WWF Summerslam 1994
AUGUST 29TH, 1994
UNITED CENTER, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
AUGUST 29TH, 1994
UNITED CENTER, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler
This is right smack dab in the middle of a serious rebuilding time for the WWF, but the pieces to the puzzle were starting to come together in guys like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Diesel, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon, the 1-2-3 Kid and others, ensuring the WWF wouldn't go under without the man that had carried their company for years in Hulk Hogan. The big matches on this card tonight is Bret Hart defending his WWF title against his brother Owen in a steel cage, as well as Diesel defending the Intercontinental title against Razor Ramon and the infamaous battle of the Undertakers as the main event.
We open with the Macho Man introducing Vince and Jerry as the commentators for the show, but Macho doesn't join them which is kind of odd. Lawler is just starting as a commentator but it's already obvious he's great.
THE HEADSHRINKERS VS. BAM BAM BIGELOW/IRS
Lou Albano is the Headshrinkers manager here as they had turned face a few months back and even won the tag titles for a brief period of time. Vince for some reason or another was trying to bring back nostalgia acts like Lou Albano and Nikolai Volkoff around this time and it was just kind of sad to see these guys so old and washed up. Fatu and IRS start the match off at a brisk pace and the crowd is getting into it. Bam Bam pulls on the ropes when Fatu goes to bounce off them, taking him to the floor and giving Bam Bam some time to work some dirty shots in. Typical formula tag match to start off the show, but that's not a bad thing. Hot tag to Samu followed by headbutts and back body drops galore for both Bam Bam and IRS. Fatu hits the splash off the top but DiBiase distracts the ref so he can't get the three count, which brings Afa into the ring for the DQ at 7:20. Nothing match with a cheap finish, but it was never boring. **
Backstage Leslie Nielsen (yes, Leslie Nielsen) is searching for the Undertaker in some sort of strange cross-promotional thing the WWF was doing with Nielsen and his sidekick for the latest Loaded Gun film. Incredibly hokey stuff that drags the show down while managing to be unintentionally funny. Wrestlecrap stuff here.
WWF WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH
ALUNDRA BLAYZE (C) VS. BULL NAKANO
This was during the WWF's first attempt to bring back the women's division before the rise of the divas, and shockingly enough they went out and actually got good talent like Bull Nakano. As hard as it is to believe, the women's division was actually quite good throughout 94-95 because of hard work by women like Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano. Luna is in Bull's corner as the angle was that she couldn't beat Alundra Blayze so she had to enlist foriegn talent to take out Blayze for her. Brisk pace to start off as Alundra is hitting dropkicks all over the black before Bull grabs her by the hair and tosses her halfway across the ring, twice. Ouch. Bull dominates here choking her against the top rope while a "USA!" chant breaks out. Off the ropes Alundra hits a beautiful frankensteiner on Bull before missing with a spinning heel kick. Bull puts Alundra into a Boston Crab while the crowd starts rallying behind Alundra. Shocking to see a WWF audience into a women's match. Nakano puts Blayze into an incredibly painful looking submission that can only be described as a mixture of a boston crab and a crossface chicken wing. Blayze gets a rollup for 2 but Bull counters and begins working on the arm. Blayze pumps up and begins the House of Fire and attempts a powerbomb that's reversed. They begin exchanging near-falls until Nakano goes to the top and misses a leg drop. Alundra sneaks up behind Bull and hits a nasty German suplex on Nakano for the 1-2-3 at 8:18! One of the best WWF women's matches you'll ever see, this could have actually used a few more minutes but for what it was at the time this was pretty awesome stuff for a women's division. ***
Backstage Diesel and HBK say they aren't afraid of Walter Payton, who will be in Razor's corner tonight.
WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
DIESEL (C) VS. RAZOR RAMON
Diesel was just starting to catch on around this point after having a grea t match with Bret Hart at the King of the Ring, so he was rewarded with not only the Intercontinental title, but he and Shawn also won the tag titles. Razor is scary over, as usual, even moreso when former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton comes out with him. Even match to start off with both men trading clotheslines and elbow until Diesel hits a backs suplex and sends Razor to the outside. While the ref is giving Razor the count, Shawn uncovers the pad from one of the turnbuckles. Back inside the ring Diesel begins hitting various body slams and then chokes Razor on the ropes, which Shawn gladly helps with. Diesel is dominating here, hitting a big boot for a 2 count. Abdominal stretch by Diesel as the crowd startings rallying behind Razor. Diesel goes for the powerslam but Razor slips out and knocks Diesel into the unprotected tunrbuckle. Razor hits him with hard right hands before tossing Diesel into the corner and racking him ont he turnbuckle. Razor hits his bulldog spot off the top for a very close count of 2. Shawn pops up on the ropes and Razor knocks him off much to the crowd's delight. Razor tries to give Diesel a back suplex off the top rope but Diesel knocks him down and calls for the Jacknife, but Razor reverses. HBK grabs the IC title and heads to the ring, but Walter grabs it from him which distracts the ref long enough for Shawn to hit the ring and try to hit Razor with the superkick, but Razor moves out of the way and he hits Diesel instead! The ref slides back into the ring and before Shawn can stop him, Razor drapes an arm over Diesel for the 3 count at 15:05, winning his second Intercontinental championship. The typically good match you'd expect from two Kliq members around this time, though a bit of a forgotten match. There was really no point for Walter Payton to be there, but he didn't distract from the action enough to drag the match down at all. ***¼
After the match Diesel and Shawn argue on their way to the back.
Backstage Todd Pettingel is with Lex Luger and Tatanka and reads a poll from the WWF hotline as to whether or not Lex had sold out to the million dollar man Ted DiBiase. 54% agree that Lex is working for DiBiase.
LEX LUGER VS. TATANKA
This had been building for awhile as each week on Raw Ted DiBiase would claim that he had "made a business deal" with Lex Luger and each week he'd deny it. Tatanka of all people would take offense to this and each week DiBiase found a way to make it look more and more like Luger had sold out. Pretty cool angle at the time, but you just know this match is going to suck. Lockup to start the match off as both men trade holds, feeling each other out. Luger throws Tatanka into the corner and then hits a hip toss followed by a suplex. Tatanka reverses an irish whip into a powerslam and begins skipping around the ring, hitting tomahawk chops on Luger. Tatanka goes up the top for another tomahawk chop for a 2 count. He misses a second chop and Luger hits a few running clotheslines. Suddenly Ted DiBiase begins walking down to ringside with a gym bag presumably full of cash, distracting Luger long enough for Tatanka to sneak up behind him and roll him up for the 3 count at 6:02. After the match DiBiase walks into the ring to try and offer Luger the money, but Luger refuses and Tatanka attacks him from behind, revealing that HE was in fact the one that had sold out to DiBiase, and not Luger. Pretty cool swerve for the time. Decent enough match for the time it was given, but this was more about the angle than the actual match. *½
JEFF JARRETT VS. MABEL
This was during Jarrett's first WWF run when he was a bit of a joke for the first few years, serving as a midcard heel jobber to guys like Razor and the 1-2-3 Kid. Mabel comes out with Moe doing his usual atrociously corny mid-90s rap complete with enough"WHOOMP! There it is!" chants to embarrass anyone who grew up in the 90s. God knows why this is on PPV as they certainly hadn't been feuding during this time. Stalling to start off. Jeff and Mabel trade their versions of the nature boy strut before finally locking up where Mabel takes the immediate advantage. Jarrett tries to hit several double axe-handles off the top rope but they have no effect on Mabel who hits the world's largest spinning heel kick for 2. Out in the crowd Abe "Knuckleball" Schultz shows up for no reason. This was a stupid character Vince tried to create during the baseball strike at the time, but thankfully he'd be gone soon without ever making a real impact. Mabel continues to dominate before missing a splash from the second rope. Lord this is going on much longer than it should be. Jarrett tries for a sunset slip but Viscera tries to sit on him and misses, leading Jarrett to quickly hook the leg for the upset 3 count at 5:58. Bad match that really had no right being on this card, typical filler. ¾*
After the match the lights go out and Vince begins talking about how their "super-sleuths", Leslie Nielsen and his sidekick are out there looking for Undertaker. 'Taker's sillhouette pops up behind them, but they of course don't see him and walk backstage. Who thought this was a good idea for this show?
We recap the famous Bret Hart-Owen Hart feud which started almost a year ago at Survivor Series 1993 when Owen was the only member of the Hart family eliminated in their Survivor Series match. This angered Owen but eventually he and Bret buried the hatchet seemingly, facing the Quebecers at the Royal Rumble for the tag titles in a very good match which saw the ref stop the match after Bret injured his leg. This set Owen off who kicked his leg and delivered the famous line about how he "kicked Bret's leg out from under his leg". They had a five-star classic match at Wrestlemania that saw Owen go over, but Bret had the last laugh that night as he won another WWF title. After Owen won the King of the Ring tournament in June with the help of Jim Neidhart, a rematch was set up with Bret's title on the line, this time inside of a steel cage to keep members of the Hart family outside of the ring and to prevent them from interfering. This is a legendary match, so let's get to it.
WWF WORLD TITLE
CAGE MATCH: BRET HART VS. OWEN HART
The Hart family is at ringside and Vince gets some comments from them before the match. The cage is the old school thick blue bar one, which was always fun I thought. Owen attacks Bret as soon as he enters the ring and we've started. They trade left and rights to start before Bret abruptly drops Owen down with a DDT. Bret tries to scale the cage but is quickly brought back down. Owen tries to climb but Bret hits a back suplex off the cage into the ring. Both men jockey for position, fighting to try and escape through the front door now. Bret tries climbing the cage again but is tossed off by Owen. Owen climbs to the top and gets over the other side but Bret is able to grab him by the air at the last moment and pull him back inside. Bret gets knocked off and is hit with a beautiful missle dropkick from Owen who nips right back up and tries to jump over and out of the cage off the top rope. Bret catches up to him though and straddles the top of the cage before knocking him off again. They exchange blows in the middle of the ring again as Owen screams for Bret to give up. Vince reminds us that we're live for some reason at this point while Bret misses an elbow drop from the top turnbuckle. Owen makes it over the cage again but Bret grabs him by his greasy hair and drags him back into the ring with a hard slam. Now it's Bret turn to climb again and take a bump, this time a fallaway slap from Owen. Pretty basic formula to this match, one man climbs, takes a bump, the other man climbs and then takes a bump, repeat. Bret absolutely nails Owen's head into the cage bars and tries to give the climb another go, getting halfway over and making the crowd go nuts because of it. They quiet down when Owen hits a back suplex off the top of the cage to the mat, followed by a nasty piledriver. Bret tries to crawl out the front door, kicking and hammering away at Owen but Owen just won't let go of his leg. Owen tries his luck at escaping through the door but is caught by Bret and gets catapulted into the cage. Bret crawls over to the wrong corner looking for the door giving Owen enought ime to literally lunge at Bret's feet before he can crawl out the front door. More jockeying to climb the cage until Owen hits a spinning heel kick. A big "Let's Go Bret!" chant rings out as Bret makes another attempt to scale the cage and fails. Owen gets caught at the top and gets super-plexed off the top of the cage back into the ring! A few minutes later Owen locks in his version of the sharpshooter. Both men climb the cage again before falling down rather nastily. Both men climb over the top and jockey for position on the outside of the cage before Bret smashes Owen's head on the cage and Owen falls back with his legs tied up in the cage, giving Bret the opportunity to fall to the floor for the victory and to retain his title at 32:11. Another incredible match between these two that many consider to be one of the best cage matches of all time, and I'd be hard pressed to disagree with that assessment. While not quite on the same level as their Wrestlemania match, they managed to have both a great brawling and technical wrestling cage match here and the end result was one of the best matches of the year and a fitting way to close the book temporarily on the Bret-Owen feud. ****¾
After the match Neidhart storms the ring and locks the door leaving he and Owen to beatdown on Bret in the ring while the rest of the Hart family and the British Bulldog try to climb the cage to get in and save Bret. This is like something out of an 80s NWA cage match.
UNDERTAKER vs. UNDERTAKER
Ahhh, this match. Earlier in the year Undertaker had lost to Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble and had his urn destroyed, seemingly killing Undertaker and taking away his powers in one of the corniest things you'll ever see, but was really just an excuse to give 'Taker some time off. Over the summer eventually Ted DiBiase began flaunting around someone who looked just like the Undertaker and dressed like him (played by "Primetime" Brian Lee of ECW and SMW fame), but everyone knew it wasn't the real Undertaker. This leads us to the main event of Summerslam pitting the fake Undertaker against the real Undertaker in a match remembered notoriously for being incredibly hokey and bad. Paul Bearer brings a casket to the ring and holds the urn in the middle of the ring where it begins shooting out light, making the scene even more cartoonish as this brings out the REAL Undertaker. Action starts off surprisingly quick as the real Taker leapfrogs over the fake Taker and sends him to the outside with a big boot. Paul Bearer moans away in the corner shouting gibberish as the two Undertakers take the action to the outside. The crowd is simply not into this match, probably because they can't tell which Undertaker is the real one and which is the fake one, despite their different colored gloves. Fake Undertaker tries to walk the ropes but the real Undertaker tosses him off the top. Fake Taker no sells this but the real Undertaker shows him how it's done and walks the rope, hitting his patented spot. The crowd is dead silent and you can't really blame them considering what they're watching. They exchange blows again and this match is clearly falling pretty flat on it's face. The fake Undertaker hits a strange-looking version of the chokeslam on the real Undertaker, who promptly no-sells it before being given the Tombstone, which the real Undertaker no-sells again. Fake 'Taker tries for another Tombstone but the real Undertaker reverses it for his own tombstone. Instead of going for the cover he delivers another Tombstone to the fake Undertaker, but again he doesn't go for the cover, electing on giving him a THIRD Tombstone piledriver for the 3 count and the win at 9:10. Very, very bad match that had no right ever taking place, let alone main eventing one of the biggest shows of the year. One of the worst angles of 1994. ½*
Bottom Line: While not as strong of a show as earlier PPV efforts in 1994, this was still a fairly good Summerslam that saw some decent wrestling on the undercard and a legendary main event between the Hart brothers that every wrestling fan should see atleast once. The main event and Leslie Nielsen shenanigans really hurt the show, but there's still enough good on here for me to mildly recommend it.