WWE" SummerSlam The Complete Anthology Volume 2: 1993 – 1997 – DVD Review

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It happens to be one of the original “big four” Pay-Per-Views (PPVs) that the WWE first had in their yearly rundown. The Royal Rumble would open the year up with a bang and set the tone for the year ahead. WrestleMania was and still is the ultimate in wrestling events every single year now going on twenty-five glorious years. The end of the year saw the Survivor Series haunt our cold and wintry nights as the Thanksgiving tradition that taught us all how to make it through and outlast every last competitor. But the end of the summer blast was always SummerSlam and it took full advantage of the weather outside being overly hot and just too much for anyone to handle. So what does the WWE do? Simply provide us with some of the greatest wrestling action and storylines that we as fans have ever known.

The second volume of the SummerSlam anthology starts out with the event from 1993 and it’s not necessarily the greatest one out there. Honestly there just really isn’t a lot of interest to generate from anything that happened here. The main event consisted of a match for the WWE Title between champion Yokozuna and the honor of America, Lex Luger. Luger ends up winning by countout and gets a huge celebratory party with other wrestlers as if he won the title and defended America’s honor. No offense, but a countout victory doesn’t impress me enough to throw a party for you. Perhaps the only match that is worth checking out on this card is the Intercontinental Title match between Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect but it even had a stupid finish. At least they are really learning and cutting back on the interviews because that sucked the life out of me with the last three events in Volume One.

1994 saw something happen at a SummerSlam that was the likes of nothing any of us had seen at any event before. First of all there was a really good rematch from WrestleMania X that wasn’t quite as good as the first time around, but still a lot of fun. Owen Hart and Bret “Hit Man” Hart would have a rematch, but this time it would be inside the confines of a steel cage. It’s still one of those big-barred old blue cages too which were far superior to the mesh wire cages they have today. Our big event though would be the main event which pitted the Undertaker against…the Undertaker? Yes, the Undertaker. Ted DiBiase had been going around for weeks saying he had bought out the Undertaker and had him under his control. But when the real Dead Man returned; it was with a fist full of vengeance and ready to take out what fans have commonly known now as the “Underfaker.” The match itself is rather forgetful, but it was still a fun sight to see.

Hooooo boy, 1995’s SummerSlam. Man, if this event wasn’t just a whole mess. The undercard left a lot to be desire because there is virtually nothing that can be taken from it and looked at as very good. Only the Razor Ramon / Shawn Michaels’ ladder match is even worth taking a look at. I mean come on: Barry Horowitz versus Skip actually gets air time on a major PPV? Ridiculous. Making matters worse is the main event that saw WWE champion Diesel defend the title against Mabel from Men On A Mission. Yes, Mabel was in a main event championship match. Ugh, just avoid this stinker.

Ok, so 1996 really didn’t get much better. This whole early nineties time of life wasn’t very good to the WWE or anything they were putting on the air at the time. The main event here saw Shawn Michaels holding onto the WWE Title by beating Vader in a match that went on way too long. One of the only other things worth checking out for this particular SummerSlam is the Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and Undertaker. It drags at times, but these guys beat the hell out of one another and it is a total trip listening to some of the noise Mankind spews forth while getting beaten down. Catch those two matches if you wish and maybe the Savio Vega versus Owen Hart battle, but don’t worry about much more.

Finally the WWE began getting things right in 1997 when the wrestling wars were really heating up. SummerSlam this year opened up with a pretty decent cage match between Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley (he wasn’t Triple H yet). Long story behind that match including Jimmy Snuka and such so it made for a fun opener. The main event pitted the Undertaker versus Bret “Hit Man” Hart for the WWE Title in a match refereed by Shawn Michaels. This back and forth match-up really left everyone guessing as to who would win and the added wild card of Michaels added to all that unpredictability even more. What SummerSlam of 1997 may best be known for is that it includes the match where Stone Cold Steve Austin broke his neck. Many call it a broken neck or a stinger or whatever, but it was still scary. In a great match against Owen Hart, Austin got turned upside down as Hart delivered a tombstone piledriver and landed directly on top of his head. If you watch closely, you can see Austin’s head through Hart’s legs and connect directly with the mat. Scary stuff, but very good PPV.

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Disc 1 – SummerSlam 1993

“Million-Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase Vs. Razor Ramon
SummerSlam Hotline
Todd Pettengill Interviews Members of the Steiner Family
World tag Team Championship Match: Steiner Brothers Vs. Heavenly Bodies
Joe Fowler Interviews Shawn Michaels (with Diesel)
Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels (with Diesel) Vs. Mr. Perfect
Joe Fowler Interviews the 1-2-3 Kid
Irwin R. Schyster Vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Todd Pettengill Interviews Bruce & Owen Hart
Bret “Hit Man” Hart Vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler
SummerSlam Hotline
Ludvig Borga Bashes The United States
Marty Jannetty Vs. Ludvig Borga
Rest In Peace Match: Undertaker Vs. Giant Gonzales
Joe Fowler Interviews Jim Cornette with Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji
Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Smoking Gunns & Tatanka Vs. The Headshrinkers & Bam Bam Bigelow
WWE Championship Match: Yokozuna Vs. Lex Luger

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Disc 2 – SummerSlam 1994

Bam Bam Bigelow & Irwin R. Schyster Vs. The Headshrinkers
SummerSlam Hotline
Women’s Championship Match: Alundra Blayze Vs. Bull Nakano
Todd Pettengill Interviews Shawn Michaels and Diesel
Intercontinental Championship Match: Razor Ramon Vs. Diesel
Todd Pettengill Interviews Lex Luger and Tatanka
Tatanka Vs. Lex Luger
SummerSlam Hotline
Jeff Jarrett Vs. Mabel
Vince McMahon & Jerry “The King” Lawler Interview Members of the Hart Family
Todd Pettengill Interviews Bret “Hit Man” Hart
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: Bret “Hit Man” Hart Vs. Owen Hart
Undertaker Vs. Undertaker

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Disc 3 – SummerSlam 1995

Dean Douglas’ Classroom
1-2-3 Kid Vs. Hakushi
Dok Hendrix Interviews Mabel
Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs. Bob Holly
Jacob & Eli Blu Vs. The Smoking Gunns
Barry Horowitz Vs. Skip
Dean Douglas’ Classroom
Todd Pettengill Interviews Shawn Michaels
Women’s Championship Match: Alundra Blayze Vs. Bertha Faye
Casket Match: Undertaker Vs. Kama
Bret “Hit Man” Hart Vs. Isaac Yankem, DDS
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Razor Ramon Vs. Shawn Michaels
Dean Douglas’ Classroom
WWE Championship Match: Diesel Vs. Mabel
SummerSlam Plus

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Disc 4 – SummerSlam 1996

Savio Vega Vs. Owen Hart
Todd Pettengill Interviews Mankind in the Boiler Room
Fatal Four Way Match for the World Tag Team Championship: The Smoking Gunns Vs. The Godwinns Vs. The Body Donnas Vs. The New Rockers
Dok Hendrix Interviews Shawn Michaels
British Bulldog Vs. Sycho Sid
Shawn Michaels Package
Goldust Vs. Marc Mero
Todd Pettengill Interviews Faarooq (with Sunny)
Jerry “The King” Lawler Vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Boiler Room Brawl
Undertaker Vs. Mankind
WWE Championship Match: Shawn Michaels Vs. Vader

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Disc 5 – SummerSlam 1997

Steel Cage Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley Vs. Mankind
Honorary WWE Championship Presented to New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman
SummerSlam Beach Party
Goldust Vs. Brian Pillman
The Godwinns Vs. Legion Of Doom
Your Million-Dollar Chance Sweepstakes
European Championship Match: British Bulldog Vs. Ken Shamrock
Todd Pettengill Interviews Shawn Michaels
Eight-Man Tag Team Match: Los Boricuas Vs. Disciples Of Apocalypse
Intercontinental Championship Match: Owen Hart Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWE Championship Match: Undertaker Vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart (Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels)

The events are shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and each one looks tremendous even though they are all rather old in age. The quality of these events is right up there with all of the recent PPV DVD releases the WWE has put out on store shelves.

The events are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and there is not a single problem to be found here. All commentary can be heard cleanly and clearly while the entrance themes and crowd noise booms around the room.

None.


Volume two did a tremendous job of showing us how SummerSlam started losing the interviews as we went up in years and gaining more matches with better quality. There are a few stinkers right in the middle of this volume, but 1997 comes along and really gets things rolling en route to volume three which is sure to be a hell of a lot of fun. Again there are no special features on any of these discs, but that’s cool because the matches and full events are well worth the price or purchase. SummerSlam remains one of my favorite PPVs each year even if the cards don’t always live up to as good as they may look on paper. Feel the heat any time of year and pick up this volume as well as the first one so that you can have a kickass collection to go along with the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania anthologies you should already have.

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WWE Home Video presents SummerSlam The Complete Anthology Volume 2: 1993 – 1997. Featuring: Bret Hart, Undertaker, Razor Ramon, Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Mr. Perfect, and many more. Running time: 960 minutes on 5 discs. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: March 10, 2009. Available at Amazon.com

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