The Smark Rant for WWF Summerslam 1990

Reviews, Wrestling DVDs

The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 90

– Live from Philadelphia, PA

– Your hosts are Mr. McMahon and Roddy Piper, in the role WCW should have him in now.

– I’ve probably seen this show more times than most current RSPW fans have seen episodes of RAW and Nitro combined, but hey, I’m always happy to oblige my fans, even if I am sick of seeing it.

– Opening match: Power & Glory v. The Rockers. Michaels had a severe knee injury at the time, so Hercules makes sure to nail him with the chain before the match starts. Jannetty is left fight alone, and does a respectable job for the first couple of minutes. He small packages Chachi…oh, sorry, Roma, but gets an elbow dropped on him to turn the tide for the heels. Shawn keeps climbing to the apron and P&G keep knocking him off. Jannetty powerslams Roma and hits the fistdrop off the top rope, but Slick is distracting the ref. Power & Glory proceed to lay a royal ass-whupping on Jannetty, allowing him to display all his selling prowess. He works in everything, including the “get pressed and land on his face” spot and the obligatory 360 clothesline sell. P&G finishes him with the superplex/money shot finisher at 6:00, drawing a BIG pop from the face-hating Philly crowd. Oddly, the Rockers would win their only tag title (the infamous phantom reign) a couple of weeks after this, and would have transitioned said titles to Roma and Hercules, but politics and life in general intervened and Power & Glory got turned into jobbers. Such is life. **1/2

– Heenan and Perfect run down Kerry Von Erich. Von Erich was subbing for Brutus Beefcake, who suffered the career-ending injury in 1990. He was scheduled to win the title here. Probably would have moved onto main events by 1991. I understand that someone who looks remarkably like him is being retooled into an Indiana Jones gimmick as we speak, but we all know the real Ed Leslie died in 1990.

– Intercontinental title match: Curt Hennig v. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich. Have I ever mentioned how retarded it was to use an “Exodus” clone as Hennig’s ENTRANCE music? Hennig, Mr. Oversell, goes flying back into the corner off a shove. Hennig gets his own shoving in and towels himself off. Von Erich slams him and clotheslines him over the top, and of course Hennig does his patented tumble over the top. Hennig clotheslines out of an armbar to take control, then applies a sleeper. He inexplicably releases and slaps the Tornado around in the corner, which never works out well for the heel. Tornado no-sells, slingshots Hennig into the corner, then applies the CLAWHOLD OF DOOM! He quickly releases, hits the DUMBASS PIROUHETTE TORNADO PUNCH OF DEATH, and covers for the pin and the IC title at 5:10. When you absolutely, positively have to get a stupid finisher over TODAY, call Mr. P. Match was nothing, although running about two minutes longer than many recent IC title changes on RAW. *

– Mean Gene is apparently waiting for Sapphire, but she’s not there. The plot thickens. Perfect and Hennan crash the scene and rant about the loss.

– Queen Sherri v. Sapphire. Sapphire no-shows, so we waste about 5 minutes as Sherri demands that she win by forfeit. No match.

– Dusty Rhodes doesn’t know where Sapphire is, either.

– The Warlord v. Tito Santana. Warlord is a dead ringer for Bill Goldberg, and was a better wrestler for all of about two months after his debut until becoming the roided freak he is here. Santana uses a series of dropkicks to send Warlord to the floor. Tito keeps sticking and moving, but gets dumped to the floor and rammed into the ringpost as Piper makes racist jokes about Slick. Very good, Roddy, why not make a watermelon joke while you’re at it? Warlord s.l.o.w.l.y hammers on Tito. Sooooooooo sloooooooow. He runs into a boot from Santana, and actually sells a clothesline! Whoa. Santana shows his fisticuffsmanship and hits the Flying Jalapeno, but Warlord gets his foot on the ropes. He goes for a monkey flip, but Walrus-man shrugs him off and then powerslams him for the academic pinfall at 5:27. 1/2*

– The Demos introduce their newest member…Crush. They stress that they can pick any two members they want, ala the Triad. In an inside joke, they call LOD a couple of “second rate imposters”.

– The Harts react to the Demos choice of team members, although Bret seems to be confused: At first he thinks it’s Ax and Smash, then goes to Ax and Crush. It’s actually Smash and Crush tonight. Oh well, that bit was probably taped days before the show.

– WWF World tag team title match: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation, 2/3 falls. Bret and Smash start. For those who don’t know, let’s go over it again: Smash is current WCW jobber Barry Darsow, and Crush is current nWo B&W member Bryan Adams. Harts double-team Smash and Bret gets a quick two-count on a rollup. Vince begins selling the “You can’t tell the Demos apart” thing, which would lead to the incredibly lame “Masked Demolition” thing that was mercifully killed after about two months, due to the fact that DEMOLITION LOOKS NOTHING ALIKE! Smash gets the better of Bret, but Crush blows it. Bret runs into a slam, however, so I guess Crush made up for the error. Crush practices the fine art of no-selling, until Neidhart is tagged in to destroy Smash. Doesn’t last long as they cheat and gain the advantage. Bret comes back in and cleans house on both Demos, getting a two count on Smash with a Russian legsweep. Not quite the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM because there was no Sharpshooter, and besides Crush breaks up the sequence with a legdrop. Oops, Demolition Decapitation, and the champs take the first fall at 6:18.

In the second fall, Bret gets hammered by Crush with a quasi-chokeslam to start, and the usual Demolition power stuff. Bret hits the clothesline and hot tags Neidhart. He goes nuts and gets a pair of two-counts on Smash with a powerslam, then they hit the Hart Attack for two before Crush makes the save, drawing a DQ at 10:38. Well, that was a lame finish.

In the third fall, Bret gets tossed to start. While the ref attends to him, Ax runs in and hides under the ring. Bret recovers and sunset flips in for two. The Harts get their reverse slam thing in a nice sequence for two. It’s to describe unless you’ve seen it. Ax swaps in at this point and Smash hides under the ring. Ref doesn’t notice. Yeah, right. Ax of course kicks Bret’s ass. Russian legsweep gets two. Bret’s run to the corner bump gets two. Crush gets a backbreaker for two and things are looking grim at Neidhart has to break it up. The Demos double-team Bret on the outside, and now Smash swaps back in…until the LOD make their way down and pull Ax from under the ring. Smash and Ax confront them, leaving Crush alone with the Harts.

*David Spade mode on*

Demos: We’re Demolition, we’ve got three guys on our team, and one of them is a big motherf*cker who can kick your ass blindfolded.

Harts: Buh-bye.

*David Spade mode off*

Bret cradles off a Neidhart shoulderblock at 15:44 for the pin and the titles. The Demos’ best match ever. ***1/2 THAT is how the tag title match at Bash at the Beach should have gone, with the babyfaces overcoming insurmountable odds. This match has always been a sentimental favorite of mine.

– The Harts and LOD celebrate in the back.

– The Demos yell threats at the LOD from behind their dressing room door, thus kicking off the dream feud that every mark was screaming for since 1988.

– The Cavalcade of Interviews continue, with Sherri, Volkoff/Duggan, Earthquake/Bravo and Jake Roberts.

– Jake Roberts v. Bad News Brown. See, Bad News was afraid of snakes, so he got a sewer rat from Harlem to counter. I’d like to point out that if this was Stampede, he’d have shown up for an interview with Damien turned into a new pair of boots for himself one week. But this is the WWF, so, well, ya know. Bossman is the special referee here. Brown destroys him and goes for the Ghetto Blaster early, but Jake collapses. Brown drops a leg and gets two. Brown and Bossman get into an argument, allowing Jake to recover and they go brawling outside the ring. A chairshot draws a warning, and we return to the ring for more Brown ass-kicking goodness. Roberts flips him off, causing more punishment. Damn, I love Brown. He was so wasted in his WWF run. Jake comes back with rights and the short-arm clothesline, but BNB backdrops out of the DDT and keeps on whupping. Another chairshot draws the DQ at 4:43. Lame. Brown tries to legdrop Damien to get his revenge, but Bossman makes the save. Sadly, Bossman wouldn’t be around when Quake tried the same thing months later. My personal theory is that the grief of the loss of his snake drove Jake to the heel turn, in a weird kind of phallic/emasculation thing that I’m sure Freud would spend days analyzing. Match was okay. **1/4

– Brother Love re-introduces us to Sgt. Slaughter, repackaged as the Iraqi sympathizing traitor. What a classy guy that Vince McMahon is. The run did, however, give me prime material for Netcop Busts with the ultra-lame ATOMIC NOOGIE OF DOOM that he used as a finisher, so it’s not all bad. Just most of it.

– Hey, we’ve found Sapphire. Now I can sleep at night.

– The Orient Express v. Nikolai Volkoff & Jim Duggan. The Express are just from plain ol’ Japan. This was during Volkoff’s “I really love the USA” period. *Sniff* It makes me all teary-eyed just thinking about it. See, even 85 year old wrestlers like Volkoff can change. I’m shocked WCW hasn’t signed him yet — he’s practically a young lad! The patriots sing the national anthem and then the scheming Japanese attack. The Express have to dumb down their offense because Volkoff is useless, so they chop a lot. Duggan gets the hot tag after a marathon 2 minutes of punishment and cleans house. Three-point stance finishes it at 3:03. What a farce. It’s no wonder the Express were repackaged shortly after this — there really wasn’t anywhere left to go with the team after this. DUD

– Backstage, Dusty tries to convince Sapphire to open her dressing room door, but she won’t. Hey, maybe she’s on the john or something, geez, give the woman a break. And if YOU were a woman and a fat guy who dresses in polka dots and has a splotch on his belly was knocking on YOUR door, would YOU open it? I think not.

– Dusty Rhodes v. Randy Savage. I don’t recognize any of the jobbers carrying the throne. BUT WAIT! Over on the interview stage, Ted Dibiase and Virgil have a Shocking Revelation for Rhodes: He has bought Sapphire. Wonder what Dibiase’s wife thought of that? She would disappear from the WWF shortly after the turn, rightly so. Dusty tries to go after Dibiase, but Savage decks him from behind and the match begins. Savage dominates the distracted Rhodes, although he has a brief flurry of elbows to come back…and a DROPKICK! Must have been a blue moon or something. Dusty goes after Sherri, who hands the loaded purse to Macho, who nails Dusty with it and pins him at 2:14. This would be the beginning of the long feud with Dibiase that ended with Dusty and his talentless son Dustin losing to Dibiase and Virgil at Royal Rumble 91, which in turn led to Virgil’s long awaited face turn. Match was there. 1/2*

– Hulk Hogan v. Earthquake. It should be noted that my father, who is a noted sadist, printed out a huge “GET WELL HULK” poster and hung it in my room while I was asleep, just to piss me off. Tugboat was supposed to be in Hogan’s corner, but he ate one Ring-Ding too many and exploded, so Bossman takes his place. I keep waiting for Tugboat to come crashing through the backdrop in a Stormtrooper helmet during the pre-match interview, but he disappoints as usual. TO THE MATCH! Hogan tries a shove out of the lockup, but Quake is JUST TOO FAT! None of Hulk’s subsequent lockups work, so he bails. Man, if THAT’S all it takes to outthink Hogan, put me in there with him. Hogan tries a slam, and it doesn’t work. Duh. A series of right hands doesn’t work either, until he windmills his arm like Popeye, and then that one knocks him down, presumably because of the increased momentum, but you’d really have to ask one of the physics guys on RSPW/M. Hulk and Bossman double-team Quake in full view of the ref, so Quake and Bravo double-team Hogan when he’s not looking. Gotta love the hypocritical booking of Hogan’s matches. See also: Motorcycle helmets with fists attached. Quake hits a double-axehandle off the top and…STOMPS ON HIS HAND! Man, that’s just MEAN! Someone tell Quake’s mommy. Quake gets a Boston crab, but it’s Philadelphia so Hogan is able to make the ropes. Hogan bails again (COWARD! ORANGE SKINNED FREAKISH CHICKEN!) and gets beate up by Bravo. Back in the ring, as Earthquake misses a big elbow and Hogan goes for the slam again (what a moron), but of course Quake falls on him for two. Why? Say it with me, kids…HE’S JUST TOO FAT! Bearhug. Hey, that’s what I was wanting to pick up the pace. Hulk always knows how to make me happy. Hulk rips apart Hebner’s shirt while trying to escape. Don’t ask me why. A couple of shoulderblocks stagger the Quake, and Hulk actually tries a BODYPRESS, thus putting him in Jushin Liger territory compared to his usual arsenal. Sadly, Quake catches him and slams him, so we’ll never know the outcome of that particular experiment. Quake hits the FAT-ASSED BUTTSPLASH OF DOOM and Vince mourns Hulk’s career, but he doesn’t want the pin yet. Another splash, but Hulk kicks out. See, ONE splash was enough to put Hercules in the hospital, but Hulk takes TWO and then kicks out. Don’t you just LOVE the guy? Hulk up, big boot, slam (this time it works, psychology be damned), but the 84th Airborne runs in and both guys end up outside the ring. There’s a table that is inexplicably at ringside, so Hogan slams Quake on it and beats the count in at 13:17. The table doesn’t break. It should be noted that if it HAD broken, ECW would have officially stolen their best idea from the WWF. Just wanted to point that out. 1/4* The reason why Hogan didn’t get a pinfall win eludes me to this day.

– Long series of interviews to allow time for the cage to be set up.

– WWF World title match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Rick Rude. It should be noted that Warrior’s belt is roughly the color of fresh puke. I don’t know WHY it should be noted, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I will contend to my dying day that Rude should have gone over Warrior for the title on the SNME that preceded this show, allowing Warrior to regain it here and make both guys look better, but it’s the Warrior, so, ya know. They fight on top of the cage to start, and Warrior hits an axehandle off the top on the way in, after knocking Rude down. Piper’s strategic advice: Tie Warrior’s tassels to the bars. Warrior tosses Rude into the bars a few times, but misses a charge and goes face-first into the cage. Piper’s cynical commentary is pretty funny here, as it’s obvious that he’s not a Warrior fan. Rude is bleeding two minutes in. Hey, it’s PPV, why not. It’s about 0.0003 Muta, but the effort is there. Rude tosses Warrior into the cage a few more times. He tries the Rude Awakening, but Warrior powers out. Big splash hits the knees. Why is the Warrior going for the pin in a cage match? Because he’s an idiot. But you knew that. Rude hits the Rude Awakening and goes to the top of the cage for a fistdrop. Bobby opens the door for him, but Rude chooses to come off the top again. Warrior nails him coming down and crawls for the door, but the Brain slams the door in his face. Rude covers for two. Pinfalls in a cage match? Don’t ask me why they changed it for this match. We get the obligatory ass-shot of Rude when Warrior grabs his tights to prevent escape, then Warrior beats on poor Bobby. Why Rude didn’t just walk out the door when the beating was going on is just one of those questions you don’t ask, I guess. Rude attacks him from behind, but Warrior hulks up. CLOTHESLINE! CLOTHESLINE! He forgets to do the third one, but he’s excited so I can forgive it. Gorilla press, and he climbs out for the win at 10:00. Bad match with an anticlimactic ending. *

The Bottom Line: The undercard is really fun, if not exactly a modern wrestling exhibition or anything, and I think it’s enough to recommend this show. Stop when you get to the main events, though, because it’s just not worth the trouble.

Mild recommendation.