Summerslam 89

 

It’s time to Feel The Heat! Summer 89 is the next stop on our journey and it looks to be a good one. Hulk Hogan is still WWE World Heavyweight champion and he teams up with good friend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake to take on former World champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his new partner, Zeus. Zeus was Hogan’s enemy in film “No Holds Barred” and this rivalry has gone from the big screen to the squared circle. Which means that for the second Summerslam in a row we have a tag team main event with no World title on the line. 

Rick Rude is still Intercontinental champion and defends his title against former champion Ultimate Warrior in a Wrestlemania rematch. It’s the only title match of the night because the tag titles won’t be defended. Demolition lost the titles to The Brain Busters on Saturday Nights Main Event after Andre the Giant got involved. Tonight Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard take on former champs, The Hart Foundation in a non title match which seems strange. In other news NWA Legend Dusty Rhodes makes his PPV debut against The Honky Tonk Man. Dino Bravo defeated Koko B Ware in a dark match before the show. 

We go to ringside and it’s Tony Schiavone doing play by play with the more familiar face of Jesse “The Body” Ventura. I wonder why Gorilla Monsoon isn’t there? Maybe he’s finally done with commentary. Well Schiavone introduces us to the show and then we go to the opening montage which is quite frankly, horrendous. There are clips of wrestlers mixed with clips of people enjoying the sunshine on beaches, in their cars and eating ice creams. Very bizarre. 

The Brainbusters (c) (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)

Well the first thing to remember here is that Arn & Tully are the new tag team champions. The Hart Foundation get a tag title match for the second Summerslam in a row, they were the first contenders to take on Demolition when they won the belts at last years Wrestlemania. I don’t understand why the tag team titles aren’t on the line in this one. Ventura says it’s because the match wasn’t signed when The Brain Busters were champions. 

It’s Bret Hart and Tully Blanchard who start things off. Two very technical wrestlers. Anderson is tagged in with his dyed blonde hair. At Wrestlemania, Bret Hart looked to start a feud with Mr Perfect but nothing that resulted in a match tonight. Neidhard in now, he’s the odd one out as the big brawler type. Both of these teams won their matches at Wrestlemania against Strike Force and Honky & Valentine respectively. IT only really makes sense for the Hart Foundation to win this match as the titles aren’t on the line. Neidhard works Andersons arm and The Hart Foundation make quick tags. Bret and Jim are really shining in this match, leading it and keeping the upper hand over The Brain Busters.

There’s a high sense of urgency in this match and the champions try to make tags to each other but are cut off by the Hart Foundation. “Weasel” chants start which takes the attention away from the ring. Hart takes down both Brain Busters after an excellent technical display and the crowd love it. And we see the trademark Hitman pose for the first ever time. I like Schiavone on commentary, he brings more of an excitement that Monsoon ever did. All four men in the ring now until the Busters are sent reeling. Will it be the Hart Attack or the Spike Piledriver? There’s been a good pace to this match, no rest holds, just wall to wall action. Bret sends his partner into Tully but Anderson pulls him out of the way. It’s now The Brain Busters with the advantage. And they slow it down with a sleeper hold. It’s back and forth until Anderson and Neidhart both go down. Hot tag time? Not quite, Anderson blocks him off. 

But the hot tag is then made after Tully pushes Neidhart into Bret! The Hitman comes in and takes down both men with powerslams and clotheslines. Hart hits his trademark elbow from the middle rope and then a suplex. And now all four men are in the ring but Neidhart send Arn to the outside. Bret slingshots Neidhart into the ring and into Blanchard in a cool spot. Neidhart slams Bret Hart onto Blanchard but with the referee distracted, Anderson hits Bret with a double axe handle and pins him for the victory! I don’t understand why the belts couldn’t be on the line. Anderson wasn’t the legal man by the way. A screwjob finish would have worked better if the titles were on the line. But a great match to start the evening in any case.

Rating: 6/10

Backstage with Mene Gene who’s with Dusty Rhodes. Dusty is standing with a nightstick and policeman hat, odd. He has a few words for Honky Tonk Man and cuts a great promo. I love Rhodes on the stick, looking forward to seeing him in action. 

The Honky Tonk Man vs. Dusty Rhodes

Honky out first the The Colonel and then out comes Dusty to the awesome American Dream music. Really not sure about the polka dots though. The two men start off with a bit of a dance off and then circle the ring. Dusty starts off quickly, sending Honky to the outside. I don’t think Honky has won on pay per view since Wrestlemania III. This is of course Rhodes’ PPV debut. Dusty looks on an armbar and then messes up the former IC champions hair! Dusty has the advantage hitting his big elbow and now ten big punches in the corner. Dusty locks on a leg lock of sorts but is slightly distracted by Jimmy Hart and Honky Tonk gets the advantage with a headlock. The Colonel grabs Dustys leg and Rhodes chases him but in the carnage, Honky Tonk grabs the megaphone and hits Dusty with it! He only gets a 2 count though.

Honky Tonk locks on a sleeper but Dusty dances, completely no selling it. But eventually he is put down but not for the count obviously. He gets out of the sleeper but not for long as Honky manages to lock it back on! Dusty out of it and dances around hitting Honky with quick jabs. Honky then sends Rhodes into the referee, knocking him out! He asks for his guitar now and the Colonel goes to hit Dusty but he ducks and Hart hits Honky! Dusty then pins Honky for the three count! A good PPV debut for Dusty Rhodes.

Rating: 4.25/10

Backstage to Demolition and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan is stood in a Demolition mask and a crown. A solid face promo aimed at the Twin Towers and Andre The Giant!

Mr Perfect vs. The Red Rooster

A match between two lower cards who picked up respective wins at Wrestlemania. Perfect is unbeaten since arriving in the WWE. Unless you count the Royal Rumble, which I don’t think they do. The Rooster looks ridiculous with his red hairpiece. Perfect takes down the Rooster with hip toss’s and arm drags. Perfect does his own chicken strut and gets a slap. Some quick back and forth action that results in Perfect in control. The two men on the outside now and it starts to turn into a brawl. Back in the ring now and Perfect hits his Perfect-plex for the win!

Rating: 3/10

Backstage to Rick Rude now who defends his title against Ultimate Warrior later. He seems confident and so does Heenan who says if they need to break rules then they will. Some camp pouting by Rude to finish the promo.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) & Tito Santana vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond) & Rick Martel

The heels come out to new music that sounds like it’s being sung by The Rougeaus. Awful. Martel turned on Santana at Wrestlemania but none of these six men could pick up a win at the last PPV. The Rockers still looking for their first win on pay per view. Jacques offers Santana a handshake to start the match but Tito refuses and we go to a collar and elbow tie up. Lots of pacey action to be expected from The Rockers and the crowd love it as all six men go at it in the ring. Slick and Jimmy Hart are out with the heels, I would assume that Slick is now the manager of Martel. Jannetty takes it to Jacques who sells like a queen. Quick tags from the heels gives them the advantage. Martel is such a good heel now. 

Jannetty tags in Tito but Martel tags out to Raymond. The crowd really want to see Strike Force go at it. More quick tags from The Rougeaus and Martel. Martel is very camp these days. Not that doing a cartwheel is camp or anything. Santana tries to make a tag but Jacques won’t let him. Martel taking it to Santana now and in comes Raymond who locks in a Boston Crab. Shawn Michaels hasn’t been in the match yet. Jacques in now with an abdominal stretch. And classic heel tactics with Martel helping him out. Santana still trying to make the hot tag but Martel doesn’t let him. I still don’t see Raymond as much of a heel, Jacques definitely has the talent in that team. Raymond locks a sleeper on Tito which slows down the match.

Jacques comes in and accidentally hits his own partner which allows Santana to tag out to Shawn Michaels. Michaels comes in and takes out Rick Martel with some high impact moves. The crowd are right behind Michaels who goes up top and nails Martel. He tags out to Jannetty and all hell breaks lose, Santana hits the running forearm on Martel.All hell has broken lose, Rick slips back into the ring and nails Jannetty and pins him for the win! Marty wasn’t even the legal man but Martel and The Rougeaus don’t care, they needed the win!

Rating: 5.5/10

A video package now for the Rude and Warrior history. We go back to the Royal Rumble posedown where Rude attacks The Ultimate Warrior. Then to Wrestlemania where Rude defeats Warrior with a little help from Bobby Heenan. And then to Primetime Wrestling where The Warrior defeated Haku before getting into it with Rude. And then to a backstage interview with The Ultimate Warrior. I’m not really sure what he’s saying but he’s confident that he’ll be taking his title back. 

“Ravishing” Rick Rude (c) vs. The Ultimate Warrior – Intercontinental Title Match

Big Intercontinental title rematch up now. Rude gives his usual speech insulting the crowd and then reveals his tights with a crying Ultimate Warrior on. Warrior out next, high octane as usual and the crowd go nuts. The match starts off with Warrior no selling a few moves. He then gorilla presses Rick Rude to the outside of the ring. Outside, Warrior then hits Rude with the Intercontinental title and apparently it’s not a DQ! The two men are outside of the ring for a while, way longer than the ten second count but the match continues. Warrior sends his opponent back into the ring and goes up top and nails a Randy Savage looking double axe handle. This has been all Warrior so far as he irish whips Rude from one corner to the other. He gets a few near falls and then goes up top again. Rude is more alert this time though and knocks the challenger off the top.

It’s Rudes turn to take control of the match now and it’s nice to see some selling form the Warrior. Nice suplex and a near fall form the champ. Rude locks in a Boston Crab which slows the match down now. Rude goes for the Rude Awakening but Ultimate Warrior powers out! Rude manages to lock on a sleeper Warrior gets out of it though with a chin breaker. The former champ bounces off the ropes and knocks into Rude knocking the champion and the referee down. Rude is the first man up, shortly followed by Warrior who no sells Rudes assault. Warrior back on top now with a back drop and multiple clotheslines then a powerslam. Warrior tries to wake up the referee Joey Marella and then hits a piledriver on the Ravishing one. Warrior pins but Rude gets his foot on the rope. Warrior hits a running powerslam and goes for his splash but the champion gets his knees up!

Rude hits a different looking piledriver but can’t keep the challenger down for a three count. Rude up top now and hits a strange punch thing. He gets a two count but the crowd are more interested in “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who is walking down the entrance way. Rude hits another piledriver but can’t get the victory. Rude is distracted by Piper which allows Warrior to get up and hit a belly to back suplex. He follows that up with the shoulder charge, a gorilla press slem and a splash! He rolls Rude over and gets the three count! Warrior picks up the win and is the new Intercontinental champion! Probably the best match I have ever seen these two guys have.

Rating: 7.5/10* Match Of The Night

 Backstage now to Mr Perfect who is happy about beating the Red Rooster. He’s not stopping there though, he’s taking over the WWE. Nobody beats Mr Perfect, nobody!

Roddy Piper then appears as Perfect disappears. He’s happy with what he did earlier too and cuts an awesome promo. He’s not finished with Rude, that will be an awesome clash.

Up next is “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin who’s got a special assignment. He’s dressed up in his best suit but is quickly interrupted by Bobby Heenan. He is fuming about what Piper did earlier. Rude then shows up and he is angry too. 

To a video package now about the main event build. Zues attacked Hogan at Saturday Nights Main Event. Then on Superstars, Macho Man introduced Zues as his partner. Zues looks boss eyed. They made the challenge and Hogan and Beefcake accepted. Zues is a big old boy but he doesn’t look like he can wrestle. Looks like he can no-sell with the best of them though. Also worth mentioning that Savage is now managed by Sensational Sherri. 

Andre The Giant & The Twin Towers (Akeem & The Big Boss Man) vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Demolition (Ax & Smash)

Duggan is now “King Duggan”, I’m not sure why because by my count, the reigning King Of The Ring is Ted Dibiase. Lots of “Hoooooo” chants before the bell. It’s Duggan and Akeem that start the match. Duggan starts off with quick jabs and takes the big man down. Quick tags between Demolition and Duggan who get the better of Akeem. Bobby Heenan and Slick are at ringside for this one with their respective clients. Akeem makes the tag to the Boss Man who doesn’t have much luck with Ax or Smash. Boss Man looks to have lost a little bit of weight. Some double teaming from the Twin Towers gives them the advantage and in comes Andre. The big man in blue tonight instead of black. Duggan is actually undefeated on PPV this year whilst Andre hasn’t won any. Smash in now and he slams both Twin Towers. Andre takes him down though. I’m a big fan of Smash, he’s got a lot of charisma. All the men in the ring now and Akeem slams Smash and hits him with a big splash. Duggan in now though and hits Akeem with the 2×4! Smash rolls on top of Akeem and pins him for the three! A big win for Duggan and Demolition!

Rating: 5.25/10

Mene Gene standing by now with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase who takes on Jimmy Snuka tonight. He says Snuka will end up like Jake Roberts. How is Jake Roberts? Dunno, but Dibiase is confident.

Ronnie Garvin now announced as the ring announcer for the next match.

Hercules vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

Well, Ronnie Garvin slates Valentine and Jimmy Hart in his intro. Obviously those two men have history but I’m not sure what it is. Hercules attacks Valentine though whilst he’s distracted.I don’t think Valentine has won on pay per view since he beat Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania IV and Hercules won on PPV for the first ever time at Wrestlemania V. Valentine is distracted by Garvin again which allows Hercules to go after him. Greg gets the advantage now though and hits a couple of elbows. He goes for the figure four but Herc kicks him off. Valentine up top but gets caught. It’s back and forth and the crowd really are not into this one. Valentine pins Hercules with his feet on the ropes for the win! Garvin gets in the ring and announces Hercules as the winner,He then cheap shots Valentine. Not great.

Rating: 3.25/10

Backstage to Sherri, Savage and Zues. Sherri is looking into a couldron and says that Hogan and Beefcake and screwed basically. Savage says Beefcake is the weak link and Zues is impervious to pain.

 “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

A quick promo from Dibiase before the match and he’s proud of ending Jake Roberts wrestling career. We’ll see about that. Here comes Snuka now and Teddy tries to attack him before the bell but Snuka sees him off. Snuka gets distracted by Virgil but Dibiase accidentally nails his own bodyguard! Snuka sends Dibiase to the outside again. Dibiase with a headlock now and then Snuka mistimes his leapfrog and lands on Ted. Ted gets the advantage and takes him from corner to corner but Snuka reverses an irish whip. These two don’t seem to have much chemistry. It’s back and forth for a while, nothing too spectacular. Dibiase with a suplex and a cover but no luck. He hits a backkbreaker and covers again but Snuka kicks out. Dibiase hasn’t won on pay per view since he beat Jim Duggan and Don Muraco at Wrestlemania IV. He then misses a back elbow from the middle rope and it’s Jimmy’s advantage now. Snuka hits a headbutt from the second rope. And then goes back up top for the Superfly but Virgil distracts him. Snuka goes after Virgil but The Million Dollar man attacks him from behind and throws him into the post. In that time the referee counts out Jimmy Snuka and Dibiase wins the match. Not great that, they didn’t have much chemistry at all. Snuka gets his revenge after the match.

Rating: 3/10

Backstage now to Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. Hogan claims to have parted a river like Moses. Brutus chats about his blades, claiming they are part of him. Nice promo this, mainly from Hogan. 

The Genius in the ring now to recite a poem. Mainly slating Hogan and Beefcake. Good stuff.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage & Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Well for the second Summerslam in a row we have a tag team main event. A huge match for Beefcake who has never been anywhere near a main event before. Zues is just massive. Savage came out in a huge silver robe. Hogan then tells Howard Finkal to introduce Miss Elizabeth and out show comes to a huge ovation! Ventura makes the point that she only sides with the champion. We start the match and Hogan can’t hurt Zeus. The big man takes both Hogan and Beefcake down. Zeus no-sells everything. Savage in now and continues where Zeus left off, taking it to Hogan. The crowd chant for Hogan who is locked in a sleeper! Hogan gets out of it but back in comes Zeus who locks in a big bear hug that seems to last forever. 

Savage back in now and the pace quickens. He cheap shots Beefcake, spitting at him but Hogan manages to tag in Brutus who goes mad, taking Savage down. Beefcake then locks in a sleeper but Savage gets out of it. Zeus in and Brutus goes for his eyes and then locks in a sleeper on him. With the referee distracted, Savage attacks Beefcake with Sherri’s purse. Macho tagged back in but Hogan stops Savage from pinning his partner. Savage and Zeus make quick tags but eventually both Beefcake and Savage go down. And Brutus tags Hogan! He disposes of Savage and Zeus steps in and the crowd go nuts. The Hulkster takes Zeus down to one knee and then Elizabeth trips up Sherri. All hell breaks lose and Hogan has Sherri’s purse. He nails Zeus with it and then powerslams him down before running off the ropes and hitting a big legdrop for the win! 

Hogan and Beefcake win the match and then Hulk atomic drops Sensation Sherri and Elizabeth hits her with the purse! Brutus cuts off the end of Sherri’s ponytail while she’s out! Real American blasts out and Hogan and Beefcake celebrate in the ring. 

Rating: 5.75/10

 

And that was the second annual Summerslam Pay Per View. Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude put on a really good match that exceeded all expectation. The main event was one of the weakest PPV main events so far but having someone like Zeus in there who isn’t a wrestler doesn’t help. There was quite a lot of dead weight on this show, guys like Greg Valentine, Jimmy Snuka and the Red Rooster. And where were The Powers Of Pain, Jake The Snake and Bad News Brown? Dusty Rhodes made his PPV debut and I look forward to seeing how his WWE career progresses. Little fact that Mr Perfect was the only heel on this card not to have a manager. There were a couple of bad matches, Perfect & The Rooster didn’t get long enough to showcase their talents whilst Dibiase and Snuka just didn’t click. I don’t really understand why the tag team titles weren’t on the line, it would have been a good defence for the Brain Busters to defeat the Hart Foundation. Overall it was a solid pay per view for the time, better than any previous Wrestlemania or Summerslam. 

Overall Rating: 48/100 (Ranked #4 out of 13)

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