WWF SummerSlam 1990 8/27/1990
August 27, 1990
Buy Rate: 3.8
Announcers: Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper
1) Power & Glory defeat the Rockers when Paul Roma (Paul Centopani) pins Marty Jannetty (Marty Oaks) after the Power-Plex at 5:59
Fun Fact: Power and Glory had formed in April of 1990 when Paul Roma had just lost a match to Dino Bravo and was being helped up by his “friends” the Rockers. Roma wanted no help and began arguing with Michaels & Jannetty. Hercules came out to apparently calm things down, but instead sided with Roma and the duo went after the Rockers. A week later they were heels named Power & Glory and debuted Slick as their manager.
Scott: An average opener involving a new tag team. As mentioned in previous reviews, Hercules was starting to fade as a face, so a change was needed. He hooked up with lifetime jobber Paul Roma, and Power & Glory was born. Their first challenge was the always keyed up Rockers. However, Shawn Michaels was suffering from a knee injury. So to give Power & Glory some instant credibility, they jump Michaels before the match and injure his knee outside. So Jannetty pretty much wrestles the match alone. Eventually he’s taken over, and loses the match. Michaels would be out for a couple of months, and Power & Glory make a big splash in their debut together. The match itself wasn’t much but it served its purpose. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Not really sure what the deal was with the Rockers at this point, as they were de-pushed heavily in 1990, but then resurrected by 1991. I know Michaels’ knee was legitimately hurt going into the match, which is why he never gets into it, and he was out of action from August until October (newcomer Shane Douglas took his spot on house shows as the “New Rockers.”) Power and Glory were given a big PPV win and were on the fast track to the tag titles, but were victims of bad timing as Vince imported some new teams, as we will see shortly. It’s funny, because if you watch this match, you assume the Rockers are on the way out and that P&G were going to take over the tag team division, but by January, the roles reversed and P&G take a big step back as the Rockers become rejuvenated. Anyway, a pretty good heel beatdown here, reminiscent of the Brain Busters at WM5. Jannetty is valiant and the story is quite solid, as Piper and Vince put him over as having no quit in him. P&G look great in there, and could have really been something if they were given a better chance. Grade: 2
2) The Texas Tornado (Kerry Adkisson) defeats Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) to win the WWF Intercontinental Title with the Tornado Punch at 5:13
Fun Fact I: When the Ultimate Warrior won the WWF World Title at Wrestlemania, he had to forfeit the Intercontinental Title. A tournament was held to crown a new champion. The final was on June 13, and Mr. Perfect defeated Tito Santana to win the title. Here are the full results: 1st Round: Mr. Perfect over Jimmy Snuka; Roddy Piper & Rick Martel fought to a Double DQ; Dino Bravo & Brutus Beefcake were both counted out; Tito Santana defeated Akeem; Santana and Perfect received byes to the Final Round.
Fun Fact II: This was originally supposed to be a re-match of Perfect and Brutus Beefcake from Wrestlemania. Beefcake was locked in for the second time in 3 years to win the IC title. However this time the reason was much more serious than in 1988. On the Fourth of July, Beefcake was on a beach in Florida with former WWF superstar B. Brian Blair when an accident occurred. A female parasailer careened out of control and flew out of the water and towards the beach. She made contact with Beefcake, slamming her knees right into his face, causing severe fractures to his face, particularly around both orbital bones. He would be off camera for almost a year, and wouldn’t compete in the ring again until 1993.
Fun Fact III: This is the WWF PPV debut of Kerry Von Erich. His name is royalty in professional wrestling. The Von Erich family ruled wrestling in the Dallas area for over 40 years. His father Fritz Von Erich was the head of World Class Championship Wrestling. Kerry was the golden boy of the family. He may not have had the talent of his late brother David, but he had the best physique. He even defeated the great Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Title on May 6, 1984 at Texas Stadium at a memorial show for his late brother. His last big match was a WCCW/AWA title unification match that he lost to Jerry Lawler on December 13, 1988 in Chicago. Von Erich made his TV debut on the 7/28 Saturday Night’s Main Event where he defeated “Playboy” Buddy Rose. On the 8/11 Superstars, Von Erich came to the ring after Mr. Perfect defeated Randy Fox and challenged him to an I-C Title match at Summerslam. Perfect accepted the match on the 8/18 Superstars, just 9 days before the PPV aired.
Scott: The match itself isn’t much, as Perfect once again is the bumping king to the Tornado. Perfect never really seemed to be on his game here, but since he had to play up the psychology aspect of the match (only 10 days to prepare for this opponent) it wasn’t a big deal. Tornado puts the claw on Perfect, then whacks him with the Discus Punch and wins the title. I was pretty shocked at the time that they would move the title so quick after Perfect won it. Tornado would hold the title until November. Grade: 2
Justin: A bizarrely quick match here, as Kerry Von Erich wins what will turn out to be the biggest match of his WWF tenure. For the second time in 3 years, poor Brutus Beefcake is screwed out of the I-C Title. There were high hopes for Beefcake backstage, and he probably would have played a major role in the coming years, as he as really hitting his stride before his injury. Unfortunately, he would never be the same, and his ring work would deteriorate and he would become bloated and lazy. Perfect has had a solid I-C reign, and has legitimized the title a bit with solid defenses. After being screwed out a Main Event run, he was given control of the upper mid card and, as always, he does his job to perfection. However, he drops the belt here in under 6 minutes, which was weird to say the least, as the show wasn’t exactly jam packed with long, high workrate-laden matches. Von Erich is almost treated like a rookie, as there is no mention of his family or previous accomplishments. On one hand, it helped tell the underdog story, but on the other it was goofy not to capitalize on his major name recognition, but such were the ways of the WWF at that time. The match is decent enough, and Tornado gets a big pop for the upset win. The feud would continue on, but Tornado’s WWF tenure would be straight downhill from the point on. Grade: 2
3) Sensational Queen Sherri (Sherri Martel) defeats Sapphire (Juanita Wright) by Forfeit
Scott: This was strictly to continue the Randy Savage/Dusty Rhodes storyline, as a new ingredient is added to the mix. That ingredient is the Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, but more on that later.
Justin: Sherri looks fucking scary here, as she has some bizarre mask and cat makeup on. Her screaming to the 10 count is painful to listen to. Anyway, just a quick way to advance the Rhodes/Savage feud and put to rest the Sapphire/Sherri one.
4) The Warlord (Terry Szopinski) defeats Tito Santana (Merced Solis) with a Running Powerslam at 5:28
Fun Fact: This was originally booked to be Santana-Martel in what would finally be their big PPV blow-off match, but Martel was pulled a few weeks before the show. The storyline reason was that he had a modeling obligation in France.
Scott: After losing to one former Power of Pain member at Wrestlemania, he loses to the other member here. Once again, Tito does what is asked of him. He gives Warlord 5 and a half good minutes, but takes the big finisher good and jobs. I immediately became a big fan of this new Warlord character. I thought with a good manager and a decent push he could have been a solid main event heel. Oh well, a good start to the new Warlord. Grade: 2
Justin: As usual, Tito gets a PPV match, but in return he has to put over a new heel getting a push. Warlord gets his first PPV match since the Powers of Pain had been broken up in January, and puts on a solid show. Warlord is a funny situation, as he had such a great look and actually put on solid matches, but never really got a main event push. He seemed like Vince’s kind of guy, and could have had a solid run with Warrior, who desperately needed heel contenders. He looks good here, as does anyone who gets in the ring with the consummate professional, Tito Santana. Not really sure why Martel was yanked off the show, but a quick check of that part of the year shows that he didn’t wrestle for a while during this period, so maybe it was an injury. Anyway, Warlord picks up his first solo PPV win and continues to roll on. Grade: 2
5) The Hart Foundation defeats Demolition in a Two of Three Falls match to win WWF Tag Team Titles
Smash pins Bret Hart with the Decapitation Device at 6:20
Demolition is disqualified at 10:35
Bret Hart pins Crush with a roll-up at 15:47
Fun Fact: After winning their third WWF Tag Team Title at Wrestlemania, Demolition went through a change, adding a third member to the group. Crush is Brian Adams, a rookie from the Pacific Northwest. Bill Eadie (Ax) was having heart troubles and needed to tone back his activity. Crush debuted on 6/5 at a TV Taping, but first appeared on TV in an interview on the 7/8 Challenge. Knowing that adding a third member would disrupt the dynamic of the team and lose some popularity, Vince decided to turn them heel. The other reason was the arrival of the greatest tag team in wrestling history, but more on them in the next fun fact. Since the Hart Foundation defeated the Bolsheviks in record time at Wrestlemania, they have been re-pushed to the top of the division after a stagnant 1989.
Fun Fact II: The Road Warriors came into the WWF already with an impressive resume. Hawk (Mike Hegstrand) and Animal (Joe Laurinatis) are both from the Chicago suburbs, and trained in Minneapolis. They steamrolled through Georgia, AWA, and then Mid-Atlantic and their tough, no-nonsense style in the ring built them a very loyal fan base, even if they were heels. Along with manager Precious Paul Ellering, they won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Tag Team of the Year 4 times (1983-85, 1988). They won the AWA Tag Team titles in 1984 and the NWA Tag Team Titles in 1988. This was their first jaunt into the WWF and they debuted on the 7/9 Prime Time Wrestling. Ironically Barry Darsow (Demolition’s Smash), worked out in the same gym as Hawk and Animal growing up.
Scott:The highlight of the night is this well-constructed tag title match. The Demos did an unbelievable job going from crazy-over faces to downright hateful heels. The match is well put together, as Demolition went back to their original heel formula of 1987-88. They focused on Bret for a lot of the opening fall, and end up pinning him with their patented finisher. The second fall was a back and forth battle, but when Bret went for a pin of Smash, Crush came in and shoved the ref, earning the DQ and evening the match at 1 fall apiece. During the third fall Demolition tried to pull a fast one on everybody when Ax came running down and hid under the ring. At one point they successfully did it, and a fresh Ax got some shots in while Smash took a powder. When they tried to do it the second time, some reinforcements came in for the pink and black. Hawk and Animal, the Legion of Doom, came running down and pulled Ax from the ring. The chaos and ensuing scrum led to a confused Crush getting pinned on a roll-up. Three seconds later, and the Hart Foundation were Tag Team Champions for the first time since losing to Strike Force in late 1987. Demolition is officially usurped as the bad ass tag team of the WWF, replaced by the bad ass tag team of all time. This was a solid match and great ending. Grade: 3
Justin: My, my, how things have changed since our last outing. Just 5 months earlier, Demolition was the most over team in wrestling and won the biggest match of their career. Now, they are despised heels and look nothing like the dominant team that mowed through the tag division for the past 3 years. Ax was breaking down quickly, and Vince was reluctant to use him, as he was afraid of Ax being seriously injured on his watch. Thus, Ax was forced to the sidelines and a youngster named Brian Adams was imported to become the third member of Demolition: Crush. The whole thing was sort of a mess, and while the victory was big for the Harts, it seemed to be lacking something, as they never beat the original, dominant Demolition. I am not sure why Ax couldn’t go through this show, drop the titles and the bring Crush in afterwards, but maybe he was just that unhealthy, or Vince thought the third guy would help with the heel turn. Either way, the Demolition everyone knew and loved since Wrestlemania IV is just a memory by this point. And it is too bad; as WWF fans finally had a chance to see the dream match many had been waiting for: Road Warriors vs. Demolition. Hawk and Animal jumped ship from the NWA and were immediately positioned as a top team and lined up for the potential dream feud with Ax and Smash. LOD gets involved here and helps the Harts win the elusive tag team titles that Demolition had kept a stranglehold on since 1988. The Harts wrestled their first PPV as faces exactly 2 years earlier, against Demolition, but came up short. After two years of moving up and down the ladder, they finally get their chance and finally take home the gold. In a funny twist, Jesse Ventura’s prediction from one year earlier rang true. At Summerslam 1989, he claimed that if the Harts lost to then champs, the Brain Busters, they may not get a title shot for at least one year. Well, just one year later, and the Hitman and the Anvil were back on top of the tag team world. Grade: 3.5
6) Jake Roberts (Aurelian Smith, Jr.) defeats Bad News Brown (Allen Coage) by Disqualification at 4:45
Fun Fact: This is Bad News Brown’s final PPV match (and final match altogether). His final record was 2-5-2. He was 0-2 at the Royal Rumble, 1-0-2 at Wrestlemania, 1-1 at Summerslam and 0-2 at Survivor Series.
Fun Fact II: These two men battled each other on House Shows from May right up until this show. Bad News claimed he wasn’t afraid of snakes, and that he would produce his very own Harlem Sewer Rats to combat Damien. To ensure that these two wouldn’t get out of control, Jack Tunney named the Big Boss Man the special guest referee for the match. Sadly, we would never get to see the Sewer Rats.
Scott: After a good match and disappointing ending to his Wrestlemania encounter with Ted DiBiase, the Snake moves on to another feud that had promise and went nowhere. Bad News Brown wanted to counter Damien with his own Harlem sewer rats. Big Boss Man was the guest referee, and for two guys who could bring a good brawl, the match was a dud. Neither guy really had a foothold on the match and the workrate was sloppy. The commentating also hurt the match, as Piper was trying to be a heel again but for some reason it just wasn’t working. Eventually there was a DQ and the match ends. We see Damien but no sewer rats. This feud is over and once again no definitive ending. Such was the case for both Jake and Bad News. Grade: 1.5
Justin: A nothing match and I can’t understand why they wasted a PPV slot on this match. I know they had a feud going, but it seemed like a half-assed fabricated one just to give these guys a reason to fight. I’m not sure why they didn’t use this spot for a Boss Man-DiBiase blow-off that never happened, as it could have been a hot feud. Also, just like Wrestlemania, we have two members of the PPV Non-Finish Club facing off, so we were guaranteed a messy ending. What makes it even worse is that the feud doesn’t even go anywhere after this, as Bad News bolted from the WWF. After a hot year, Jake is finally slowing down and starting to get a little stale. Things would pick up as the year comes to a close, but his days as a top face are clearly numbered. Bad News quietly disappears into the night, leaving memories of unrealized potential and bad PPV finishes. Boss Man does a decent job here, but his night was not yet over, as we will soon see. When the best part of the match is Jake flipping off Bad News, you know there are some serious issues. Grade: .5
** Sergeant Slaughter is a guest of the Brother Love Show, and he has returned to the WWF as a heel and an Iraqi supporter, to go with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait just 3 weeks earlier. This was the first time Slaughter was a heel since 1983, and many thought he would float around as a mid-carder. For now that’s probably the plan, but by early 1991 things change dramatically. More on that in future reviews. **
7) Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff (Josip Peruzovic) defeat the Orient Express when Duggan pinned Tanaka (Pat Tanaka) after the Three Point Stance Clothesline at 3:21
Fun Fact: After their dismantling by the Hart Foundation at Wrestlemania and the subsequent end of Communism in the East, the Bolsheviks were broken up and Nikolai Volkoff turned into a US-sympathizer, teaming with the ultra-patriotic Duggan. Nikolai and Boris split up on the 5/19 Superstars after a loss to the Rockers.
Scott: Another quickie filler to get a cheap pop for the new babyface Volkoff. Not that it’s really a big deal, as Volkoff should have retired by then. The Orient Express was a fresh, solid heel team that probably shouldn’t have jobbed here. Then again, it is Duggan, and well we know how I feel about this. Duggan had just gotten beat down by Earthquake at Wrestlemania, so this was his reward for the beating. As expected this was crap. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Nothing doing here, as Nikolai had one of the most bland and useless face turns of all time over the summer. It was a little weird seeing the nasty Russian smiling and singing “God Bless America,” but to each his own I guess. The Orients deserved better, but with the arrival of the Road Warriors, and the forming of Power & Glory, the tag scene was getting somewhat crowded, thus, just 1 PPV removed from their major Wrestlemania win, Sato and Tanaka are quickly busted down the tag team ladder. The match itself is too quick to mean anything, and is just here to showcase how the always forgiving Hacksaw immediately took Volkoff under his wing and showed him the ways of Americana. After belting out their tribute to America before the match, Volkoff and Duggan wipe the mat with the evil Japanese, and ensure safety for all Americans once again! Grade: 1
8) Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) defeats Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels) after using a loaded purse at 2:14
Fun Fact: After a big win over Savage and Sensational Sherri at Wrestlemania, Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire were on top of the world. Then Sapphire started receiving lavish gifts, from cash to furs to jewelry. Rhodes didn’t know what was going on. Then throughout this show Sapphire was nowhere to be found, and Rhodes was upset. The best part was during an interview between Rhodes and Sean Mooney; Rhodes asks Jim Duggan if he’s seen Sapphire. Duggan says “No, no we haven’t seen her, Dust…but we’ll all keep looking for her!!” What a Good Samaritan and classy individual that Duggan is. (Scott: “Please…drooling idiot”) Anyway, Sapphire would turn up when Dusty least expected it, in the midst of his big match with the Macho Man.
Scott: The unfocused Rhodes goes into this match with the Macho King without his inspiration by his side. Then the big swerve. Out comes Ted DiBiase and Virgil with big grins on their faces. DiBiase then brings out Sapphire, decked out in an expensive evening gown, with diamonds, a fur coat, and a duffel bag full of cold hard cash. Rhodes was heartbroken and starts chasing after DiBiase, but Savage jumps him halfway down the aisle. The match was practically a squash, as Rhodes was not totally into it. Savage still cheats to win, but that just adds to Rhodes’ frustration. Things don’t get better from here on out. The visual of Rhodes chasing DiBiase’s limo into the warm Philadelphia night is priceless. The match was, well…crap. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Man, this show is heavily divided between guys coming up the ladder and guys going way down into the shitter. After a year and a half of being buried in asinine feuds and bizarre actions, Randy Savage is finally being positioned for another major run. He makes quick work of his arch nemesis here and is ready to move on to bigger and better things. Dusty, on the other hand, has passed his peak in the WWF and is barreling down the other side of the mountain at breakneck speed. After being used as an upper mid-card star for his first year in the WWF, the bloom is off the rose and things go to shit really, really fast. First, his main inspiration, Sweet Sapphire, begins receiving lavish presents and attention. The Dream was happy that Sapphire was happy, but was disappointed that she was so enamored with material things. For weeks, rumors swirled over who the mysterious benefactor was, but anyone with half a brain knew where the story was headed. Finally, after she was missing the whole day, just mere moments into the match, Ted DiBiase, Virgil and Sapphire made their way to the interview podium and DiBiase revealed all of the secrets. A distracted Dusty is quickly pummeled and finished off by a rabid Savage in just two minutes, effectively ending Dusty’s usefulness in the WWF. His feud with DiBiase was pretty good, but he was positioned as the buffoon the whole way through and never really gains the upper hand. All in all, this is a match that is known more for its storyline than any sort of in-ring action. Grade: 1
9) Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) defeats Earthquake (John Tenta) by countout at 13:09
Fun Fact: On the 5/26 edition of Superstars, Hulk Hogan was a guest on the Brother Love Show. During the interview, he was confronted by the current monster heel on the block, Earthquake. After a brief altercation, Quake attacked Hogan and laid numerous Earthquake Splashes down onto Hogan’s chest. For the first time in a long time, and possibly ever, Hulk Hogan looked mortal. He was wheeled off on a stretcher and it was later reported that he now had a broken sternum and would be on the shelf for a few months. In reality, Hogan needed time off to film his next blockbuster film, Suburban Commando, but the kayfabe reason worked like a million bucks, as Earthquake looked like a sadistic killer and Hogan gained some much needed sympathy heat while on the shelf. After weeks and weeks of video packages highlighting the attack (many of which were tear-inducing to us 10-year olds), Hogan’s return was announced as imminent. On the 7/14 Superstars, his return was set officially; it would be Hogan vs. Earthquake at Summerslam. Along with that announcement came another one: Hogan would have newcomer, and avid Hulkamaniac, Tugboat in his corner while Earthquake would have Dino Bravo in his. Those plans changed, however, on the 8/18 Superstars, where Quake attacked Tugboat 45 seconds into a match with Bravo, and laid him out with 2 vicious Earthquake Splashes. More damage could have been done, but the Big Boss Man ran out to ringside and broke things up. Tugboat was stretchered out, and it was soon revealed that he wouldn’t be healthy in time for Summerslam. Finally, on the 8/25 Superstars, Hogan returned to the Brother Love Show and announced that the Big Boss Man would be in his corner, replacing Tugboat.
Scott: The first half of our double main event is a match that was built quite well, but just like every other match on this show the blow-off is a disappointment. After Earthquake dropped the bomb on the Hulkster in June, fans were clamoring, salivating for the Hulkster to come back and get revenge on the massive Earthquake. Big Boss Man is in Hulkster’s corner to counter Dino Bravo in Earthquake’s corner. The match itself is, as expected, very slow and plodding. Earthquake was definitely an over heel, but he was obviously no technical marvel. Hogan did the best he could, but even this match seemed to not be what it could have been. Hogan ends up slamming Earthquake on a table that doesn’t break and Earthquake is counted out. Earthquake wants to keep going, but is met with a few stepstool shots courtesy of Boss Man. The result is some nasty welts on Quake’s back. This feud seemed like it was meant to continue, but despite having each other’s team battle at Survivor Series and a showdown at the Rumble, it craps out. For a feud that had quite a buildup and a big time PPV slot, this match wasn’t what it should have been, including a definitive finish. Sure people complain Hogan always gets what he wants, but in this case he needed to win and end it. Grade: 2.5
Justin: After months of buildup, the big showdown was at hand. The returning hero was back to slay the monster that put him on the shelf. The outcome should have went one of two ways: Hogan battles and scratches and claws and somehow manages to beat Quake clean and get his revenge OR Hogan battles and scratches and claws but comes up short and puts the new, hot monster over to set up a big feud with the Warrior for the World Title. But alas, Vince went with a third shitty option: a lame countout victory for Hogan that did nothing for nobody. The match had some solid heat, as the crowd was behind Hogan getting his revenge on ‘Quake after he put him out of commission for a few months. The story was pretty solid, as they invested months into building Quake up as a killer in the ring, but, we get more classic Hogan as he kills off Earthquake’s finisher as he kicks out (more like throws Quake off) after TWO of them (even though one put others in the hospital). Despite that, this was a match that is helped by the ringside antics of Big Boss Man, Dino Bravo (who was still siphoning heat off of Quake) and Jimmy Hart. The crux of the story was Hogan kept trying to slam Quake, but couldn’t get it done. After Piper laid into him on commentary, telling him to stop trying, Hogan finally builds up the strength and is able to slam Quake to a good sized pop. I’m not sure why the count-out finish, but I guess they wanted to keep the feud going and try to keep Quake strong, but in the end it really did nothing for either guy. The match was fun in one way, but emblematic of the direction of the product in another, as the build up was good, but for a Main Event, it should have been more than just fun, it should have had a lasting effect. Grade: 2.5
10) The Ultimate Warrior (Warrior) defeats Rick Rude (Richard Rood) in a Steel Cage match to retain the WWF World Title when he escapes the cage at 10:02
Fun Fact: Since the Federation was low on top level heels after Wrestlemania, Vince decided to create one from the inside. So, he took perennial upper mid-carder Rick Rude and gave him a makeover. Rude cut off his trademark curly hair and sported a brand new, short, hair style. He also started being more aggressive in the ring and established a mean streak in his personality. The new attitude and look were meant to make Rude a more serious threat in the eyes of the fans. After that was established, the next step was to establish the feud. Each week, Rick Rude training videos began airing. The various vignettes show Rude running on the beach and pumping iron, all the while making threats towards the Warrior and his World title. Finally, on the 7/28 Saturday Night’s Main Event, Rude and Warrior faced off for the World Title, but the match ended in a DQ after Bobby Heenan interfered in the match. That same night, a rematch was announced for Summerslam, but this time it would occur inside a steel cage to prevent Heenan from interfering.
Fun Fact II: This is Rick Rude’s final WWF PPV match. His final record was 6-4-1. He was 0-2 at the Royal Rumble, 2-0-1 at Wrestlemania, 1-2 at Summerslam and 3-0 at Survivor Series.
Scott: The other half of our main event is the WWF Champ in a Summerslam rematch against his arch-nemesis. Warrior was still riding the wave from Wrestlemania, and now he faces the man that he beat last year at Summerslam for the IC Title. In 1989, Warrior and Rude had unbelievable chemistry together which led to 2 great matches at Wrestlemania and Summerslam. Unfortunately that rivalry had ridden its course, and by the time we get to this point there’s practically no heat. The match itself is solid, as there is a few times where you really think Rude’s going to win. Alas that doesn’t happen, and Warrior wins with no problem. Piper continues to try and play the heel commentator role, as he keeps saying Warrior is inexperienced in cages. At least this match ended a feud, unlike most of the rest of this show. Warrior’s title reign hasn’t gone over as well as Vince thought, although he needs to shoulder some of the blame here. By letting Hogan flatten all the credible heels (Savage, Perfect and DiBiase) Warrior had nothing to work with. Warrior’s last great moment alone is here, and for the most part it was an OK match. Grade: 3
Justin: Man, if these two were in this same spot just 12 months earlier, it would have torn the roof off the place. However, just 1 year later, Warrior was World Champion that was QUICKLY losing steam and Rick Rude was a heel who seemed quite out of place challenging for a World Title. New bad ass persona and haircut aside, the WWF just didn’t do enough to make Rude seem like anything more than a challenger du’ jour, and it is very transparent in this match. Following his I-C Title loss at Summerslam ’89, Rude was de-pushed to the mid-card, and after a brief run with Roddy Piper he was basically a lower-mid carder who didn’t do much of anything. And then, out of nowhere, with no build up, he is named the next challenger to the Ultimate Warrior. He wasn’t properly built up, and they paid for it, as Warrior’s milk-toast title reign limped along with no credible heels to challenge him. Want more proof of the poor buildup? Just days after this show, Rude was right back in the mid-card, starting a feud with the Big Boss Man. Warrior was again left with no major feud on his hands, and would end up teaming with the LOD in their wars with Demolition. That is right, the WORLD CHAMPION was mired in a six-man feud. This reign has been a mess ever since April 2nd, and you can blame the lack of long term planning for that, as Vince blew all his heels on Hogan’s reign and had no one ready to feud with Warrior. There was one man left to turn to, and Vince would do just that in a few months, but that man was also in need of some serious re-building, so it would still be a little while before that feud would really take off. Now, the match itself was pretty good, and did add a nice win to Warrior’s resume, but the whole thing just felt so anti-climactic and flat for being the Main Event of the second biggest show of the year. Grade: 3
Scott: After a rock solid, highly energetic Wrestlemania, this show seemed flat and uninspiring. The matches were average to poor, and often were left open-ended. The Vince McMahon/Roddy Piper team was not great, as many were longing for Jesse Ventura. It would be a while before the broadcast booth had good chemistry like the previous 4 ½ years. The double main event was not what it could have been, and for the most part the last few months of buildup were great, and the payoffs were not. This begins a very dull, uninteresting rest of 1990. The Ultimate Warrior is still champ, and has plenty of fans. House show gates bit the hard one, and with no real heels to feud with he was pretty much a trophy champ. Hulk Hogan is on and off camera, and that also hurts house show gates. A lot of good storylines crapped out at Summerslam, so many superstars are kind of floating around. This was the first time since the modern PPV era started in 1985 that things are kind of flat around the WWF landscape. I’m not bashing Ultimate Warrior as champ by any stretch. Vince deserves some of the blame for lack of foresight to give Warrior an awesome feud with say, Mr. Perfect. However Warrior just wasn’t as charismatic a champ as Hulk Hogan was, so consequently things suffered. This show was an example of what happens when creativity and foresight hit a bump in the road. Final Grade: C
Justin: When I watched this event a month or so back, I was kind of shocked. I always had fond memories of this show, because it was the first one where I was TRULY a fan. I had seen all the build-up, made my predictions and was psyched for the big double main event, and until now, it had held up in my mind. I ‘m not saying it’s not a solid PPV, because it is, but all the matches are short (especially the I-C and World title matches) and pretty non-descript (with the exception being Harts-Demolition), and none have that “special” feel. This is the first Summerslam to not have a tag match as the main event, but the double-main event kind of flopped. The Hogan-Quake match had solid buildup but not much of a pay-off and the Warrior-Rude match had no heat and no one believed Rude could win. Finally, it is noticeable that Jesse has flown the coup and that Piper can not hold a candle to him. Piper is enthusiastic, but is missing that “something” that Jesse had, and he doesn’t mesh that well with Vince, as they seem to disregard what the other says quite a bit. After Wrestlemania and the “Ultimate Challenge,” there seemed to be a void left in the programming. The major money match had passed and new stars now had to be built to be ready for the future. At this point, that hadn’t happened yet, so we are left with a weak title reign for the Warrior. This would have actually been a great time for a cowardly heel run with the World Title, while new contenders were being built, but that just could not happen the way things had gone. At this point, all of the major on-going feuds had pretty much ended, and new ones were about to be forged. New faces have arrived on the scene, and over the next few months will provide a much needed breath of fresh air. The rest of 1990 is pretty bland, but a lot of the building blocks for the major stories of 1991 are constructed during these last few months. Anyway, I am giving this the grade I did mainly based on sentimentality and a fun under-card, but the Main Events and lack of a bigger plan and vision definitely drag down this show. Grade: C+
MVP: Hart Foundation/Demolition
Runner Up: Roddy Piper (Did the best he could)
Non MVP: Double Main Event
Runner Up: Rick Rude
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
Kerry Von Erich
PPV Rest in Peace List
“Playboy” Buddy Rose
“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)
Sapphire (Summerslam 1990)
Next Review: 1990 Survivor Series