A2Z Analysiz: WWF SummerSlam 1994 (Undertaker, Bret Hart)

SummerSlam 93-97

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United Center – Chicago, Illinois – Monday, August 29, 1994

Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. Lawler announces that Shawn Michaels & Diesel won the World Tag Team Titles from the Headshrinkers at a house show last night.

MATCH #1: The Headshrinkers vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Irwin R. Schyster

Bigelow and IRS have “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in their corner, while Samu and Fatu have both Afa and Captain Lou Albano with them. Fatu and Bigelow start the match with some fast paced back and forth, and Fatu hits a superkick for the first near-fall of the match. Bigelow fights back and tries a diving headbutt but he misses. Fatu lands a clothesline and makes the tag. The Headshrinkers hit a double superkick and continue to press the advantage. Momentum continues to shift as all four men get a chance to show off their skills in the opening minutes. Samu and Fatu isolate IRS and wear him down in their half of the ring. Bigelow has to pull down the top rope to send Fatu crashing to the floor. Now the Million Dollar Team is in control. Fatu and Bigelow run into each other and knock heads. Both men are down. Tags are made and Samu is a house afire. The referee loses control and chaos erupts. The Headshrinkers hit a double Stroke and then Fatu lands the Superfly Splash. DiBiase distracts the referee and Bigelow breaks up the cover. Bigelow knocks Captain Lou off the apron, so Afa comes to the rescue just as the referee turns around, giving Bigelow and IRS the win by DQ at 6:45. That was going along just fine until the abrupt and pointless ofinish. I would have liked to see more here actually.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Women’s Championship Match – Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano

Blayze has been the Champion since 12.13.93, and this is her fifth defense. Nakano has Luna Vachon in her corner. They start off at a fast pace, with Nakano using her size and power and Blayze trying to combat it with her speed and agility. Nakano hits a legdrop for the first near-fall of the match. She tries to keep Blayze on the mat, but Blayze is able to hit a hurricanrana for two and then a leg lariat. She tries another leg lariat but Nakano ducks and slams Blayze down with a Choke Bomb. Nakano puts on a modified Boston Crab and Blayze has to struggle to get to the ropes. Undaunted, the challenger puts on an inverted Sharpshooter and pulls the hair just to be a jerk. Luna interferes when she gets a chance, even though Nakano appears not to need the help. Blayze fights back with a flurry of offense but makes the mistake of trying a piledriver and Nakano backdrops her way out of it. Nakano drills Blayze with a clothesline and then catches Blayze in a powerbomb for two. She slams Blayze down and goes up to the top rope but misses the guillotine legdrop. Blayze hits the German Suplex to get the win and a sizable pop at 8:10. This was light years ahead of what fans were used to seeing out of WWE women’s matches and they won the crowd over in short order with their pace and the quality of their work. This could have used five more minutes really.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #3: Intercontinental Championship Match – Diesel vs. Razor Ramon

Diesel has been the Champion since 4.30.94, and this is his second defense. He has his Tag Team Championship partner Shawn Michaels in his corner, while Ramon has NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton with him. Ramon starts off hot, throwing a series of punches that take Diesel off his feet and send him scurrying to the floor. When Diesel gets back in the ring they trade control back and forth a bit as both men continue trying to set the pace. Diesel takes control and uses a sleeper hold, but Ramon breaks out of it with a back suplex. Ramon charges at Diesel but gets tossed to the floor. Michaels undoes one of the turnbuckle pads, exposing the steel underneath. Payton and Michaels almost get into a confrontation on the floor, and while the referee reprimands Payton, Michaels is able to level Ramon with a flying clothesline. Back in the ring Diesel stays in control, whipping Ramon back-first into the steel and following with a side suplex for a near-fall. Diesel hits Snake Eyes and continues to wear Ramon down. Eventually Ramon is able to string together a series of offense that takes Big Daddy Cool off his feet. Ramon hits a bulldog from the second rope for two. Diesel cuts him off and goes for the Jackknife but Ramon avoids it. Ramon calls for the Razor’s Edgeand Michaels gets up on the apron to prevent that from happening. Diesel flattens Ramon with a flying shoulderblock and both men are down. Michaels goes and grabs the Intercontinental Title belt and Payton takes it away from him. The referee again reprimands Payton, so Michaels sneaks in the ring and goes for Sweet Chin Music but Ramon ducks and Michaels hits Diesel instead! Payton keeps Michaels at bay as Ramon crawls over to make the cover and gets the pin at 13:55! That’s the second Intercontinental Title for Ramon. As is usually the case with matches between Clique members, this was pretty good stuff. They worked a good power match together and involved Michaels and Payton to great effect.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #4: Tatanka vs. Lex Luger

There is plenty of tension here, as Tatanka has repeatedly accused Luger of selling out to Ted DiBiase, a claim that Luger vehemently denied. They fight back and forth in the early going, with Tatanka taking the first sustained advantage. Tatanka misses a cross body block from the top rope and Luger capitalizes with a pair of clotheslines. Luger hits a powerslam as DiBiase makes his way to ringside with a red, white, and blue bag full of money. That distraction allows Tatanka to score a rollup for the three-count at 6:00. That felt like the first half of a match with an abrupt finish. They didn’t really have time to get anything going.
Rating: *½

After the match Luger and Tatanka argue, and Luger once again denounces DiBiase’s money. Then it is revealed that Tatanka is the one who sold out all along, and he lays a beating on Luger to cement his new heel status. As an 11-year-old I found this all very shocking, and I think it holds up as a solid angle 20 years later.

MATCH #5: Mabel vs. Jeff Jarrett

Mabel has Oscar in his corner. I don’t recall if there was any actual feud behind this match of if they just threw it on the card. Mabel uses his size and strength in the early going to throw Jarrett around, while Jarrett counters with his speed and quickness. They go back and forth with that, and Mabel sends Jarrett to the floor. Jarrett shoves Oscar down for no reason, and then starts going to work on Mabel’s legs. Mabel begins to fight back so Jarrett cuts him off with a Sleeper. The much larger Mabel breaks free and hits a nice leg lariat for a near-fall. Mabel hits a powerslam and covers but Jarrett gets his foot on the bottom rope. Jarrett goes after Oscar again for some reason, so Mabel holds Jarrett for Oscar to slap him, and this is all right in front of the referee. Mabel squashes Jarrett against the ring post and then throws him back in the ring. He goes to the second rope and misses a big splash. Jarrett covers and gets two. He tries a sunset flip but Mabel blocks it and goes for a butt splash and Jarrett moves. That’s enough for Jarrett to score the pin at 5:45. That felt more like a Superstars main event than a pay-per-view quality match.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #6: Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship – Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

The entire Hart family, including the British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart, are sitting at ringside. This is a “must escape to win” cage match. Bret has been the Champion since 3.20.94, and this is his fourth defense (after great matches with The Diesel, Bob Backlund, and The 1-2-3 Kid). Owen attacks right away and here we go. They trade control back and forth in the early going, and Bret is the first to try escaping the cage. Owen brings him back in and beats him down. He tries to escape next but Bret brings him back in. They continue to go back and forth, keeping each other from escaping. This is a tough match not to get caught up in, and my play-by-play is suffering. These two are just such natural opponents. Breat almost makes it out of the cage but Owen pulls him back in with a back suplex from the top rope. Owen hits a piledriver and tries to climb out but Bret stops him, only to get knocked back to the mat. Unfortunately for Owen, he slips on the top rope and crotches himself. Bret and Owen both head for the door and fight like hell to get out, but Bret pulls Owen back to the center of the ring and slingshots him into the cage! Once again Bret goes for the door and Owen pulls him back in. Owen whips Bret hard into the buckles and both men are down. Back on their feet Bret is once again able to send Owen into the cage wall. Bret almost makes it out but Owen drags him back down and hits a spinning heel kick. They fight up on the top rope against the cage and Bret is able to kick Owen down. Owen stops Bret from escaping. Owen tries to climb out and Bret brings him back in with a superplex! That looked devastating. Bret goes for the door but Owen drags him back out and puts him in the Sharpshooter! That gets reversed but Bret can’t keep the hold on. Bret climbs up and Owen joins him, and then knock each other back to the mat. Owen is up first and he goes over the top of the cage. Bret joins him and goes over the top as well. They battle back and forth, but Owen gets his leg caught between the bars and is unable to stop Bret from falling to the floor to get the win and retain the title at 32:17. That was an incredible battle, with nearly non-stop action and great work from both brothers. Both Bret and Owen made it appear they were legitimately trying to escape the cage at every possible opportunity, and also that they were trying to outdo each other. This remains the best match I’ve ever seen in person.
Rating: ****¾

After the match, Neidhart attacks Bulldog and his wife Diana Hart. Neidhart throws Bret back in the cage and locks the door, so he and Owen can put a beating on Bret. Eventually the family makes it into the cage to run Owen and Neidhart back to the locker room.

MATCH #7: The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker

DiBiase’s Undertaker is wearing grey gloves and Bearer’s is wearing purple so we can tell them apart. Purpletaker starts off hot, sending Greytaker to the floor. He suplexes him back in the ring, and then they go to the floor again. Greytaker makes the comeback and goes for Old School but Purpletaker slams him to the mat. Purpletaker then shows him how Old School is done. Greytaker comes back with a stun gun (sort of). Greytaker goes to work. He hits a Chokeslam and then a Tombstone Piledriver. Purpletaker sits up so Greytaker goes for another Tombstone but Purpletaker reverses it and hits one of his own. Purpletaker hits anotherTombstone Piledriver, and then a third one to get the pin at 8:57. What a terrible match, just slow and plodding and a stupid idea to boot. One of the worst main events in SummerSlam history.
Rating: ¼*

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