WWF 1990 SummerSlam

August 27, 1990

From the Philadelphia Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper

 

The Rockers vs. Power & Glory w/ Slick

Power & Glory attack The Rockers from behind on the floor as Slick provided a distraction. Shawn is laid out on the floor while Marty is inside fighting off both men and doing a great job. Shawn is trying to pull himself up as Marty nearly puts Roma away with a small package but Hercules made the save. Hercules hammers away but Marty takes him outside then Roma starts beating on Marty. Roma stays in control then tags out as Marty almost took him over with a sunset flip. Roma goes out to kick Shawn’s leg out as Vince points out he had a bad knee prior to coming out for the match. And it was crystal clear as Shawn could barely walk down the aisle for this match. Power & Glory almost put Marty away but Marty is able to hit Roma with a powerslam. He then dropkicks Hercules outside and hits Roma with a flying fist drop but Hercules made the save. Marty tries for a reverse rollup but Roma ducks as Hercules clotheslines Marty from the apron. The camera shows Shawn clutching his knee as Hercules turns Marty inside-out with a clothesline then Power & Glory hit the Power Plex for the win (6:00) ***. After the match, Power & Glory bring Shawn inside and destroy his knee until several officials come out for the save as Marty protects his partner. A stretcher is wheeled out now to take Shawn backstage.

Thoughts: With Shawn having legitimate knee issues requiring surgery at the time, I thought they laid out the best match possible. Shane Douglas was already working house show matches as Marty’s partner before the PPV. Roma and Marty really put on a great performance here I thought while Hercules was able to hold up his end of the match too. The crowd was super into this match and I thought it was a blast.

 

Sean Mooney is backstage with Mr. Perfect & Bobby Heenan. Perfect says he is perfect in every way as Heenan said he knows a lot about the Texas Tornado and that they look ferocious but are only good for turning over some “hick” mobile homes in a trailer park. Okerlund is with the Texas Tornado in the locker room. They’ve stopped referring to him as Kerry Von Erich now. Anyway, Tornado says that tornadoes are devastating and unpredictable then will head back up in the clouds with the Intercontinental Title. Not the best interviews here to be honest. Lots of lame dialogue here.

 

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Mr. Perfect (c) w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Texas Tornado

Perfect bails after Tornado shoved him into the corner as the announcers do not believe Perfect & Heenan did any preparation for this match. Perfect lands a chop in the corner but Tornado reverses an Irish whip then runs wild until he clotheslines Perfect outside. Back inside, Tornado works the arm until Perfect takes him down with a forearm smash. Perfect follows with a neck snap then locks on a sleeper. Tornado reaches the ropes but Perfect starts hammering away. Perfect then slaps him a few times and yells at Tornado but turns around and gets sling-shotted into the post. Tornado then locks on the claw and follows with the discus punch for the win and the Intercontinental Championship (5:15) *1/4. After the match, Perfect & Heenan are in disbelief.

Thoughts: The story here was that Perfect & Heenan accepted Tornado’s challenge and did not take him as a threat and ended up losing the match. Not the best way to sell Tornado as a champ but the dug him and the finish got a big pop. Perfect took his usual crazy bumps in this match but Tornado did not look good at all here.

 

Okerlund is now backstage and was expecting to interview Sapphire but she is not available. Heenan & Perfect then storm in as Heenan blames the referee for letting Tornado break the rules. Perfect then says he will reclaim the title and points out the lump on his head from the post as Heenan said Perfect’s shoulder was up during the pin.

 

Queen Sherri comes out for her match against Sapphire. However, Sapphire’s music plays and she does not come out. Piper suggests that someone go backstage to give her a “pat on the bum” so she can come out. The music stops and plays again but she is still nowhere to be found. Sherri is upset that Sapphire is not here then agent Rene Goulet comes out to tell ring announcer Howard Finkel that if Sapphire does not come out within thirty seconds she will lose via forfeit. Sapphire still does not come out as Piper thinks she might be making pancakes or that her jewelry is holding her down as Sherri wins by forfeit. This was better than watching Sapphire trying to wrestle so I approve.

 

Backstage, Okerlund is with Dusty Rhodes and asks about Sapphire’s whereabouts. Dusty said Sapphire disappeared within 1o minutes of arriving and cannot find her and is very worried. Hacksaw Jim Duggan walks in to say they have not found Sapphire as everyone is still looking for her while Dusty said Sapphire is happy with her gifts but will now have to leave and find her as Okerlund said Sapphire was due to receive her biggest gift of all tonight.

 

The Warlord w/ Slick vs. Tito Santana

Warlord tosses Santana down then shoves him into the corner. Tito ducks an attack and works the arm before dropping an elbow as Warlord dropped down after an Irish whip. Warlord bails after Tito hit a few dropkicks then returns but misses an elbow drop after a slam. Tito hammers away but is tossed outside after a pin attempt. Back inside, Warlord hammers away until he eats boot on a charge. Tito clotheslines Warlord down for a two count then fires away. He hits the flying forearm but Warlord is able to break the count by getting his foot on the rope. Tito then tries for a monkey flip in the corner but that gets blocked and Warlord puts him away with a running powerslam (5:28) *.

Thoughts: Tito looked great here but the problem was the guy who won, and in line for a push, looked awful. Warlord was the 90’s answer to Ted Arcidi in this match as he moved slow and unconvincing when on offense.

 

Vince lets us know that the Survivor Series will take place on Thanksgiving night, November 22nd.

 

Mooney is now with Demolition. They still refuse to stay which two will be wrestling tonight and how that will give them an advantage.  The Hart Foundation are then shown with Okerlund, showing off their new jackets, as Neidhart doesnt care which two members they will face. The Hart Foundation jackets were something else. I thought they were hideous and wondered why the needed to wear high school marching band style attire.

 

WWF Tag Team Title Match, 2/3 Falls: Demolition (c) vs. Hart Foundation

Smash & Crush are representing Demolition. They try to cheat early but the Hart Foundation were ready. Bret beats on Smash then starts working the arm. Smash scoops up Bret for a slam then tags out as Crush hits a slam of his own. Bret avoids a knee drop though only to get caught attempting a crossbody. Crush beats on Bret in the corner but eats boot on a charge. Bret rolls up Crush for two then both men tag out. Neidhart works a side headlock but gets kicked in the back by Crush, who was on the apron while the ref was tied up. Neidhart comes back with a clothesline then Bret tags in and slugs it out with Smash. He dropkicks Crush into the corner then fights him off when he will not return to the apron. Bret then rams Smash into Crush, who gets knocked outside, and makes the cover but that only gets two. Bret drops an elbow from the middle rope but Crush breaks that up with a leg drop as Neidhart is now hurt on the outside then Demolition hits the Decapitation to win the first fall (6:09). Demolition now beat on Bret and target the neck. Neidhart is back on the apron and Bret hits Smash with a clothesline as both men are down. Crush tries to drag Smash closer for the tag but gets caught then Bret tags out as Neidhart runs wild. The match breaks down then the Hart Foundation hit Smash with the Hart Attack but Crush lunges at the ref to break up the pin and gets disqualified as we are tied 1-1 (10:06). Bret gets dumped outside as Demolition now beat on Neidhart. They tie up the ref as Ax runs down the aisle and hides underneath the ring as the Neidhart is on the outside, opposite of Ax, checking on his partner. Bret slingshots in with a sunset flip on Smash for a two count then hits an inverted atomic drop. Smash avoids a double-team move but Neidhart takes him down then slams Bret on top of him for two. The ref is tied up as Ax rolls Smash outside then takes his place as Ax now beats on Bret. Neidhart breaks up a pin attempt then the ref is tied up with Neidhart and Crush as Ax & Smash beat on Bret outside of the ring. The fans go nuts now as Legion of Doom appear ringside and drag Ax from underneath the ring and cut off Crush from the top rope. Smash goes out to yell at the LoD then Neidhart hits Crush with a slingshot shoulder tackle as Bret was behind Crush for the trip then Bret uses a rollup for the win as the Hart Foundation are the new Tag Team Champions (14:24) ***.

Thoughts: The crowd was jacked for the finish here. I thought the first fall was awesome, the second fall just alright and the third fall was chaotic but preposterous. You really have to suspend disbelief to think its difficult to differentiate between Ax and Smash. This did two things as it switched the belts to a new team and easily transitioned Demolition into a new feud against the Legion of Doom. I agree with what Demolition said in their shoot interview about the WWF rushing into their feud with LoD. They should have built things up before rushing into things.

 

An ad for WrestleMania VII airs. To take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Auditorium.

 

Okerlund is back in the locker room as the LoD enter. They talk about Demolition ignoring them and hope they are mad then the Hart Foundation enter and talk about winning the titles against all odds and will take on anyone. Mooney is then at Demolition’s door as they are yelling about the LoD

 

Okerlund is now with Queen Sherri, who brags about being too intimidating for Sapphire to show up. Sherri then laughs about a few rumors she has just heard and thinks Sapphire just might be the smartest person in the WWF then goes mental.

 

Back from intermission, Okerlund is with the Big Bossman, who is not afraid of snakes.

 

Mooney is with Nikolai Volkoff & Jim Duggan. They love America as Nikolai refers to them as the “American Express.”

 

Okerlund is now with Earthquake, Jimmy Hart, and Dino Bravo. Earthquake talks about putting Hogan out of action and how he is making the most foolish decision of his career.

 

Mooney is now with Jake Roberts, who lets Bad News Brown know that Damien is hungry.

 

Special Guest Referee Big Bossman: Bad News Brown vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

The match begins before Bossman gets to the ring as Bad News hammers away. Jake avoids a charge then goes for the DDT but Bad News is able to slip away. Bad News returns and takes control but yells with Bossman and gets attacked from behind by Jake. Bad News slips out of another DDT attempt then Jake follows but gets a chair rammed into his ribs. Bossman orders Bad News inside as he rams Jake into the corner. Bad News continues to beat on Jake then taunts the crowd after a clothesline. Jake flips off Bad News after getting attacked then is sent to the mat. He heads to the middle rope but misses the fist drop as both men are down. Jake hits Bad News with a knee lift and runs wild as the crowd wants him to hit the DDT. Bad News counters with a back drop then goes out to grab the chair and whacks Jake then Bossman signals for the DQ (4:44) 3/4*. After the match, Bad News tries to leg drop Damien but Bossman pulls the bag away. Bad News attacks Bossman from behind but Jake runs over with Damien as Bad News runs away.

Thoughts: Terrible finish to a feud that had already ran out of steam. Plus, after weeks of hype, the sewer rats had zero impact in this match. Bad News quit at the TV tapings the next day as he was pissed over being lied to by Vince and went to work in Japan. According to Dave Meltzer of the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Jake and Bad News were going to wrestle in street fights and cage matches at house shows as this feud would have continued.

 

Okerlund is with Demolition as they promise to demolish the LoD.

 

Brother Love Show with guest Sgt. Slaughter. Brother Love is presenting with the Sgt. Slaughter award as Slaughter says America has become weak and soft but that he’s the only one deserving of the award. Slaughter then addresses Nikolai Volkoff and is disgusted that America as accepted him and that this country is so weak that Sadaam Hussein and his men can “kick our butt.” The last line was intended for shock value to draw tremendous heat but this segment was a dud. And in all honesty, this crowd really died off since the Tag Title match ended.

 

Mooney is backstage with Mr. Fuji and The Orient Express but we cut to Okerlund with some breaking news. Sapphire is shown running into a locker room and shuts the door on Okerlund as we know she has returned.

 

Orient Express w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Nikolai Volkoff & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

The Orient Express attack from behind to start, after Duggan & Volkoff sang the National Anthem. Volkoff & Duggan hit stereo atomic drops as the Orient Express collide then roll outside to regroup. Back inside, Sato breaks up a slam attempt by Volkoff as the Orient Express now take control of the match. Tanaka whiffs on a splash then Volkoff tags out as Duggan runs wild then the match breaks down as the Orient Express get rammed into each other and after that Duggan hits Tanaka with the Three Point Stance for the win (3:22) 1/4*.

Thoughts: This was essentially a squash for Duggan & Volkoff and they had to get the duo over since Slaughter would be feuding with Volkoff. You can also see just how little the WWF thought of the Orient Express as an act with how they were presented tonight. Got squashed here and their interview cut short for the Sapphire segment.

 

Backstage, Dusty is trying to get into Sapphire’s locker room but she will not come out. He tells Okerlund that he needs her in his corner and will get to the bottom of this as he leaves to head down to the ring while Okerlund remains in front of the door.

 

Before the Savage vs. Dusty match, we see Ted DiBiase & Virgil on the interview platform. DiBiase tells Dusty that everyone has a price and his money can by anyone and anything. However, tonight his money bought Dusty’s humiliation then brings out his latest purchase, Sapphire. She comes out in a dress and fur coat while covered in diamonds. DiBiase then says Sapphire did what everyone else here would have done and wants to know what Dusty will do about this. Dusty heads up the aisle but Savage attacks from behind and the bell rings. It was really obvious even before the PPV that DiBiase was behind the gifts to Sapphire. Also, it was obvious at some point that these two characters would feud against each other in the WWF.

 

Dusty Rhodes vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage w/ Queen Sherri

Savage takes Dusty inside and hammers away. Sherri cheap shots Dusty as Savage starts choking away. Dusty fights back and hits a few elbow drops before knocking Savage outside. Savage uses Sherri as a shield on the outside then Sherri provides a distraction after slipping Savage a loaded purse as Savage whacks Dusty behind the ref’s back and gets the win (2:15) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Forgettable action to end another feud that was well past its expiration date. Dusty will now feud with DiBiase while Savage will need to find someone to feud with. This could have been a major money match just a few years prior too but here it was a quick two minutes of uninspired action.

 

Mooney is backstage trying to catch DiBiase, Virgil, and Sapphire before they leave in a limo. Dusty ran backstage trying to get them but the limo pulled away. I’ll give a lot of credit to Dusty for selling this angle as hard as he could, something he often did, but it was tough to care about and this got way too much focus on this show.

 

Hogan & Bossman are with Okerlund. He compares them to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and talks about the constitution since they are in Philadelphia.

 

Earthquake w/ Jimmy Hart & Dino Bravo vs. Hulk Hogan w/ Big Bossman

Hogan gets tossed after a lockup. He tries again and is shoved back down as Vince notes Hogan’s lighter physique. Earthquake continues to overpower Hogan and even taunts him a bit until he eats boot on a charge. Hogan fires away then knocks Hart off of the apron. Hogan heads out and joins Bossman as they fight off both men now inside of the ring. Bravo attacks Hogan from behind and helps Earthquake with a double body slam. Earthquake gets a nearfall with an elbow drop then targets the back. He puts Hogan in a Boston Crab then Hogan rolls outside where Bravo slams him on the floor as Bossman was yelling at Earthquake from the apron. Hogan heads back inside and gets slammed but rolls away from an elbow drop. Hogan gets up and tries for a slam but Earthquake falls on top and almost gets the win. Earthquake locks on a bearhug but Hogan manages to escape. Hogan hammers away but gets caught in a powerslam. Earthquake covers with one leg and taunts Hogan but only gets two so he sets up for the sit-down splash and hits that as Hogan is convulsing on the mat as Vince acts as if his career has ended. Earthquake then hits another splash and covers but Hogan kicks out and hulks up as Earthquake is in disbelief. Hogan then slams Earthquake and drops the leg but the ref is distracted by Bravo. Hart runsin and Hogan tosses him at Earthquake then Bossman shoves Bravo outside where everyone is brawling. Hart accidentally hits Earthquake with the megaphone then Hogan slams Earthquake on the table but it doesnt break then Hogan rolls inside and wins by countout (13:16) **1/2. After the match, Earthquake chokes out Hogan then only stops after Bossman hit him in the back with a chair three times as he leaves the ring while Hogan and Bossman celebrate. And they celebrate for a very long time.

Thoughts: I thought the match layout here was pretty good. I also thought both men did a fine job in the ring. The finish was not the best but looking ahead I can see why they did this as the heel side was incredibly weak so they might as well have prolonged this feud. At the same time, this really should have been the blowoff because there was nowhere else to go with this and Tugboat’s return is nowhere near significant enough. I’ve seen a lot of people really hate this match but I think they told a solid story and kept Earthquake relatively strong.

 

Mooney is with Rick Rude & Heenan. Rude makes a “Rocky” reference then says that Warrior’s life will change because a steel cage is his type of match. Heenan says when it ends there will not be any sequels. For a co-main event, this match got little hype. You’d think they would have thrown this on earlier in the show.

 

Okerlund is backstage with Dusty, who says only America can give him shelter from the storm. He also promises to get even with DiBiase while feeling screwed over by Sapphire. Really good promo here but this story has consumed the PPV.

 

Hogan is backstage with Okerlund. He talks about feeling the love from the Hulkamaniacs and there is a fourth commandment, which is believing in yourself. Hogan is now getting a new surfboard to chase the biggest tidal wave he can to the top.

 

Mooney is in the locker room with Earthquake, Bravo, and Hart. We see the marks on Earthquake’s back as he promises to inflict more damage on Hogan.

 

The Ultimate Warrior is with Gene Okerlund and paces back-and-forth and does his usual nonsensical interview.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Title Steel Cage Match: “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior

Warrior opts to enter the cage by climbing in as Rude was yelling at him from the top. He is also back to the old facepaint that covered most of his face instead of a smaller “Warrior” symbol on his cheek. Rude gets knocked down then Warrior comes off the top rope with a chop then hammers away. Warrior misses a running attack and bounces off of the cage as both men are down. Rude is up first and tries to climb out but Warrior grabs his leg. Rude then heads off the top with a fist drop as his forehead is now bleeding. Rude beats on Warrior then tries for the Rude Awakening but Warrior powers out after a struggle then follows with a clothesline. Warrior tries for a splash but Rude gets his knees up then Rude finally hits the Rude Awakening. Rude then comes off the top with another fist drop as Rude climbs up the cage as Heenan yells for him to get out but he tries for another fist drop and gets decked by Warrior. Both men are down as Warrior crawls towards the door but Heenan slams it in his face. Heenan is shown smiling as Rude covers but that only gets two. Both men collide then Rude crawls towards the door as Heenan guides him out but Warrior grabs on to a leg. Heenan tries to pull Rude out but Warrior wins the tug-of-war by pulling down Rude’s tights. Warrior then pulls Heenan inside and punches him as Heenan takes a wild bump. Heenan is sent out of the door with an atomic drop but Rude attacks from behind. Rude hammers away but Warrior powers up then beats on Rude and hits a press slam before climbing out of the cage (10:06) **1/4.

Thoughts: The match was fine but at no point did this feel like a main event and there are several factors to blame. Rude never felt like a legitimate threat and Warrior being completely overshadowed by Hogan even after beating him at WrestleMania VI were the main reasons. You could also safely say Warrior was a flop as the champion at this point too. Bottom line, it was undeserving of the co-main event billing but was a fairly decent match.

 

Final Thoughts: The undercard had some enjoyable stuff but man was the period from after the Tag Team Title match until Hogan vs. Earthquake a drag. The Sapphire stuff took up far too much time and this show felt way longer than needed with all of these backstage segments. The co-main event matches were not terrible but at the same time they sure did not blow anyone away. And the company feels stagnant with all of the midcard clogged with guys who were all heated up for a main event run then cooled off to the point the fans would not buy him, which hurt the World Title Match. Its also why they started adding new talent to fresh things up as the year went on and that continued into the next year. I don’t think this was a “horrible” show or anything but it was a stale product that luckily got better in the new year. Having Piper on commentary was certainly different. He was acting heelish most of the time and occasionally came off like a bad Jesse Ventura impression. All it did was make you want Jesse back in the company. But bottom line, a meandering show that has a long rough spot in the middle.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/10/83

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/1/90

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/2/90

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/8/90

Wednesday: wXw World Tag Team League 2017, Night One

Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Lance Russell

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/9/90