Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam ’90

Live from Philadelphia, PA

Airdate: August 27, 1990

Attendance:  19,304 (18,703 paid)

Hosted by Vince McMahon & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

Can Hogan get revenge on Earthquake? Or will tremors cause a bigger crack in the Liberty Bell?

Before the first match begins, Hercules attacks Shawn Michaels’ knee with the chain. I wonder if he loses his smile.

Match 1: The Rockers versus Power & Glory (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, Power & Glory were portrayed by Hercules & Paul Roma.
  • After Jannetty reversed a cross corner whip, Roma floated over but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • While Slick distracted referee Jon Bonello, Power & Glory double-teamed Jannetty.
  • Speaking of Jannetty, he hooked Roma with an inside cradle, but Slick continued to distract Bonello. Ultimately, it got 2 as Hercules made the save.
  • When Michaels tried to get up on the apron, Hercules nailed him.
  • Jannetty then attempted a sunset flip, but Roma tagged out.
  • Upon Michaels’ second attempt, Roma kicked him in the knee. How dastardly!
  • Hercules then gave Jannetty a military-press slam for 2.
  • According to Vince, Michaels’ knee was previously injured, so Power & Glory did their homework.
  • When Hercules attempted a slam, Jannetty countered with another inside cradle for 2.
  • Roma tagged in and gave Jannetty a pair of backbreakers for 2.
  • As Jannetty came back with a powerslam, he delivered a superkick to an incoming Hercules.
  • Jannetty then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a fist drop, but only got a 1-count thanks to another save by Hercules.
  • While Jannetty tried to roll Roma up off the ropes, Hercules clotheslined him.
  • Hercules tagged in, and Power & Glory gave Jannetty a flapjack.
  • Next, Hercules clotheslined Jannetty resulting in a 360° sell. Woohoo!
  • He then placed Janetty atop the top turnbuckle as Power & Glory hit their finisher—the Powerplex.
  • From the top rope, Roma then hit a splash.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Power & Glory won.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Glorified handicap match due to Michaels’ knee injury. Additionally, Power & Glory looked smooth as a brand-new tag team.

After the match, Roma tosses Michaels into the ring, and Power & Glory continue their destruction of the Rockers until officials hit the ring. EMTs remove Michaels from the ring on a gurney.

Backstage, Sean Mooney interviews Mr. Perfect with Heenan who cuts a promo on the Texas Tornado.

As Perfect and Heenan make their entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Texas Tornado in the blue locker room.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect (champion w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus the “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich

Highlights:

  • Texas Tornado substituted for the injured Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake here. Beefcake wouldn’t return to the WWF for almost a year due to a parasailing accident.
  • After Texas Tornado reversed a cross corner whip, he gave Perfect a hip toss.
  • He then slammed and clotheslined Perfect over the top rope to the floor.
  • Upon Perfect’s return, he countered a wrist lock with a forearm smash.
  • He then gave Texas Tornado a neck snap, a cross corner whip, and a sleeper.
  • As Piper complimented Perfect on his hold choice, Texas Tornado came back with a catapult sending Perfect face-first into the ring post.
  • He then applied the Iron Claw and followed with a discus punch that resulted in a 360° by Perfect.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Too short to be worth much although the Philadelphia faithful ate it up with a spoon.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews an angry Heenan with an upset Perfect. They’re more than anxious to regain the IC title.

Match 3: Queen Sherri versus Sapphire

Highlights:

  • Queen Sherri wore a mask resembling the Bride of Frankenstein.
  • As Rhodes’ entrance music played, Sapphire failed to appear.
  • Goulet came to the ring, and ring announcer Howard Finkel informed us that Sapphire had 30 seconds to appear.
  • When Sherri finished Finkel’s count, she won by forfeit.

Rating: NONE

Back in the blue locker room, Okerlund interviews Rhodes. According to him, she disappeared. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan interjects with “we’re all still lookin’ for her.” When Okerlund questions Sapphire’s extravagant gifts, Rhodes wants to continue his search.

Match 4: Tito Santana versus the Warlord (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

  • After putting an elbow into Warlord’s back, Santana delivered a series of dropkicks.
  • Warlord then countered a wrist lock with a slam.
  • As Santana nailed Warlord taking him down to the mat, he got 2. Warlord’s kick-out sent Santana between the ropes to the floor.
  • While Slick distracted the anonymous referee, Warlord joined and rammed Santana back-first into the ring post.
  • Back in the ring, Warlord gave Santana a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • He then hit a clothesline for 2 with another big kick-out.
  • After Warlord reversed an Irish whip and missed a clothesline, Santana delivered a flying forearm for 2. Warlord put his foot on the bottom rope.
  • Warlord then blocked a monkey flip, hit a powerslam, and pinned Santana.

Rating: *

Summary:  Showcase match for Warlord.

Vince then shills Survivor Series LIVE on PPV on 11/22.

Backstage, Mooney interviews Demolition who dismiss the Hart Foundation’s challenge and call the Road Warriors “imposters.” Blasphemy!

After Demolition makes its entrance, Okerlund interviews the Hart Foundation in the blue locker room. Bret uses some “Phil Collins” lyrics in his promo. While Collins wrote a song named “Two Hearts,” U2 wrote another titled “Two Hearts Beat as One.”

Match 5 for the WWF tag team titles (2 out of 3 falls): Demolition (champions) versus the Hart Foundation

Highlights:

Fall one:

  • Smash and Crush wrestled for Demolition here.
  • While Hebner returned Crush to the heel corner, the Hart Foundation gave Smash a double back elbow.
  • Bret then rolled up Smash for 2.
  • As Neidhart tagged in, Smash whipped him into the corner but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Bret tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Smash.
  • After Smash countered a key lock with a slam, Crush tagged in and slammed Bret.
  • Speaking of Bret, he attempted a cross body block, but Crush caught and slammed him.
  • As Crush gave Bret a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Bret then rolled him up for 2.
  • Shortly after, Crush put a knee into Neidhart’s back as Bret distracted referee Earl Hebner.
  • Crush tagged in, gave Neidhart a cross corner whip, but ate a clothesline.
  • Shortly after, Bret delivered a clothesline and dropkick to Smash.
  • Bret then gave Smash the ten-punch count-along until Crush got involved. He then lunged at Crush and fed him some rights.
  • When Smash tried to interfere, Bret gave him an inverted atomic drop.
  • Bret then whipped Smash into Crush sending him between the ropes to the floor.
  • Next, Bret gave Smash a side Russian leg sweep while Crush and Neidhart fought outside the ring.
  • As Bret earned a 2-count on Smash, Crush made Neidhart taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Schmitter at McNally’s.
  • After a backbreaker, Bret mounted the second turnbuckle and hit the elbow smash for only 2 thanks to a save by Crush.
  • Crush tagged in, and Demolition gave Bret Demolition Decapitation.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Demolition led 1-0.

Fall two:

  • After Crush missed a back elbow, he gave Bret a chokeslam.
  • Smash tagged in and gave Bret a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
  • Shortly after, Bret came back with a clothesline.
  • Hot tag Neidhart.
  • After a back elbow, Neidhart earned a 2-count on Smash.
  • He then followed with a powerslam for another 2.
  • As Bret tagged in, the Hart Foundation gave Smash a Bret-assisted running shoulder block.
  • They then hit the Hart Attack.
  • 1-2-NO!
  • When Crush blatantly stopped the count, Hebner called for the bell disqualifying Demolition.
  • The match was tied 1-1.

Fall three:

  • When Neidhart checked on Bret, Demolition distracted Hebner so that Ax could hide under the ring. SNEAKY!
  • Bret then re-entered the ring via a sunset flip for 2 on Smash.
  • Afterward, he gave Smash an inverted atomic drop.
  • While Bret leaped to the second turnbuckle, Neidhart gave Smash a flying shoulder block.
  • Neidhart then powerslammed Bret sternum-first atop Smash for 2. Great spot.
  • When Smash fell out of the ring, Ax took his place.
  • Bret then gave him a cross corner whip but ate a clothesline on his follow-through.
  • After a slam, Ax got 2.
  • He then gave Bret a side Russian leg sweep for another 2.
  • Upon receiving a cross corner whip, Bret took a sternum-first bump.
  • Can Demolition retain?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • As Demolition made an illegal switch, Crush delivered a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2 as Neidhart made the save.
  • Crush then distracted Hebner so that Ax and Smash could double-team Bret outside the ring.
  • When Smash took Ax’s place, he delivered a hot shot to Bret.
  • Suddenly, the Road Warriors hit the ring, pulled Ax from under the ring, and knocked Crush off-balance from the top rope.
  • After Neidhart hit a slingshot shoulder block, Bret school-boyed Crush.
  • 1-2-3.
  • WE HAVE NEW CHAMPIONS!

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Incredible tag match with excellent drama, flawless execution, a great finish, and a spectacular pop. Only the DQ finish of the second fall marred the match.

Promo for WrestleMania VII LIVE on PPV on 3/24/91. Get your tickets now!

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews the Road Warriors who cut a promo on Demolition. Suddenly, the Hart Foundation join the scene stating they are fighting champions.

Outside Demolition’s dressing room, Mooney reports that they are PISSED OFF with the Road Warriors.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the victorious Queen Sherri. When Okerlund mentions Sapphire’s “early sightings,” Queen Sherri questions whether she is a UFO or not. HA!

After an intermission, Okerlund previews the rest of the card. He then mentions Brown’s sewer rats while we get a glimpse of an opossum in a kennel. WTF? Equally as screwy, Damian takes a shower in the locker room. Bartender, I’ll have what they’re having.

Next, Okerlund interviews Bossman.

Back in the blue locker room, Mooney interviewed Duggan and Volkoff. While they were a unique pair, the Cold War had ended, so the WWF thought their shared patriotism meshed well together.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Earthquake with Bravo and Hart. We then revisit Superstars when Earthquake SQUISHED Hogan. Following that, we revisit Superstars when Earthquake SQUISHED Tugboat removing him from Hogan’s corner tonight (aired 8/18, taped 7/16).

In the blue locker room, Mooney interviews Roberts who’s quite the professional as Damian annoyingly wraps himself around Roberts’ head during the interview.

Match 6: Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Bad News Brown

Highlights:

  • The Big Bossman was the special guest referee for this match.
  • When Brown gave Roberts a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Roberts then made DDT attempt #1, but Brown escaped.
  • Brown then delivered a hip toss followed by a leg drop for 2 due to an arrogant cover.
  • When Roberts made DDT attempt #2, Brown hightailed it again.
  • Roberts joined him but ate a chair shot to the midsection. OUCH!
  • Back in the ring, Brown gave Roberts a series of HARD cross corner whips injuring the back.
  • He then hit a clothesline, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed a fist drop.
  • As Roberts came back with a knee lift, he delivered a short-arm clothesline.
  • The Philadelphia faithful chanted “D-D-T” when Brown countered DDT attempt #3 with a back drop.
  • Outside the ring, Brown nailed Roberts in the midsection again with the chair.
  • Bossman called for the bell disqualifying Brown.
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Rating: *

Summary:  Cop-out finish that was completely unnecessary. This was Brown’s last televised WWF match, and he should have laid down for Roberts especially with the hot crowd.

After the match, Brown pulls the bag containing Damian into the middle of the ring but misses a leg drop thanks to Bossman. He then attacks Bossman until Roberts drapes Damian upon him to scare him off.

Promo #2 for WrestleMania VII.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the FORMER WWF tag team champions who are still extremely furious with the Hart Foundation and the Road Warriors.

BROTHER LOVE SHOW: Sergeant Slaughter, who looks like he ate an entire platoon, is the special guest and portrays a heel unlike his previous days in the WWF and AWA. Next, he presents Sergeant Slaughter’s Great American Award to…Brother Love. Following that, he “declares war on Nikolai Volkoff.” Better days were ahead for ol’ Sarge.

In the pink locker room, Mooney interviews Fuji with the Orient Express.

Outside a different locker room, Okerlund tries to interview Sapphire but gets the door shut in his face.

Match 7: Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji) versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Nikolai Volkoff

Highlights:

  • To honor Kate Smith, Duggan and Volkoff sang “God Bless America.”
  • They then gave the Orient Express stereo atomic drops into one another.
  • While the Philadelphia faithful chanted “U-S-A,” Volkoff attempted a slam. On the other hand, Sato then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit Volkoff with an axe handle.
  • While Duggan distracted referee John Bonello, Fuji nailed Volkoff with his cane. How nefarious!
  • Sato tagged in and delivered a thrust kick to Volkoff.
  • When Tanaka tagged in, he missed a splash.
  • Hot tag Duggan.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring.
  • After Volkoff and Duggan whipped the Orient Express into one another, Duggan delivered the three-point stance clothesline. That resulted in a 360° sell by Tanaka. Woohoo!
  • 1-2-3.
  • Volkoff and Duggan won.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Having played one side of the coin with Slaughter in the previous segment, the other side was played here with the patriotic tag team squashing a foreign team. Feel the xenophobia!

Vince then plugs Survivor Series for the second time. Let’s hope he doesn’t crack under pressure during the show.

Outside Sapphire’s dressing room, Okerlund and Rhodes fail to encourage Sapphire to open the door.

Backstage, Mooney interviews Savage upon the throne.

Not THAT throne!

Prior to the next match, the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase with Virgil informs Rhodes that he has “purchased” Sapphire. Um, Ted, the 14th Amendment prohibits such things. Regardless, as she ascends to the podium, Sapphire carries a WWF tote bag full of cash. Rhodes then tries to confront them about it, but Savage attacks him from behind.

Match 8: “Macho King” Randy Savage (w/ Queen Sherri) versus the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes (w/o Sapphire)

Highlights:

  • Upon tossing Rhodes in the ring, Savage mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle.
  • While Savage distracted referee Joey Marella, Queen Sherri nailed Rhodes. Heinous!
  • Rhodes came back with a bionic elbow and a double sledge.
  • Following that, Rhodes delivered a dropkick sending Savage between the ropes to the floor.
  • When Rhodes joined Savage on the floor, Queen Sherri acted like a protective shield for the King.
  • Having given Savage her purse, Queen Sherri then distracted Rhodes and Marella allowing Savage to wallop Rhodes.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Savage won.

Rating: *

Summary:  More angle then match as Rhodes moves on to feud with DiBiase having lost his feud with Savage.

Backstage, Mooney interviews DiBiase as he enters his limousine. An angry Rhodes then tries to stop them, but the limousine pulls away.

Elsewhere backstage, Okerlund interviews Hogan with Bossman. Hogan then dedicates the match to Tugboat. Next, he compares himself to George Washington for his honesty.

Match 9: Hulk Hogan (w/ Big Bossman) versus Earthquake (w/ Jimmy Hart & Dino Bravo)

Highlights:

  • Yes, folks, believe it or not, Hogan was NOT in the main event.
  • Piper’s main contribution to this match was calling Earthquake a “warthog.”
  • As the Philadelphia faithful chanted “Ho-gan,” a shoulder block by Earthquake caused Hogan to exit the ring to regroup.
  • Upon his return, Hogan tried to slam him to no avail.
  • Earthquake then gave Hogan a HARD cross corner whip injuring Hogan’s back.
  • After a second cross corner whip, Earthquake ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Hogan then unloaded on Earthquake but couldn’t take him off his feet.
  • As Hart got up on the apron, Hogan nailed him.
  • When Bravo tried the same, he received a dose of the same medicine.
  • After giving Earthquake a Popeye-style punch, Hogan finally took him off his feet.
  • Earthquake then sought refuge outside the ring, but Hogan joined him.
  • Suddenly, Bossman tossed Bravo into the ring. He and Hogan then delivered a double big boot to him.
  • They then did the same to Earthquake.
  • While referee Earl Hebner was occupied with Bossman, Bravo and Earthquake double-teamed Hogan.
  • Earthquake then delivered an elbow drop for 2.
  • Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle and hit an axe handle to Hogan’s back. First, a Rhodes dropkick, then some high-flying from Earthquake…what planet was this?
  • Nonetheless, Earthquake hooked a Boston crab, but Hogan made the ropes.
  • When Hogan left the ring again, Bravo slammed and tossed him back into the ring.
  • Earthquake then missed an elbow drop.
  • When Hogan attempted a slam, Earthquake fell on top of him for 2.
  • He then applied a bear hug, but Hogan escaped with the five-punch count-along. Must have been the semi-main event discount.
  • As Hogan tried a cross body block, Earthquake powerslammed him. An arrogant cover only got 2.
  • He then gave Hogan two Earthquake splashes but only got another 2.
  • It’s Hulk-up time!
  • Hogan then gave Earthquake the big boot followed by a slam.
  • Afterward, he hit the leg drop, but Bravo got up on the apron to distract Hebner.
  • Hart then came into the ring and delivered some ineffectual offense to Hogan.
  • While Hogan tossed Hart into Earthquake, Bossman came into the ring to dispose of Bravo.
  • Outside the ring, Earthquake held Hogan so Hart could nail him with the megaphone, but it backfired.
  • Hogan then slammed Earthquake onto a ringside table.
  • Finally, Hebner counted Earthquake out.
  • Hogan won.

Rating: **

Summary:  I guess their house show tour isn’t finished as this feud carries on further.

After the match, Earthquake attacks Hogan until Bossman comes in with a chair to nail both Bravo and Earthquake. Bossman then WALLOPED Earthquake a couple more times leaving legitimate welts on his back. Ultimately, with Bossman’s urging, Hogan poses for the Philadelphia faithful.

Backstage, Mooney interviews Rude with Heenan. After Rude references Rocky, he cuts a promo on Warrior.

In the blue locker room, Okerlund interviews a dejected Rhodes who cuts a promo on DiBiase.

At ringside, Lord Alfred Hayes describes the construction of the big blue steel cage. Instead of the boring documentary, he should have maintained his Wild Kingdom garb.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the victorious Hogan who is ready to beat Earthquake at every turn until he gets another shot at the WWF title.

In the pink locker room, Mooney interviews a ornery Earthquake who wants more of Hogan.

Next, Okerlund interviews Warrior who has no right to do stand-up comedy since his joke stunk on melba toast.

Match 10 for the WWF title (steel cage): Ultimate Warrior (champion) versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)

Highlights:

  • I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Rude’s music was merely a jazz theme in lieu of his usual entrance music.
  • As Rude stopped Warrior’s incessant run around the ring, Warrior climbed the cage to confront him.
  • From the top turnbuckle, Warrior delivered an axe handle.
  • He then rammed Rude face-first into the cage many times but met the cage up close and personal upon charging a BUSTED OPEN Rude.
  • When Rude attempted to escape, Warrior caught him but ate a forearm smash.
  • Rude then rammed Warrior face-first into the cage twice.
  • After Rude raked Warrior’s face against the cage, he attempted the Rude Awakening. However, Warrior broke the hold and clotheslined him.
  • Next, Warrior attempted a splash but ate knees.
  • Rude then hit the Rude Awakening, mounted the top of the cage, and delivered a fist drop.
  • From the opposite side of the cage, Rude leaped but ate a shot to the midsection.
  • When Warrior tried to escape through the door, Heenan slammed it in Warrior’s face. OUCH!
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • A double shoulder block then put both wrestlers down on the mat.
  • As Rude tried to escape through the door, Warrior stopped him and gave the Philadelphia faithful a full moon.
  • He then pulled Heenan into the cage and hammered him.
  • Upon receiving an atomic drop, Heenan fell out of the cage.
  • Warrior then hit a series of clotheslines and military-press-dropped Rude.
  • Finally, Warrior escaped to win.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  While not great, this was a solid cage match that helped Warrior’s credibility as champion. Also, Rude gave it his all here but came up short.

After the match, Warrior reclimbed the cage to celebrate his victory.

Conclusion: Aside from the cash cows’ victories in the final two matches, the two title changes make this show historical. Specifically, I would seek out the Hart Foundation-Demolition match.

See you for NWA Clash of the Champions XII!

Buyrate: 3.80

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