Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: August 31, 1992
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan
Most of the older editions are in need of an update so we’ll knock out this one. This is one of the biggest crowds in wrestling history and they’re in for a pretty major show. We have a double main event of Randy Savage defending the WWF Title against the Ultimate Warrior and the instant classic of Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Title. Guess what’s headlining. Let’s get to it.
Nasty Boys/Mountie vs. Jim Duggan/Bushwhackers
This is a bonus dark match (at least on the American broadcast, though all three on the card aired on the European broadcasts). Jimmy Hart is in the villains’ corner. The fans get their chance to boo/cheer the various teams until the villains jump them from behind. This goes as well as you would expect and the ring is cleared in a hurry. Back in and the Nasty Boys are whipped into each other in the corner, followed by some double clotheslines for a bonus.
Sags beats on Butch for a bit before everything breaks down again. The villains finally get in a cheap shot to take over on Luke and a double boot to the ribs puts him down again. The chinlock goes on and it’s back to Mountie for more stomping. Sags grabs a reverse chinlock, which draws a USA chant as the British fans cheer for a New Zealander.
There’s a knee drop as Heenan goes over the specifics for the WWF rule book (I’d pay money to see that). Luke gets a boot up to knock Sags out of the air though and it’s the hot tag to Duggan to clean house. Everything breaks down and Sags elbows Mountie by mistake, allowing Duggan to get the pin at 12:34.
Rating: C. This is a good example of a case where you need to consider the spot. They weren’t going for anything important here and it wasn’t a match with any story. You had three popular wrestlers facing three villains in an easy match. The fans liked it though and that’s entirely what they were shooting for here. It would have made a fine house show opener and it worked perfectly well here.
Papa Shango vs. El Matador
Another bonus match. Shango jumps him from behind and we’re starting in a hurry. A running crossbody connects in the corner but another charge misses, allowing Matador to hit a clothesline. They head outside with Shango getting posted as Heenan thinks Matador should just give up now.
A top rope clothesline gives Matador two and there’s the flying forearm. Matador’s sleeper is broken up in a hurry and it’s time to choke in the corner. Shango drops an elbow and hits a side slam, only to miss a middle rope elbow. Another flying forearm gives Matador two but he misses a charge into the corner. The shoulder breaker finishes Matador at 6:12.
Rating: C-. Another perfectly watchable match and that’s fine for the spot they were in. Matador was always good for something like this and he could make an up and coming villain like Shango look good. It wasn’t a good match or anything, but they kept it quick and Shango didn’t quite squash him, so it worked out well enough.
Brought to you by ICO PRO. I hope they kept the receipt.
The British fans are VERY happy to have Summerslam here. This includes a kid who says that British Bulldog is going to win, whether he wants to or not. Kid sounds like he has mob connections.
Bobby Heenan has a crown. My day is complete.
Money Inc. vs. Legion of Doom
Money Inc. has Jimmy Hart in their corner but the LOD comes out on their motorcycles in a pretty famous entrance. Now granted that might be because Paul Ellering is with them and he has Rocco the Dummy on the front of his bike. In one of my favorite lines ever, Vince says that the Legion of Doom are known for their psychology in the ring. The jet lag must have gotten to him. DiBiase in white trunks still feels wrong but it isn’t as evil as I remember.
Hawk threatens him to the floor to start and then clotheslines him outside again, this time for another clothesline from Animal. It’s off to Animal for a powerslam and Hawk comes back in with a top rope shot to the arm. Now the fact that Hawk looks like he’s somewhere around Saturn makes that one a little more impressive than it sounds. IRS grabs a sleeper on Hawk but it’s broken up with a drive into the corner. The top rope clothesline misses though and Hawk falls all the way out to the floor. That’s quite the flying leap.
DiBiase comes in for a few shots and it’s already back to IRS for two off an elbow. The chinlock goes on and the villains make some changes without tags (they really should be setting a better example for the foreign fans). Back up and a double clothesline puts both of them down but IRS comes in to choke with the tag rope in the corner. Hawk powers over to the corner but the referee misses the tag (that nitwit).
As tends to be the case, the hot tag goes through a few seconds later and it’s Animal coming in to clean house. It’s a bunch of shoulders and clotheslines as everything breaks down. IRS breaks up the Doomsday Device so Animal goes with a powerslam to finish DiBiase (it wouldn’t surprise me if that was due to being scared of Hawk coming off the top) at 12:00.
Rating: C-. The crowd helped but you could tell that there was something off with the LOD. That being said, it isn’t exactly surprising that Hawk stayed in England and more or less ended the team for the time being. Hawk was a time bomb for a good while and as bad as things went, it could have been a heck of a lot worse.
Ric Flair isn’t happy that he isn’t getting his rematch for the WWF Title because he should be in the ring in the bright lights of London, England. Gene wants to know where Mr. Perfect, Flair’s crony, is, especially with the rumors of Perfect being in the corner of either Randy Savage or the Ultimate Warrior. Flair says Perfect is in the dressing room. Gene: “Whose dressing room???” Flair: “The dressing room of the winner. WOO!” I’ve always liked that one.
Virgil is ready to fight Nailz to avenge his buddy the Big Boss Man. If Virgil is your the best friend you have, getting beaten half to death with a nightstick doesn’t sound too bad.
Nailz vs. Virgil
Nailz gets a jobber entrance for some reason. Probably protecting Virgil’s star power. Nailz takes him into the corner to start and chokes a bit until Virgil hits a dropkick. That doesn’t even put Nailz down (Heenan: “He’s tough as nails!”) and it’s time for more choking. Virgil is sent outside and rammed into the apron. Back in and the standing choke finishes Virgil at 3:19.
Rating: D. This made Summerslam? It felt like something that would be a featured match on Wrestling Challenge at best and that’s hardly the kind of thing that you need to see on one of the biggest (if not the biggest) show of the year. Nothing to see here as Nailz didn’t exactly have the longest shelf life in the world.
Post match Nailz beats Virgil up even more.
Lord Alfred Hayes can’t get into Randy Savage’s dressing room but thinks Mr. Perfect is in there. He’ll keep being annoying until he finds something out.
Sherri doesn’t like the idea of Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel fighting, even though Shawn cost Martel an Intercontinental Title shot. Sherri has been with Shawn for a good while now but has been flirting with Martel. Tonight neither of them are allowed to hit each other in the face, because they’re both too handsome you see. She’ll be standing by her man, which seems to be Shawn as he calls her to go to the ring.
Rick Martel vs. Shawn Michaels
Martel is in tennis gear because it’s what models do. Sherri is with Michaels and brings out a full length mirror as Vince can’t get over the no hitting in the face thing. Vince: “This isn’t the sixth grade!” Indeed. Hitting in the face is a fourth grade thing. Vince also panics over Sherri’s outfit, which is uh, kind of incomplete in certain areas. Sherri takes some extra time disrobing Shawn because….I’m not sure really.
Feeling out process to start with Shawn trying a monkey flip, allowing Martel to cartwheel into some jumping jacks. A dropkick to the face has Sherri nervous but Martel jumps Shawn from behind. The fans seem to be behind Martel, which is rather strange to see. Martel misses a crossbody out of the corner though and the fans calm down a bit. Back up and Martel teases a right hand but stops himself and throws Shawn over the top instead. Martel takes him back inside for a backdrop and more jumping jacks but Shawn reverses an O’Connor roll for two.
After both guys pull their gear back up (with Vince and Bobby making the usual jokes), it’s Shawn getting a knee up to stop a charge in the corner. Now they trade rollups again and it’s time to get serious. They slap each other in the face, drawing Sherri to the apron for a lot of screaming….and some fainting. Shawn goes to check on her and Sherri falls out to the floor, where Martel knocks Shawn away. He gives her CPR but Shawn starts the fist fight for the double countout at 8:09, which draws Sherri back to life.
Rating: C. This was a lot different than most matches you’ll see and it worked out pretty well. It was certainly a unique way to go and given who was in there, it is hardly a surprise that they had a decent match. The Sherri stuff was interesting, though given that Shawn was supposed to headline the show, it is a bit of a downgrade.
Post match Sherri faints again so Shawn comes back to carry her away. Martel breaks that up as well, and Sherri falls down in a heap. Shawn jumps Martel again and Sherri crashes again, allowing Shawn to get her….most of the way back, until Martel finds a bucket of water and throws it on Sherri, who storms off on her own.
The Nasty Boys laugh at what happened to Sherri but are more interested in watching Savage and Warrior destroy each other. Now where is their title shot? Jimmy Hart sounds rather nervous about that question.
Tag Team Titles: Beverly Brothers vs. Natural Disasters
The Brothers are challenging and have the Genius in their corner. They jump the massive champs to start and are quickly sent into each other for a quick crash. We settle down to Typhoon missing a legdrop on Blake as everything breaks down again. Earthquake splashes typhoon in the corner by mistake, but Typhoon launches Beau to the floor on a kickout. After finding out that SHAWN MICHAELS HAS LEFT WEMBLEY STADIUM, the Beverly Blast keeps Typhoon in trouble.
A headbutt gets two as it’s strange to see someone this big taking a longer form beating. Typhoon drives over for the tag but of course the referee doesn’t see it. How do referees not get fired more often for being so inept? Typhoon gets in a double clothesline but Beau distracts Earthquake, allowing Blake to get in a shot with the metal scroll. Since Earthquake is about 28% smarter than anyone in the match, he decks Blake before the cover, allowing the hot tag to Typhoon. A belly to belly suplex plants Beau and a double shoulder puts the Brothers down. The powerslam sets up the Earthquake to retain at 10:25.
Rating: D. This was as good as the Natural Disasters vs. the Beverly Brothers for ten minutes was going to be. The Brothers were just such worthless goofs and no one bought them as a threat to the champs. The Disasters on the other hand actually felt like a team who could destroy almost anyone and it was going to take more than a couple of goofs like these two to beat them.
The Bushwhackers don’t know anything about a dentist selling them a London Bridge, but they are going to a meal at Buckingham Palace. Royal sardines are on the menu and they might get to sit on the throne. These two are just goofy fun, even though they outlived their usefulness.
Hayes thinks Perfect is in Ultimate Warrior’s dressing room but still can’t get in.
Crush vs. Repo Man
This was when Crush was on the verge of becoming the company’s breakout star but it never quite got there. Or anywhere close for that matter. Repo jumps him from behind to start but gets gorilla pressed without much effort. A backbreaker puts Repo on the floor and then Crush adds a one handed backbreaker just to show off.
As commentary talks about the WWF Title match coming up next (and nearly apologizing for making us wait so long), Crush misses a top rope knee. A faceplant gives Repo two but the kickout puts Repo on the floor. Back in and Repo dives into a powerslam, setting up the head vice for the win at 4:03.
Rating: D+. Another fast match that feels like a way to extend the show longer than it needs to be. That’s what happens when you have a two match card, but Crush was a popular guy at this point and it makes sense to feature him on a show like this. Repo Man was always good for a job and it was a quick enough squash that it wasn’t exactly worthless.
Gene throws us to a package on Savage vs. Warrior. The match was signed with Savage summing up the issue rather well: “I’M THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION CHAMPION AND YOU’RE NOT!” Then Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect made it clear that they weren’t happy with Flair not being in the title match and teased that they were working with both of them. The mind games were on hard and the question was who be joining forces with Perfect and Flair here. That’s quite the intriguing question, and a good way to go for something like this.
Heenan insists that he doesn’t know who sold out but Vince doesn’t believe him.
WWF Title: Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage
Savage is defending and there is no sign of Flair and/or Perfect. Warrior always looked really weird in that singlet. They go nose to nose to start and shove each other away as the fans are WAY into this. Warrior shoves him down without much effort but Savage is back with a pair of clotheslines for one. Savage goes up top in a hurry but gets punched out of the air just as fast. A pair of delayed atomic drops have Savage in more trouble and a clothesline gets two.
Savage isn’t having that and punches him down, setting up a quickly broken sleeper. Warrior unloads with right hands in the corner and stomps Savage down, followed by another hard clothesline. A pull of the tights sends Warrior into the buckle though and a clothesline puts Warrior on the floor. The fans don’t like that one but Savage doesn’t seem to mind.
Back in and a pair of top rope ax handles to Warrior’s head gets two but the third is pulled out of the air for a backbreaker. The hard whips into the corner set up a bearhug for all of two seconds. Savage gets two off a small package and a swinging neckbreaker gives him a breather. Savage’s back gives out on a suplex attempt and even Warrior is smart enough to know what to do here.
A suplex makes the back worse and gets another two as they’re a little more spent than they should be after less than thirteen minutes. Warrior misses a clothesline and gets low bridged to the floor, allowing Savage to hit a top rope ax handle. There’s a ram into the steps and another into the post but Savage can’t hit a piledriver back inside.
Cue Perfect and Flair as NOW things are going to get interesting. Warrior hits a slam to damage the back again, but the splash hits knees. There’s the required double clothesline and they’re both down again. Savage is up first and glares down at Perfect and Flair, allowing Warrior to lift him up for some choking. The ref gets bumped (SHOCKING!) and it’s Warrior going up for his own ax handle.
That’s good for a very delayed two and Warrior is annoyed at the count. Warrior getting annoyed at things isn’t exactly surprising. Savage hits a piledriver but has to get the referee off the floor. During the delay, which takes quite a bit of time, Perfect comes in and holds Warrior for an illegal object shot from Flair. Somehow Savage doesn’t see that and hits the elbow, but the referee is STILL groggy so the two is delayed again. Sweet goodness get tougher referees.
Warrior starts shaking the ropes and Heenan knows what that means for Savage. There’s the flying shoulder but Perfect distracts the referee, allowing Flair to hit Warrior in the back with a chair. Savage gets that something is up and doesn’t want it that way so he kicks at Perfect. He goes up anyway and then dives at Flair, who uses the chair to blast Savage’s knee, which is enough for the countout at 26:16.
Rating: B+. This was like an amazing setup to a joke but then they forgot the punchline at the end. Allegedly the original plan called for Warrior to turn but he wouldn’t go for it, which I can understand in a way. What we got was really good, though the ending was lacking just enough to pull things down. Flair and Perfect offered some great drama though, and that’s most of what they needed to do.
Post match Flair and Perfect stay on Savage’s knee, including the Figure Four. Warrior makes the save with the chair. Warrior helps Savage up and everything is cool. The knee injury would wind up costing Savage the title, with Flair winning it a few days later.
Perfect and Flair have a plan B and they’ll get the title back.
Undertaker vs. Kamala
Dr. Harvey Wippleman introduces Kamala, who also has Kim Cheer with him. The double manager thing is completely outclassed by Paul Bearer, who leads a hearse with Undertaker standing in the back to the ring. Not quite as awesome as some he would hit later, but good for early Undertaker. We get a little change of pace here as Undertaker chokes him into the corner to start and hits Old School (assuming it’s old less than two years into his run).
Another attempt is broken up thanks to a Wippleman distraction and Kamala clotheslines him to the floor, with undertaker landing on his feet. A ram into the steps doesn’t do much damage so it’s back inside for more chopping. Undertaker is fine enough for a chokeslam, but Kim Chee comes in with the pith helmet (get a chair dude) for the DQ at 3:40.
Rating: D-. I’m thinking this got cut short on time or something because what in the world is the point of a big entrance like that for a three and a half minute match? Then again, was anyone buying Kamala as a major threat? Maybe back in 1986 but against Undertaker? It really was a weird time for Undertaker as he was one of the bigger stars around but there was no one for him to fight. That would wind up being the case for years until Mankind showed up in 1996 as a totally different kind of threat.
Post match Kamala hits a bunch of splashes, including one from the top. Undertaker sits up anyway. But yeah, Kamala was a total threat here.
British Bulldog is ready to fight for the title, even though he is worried about what the whole ordeal has done to his family. He hopes the families reunite after the match, but it’s a dream to be here with no pressure.
Bret Hart knows how to wrestle under pressure and wants Bulldog to look him in the face and say he doesn’t know him. Bulldog doesn’t seem to remember Bret introducing him to his sister. Maybe Bulldog’s dream will wind up being a nightmare.
A Scottish band called the Balboa Highlanders performs Scotland the Brave and here’s Roddy Piper to play with them in a surprise cameo. Heenan is disappointed with the lack of break dancing.
Tatanka vs. Berzerker
Final bonus match and Berzerker has Mr. Fuji with him. They go with the test of strength to start and Tatanka shoves him over the top in a surprise power display. Back in and they chop it out until Berzerker misses a dropkick. Tatanka charges into a boot in the corner though and Berzerker grabs a World’s Strongest Slam.
They head outside with Tatanka being slammed on the floor and it’s back inside. Make that outside again as Tatanka clotheslines him over the top and hits his own slam on the floor. Serves the Minnesota viking (….hey) right. Back in and some chops set up a top rope chop into the Papoose To Go to finish Berzerker at 5:03.
Rating: D+. This was the weakest of the three bonus matches and I can see why it was cut from the pay per view. Granted they probably needed something for some breathing room between the show’s three big matches. These two were as stereotypical as you could get, but they weren’t out there long and the ending was clean so it’s hard to complain that much.
Sean Mooney talks to Diana Smith at ringside and she sounds as emotional as….I’ve heard more intense grilled cheese orders. She wants everything to work out but she’s on the front line with both her brother and husband.
Intercontinental Title: Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog
Bret is defending and you might have heard of this one before. Bulldog has British boxing champion Lennox Lewis carrying the flag to the ring. Bret gets quite the reaction as well but I think you know who the face is here. The bell rings and after the handing out of the sunglasses, we’re ready to go. They go nose to nose to start and Bret shoves him away, so Bulldog shoves him a little bit harder. A hard shoulder puts Bret on the floor and it’s time to rethink things a bit.
Back in and Bret headlock takeovers him down before hitting an uppercut (Heenan: “Right in the old fish and chips.”). Bulldog reverses an armbar into one of his own and then catapults Bret face first into the corner. A lifting armbar doesn’t quite work so it’s a crucifix for two on Hart instead. We’re right back to the armbar as Heenan does his old “the crowd is so loud I can’t hear commentary” deal.
Back up and Bret knees him in the ribs, much to the fans’ disapproval. The chinlock doesn’t last long either so Bret hits a backbreaker and grabs it again. That’s broken up and Bulldog hits a monkey flip, only to charge into a boot in the corner. The bulldog hits the Bulldog and Bret goes up, earning himself a slam back down (How do you make that mistake on a show with Flair?). Bret sends him outside and hits a slingshot dive, landing on a completely unprepared Bulldog, nearly breaking his back in the process.
The Russian legsweep gives Bret two and he hammers away with right hands. We’re back to the chinlock (with Bret’s back to the camera, showing he doesn’t understand wrestling), followed by the snap suplex and another chinlock. Bulldog grabs a quick backslide for two in the hope spot but Bret is right back with the middle rope elbow. We’re back to the chinlock, which is switched into a sleeper to put Bulldog in even more trouble. Bulldog grabs the rope and Bret grabs the sleeper again as things go right back down.
That’s broken up and they slug it out, with Bulldog trying a gorilla press and dropping Bret HARD onto the ropes for a scary crash. Three clotheslines give Bulldog two and it’s a gorilla press into the delayed suplex for the same. Bret is back with a German suplex for the same, as Bobby insists that Ric Flair could kick out of all of this of course.
Bulldog crotches him on top and hits a top rope superplex (without much elevation, which isn’t a good thing) for the next near fall. There’s a double clothesline and they’re both down, but Bret ties the legs together into the Sharpshooter (always cool). The rope is grabbed so Bret tries a sunset flip, only to have Bulldog sit down on it for the pin, the title, and one of the all time loud roars at 25:14.
Rating: A+. Yeah what else is there to say here? It’s a masterpiece, and mainly because of Hart. Bulldog was infamously out of it throughout the match and had to be told what to do every step of the way. It is an amazing match and probably Bret’s all time performance, which is probably why he was WWF Champion before the end of the year. Great stuff here and I’m sure you know that already.
Post match Bret isn’t happy but eventually shakes his hand. Diana comes in to join them to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. There’s a lot of bad on the show but the bad matches are mostly short and the two great ones are both rather long. Those are more than enough to carry the show and the huge atmosphere are more than enough to carry to a high level. It’s an excellent show and easily the biggest Summerslam ever. Now go back to England again for another big pay per view already. It’s not like it’s hard to make it work these days.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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