DATE: August 21, 1991
VENUE: Madison Square Garden (Manhattan, NY)
COMMENTATORS: Gorilla Monsoon, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
VIEWING METHOD: Peacock
WWF SummerSlam 1991 features a Match Made in Heaven (the wedding between Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth) and a Match Made in Hell (Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa with Sid Justice as the special guest referee), a legendary Intercontinental Championship match, a JAILHOUSE MATCH, and arguably the biggest moment in Virgil’s career that isn’t related to meat sauce at the Olive Garden. This is the first PPV I ever watched live so the nostalgia for me is STRONG, let’s see how it holds up.
- WWF CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Mr. Perfect
- WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
- The Dragon, The Texas Tornado, & The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord and Power & Glory (**1/2)
- Bret Hart [c] vs. Mr. Perfect for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (****1/4)
- The Bushwhackers vs. The Natural Disasters (*)
- Ted DiBiase [c] vs. Virgil for the MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
- JAILHOUSE MATCH: The Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie (*1/2)
- STREET FIGHT: The Nasty Boys [c] vs. The Legion of Doom for the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**)
- Greg Valentine vs. Irwin R. Schyster (*1/2)
- THE MATCH IN MADE IN HELL: Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa [w/ Sid Justice as the Special Guest Referee (*1/4)
- THE MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN: The Wedding of Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth (NR)
-Monsoon and company hype tonight’s show, Piper already LOSING HIS MIND in energy rarely seen by a human being. Also his shirt is open to show off his bare (shaved) chest so you know sh*t is gonna get Rowdy tonight!
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith vs. The Warlord and Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) [w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick]
Steamboat, Von Erich, & Smith do not have their actual names in this one; they’re just known as The Dragon, The Texas Tornado, & The British Bulldog. Steamboat left the WWF in 1988, wanting to spend more time with his family, and upon his return the WWF have graced him with a gimmick where he breathes fire and he’s treated like this is the first time anyone has ever seen him wrestle. Real lame looking back on it but at the time I didn’t know any better and The Dragon kicked ass. He BREATHED FIRE, y’all.
Roma makes first contact with a scoop slam and dropkick but takes too much time bragging and gets caught off the buckles with an armdrag from The Dragon. Dragon controls the arm, Roma grabs the hair and backs him to the corner, breaking the hold with a series of rights. Roma misses a corner splash, Dragon brings him to the canvas with a snapmare. Hercules tags in, Dragon takes him to the mat with a pair of armdrags and tags in Tornado with a series of arm wringers. Hercules tries to break it with a buckle shot, Tornado blocks it and sends Hercules crashing repeatedly as the crowd counts along. Hercules breaks away, both Warlord and Bulldog tag in, the powerhouses of their team. Bulldog and Warlord collide, the former takes the latter down with a clothesline and follows up with a vertical suplex for the 1…2…Warlord throws him off, Dragon tags in and connects with a top rope axhandle, Warlord blocks a monkey flip and Dragon is sent crashing to the canvas. Roma tags in and drops Dragon, Tornado gets distracted jawing at Bulldog and Tornado, Dragon surprises him with an O’Connor Roll, Hercules misses a clothesline but Warlord does NOT and the hold is broken. Roma slaps on a front facelock, turning it into a snap suplex for the 1…2…Dragon kicks out, Roma punishes him with a series of backbreakers and throws him to the canvas like a sack of potatoes. Warlord, Roma, and Hercules make quick tags working Dragon’s back, Dragon fights back against Herc but gets dropped across the top rope with a stun gun that stomps that flame out.
Dragon takes advantage of a dumb mistake by Warlord and makes the hot tag to Tornado, who levels everyone who comes near him with right hands. Warlord tries a sunset flip, Bulldog gets the tag and launches himself at Warlord, Warlord catches him in mid-air but Tornado pushes Bulldog on top for the 1…2…Warlord kicks out. Tornado puts Herc in the Claw and Bulldog drills Roma with a Running Powerslam but Roma kicks out, Dragon catches Roma with a Flying Crossbody for the 1…2…3!
The Dragon, The Texas Tornado, & The British Bulldog defeated The Warlord and Power & Glory via pinfall (10:43)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good opener, Steamboat might have been slumming it as The Dragon but the dude was still a consummate worker and he was a great babyface in peril for his team. Also he BREATHED FIRE, y’all. (**1/2)
–Sean Mooney is standing by with Mr. Perfect & The Coach (aka “The Golden Greek” John Tolos). Perfect says that history will be made tonight and says that to be champion you have to perfect and Bret Hart ain’t perfect.
Mr. Perfect [c] [w/ The Coach] vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Perfect is coming into this match injured, his back in such rough shape that he hasn’t been wrestling or even training for the past few months. This is Coach’s only PPV appearance as far as I know, as he was a quick replacement for Heenan who gave up managing in ‘91 to become a full-time broadcast journalist. Hart transitioned out of tag team wrestling after a long successful run as one half of The Hart Foundation and this is his first shot at singles gold. He’s even brought his parents, Stu & Helen Hart, along to watch him wrestle. He must be confident in his chances.
Hart drives Perfect to the canvas with a shoulderblock, Perfect tries a hip toss but Hart reverses and Perfect QUICKLY slides to the floor to stop the momentum. Hart almost sneaks out a win with a crucifix then brings the champ back to the canvas with a side headlock takeover. Perfect tries to use the hair to escape Hart’s clutches, but Hart yanks right back and keeps the side headlock applied. Hart ducks a clothesline and connects with a crossbody for the 1…2…Hart gets sent to the floor. Hart comes right back in with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Perfect kicks out and Hart brings him back to the canvas with another side headlock takeover. Perfect breaks the hold and connects with a knife-edged chop, Hart catches a kick and trips him up, connecting with a stomp to the midsection. Perfect reverses a corner Irish whip and connects with a slam, Hart kicks him off and hits a slam of his own, Perfect gets sent to the floor with an uppercut. Perfect decides he’s had enough and starts leaving, Hart rips the singlet and throws him back in. Ref forces separation in the corner, Perfect drops Hart with a cheapshot right hand and sends him to the floor with a pair of field goal kicks to the ribs. Perfect drops Hart with a chop and STEPS ON HIM as he slides back into the ring, happy to accept a countout victory. Hart gets to the apron, Perfect launches him off and INTO A PHOTOGRAPHER/THE GUARDRAIL. Oof, wrong place at the wrong time, poor guy. Hart surprises Perfect with a roll-up for the 1…2…Perfect kicks out and connects with a right hand and MOVES THE RING with a corner whip, covering for the 1…2…Hart kicks out.Perfect hits the neck snap and jackknifes Hart for the 1…2…Hart kicks out once again. Hart goes for a backdrop, Perfect counters and sends him back to the floor with a dropkick. Perfect climbs the buckles, Hart meets him up there but gets dropped with right hands, Perfect lands on top for the 1…2…HART KICKS OUT.
Perfect slaps Hart and throws him across the ring by the hair, Stu & Helen looking on WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EXPRESSION ON THEIR FACES. Stoic is an understatement when it comes to Stu Hart. Perfect slaps on a sleeperhold, Hart breaks free and goes for another crucifix but Perfect counters into a Samoan Drop of sorts for the 1…2…Hart kicks out! Perfect throws Hart chest-first into the corner and covers again for the 1…2…kickout! Perfect signals for the end and hits the Perfect Plex for the 1…2…HART KICKS OUT, COACH AND HEENAN BOTH FREAKING OUT AS NO ONE HAS EVER DONE THAT BEFORE. Hart stuns Perfect an inverted atomic drop followed by a regular atomic drop that Perfect takes REAL gingerly due to his real-life back injury. Hart throws Perfect across the ring, Perfect sliding jewels-first into the post, Hart follows up with a vertical suplex for the 1…2…Perfect gets the shoulder up! Hart rolls Perfect up with a small package for the 1…2…Perfect kicks out once again, Hart connects with a Side Russian Legsweep for the 1…2…PERFECT KICKS OUT AGAIN. Hart comes off the middle buckle with a forearm/elbow smash for the 1…2…PERFECT KICKS OUT and Hart immediately argues with the ref, Perfect rolls him up for the 1…2…HART KICKS OUT. Hart goes after Perfect’s knee, kicking his leg out and sending him crashing to the canvas. Hart goes for the Sharpshooter, Coach climbs the apron and gets dropped, Perfect kicks the middle rope into Hart’s family jewels to regain control! Perfect connects with a legdrop between the legs, Perfect tries another but HART BLOCKS IT AND TURNS IT INTO THE SHARPSHOOTER FOR THE SUBMISSION! NEW CHAMP!
Bret Hart defeated Mr. Perfect [c] via submission to win the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (18:05)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: This match is considered one of the greatest WWF matches of all-time, and one of the greatest matches in SummerSlam history. And with good reason to because this match bangs, great stuff from bell to bell made even more impressive when you know that Perfect is working SUPER hurt. Man still took some bumps that I wouldn’t have taken even with a healthy back, all in the name of putting Bret Hart over. And put him over he did, this is a star-making match for the Hitman and a great way to catapult him to singles credibility right at the outset. (****1/4)
Hart rips the singlet off Perfect and celebrates, belt in hand and singlet across his shoulder. “Lord” Alfred Hayes tries to interview Stu and Helen Hart but Bret comes in and hugs his parents, distracting them. Stu is finally ready to talk, but Hayes cuts him off because they’re over time, pal.
–”Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with The Bushwhackers and their buddy Andre The Giant. Cut to clip of Earthquake injuring Andre’s leg, which is why he’s currently using walking crutches. Bushwhackers are ready to lick The Natural Disasters all over the place and will feed them to Andre, who is excited to get even.
The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) [w/ Andre The Giant] vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]
Andre is looking for revenge against Earthquake for injuring his knee, with The Bushwhackers stepping up to the plate not only to defend his honor but also to get revenge on Typhoon (formerly Tugboat), who turned on them in a six-man tag team match to join Hart’s group and become Quake’s new partner.
Bushwhackers poke The Disasters in the eye and pose with Andre, giving them their hats. Typhoon backs Butch into the corner, Butch dodges a forearm and BITES THE BUNS. Quake tries to attack from behind but hits his own partner, Bushwhackers use Quake as a Battering Ram into Typhoon then clear Quake from the ring with a double clothesline. This is WAY MORE OFFENSE than I thought they’d have, to be honest. Butch dodges an elbowdrop and tries to go for a tag, but Quake pulls him back and drops an elbow across the lower back. Typhoon tags in and continues working the back over, driving Butch into the corner and applying an over the shoulder backbreaker. Quake tags in and peels Butch off into a bearhug as Bobby Heenan LEAVES the commentary table to go confront Hulk Hogan backstage. Oooo D-R-A-M-A. Butch almost escapes, Quake turns it into a backbreaker, Typhoon tags in and covers for the 1…2…Luke makes the save. Quake accidentally hits Typhoon, Luke gets the hot tag and drops Typhoon with a running one-man battering ram. Bushwhackers hit both Natural Disasters with the Battering Ram, Luke covers for the 1…2…Typhoon throws him off. Quake takes Butch out of the match with a backbreaker then squashes Luke from behind, then gets the tag and hits a proper Quake Splash for the 1…2…3.
The Natural Disasters defeated The Bushwhackers via pinfall (6:27)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Bushwhackers put up more of a fight than I thought they would’ve but still a relatively easy win for The Disasters. Andre should have picked a better team to defend his honor so that’s entirely on him. Not all that good, especially following a legitimate classic like Hart/Perfect. (*)
The Disasters stalk Andre at ringside, but out come The Legion of Doom to stand in their way and chase them off, with minimal help from The Bushwhackers. Doesn’t stop them from getting their theme music played again though.
–Bobby “The Brain” Heenan tries to challenge Hulk Hogan on behalf of “Real World’s Champion” Ric Flair but gets the door slammed in his face, causing him to drop the championship belt. Heenan screams at the door and demands the camera be turned off.
–Randy Savage is shown in the locker room “talking to fans” on the WWF Hotline about his impending wedding.
–Sean Mooney interviews “The Million Dollar Man” and Sensational Sherri. Mooney shows various clips of Virgil’s humiliation at the hands of DiBiase over the years. DiBiase vows to humiliate Virgil worse than he ever did when he was employed.
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase [c] [w/ Sensational Sherri] vs. Virgil for the MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPIONSHIP
After years of abuse and humiliation at the hands of DiBiase, Virgil finally decided to stand up for himself and turned on his (now former) employer at Royal Rumble 1991. Wanting to extract revenge inside the squared circle Virgil sought the assistance of one of DiBiase’s rivals, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, to help train him. Virgil got his first chance at WrestleMania VII, winning the match via countout after DiBiase went after an injured Piper at ringside. This is the big rematch and this time DiBiase’s prized Million Dollar Championship is on the line. Time for Virgil to ascend and make that F*CK MONEY. Side note, Virgil’s babyface theme is underrated.
Virgil wastes no time, sending DiBiase out to the floor after a series of clotheslines. Virgil breaks the count and bounces DiBiase’s head off the steps, then follows up with a series of boxing jabs. DiBiase swings wildly, Virgil ducks and sends him back out to the floor with an atomic drop, Sherri shrieking along the way. An irate and humiliated Bobby Heenan returns to the announce table as Virgil misses a slingshot crossbody, hitting nothing but the floor. DiBiase takes a minute to regroup then bounces Virgil off the steps, talking trash along the way. DiBiase keeps the offense going back in the ring, landing shot after shot to the skull with stomps and a double axhandle from the middle buckle, but takes too long bragging and Virgil manages to kick out of a lateral press at the last second. DiBiase connects with a backdrop out of the corner and covers again, leg hooked, for the 1…2…Virgil kicks out as Piper yells at him to get up. Virgil ducks a clothesline and slaps on the Million Dollar Dream in the center of the ring. DiBiase falls to one knee, Sherri runs in and hits Virgil in the back of the head with her purse. Ref calls for the bell and Howard Finkel makes the announcement:
Sherri is banned from ringside and THIS MATCH WILL CONTINUE!!!
WWF officials Rene Goulet and Tony Garea force Sherri to the back as both men start to stir to their feet. DiBiase tries a buckle shot, Virgil blocks it and sends him crashing into the buckle repeatedly. Virgil whips DiBiase into the corner and lays in more rights as the crowd counts along, DiBiase reverses a corner whip and “accidentally” squashes the ref with Virgil. DiBiase trash talks Piper, Piper YELLS AT VIRGIL TO GET UP but he gets suplexed instead. DiBiase connects with a second suplex, further wearing him down as the ref begins to wake up. DiBiase hits a third suplex and tells Piper he has another one for him. DiBiase slaps Virgil and plants him with a piledriver; DiBiase covers and counts himself but the ref is still out of it so the pin is only visual. Ref tries to get up, DiBiase shoves him back down and removes one of the top turnbuckle pads. DiBiase picks Virgil up, Virgil RAMS DIBIASE REPEATEDLY INTO THE EXPOSED STEEL AND BOTH MEN CRASH TO THE CANVAS. Piper screams encouragement at Virgil, who slides over to DiBiase and covers for the 1…2…3!
Virgil defeated Ted DiBiase [c] via pinfall to win the MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPIONSHIP (13:10 total)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: One of the best moments WWF has ever produced, and one of the standouts moments from 90s wrestling to me. A great storyline, built over YEARS, the fake-out almost ending with Sherri’s interference, and the feel-good finish with Virgil finally getting one over on DiBiase and proving himself to be worth it. One of the best ROCKY-style underdog stories in pro wrestling. Loved every second of this, including Piper going nuts on commentary. This is that good sh*t you get from pro wrestling. So good. (****)
An ecstatic Virgil celebrates with the Championship as a proud Piper watches on.
–”Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing outside of MSG with The Mountie, a few of New York’s Finest and a NYPD paddywagon behind him. Mountie tells the “hick” cops from New York City to give Boss Man the “Mountie”-style treatment when he beats him.
–Sean Mooney interviews The Big Boss Man. Boss Man says The Mountie has the wrong IDEAR; Mountie should be praying to god that he makes it until tomorrow morning as he’ll be the one who spends the night in jail.
The Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart]
The loser of this match gets taken away in the NYPD wagon to spend the night in lockup. Mountie started the feud by proclaiming himself the real law of the WWF and shocking Boss Man with his cattle prod, complete with goofy sound effects edited in on the syndicated TV. Mountie does not have his awesome singalong theme yet which is a TRAVESTY.
Mountie spouts off, Boss Man shuts him up with a right hook. Mountie fires off some rights, Boss Man knocks him to the canvas with a back elbow and follows up with a splash for a two-count. Boss Man splashes Mountie across the middle rope, then slides under and connects with a right as Hart runs for the hills. Mountie thumbs the eye, Boss Man catches him in mid-air and plants him with a spinebuster. Boss Man gets distracted with Hart on the floor, Mountie shoves him from behind and sends him into the steps, Heenan piping in with a timely “HE’S FALLEN AND HE CAN’T GET UP!” quip. My Dad thought that was the funniest thing he’d ever heard when we watched this together in ‘91. He rules. Mountie drops Boss Man with a flying back elbow off an Irish whip and follows up with a pair of fistdrops but no pinfall attempt. Hart riles up the crowd with his megaphone, Mountie slams Boss Man and takes seven years to finally cover, which Boss Man easily kicks out of. Boss Man reverses a corner whip but Mountie sidesteps the splash and he crashes into the buckles. Mountie continues the attack and covers, Boss Man flings him off and to the floor. Mountie clubs Boss Man on the apron and Boss Man lands on his head, Heenan musing that it didn’t hurt him. Boss Man and Mountie throw bombs, Mountie BITES Boss Man and drills him with a piledriver, sitting down on it instead of jumping (Monsoon said it wasn’t executed well, but I like that version of the move, sue me). Mountie stands around, Hart finally shows up to distract the ref and he grabs the cattle prod; Boss Man dodges a zap and connects with an uppercut that sends the international object flying. Mountie leapfrogs Boss Man, Boss Man responds with an uppercut and hits the Boss Man Slam for the 1…2…MOUNTIE GETS THE SHOULDER UP AND EVERYBODY IS SHOCKED. Me included, actually. Mountie trips Boss Man, Boss counters with an ALABAMA SLAM for the 1…2…3.
The Big Boss Man defeated The Mountie via pinfall (9:39)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I love Big Boss Man, I love the gimmick of The Mountie, but this match was mostly dullsville and it feels like they beefed the ending with Mountie kicking out of the Boss Man Slam. Finishers might be kicked out of all willy nilly now but back then you didn’t do it unless it meant something (great example earlier in the show with Hart vs. Perfect). Boss Man doing an Alabama Slam was fun though. Right guy won, as right as a winner between two cops can be. ACAB. (*1/2)
Boss Man pulls Mountie out of the ring and calls for the NYPD, who cuff Mountie and follow Boss Man to the back. The cameras follow, Boss Man assisting the NYPD as Mountie screams, wiggles, and protests before getting thrown right into the paddywagon.
–”Mean” Gene Okerlund is interrupted by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Sensational Sherri. DiBiase says the match should have never happened after being jumped at the start by Virgil, and the match should have never continued after Sherri interrupted.
–Sean Mooney is with new IC Champ Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Hart says this is the greatest day of his life and tells Mr. Perfect that he wasn’t good enough tonight. So…NOT Perfect?
-Okerlund is with The Natural Disasters and a distraught Jimmy Hart, who wants to get a lawyer to get Mountie out of jail. The Disasters vow to make The Legion of Doom history for sticking their nose in their business earlier tonight.
-Mooney is with The Big Boss Man, who says he’s unquestionably the law and order in the WWF now.
-Okerlund tries to get some words with “The Macho Man” Randy Savage ahead of his wedding tonight, but he’s too busy talking to someone from the 1-900 number. Okerlund mentions going to see Miss Elizabeth, Savage stops him and says he can stay, putting the phone to his ear as the PPV takes a five minute break. AHHHH I REMEMBER THE BREAKS. It’s not part of the Peacock version though, unfortunately.
-The NYPD paddywagon pulls up to the jail, The Mountie continues to protest and yells about how he’s DA MOUNTIE.
-The officers bring Mountie inside and we cut to Mooney who’s with a still distraught Jimmy Hart and The Nasty Boys. Jerry Sags vows to take LOD to Nastyville and the champs leave while Mooney keeps Hart to watch the feed from the jail. The trio of officers trick Mountie into taking his picture, cut back to Mooney and Hart, Hart FREAKS OUT and says his lawyers will hear about this.
-Okerlund is standing by with The Legion of Doom. They hype their inevitable clash with The Natural Disasters, then throw a minor amount of shade at The Nasty Boys once they remember they have a title match tonight.
-Back to the slammer where The Mountie gets his fingerprints taken.
-Mooney is now with The Triangle of Terror (Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa). Slaughter mocks Warrior for being a little snake bit going into this match (reference to Jake Roberts’ cobra biting Warrior during some weird ass vignette that I hope I can link to because I’m not doing it justice). Slaughter also teases that he has another surprise in store tonight, perhaps in regards to the special guest referee.
-Okerlund is with the special guest ref himself Sid Justice, looking like he’s made of f*cking granite. Justice says he’s going to call it down the middle because he stands alone. Okerlund shows him a video from earlier today of Justice being accosted by The Triangle of Terror. Justice says he didn’t promise them anything, nor did he promise Hogan & Warrior anything. There’s only ONE promise to be made: Justice will be served.
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) [c] [w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) for the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Nasty Boys won the WWF Tag Team Championship back in April at WrestleMania VII, defeating (and pretty much ending) The Hart Foundation thanks to help from Hart and his motorcycle helmet. The Legion of Doom have been kicking in the WWF since late-1990, initially feuding with Demolition but they have now turned their attention to tag team gold, hoping to become the first (and I think only) tag team to win the gold in the AWA, NWA, & WWF.
LOD wastes no time tossing the Nasty Boys out to the floor, not even taking off their shoulderpads. Hawk and Sags battle on the floor, Animal hits Knobbs with a kneeling powerbomb for the 1…2…Sags breaks it up. Hawk runs Sags over with a shoulder tackle for the 1…2…Knobbs breaks it up and Animal goes a clubberin’ before the ref forces separation (IN A STREET FIGHT?!?). Sags sprays Hawk in the eyes with something or another behind the ref’s back (IN A STREET FIGHT?!?) and hits him in the back with a refreshment bin. Hawk rolls in, Knobbs tags in and The Nasty Boys connect with a double kick, Animal runs in but Knobbs hides in the ropes so the ref keeps him away (IN A STREET FIGHT?!?). Sags chokes Hawk with the tag rope, Knobbs kicks him out to the floor and Sags rams him into the steps. Animal runs in and clubs Sags with a double ax but the ref once again keeps him away. Nasty Boys continue their synchronized attack, Knobbs splashes Hawk in the corner and Sags with a top rope elbowdrop for the 1…2…Animal makes the save. Knobbs flies into a boot from Hawk, Animal gets the tag as Hart loses his mind at ringside. Clotheslines for the Nasty Boys, count along rights to Knobbs and a flying double ax to Sags. Animal plants Knobbs with a powerslam, Sags makes the pinfall save and Hawk attacks him from behind. Sags tosses Hawk to the floor and attacks Animal from behind. Hart tosses Sags the motorcycle helmet and almost hits Knobbs but he clubs Animal in the back of the head instead and Knobbs covers for the 1…2…Animal pushes him off and to the floor. Hawk hits Knobbs and Sags with the helmet, Animal lifts Sags up and it’s a DOOMSDAY DEVICE FROM HAWK for the 1…2…3.
The Legion of Doom defeated The Nasty Boys [c] via pinfall to win the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (7:45)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: I appreciate The Nasty Boys losing the titles for the same reason they won them earlier in the year, that’s some nice poetic justice. I wish the fight had been more street than what we got, the ref should have just let them fight instead of keep order but keeping kayfabe I can’t blame him because he was the only official out there and needed to keep things somewhat okay for his own safety. LOD is the right team to be the champs and they’ve got their next challengers already lined up; too bad that leaves The Nasty Boys with little to do now besides squash matches on Superstars or whatever. (**)
–The Mountie gets dragged to his jail cell, demanding a phone call as he’s an international law enforcement officer. Mountie gets tossed into a cell along with two unnamed hooligans.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Irwin R. Schyster
Valentine turned babyface for the first time in his WWF career at Royal Rumble ‘91 and his reward since then is low profile matches and a quick loss to Earthquake at WrestleMania VII. IRS as a gimmick is a newcomer to the WWF but the man behind it, Mike Rotundo/a, is a former Tag Team Champion who actually won the belts alongside Barry Windham at the very first WrestleMania. No mention is made of this of course. I think Valentine defeated Rotundo/a for the Tag Team Titles at some point as part of The Dream Team. Of course no mention is made of that either.
Valentine grabs a wrist, IRS quickly uses the ropes to force a break. Piper considers Valentine the more methodical of the two which is HILARIOUS because few wrestlers are as “methodical” as IRS. Valentine drops IRS with a shoulderblock, IRS calls the ref over and complains about something or another. Valentine continues the offense with a hip toss and clothesline, IRS bails to the floor to stop the momentum and uses the count to regroup. Monsoon mentions that Jake Roberts and The Undertaker are lurking somewhere in MSG according to rumors. WILL THEY RUIN THE WEDDING? STAY TUNED. Valentine slams IRS, IRS rolls to the floor once again (again he’s supposedly the QUICKER one). Valentine rolls IRS in, IRS connects with some kicks and locks in an abdominal stretch, holding the rope behind the ref’s back. CLASSIC ROTUNDO/A. Ref finally catches it, Valentine escapes with a hip toss but IRS comes flying back with a lariat followed by an elbowdrop for the 1…2…Hammer kicks out and IRS immediately slaps on a rear chinlock. Valentine tries to break it, IRS turns it into a backbreaker and heads to top but gets distracted with jawing at the fans so Valentine slams him off. Valentine launches into some BABYFACE FIRE offense and dodges a corner knee. Valentine works the leg over briefly and locks in the Figure Four, but IRS pulls himself to the ropes to break it. Valentine flings IRS to the canvas, IRS dodges an elbowdrop, Valentine connects with a shinbreaker and connects with a headbutt to the midsection. Valentine finally goes for the Figure Four, IRS grabs the hair and turns it into an inside cradle for the 1…2…3!
Irwin R. Schyster defeated Greg Valentine via pinfall (7:07)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: High-ish profile win for IRS in his WWF PPV debut, beating a man with the history and accolades of Greg Valentine. Match wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t all that much fun either outside of Valentine desperately trying to fight every fiber in his being and do babyface stuff. That man was not suited for the technico side pro wrestling. (*1/2)
-Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior ahead of the Match Made in Hell (which Heenan thought was supposed to be the wedding, badum tiss). Hogan compares the energy he’s feeling tonight as the same he felt back in January 1984 when Hulkamania began in MSG, while Warrior…you know, spouts some bullsh*t nonsense. He does briefly reference his feud with Jake Roberts & The Undertaker, a feud which will probably last the rest of 1991 as long as Warrior doesn’t get fired for holding Vince up for more money before the next match or anything. That probably won’t happen, that sounds dumb.
MATCH MADE IN HELL [W/ SID JUSTICE AS THE SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE]
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Triangle of Terror (Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan, & Col. Mustafa)
Slaughter defeated Warrior to win the WWF Championship at Royal Rumble ‘91 only to lose it to Hogan and the power of PATRIOTISM at WrestleMania VII. Hogan & Slaughter have kept their feud going since then, with Warrior joining in between bouts of being locked in airtight coffins and getting bit by plastic cobras. Justice is the unknown quantity so far; will he call it down the middle or has the Triangle of Terror recruited him with their nefarious promises of imaginary military ranks? Let’s find out!
Slaughter tries to blatantly cheat, Justice takes the object out of his hand and tosses it away. Slaughter clubs Hogan with forearms, Hogan reverses a corner whip and almost sends him flying out to the floor. Warrior and Hogan turn Slaughter into a pinball, Hogan throws shots at Adnan and Mustafa and tags in Warrior for a double clothesline. Warrior connects with an inverted atomic drop, Hogan tags back in and they connect with a double big boot that Slaughter sells Ric Flair-style (the REAL World’s Champion). Hogan covers, Mustafa lumbers in and kinda breaks it up. Hogan drops Slaughter with a running elbow, Warrior tags back in and throws Slaughter into Hogan’s big boot before tagging back out. Hogan comes off the middle buckle with a double ax and covers for the 1…2…Mustafa breaks it up again. Hogan chokes Slaughter in the corner, Justice peels him off and tells him to cool it iN THE NAME OF JUSTICE. Slaughter gets in a cheapshot and sends Hogan into Mustafa’s pointy boot. Adnan (the former Billy White Wolf from the 70s) tags in and works Hogan over with EVIL FOREIGN BACKRAKES. Mustafa tags in and connects with a gutwrench suplex followed by a CAMEL CLUTCH. Warrior breaks it up, Slaughter tags in and throws Hogan into Justice, causing both men to stare one another down and Slaughter to get more cheapshots from behind. Adnan gets in some eye rakes and biting, Slaughter climbs the buckles but gets shoved off by Warrior who gets the hot tag and levels Slaughter with a series of clotheslines. Warrior runs into Justice accidentally, Hogan runs in and accidentally distracts him allowing Slaughter another cheapshot.
Mustafa tags in, Warrior counters a suplex attempt which hurts both men. Slaughter quickly tags in and lures Hogan in to distract Justice and leave Warrior open to a Triangle of CHEAPSHOTS. Warrior drops Slaughter with a leaping clothesline and after some drama Hogan gets the tag. Hogan lays into Slaughter with rights and a big boot. Adnan and Mustafa run in, Warrior clears them out and chases them to the back with a chair, his last appearance until his surprise return at WrestleMania VIII the next year. Justice gets distracted with the hubbub, allowing Hogan to throw powder in Slaughter’s eyes and finish with the Big Legdrop for the 1…2…3.
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior defeated The Triangle of Terror via pinfall (12:40)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: When HOGAN & WARRIOR are the ones carrying the in-ring action you know you’re in trouble. Quality-wise this match stunk, with Slaughter having to carry his team as Adnan and Mustafa were both barely mobile. Lots of choking and back rakes and cheap fluff that did not make for an interesting match. Also the drama was damn-near non-existent with Justice as he was just kinda…there. Big ol’ woof, outside of the illegal powder and the funny visual of Warrior running to the back and out of the World Wrestling Federation. (*)
Hogan plays to the crowd then calls for Sid Justice to come out and pose with him. Justice POKES HIS HEAD OUT BEHIND THE CURTAIN WITH A DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS LOOK then reluctantly makes his way to the ring. Hogan & Justice pose, the latter outclassing the f*ck out of the former in the muscles department. This was supposed to be a rig rub for Sid Justice, but Sid didn’t like being a babyface so it didn’t take.
–The Mountie screams about wanting his own cell, a gay biker accosts him and he freaks out because EW HOMOSEXUALS AM I RIGHT? Yikes, haha.
-VIDEO: After all these years Randy Savage finally pops the question to Miss Elizabeth, asking her to marry him at SummerSlam. Naturally she responds with “OOOOOH YEAH”. This f*cking ruled.
-MUSIC VIDEO: A lame love ballad plays as clips of Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth over the years.
THE MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
“Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth have a normal wedding, almost unheard of in pro wrestling. Heenan does get in some good jokes though, and Monsoon/Piper threatening to beat him down is hilarious. The opposite of the Uncle Elmer wedding from Saturday Night’s Main Event. They do the vows, they say I do, they kiss, and…that’s the show folks! At least on the Peacock version. If you track down the PPV version you get an extra video of Jake Roberts and The Undertaker crashing the reception and giving them the gift of a plastic…errr VERY REAL COBRA which kickstarts Savage’s return to the ring.
Watching SummerSlam 1991 is pure comfort food to me. It takes me back to when I first discovered pro wrestling, when it felt like watching a comic book come to life and how everything left four year old me in awe. I fell in love with pro wrestling in 1991 and thirty years later I still haven’t been able to shake it. There may be better editions of SummerSlam but this one will always hold its place at the top of the list for what it means to me and its historical value to my own personal life; also helps that it has not one but TWO certified bangers (the agreed upon Hart vs. Perfect and my dark horse Virgil vs. DiBiase) that keep it in the conversation for those who aren’t as emotionally attached. I can’t give this anything less than a glowing recommendation and I can’t wait to watch it in another thirty years when I’m a brain in a jar celebrating my 60th year as a wrestling fan.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Virgil finally defeats Ted DiBiase and wins back his pride as well as the Million Dollar Championship. What a moment.