July 30, 1994
From the Ocean City Civic Center in Ocean City, MD
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler
This week, Bret Hart defends the WWF World Heavyweight Title against Bob Backlund.
Diesel w/ Shawn Michaels vs. David Thornberg
Ross puts over how Diesel eliminated seven men at the Royal Rumble and how it took three people to toss him over the top rope. The announcers now talk about Diesel vs. Razor for the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam as Diesel destroys Thornberg in the corner. Diesel then hits a flying shoulder tackle as the announcers plug Shawn vs. Razor this Monday night on RAW while putting over their ladder match at WrestleMania X one of the greatest matches of all-time. Diesel stays in control then hits a big boot and covers with one foot for the win (1:49). After the match, Shawn leaps over Thornberg to give Diesel a high-five then runs on top of Thornberg a few times.
Thoughts: The announcers hyped up Diesel vs. Razor at SummerSlam and Shawn vs. Razor on RAW. Also of note, and even though it was brief, the announcers questioned whether or not Diesel needed Shawn at ringside to make up for his “technical shortcomings.” Speaking of Shawn, he was quite entertaining with his post-match antics.
WWF Live Event News to plug the Summer Sizzler Tour.
WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Bob Backlund vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart (c)
Backlund got a good crowd reaction during his introduction. And had an elaborate introduction by Howard Finkel. We had a staredown before the break then came back to hear the bell ring. Lawler keeps claiming that Bret thinks Bob is a washed-up has been and not taking his opponent seriously. Both men feel each other out to start then Backlund surprises Bret with an attack in the corner after a break. Backlund uses a few cradles that get two then they end up in a stalemate after some mat work. We get a test-of-strength that ends with Backlund once again taking Bret down as we end in another stalemate. Bret now grounds Backlund with a wrist lock then switches to an arm bar. Bret continues to work the arm as the announcers talk about how important this title match is to Backlund. Bret maintains control, even after Backlund used a Saito suplex, and tries a half nelson cradle that gets two. Backlund turns himself over and gets two but Bret goes back to the arm. We then get a mini slugfest and Backlund uses another cradle for a nearfall. Backlund then hits a piledriver as both men are down. Backlund finally rolls on top and gets two then we go to break. The action returns as Bret counters another piledriver with a back drop. Bret then drops the leg for two but Backlund puts Bret in an abdominal stretch after a reversal sequence. Bret counters but Backlund breaks that up with a hip toss. Lawler yells for Backlund to capitalize as both men roll outside. Both men roll back inside where Backlund reverses an Irish whip and sends Bret into the corner. Backlund follows with a slam then staggers around before covering and gets a two count. Backlund now uses a bodybreaker but Bret escapes and we get a nice reversal sequence with some nearfalls as Lawler says Backlund needs to get a killer instinct. Bret whips Backlund into the corner and hits a backbreaker for two. Bret tries to soften up the leg but Backlund trips up Bret during an Irish whip sequence. Backlund rolls Bret back into the ring and covers but still only gets two. He then hits a back suplex as both men are down. They get up and go back-and-forth again until Bret uses a small package for the win (14:29 shown) ***. The crowd gives Bret a standing ovation after the match as Backlund seems pissed and thinks he should have won the match. Backlund does shake Bret’s hand after the match then Bret celebrates before looking for another handshake. However, this time Backlund slaps Bret across the face and takes him down to put on a chicken wing and starts screaming like a lunatic. A few referees run out to pull Backlund off as Backlund looks at his hands in a possessed manner. Backlund then leaves to boos as he is still looking at his hands.
Thoughts: Good TV match. And I did like the story of Backlund doing whatever he can to win the title but the match was more of him trying to stay alive with periodic moments of increased aggression with the “snapping” occurring after he lost. At no point did I feel Bret was in jeopardy of losing and that took a little bit of the match away for me. The crowd reaction was not great, common especially in a babyface vs. babyface match from this era, but they did applaud both men. The post match attack by Backlund was awesome though and the looking at his hands worked great here and came off much better than when Johnny Gargano shoehorns it into his matches. One of the longest matches in Superstars history at this point. The actual Backlund turn is must-see stuff.
SummerSlam Report with Todd Pettengill. We learn that Lex Luger vs. Tatanka has been added to the show.
Clip from last week on RAW when Kwang & Harvey Whippleman ran down to cost Adam Bomb his match against Yokozuna.
Brian Warren is the special guest ring announcer.
Adam Bomb vs. Joey Sollins
Yes, its Sollins and not “Collins.” Bomb works over as Lawler talks about Leslie Nielsen running around to solve the mystery of The Undertaker as Ross promises us an update before we go off the air. Bomb fires away then hits a standing dropkick as the announcers put over the Summer Sizzler tour then Bomb uses a pumphandle slam for the win (1:21).
Thoughts: They addressed the Bomb/Whippleman & Kwang feud with the video package as the announcers spent most of this match talking about other things in the promotion.
A hype video for next week’s Jeff Jarrett vs. 1-2-3 Kid rematch.
We get the Leslie Nielsen piece they showed last week. Ross then tells us that was from last week and we will hear an update this week. I guess they felt this was so great they had to air it again. That or really wanted to beat you over the head with the fact Nielsen is doing something with the company.
The Undertaker w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Brian Hardy
Hardy is in fact Matt Hardy but announced as Brian this week. Ross does not believe that DiBiase will be in Luger’s corner at SummerSlam but Lawler insists that Luger has in fact joined the corporation. Undertaker beats on Hardy then quickly puts him away with a Tombstone (1:08). After the match, DiBiase brings in a bodybag and Undertaker stuffs Hardy inside.
Thoughts: Oddly enough the announcers talked about the Luger/DiBiase stuff and did not talk about Undertaker vs. Undertaker.
Another Live Event News segment hyping the Summer Sizzler tour.
We see Nielsen behind a desk with papers and folders piled all on top. He looks on the ground for something and misses The Undertaker dropping off a Domino’s Pizza. Nielsen then mentions how it got cold inside of the office. The main takeaway here was that Dominos is sponsoring SummerSlam, in case you forgot. And in case you forgot, Nielsen was reprising his Frank Drebin character for this gimmick.
Next week we get Kid vs. Jarrett. Plus, Lex Luger as guest on the “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Final Thoughts: Big show this week with Bob Backlund snapping and turning heel after a long World Title match. Also, we learned that Luger vs. Tatanka will take place at SummerSlam and they touched upon other top storylines in the company as SummerSlam is just over four weeks away.