Owen twists Vegas arm in the ropes and starts hammering on it. Owen slaps Vega a few times now. Owen with an arm bar again and a few kicks. Clarence Mason is walking down to the ring to observe now. Owen attempts a spinning heel kick but misses, Vega attempts a cross body block pin attempt, but Owen kicks out. Owen then hits an enzuigiri and attempts a pin, but only gets a 2. Vega attempts a quick roll up, but Owen kicks out. Owen has Vega in the corner, and reverse Irish whips Owen into the other corner and runs right into an Owen knee, who tries for the pin with his feet on the ropes, but only gets a 2 count. Owen is pleading his case to the ref, so Vega attempts a roll up, but only gets a 2 count. Owen then hits a spinning wheel kick on Vega and only gets a 2 count. Owen throws Vega into the corner and charges him but Vega hits him with a kick. Vega hits Owen with an inverted atomic drop and then a clothesline. Vega is punching away on Owen in the corner, then Irish whips him, clotheslines him and body slams him, all for a 2 count. He Irish whips Owen again, and gives him a side suplex for 2 count. Owen counters an Irish whip and gives Vega a neck breaker. Owen hits Vega with a missile drop kick from the top rope for a 2 count. Owen tries climbing the ropes again, but Vega crotches him. Vega gives Owen a side suplex from the top rope but his head lands on Owens cast. Owen plays possum and then takes his cast off and drills Savio with it. Savio is knocked out, and Owens puts him in the Sharpshooter. The ref calls for the bell and Owen gets the win. Winner at 13:23 Owen Hart After the match Clarence Mason comes in and celebrates with Owen. This was a good opening match. It had a few slow parts, but both guys worked hard and they put on a nice opener. **3/4

-After the match Justin Hawk Bradshaw attacks Savio Vega in the aisle.

-Next Todd Pettengil is in the boiler room talking about the match that is going to happen later tonight. He seeís Mankind who says ďThereís no place like home.Ē Mankind cuts a promo on the Undertaker.

Tag Team Turmoil for the Tag Team Championship
The New Rockers vs. the Body Donnas vs. the Godwinns vs. the Smoking Gunns ©

Back to the ring, and the next match is a 4 team tag team turmoil match. The first team out is the New Rockers, composed of Marty Jannetty and Al Snow, followed by the Body Donnas, then The Godwinns, then the Smoking Gunns. Billy Gunn starts out with Henry, as Henry throws him into the ropes and gives him a shoulder block, and then he hits Billy with another shoulder block. Gunn with a kick and a punch, Godwinn reverses the Irish whip and gives Gunn a hip toss. He picks Gunn up by the legs and slams him face first. Gunn tags in Zip, and Henry tags in Phineas. They lock up, Zip sends Phineas into the ropes and a shoulder block by Phineas. Zip with the standing side head lock, and now they are running the ropes, but they tag in both of the Smoking Gunns. Both get in the ring and Bart tags in Zip. Zip with a few arm drag take downs, then a clothesline. Jannetty trips Zip and then Gunn covers him for the 3 count. The Body Donnas are eliminated. It is now Henry and Billy Gunn. Henry has Gunn in an arm bar, Gunn sends him into the ropes and Cassidy hits him in the back. Leif is now going to work on Henry, and tags in Marty. Marty gets Irish whipped into the corner, but Henry runs into his boot. A few clotheslines and a suplex by Jannetty. Leif is now working on Henry again. Leif tags in Billy Gunn, who hits a few head butts and chokes him on the ropes. Cassidy knocks down Billy Gunn and now there are some problems between the Rockers and Gunns. Henry Godwinn takes advantage and hits a side suplex. Leif drops an elbow on Gunn, and now the Rockers and Gunns are having some problems. The Godwinns give them the double head butts. A few roll up attempts, but Godwinn kicks out and knocks Cassidy into Jannetty who falls off the ring, and Godwinn gives Cassidy the Slop Drop and gets the 3 count. The Rockers are now eliminated also. Weíre down to the Smoking Gunns and the Godwinns. Bart is working over Henry Godwinn now, and gives him a body slam. He works on him in the corner, then Irish whips Godwinn into the other corner. Bart runs into an elbow by Godwinn and Godwinn with a clothesline. Both men are down, Bart is up first and he attacks Henry. Henry is fighting back, but Bart is back on top of him again. Bart tags in Billy who starts to work him over. Bart back in, and Henry is fighting back, so Billy gets tagged in again. Billy going for a big splash in the corner and Henry catches him and slams him. Henry finally tags in Phineas who is cleaning house. Henry takes Bart out of the ring. Phineas with the slop drop on Billy, but Bart climbs the top rope and lays a big elbow on Phineas. Bart rolls Billy on top of Phineas for the 3 count. Sunny climbs in the ring and announces the Gunns as the tag team champions and says thatís the way itís going to stay. Sunny has a huge poster drop down from the rafters. Winners at 12:18 the Smoking Gunns. What a boring match. No good tag action. There was hardly anything from the Rockers or the Body Donnas. There was just a lot of punching and kicking in the corners. I expected much more from this match up. Iím just glad it is over. *1/2

-In the back, Dok Hendrix is with Shawn Michaels. Shawn talks about being the underdog, and pretty much says he is the giant killer of the WWF. Heís good at putting the past behind him, so heís going to be ready for tonight.

British Bulldog vs. Sycho Sid

The Bulldog is out first. Sid is in the back and gives one of his patented crazy promos. Sid is the master and ruler of the world! I love that line. Sid is out to a real nice pop. He seems pumped up coming out to the ring. The bell rings and Sid is working up the crowd. Bulldog gets Sid in a headlock, and the tries shoulder blocking Sid twice, but cant knock the big man down. Sid clotheslines him when he tries again. Bulldog goes to the outside to clear his head. Crowd is really into Sid. Sid gets Bulldog in a headlock now. Sid powers him over while still keeping the headlock on. Bulldog gets out of it, but then Sid gives him a tilt o whirl back breaker. Bulldog is back up to his feet again and Sid throws him into the ropes. He puts his head down and Bulldog kicks him. The Bulldog lifts up Sid with a very nice vertical suplex. Bulldog is now posing. Bulldog is now back to work on Sid and attempts a pin. He gets Sid in a headlock, trying to wear down Sid. Sid is fighting out of it, but Bulldog clotheslines him out of the ring. Sid on the apron and Bulldog clothesline him to the floor again. Bulldog lifts Sid up for a suplex, and drops him across the top rope and gets a 2 count. Bulldog has Sid in a headlock again. Sid fights back again, and Irish whips Bulldog into the corner. Sid then hits a big splash on Bulldog in the corner. Sid tries it again, but the Bulldog moves. Bulldog is going for the running powerslam, and gets it! Cornette is out there yelling at Clarence Mason for being at ringside for the match. Bulldog is distracted. Bulldog went for the Power slam again, but Sid reverses out and gives Bulldog a choke slam. He then gives Bulldog a nice power bomb for the 3 count!! Winner at 6:24 Sid. This really wasnít a bad match at all. It wasnít that long, and it really helped Sid get over even more. I donít think there was anyone else as over as Sid during this time as Sid. People just loved Sid. This match did not make Bulldog look weak either. It was short enough to be good, but not long enough to be great. **3/4

-We get a Shawn Michaels video package.

Goldust vs. Marc Mero

Goldust is accompanied to the ring by Marlena to the ring for the next match. They go to the back and an interview with Mero and Sable. Mero is out next accompanied to the ring by Sable. There is a bigger reaction for Sable than Mero. This has the potential to be a good match up. The bell rings and the match is starting. They lock up and are in the corner. Goldust slaps Mero, and then hides behind the ref. Again they lock and Goldust gets him in the head lock, he sends Goldust into the ropes and a few arm drag takedowns by Mero. They lock up again, but Goldust with an eye rake. Goldust is working on Mero with a few punches. Goldust sends Mero into the ropes and attempts a clothesline, but misses, Mero misses with a clothesline, but then a cross body by Mero. Mero gets Goldust in an arm bar now on the mat. Mero is really working that arm while Goldust tries to get out of it. Goldust hits a few elbows to Meroís face to get out of the hold. Goldust is on the offense now. Mero runs at Goldust, who dumps him over the top rope and out to the floor. Mero on the apron, and Goldust runs into him and Mero falls into the guard rail. Goldust is now working on Mero on the outside. He rolls him back in the ring, and Goldust throws Mero into the ropes and gives him a clothesline and tries for a pin. Mankind is now walking down to the ring and calling Sable mommy. Mankind then runs off. Back in the ring, Goldust has Mero in a head lock. Mero fights out of it, but then runs into a Goldust knee. Goldust with a pin attempt, but only gets a 2. Goldust is kicking Mero on the ground now. Goldust brings Mero to the corner, an Irish whip attempt, and Mero jumps to the second rope and gives Goldust a back elbow. Mero fighting back, and gives Goldust an atomic drop, and then a running clothesline. He sends Goldust into the ropes and gives him a back body drop. Mero kicks Goldust in the gut, and then gives him a running knee lift. Mero in the corner punching Goldust, who picks him up, and they both fall over the top rope? Blown spot there, I think Mero was supposed to give Goldust a hurricanrana over the top, because Mero got up right away. Mero flips over the top rope to the outside onto Goldust. He sends Goldust back into the ring, and jumps over the rope and gives him a leg drop. He then body slams Goldust and climbs to the top rope, where he lands a shooting star press. Marlena was distracting the ref though. Mero is back to work on Goldust though. Goldust reverses a Mero Irish whip, and gives him the Curtain Call. Winner at 11:01 Goldust Post match Goldust stalks Sable in the ring until Mero gets up and hammers away at Goldust again. This was a decent match between a great mid-carder in Goldust and then Mero who was decent. A lot of Meroís reaction was due to Sable though. There was nothing spectacular in this match, but it was solid. **3/4

-Sunny is back out to the ring with Faarooq, who was actually Ron Simmons dressed up like a gladiator. He really looks stupid here. Faarooq took out Ahmed Johnson in kayfabe. Faarooq wants the IC title, and he says he will get it. Faarooq would soon drop this stupid gladiator gimmick and start the Nation of Domination.

-Mark Henry is introduced as the Worlds Strongest Man, after competing in the 1996 Olympics.

Jerry Lawler vs. Jake Roberts

Jerry Lawlerís music hits, as he comes down to the ring carrying a bag that looks like the one Jake carries. He pulls his jacket off, and heís wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey. King berates the city of Cleveland, and then berates Jake Roberts. He has a few bottles of alcohol. Jakeís music hits and he is out to the ring next. Jake looks mad and heís going after the King. Lawler pulls out a huge bottle of alcohol and heís really pissing Jake off. Jake then pulls the snake out and wraps it around the King. The bell finally rings and weíre going to get started soon. Jake was working on Lawler on the outside, he throws him back in the ring, and heís punching away in the corner. Roberts with a low blow stomp to Lawler. He rolls him to the outside and slams him down on the mat and then throws him into the ring post a few times. Lawler then throws a drink in Jakeís face. Lawler has Jake wrapped up in the ropes, but Jake gets loose and goes for the DDT, but Lawler reversed it into a back body drop. Jake is back on the offensive and tries a DDT again, but Lawler pulls the ref into him and gets out of it. Lawler picks up the bottle of alcohol and slams it into Jakeís throat and then gets the 3 count. Lawler then dumps some alcohol down Jakes throat. He goes to dump more down, but Mark Henry stops him. Winner at 4:07 Jerry Lawler Not much to say about this match, if you can call it that except that it was a DUD.

Boiler Room Brawl
Mankind vs. the Undertaker

Alright so the boiler room brawl is up next. Paul Bearer comes out to the ring, and to win the match you have to go from the boiler room to the ring and get the urn from Bearer. These two had been feuding for a little while, and this match was something new from the WWF perspective. Alright, so Bearer is waiting in the ring, and we go to the Undertaker in back, who walks into the boiler room and is looking for Mankind. Mankind comes out from behind a wall and attacks the Undertaker with a big pipe. He is now working over the Undertaker, but Taker starts fighting back with a trash lid. Taker is on the offensive now, running Mankindís head into the wall. Undertaker tries snake eyes, but Mankind gets out of it and gives him a neck breaker. Mankind is punishing the Taker now and the camera goes out. Itís back on and Mankind is still doing work to the Taker. Mankind is beating the Taker down with a trash can. Taker hits the trash can into Mankindís face, but Mankind gets the upper hand again. Taker now has the trash can and heís giving Mankind a beating with it. He throws a wooden pallet at Mankind and snaps that. Mankind gives Taker a low blow with a huge piece of pipe. He throws Taker into a steel door and runs his knee into Takers head. Heís bringing him back towards the middle of the room, and Mankind climbs up a ladder and drops a big elbow on the Taker. He nails the Taker over the back with a piece of wood and continues to drag him through the room. The camera goes fuzzy again. When it clears up, Taker is down and Mankind is setting up a ladder. Mankind is climbing the ladder, when Taker gets up and drops the ladder back with Mankind landing on the concrete floor. Both men are up, and Taker shoves Mankind into the wall. Taker is going for the exit door, but Mankind gets a steel chain and hits the Taker in the leg with it. Both men are at the exit door now and Taker uses a fire extinguisher on Mankind!! Taker is through the door, but Mankind brings him back in and leaves. Heís trying to keep the Taker out, but Taker gets him in a choke hold. Mankind fights out of it, and is blocking the path way for the Taker to get out. Taker kicks the door open anyways. Both men are now fighting in the hall way. All of the wrestlers are out there cheering them on. Mankind throws ďhot coffeeĒ at the Taker, and Mankind is coming out to the arena now. He crawls through the entrance and waits for the Taker who clotheslines him. Taker strikes Mankind across the back with a piece of wood which breaks. They are fighting down the aisle now. Undertaker tries getting in the ring, but Mankind pulls him down by the hair. Mankind throws Taker into the steel steps, and then lifts up the mats exposing the concrete floor, and gives the Taker a pile driver onto the concrete!!! Mankind is climbing into the ring, but Taker grabs him by the ankle. Both men are fighting on the apron, with the Taker wailing away on each other. The Undertaker throws Mankind off the apron onto the concrete floor onto his back!!! Taker is in the ring, and he wants the urn, but Paul Bearer doesnít give him the urn! Mankind is back in the ring and he gives the Taker the mandible claw! Bearer was about to give Mankind the urn, but Taker sits up, so Mankind with the mandible claw again. Mankind lifts Taker up so Bearer can slap him a few times. Taker is trying to crawl towards Bearer, but Mankind is beating on him. Bearer then drills Taker in the head with the urn! Bearer then gives the urn to Mankind! Winner at 26:40 Mankind Mankind sits in the ring cradling the urn and then leaves with ďUncle PaulĒ. The lights go black and now the druids are coming out, they drag the Taker out of the ring and are carrying him to the back. Well I know when I first watched this in 1996, I wasnít expecting the turn from Bearer. The match itself was pre-recorded before the actual show. It is what it is, and itís a good brawl between those two, who had good chemistry together. This really helped get Mankind over big time and it was a good change for Bearer. This whole thing with Bearer would eventually lead to Kane. As for the match, Iím going to give it ***1/2 for the good brawl.

-Now to the back, where Dok Hendrix is interviewing Vader and Jim Cornette. Cornette says they proved they can win and guarantees it.

WWF Championship Match
Vader vs. Shawn Michaels ©

Vaderís music hits and he is out first. Vader was such a beast when he came into the WWF and up through this match. He was so intense and good in the ring. Shawn Michaels music hits and heís out next with Jose Lothario. Michaels was really popular at this point, but soon people would start to get sick of the bubble gum image and fans would start to get sick of Michaels in the next few months. They say that Shawn was a very angry boy in the back, but it seems like he really loved being out there in the front of the fans. The bell rings and they lock up twice with Vader pounding Michaels with some punches. Vader hits a short arm clothesline. Vader tries a big boot, but Michaels catches his foot, and then sweeps his other leg out from him. Michaels then with a drop kick, and then some more kicks and punches to Vader who is on the ground. Michaels tries to throw Vader into the ropes, which reverses it and attempts a body slam, but Michaels leaps out of that, but Vader gives Michaels some more body shots. Vader tries to send Michaels over the top, but Michaels drops down and Vader goes over the top. Michaels then with a baseball slide into Vaderís face. Michaels then with a cross body over the top onto Vader!! Michaels slides outside, and then brings Vader back in the ring and then gives Vader a double axe handle. Michaels with a hurricanrana attempt, looks like Vader is going to reverse it, but Michaels connects. Michaels jumps on Vaderís shoulders, then brings Vader over the top rope and then skins the cat back into the ring. Michaels jumps over the top rope and attempts a frankensteiner, but Vader catches him and power bombs him onto the floor!!! Vader brings Michaels back into the ring and is pounding on him in the corner with body shots. Vader then gives Michaels a nice vertical suplex. Michaels crawls to the corner, where Vader starts beating on him again. He Irish whips Michaels twice, with the second one sending Michaels over the top rope to the outside. Michaels gets back into the ring and Vader gives Michaels a big back body drop. Vader attempts a side suplex, but Michaels fights out of it, Vader tries again and Michaels flips over and starts throwing some punches at Vader, until Vader gives an eye poke. Vader with Irish whip and charges for a splash, but Michaelís moves, but Vader then hits Michaels with a clothesline. Vader attempting another vertical suplex, but Michaels flips out of it and is throwing punches yet again at Vader, and Michaels runs the ropes, Vader tries to throw him out, but Michaels skins the cat and tries to send Vader over the top rope. Vader picks Michaels up though and just tosses Michaels. He attempts a pin, but Michaels kicks out at 2. Vader now has Michaels in a bear hug type maneuver. Michaels fights out of and tries some kicks and a forearm. Michaels runs the ropes again and slides underneath Vader who tries to fall on him, but Michaels lifts his knee up, crotching Vader. He then clotheslines him down. Michaels climbs the top rope and I think he was supposed to deliver an elbow and Vader was to move, but he didnít, so Michaels gets mad and shouts move, move to him while he stomps him in the head a few times. That was totally unprofessional to do that in the middle of a match. Vader back up, and Michaels runs the ropes and cross bodies Vader over the top rope. Vader then picks up Michaels over his head and drops Michaels across the guard rail. Vader gets in the ring before the 10 count, and Michaels is counted out. Cornette gets in the ring and says they came to win the belt and says if Michaels has any guts then he will get back in the ring. Michaels says he can do it and Vader attacks Michaels outside of the ring. Vader then pushes Lothario while Cornette hits Michaels in the back with his racquet. Vader throws Michaels back in the ring and Irish whips him into the corner and then splashes him, followed by a belly to belly suplex and pin attempt. Vader is setting up Michaels for a Vader bomb, but Michaels fights out of it and runs the ropes a few times before giving Vader the flying forearm, then nips up and gives him a top rope elbow. Heís going to attempt the Super kick, but Cornette distracts him and throws his racquet in. Michaels picks it up and nails Vader with it and gets DQed. Michaels is hitting Cornette with the racquet now too. Cornette says that Michaels got himself DQed on purpose. The match restarts again. Michaels slides under Vader who tries sitting on him again, but Michaels moves. Michaels then hits a flying forearm. Michaels goes to the top and drops another big elbow on Vader. Michaels then hits the Super Kick on Vader but only gets a 2!!! Vader pushes Michaels into the ref knocking him to the outside, and Vader gives Michaels the Vader Bomb! Another ref comes in, but Vader only gets a 2 count. Vader brings Michaels over to the corner and is going to try a big splash, but then tries a moonsault, but Michaels moves! Michaels is now climbing the top rope and hits his own moonsault and gets the 3 count!! Winner at 28:59 and still WWF Champion Shawn Michaels!! This was an excellent match between these 2. Michaels had some great matches with big men during his title run. Heck, Michaels had great matches with everybody during his title run. For as much of a baby he was behind the scenes, the guy could really wrestle. A lot of people give Michaels crap during this run, but with the amount of stress he was under with all the big name guys leaving the WWF and money being down, the guy tried putting everything on his shoulders. Itís no excuse, but you have to understand where he is coming from. The match though overall was excellent. I wish we could have seen another match out of these two. ****

Final Thoughts: This was a pretty good show for the WWF. Consider this, Diesel and Ramon had just left for WCW, Bret Hart was out until the Survivor Series and the WWF had a bunch of new faces coming in. If you looked at the roster from the year before to now, you would see a bunch of new faces. Into the summer though, these guys were starting to establish themselves. Guys like Mankind, Vader, Bulldog and Owen. Plus Austin would blow up soon and Bret Hart would be coming back. Things started clicking and itís a good thing that they did, because WCW was starting to catch fire with the nWo. If it wasnít for Michaels and these new stars, WWE might not even be around today. This is a good show to catch if you havenít seen it already though. B

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