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WWF Flashback: SummerSlam 1991
Topic Started: Sep 9 2017, 02:02 PM (210 Views)
Scrooge McSuck
I'll get you next time, toilet!
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WWF SummerSlam 1991

- Presented live on Pay-Per-View on August 26th, 1991, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper are on hand to call all the action, unless otherwise noted. We’re starting to begin a new era of the World Wrestling Federation, as the infamous Steroid scandal was taking shape around this time, and cosmetically things were beginning to get smaller. Like 1990, the main selling point was a “Double Main Event”, although one of those wasn’t actually a wrestling match, but the wedding of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Insert snarky “but they’ve been married for over 6 years already” comment here if you desire.

- Note: We’re watching the SummerSlam Anthology DVD set for this viewing, as will be the case for most of the SummerSlam PPV’s as we move through the 1990’s. Koko B. Ware defeated Kato of the Orient Express in the Dark Match, earning himself a cool grand in doing so.

- The British Bulldog, The Dragon, and The Texas Tornado vs. Power & Glory and The Warlord (w/ Slick):
SummerSlam must be an unofficial Six-Man Tag Tradition, as we’ve seen in 1989 and as we’ll see for the next few years. Before the match begins, Heenan suggests Slick’s men have the advantage because the other three have never teamed together. Except a week or so earlier on a show that Heenan called the action on. Steamboat and Roma start. Roma with a big slam and a dropkick. Steamboat catches him off the ropes with an arm drag and works the left arm. Steamboat avoids a charge to the corner and connects with a dropkick. Hercules walks into a hip toss and arm drag. Tornado gets the better of an exchange with Hercules. Warlord and Bulldog have their expected exchange, with Bulldog coming off the ropes with shoulder tackles and clotheslines, followed by the delayed suplex for a two count. Steamboat with a big chop from the top rope, but Warlord blocks a monkey flip attempt. Steamboat counters a slam with a roll up, but gets laid out by a clothesline from the Warlord. Roma cuts off a tag and takes him over with a suplex for two. Roma with a back breaker and Hercules with a press slam. Roma with a weird leap frog across the back. Steamboat rallies on Hercules before getting caught with a Hot Shot. Warlord with a slam, but he misses the elbow from the second rope. Tornado with the hot tag, unloading with rights. Warlord actually goes for a sunset flip, but Bulldog tags in. Warlord catches a body press, so Tornado hits the Discus Punch for a near fall. Bulldog with the Running Powerslam to Roma, and Steamboat with the Flying Body Press for three at 10:43. **1/2 Solid opener, but nothing that really stood out. Ricky Steamboat did most of the work, taking a good beating and having multiple hot offense spots. Final (WWF) PPV for Steamboat until the unexpected return in 2009, as well as the final PPV and one of the last WWF appearances for Paul Roma.

- WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Mr. Perfect © (w/ Coach) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart:

Just a small tidbit: SummerSlam has not been kind to the defending Intercontinental Champion, with the title changing hands at all the previous SummerSlam’s to date. Again, I don’t know how this came to be. Perfect was clearly being positioned for a solo run with the Bulldog after WrestleMania, but then Bret got the solo push and poof. Hennig actually missed most of July and August, nursing a pretty serious back injury. It’s amazing he was even able to do this match. Shortly after WrestleMania, Bobby Heenan retired from his managerial duties, passing along the contract of Perfect to “Coach” (John Tolos), and who knows if they explained Haku and the Barbarian. Lockup and a clean break. Bret with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Bret sends Perfect out of the ring with a hip toss. Back in, Bret with a crucifix for a near fall, then takes Perfect over with a side headlock. Perfect tries to use the hair to escape, so Bret grabs a handful of hair himself. Bret ducks under a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a body press for two. Shoulder to the midsection and a sunset flip gets two. Perfect charges and gets taken over with another side headlock. Perfect forces a break and lands a vicious chop. Bret catches a boot, picks the leg, and stomps down on the chest. Perfect reverses a whip to the corner and plants Bret with a slam. Bret kicks him off and slams Perfect in retaliation. Perfect does the same, but Bret maintains control and sends Perfect to the floor with a clothesline. Perfect teases taking a walk, but Bret follows him out and rips apart his singlet before throwing him back in the ring.

Lockup to the corner and Perfect lands a cheap forearm smash. He sends Bret to the floor and lays him out with another chop. Bret pulls himself to the apron, but gets shoved off on a slingshot, and somehow sandwiches a photographer between himself and the rail. Bret surprises Perfect with a roll up, but a shot to the throat puts him back on defense. Hard whip to the corner for a near fall. Perfect with the float-over neck snap and a roll over cover for two. Bret reverses a whip, but Perfect boots him on the chest and sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Perfect to the top rope, but Bret meets him there and both take a tumble into the ring, with Perfect landing on top for a two count. Perfect slaps him around in the corner and tosses the Hitman across the ring by the hair. Whip to the ropes and Perfect hooks a sleeper. Bret with elbows to the midsection, but a crucifix attempt is countered with a Samoan drop for another two count. Whip to the corner with Bret taking the chest-first bump. The Perfect-Plex only gets a two count. Coach is literally hopping mad. Bret with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a traditional style. Now it’s Bret’s turn to throw Perfect by the hair, with the momentum sending Perfect into the post. Bret with a snap suplex for two. Small package for two. Side Russian leg sweep for two. Back breaker and second rope elbow for two. Perfect with a roll up from behind for two. They take it to the floor, with Perfect being sent to the post. Back inside and Bret targets the legs, complete with over-sell bumping. Coach with a distraction to prevent the Sharpshooter. Meanwhile, Perfect recovers kicks the ropes to knock Bret low. He drops a leg across the midsection. He goes for it again, but Bret catches the leg, turns him over with the Sharpshooter, and wins his 1st Intercontinental Title at 18:02. ****1/4 Outstanding work from both men, especially Hennig who could’ve coasted along and done the bare minimum (or simply not wrestled at all), but went out and put Bret over huge by doing the clean job. The only real complaint I have is that the referee called for the bell almost instantly. Outside of a match taped a few weeks earlier and featured after SummerSlam on Superstars (a 30-second squash where he did almost nothing), this was Perfect’s last match for 16-months.

- The Bushwhackers (w/ Andre The Giant) vs. The Natural Disasters (w/ Jimmy Hart):
(Butch & Luke vs. Earthquake & Typhoon)
How about this for a quality dip? Since we’ve last seen Andre the Giant, he was doing the “turning down the heel managers” routine until Earthquake avenged Jimmy Hart and put a big beatdown on his knee (in reality, it was an excuse to write Andre off TV for surgery to try and relieve the pain in his joints). He’s now only capable of coming to the ring with a pair of crutches. It’s quite sad, honestly, watching the developing progress of Andre’s condition, worsening with each passing year. After spending most of 1991 as an afterthought, Tugboat turned heel on the Bushwhackers and joined forces with Earthquake. Butch and Luke kick things off with synchronized thumbs to the eyes. Ugh. The Bushwhackers control early, using the Battering Ram on Earthquake to knock Typhoon out of the ring, and send Quake out as well following a double clothesline. Earthquake works on Butch, but misses an elbow drop. He stops Butch from tagging and makes contact on the second elbow attempt. Typhoon comes in and does stuff. Earthquake with a bear-hug. Whip to the ropes and Typhoon with an elbow for two. We get some sorry ass heel miscommunication, buying time for Luke to make the hot tag. He uses his head in a missile attack to knock Typhoon down. Battering Ram to Earthquake, Battering Ram to Typhoon. Luke gets sandwiched between the Disasters. Earthquake with the Vertical Splash for three at 6:27. DUD Could’ve been worse, I guess. The LOD come to the ring to prevent any harm done to Andre. Andre’s final PPV and TV appearance for the US Audience, but he did make a handful of televised appearances during the next European Tour exclusive to the UK.

- Courtesy of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, it’s a SummerSlam Special Report. He’s knocking at the dressing room of “Hulk Hogan”, and has the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in hand, issuing a challenge to the Hulkster on behalf of the REAL World’s Champion, Ric Flair. Well, that was a pretty big deal.

- Million Dollar Championship Match:
“Million $ Man” Ted Dibiase © (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil:

One of the rare times Dibiase “defended” his quasi-Championship. At least when they pull it out as a Title Match, it’s for a pretty big deal. If you’ll remember, Dibiase was embarrassed by a cheap loss to Virgil at WrestleMania, and took it out on Piper, who he seemed to feud with throughout the Spring until they went back to the big match being Dibiase and Virgil. Virgil attacks from behind while Dibiase was playing to the crowd, unloading with rights and clotheslines and sending Dibiase to the floor. Virgil follows him out, ramming him on the steps. Back in the ring, Virgil peppers him with jabs. Virgil with an atomic drop, sending him to the floor, again. Virgil goes for a plancha, but Dibiase side-steps him. He plays dead until Dibiase throws him into the steps. Back inside, Dibiase with a clothesline and fist drop. Dibiase with a double axe-handle from the second rope for two. Virgil comes back with his version of the Million Dollar Dream, but Sherri attacks him from behind for the Disqualification at 06:17… but wait, the match MUST CONTINUE, with Sherri banned from ringside. I guess it was only at WrestleMania VI where the title changed hands on a DQ or Count-Out.

So the match resumes, with both men laying face-first on the canvas. Dibiase is up first, but Virgil blocks being rammed to the buckle and introduces Dibiase to buckle instead. Virgil with rights and lefts in the corner. Whip across the ring and Virgil with mounted rights. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Dibiase sends Virgil crashing into the referee. Dibiase takes time to trash talk Piper, who is on the verge of having a stroke. Dibiase with a suplex (and a beauty). He pulls Virgil up and gives him a second suplex, followed by a third. Dibiase gives him a piledriver, but the referee is still recovering, so Dibiase kicks him back down. Dibiase removes the turnbuckle pad, and in perfect karmic retribution, Virgil stops his momentum and sends Dibiase face-first into the exposed steel. Both men are down. Virgil is the first to move and makes the long, slow crawl to put an arm across the chest, and Dibiase is down and out for three count at 13:12. *** For the actual wrestling, it was maybe *1/2-**, but the story of the match (Virgil being out of his league except for a few hope spots and a lot of luck), the commentary, and the investment of the crowd helped to heighten the enjoyment.

Jailhouse Match: The Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Loser of the match has to spend the night in a New York City Jail. How’s that for a gimmick match? There’s nothing more to say here but this was one of those gimmick specific feuds that never really felt organic, just forced upon us because the Mountie was an EVIL law enforcement officer, and Boss Man wasn’t (at least not any more). Mountie with trash talking, so Boss Man slaps him. They exchange blows, with Boss Man getting the better of it and comes off the ropes with a splash for two. Boss Man with choking across the rope and a splash across the back. He teases it again, but chases away Hart by sliding to the outside. Mountie with a thumb to the eyes, but a dive from the second rope is countered with a spine-buster. Boss Man with a chin-lock as the crowd is mostly on their hands for this. Hart with a distraction, allowing Mountie to knock Boss Man into the steps. Whip to the ropes and Mountie with a diving elbow. Mountie with a hard whip to the corner, followed by a slam. Boss Man teases a comeback, but misses a charge to the corner. Mountie with a snap mare and elbow drops for two. Whip to the ropes and a dropkick gets two. Mountie cuts off another comeback and connects with a piledriver. Mountie goes for the Cattle Prod, but Boss Man avoids it and lands an uppercut. Whip to the ropes and Boss Man with another uppercut. Whip to the ropes and the Sidewalk Slam only gets two! What is with all the finishers getting kicked out of? Did someone invent a time machine and book it like the “Reality Era” of WWE? Mountie goes for another Piledriver, but Boss Man counters with the Alabama Slam, and that’s good enough for the three count at 9:37. *1/2 Decent action, but it felt a bit lifeless, and there wasn’t much crowd investment to build to any drama. It doesn’t help that Jacques Rougeau wasn’t a very good worker at this point of his career. I’d bump up the rating for the shenanigans that transpire with Mountie’s detailed trip to the station, but then that wouldn’t be fair. I think that was the first middle finger ever presented on a WWF Pay-Per-View, too.

- WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Nasty Boys © (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Legion of Doom:

(Knobbs & Sags vs. Hawk & Animal)
Busy night for Jimmy Hart’s crew. Another match where there was no real rivalry. It was just announced on TV that the LOD and Nasty Boys were going to fight over the Tag Titles. This is advertised as No Disqualification, but then they work it standard formula with partners tagging in and out. Hawk and Animal attack before the bell, sending the Nasties to the floor. Hawk pounds away on Sags and hits him with an enziguri. Whip to the ropes and he connects with a diving shoulder tackle for two. Sags turns the tide with what looks like a can of spray-on deodorant, but does it behind the referee’s back because the “No DQ” stipulations aren’t being taken seriously. Sags bashes Hawk with a tray full of cool beverages (again behind the referee’s back). There’s just nothing happening. Hawk teases a comeback, but its caught off quite quickly. Knobbs with an avalanche in the corner, and Sags comes off the top rope with an elbow drop for two. Animal gets the hot tag, nailing both Nasties with clotheslines. Whip to the ropes and a Powerslam to Knobbs gets a one count. Sags holds back on heel miscommunication and hits Animal with the motorcycle helmet (behind the back of the referee), but it only gets two. Hawk KO’s Knobbs with the helmet, bashes Sags with it from the apron (in front of the referee), and the Doomsday Device finishes at 7:45. * Absolutely boring match that could’ve been a great fight between two teams that know how to brawl, but instead were handcuffed by working a standard formula. The LOD winning the titles makes them the only team in history to win the WWF, NWA, and AWA Tag Team Titles.

- Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Irwin R. Schyster:
Yes, the first Pay-Per-View appearance of I.R.S., formerly Mike Rotunda, after spending the last few years in WCW under various personas: the leader of the Varsity Club, a boat captain, and finally a Million Dollar Man knockoff. Did you remember… Greg Valentine was a former Tag Team Champion, having defeated a team that included Mike Rountda. Almost six-years to the date of this PPV. Just a filler match, so hopefully it will be quick. Lockup, Valentine goes for the arm, but I.R.S. makes it to the ropes. Valentine with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. While nothing is happening, there’s a rumor that Jake Roberts and the Undertaker are lurking around. Valentine with a sunset flip for two. I.R.S. tricks Valentine to the floor and puts the boots to him back in the ring. He slaps on the abdominal stretch, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. Get used to that running joke. Valentine escapes with a hip toss, but misses an elbow. I.R.S. comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline, followed by an elbow drop for two. He goes to the top rope, but Valentine slams him off. Whip to the corner, I.R.S. misses a charge, and Valentine starts targeting the leg. He slaps on the Figure-Four, but I.R.S. makes it to the ropes. Valentine comes off the ropes, missing an elbow, but recovers with an atomic drop. He goes for the Figure-Four for a second time, but I.R.S. cradles him for the three count at 7:08. * Not an awful match, but not much to see here, either.

- Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, and Gen. Adnan:
It’s the Match Made in Hell™! Sid Justice (formerly Sid Vicious) is the special referee, and after two months of hype we still don’t know if he’s going to be pushed as a baby-face or a heel. Col. Mustafa is better known as the Iron Sheik, having joined forces with Slaughter and Adnan shortly after WrestleMania VII. Warrior was involved in a program with the Undertaker for most of the Spring, and shortly before this PPV, was being transitioned into a feud with Jake Roberts, but we needed a marquee tag team match, so here you go. Things take a while to begin, with Hogan and Slaughter starting things off. Slaughter tries using his strap, but Sid takes it away. Lockup to the corner and Slaughter with rights. Whip is reversed and he takes a big chest-first bump. Hogan and Warrior knock him back-and-forth like a ping pong ball. Hogan and Warrior with a double clothesline and big boot. Whip to the ropes and Hogan with an elbow. Double axe-handle gets a two count. Hogan charges in with a clothesline and starts choking, much to Sid’s displeasure as the referee. Slaughter cheap shots Hogan and the match goes to hell (pun intended) with Adnan’s pathetic offense. Mustafa with a gut-wrench suplex and the Camel Clutch. That seems familiar, especially with the location. Slaughter with a back breaker for two. Slaughter sends Hogan into Sid, and it doesn’t even budge him. Warrior gets the 1st hot tag, laying into Slaughter with clotheslines. He accidentally bumps Sid too, and it doesn’t move him, either. This allows Slaughter to attack and make Warrior try and sell. Hogan gets the REAL hot tag and pounds away on Slaughter. Three rights and a big boot. Warrior knocks Adnan and Mustafa to the floor and chases them back to the locker room with a chair in hand. Back in the ring, Hogan throws powder in Slaughter’s face, and the leg drop finishes him at 12:39. We follow that with Sid and Hogan posing for about 5-minutes. ½* This was pretty bad, even compared to a main event with ZEUS two years earlier.

- And finally, the Match Made in Heaven, the wedding ceremony for “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Elizabeth, who would be known from this day forward as “Mrs. Macho.” That sounds so fucking stupid, it’s not even funny. We get a well done, but sappy, video montage covering their relationship, and then it’s a 10-minute wrestling wedding to close out the Pay-Per-View. No shenanigans, no heels coming out to stir any feathers, nothing but the vows and end of show. It wasn’t until a week or so later on syndicated television that we found out their party was crashed by the Undertaker and Jake Roberts, with Sid Justice coming to the rescue. I guess the deal was that they had to call an audible, with Warrior being suspended immediately after the show for “holding Vince up” for a half-million dollars as pay for WrestleMania VII, as well as other contract demands, and threatened to no show his appearances unless his demands were satisfied. And thus we bid farewell to the Warrior for the 1st time.

Final Thoughts: Another strong show from the WWF, although it loses steam in the second half and comes to a crashing stop with a turd of a Main Event tag team match. We’ve got an all-time classic between Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Title, a good piece of Sports Entertainment with Virgil and Dibiase, a solid opening tag team match, and some decent finishes to the other key matches. With only two bad matches, it’s hard to put down the show, even if a couple of matches under-delivered, and personally, I’m not a fan of “wrestling weddings”, but at the time, it was a special occasion and something different. Solid Recommendation.
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true maharajah Jinder Mahal
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the jailhouse match cracked me up with the Mountie being booked at the police station afterwards

not knowing then that Perfect was hurt, he put on a very good performance to help get Bret over

and I do remember the 30 second squash after. Again not knowing he was hurt and would be gone, I thought it was having Perfect lose his cool over losing the title. The match was just him throwing some jobber (dont remember who) around the outside of the ring and the match was stopped.

And yes 26 years later I remember how dreadful and way too long the main event was. I'm older than most of you on here and was 22 when the card took place.

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Erick Von Erich
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I'm Big E and I tell it like it is
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To me, this event was just a big WWF party. Every match ended as predicted. The good guys go over in all the big matches (Main Event, IC title, Jailhouse Match, Million $ Match). Add in the wedding and it's a feel-good wrestling postcard for 1991. Sometimes it's okay to have the good guys win and have everything pay-off as it should.

This was one of the few instances in the WWF's "kayfabe era" where all three titles were held by babyfaces, simultaneously.

I was just going into my senior year of high school and everybody wanted Liz to be their homecoming date, back then. I think I read somewhere that she took the ceremony as a renewing of their vows. She's just absolutely beaming with happiness in that segment. It's sad for me to watch, now, knowing how things ended for her.
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dWb Superstar
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Not counting the UK tour in October, was this Paul Roma's last televised match in the WWF?
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Scrooge McSuck
I'll get you next time, toilet!
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It might be, not 100% sure.
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