The Write Off: SummerSlam 1991


Sorry for not providing a review for a while, I’ve been quite busy on my college speech & debate circuit that is now finally winding down. I figured since the summer is soon to hit us in just a few months I’d share a review of SummerSlam 1991 with the audience. I must say that even though I got into wrestling in 1995 I’m a big fan all the pay-per-views the WWF put out in 1991. I’m not exactly sure why I have such an attraction to 1991 WWF action. After having WrestleMania VII pull in a not-so-good buyrate the WWF needed to find a good show to give its fans with great blowoffs to boot. Hence, we got a loaded card for the 1991 SummerSlam which to some wrestling observers was one of the better WWF pay-per-views in the pre-Attitude era. Enjoy!

P.S.—-This is the Coliseum Video version

Event Details:
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Hosts: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Reported Attendance: 20,000

-Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Texas Tornado & the British Bulldog vs. Power and Glory & the Warlord (accompanied by Slick):

This is a textbook definition for a match where the six guys really had no idea where their careers were going. Steamboat was into his “dragon” gimmick where he had to dress up like a dragon and blow fire as punishment for going on hiatus back in 1987 when he was Intercontinental Champion and Tornado was in limbo with his character and usefulness to the WWF. Furthermore, Power & Glory were mostly on JOB Squad duty when the Rockers didn’t become WWF Tag Team Champions as had been expected and the Warlord was just there. I guess Bulldog is the only one who things worked out for in the end. To the action of the match where Paul Roma and Steamboat have a nice exchange with Steamboat getting his armdrags and dropkicks. Hercules comes in to try to help the heels out but Tornado comes in and beats his head into the turnbuckle. Now there’s an idea…why didn’t they just have Steamboat & Tornado form a tag team? I’d have paid to see that. We get the “powerhouse” showdown between the Bulldog & Warlord with Bulldog taking down the Warlord with a shoulderblock for some kind of moral victory and follows it up with a vertical suplex for one. Steamboat comes in and tries to use his quickness on the Warlord but a monkeyflip out of the corner goes nowhere. We are given another fun Steamboat-Roma showdown with Steamboat managing to get a rollup but Hercules distracts the referee to break the count and Warlord takes Steamboat’s head off with a clothesline. Snap suplex by Roma gets two. Three consecutive backbreakers are given by Roma to Steamboat and then Hercules and the Warlord overpower the small Steamboat. Steamboat tries to make a comeback against Hercules but gets caught with a hotshot. Warlord pounds Steamboat but gets cocky and eats boot on a second rope something and it’s a momentum swinging tag to Tornado. Tornado decks everyone and tags in Bulldog when Warlord tries a sunset flip. Warlord catches Bulldog in a slam attempt but Tornado discus punches Warlord causing Bulldog to fall on top for two. Bulldog catches an incoming Paul Roma with a running powerslam but delays the cover and only gets two so then he tags in Steamboat who nails his flying bodypress and that wins the match for the faces at 10:42. Great opener that had tons of energy and got the crowd into the pay-per-view from the get go. ***

-Intercontinental Championship Match: Mr. Perfect (accompanied by the Coach) vs. Bret Hart:

I’ve seen this match many a different time because of different tapes that I own but at least this one isn’t clipped. Bret establishes his dominance early on by taking down Perfect with a shoulderblock and by hiplocking him out of the ring. Quick crucifix gets two for Bret and he ties Perfect up in a headlock and keeps synching it in at every opportunity. Heenan and Piper start laying into each other after Heenan attacks Piper with rumors of his family running away from home. Crossbody from Bret off the ropes gets two with the kickout sending him to the floor but Bret gets back on the apron, spears Perfect, and sunset flips inside for two. They jostle for position back and forth with various maneuvers including an incredible slam and kickout sequence after Perfect whips Bret into the buckle and it ends with Bret clotheslining Perfect over the top rope and to the floor. Perfect decides he’s heading to the showers but Bret will not be DENIED here so he follows and rips up Perfect’s tights in pulling him back to the ring. Perfect gains the advantage with a cheap shot over the head of the referee when he tries to separate he and Bret in the corner and he field goal kicks Bret to the floor. What was the purpose of the Coach anyway? I never got it and it seemed like such a big waste after Heenan was taken out of the picture. Perfect does what he can to keep Bret on the outside of the ring, at one point flinging him off the apron and into the railing (a bump Bret would emulate in the 1995 Survivor Series versus Diesel where he crashed through an announce table). Bret manages to get back in, though, and floats over a Perfect blind charge, getting a two-count on a rollup but Perfect cheap shots to retake control. Bret is taken to the corner STEROID STYLE for two. Running snapmare by Perfect and a cradle gets two. Bret ends up back on the floor and he and Perfect go all the way to the top rope slugging it out until Perfect wins out and Bret falls to the canvas giving Perfect another two-count. Crowd is hanging on every near-fall opportunity now counting along as Heenan tells Perfect to slug the referee and get the disqualification. Perfect slaps around Bret and hair tosses him across the ring. Perfect goes to the sleeperhold but Bret doesn’t fade and fights his way up only to have a second crucifix attempt turned into a Samoan drop for two. Heenan & Piper by the way on commentary help add more heat to the match by being partial for each of their guys. Perfect whips Bret to the corner chest-first for two and then in the defining moment of the match hits the Perfectplex as the crowd sighs and seems resigned to Bret’s fate…only to have BRET KICK OUT! Bret now starts another rally with an inverted atomic drop, atomic drop, headbutt, hair toss (crotching Perfect in the ringpost), and a suplex for two. Crowd boos Hebner for the near-fall. Small package gets two. Side Russian legsweep gets two. Bret hits a backbreaker and gets the trademark second elbowdrop but only gets two. Bret decides to be a bad face and argue the call with the referee allowing Perfect to get a rollup but Bret kicks out and sends Perfect to the floor in the process. Bret is acting like a man who isn’t going to lose and has a sense of destiny as he whips Perfect into the ringpost and comes back into the ring to kick out Perfect’s legs in brutal fashion. Heenan asks Gorilla if they are near a time limit as Bret tries the Sharpshooter but the Coach jumps on the ring apron causing Bret to break the hold and deck him. Perfect then gets a sneak attack and drops a leg between Bret’s leg several times but on the third attempt Bret counters by applying the Sharpshooter and when he turns it over the match is done at 18:02. However, Bret hasn’t had enough and he tears the rest of Perfect’s blue tights off before getting his hand raised as the new champion. The finish to this match always sends chills up my spine and the emotion I feel never wears off. Awesome match by the way that was only hurt by Perfect’s back pain that would put him on the shelf until the 1992 Survivor Series. ****

-The Natural Disasters (accompanied by Jimmy Hart) vs. The Bushwhackers (accompanied by Andre the Giant):

I’m trying to remember how exactly they set up this match I think what happened was that Jimmy Hart tried to recruit Andre and the deal went sour so Earthquake injured Andre’s knee and he wanted revenge. Bushwhackers open the match with a double eye-poke outside the ring and stomp around like dummies. Butch tries to take a huge bite out of Typhoon’s ass when action comes into the ring and the Bushwhackers try to use their quickness to stun the Disasters by using Earthquake for a big battering ram on Typhoon and then double-clotheslining Earthquake out of the ring. For some reason I don’t think this is going to last very long at all and it doesn’t when the Disasters use their girth to overpower Butch. Typhoon hits an elbow off the ropes for two until Luke breaks it up. Earthquake tries to hit Butch when Typhoon holds him for a forearm but that backfires and Luke gets the momentum tag. Luke does what he can with some shoulderblocks on Typhoon and soon we have all four men in the ring with the Disasters being hit with Battering rams but they won’t fall down so Typhoon is whipped into Earthquake, knocking Earthquake to the floor. Luke covers Typhoon in the ring for two while Earthquake annihilates Butch on the outside leaving us with a two-on-one situation that ends with a Quake for Luke and that’s all she wrote at 6:27. Andre tries to avoid attack by the Disasters at the end but the Legion of Doom come to his aid and the heels flee to give the good guys the moral victory. Not as bad as you’d think it’d be mostly because of the short time it was given and everyone put forth a good effort. *

*Notable event occurs in which Bobby Heenan goes to Hulk Hogan’s dressing room with the NWA WORLD TITLE BELT and challenges him on behalf of Ric Flair. If your not aware of the significance of this moment check out your wrestling history because this was HUGE stuff at the time

-Million Dollar Belt Match: Ted DiBiase (accompanied by Sensational Sherri) vs. Virgil:

I don’t care what anyone says about this one but Sensational Sherri during her tenure as Ted DiBiase’s manager from the spring of 1991 to the end of winter in 1992 was HOTT HOTT HOTT. I hope this match is way better than their WrestleMania match which only saw around four minutes of action. Virgil actually sneak attacks DiBiase to start and gets him good with a whip into the buckles, a backdrop, and a huge series of clotheslines that send DiBiase to the floor. Virgil tries a PESCADO onto DiBiase but the crafty veteran avoids it and Virgil just lies dead on the floor. DiBiase steps up the pain with the use of the ring steps and ring post and treats Virgil like yesterday’s garbage. Fistdrops by DiBiase get two. Virgil gets the Million Dollar Dream out of nowhere so Sherri runs in and hits him with her purse for the disqualification. Monsoon says the Million Dollar Belt won’t change hands on a countout or a disqualification even though at WrestleMania VI it was made ABUNDANTLY clear that since the title was unsanctioned it could change hands on such conditions. What hypocrisy! I bet they’re changing all of the rules just because Virgil is a black man fighting a rich white guy! Where’s justice when you need it? Anywho, the referee decides not to disqualify DiBiase but instead send Sherri back to the dressing room and we resume the match with both men trying to get to their feet. WAIT! I bet DiBiase can’t get justice because he’s a rich white guy fighting a black guy. WHERE IN THE HELL IS DIBIASE’S JUSTICE?!?! Virgil mounts a rally by slamming DiBiase’s head into the turnbuckle ten times and firing away on him in all forms imaginable. We get a ref bump when DiBiase whips Virgil into the corner. DiBiase taunts Piper at the commentary table and proceeds to count his suplexes that he gives to Virgil just to be a cocky ass. However, it is here that DiBiase makes his fatal ploy because after a piledriver he decides to untie the turnbuckle pad mostly out of frustration because the referee can’t count the pin. DiBiase trash talks Virgil as Piper is losing his voice over the whole charade and Virgil suddenly recovers taking DiBiase to the steel TWICE and then dramatically crawling over and covering DiBiase for the pin at 10:54 to an awesome reaction from the crowd. The match played the crowd like a fiddle but the action in the match wasn’t enough to put me in a trance. **

-Jailhouse Match: The Mountie (accompanied by Jimmy Hart) vs. The Big Bossman:

Bossman had finished his run through the Heenan family so we got his inevitable showdown against the evil Canadian law enforcement official, the Mountie. The stipulation for this match is very interesting because whoever loses has to spend the night in a New York City jail. What happened to the creativity of such “speciality” matches? I always found them very entertaining and this is the perfect example. By the way, the Mountie had instructed the New York police before this match to treat the loser roughly which becomes important later on. Slugfest ensues for a while in the beginning until the Bossman hits an elbow off the ropes and gets a splash for two. Bossman kills the Mountie for a few minutes, hitting a HIGH IMPACT SPINEBUSTER during the sequence. However, Jimmy Hart kills the rally by distracting Bossman and allowing the Mountie to push Bossman into the ringside steps. Mountie gets two on basically nothing and the two engage in some plodding action that doesn’t enthrall the crowd although it gets some near-falls. Mountie hits a weak piledriver and tries to use the cattle prod but he misses and the Bossman gets a huge uppercut. Bossman hits the Bossman slam but the Mountie kicks out of it. Hmmm…I expected this match to have more pizzaz but it appears as if both guys are way gassed. Mountie goes for another piledriver but this time the Bossman is ready for it and counters with another killer spinebuster to get the pin at 8:37. Following the match the Mountie gets dragged to the backstage area and gets headed off to the slammer in a very rough fashion just as he requested. OOOOHHH the irony! I loved the stipulation for this match and really thought it was a great way to end a feud but both guys just didn’t put on the pay-per-view quality match I was hoping for and that was evident by the crowd being pretty apathetic for the most part. ½*

-No Disqualification & No Countout Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: The Nasty Boys (accompanied by Jimmy Hart) vs. The Legion of Doom:

It didn’t take a degree in astrophysics to come to the conclusion that the Legion of Doom had many more reasons to go over here than the Nasty Boys. I never have cared for the Nasty Boys tag team combination still feeling bitter over their defeat of the Hart Foundation at WrestleMania VII to get the belts in the first place. The LOD clear the ring to start the match and then take the fight to the Nasty Boys on the arena floor and Animal powerbombs Knobbs for a one count inside the ring until Jerry Sags breaks it up. Hawk bowls over Sags for a near-fall as the LOD are just tearing apart the champions. The referee tries to get the men to go to their respective corners but as Monsoon points out that’s stupid because of the no disqualification rule. Sags gives Hawk a bath with the soda cooler at ringside and suddenly we get a regular tag match which totally thwarts the stipulation’s spirit of having a wild brawl, I mean hell the referee tries to cut off Animal coming into the ring and then the Nasty’s cheat behind the referee’s back. I just don’t get it! The Nasty’s keep assaulting Hawk at ringside as Animal watches on helplessly in the corner. Knobbs gets a two-count on an elbow off the ropes as Heenan explores how far no disqualification is proposing such ideas like knocking out the referee. Sags gets a flying elbowsmash off the top rope for two before Animal breaks but Knobbs second rope dive at Hawk hits boot allowing for the momentum swinging tag to Animal. Animal beats the Nasty’s up by himself and catches Knobbs with a powerslam for two before Sags breaks. The match finally melts down into a four-way brawl and Sags hits Animal with the biker helmet after almost hitting Knobbs but Animal kicks out. Eh, bad booking decision because that’s just nuts. Meanwhile, Hawk gets the biker helmet from Jimmy Hart on the floor, KO’s Knobbs there, tosses it Animal who KO’s Sags and a Doomsday Device later gives the LOD the belts at 7:44. The Nasty’s just didn’t have a chance in hell of winning this one. Interesting note: this title win made the LOD the ONLY TEAM to ever hold the WWF, NWA, and AWA World Tag Team Championships in their careers, an incredible mark that will never be broken. Match was rushed, though, and could’ve really been classified as a squash but it sent the crowd home happy. **

-IRS vs. Greg Valentine:

Filler matchup in place here to prepare the crowd for the main event handicap match. IRS has a tad of mullet action going on for tonight’s event. Valentine controls the early going with the basic shoulderblocks and “work the arm” routine followed with a hiptoss and clothesline that makes IRS bail. IRS takes control inside with a kneelift but a surprise sunset flip gets a two-count against him. A slam by Valentine causes another bailout but Valentine follows and throws him back in. It proves counterproductive, though, as IRS goes directly on the attack and applies the abdominal stretch with the help of the ropes. IRS gets a brutal clothesline off the ropes (in what later would be the Write Off) after Valentine misses a kneedrop and gets a two-count with a running elbowdrop. Chinlock city but Valentine appears to be just passing through. However, IRS comes back with a backbreaker and goes to the top rope only to jaw with the crowd and have Valentine toss him off. Blind charge by IRS into the corner with his knee eats buckle and Valentine does all the damage he can do it. Valentine slaps on the figure-four but IRS reaches the ropes. Valentine gets a kneebreaker on IRS and goes for the figure-four again after delivering a headbutt to abdomen but IRS small packages him and gets the pin with a handful of hair at 7:07. Pretty decent stuff for a filler match. *½

-Main Event Handicap Match with Sid Justice as guest referee: Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan:

Eh, they could’ve done a better main event than this. Why not a rematch between Slaughter and Hogan because that was pretty good at WrestleMania or something else? Even though this is being billed as a handicap match we know who’s REALLY in the handicapped position here. Stalling from the heels at the beginning as Slaughter doesn’t want to get into the ring and when he does he comes in with a leather belt that Sid quickly pulls away and tosses to the arena floor. Hogan and Slaughter begin the match, renewing their WrestleMania VII encounter, and the faces pummel Slaughter with pinball tactics and power maneuvers. Double-boot flops Slaughter and Hogan sends Slaughter to the post which makes a sick cracking sound for a near-fall before Mustafa breaks it up. Slaughter keeps getting killed by the faces with Adnan and Mustafa lazily interfering to break pins. Slaughter gets in a cheap shot as Sid disciplines Hogan (FINALLY a referee with some guts) and Adnan comes in with some weak stuff, getting some help from Mustafa as Sid is distracted by Slaughter. Mustafa applies the Camel Clutch but Warrior breaks that up. Sid and Hogan tease another go at it when Slaughter whips Hogan into him but the heels Pearl Harbor Hogan before we can see if it goes anywhere. Slaughter goes to the top rope to do something on Hogan but Warrior walks over and pushes him off leading to the momentum swinging tag. Warrior gets revenge from the ’91 Royal Rumble by demolishing Slaughter but a collision with Sid provides a distraction for the heels to regain their lead. I feel bad for Slaughter because he’s got NO support at all in this match. Warrior with a suplex to Mustafa to create another race to the corners but Mustafa wins out. Heels continue to cheat behind Sid’s back and catches Slaughter with a clothesline before doing weird sexual gyrations on the canvas. Well, the Warrior was weird to begin with anyway. Momentum swinging tag to Hogan who starts the Hulk up period and kicks the heels asses who get in his way. Slaughter and Hogan go at it in the ring as Warrior chases Adnan & Mustafa to the back with a chair, not to be seen again until WrestleMania VIII. Meanwhile, Hogan pulls powder out of his trunks, blinds Slaughter with it, and hits the legdrop for the pin at 12:37. What kind of crap is that? Your telling me that the WWF Champion can’t even win a one-on-one encounter against the former champion when he’s a FACE no less CLEANLY? GIVE ME A FREAKIN’ BREAK! Following the match Hogan calls Sid into the ring and they pose for the crowd to end the night’s wrestling action. Match was fine but it didn’t feel as if it went anywhere in the psychology sense and was more of a 12 minute ego fest. *½

*Hilarious moment as the Mountie is placed in a jail cell and a gay inmate asks him if he likes the feel of leather against his skin

* “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Elizabeth get “married” (married in quotation marks because they were married many years previously and simply renewed their vows here). Can’t help but tear up during it because of the horrible fate Elizabeth suffered that brought an end to her life.

*The wedding reception is shown as a Coliseum Video exclusive and its only important because in one of the wedding presents a snake appears courtesy of Jake Roberts & the Undertaker. Roberts flashes a snake in Elizabeth’s face as she screams but its hilarious too because Elizabeth is shielding her mouth to conceal her huge smile because she knows how ridiculous all of this is

OVERALL TAPE RATING (BUST-****): *** and I’ll tell you why. First of all, the tape gives you the two best title victories of 1991: Bret over Perfect and Virgil over DiBiase. Secondly, the tape gives you the wedding of Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Thirdly, you get to see the LOD make history by winning the tag team belts. Finally, you get a pretty decent show of continuous action with a hot crowd and in Madison Square Garden no less. GO OUT AND RENT/BUY THIS TAPE NOW!!!!

Logan Scisco has been writing wrestling reviews for Inside Pulse since 2005. He considers himself a pro wrestling traditionalist and reviews content from the 1980s-early 2000s. Most of his recaps center on wrestling television shows prior to 2001. His work is featured on his website ( and he has written three books, available on