A match made in heaven and a match made in hell!
This is presented as part of the At Odds with Wrestling homework assignment. Listen to At Odds every Thursday night or early Friday morning. This week’s assignment is SummerSlam 1991. I may have not seen this show since the VHS was released at my local mom and pop rental place. This is an exciting bit of nostalgia.
I’m already sold from the opening seconds. The graphic, the music, and Vince’s over the top voice over. All of it brings me back. Look at this MSG crowd too! This is a hot crowd and they stay that way for most of the night. Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, and Roddy Piper are your announce team for the evening.
The Dragon, Texas Tornado Kerry Von Erich, and the British Bulldog vs. Warlord, Power and Glory (with Slick).
I’m noticing the camera angle and entrance seem slightly different than the usual MSG set up. Maybe a longer entrance area?
Warlord vs. Bulldog was an over feud. Who is the strongest man in the WWF? Maybe the most Warlord has ever been over. Usual classic work for a tag team match. All six men have been in once and the faces kept control. Now time to switch it up. The Warlord stuffs Dragon’s flip attempt and that gives the heels the opportunity to work over Steamboat. Our heel team misses one chance to double team when the referee is distracted but grab the second opportunity. Dragon hits a cross body on Paul Roma for the pin. It’s a fun match. Not great, and the teamwork isn’t great either. Some of the guys looked a little lost at times. Where am I supposed to go now? Am I in the way? What do I do with my hands? But the crowd is already into it and the show starts out fun.
Sean Mooney interviews Mr Perfect with the Coach. There are a LOT of interviews tonight. This era still had intermissions and breaks and boy does it show.
Bret Hart vs. Mr Perfect (Intercontinental champion) (with the Coach).
Stu and Helen Hart are in the crowd. There’s only one thing this could mean.
Perfect’s tights are torn early into the match and credit to him for finishing. I thought it was an accident but judging by the second shorter trunks underneath I think this was a planned spot. Either way it works and shows some passion and anger and desire for the title. Wrestling fans, myself included, usually give matches an extra point for blood. I’m giving one for torn clothing. Piper and Heenan are great bouncing off of each other. This match has so many cool spots, but it’s not a spot fest. It all tells a bigger picture. There’s a stiff shot into the turnbuckle. A great looking swinging arm into a sleeper. Hook the leg, Bret! Bret kicks Perfect’s legs out and it works so well in this story he’s crafting. Heenan asks for the time limit on the match. He’s just so damn good. Bret locks on the sharp shooter and Perfect gives up surprisingly fast. Bret strips Perfect of the rest of his gear and then Hart celebrates with his mom and dad. Lord Alfred Hayes shows up to tell Stu and Helen what just happened in the ring. Bruce Hart cameo! Always.
I forgot about WWF selling versions of their VHS releases as pay per views in the off months. “Hot Ticket” presents Hulk Hogan. I also think there was another round of PPV content called Hot Ticket that also featured tanned fake blondes with their shirts off.
Mean Gene interviews the Bushwackers and Andre the Giant.
The Natural Disasters (with Jimmy Hart) vs the Bushwackers (with Andre the Giant).
Luke and Butch are “licking and wacking their way through everything”. Well, their wives must be happy. Heenan leaves during this match to interview Hogan. The match ends up being an easy and clean win for the Natural Disasters. There’s just no doubt how this match will go, and then it’s there. Earthquake and Typhoon try to attack Andre. He swings his cane at kids to get off his lawn. The Bushwackers are out but the Legion of Doom make an appearance. The Natural Disasters are caught in between two face tag teams and run off, but not before Andre gets a couple shots in. The good guys celebrate and for one of Andre’s last WWF appearances he got something. I guess. Probably shouldn’t have been dragged out on TV at all in that condition.
Bobby the Brain is at Hogan’s dressing room and shows off the real world champion’s belt. Hogan, or someone, slams the door in Heenan’s face. Ric Flair is nigh.
Sean Mooney interviews Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri.
Ted DiBiase (the Million Dollar champion)(with Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil.
This was such a hot story line. One of the biggest that year for sure, maybe for that time. DiBiase bumps his ass off to make Virgil look good. Virgil ends up being out wrestled, which he should be. Piper’s call makes this match. He elevates the entire story. Virgil locks on a Million Dollar Dream and Sherri jumps in to cause the DQ. The referee decides to ban Sherri from ringside and resume the match. Crowd is going nuts. There is a ref bump. Everyone is down. Huge dramatic build up. Virgil is exhausted and slowly crawls over on top of DiBiase for the pin. The crowd erupts.
There was a black Million Dollar champion before there was a black WCW champion, WWF champion, or WWF Intercontinental champion.
Also, I’ll say it. I know it’s her wedding night. I think Sherri looks hotter than Elizabeth here. Kids love Miss Elizabeth. Men love Sherri Martel.
Mean Gene interviews the Mountie in front of some of the NYPD.
Sean Mooney interviews the Big Boss Man.
There’s even more interviews to come. Drink all you want while watching this show. Plenty of pee break times.
The Mountie (with Jimmy Hart) vs the Big Boss Man.
Not a bad match at all, but the crowd is definitely getting tired already. I think the last match took it out of them. This match may have had a better crowd reaction later, but that would leave less room for all the related skits. Was that an Alabama Slam for the pin? Boss Man holds the Mountie for the NYPD. Handcuffed and then the police roughly drag the Mountie away, just as he requested.
Not a bad match. Definitely a memorable angle from my childhood. But story line aside there’s better on the card.
Mean Gene talks, DiBiase and Sherri interrupt.
Sean Mooney interviews Bret Hart.
Mean Gene interviews Jimmy Hart and the Natural Disasters.
Sean Mooney interviews the Big Boss Man.
Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage, who is talking on the 1-900 line.
Now they say it’s time for an intermission.
Back, and the police have arrived at the station. The Mountie is trying to get out of all of this.
Sean Mooney interviews Jimmy Hart and the Nasty Boys.
More of the Mountie in jail.
Sean Mooney with just Jimmy Hart.
Mean Gene with the LOD.
The Mountie is fingerprinted.
Sean Mooney interviews Sgt Slaughter along with his cronies.
Mean Gene interviews Sid Justice.
NOW, we’re back to action.
This show might only have two hours of action, maybe less.
I want a Nasty Boys Cabbage Patch doll. In fact, I’ll take an entire WWF line of Xavier Roberts creations.
The Nasty Boys (WWF Tag Team champions) (with Jimmy Hart) vs the Legion of Doom.
No DQ, no count out, but we’re still going to be sneaky.
This is a good fight and it’s time to give the Nasties credit for what they do. Bounce for their opponents but look like they had to earn the win. Hawk is smashed with a bucket of drinks. I’ve seen multiple buckets, coolers, receptacles, broken over Hawk’s back lately. Was this a signature spot? The referee is distracted so the Nasties can use Jimmy’s helmet in a no DQ match. Hawk hits Jimmy, hits Knobbs on the outside, hits Sags on the inside, Doomsday device and we got new tag champs.
LOD is always over and fans always wanted to see them as champions. For some reason I always remembered Animal taking the beating and Hawk getting the hot tag. The more retro wrestling I watch the more I realize I am wrong.
The Mountie tries to escape but is tossed into a cell.
Survivor Series commercial.
IRS vs Greg the Hammer Valentine.
The “figure four vs the W-4”. Piper says Irwin is fast and, I guess? Compared to Hammer, sure. It’s a good match for these two but odd. Valentine makes no sense as the face. Heenan seems to be hitting to close to broken home as he mocks Piper. Hammer goes for another figure four, IRS reverses into a cradle and gets the win. Not a terrible match and probably the perfect thing for this point in the show. Cool down between two hot matches. Also, the only straight up one on one match tonight. No gimmick, no title, just two guys.
Mean Gene interviews Hogan and the Warrior.
The Match Made in Hell
Guest referee: Sid Justice.
Sgt Slaughter, Col. Mustafa, Gen. Adnan vs. Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior.
Slaughter takes a gross hit to the ring post and it’s on. This is a lot of pressure to put Sid under. As the House Show podcast re-watches him on old In Your House shows he frequently seems lost in the ring. I don’t know that I would have trusted him to control this match.
Why doesn’t anyone use the back rake anymore?!
Hogan gets locked into the camel clutch and Piper with a great, “I remember this back in ’83!” From a similar looking but differently named former champion. Sarge whips Hogan into Sid. The two beached blondes have a face off. Warrior comes into the ring at his leisure, pushes someone around, back to his corner. Sarge works the majority of the match and Hogan is close behind. Mustafa and Adnan have excuses, but what’s Warrior’s? His work level is embarrassing in this match. Shiek is already near immobile. Warrior chases Adnan and Mustafa to the back and it’s the most work all three of them have done all match. Hogan throws powder into Sarge’s face, then hits a leg drop for the pin. Hogan waves Sid back into the ring so they can pose together. This is a blatant attempted torch passing that worked out as well as the previous ones.
Previous ones like the Warrior, who ran to the back and was fired from WWF. Don’t forget kids, Warrior was a shitty person that WWE is trying to retcon.
The Mountie is freaking out in his cell and then hit on by a leather daddy. Part of me wonders if this would play on today’s WWE. The other part of me thinks they would go for it and now I have to wonder which former Superstar would play this prisoner in a cameo role.
Recap of Savage proposing to Miss Elizabeth. Music video of their story. The song is horrible, but gets better, but wait. Is this the right song? I could have sworn the theme of Mach Man and Miss Elizabeth was “Together”. What kind of Mandela effect is this?! They changed one of the more iconic songs in wrestling history!
Also, this PPV doesn’t have the extra footage of Jake the Snake Roberts and the Undertaker crashing the wedding.
Great show with a bad finish.