August 29, 1994
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jerry "The King" Lawler
The video opens with Gorilla Monsoon narrating video highlights of the WWF taking on members of the Chicago media in a charity softball game the weekend of the show. Former minor league baseball player, Randy Savage, hit a home run to lead the WWF to… a loss. Other WWF participants included Shawn Michaels, Diesel, the 1-2-3 Kid, Bob Holly, Jeff Jarrett, Doink, Dink, the Bushwackers, Well Dunn, the Smoking Gunns, Razor Ramon, and more.
Jerry Lawler begins Summerslam by announcing to everyone that a night earlier at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Shawn Michaels and Diesel defeated the Headshrinkers to become WWF Tag Team Champions. This is the first much of the wrestling world heard of this, but I remember catching Shawn and Diesel with the Tag Titles earlier that morning on Regis & Kathy Lee (Summerslams were held on Mondays then).
The Headshrinkers vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS
This was supposed to be for the Tag Team Titles, but it's obviously now non-Title after the Shrinkers dropped the belts to Michaels and Diesel the night before. Bigelow and Irwin are part of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. DiBiase leads them to the ring first, marking the third consecutive Summerslam where he's been the first man to enter. This match looks awfully bad on paper, but they manage to keep it fast paced until the heels work over Fatu for a bit. Samu gets the hot tag, a brawl erupts, and DiBiase gets up on the apron. The Shrinkers' manager, Captain Lou Albano, does the same, so Bam Bam knocks him off. Afa, the Shrinkers' uncle and original leader, retaliates by getting in the ring and nailing Bigelow to cause a DQ at 7:20. A major brawl ensues and they fight all the way to the back. Dumb finish, but a surprisingly good match. **1/2 I guess they wanted to protect both teams. The energy in this one got the crowd into it a lot more than I thought it would.
One of the major storylines in the WWF at this time was one surrounding the Undertaker. The Dead Man disappeared after the Royal Rumble, but that spring and summer people from all over the country started to report Undertaker sightings. Ted DiBiase claimed that he had recruited the Undertaker for his Million Dollar Corporation, and even produced what looked to be the real Undertaker, but Paul Bearer maintained that it was not his Undertaker, and that he would have his Undertaker at Summerslam to challenge DiBiase's Undertaker. If I type Undertaker one more time I'm going to scream. Anyway, as a spoof of themselves, the WWF hired Leslie Nielsen aka Frank Dreben of Naked Gun fame to take the case and solve the mystery of the Undertaker (ahhhhh). Nielsen is shown here in a vignette backstage. He looks for the Undertaker in a Naked Gun-esque scene, but instead runs into his old partner George Kennedy. It's a formula for comedy!
Razor Ramon talks about his chance to regain the Intercontinental Championship later tonight.
Women's Title: Alundra Blayze (Champion) vs. Bull Nakano
Bull was brought in from Japan to provide new competition for Alundra, and this is their first major match. Luna accompanies Bull to the ring, complete with the recycled Orient Express music since Bull is Japanese and all. Hey, it may be stereotypical, but it's still good music. A good match develops with a lot of holds and reversals and pinning combinations mixed in. Bull incorporates a lot of offense that wasn't exactly commonplace in the WWF in 1994. They build to the end so well with near falls that when Alundra catches her with the german suplex to retain at 8:19 the crowd goes absolutely nuts. Solid stuff. ***
Todd Pettengill talks to the brand new WWF Tag Team Champions, Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Big Daddy Cool is also the reigning Intercontinental Champion and will be defending his singles Title against Razor Ramon momentarily. This is the first variation of Diesel's ring attire as his tank now says "Big Daddy Cool" instead of Diesel, and "Diesel" is written vertically down his once plain leather pants. Shawn has a new fancier outfit as well and is quite proud showing off his Tag Team Championship belt.
Intercontinental Title: Razor Ramon vs. Diesel (Champion)
Diesel has his partner Shawn with him at ringside, so Razor brings Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton out with him. Cheap heat, yes, but this is how you use it. Diesel beat Razor for the Title on Superstars in April when Shawn removed the top turnbuckle pad, and Diesel dropped Razor throat first on it before powerbombing him and pinning him. This is Razor's long awaited rematch. They trade some good back and forth power stuff, and Shawn shows his managerial smarts. When the ref is occupied on the outside with Payton, Shawn sneaks onto the apron and undoes the turnbuckle pad just as he did to help Diesel win the Title initially. Shawn then taunts Walter who's complaining the whole time, and when the ref stops that, Shawn turns around and flies off the steps with a huge clothesline on a recovering Ramon. I always loved Shawn in the manager type role because he was so quick and brought so much more to the match just by being at ringside. Razor struggles back in the ring at the count of nine and Diesel pounces on him. He prepares to whip Razor into the exposed steel turnbuckle, but the ref notices the missing pad and prevents him from doing so. Shawn protests, thus distracting him, and Diesel whips Razor into it anyway, then follows it up with a side suplex for a two count. Diesel hits the turnbuckle throatdrop next. A Ramon comeback fails when he runs in to a Diesel big boot, which the big guy gets two on. Diesel hooks an abdominal stretch with help from the ropes, but Razor reverses and Diesel is forced to power out. Diesel sets him up for the throatdrop on the exposed turnbuckle, but Razor counters and rams Diesel into the corner instead, then rolls him up for a close two. Ramon comes back and a second rope bulldog and a scoop slam both result in close two counts. The crowd is extremely hot by this point. Shawn knows he has to do something to stop Razor's momentum and hops on the apron. Razor punches him off, and Shawn completely oversells it, flying backwards and knocking himself out on the steel railing at ringside. With anyone else it would look ridiculous, but with Shawn Michaels it's perfect. Diesel powers out of Razor's back suplex as Shawn gets up. Razor backdrops out of Diesel's Jackknife. Razor and Diesel do a double knockout spot as Shawn hops up on the apron again, this time holding Diesel's Tag Title. Walter Payton pulls the belt away and the ref goes to discipline him while Shawn sneaks in the ring and prepares to hit his Superkick on Ramon. Diesel holds him in place, but Razor ducks and Shawn accidentally knocks Diesel out cold with the kick. Payton prevents Michaels from any further interference and Razor crawls over and covers Diesel for the three count to regain the Intercontinental Title at 15:01. ***1/2 Throughout the wild match, it should be noted that the Tag Title remained around Shawn's waist the whole time. Diesel is upset that Shawn cost him the match. This is the first time any dissention has been seen between the two, and the timing couldn't be worse since their Tag Team Title reign is only a day old. They leave ringside separately while Razor, the new two time Intercontinental Champion, celebrates with Walter Payton and Walter's son inside the ring. A big pop to cap off an exciting match.
Diesel isn't pleased about the fact that he just dropped half his gold.
In a separate locker room, Shawn chooses to blame Walter Payton for the loss and plays up that at least he and Diesel are still Tag Team Champions. Diesel didn't seem to care much about the Tag Titles though.
Todd is with two babyfaces, Lex Luger and Tatanka, who will be wrestling each other tonight. Tatanka has been accusing his friend Lex of selling out to the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and has been telling the fans that Luger is planning to join DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. Luger has denied all of Tatanka's accusations. Todd announces the results of a phone poll: 54% of the fans think Luger has sold out to DiBiase, and 46% think Tatanka is full of crap.
Lex Luger vs. Tatanka
Luger enters to a mixed reaction. He controls much of the match and a few minutes in Ted DiBiase makes his way to the ringside with a duffel bag full of money. Luger sees him and stops to yell at him, and Tatanka sneaks up on Luger from behind and rolls him up for three at 6:02. *3/4 Luger gets up, angry at both of them, and Tatanka jumps him and beats him down before hugging DiBiase and joining the Corporation himself. This was pretty shocking at the time, a hell of a swerve, but Tatanka's heel turn was never handled properly and his heat disappeared faster than Scott Hall at an AA meeting. With his heat went his usefullness to the company, and within a year Tatanka was gone from the WWF. Pretty sad actually. DiBiase gloats about the execution of his evil plan and even yells over to Vince at the announcer's table: "I even fooled you, McMahon." Indeed. Tatanka continues the beatdown, even using the Million Dollar Dream and shoving a dollar bill down Luger's throat.
A transitional segment is editted out.
Mabel vs. Jeff Jarrett
It's Country vs. Rap. Tenacity vs. Power. Smarts vs. Size. Jarrett vs. Mabel. OK, maybe it's not very dramatic and maybe it's one of the lowest matches on the card, but it's still Jarrett, so everyone should care. It's a short match, so they keep up a decent pace and Jarrett actually carries the big guy to a decent performance. The finish comes when Jarrett goes for a sunset flip, Mabel tries to sit down on his chest, but Jarrett moves and hooks the leg for a quick three count at 5:25. **
Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy are still on the case. In fact, they're literally on the case.
There's a video pakcage chronicling the Bret Hart/Owen Hart feud. To catch up on things, just read every Flashback from Survivor Series '93 to this one.
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler talk about the upcoming main event. Most of the Hart Family is shown at ringside. Lawler berates Stu and Helen for old time's sake. Davey Boy Smith, the British Bulldog, who hasn't been seen in the WWF in nearly two years has some words with him. Jim Neidhart, Owen's only ally in the family, is seated a few rows behind Davey Boy. Bruce Hart lets everyone know that nobody in the family approves of Owen and Neidhart's actions as of late.
Todd Pettengill interviews WWF Champion Bret "Hitman" Hart backstage. We learn that Bret is recovering from scrept throat which makes his upcoming performance even that more amazing.
WWF Title, Steel Cage: Bret "Hitman" Hart (Champion) vs. "The King Of Harts" Owen Hart
Owen takes it to Bret right away and a slugfest develops. Bret comes back with a DDT and tries for a quick escape, but Owen doesn't let it happen and hits him with the Enziguri. Owen tries to climb but Bret back suplexes him down to the mat. Bret goes for the door but Owen drags him back into the middle of the ring. Bret bulldogs him. They do an awesome spot where they each drag the other away from the open door, then immediately jump over the other and attempt to get out themselves. Owen climbs and gets both feet over the top but Bret pulls him back in by the hair. Owen punches him off and hits a missle dropkick. Owen kips up and tries to quickly scale the cage, but Bret holds onto his foot and tries to climb right over Owen to escape. They slug it out on top of the cage and Bret knocks him back to the mat but decides to go after him instead of climbing out. He backdrops him before they do a double knockout spot. Owen crawls towards the door but Bret denies his escape. Bret climbs but Owen chases. Bret pounds away on him to knock him off, but Owen locks his foot in between two bars of the cage to hang on. Owen stays with it and crotches his brother on the top rope. Neidhart smiles from his seat. Owen goes for the door but Bret holds on to his foot. Davey Boy cheers him on.
Bret misses an elbow and Owen climbs, but Bret slams him off the top rope. Bret climbs, but Owen grabs him and hangs him upside down from the cage before samoan dropping him. Owen tries to ram Bret's head into the steel but Bret reverses. Bret climbs and gets both feet over the top of the cage, but Owen stands on the top rope and pulls him back inside. Owen back suplexes him off the top rope, then gets up and piledrives him. They slug it out on the top of the cage and both fall, with Bret to the mat, and Owen getting crotched on the top rope. Bret sees his opportunity and rushes towards the door, but Owen holds his foot and they both struggle to escape. Bret rolls over and scores with a series of vicious punches, then makes a bolt for the door again. Owen grabs on to his foot and holds on for dear life. Owen rolls over and pounds Bret, then tries to escape but Bret drags him back in. Bret slingshots Owen into the cage. The crowd is really into it. Fatigued, Bret crawls to the wrong corner in search of the door, then finds the right one, but the hesitation provides enough time for Owen to recover and cut him off at the last possible second.
Owen whips Bret to the buckle. Bret does his awesome waistlock reversal spot, resulting in Owen's head going flying into the cage. Unfortunately, Bret's knee connected with the steel as well. Bret, now with a bad wheel, slowly climbs the cage. Owen goes up but is so tired from Bret's beating that he falls on his own. The crowd loved that one. Bret makes it to the top but Owen leaps up and grabs his leg. Owen drags him upside down by his head, then brings him down and nails him with a spinning heel kick. Owen goes up and Bret follows. Bret dramatically kicks him off and Owen tenaciously comes back. They do another double knockout spot. Owen climbs in the corner and Bret follows, then superplexes him off the top of the cage in an unbelievable spot. Bret inches towards the door, but Owen drags him back and puts him in the sharpshooter. Bret reverses, then when he feels enough damage has been done, he releases the hold and climbs the cage. Owen leaps up and grabs him by the hair and both eventually fall to the mat. Both get up and climb the cage. They actually make it over the top and fight on the top of the outside of the cage. Owen tries to ram Bret's head into the cage and Bret reverses, but in doing so, Owen falls backwards and almost to the ground to win the Title, but his leg ends up stuck in the cage as he remains inches away from touching the ground. Bret drops down for the win after 32:06 of awesome action to end what is by far the best steel cage match I have ever seen. An easy ***** match and a definite classic.
Post-match, Neidhart gets up and clotheslines Davey Boy sending him and Diana tumbling to the floor. Neidhart throws Bret back in the ring and he and Owen beat him down. Neidhart locks the cage door shut as Bruce and the rest of the Hart Brothers try to get in to help Bret. Owen absolutely pummels Bret as Neidhart prevents everyone from climbing the cage. Davey Boy finally overpowers Owen and climbs in, allowing all the others to follow suit and make the save. Owen and Neidhart climb out as the crowd gets a big "Bulldog" chant going.
Todd runs down a hallway backstage to catch up with Owen and Neidhart. Owen cuts an awesome promo.
The rest of the Harts help Bret, still the WWF Champion, to the back.
An Undertaker package is shown highlighting the events leading up to the next match which I already described earlier in this review.
The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker
Paul Bearer produces his Undertaker, and though both look alike, it's pretty clear that his is the authentic one. Bearer's Taker debuts purple gloves to distinguish himself from DiBiase's "Underfaker", who's in gray. They have a supposedly epic staredown and trade fists for awhile. The real Undertaker finally sits up from a Tombstone Piledriver then delivers one of his own. Everyone waits for the "Faker" to sit up, but since it's now apparent that he isn't the real Undertaker, he stays down and is unable to recover. The Undertaker gives DiBiase's fake two more Tombstones for good measure then covers him for the easy three count at 9:10. 1/4*
Leslie and George discover that the case is closed. There's an actual breifcase and it's actually closed. Get it? The case is closed! Ah, this stuff can't compare to the real Naked Gun movies…
This is a hell of a show, as the WWF continued their string of awesome Summerslams. There was a classic Cage match and a few other good matches with some good storyline development in the Tatanka/Lex Luger situation as well. Fun show.
Summerslam 1994 Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 83:23
Average Match: 11:55
Average Match Rating: **1/2
Top Moments: Good women's match, Shawn's hijinx, Razor's big win, Tatanka's heel turn, Jarrett's win, best Cage match ever, closure on the Undertaker storyline
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