Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam ’91

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: August 26, 1991

Attendance:  20,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

With matches made in both Heaven and Hell, will Vince go to Purgatory? Also, three title matches support the undercard. Read on!

Match 1: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, & Texas Tornado versus Power & Glory & Warlord (w/ Slick)


  • For unfathomable reasons, Steamboat was only introduced as Dragon yet blew a tremendous fireball during his entrance.
  • Not THAT kind of fireball, but I’ll have a shot.
  • After a slam, Roma gave Steamboat a dropkick.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle, but Steamboat caught and took him down with an arm drag.
  • As he gave Steamboat a cross corner whip, Roma came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Steamboat then delivered a dropkick, but Roma tagged in Hercules.
  • When Tornado tagged in, he gave Hercules the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • To further assist with New York City education, he then delivered the ten-punch count-along.
  • Warlord and Smith tagged in, and Smith took Warlord down after a series of clotheslines.
  • After he delivered a vertical suplex, Smith got 2 with a HUGE kick-out by Warlord.
  • Steamboat tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a chop to Warlord’s head.
  • As Warlord reversed a cross corner whip, Steamboat leaped to the second turnbuckle and over Warlord.
  • Warlord then blocked a monkey flip attempt and tagged in Roma.
  • When he mounted the top turnbuckle, Roma lowered the boom on Steamboat.
  • He then clotheslined Steamboat and antagonized the babyface corner.
  • Next, Steamboat rolled up Roma for 2.
  • After Hercules came in but missed a clothesline, Warlord followed yet nailed his clothesline to Steamboat.
  • Roma then gave Steamboat a snap suplex for 2.
  • Upon delivering a series of backbreakers, Roma tagged in Hercules.
  • While the babyfaces distracted referee Jon Bonello, Hercules gave Steamboat a military-press slam.
  • Warlord tagged in and slammed Steamboat.
  • As Roma tagged in, he and Warlord double-teamed Steamboat.
  • Hercules tagged in, reversed an Irish whip, and gave Steamboat a stungun.
  • When Warlord tagged in, he slammed Steamboat again, mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot on the way down.
  • Hot tag Tornado.
  • After Tornado cleaned house, Warlord attempted a sunset flip.
  • Smith tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Warlord caught him.
  • While Warlord had Smith in his clutches, Tornado hit a discus punch.
  • Smith then got 2.
  • As Roma tagged in, Smith delivered a running powerslam.
  • Meanwhile, Tornado applied the Iron claw to Hercules.
  • Steamboat tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the flying body press, and pinned Roma.
  • Smith, Tornado, and Steamboat won.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Good opener that got the Garden rocking.

From the pink locker room, Sean Mooney interviews Perfect with Coach. For those who read my AWA Super Sunday reflection, you might remember Coach as John Tolos.

Match 2 for the WWF Intercontinental title: Mr. Perfect (champion w/ Coach) versus Bret “Hitman” Hart


  • Stu and Helen Hart were shown among the MSG faithful.
  • According to Bleacher Report, Perfect had been previously injured after a HARD cross corner whip into misaligned turnbuckles. He suffered a bulging disc as well as a broken tailbone. OUCH!
  • Perfect attempted a hip toss, but Bret blocked and delivered one of his own.
  • As Bret hooked a crucifix, he got 2.
  • He then ducked a clothesline, hit a cross body block, and got another 2.
  • While Perfect’s kick-out sent Bret to the floor, Bret executed a sunset flip to re-enter the ring, but couldn’t get 3.
  • Perfect then reversed a cross corner whip and slammed Bret.
  • After Bret gave him a mule kick, he slammed Perfect who retaliated with his own mule kick.
  • Bret then clotheslined Perfect over the top rope to the floor.
  • When Perfect threatened to quit, Bret grabbed him and ripped the shoulder strap of Perfect’s tights off.
  • He then tossed Perfect back in as Heenan teased that Stu and Helen “snuck in.” HA!
  • After Perfect literally kicked Bret out of the ring, Coach chastised Bret with his whistle. So THAT’S where Fonzie stole it!
  • Meanwhile, Piper tried to cover for Perfect’s less-than-stellar physique with more weight training than cardio. Nice try, Piper, but I ain’t buyin’.
  • With Bret on the apron, Perfect used momentum to make him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Fat Cat at Billy’s Bar and Burger.
  • Upon Bret’s return, Perfect reversed a cross corner whip, but Bret floated over and hooked a rollup for almost 3. That was close.
  • Perfect came back with a HARD cross corner whip injuring Bret’s back for 2.
  • After a neck snap, Perfect hooked a somersault rollup for another 2.
  • He then dropkicked Bret out of the ring, followed, and nailed him.
  • As both wrestlers mounted the same second turnbuckle, they crashed down to the mat with Perfect on top for yet another 2.
  • He then hooked a sleeper while the MSG faithful chanted “Let’s go, Bret.”
  • When Bret escaped, he attempted another crucifix, but Perfect countered with a Samoan drop for 2.
  • He then gave Bret a sternum-first bump off a cross corner whip for another 2.
  • Next, he hooked the Perfectplex, but Bret KICKED OUT!
  • After he gave Perfect an inverted atomic drop, Bret delivered a regular one.
  • He then bieled Perfect across the ring by the hair crotching him on the ring post. YEE-OUCH!
  • Upon suplexing Perfect, Bret got 2.
  • He then hooked an inside cradle for another 2.
  • As he delivered a side Russian leg sweep, Bret couldn’t get 3.
  • He then gave Perfect a backbreaker, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit an elbow smash for only 2.
  • When Bret argued with referee Earl Hebner, Perfect rolled him up for 2.
  • Bret’s kick-out sent Perfect outside the ring. After Bret joined him, he made Perfect HIT THE POLE.
  • While he took Perfect off his feet twice, he attempted the Sharpshooter.
  • Coach then got up on the apron only for Bret to nail him.
  • As the MSG faithful chanted “Let’s go, Bret” again, Perfect hit a leg drop to the abdomen.
  • He then attempted a second leg drop, but Bret blocked it.
  • Upon Bret’s hooking of the Sharpshooter, Perfect submitted immediately.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Despite Perfect’s injury, this was a magnificent effort by both wrestlers. In addition, this was truly Bret’s coming-out party as Perfect made him look great. GET ALL THIS!

After the match, Bret mysteriously rips the blue singlet off Perfect for a trophy. He then celebrates with the belt.

Among the MSG faithful, Lord Alfred Hayes interviews Stu and Helen Hart while Bret joins them. I believe Bruce gets a quick cameo before the segment ends.

Promo airs for HOT TICKET only on PPV. In October, Hulk Hogan: A Real American Story will be featured.

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the Bushwhackers with Andre. We then revisit Superstars when Earthquake attacked Andre after Andre refused Jimmy Hart’s offer to be his manager (aired 6/1, taped 5/6).

Match 3: The Natural Disasters (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Bushwhackers (w/ Andre the Giant)


  • Wait a minute! When did Tugboat become Typhoon (aired 6/15, taped 5/28)?
  • After maneuvering Butch into the corner, Typhoon whiffed on a shot only to get his ass bitten.
  • Earthquake came in, but heel miscommunication ensued.
  • Upon whipping Earthquake into the opposite corner, the Bushwhackers gave Typhoon a cross corner whip directly into Earthquake.
  • They then used Earthquake’s head and took down Typhoon with a double battering ram.
  • When they delivered a double clothesline, the Bushwhackers took Earthquake off his feet.
  • Earthquake came back and sandwiched Butch into the corner. Waitress, make mine a Reuben please!
  • As Earthquake missed an elbow drop, Luke distracted referee Danny Davis. That allowed Earthquake to successfully hit an elbow drop on Butch.
  • Typhoon tagged in and gave Butch a backbreaker.
  • Upon sandwiching Butch in the corner, Typhoon hooked an over-the-shoulder backbreaker.
  • Earthquake tagged in and hooked a bear hug.
  • While Heenan left the broadcast table, Butch escaped only to receive another backbreaker.
  • Typhoon tagged in and gave Butch a back elbow for 2.
  • When Luke distracted Davis again, the heels tried to double-team Butch to no avail.
  • Luke tagged in and hit a flying head butt taking Typhoon off his feet.
  • With all four wrestlers in the ring, the Bushwhackers gave each Natural Disaster a battering ram.
  • They then whipped Typhoon into Earthquake sending him to the floor.
  • As Luke took down Typhoon, he got 2.
  • Earthquake then delivered a third backbreaker to Butch on the floor.
  • Upon his return, Earthquake sandwiched Luke with help from Typhoon. Hmmm…would a Buschwhacker sandwich taste like vegemite?
  • He then tagged in and hit the Earthquake splash.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Natural Disasters won.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for the new heel tag team. In addition, this was Andre’s final North American appearance for the WWF. RIP Andre.

After the match, the Natural Disasters saunter after Andre until the Road Warriors come to Andre’s rescue. The Road Warriors then chase the heels from the ring as Andre whacks them with a crutch.

Backstage, Heenan knocks on Hogan’s dressing room and challenges him on behalf of the “real world’s champion Ric Flair” while holding the NWA World title belt. HOLY SHIT! It didn’t take long for Flair to resurface post-WCW. I wonder how the NWA will respond.

In his dressing room, Savage, doing his best Jesse Ventura impersonation with all the tie dye, talks on a hotline.

Back in the pink locker room, Mooney interviews DiBiase with Sherri. We then revisit some of Virgil’s most humiliating moments. Afterward, DiBiase supplies a crying towel for Virgil.

Match 4 for the Million Dollar Belt: The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Sensational Sherri) versus Virgil


  • As Virgil made his entrance, he shook hands with Piper.
  • He then went straight after DiBiase giving him a cross corner whip followed by a back drop.
  • After a pair of clotheslines, Virgil clotheslined DiBiase over the top rope to the floor.
  • He then joined and rammed DiBiase face-first into the steps.
  • When DiBiase missed a haymaker, Virgil gave him an atomic drop returning him to the floor.
  • In the meantime, Heenan returned to the broadcast table only to get mocked by Monsoon and Piper.
  • Virgil then attempted a plancha but went SPLAT instead.
  • As DiBiase broke the count, he rammed Virgil shoulder-first into the steps.
  • He then made Virgil revisit the steps face-first.
  • Back in the ring, DiBiase clotheslined Virgil and delivered a fist drop.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle for 2.
  • After giving Virgil a cross corner whip, DiBiase delivered a back drop for another 2.
  • Virgil then ducked a clothesline and hooked a Million Dollar Dream.
  • Will DiBiase succumb to his own hold?
  • No, Sherri entered the ring and WALLOPED Virgil with her purse.
  • Referee Earl Hebner then called for the bell disqualifying DiBiase.
  • Upon speaking to Hebner, ring announcer Howard Finkel mentioned that Sherri had been ejected and the match “WILL CONTINUE!”
  • WWF officials then escorted an enraged Sherri backstage.
  • When Virgil got to his feet, he gave DiBiase the ten-top-turnbuckle count-along.
  • He then gave DiBiase a cross corner whip followed by the ten-punch count-along.
  • As DiBiase reversed another cross corner whip, he sent Virgil directly into Hebner.
  • With Hebner OUT COLD, DiBiase gave Virgil a series of vertical suplexes and taunted Piper.
  • He then piledrove Virgil but only earned a false pin because Hebner still wasn’t available.
  • Due to DiBiase’s frustration, he kicked Hebner while a completely partial Piper rooted against him.
  • He then removed the pad from the top turnbuckle and chastised Virgil.
  • While DiBiase attempted to ram him into the exposed turnbuckle, Virgil blocked and rammed DiBiase instead.
  • Virgil then crawled to cover DiBiase.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Virgil won as the roof practically came off of MSG.

Rating: **

Summary:  Despite not being a great match wrestling-wise, it told a great underdog story.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the Mountie. We then revisit Superstars when the Nasty Boys and the Mountie handcuffed Bossman to the top rope. The Mountie then used the cattle prod on Bossman (aired 5/11, taped 4/15). Following that, Mountie cuts a promo on Bossman while chastising NYPD officers.

Elsewhere backstage, Mooney interviews Bossman who vows that Mountie will go to jail.

Match 5 (jailhouse): Big Bossman versus the Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart)


  • As Bossman gave Mountie a back elbow, he delivered a splash for 2.
  • He then delivered a running guillotine, chased Hart away, and guillotined Mountie using the second rope.
  • Mountie attempted a comeback, mounted the second turnbuckle, leaped, but Bossman caught and gave him a spinebuster.
  • After Hart distracted Bossman, Mountie nailed him from behind causing him to hit the steps.
  • He then gave Bossman a flying back elbow followed by a HARD cross corner whip.
  • When Mountie slammed Bossman, he got 2.
  • Bossman then reversed a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • As Mountie hit a pair of elbow drops, he got another 2.
  • He then delivered a dropkick but couldn’t get 3. In fact, Bossman’s kick-out sent Mountie to the floor.
  • Back in the ring, Mountie hit a piledriver and motioned to Hart. Allegedly, he informed Hart that Bossman loves fried chicken.
  • While Hart distracted referee Joey Marella, Mountie grabbed the cattle prod, attempted to shock Bossman, but missed.
  • Mountie then leap-frogged Bossman twice before eating a knuckle sandwich. I wonder if Mountie wanted it on bannock.
  • Nonetheless, Bossman hit the Bossman slam for only 2.
  • Mountie then attempted another piledriver, but Bossman countered with a powerbomb.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Bossman won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Once again, the story behind the match stood taller than the wrestling itself.

After the match, Bossman drags Mountie to the edge of the ring so that NYPD officers can handcuff him. The officers then drag Mountie backstage and toss him into the paddy wagon. Afterward, the paddy wagon leaves MSG toward the police station. More on this later.

Back in the pink locker room, Okerlund interviews a perturbed DiBiase who claims Virgil stole his belt.

Backstage, Mooney interviews the NEW Intercontinental champion—Bret Hart.

When we return to the pink locker room, Okerlund interviews an anxious Hart with the victorious Natural Disasters. Both Natural Disasters then cut a quick promo on the Road Warriors.

Backstage, Mooney interviews Bossman who calls the Mountie a “jailbird.”

Back in the locker room, Okerlund fails to interview Savage who’s still on the hotline.

The paddy wagon then arrives at the police station, and the officers drag Mountie inside it.

From the pink locker room, Mooney interviews a panicky Hart with the Nasty Boys. In one of the more unintentional comedic moments, Sags confuses collaborated with coagulated. HA! Has he been handling blood specimen lately? Nevertheless, the Nasty Boys cut a promo on the Road Warriors.

When we return to the police station, the Mountie receives his mug shot. Hart becomes apoplectic.

Elsewhere backstage, Okerlund interviews the Road Warriors who cut a promo on the Natural Disasters and the Nasty Boys.

At the police station, the Mountie gets finger-printed. When an officer asks for a finger, the Mountie gives it to him much like Stone Cold Steve Austin. “You want the finger? Here’s the finger!” HA! More on this later.

From the pink locker room, Mooney interviews Slaughter, Adnan, and Mustafa.

Elsewhere backstage, Okerlund interviews Justice who claims to “stand alone.” We then get earlier footage of Justice with Slaughter, Mustafa, and Adnan. Afterward, Justice declares himself impartial.

Match 6 for the WWF tag team titles (no DQ/no countout): The Nasty Boys (champions w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the Road Warriors


  • Like many of their matches, the Road Warriors ambushed their opponents at the opening bell.
  • While Sags and Hawk fought outside the ring, Animal powerbombed Knobbs in the ring for 2.
  • Sags then caught Hawk by the boot only to receive an enziguri.
  • As Hawk delivered a flying shoulder block, he got 2.
  • Animal then distracted referee Joey Marella while Sags sprayed mace in Hawk’s eyes. How dastardly!
  • When Hawk slid out of the ring blind as a bat, Sags took a refreshment tray and WALLOPED him in the back.
  • Knobbs tagged in, and the Nasty Boys gave Hawk a double boot to the midsection.
  • After Knobbs distracted Marella, Sags choked Hawk with the tag rope. SNEAKY!
  • The distraction continued as Sags rammed Hawk face-first into the steps.
  • While Sags tagged in, Knobbs leaped from the apron and gave Hawk a double axe handle.
  • Knobbs tagged in and delivered a back elbow for 2.
  • When Sags gave Hawk a cross corner whip, the Nasty Boys delivered a Sags-assisted corner splash.
  • Sags tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit the big elbow for another 2.
  • As Knobbs mounted the second turnbuckle, he leaped but ate boot.
  • Hot tag Animal.
  • After a powerslam, Animal got 2 on Knobbs.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring.
  • When Sags disposed of Hawk causing yet another Marella distraction, Hart tossed the motorcycle helmet into the ring.
  • Animal ducked, but Sags stopped himself from nailing Knobbs.
  • On the other hand, he HAMMERED Animal in the back with it.
  • Knobbs then delivered an elbow drop for 2.
  • As Hawk grabbed Hart, he procured the helmet and DESTROYED Knobbs with it.
  • Animal then reversed an Irish whip allowing Hawk to clobber Sags with the helmet.
  • After Animal hoisted Sags upon his shoulders, the Road Warriors hit the Doomsday Device.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Yet another historical match as the Road Warriors became the first team to win the AWA, NWA, and WWF tag team titles.

When we return to the police station, the officers toss the Mountie into a cell. To be continued…

Promo airs for Survivor Series LIVE on PPV on 11/27.

Match 7: IRS versus Greg “The Hammer” Valentine


  • Before the match began, IRS ran down the MSG faithful to a chorus of boos.
  • Valentine countered a hip toss with one of his own.
  • Next, he hooked a sunset flip for 2.
  • IRS came back by hooking a rope-assisted abdominal stretch until referee Danny Davis caught him.
  • After a lariat, IRS hit an elbow drop for 2.
  • He then gave Valentine a backbreaker and mounted the top turnbuckle; yet, Valentine caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • When IRS reversed a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Valentine then hit an elbow drop and hooked the figure-four leg lock.
  • As IRS made the ropes to escape, Valentine missed an elbow drop.
  • He then countered a side headlock with a knee crusher.
  • After Valentine attempted a second figure-four leg lock, IRS countered with an inside cradle.
  • 1-2-3.
  • IRS won.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Pure definition of a popcorn match.

Promo #2 airs for HOT TICKET.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Hogan and Warrior.

Match 8 (match made in hell): WWF champion Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior versus Sergeant Slaughter, General Adnan, & Colonel Mustafa


  • While the outcome of this match may have been inconsequential, the backstory of this match made it historical.
  • Sid Justice was the guest referee for this match.
  • For those unaware, Mustafa was portrayed by the Iron Sheik. Considering the length of the Iran-Iraq war, I find it highly irregular for Sheik to switch allegiances.
  • Before the match began, Justice removed a foreign object from Slaughter.
  • Hogan reversed a cross corner whip sending Slaughter almost over the top turnbuckle.
  • As Warrior tagged in, he and Hogan delivered a double clothesline to Slaughter.
  • Warrior then gave Slaughter an inverted atomic drop.
  • When Hogan tagged in, he and Warrior hit the double boot.
  • In a neat visual, Hogan rammed Slaughter into the post with the cameraman getting a bird’s-eye view. Hogan got 2.
  • He then hit Slaughter with the Axe bomber and tagged in Warrior.
  • Shortly after, Hogan tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and delivered a double axe handle for another 2.
  • He then gave Slaughter a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
  • As Hogan struggled to break in the corner, Justice asserted his authority.
  • Adnan tagged in, and while Slaughter distracted Justice, he and Mustafa double-teamed Hogan. Nefarious!
  • After Mustafa gave Hogan a gutwrench suplex, he hooked the camel clutch.
  • Will Hogan submit?
  • No, Warrior made the save.
  • Slaughter tagged in and gave Hogan a backbreaker for 2.
  • When Slaughter reversed a cross corner whip, he sent Hogan into Justice who didn’t budge.
  • Slaughter then hit a double axe handle and tagged in Adnan.
  • While Slaughter tagged back in, he mounted the top turnbuckle, but Warrior shoved him down to the mat.
  • Hot tag Warrior.
  • During a series of clotheslines to Slaughter, Warrior inadvertently shoulder-blocked Justice.
  • Meanwhile, the MSG faithful emitted an “Ooh” response.
  • Mustafa tagged in and attempted a vertical suplex.
  • Conversely, Warrior blocked and hooked his own vertical suplex.
  • Slaughter tagged in and gave Warrior a short-arm clothesline.
  • After Warrior ducked a clothesline, he delivered a lariat.
  • Hot tag Hogan.
  • Upon hitting the big boot, Hogan nailed an incoming Adnan.
  • Warrior then joined the fray and hammered both Adnan and Mustafa.
  • While he grabbed a chair from ringside, Warrior chased Adnan and Mustafa back to the dressing room.
  • Hogan then blinded Slaughter with powder as Warrior’s distraction took Justice’s eyes off him.
  • After Hogan hit the leg drop, he pinned Slaughter.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Predictable finish to an otherwise run-of-the-mill Hogan main event. On a positive note, the tease of a Sid heel turn added some intrigue.

After the match, Hogan poses for the MSG faithful and then summons Justice. When Justice joins him in the ring, Hogan rips the referee tank top off him. Justice then poses alongside Hogan.

Now, let’s discuss what happened backstage. Back on 7/10, Warrior demanded that his pay for WrestleMania VII be increased to $550,000 because his match against Savage weighed the same as Hogan’s match against Slaughter. He also demanded guaranteed days off as well as equal payoffs for shows and merchandise as Hogan.

To ensure Warrior would appear at this show, Vince acquiesced to Warrior’s terms. As soon as Warrior returned backstage from this match, he handed Warrior a letter of immediate suspension. According to The Sun, Warrior received the same payoff as Hogan for this match ($75,000) although Hogan also received $15,000 as a bonus. I wonder if/when the Warrior will reappear.

Prior to the main event, the Mountie yells from within the cell until a fellow inmate hits on him. Frightened, he then screams for his release.

We then revisit Superstars when Savage proposed marriage to Elizabeth (aired 7/6, taped 6/17).

Next, a music video featuring Savage and Elizabeth airs.

Match made in heaven: “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Elizabeth


  • Per custom, Savage, as the groom, entered the “chapel” set up in the middle of the ring.
  • After the best man, flower girl, ring bearer, and maid of honor made their entrances, Elizabeth emerged in a gorgeous bridal gown.
  • Savage, upon playing to the MSG faithful, provided his obligatory “oh yeah” as his response.
  • As you might expect with Elizabeth’s reserved nature, she uttered a simple “I will” as her response.
  • Savage then recited his marital vow while placing a ring on Elizabeth’s finger.
  • To complete the ceremony, the officiant declared them husband and wife.
  • They then shared a passionate kiss as confetti filled MSG.

Rating: NONE

Summary: Not to spoil the moment, but Savage and Elizabeth were already married back on 12/30/84.

While not on the PPV telecast, let’s not forget the reception.

Conclusion: Without question, this show gets a very high recommendation from me as several historical moments in wrestling history occurred. Gather your friends and family, fire up the WWE Network, and enjoy this show in all its splendor.

See you for WCW Clash of the Champions XVI!

Buyrate: 2.70

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at