[PPV Recap] ‘WWF SummerSlam 1989: Feel the Heat’ – Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus, Warrior vs. Rude

DATE: August 28, 1989
VENUE: Meadowlands (East Rutherford, NJ)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The 2nd annual SummerSlam features a blockbuster of a main event as Zeus leaves the confines of BEING A FICTIONAL CHARACTER IN A MOVIE to team with “Macho Man” Randy Savage against his hated rival Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Wrestling rules.

CHAMPIONS

  • WWF CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan
  • WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: “Ravishing” Rick Rude
  • WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Brain Busters (“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard)

LINEUP

  • The Hart Foundation vs. The Brain Busters
  • Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man
  • The Red Rooster vs. Mr. Perfect
  • Tito Santana & The Rockers vs. Rick Martel & The Fabulous Rougeaus
  • Rick Rude [c] vs. The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
  • Jim Duggan & Demolition vs. Andre The Giant & The Twin Towers
  • Hercules vs. Greg Valentine
  • Jimmy Snuka vs. Ted DiBiase
  • Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage & Zeus

 

*****

Tony Schiavone welcomes the home audience as we pan the Meadowlands crowd. TIME TO FEEL THE HEAT. Cut to Schiavone who’s with his broadcast partner Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Ventura is mad at Schiavone for running Bobby Heenan off the air. They hype some of the big matches then we go to the opening video, with mixes wrestling clips with summer activities set to what would become the Royal Rumble theme song in the 90s. Not sure if that’s a Network edit or that’s what it was originally.


The Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) vs. The Brain Busters (“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) [w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan]

The Brain Busters are the current WWF Tag Team Champions but this is a non-title match due to being signed before the Busters became the champions. A WWF PPV starting with an Anderson/Blanchard tag team match called by TONY SCHIAVONE is messing with me. 

Blanchard grabs a side headlock, Hart breaks free and connects with a pair of armdrags and settles into a wristlock. Anderson tags in and takes Hart down with a drop toehold, Hart reverses a headlock into a hammerlock, driving his knee into the wing and slamming Anderson right onto it. Neidhart tags in and the Anvil continues working the left arm over. Anderson escapes with a pair of knees and tries to get a tag but Neidhart pulls him to the mat and the Foundation continue weakening the arm. Blanchard tries to tag in but he’s on the bottom rope so the ref won’t count it and the Foundation remain in control. Hart escapes a head scissors with a nip up and finally Blanchard gets the tag. Hart catches a kick, Neidhart tags in and kicks him right in the already bruised thigh. Blanchard with an Irish whip, Neidhart blocks it and throws him to the mat. Hart tags back in and now it’s Blanchard’s left arm that gets the laser focus. Neidhart no-sells strikes from Blanchard and whips him hard in the corner that he takes all in the chest. Hart tags in and drives an elbow to the back of Blanchard’s head while Neidhart holds his leg to prevent a tag. Hart settles into a hammerlock, “WEASEL” chant by the Jersey crowd. Blanchard tries a snapmare, Hart blocks it. Blanchard counters into a top wristlock, Hart bridges up from the mat. Busters try a double team, Hart flips them both to the mat and the champs bail to the floor. Neidhart throws Blanchard back in, Hart connects with a series of rights and he bails back to the floor. Hart chases Blanchard into the ring, Anderson gets a tag and nails an unaware Hart from behind.

Anderson slams Hart, Hart counters a Vader Bomb with a pair of knees. All four men brawl, Hart Foundation clear the ring and Anderson calls for a time-out. Hart sweeps the legs, stomp to the midsection of Blanchard. Neidhart tags in and laughs at Blanchard as he flops to the mat. Corner whip, Blanchard tries a crossbody but gets caught in mid-air and the Anvil drives him into the corner. Anderson hits Neidhart with a knee, all four men in the ring, Hart whips Neidhart towards Blanchard in the corner but Anderson pulls him out of the way and Neidhart hits nothing but buckle. Brain Busters take over, Blanchard with a Camel Clutch-style chinlock. Neidhart picks him up on his shoulders, Anderson gets the tag and connects with a right hand. Anderson covers Neidhart, Neidhart throws him halfway across the ring while kicking out. Brain Busters with quick tags as they clobber Neidhart in their corner, Neidhart starts fighting back and they knock heads, both falling to the mat. Neidhart whips Anderson into the ropes, Hart hits him from behind. 

Blanchard tags in but so does Hart, and he begs off as The Hitman goes on the attack with a series of right hands and a back elbow out of a corner whip. Anderson dazes over, scoop slams and clotheslines for both Brain Busters. Hart dropkicks Anderson, slams Blanchard, forearm from the middle buckle. Hart connects with a snap suplex and covers for the 1…2…Anderson walks over and Hart breaks his own pin. Hart and Blanchard run into each other and hit a double clothesline. Neidhart and Anderson brawl on the floor, Hart connects with an inverted atomic drop on Blanchard. Neidhart sends Anderson into the post, Hart slingshots Neidhart into Blanchard. Neidhart slams Hart on top of Blanchard, Heenan distracts the ref and Anvil, allowing Anderson to hit Hart in the back of the head with a flying forearm and covers for the 1…2…3.

The Brain Busters defeated The Hart Foundation via pinfall (15:57)

  • This had to be considered a dream match of sorts back then, pitting one of the top WWF teams of the 80s against one of the NWA’s top teams. Although it wasn’t for the Tag Team Championship they still got some time to work and they delivered a helluva match that I dug every second of. I would’ve put the titles on the line though if the Busters were going to win anyway, give them a big first defense on PPV, but that’s a minor quibble. Props to Anderson too for using Hart’s forearm to cover his head and allowing him to get the pin despite not being the legal man. Cool little detail.

”Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, complete with police cap and nightstick. Rhodes says Honky Tonk Man will get the chance to show everyone that Rhodes can’t wrestle but he vows to kick his booty.


“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man [w/ “The Colonel” Jimmy Hart]

Honky shows off his dance moves, Rhodes struts and shakes his booty which the crowd obviously loves more. Who wouldn’t? Rhodes backs Honky to the corner and backs away, shaking his rump. Honky charges, Rhodes connects with a backdrop and Honky bails before he can eat a Bionic Elbow. Rhodes grabs the wrist and MESSES UP HONKY’S HAIR, followed by an atomic drop and a Bionic Elbow. Corner mount rights as the crowd chants along, Honky flops to the mat and Rhodes applies a toehold. Honky escapes via eye poke and connects with some rights. Hart trips Rhodes, Rhodes chases him into the ring and corners him. Ref gets in between, Honky clobbers Rhodes in the midsection with the megaphone, covering for a two-count. Honky puts the boots to him and distracts the ref so Hart can get a choke in as well. Honky grabs a chinlock, Rhodes is woken up by the crowd and he escapes with an elbow but runs right into a knee to the midsection. Honky goes back to the chinlock, bringing him to the mat. Rhodes once again wakes up in the nick of time and breaks free, connecting with a scoop slam. Honky dodges an elbow drop and covers but only gets a one-count. ANOTHER chinlock, Rhodes brings Honky to the corner and breaks it with shoulder shots. Rhodes no-sells some rights and lays in some jabs as he dances around the ring. Honky dodges a corner splash and sends Rhodes into the ref. Hart grabs the guitar, Rhodes dodges and he accidentally hits Honky! Rhodes drops an elbow and covers for the 1…2…3!

Dusty Rhodes defeated The Honky Tonk Man via pinfall (9:40)

  • A little too slow for my sh*tty attention span but the match was well laid-out and Rhodes’ command of the crowd is always a beautiful sight to see. Plus we got a guitar spot! I miss seeing people get clobbered in the skull with guitars. Rhodes wins his WWF PPV debut and I assume is moving onto a feud with The Big Boss Man given his whole police hat/nightstick thing.

Sean Mooney tries to get some words from a dazed Honky Tonk Man, who stammers about Priscilla and Lisa Marie and asks for someone to help him find the stage. HA.


-Okerlund is standing by with “King” Jim Duggan and Demolition. Ax says people are going to see a few new wrinkles in their game plan tonight. Duggan says Demolition has trained him to attack and destroy and their opponents are going down HOOOOOOO.


The Red Rooster vs. Mr. Perfect

Shoving match, Perfect grabs a side headlock and brings Rooster to the corner. He arrogantly breaks clean, Perfect connects with a snap armdrag. They lock up again, Perfect brings Rooster back to the mat with a hip toss. Perfect with a fireman’s carry, Rooster responds with a slap to the face. Rude. Rooster whips Perfect into the ropes, drop downs and leap frogs, Rooster tries a scoop slam but Perfect falls on top for a two-count. Perfect chops Rooster to the mat, then measures and hits a, ahem, PERFECT dropkick that sends him to the floor. Rooster rolls in, Perfect clobbers him with a forearm across the back. Rooster rakes the eyes (?!?) and tosses Perfect to the floor. Rooster follows, Perfect clobbers him repeatedly and rams him on the side of the apron. Rooster stumbles in, Perfect Plex for the 1…2..3.

Mr. Perfect defeated The Red Rooster via pinfall (3:21)

  • Perfect continues his winning streak in this short contest. Not much to it, really. Weird that Red Rooster was going full heel in this one though, raking eyes and slapping Perfect after being outwrestled. I’m assuming that was to sell the frustration of having to wrestle someone obviously better than him, but for me it created a strange dynamic. Honestly I think this one should have gotten ten minutes instead of Rhodes/Honky Tonk Man, I think they could’ve had a sleeper hit.

-Okerlund is with “Ravishing” Rick Rude & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Rude says he will prove that the Warrior is the Ultimate LIAR. Heenan says if they have to break the rules to keep the Intercontinental Championship they will, and Warrior won’t have to paint his face tomorrow because he’ll have a blue eye and a black eye.


Tito Santana & The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. Rick “The Model” Martel & The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond Rougeau) [w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick & “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]

Martel turned heel a few months prior at WrestleMania V, turning on his Strike Force tag team partner Santana and adopting the gimmick of “The Model”. Slick is his manager for this one but I don’t think that lasts long. You’d figure this would be grounds for a big time singles grudge match on PPV but instead they’re mixed in with The Rockers & The Fabulous Rougeaus, who are also feuding at this point. That’s a bummer. I think Santana/Martel would have been great on its own, but maybe they did on TV or something.

Santana wants Martel to start, but it’s Jacques who starts the match for his team. MIND GAMES. Jacques offers a handshake, but ain’t nobody falling for that. Santana backed into the ropes, Jacques doesn’t break clean and connects with a right. Rockers run in, double hip toss and elbowdrop on Jacques, Santana with a crossbody on everybody, face trio clear the ring and hype the crowd up. Jannetty is now the legal man, Jacques catches him with a kick and a series of forearms to the shoulder blades. Jannetty counters a flying Jacques with a right to the midsection. Raymond distracts Jannetty and tags in for a savate kick Stan Lane-style. Martel tags in and clobbers Jannetty, then distracts the ref for a Rougeaus double team. Michaels tries to break it up, ref moves him back to his corner. Martel floats over Jannetty in the corner and does a cartwheel to show off, Jannetty drops him with a kick and Santana tags in, but Martel tags out to Raymond before his former partner can get his hands on him. Santana ducks a clothesline and drops Raymond with one of his own for a two-count. Side headlock applied, Raymond whips him off and Jacques grabs the leg long enough to allow Raymond to blindside him with a knee. Rougeaus with a double chop, Jacques gets his licks in then Martel tags in, double stun gun. Martel connects with a series of stomps, Jacques tags in and connects with a beautiful dropkick. Santana fights back with rights and tries to tag in but Jacques applies a front facelock to prevent it. 

Martel tags back in and lays in some rights to Santana. Santana starts fighting back, Jacques pulls the hair to stop him. Martel drives a series of shoulders into the midsection of Santana, Santana counters with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Martel kicks out and chokes his former partner. Raymond tags in and locks in a Boston Crab (Martel’s future finishing move). Rockers run in and accidentally distract the ref, Jacques connects with a kneedrop on a prone Santana and Raymond covers for the 1…2…not yet. Jacques tags in, abdominal stretch while Martel assists for extra leverage behind the ref’s back. Santana breaks out but not before Martel gets the blind tag, The Model dropping an elbow to prevent a face tag. Santana blocks a roll up, Martel hops back to his feet and they trade rights. Martel with a shot to the throat, Jacques tags in and Santana catches him with a crossbody for the 1…2…Jacques kicks out and goads The Rockers in for a distraction. Jacques whips Santana into the boots of Raymond, who covers for the 1…2…kickout. Santana counters a backdrop with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Raymond kicks out and repeatedly stomps him to stop a tag. Chinlock in the center of the ring. Santana almost breaks out, Jacques tags in and connects with a leaping back elbow for the 1…2…Santana kicks out. Raymond tags back in, Jacques accidentally hits his own partner with a high knee. 

Martel tags in but so does Michaels and he’s a house of fire as the crowd goes NUTS. Corner whip, backdrop, right hand to Raymond. Dropkick to Martel, Martel reverses a whip but Michaels counters a backdrop with a snap suplex. Michaels with a flying fistdrop from the top. Jannetty tags in, Michaels drops him on Martel for the 1…2…Jacques tries to break it up but hits Martel instead. All six men are in, Rougeaus get whipped into Martel, Santana clears him out with a flying forearm. Jannetty pulls Hart onto the apron, Jacques dropkicks him into his own manager and rolls Jannetty up. Jannetty reverses, Martel blindsides Jannetty and covers for the 1…2…3.

Rick Martel & The Fabulous Rougeaus defeated Tito Santana & The Rockers via pinfall (14:58)

  • A fun and chaotic six man match that the crowd was SUPER into. I enjoyed it a lot as well, The Rockers are one of my favorite tag teams ever so it’s always nice to see them, and I appreciated the continued build to Santana/Martel finally getting their hands on one another. Again I would’ve preferred them in a singles match but I don’t mind what we got instead in the end. Rare to see The Rougeaus actually WIN a match, good for them.

-FEUD RECAP: Warrior vs. Rude. 

-Okerlund is with The Ultimate Warrior. LOTS OF YELLING AND SNARLING, Warrior vows Rude will surrender to the gods above.


“Ravishing” Rick Rude [c] [w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan] vs. The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Rude and Warrior’s feud began at Royal Rumble 1989 when the former attacked the latter during a posedown challenge. Rude then went on to defeat The Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania V, ending his undefeated streak thanks to the help of Heenan. Feud has raged on since then, now Warrior returns to the same event he first won the title one year later to win it again.

Warrior stalks Rude, no-selling a kick as he stares a hole into the soul of his opponent. Warrior’s crazy eyes are on point. Rude with more shots, Warrior clotheslines him out to the apron. Rude re-enters with a sunset flip attempt, Warrior counters with a right hand followed by a gorilla press slam OUT TO THE FLOOR, the crowd going absolutely insane. Warrior continues the fight on the outside, using the apron and the Intercontinental Title belt, Ventura calling for a DQ. He’s right you know. Warrior rolls Rude in after a suplex…then tosses him right back to the floor. Warrior slams Rude on the mat and throws him back in once more, following up with a double axhandle from the top turnbuckle (?!?) for the 1…2…Rude kicks out. A flying Warrior is a scary Warrior. Rude gets thrown full blast into the corner, Warrior following up with a right hand and another corner whip. Rude stumbles out, Warrior slams him and covers again for the 1…2…Rude gets his shoulder up. Vertical suplex, Warrior covers again for the 1…2…champ kicks out once more. Warrior picks Rude up, inverted atomic drop that Rude sells brilliantly before getting dropped tailbone-first on the canvas. Warrior goes back to the top, Rude catches him with a right and he gets crotched on the top buckle. 

Rude buries a series of forearms to the kidneys/spine followed by a snap suplex into a lateral press but Warrior kicks out. Rude connects with another forearm, and locks in a camel clutch-style chinlock in the center of the ring, Heenan shouting out words of encouragement. Warrior starts getting up, Rude flattens him back down with a series of blows and covers for the 1…2…Warrior kicks out with emphasis. Both men to their feet, Rude attempts a Rude Awakening but Warrior BREAKS OUT so Rude applies a backpack sleeper instead. Warrior drops to one knee, Heenan fidgeting with something in his pockets. Warrior gets back up, breaks the hold with a jawbreaker, both men collide into one another as well as the ref. Rude is first to his feet, Warrior starts shaking and getting to his feet. Rude lays in shots, Warrior shakes and no-sells. Warrior fights back with wild shots and a back bodydrop. He winds up for a series of running clotheslines and a powerslam for the…nothing, because the ref is still out. Visual pins don’t win championships, my dude. Warrior slaps the ref to wake him up, then drives Rude into the mat with a piledriver. He covers again, this time the ref crawls over SLOWLY to count the 1…the 2…the-RUDE GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPE. Warrior connects with a powerslam, Rude counters the Warrior Splash with a pair of knees. Rude connects with a modified piledriver of his own, dropping to his knees instead of on his ass, for the 1…2…Warrior kicks out! Rude connects with a flying fist from the top for the 1…2…Warrior gets his shoulder up and out comes “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the crowd erupts. Rude connects with a real piledriver for the 1…2…Warrior kicks out again. Rude notices Piper at ringside and shows off at him, Piper moons him, allowing Warrior to catch Rude with a belly-to-back suplex. Running shoulderblock, gorilla press slam, Warrior Splash for the 1…2…3!

The Ultimate Warrior defeated Rick Rude [c] via pinfall to win the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (16:02)

  • Warrior wins his second Intercontinental Championship in two years, and Rude now moves on to feud with Roddy Piper and his kilt. Considering the lack of action that actually happened you’d think I would’ve been clawing at my eyes by the end of this one waiting to end but weirdly enough I was into it the whole time. Probably because I’m a fan of both of these guys, probably because I’m in a good mood today. Either way I can’t say this match is GOOD or worth sitting through the entirety of, but the sixteen minutes fly by faster than you’d expect.

-Sean Mooney is in the crowd as they continue cheering their heads off for Warrior’s win. Mooney sums up this experience by saying it’s the ULTIMATE EXHILARATION. Back to Warrior who swings the belt around his head (lightbulb just flashed above Seth Rollins’ head). WWF is not hiding the rocket ship they are strapping to Warrior’s back and I appreciate that.

-Okerlund welcomes Mr. Perfect. Perfect calls Red Rooster a perfect example of everyone in the WWF; he calls him a stepping stone. Replay of Perfect’s win over Rooster with the Perfect Plex. Perfect says nobody beats him…NOBODY. POBODY’S NERFECT.

-Perfect leaves and Roddy Piper joins Okerlund. Piper asks Okerlund what a Scotsman wears under a kilt. Piper acts COKED OUT OF HIS DAMN MIND rambling about Rude, his face is getting unnatural shades of red. Jesus.

-Piper’s out, now it’s “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin in a suit. He has a special assignment tonight.

-Garvin is quickly shooed out for Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who complains about Piper getting involved in the Intercontinental Championship. Rick Rude walks in, clutching the back of his head. Rude says he had Warrior beat until Piper stuck his nose in the match. Replay of Piper mooning Rude, Heenan demands the match should be restarted.

-Cut to Schiavone and Ventura at the broadcast table to usher in a five minute intermission.

-Okerlund welcomes everyone to the second half of SummerSlam, hyping the big tag team main event. Recap of the Hulk Hogan/Zeus confrontation from Saturday Night’s Main Event in May. Zeus lays Hogan out before his cage match against The Big Boss Man. Randy Savage brings Zeus back a few months later on an episode of The Brother Love Show to challenge Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. They accept a week later on Superstars. Cut to the July SNME where Zeus attacks Beefcake during his match with Savage. Hogan comes out to make the save, but Zeus feels NOTHING. Oh man this is so dumb. I love it so much.


“King” Jim Duggan & Demolition (Ax & Smash) vs. Andre The Giant & The Twin Towers (The Big Boss Man & Akeem “The African Dream”) [w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan]

SO MUCH BEEEEF. Duggan became the King of the WWF after defeating Haku, and he’s even got a mini-crown for his 2×4 (pronounced tuba-four by folks in the know). That’s tremendous. I like when people accessorize.

Duggan and Demolition take their masks off, all three men with facepaint (Duggan with an American flag, obviously). Duggan and Akeem jaw back and forth, Duggan connects with a series of jabs and tags in Ax, who goes to work on Akeem’s shoulder. Chops of course for he is an Ax. Smash tags in, Demolition clobber the sh*t out of Akeem (forearm smashes of course because he is a Smash). Duggan tags back in, sends Akeem shoulder-first into the corner. Ax tags in again, Akeem catches him with a right but gets dropped with a running back elbow. Akeem chops the throat, Boss tags in and eats a bunch of chops from Ax. Smash tags in and applies a wristlock, Boss backs him into the corner and connects with a series of jabs. Smash ducks a roundhouse and fights out until his eyes get raked. Smash rakes the eyes himself and tags back out to Duggan who repeatedly twists Boss’ left arm. Quick tags continue, Ax grabs a front facelock that Boss fights out of. Andre tags in and butt splashes Ax repeatedly. Quick tags from the heels as they try to wear Ax down. Akeem misses a corner splash, Smash tags in and SLAMS both Twin Towers! Andre runs in and drops him with one shot, allowing the heels to regain the advantage. Boss covers, Ax breaks it up. Ax and Boss fight on the floor, Duggan breaks up a count but gets dropped with a headbutt by Andre. Akeem splashes Smash, Duggan hits him with the TUBA FOUR and Smash covers for the 1…2…3.

Jim Duggan & Demolition defeated Andre The Giant & The Twin Towers (7:28)

  • Well this happened. Not unwatchable but very unnecessary. Moving on.

-Okerlund is standing by with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase says that once again he will step into the squared circle and prove he’s the greatest athlete in wrestling in addition to being the richest. DiBiase calls Snuka a primitive native who eats coconuts and bananas while he wines and dines on caviar. He will suffer the same fate as Jake Roberts. 

”Rugged” Ronnie Garvin is introduced by the special guest ring announcer for the next match. He’s been fired as both a wrestler and a referee, but WWF is giving him a THIRD try. Garvin introduces Hercules normally, then trashes on Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart as he introduces them, furthering that feud.


“The Mighty” Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]

Valentine yells at Garvin, Garvin teases hitting him but instead Hercules is the one who makes contact. Back elbow off an Irish whip, lateral press for two. Hercules connects with a scoop slam, another lateral press but the Hammer kicks out once more and bails to the floor, Hart holding him back from Garvin. Valentine continues being distracted, Hercules rolls him up for the 1…2…Valentine kicks out and leaves the ring to get in Garvin’s face. Hercules connects with a forearm from the apron and sends him into the timekeeper’s area. Hercules rolls Valentine back in, Valentine attacks him and drops a series of elbows. Valentine turns his Hartbreaker around and goes for the Figure Four, Hercules shoves him off. Valentine connects with a snapmare and heads to the top, Hercules catches him on the way down with a right hand. Jabs from Herc, Valentine counters a backdrop attempt with a forearm. Hercules counters a suplex attempt with one of his own, Valentine begs off in the corner and sweeps the legs, rolling Herc up with his feet on the ropes for the 1…2…3!

Greg Valentine defeated Hercules via pinfall (3:05)

  • Disrespecting my main dude Herc by making him a prop in a feud between Valentine and Garvin. WWF should be ashamed. A-SHAMED I say. I’m going to write a strongly worded letter and get this rectified thirty-one years later.

Garvin announces Hercules as the victor of the match as far as he’s concerned. Ref tells Garvin to announce it correctly; Garvin says the winner of the match by DQ is Hercules. Another lie. Valentine knocks Garvin out of the ring then brawls with Hercules. Garvin re-enters the ring and nails Valentine with a right, knocking him out of the ring. Hart holds Valentine back, Ventura reiterates that he actually won the match and not Herc, but his music rules so I’m happy to hear it. 


-Okerlund is with “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sensational Sherri, and…ZEEEEEEEUS. They’re standing over a fog-spewing cauldron. It’s going to help them destroy Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. Sherri foresees a future where Hogan and Beefcake lie defeated. Savage says he’s looking at the end of the road for Hogan and Beefcake, and tease the possibility of a Miss Elizabeth appearance. The f*ck?

Ted DiBiase & Virgil are announced already in the ring, DiBiase wearing the Million Dollar Championship. DiBiase boasts about ending Jake Roberts’ wrestling career.


“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase [w/ Virgil]

This is Snuka’s in-ring PPV return for the WWF; he made his first appearance since leaving in 1985 a few months prior at WrestleMania V which amounted to him walking out to his new theme music…and then walking to the back. It was very awe-inspiring and not at all a random appearance that made no sense. No sir.

Snuka dodges a cheap shot and takes it to DiBiase, sending him to the floor with a leaping headbutt. Virgil distracts Snuka but Snuka moves and DiBiase knocks his bodyguard off the apron. Snuka connects with an atomic drop that sends DiBiase flying back out to the floor. Snuka does some leapfrogging but mistimes the reverse version and lands on top of DiBiase. Awkward but still works. DiBiase clobbers Snuka with a series of shots. Weird bird sounds going on in the Meadowlands to recreate what Snuka is used to I guess. Snuka catches DiBiase with a backdrop, Million Dollar Man goads him in and connects with a shot to the midsection. Snuka drops DiBiase, DiBiase with a stun gun to regain control. DiBiase with a vertical suplex, floating over into a lateral press for the 1…2…Snuka kicks out. DiBiase drives his knee into Snuka’s spine repeatedly and follows up with a backbreaker for the 1…2…not yet. DiBiase signals for the end, Snuka dodges a middle-buckle elbowdrop and mounts his comeback. DiBiase begs off once more, Snuka slams him and follows up with a flying headbutt from the middle buckle. Instead of covering him Snuka decides to head back up for the big finish. Virgil interferes and distracts Snuka, Snuka brawls with him and DiBiase attacks from behind and throws him into the post. DiBiase slides back into the ring and beats the count.

Ted DiBiase defeated Jimmy Snuka via countout (6:26)

  • Well this match also happened, I guess. Snuka’s ring gear was pretty cool though, changing his color scheme to black and white stripes. Wish he stuck with that. Also wish he wasn’t a murderer. Mostly the latter.

Snuka attacks DiBiase and Virgil after the match, knocking the former out of the ring and hitting the latter with a Superfly Splash to make the fans happy. 


-Sean Mooney reports from the crowd once again, an awkward camera light shining in his face and fans pulling at him. Mooney hypes the main event and sends it back to Schiavone and Ventura as he’s ripped apart and dies, probably.

-Okerlund is standing by with Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Hogan regales us with a story about crossing rivers and putting people in awe with his massive pythons. Beefcake shows off his Titanium steel garden shears…errr barber clips, vowing to make them a part of Savage and Zeus. Hogan describes their “secret weapon” in very sexist terms.

The Genius is here to recite a SummerSlam poem about how Savage and Zeus are going to beat Hogan & Beefcake, and how Miss Elizabeth is useless. It’s a great poem, he should get these things published.

-After both teams are introduced, Hulk Hogan whispers something in Howard Finkel’s ear, leading him to introduce Miss Elizabeth to the ring to a RIOTOUS reception.


Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. “The Macho Man” Randy Savage & “The Human Wrecking Machine” Zeus [w/ Sensational Sherri]

Hogan defeated Savage for his second WWF Championship a few months prior at WrestleMania V, the one where the Mega Powers exploded, and now the Macho Man is out for revenge bringing along a FICTIONAL CHARACTER FROM A HULK HOGAN MOVIE TO GET HIS REAL-LIFE REVENGE. Dude must have a Last Action Hero magic movie ticket or something. I believe this is Beefcake’s first PPV main event. Good on him, dude was over AF.

Savage and Zeus charge, Beefcake tosses Macho Man out but Hogan’s blows do nothing to the Human Wrecking Machine. Hogan finally blinds Zeus, Zeus powers out of a slam attempt and starts choking him. Beefcake jumps at Zeus, who catches him in a bear hug. Hogan clobbers from behind, Zeus drops the Barber and stares Hogan down. Hogan charges, gets dropped then caught in a bear hug as Savage attacks from behind with a flying double axhandle. Savage slams Hogan, flying double ax to the back of the head. High knee into the corner, clothesline, Savage covers for the first two-count of the match. Sleeperhold time. Hogan almost fades but the Meadowlands chant his name and wake him up. Hogan breaks it, back-to-back shoulderblocks but gets kicked in the back by Zeus and Savage throws him into the corner. Zeus tags in, corner whip into another bear hug. Zeus brings him down to the mat, keeping the hold applied and almost getting the pin repeatedly. Hogan almost fights out, Zeus picks him up and rams him into the corner. Savage tags back in and spits at Beefcake to distract the ref for…nothing. Just mind games. Belly-to-back suplex, Savage covers but Hogan gets his shoulder up just in time. Savage misses a series of elbows, Beefcake gets the tag and goes to work. Clothesline and high knee to Savage for the 1…2…Savage kicks out. Beefcake misses a clothesline but locks in the Sleeper in the center of the ring! Savage falls to one knee but grabs the hair and sends him into the buckles to break the hold. 

Zeus tags in, Beefcake rakes the eyes and jumps on his back for a Sleeperhold but Savage hits him with Sherri’s purse behind the ref’s back to break it up. Savage tags in and covers, Hogan pulls him off. Savage tries again, Hogan pulls him off once more and chases Savage around the ring, clobbering him when he grabs Miss Elizabeth. Savage covers again, Hogan pulls him off again. Zeus tags in, lots of choking. Savage tags himself back in, both men go down to a double clothesline. Hogan gets the hot tag, right hands to Savage, corner elbow and a cheap shot to Zeus as well. Hogan hits the Big Boot, Savage rolls to the floor. Hogan brings him up to the apron and suplexes him back in but Sherri trips him up and Savage lands on top for the 1…2…kickout. Savage belts Hogan with a clothesline, Flying Elbow but HOGAN STANDS RIGHT UP. Right hand, atomic drop that sends him to the floor. Zeus walks in, having been previously tagged. Right hands and a clothesline knock Zeus to his knees. Sherri climbs the apron, Liz trips her up and sends her into the ring. Savage tries to use the purse again, Beefcake pushes him off the buckles. Hogan grabs the loaded purse and wallops Zeus with it, followed by a slam and the BIG LEGDROP for the 1…2…3.

Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake defeated Randy Savage & Zeus via pinfall (15:10)

  • Another match that comes off bad on paper (and recap) but was also entertaining enough that it didn’t feel like it went fifteen minutes. I’m surprised too. Zeus was obviously not going to be doing much wrestling, sticking to chokes and bearhugs, but he was menacing enough to make it work and you can’t ask for a better tag team partner to guide you than The Macho Man. Only thing that I wasn’t super big on was Hogan pinning Zeus; they had built Beefcake as the weak link and the one who would cost his team the match, he should’ve been the one to topple the big man (or Savage, I guess) to get the victory for his team as vindication of sorts. But it is what it is, fans loved it either way. I can’t believe WWF made Zeus an actual “wrestler” to try and sell a movie no one cared about (except me, who watches it way more than you’d expect someone to).

Hogan gives Sherri an atomic drop, walking her into a slap from Miss Elizabeth as the crowd loses their damn minds. SO GREAT. Hogan and Beefcake scare Zeus and Savage from the ring with the giant garden shears (I don’t think Zeus has much to worry about there), then Beefcake cuts Sherri’s big ol’ cuttable pointy tail off! OH SNAP. Hogan and Beefcake pose for the crowd as Liz claps along to the song, the WWF Championship draped over her shoulder. 

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Outside of the opening match the wrestling at SummerSlam 1989 wasn’t necessarily “good” but it was entertaining and this show felt like it flew by. I dug it a lot, it’s too bad Tony Schiavone doesn’t stick around in the WWF for longer because he and Ventura are SO GOOD TOGETHER. I recommend checking this show out, it’s got enough going on to be worthwhile just keep your expectations in check following the opening match.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: The Hart Foundation vs. The Brain Busters
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: King Duggan shows off a mini-crown for his tuba four

 

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