January 23, 2011
Summerslam’s Greatest Hits
Release Year: 1994
We see the opening to the video.
Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Summerslam’s Greatest Hits. He hypes the two title matches on the tape as we go to our first match.
1. Bret “The Hitman” Hart forces Mr. Perfect (w/ Coach) to submit to the Sharpshooter at 18:04 to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. (Summerslam 1991 – 8/26/91, Madison Square Garden)
One-Time Debut: Coach is John Tolos. He would spend most of his career in Canada, wrestling in the 50s and 60s. He came to the WWF earlier in the year managing the Beverly Brothers and Mr. Perfect, and makes his only appearance here as Perfect was taking time off and the Beverlys would get a new manager. John Tolos would sadly pass away on May 29, 2009 from renal failure at the age of 78.
Analysis: After years of teasing, Bret Hart finally begins his solo run and his first big match is against a solid competitor. Perfect was in serious pain as his back was killing him, but he does the classy thing and puts Hart over. The first couple of minutes are slow, as both men feel each other out with crisp wrestling. Perfect would take over and pound on Hart, but couldn’t put him away. Hart would also kick out of the Perfect-Plex. After that, Hart would take control and put Perfect away with his new submission hold, the Sharpshooter. Perfect would take time off to get his back fixed, and would be back in a new role, and Bret Hart was off to the races as the IC Champion. Great match that is only hindered by the fact that Perfect isn’t 100%, but is still great to watch. Grade: 4
2. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) defeats Kamala (w/ Kimchee and Dr. Harvey Wippleman) by disqualification at 3:27. (Summerslam 1992 – 8/29/92, Wembley Stadium)
Debut: James Harris began his career in 1974, under a variety of nicknames such as “Sugar Bear”. He became Kamala when Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett did him up and portrayed him as a Ugandan savage. He would compete in Mid-South and WCCW, and have a few shorts stints in the WWF in 1984 feuding with Andre the Giant, and again in 1986 feuding with Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts. He returned shortly before this event with his regular trainer Kimchee. Kimchee is played by Steve Lombardi.
Analysis: One last filler match before the main event, and it’s pretty bad. Kamala is way past his prime, but was brought in anyway and put against Taker, who begins the worst stretch of matches in his career. He would constantly remain over, but would get many more horrible opponents over this time period. The only bright spot is Taker’s entrance on the hearse, and he gets a huge pop after sitting up after three splashes. Other than that, the match is terrible, but sadly this is not their last encounter. Grade: 1.5
Gorilla hypes the previous matches and hypes the next match on the tape as we go to that match.
3. Razor Ramon pins “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase with the Razor’s Edge at 7:32. (Summerslam 1993 – 8/30/93, The Palace at Auburn Hills)
The Buildup/Face Turn: This whole issue started over the spring when Razor was consistently being humiliated by the newcomer 1-2-3 Kid. Dibiase started mocking Razor, offering him a job as a janitor. Razor would pull one over on Dibiase, costing him a match against the Kid, officially turning Razor face and this match being set up.
Farewell: While he would stick around until 1996, this is Ted Dibiase’s last in ring PPV. He would retire after a brief stint in Japan. He would be a manager in both the WWF and WCW before retiring from wrestling all together. He currently is a minister and occasionally makes appearances here and there. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010 by his sons, Brett and Ted Jr.
Analysis: The sixth installment of Summerslam kicks off with a solid affair. After months of fans wanting a turn, Razor becomes a face and faces off with the veteran. Dibiase has had a very solid run since his debut, but his back is failing him and he needs to call it quits. Razor gets off to a big start, until Dibiase takes over and wears down Ramon. Dibiase gets desperate and takes off the turnbuckle pad, but he ends up eating it. One Razor’s Edge later, and Ramon gets a big win. Dibiase is done, as far as his in-ring career goes, and Ramon would take a big step in the midcard. Grade: 2
4. Lex Luger defeats Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji and James E. Cornette) by countout at 17:58. Yokozuna retains the WWF Championship. (Summerslam 1993 – 8/30/93, The Palace at Auburn Hills)
The Buildup/Face Turn: On July 4th, on the USS Intrepid, Yokozuna held a bodyslam challenge to all American athletes. No one was successful until a helicopter arrived and out stepped Lex Luger. Luger came in and bodyslammed Yokozuna, turning him face. He then issued a challenge to Yoko for a title shot, which was refused. Lex would then travel cross country in the Lex Express gaining support. The match was eventually made, but Jim Cornette, revealing himself as Yoko’s American spokeperson, added a clause saying this would be Luger’s only title shot.
Analysis: We come to our main event. After Hulk Hogan left, Vince felt like he had to have an All-American face to try to beat Yokozuna, so he chose Luger, who was at his peak as a heel as the Narcissist, and he becomes the All-American Hero. As I mentioned before, when Lex had the right guy to carry him, he could have good matches. But when he has to carry the matches, he very rarely has good matches. Here he has to carry Yoko, and here doesn’t do a terrible job. The ending is very cheesy, as Luger doesn’t attempt to get Yoko in the ring, and just celebrates like he won the belt, which he didn’t. This was to be the only title match, but Vince felt he could get another match and get a bigger reaction from the fans, but we will see how that turns out. For now, the show tries to end on a high note, but just feels very forced. Grade: 2.5
Gorilla thanks us for joining him and promises more great matches from future Summerslams as he bids us goodbye.
Final Analysis: Much like the WM’s Greatest Matches tape, this one is only an hour and has some interesting choices. Hart/Perfect is the runaway for best match on the tape, while the other three I probably would not have chosen. Razor/Dibiase maybe, but the other two, specifically Taker/Kamala should not be included on any best of tape, much less Summerslam. For what it’s worth, this tape is ok, not as good as WM, but not terrible. Final Grade: C