August 26, 1991
New York, New York
Madison Square Garden
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan & Rowdy Roddy Piper
We kick it off with Lord Alfred Hayes talking with groom-to-be, "Macho Man" Randy Savage in his locker room. This is billed as the Summerslam of Heaven and Hell, with a Match Made In Heaven (Randy Savage & Elizabeth are to be married), and a Match Made In Hell (Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnon & Colonel Mustafa).
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The British Bulldog & The Texas Tornado vs. The Warlord & Power & Glory
This is Steamboat's second time around with the WWF. During his original stint, he won the Intercontinental Title, but wanted to take a few weeks off to be with his wife and newborn son. As the story goes, this upset Vince McMahon, and he forced Steamboat to job the Title to the Honky Tonk Man. From then on, Steamboat and Vince were never really happy with each other, and Steamboat left the WWF a year later. He went to the NWA where he had some of the best matches of all time with Ric Flair, and actually won the NWA Heavyweight Title. Now that he was back in the WWF, you'd think he'd get a push as a top player, but instead Vince is taking his Dragon nickname way too literally and has him dressed up in this ridiculous Dragon costume. The match begins, and the faces do a good job of getting the crowd into it. They take turns tagging in and show good continuity until the heels get the mismatch they want, and the Warlord overpowers Steamboat. The heels go through their slow, boring offense until Steamer makes the hot tag. We get a disjointed ending, as the ref and half the wrestlers don't look too sure of what to do. Bulldog hits the running powerslam on Roma, and Steamboat finishes with the top rope crossbody at 10:41. Decent, if not unspectacular, opener. **
Sean Mooney is with Intercontinental Champion, Mr. Perfect, and The Coach. No, not Jonathan Coachman, a guy with a whistle and a sweatshirt that reads "Coach" just in case we forgot his name. According to Perfect, Bret may be excellent (his nickname is the "Excellence of Execution"), but Mr. P is perfect, and nothing beats perfection. Gotta love Perfect.
Intercontinental Title: Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (Champion)
Stu and Helen Hart, Bret's parents, are in attendance, which you'd think is a good sign for Bret, who enters first, wearing the cool pink jacket that preceeded the black one. Perfect's back was pretty screwed up coming into this match, but he was fulfilling his commitments, and indeed it would be the last match he wrestled for fifteen months. He's enduring what must have been a tremendous amount of pain to put Hart over. They go through the feeling out process first, and Bret works in a few near falls to set up the near fall sequences we'd see later in the match. Perfect tries to cheat by doing the little things, like pulling the hair, but Bret fights fire with fire and doesn't take any crap, doing the same right back to Perfect. Perfect takes over when Bret takes his trademark chest first bump into the corner. They brawl on the ropes, and Perfect takes an awesome bump to the floor considering the condition of his back. Inside, Perfect comes back and hits the neck snap. He goes through his regular offense in between quieting Bret comebacks. He hits the Perfect-Plex, but Bret kicks out at two, something very few have done. Perfect gets in the ref's face about the count, allowing Bret time to recover and go through his usual slew of offense, and pick up a near fall. This time it's Bret that argues the count. Bret tries to hook the Sharpshooter, but the Coach gets on the apron, prompting Bret to go over there and punch him out. The distraction, however, allows Perfect to regain the advantage, as he clobbers Bret in the stomach. He drops a leg on Bret's abdomen twice, then tries to do it again, but Bret blocks it, crosses Perfect's legs, and turns him over into the Sharpshooter out of nowhere. In a famous ending, Perfect submits very quickly because of his injury at 18:03, and Bret wins the Intercontinental Title in a big way, to a tremendous pop. Perfect really put Bret over huge there; what a pro. Earl Hebner presents Bret with his first WWF singles Title (he'd help rob him of his last), and Bret celebrates with a hug for Stu and Helen. ****1/2 match, a great one, and a testament to both men when you take Perfect's injury into account. Both have said they had better matches at house shows leading up to this, which is almost scary to think about.
Gene Okerlund talks to the Bushwackers and their gentle giant buddy, Andre the Giant.
The Bushwackers vs. The Natural Disasters
Andre is with the Wackers here because the Disasters took out his knee a few weeks before this. Luke and Butch get the crowd into it early, but the rest is a Disasters squash, and rightfully so. Earthquake finishes with the Earthquake splash at 6:28. 1/4*. The Disasters set their sights on Andre, who is on crutches, but the Legion Of Doom comes out and forces them back to the dressing room to save Andre.
During the previous match, Bobby Heenan got up and left his broadcasting position (and with the Diasters vs. the Bushwackers, who can really blame him?), claiming that he had some business to take care of. Now we see him backstage with the "Real World's Title Belt" in hand, on behalf of "The Real World's Champion" Ric Flair, knocking on Hulk Hogan's dressing room door. Hogan, off-camera, slams it in his face. Wow, that was awesome! Heenan with the NWA Title, confronting WWF Champion, Hogan! People had been dreaming about Hogan/Flair for years, and here it was.
Sean Mooney gets a few words from the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri.
Million Dollar Title: "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase (Champion) vs. Virgil
Virgil starts out a house of fire, and destroys DiBiase, but misses a pescado, enabling Teddy to take over. DiBiase drops a few fists. Virgil manages to hook the Million Dollar Dream, but Sherri nails him with the loaded purse, and referee Hebner calls for the bell. But instead of ending the match, he sends Sherri back and orders the match to continue. DiBiase is still in full control when Hebner gets bumped. DiBiase undoes the turnbuckle pad and insults Virgil. He takes him to the corner, and in a great moment of poetic justice, Virgil reverses, and sends DiBiase flying into the steel buckle to knock him out cold. Virgil covers, and Hebner crawls over to make the slow, dramatic three count at 10:56. Virgil not only wins the Million Dollar Title, but more importantly, he regains his dignity. *** and a huge pop for Virg.
The Mountie is at the paddywagon that will take the loser of the next match to jail. He tells the cops not to be nice about doing their jobs, and to be rough on Boss Man after he beats him.
Sean Mooney talks to the Big Boss Man to get his viewpoint.
Jailhouse Match: The Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie
The loser has to spend a night in the New York City pokie. Now on the surface this might seem like pure Wrestlecrap. After all, it is an American cop wrestling against a Canadian one in a typical early 90's WWF storyline. But the true comedy behind the Mountie character comes out here, and saves this match from being one of the more infamous ones in WWF history. Despite the stipulation, the actual match carries on as normal. The Mountie sends Boss Man to the steps on the floor. Inside, a piledriver gets a mere two count. Frustrated, the Mountie resorts to going after his shockstick, but Boss Man dodges it, and nails him. A Boss Man slam gets... two. That was close. The Mountie tries another piledriver, but Boss Man starts to reverse to a backdrop, then instead decides to slam him down forward. The result is a brutal looking spinebuster, and the impact is enough for Boss Man to get the three at 8:37. Boss Man wins, and the cops come out to handcuff the Mountie and take him away. ** The cops drag a whining Mountie through the halls of MSG and shove him into the waiting paddywagon. And off it goes...
Gene interviews a ranting and raving Ted DiBiase, who is pissed about his loss earlier in the night.
Sean Mooney talks to the brand new Intercontinental Champion, Bret "Hitman" Hart.
Gene talks to the Diasters and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy is understandably concerned about his other protégé, the Mountie.
Mooney catches up with the Big Boss Man, following his sweet victory.
We cut to Gorilla, Piper, and Heenan at the ringside broadcast table. I think they edited out some interview time because now, less than five minutes after leaving MSG, the Paddywagon pulls up to the jail. The Mountie is taken out and dragged into the station, kicking and screaming all the while.
Sean Mooney interviews a distracted Jimmy Hart with the Nasty Boys, who are ready to defend their Tag Team Titles. Sags uses the word "conwagulated".
The Mountie gets tricked into having his mugshot taken.
Jimmy is pissed.
Gene is with the Legion Of Doom. They mostly target the Natural Diasters instead of the Nastys, thus foreshadowing their feud even though the LOD hasn't even won the gold yet.
The police asks a struggling Mountie to let them fingerprint him. After much refusal, his response: "You want da finger? You got da finger!" And there's the first middle finger ever on WWF TV. It's shortlived, however, as the cops take the finger and get his prints.
Sean Mooney talks to Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnon, and Colonel Mustafa.
Gene interviews Sid Justice, making his WWF PPV debut, who will be the special guest referee in the main event. A TV camera caught him talking to Sgt. Slaughter earlier in the day, and Mean Gene is suspicious.
Tag Team Titles: The Legion Of Doom vs. The Nasty Boys (Champions)
This match is under No DQ and No countout rules; basically a precursor to the Hardcore match except for that falls count anywhere part. Hey, LOD, it's no DQ- why not use the spikes? The match gets underway and they brawl, but soon they go into the ring and start wrestling under the regular tag format. Uh, if it's no DQ then why does Animal have to wait for Hawk to tag him? I mean if it's no DQ, what's going to happen if he disobeys the ref and goes into the ring? Sags nails Hawk with a box of sodas on the floor. Hey, those were for the Brain! Animal eventually gets the pointless hot tag, all four men climb in, and Piper declares it a donnybrook. The Nastys nail Animal with Jimmy's motorcycle helmet, but it only gets a two count. Hawk responds by hitting Sags with it, then he and Animal hit the Doomsday Device to win the Tag Team Titles at 7:46. Hawk and Animal make history, becoming the first and only team to win the AWA, WCW, and WWF Tag Team Titles. The crowd goes wild. *1/2
Meanwhile, back at the pokie, The Mountie is thrown in his cell.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Irwin R. Schyster
This is IRS's PPV debut, and this match is here to put him over. Gorilla mentions that ringsiders are talking about rumors that the Undertaker and Jake "The Snake" Roberts are here. Valentine takes IRS to school, but IRS bails. A decent, but uneventful match develops. The commentary rules too, with Heenan jawing back and forth with Gorilla and Piper. IRS does his trademark rope-assisted abdominable stretch spot. Valentine escapes and goes for the Figure Four, but IRS gets to the ropes to break it. Valentine tries to hook it again, but this time IRS cradles him to pick up the win at 7:07. **1/4
Gene talks to the Ultimate Warrior and WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster alludes to his MSG WWF Title win that changed wrestling forever back on January 23, 1984.
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnon & Colonel Mustafa
Yes, it's a handicapped match, and yes, this is the Match Made In Hell. The Slaughter storyline had already been blown off months ago, so this was virtually pointless. It's the definition of a filler main event, as the WWF was just waiting until the Undertaker could challenge Hogan, the Jake/Savage feud could take off, and Ric Flair could debut. Things would soon get better. The heels work on Hogan, and Mustafa (aka The Iron Shiek) hooks the Camel Clutch. Being in MSG, Piper notes that he remembers this in '83 (though it was '84)... except I don't think that the WWF was acknowledging that the Sheik and Mustafa were the same person. D'oh! Hogan tags out to the Warrior, so he can get beat on, and Hogan can get the real hot tag later in the match. Sure enough, after what seems like an eternity, he does. Warrior chases Adnon and Mustafa to the back with a steel chair, conveniently leaving Hogan alone with Slaughter in the ring. Hogan throws powder in his face, drops the leg, and ref, Sid Justice, counts the three to finish at 12:39. Hogan celebrates alone, then calls Sid back out join in. Yep, he actually shared the spotlight with Sid. Not a horrible way to end the wrestling portion of the show. Match was pretty bad though. 1/2*
The Mountie is befriended by a nice leather wearing gentleman whom he must share his cell with. This is the last of the hilarious Mountie skits, as we're left to see if he'll make it through the night. This all might sound ridiculous, but trust me, it was really funny. This stuff ruled.
Randy Savage and Elizabeth are "married" live in the ring. They say their "I Do's", then Coliseum goes to a video of their wedding reception later in the night. The regular festivities transpire, as the guests (Bobby Heenan included) offer their congratulations for the new bride and groom. Elizabeth tosses her boquet of flowers away, and Randy and Liz cut the cake. Then comes the best part: the presents! Hey, it's a blender. Savage looks like he's enjoying this. Look at that, a toaster... Elizabeth makes the mistake of opening an unmarked present, however. And Jake Roberts' python is there to greet her. Elizabeth screams, but before Savage can see what's wrong, The Undertaker appears out of nowhere and knocks him out with his urn. Hey, there's a happy ending to the Match Made In Heaven. Regardless, this led to the Jake/Savage angle, one of my favorite feuds of all time. As the video ends, Savage is left out cold while his bride screams in horror. The wedding has been ruined. Man, that Jake is evil.
The WWF would ride this angle for the next few months, and it all came to a head around November, as you'll see in the upcoming Survivor Series 1991 Flashback.
Summerslam 1991 Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 81:40
Average Match: 10:13
Average Match Rating: **
Top Moments: Bret's first singles gold, Virgil winning his feud with DiBiase, The Mountie's adventures in jail, LOD's trifecta, Hogan & Sid together, and Randy & Elizabeth tying the knot
If you have any questions or comments on this review, direct all mail to email@example.com.