WWF SummerSlam 1989 8/28/1989
August 28, 1989
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 20, 000
Buy Rate: 4.8
Announcers: Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura
1) The Brainbusters defeat The Hart Foundation in a non-title match when Arn Anderson (Marty Lunde) pins Bret Hart with a double axe-handle at 15:55
Fun Fact: The Brainbusters defeated Demolition on the July 29 (taped 7/18) edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event in Worcester, Massachusetts in a 2-of-3 falls match to win the tag straps. After years of not having any gold, going into this night Bobby Heenan had both the Intercontinental Title and the Tag Team Titles. This match is non-title, with the reasoning being that the match was signed before the Busters won the tag titles, so Bobby did not have to make it a title match if he didn’t want to.
Scott: A fantastic opener to get the show going. All four men are in great shape, and keep the action going non-stop. The Brainbusters have big time heat after screwing the very popular Demolition to take the tag straps. The Hart Foundation really needed this one to have any chance of getting a title shot, but it was not to be. The referee was too busy with Bobby Heenan, and while Bret Hart had Tully Blanchard pinned, Arn Anderson drills Bret with a double axe handle. In a brilliant switcheroo, Tully rolls out of the ring while Arn puts Bret’s arm over his head so the ref can’t see who it is. There really are no rest spots in this match at all, and one thing about Arn and Tully, just like their days as Horsemen (a moment of silence…for pure greatness) they are masters of controlled mayhem. They know how to amp up the chaos meter of a tag match without making it look unorganized. Here, they’re all over the ring, all over the outside. They’re selling moves, hitting moves. The Pink and Black Attack were definitely holding their end of the bargain as well. It’s a shame it wasn’t for the titles, but in the end I guess it didn’t matter, as it was a great opener that gets this show going. Grade: 4
Justin: The 2nd annual Summerslam kicks off with a doozy of a tag match. Since their arrival, the Busters have been putting on tag team clinics around the country on TV and at house shows. Here, they get to showcase their abilities on the major PPV stage, and prove right away why they were deserving champions. The four men work the classic tag formula to perfection, and all four know just how to tweak the crowd the right way. After spending a year battling Jimmy Hart, the Harts get back into the title picture, temporarily stealing the spot of top face tag team from Demolition for a few weeks. The loss here, though, is quite costly, and they wouldn’t re-enter the title picture for another year (correctly predicted by Jesse Ventura during the match). While it would have been cool to have a title match here, it was a neat little plot point to have Bobby Heenan refuse to put the newly won straps on the line. Those little nuances are missing from today’s product, which hurts the believability quite a bit. At the time, managers just made things seem so real, as you believed Bobby was really managing the Busters and was calling the shots on contracts and title matches. It just made sense, and is further proof that managers could make the product so much better. Anyway, back to the matter at hand: a kick ass opener. These two teams set the tone for the night: exciting matches and solid in-ring action. Since last year’s Summerslam, the WWF has eschewed a lot of washed up old talent and brought in a host of younger, more athletic and more exciting wrestlers, and that really added to the freshness of the product. The focus shifted more to wrestling around this time, which was a breath of fresh air from the stagnant times of last year’s show, which featured broken down versions Ken Patera, Don Muraco and Junkyard Dog. Grade: 4
2) Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels) defeats the Honky Tonk Man (Wayne Ferris) with the Bionic Elbow at 9:40
Fun Fact: “The American Dream is funky like a monkey…if you wheel!!!” Dusty Rhodes makes his PPV debut here. Rhodes was in the WWWF in the late-70’s, feuding with Superstar Billy Graham. His big time days were in the NWA, where Rhodes was a 3-time World Heavyweight Champion, as well as 6-man tag champ, and a TV champ. He was the biggest victim of Four Horsemen beat downs, and even had his ankle broken in a steel cage by Ric Flair and the Andersons (a truly glorious moment, check it out on the Ric Flair DVD set). After booking NWA for a couple of years, he was fired for seriously blading on TV when WTBS specifically told him not to. So, he left to take bigger money with Vince McMahon. Incidentally, Ric Flair took the booking over in 1989 after Rhodes left and created a feud with Ricky Steamboat. Of course, we know what happened there.
Scott: A match many people would look at on paper and go “Ok, this is going to be a mess.” Well it wasn’t a technical masterpiece but I actually enjoyed this one. The story being told by these two classic personalities was pretty good. Honky, now in his mid-card jobbing role, was now not as bad to watch because he had nothing to flaunt at anyone. Dusty is one of the most charismatic performers ever, so he also gets the crowd going. Heel miscommunication leads to Jimmy Hart pasting Honky with the guitar and Big Dust drops the elbow for the win, in an entertaining match and a successful PPV debut for the American Dream. Grade: 2.5
Justin: This match was only here to showcase the newly signed Rhodes. Nothing special story or match wise, but it does have a hot ending and the crowd gives Big Dust a good pop when he wallops Honk with the gee-tar. A delirious Honky’s post match interview is classic stuff, though. Dusty’s WWF career will be a tale of two halves. For the first 8 months, he is given a solid push and is viewed a top talent, but for the final 8 months, he is jobbed mercilessly and turned into a buffoon, which was weird to say the least. Here, he is given a solid win over the former I-C champ, now jobber to the stars, Honky Tonk Man, who still is drawing some solid heat. Dusty would get into a pretty good feud with the Boss Man following this show, but his biggest WWF feud would kick off in January. Grade: 2
3) Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) defeats the Red Rooster (Paul Taylor) with the Perfect Plex at 3:21
Scott: Not much here, as Perfect continues his rise up the heel ladder. Terry Taylor appears to blow his knee out at some point in the match, so they go for the quick finish after Taylor’s leg collapses on a slam attempt. So, Perfect puts the quick ‘plex on and finishes the match. There was no doubt who was winning this match, but it probably was meant to go a couple more minutes. Perfect had maybe the best standing drop kick in wrestling, and he executed one to perfection. Nice post-match interview with Mean Gene later in the show, as he continues to perfect his promo skills and heel mannerisms. Absolutely perfect. Grade: 2
Justin: Mr. Perfect continues along at his torrid pace, picking up major wins left and right and preparing for a huge push in 1990. The Rooster, on the other hand, is quickly fading and is nothing more than cannon fodder by this time. His big win at Wrestlemania is a very distant memory, and by early 1990, Terry Taylor would be long gone. A nice win for Perfect, as his mega roll continues. Grade: 1
4) The Rougeau Brothers & Rick Martel defeat the Rockers & Tito Santana when Rick Martel pins Marty Jannetty (Marty Oaks) after a punch in the face at 14:57
Fun Fact: Rick Martel was managed by Slick here, and has not yet morphed into the “Model.” On the 9/23 Superstars, Martel had an interview where he claimed he should become a model due to his enormous sex appeal. The transformation would be complete by Survivor Series, and Slick would no longer manage him.
Scott: A fun 6-man tag with 6 of the most talented men on the roster. Rick Martel is the freshly turned heel, and he joins his fellow French Canadian heels against his former tag partner and his young, exciting tag team partners. This match is similar to the opener in that there’s constant action going with very little rest time. Martel’s heel tactics are fabulous, from choking and stomping Tito, to showing his physique off and posturing to the crowd. The Rockers continue to excite audiences with their work in the ring. Tito is now settled into his “get the shit kicked out of you, make a slight comeback, but lose” role. This show is turning into an absolute gem, as except for the Perfect/Rooster match, we have exciting action and good character development. Here, Martel nails Jannetty as he has Jacques in a roll-up, and steals the victory. Grade: 3
Justin: A great matchup featuring six guys who know how to really work a match. The Rougeaus continue to bring it, despite the lack of a push over the past couple years. The Rockers are gaining momentum and by this point, the crowd was really getting behind them. They still weren’t viewed as major contenders, but they were steadily climbing the ladder. The Strike Force feud continues here with no resolution, but the two would have a big match on the 10/14 Saturday Night’s Main Event which ended in a DDQ. The two would fight on and off for the next 3 years, with the feud never having a major blowoff match. From here on out, it is job city for Santana, an important role which he perfects, as he helps get over a lot of new heels. Martel would get a solid push in his new role, and would stay in the upper mid card through 1992. All in all, a really fun 6 man matchup featuring some hot action and a big win for the French Canadians. Grade: 3.5
5) The Ultimate Warrior (Warrior) defeats Rick Rude (Richard Rood) to win WWF Intercontinental Title with a splash at 16:00
Fun Fact: This feud raged over the summer after Rude won the title from Warrior at Wrestlemania. They have been hitting back and forth from show to show. On the July 24 Superstars, Rude was ready to give the Rude Awakening (a kiss, not the finisher) to a lovely lady in the audience, Warrior came into the ring while Rude’s eyes were closed and pounds on him. Another Superstars episode had Warrior defeat fellow Heenan family member Haku, then get jumped by Rude after the match. Finally on an episode of Wrestling Challenge the Saturday before the match, Heenan gets Andre the Giant to jump Warrior after a match and choke him out.
Scott: The first blowoff match of this feud is charged with tension, rage, revenge, and every other emotion you could possibly think of. The Ultimate Warrior will be criticized for many things in his career, but he would never have a better feud with anyone in his career again. Rude is at the peak of his run; as he spent the last 5 months waving the IC Title like a carrot with Warrior chasing it. This match takes all of the strengths of the people involved and interwove them into an exemplary match. Warrior’s strength was simple: think of every good power move and execute it on his opponent. He also sold moves better than you’d think. Rude’s role was to get the crap kicked out of him for a while, get a cheap shot in, and unleash his offense. Other than a pretty piss poor piledriver, he was on his game. Bobby Heenan’s job was to be suspicious, annoying, and exasperated. Then, the surprise, as Rude was laying into Warrior, who comes waltzing out but Roddy Piper. The Hot Rod and Rude had an altercation earlier in the year, when Rude didn’t like the things Piper had been saying about Bobby Heenan. He comes out, and Rude starts jawing with him. He gyrates in front of Piper, who proceeds to moon him. Rude snaps, and goes to the top rope, where Warrior catches him from behind, and finishes him off to retain the title he lost. Jesse and Tony’s commentary was classic, as The Body’s disdain for Warrior is all over this match. Poor fat Tony. He is on the verge of tears mid-way through. A great match that’s not exactly perfect, but a definite candidate for match of the year. Grade: 4.5
Justin: This is THE match that defines this PPV. Years later it is still spoken of with reverence, which is the true sign of a classic. The feud between the two had been red hot, and the big blowoff does not disappoint. The two beat the shit out of each other, with the crowd into the action all the way through. When Piper comes out, the crowd goes ballistic and stays fired up through the final pin. Piper had been active throughout the summer on house shows, but this moment marked his full time return into feuds and storylines. Warrior brings it, as he always manages to do in big matches, and plays his role beautifully. This match also features one of the greatest commentary exchanges of all time between Jesse and Schiavone. It starts when Warrior press slams Rude from the ring to the floor and Jesse starts wigging out about how it is wrestling, and that he doesn’t like Warrior or how he acts. Schiavone defends his actions by saying Rude and Heenan did this to themselves, but when Warrior assaults Rude on the floor with the belt, Ventura starts freaking out about Warrior cheating (“WHERE THE HELL IS THE REFEREE”), but Tony claims that since it happened outside the ring, it didn’t matter. Jesse loses it and says if anything goes outside the ring, “then Warrior could pull out a gun, shoot Rude and it would be OK with you, because it is outside the ring.” Schiavone tries to explain himself, but Jesse fires off another classic line about how Tony is even dumber than Monsoon, as Jesse thought Gorilla thought he was the stupidest guy there, but claims he was wrong. The whole exchange is priceless and needs to be heard to be appreciated. Of all the guys Jesse tore apart in his commentary (Hogan, Rhodes), Warrior always took the brunt of it, so I’m guessing Jesse must have had some real issues with the guy, since he was pretty damn brutal on him. Regardless, Warrior picks up the big win, and his mega push to the WWF Championship officially starts here, as he slowly and surely gains steam and major wins. Rude would be de-pushed for a year before receiving the biggest match of his WWF career one year from this show. Grade: 4.5
6) Demolition & Jim Duggan defeat the Twin Towers & Andre the Giant (Andre Rousimoff) when Smash (Barry Darsow) pins Akeem (George Grey) after Duggan whacks him with the 2X4 at 7:24
Fun Fact: Duggan defeated King Haku at a house show in Davenport, Iowa in May to win the title of “King.”
Scott: This was where the quality of the show starts to drop a bit. Unlike the previous 6-man tag on the card, this is 6 guys who did little more that brawl and yell. Once again Duggan, now “King,” teamed with the now former tag team champs to face Akeem, Big Boss Man, and the aging Andre. Andre the Giant is one of the greatest superstars in wrestling history. By the summer of 1989, however, he was practically immobile. His repertoire, as Justin mentioned in the last review, consisted of punches, head butts and chokes. After the debacle that was his Wrestlemania match with Jake Roberts, Vince decided to not put Andre on PPV alone again. The Towers are still red hot, but Boss Man’s heel run is coming to an end very soon. The match isn’t much, but once again we have the typical Duggan ending. The heel is about to win the match, the referee is not looking, Duggan comes in with the 2X4 and hits the heel, Duggan/Duggan’s team wins the match. In this case, the heels weren’t even cheating that much. Demolition’s hiatus without the belts is brief, as they’ll get them back in a couple of months. Even without the titles, their popularity is off the charts. Usually if the match is decent I can look past these shabby endings. I can do it here, but barely. Grade: 2
Justin: Kind of a clusterfuck here, with one or two memorable moments. Duggan has his face painted red, white and blue (ala Demolition) which was kind of cool looking, but Jesse strikes again as he claims Duggan is desecrating the flag by painting it on his ugly face. The best part of the match comes towards the end, as Smash shows off some great strength by slamming Boss Man and Akeem within a few seconds. It was a pretty neat moment that got the crowd going. Not really sure why Duggan needed to use the 2X4 AGAIN, but whatever. Andre is a freakin mess right now, and it would really go down hill as he would start having 30 second House Show matches with the Ultimate Warrior following this match. Vince knew Andre could be used to get some guys over, but the Giant’s mystique was starting to wane, and fans were realizing he wasn’t as invincible as he once was. Demolition is still pretty hot despite the title loss, and even though they pick up the win here, they haven’t seen the last of Andre the Giant, as he would get into their business again later in the year, starting the final feud of Andre’s career. The Towers have had a good run, but their time together is running short and this would be the final time they tag up on PPV. The crowd was hot here, but the action was just OK. Grade: 2
7) Greg Valentine (John Wisniski, Jr.) defeats Hercules (Ray Fernandez) with a roll-up with his feet on the ropes at 2:53
Fun Fact: The feud between Ron Garvin and Greg Valentine started at a house show in Glens Falls, New York in April. After Garvin won a match between the two, Valentine challenged Garvin to a career vs. career match. Valentine won that match, so Garvin was forced to “retire” (he still wrestled house show matches, but was retired on camera). Garvin started refereeing matches, including a non-title match in June between Demolition and Valentine & the Honky Tonk Man where Garvin came into the match late and called for a disqualification. After altercations with various heels as ref, most notably Dino Bravo, President Jack Tunney suspended Garvin as a referee on the August 5 Superstars. Garvin was reinstated as a wrestler on August 27.
Scott: The drop in show quality continues with this one, as Hercules is a mere pawn in the growing feud between Greg Valentine and Ronnie Garvin. Garvin was the guest ring announcer, and he did the absolute worst job of drawing face heat against the Hammer. His butchering of the announcement totally kills this whole segment. The match isn’t even that good, as there’s some kicking, punching, and Valentine paying too much attention to Garvin. Hammer wins cheap, but Garvin decides to announce Herc the winner anyway. Valentine then gets a good cheap shot on The Rugged One, and Garvin retaliates. Poor match, but it did generate some heat for Valentine/Garvin. Grade: 1
Justin: My lord, what a mess this show has turned into. After shooting to a red hot start, the post intermission action has taken a nose dive. After a good face turn, Hercules has been busted down to the lower mid card and does nothing of note until he heels out again after Wrestlemania. Valentine, on the other hand, is experiencing a bit of a rebirth as he enters an entertaining feud with Garvin, of all people. The whole arc is pretty fun, as Garvin is forced to referee, but starts screwing over heels, so Tunney suspends him from reffing too. Here, he is the ring announcer, and tries to cut up Greg Valentine, but manages to butcher the English language to the point of severe retardation. The insults are pretty lame, but Valentine still has to sell them, poor bastard. Valentine picks up the quick win, but that cad Garvin announced Hercules as the winner anyway. The feud picks up though the fall with Garvin being reinstated and the two would feud right into the New Year, where they would have a great blowoff match. Grade: 1
8.) Ted DiBiase defeats Jimmy Snuka (James Reiher) by countout at 6:24
Fun Fact: Since this is his first PPV match, here is some background on the Superfly. Born on the Fiji Islands, he moved up the wrestling ranks though the Pacific Northwest and eventually into the NWA Mid-Atlantic region. He actually defeated Ric Flair in a US Heavyweight Title match in 1979, as well as holding the NWA Tag straps with Ray Stevens. He arrived in the WWF in 1981 as a heel managed by Captain Lou Albano. He had a brutal, bloody feud with then-WWF Champ Bob Backlund which included a great steel cage match at MSG. He turned face in late-1982 and feuded with Albano. He then moved on to Intercontinental Champ Magnificent Muraco, which culminated in the legendary October 17, 1983 IC Title match in the steel cage at MSG. Even though Muraco won the match, Snuka forever left a mark on many wrestling fans (including Mick Foley and Bubba Ray Dudley) by jumping off the cage and hitting the Superfly Splash on Muraco after the match. Although he was one of the most popular superstars on the roster, he was never given gold in the promotion (mainly due to a clouded social life, as rumors abound that he killed his girlfriend while he was high on coke). He left the WWF in 1985 and went to the AWA, where he had brutal feuds with Bruiser Brody and Col. DeBeers. The WWF started playing vignettes in early 1989 hinting his return, and he came back at Wrestlemania V before the Dino Bravo/Ron Garvin match.
Fun Fact II: On the 5/6/89 Superstars (taped 4/4), Jake Roberts faced and beat Virgil in just over a minute. After the match, Jake pulled a wad of cash out of Virgil’s tights and passed it out to the crowd. This action prompted DiBiase to jump Jake from behind and put him out with the Million Dollar Dream. The incident seemed harmless, but would actually be used as a major plot point later in the summer. Then, on 5/8, after a house show match in Orlando, FL, Jake was arrested on assault charges, stemming from an incident with a fan in December of 1988. So, on the 6/24 Superstars, DiBiase went on the Brother Love Show and announced that he put Jake in the hospital with the Million Dollar Dream (referencing the attack from the 5/6 show), claiming that Jake needed to have discs removed from his neck. On the 7/16 Challenge, DiBiase showed off a special golden neck brace he had crafted as a present for Jake. Jake remained out of action while handling the legal matters, but returned on the 9/24 Superstars where he went on the Brother Love Show and claimed that if he could unleash one final DDT, it would be on DiBiase. Jake had his first TV match since his return in October, and the DiBiase-Roberts feud was launched into overdrive.
Scott: What has happened to The Million Dollar Man? A red-hot heel in 1988 and he is now a lukewarm mid-card heel in 1989. This is Jimmy Snuka’s first official PPV match. He was Hulk Hogan and Mr. T’s corner man at the first Wrestlemania. The match is not great, as DiBiase spends the match posturing and laying some harmless punches on Snuka. Snuka stills sells the hard head thing, and DiBiase falls for it. Both men fall out of the ring, and DiBiase gets back in first for the cheap win. Snuka drops the Superfly on Virgil after the match. This really wasn’t anything to write home about. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Just a reason to get DiBiase a payday here, as he awaits the return of Jake Roberts. Snuka was back in the fold and, while he was just as popular, he is turned into a mid-card act as opposed to the main eventer he was back in the early 80s. Here, he takes the weak countout loss, but gets to nail the Superfly Splash on Virgil afterwards as some consolation. DiBiase grabs the win, and prepares for his next major feud. Grade: 1
9) Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) & Brutus Beefcake (Ed Leslie) defeat Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) & Zeus (Tom Lister) when Hogan pins Zeus after the Leg Drop at 15:09
Fun Fact: Zeus was actor Tom “Tiny” Lister, who played Zeus in the movie “No Holds Barred.” Vince McMahon decided to take his big screen confrontation to the small screen. Everything kicked off on the 4/22 Superstars, as Brutus Beefcake was on the Brother Love show, but was interrupted by Savage and Sherri, whom Savage had named his manager on Superstars the week before. Brutus kept calling her “Scary Sherri,” causing Savage to attack him and cut his hair. The involvement of Zeus started on the May 27 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event in Des Moines, Iowa. Hogan was slated to face Big Boss Man in a steel cage match but as Hogan was coming to the ring, Zeus was blocking the entrance. Hogan attempted to move him and was beaten down. On a side note, the Boss Man/Hogan cage match was awesome. On the July 8 Superstars, Savage and Zeus laid down the challenge to Beefcake and Hogan for Summerslam and on the July 18 SNME, which was the same night the Brainbusters won the tag straps, Savage faced Beefcake in a singles match. As Beefcake had the sleeper on the Macho Man, Zeus came in and started pounding on him. Hogan came in, but his blows did nothing. Hogan even wailed Zeus with a chair and Zeus only turned around and smiled at him in a great visual that really kicked the feud into high gear.
Scott: The main event is built almost exactly the same as the previous year’s Summerslam main event. Savage loses the title to Hogan at Wrestlemania, then gets a big-ass tag team partner and challenges the faces. Hogan and his partner Brutus Beefcake accepted the challenge. The match could have really been good, as Hogan, Savage, and Beefcake were all in their prime in the ring. Zeus, even though he was the most imposing figure in the match, didn’t even have a thimble of ability. He couldn’t even do a simple Irish whip without Savage whispering in his ear how to do it. Sensational Sherri and Elizabeth outside the ring do add to the dynamic, but sadly not the quality of the match. I used to praise this match very highly when I was younger, but watching it now it doesn’t really hold up to other main events. Savage was on a big downward spiral character-wise, but Zeus seemed to be slated for bigger things based on the ending. Sherri was holding a “loaded” purse, and used it to knock Beefcake out. When Hogan gets his hands on it, he pastes Zeus in the face with it. Hogan then slams him and hits the leg drop for the pin. Obviously this was not a clean win over Zeus, so this feud would continue through the end of the year, but more on that in our next review. For now, a big, if not tainted blowoff win. Grade: 2.5
Justin: My oh my, what a difference a year makes. One year prior, Randy Savage was on top of the world, but just 12 months later, he is an afterthought to a useless actor turned wrestler. Savage has gone from world class champion to a fucking weirdo. The vignettes of him and Sherri mixing some bizarre concoction in a cauldron were just…out there. After being polished off by Hogan at Wrestlemania, Savage is shunted into a feud with Brutus Beefcake that lasts from April until here. Savage cut Beefcake’s hair back in April, and the two fought and battled all summer long. I understand Vince trying to gain some crossover popularity with No Holds Barred, but he should have just made Zeus into Savage’s bodyguard, and not tried to teach him to wrestle. As great as Hogan and Beefcake were charisma wise, they were not the guys to try and carry Zeus to watchable status. The buildup for the match was great, and the crowd stays hot all the way through, but the action doesn’t hold up at all. As menacing as Zeus was, he just wasn’t believable in the role, and it sucks that Savage was playing second fiddle to him. Hell, why not run Hogan vs. DiBiase for the title and Savage vs. Beefcake at this show? Would have been better and made more sense. Especially since Hogan faces DiBiase at the Survivor Series. Ah well, poor wrestling aside, the excitement and effort was present, so that saves this thing quite a bit. Grade: 2.5
Scott: An absolutely awesome show before the intermission, which was from the opening match to the IC Title match, but after the intermission, all the low-workrate sloths and poor matchups show up. I couldn’t include Ted DiBiase with Andre the Giant in terms of workrate, but he and Snuka just didn’t bring it. This was the first PPV that I bought with my own money, and I had all my friends over to watch it. It was an electric summer of wrestling and buildup to the show, and as a whole it didn’t disappoint. I think they should have put the matches in a different order, as they put all their good workers in the beginning of the show. I would have at least flip-flopped the two six-man tag matches, and had the Rockers/Tito vs. Rougeaus/Martel match be first after the intermission. The commentary is mixed, as Jesse is his usual awesome heel self, but Tony Schiavone seemed in a little over his head. I think the fast paced WWF style of working a show is different than the laid back, slow style that the NWA does with shows. In any case, I used to give this show an A+, but now I can’t really put this show up with Wrestlemania III as an awesome show. It still is a top show on my list, but the quality drop on the back end takes the grade down a bit. In terms of Summerslams for me, this one is #2. 1998 came and took the top spot, but this one will always be a special one to me. Final Grade: A-
Justin: Well, this PPV was certainly a tale of two halves. The first 5 matches were fast paced and fun to watch, while the last 4 sort of dragged as the show limped to the finish. The Main Event had a good story and buildup, but the match itself didn’t deliver the goods. Zeus in a Main Event was a disaster, and like I said earlier, Hogan and Beefcake were not the guys to be carrying him. It is sad to see Savage turned into such a joke as well after he had such a great title run, and sadly, his decent to mediocrity is just beginning. This show features some fresh faces receiving big wins and pushes, which is always nice, and also saw the continuity of some solid feuds like Santana-Martel, Piper-Rude and Garvin-Valentine. Despite the weak finish, the card was still very good, and includes two must see gems in the opener and the I-C match. The major story of this show is the beginning of the Ultimate Warrior’s rise to the Championship, as from here on out, his push is balls to the wall. All in all, the effort was there, the matches were solid, the storyline continuity was good and the crowd was hot, which is all you can really ask for in the end. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude
Runner Up: Jesse (great commentary)
Non MVP: Zeus (sucking despite the big push)
Runner Up: Ronnie Garvin (illiterate ring announcing)
All Time PPV Active-Wrestler Roster
“Special Delivery” Jones
King Kong Bundy
Andre the Giant
Big John Studd
King Tonga (Haku)
Davey Boy Smith
Dory Funk, Jr.
Billy Jack Haynes
Koko B. Ware
Honky Tonk Man
One Man Gang
Bam Bam Bigelow
Big Boss Man
PPV Rest in Peace List
“Playboy” Buddy Rose (Wrestlemania I)
“Special Delivery” Jones (Wrestlemania I)
Uncle Elmer (Wrestlemania II)
Adrian Adonis (Wrestlemania III)
Haiti Kid (Wrestlemania III)
Little Beaver (Wrestlemania III)
Junkyard Dog (Summerslam 1988)
Big John Studd (Wrestlemania V)
Next Show: Survivor Series 1989