WWF Summerslam 1992 (29/8/92) – Review
By the end of the 1980s, the WWF were the undisputed kings of professional wrestling in the United States. At the time of the new decade, WCW was barely two years into their existence, and far from serious competition; the AWA was on their last legs. Since the national expansion had been so successful, why not go further afield?
In 1990, Wrestlemania 6 had taken place at Toronto’s Skydome, but that city had long been a WWF stronghold and was still part of North America. There was a very lucrative market – as it still is today – across the pond; the United Kingdom. Ratings on Sky Sports was encouraging, as were live attendances for UK Rampage, and other events held in London. The main man used to appeal to these audiences was “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith.
Davey had first found WWF fame in the 1980s as one-half of the British Bulldogs, with cousin The Dynamite Kid. They both left after Summerslam 1988, but Davey returned in late-1990 as a solo bulldog. He was a solid mid-carder who had good matches and was popular with the fans, but never really given the ball. But with an eye to capturing the imagination of fans in Ol’ Blighty, the stage was set when the company announced they would be taking Summerslam to Wembley.
While the main event for the US pay-per-view telecast was Randy Savage against The Ultimate Warrior, there can be no question of what was the real ticket seller – Davey Boy challenging his brother-in-law Bret “The Hitman” Hart for the Intercontinental championship. It is one of the few – if ever – times that a title other than the World title took center stage. But that didn’t seem to mind to the 80,355 – or 79,127 which has been suggested as the real figure – fans that attended; at time of writing it is the fourth-largest crowd in company history.
Have a listen to our podcast episode where we reviewed Summerslam 1992. Otherwise, read on.
We kick off proceedings with some shots of fans outside the stadium, as well as some comments, such as the classic line; “The British Bulldog is gonna win, whether he wants to or not!” A band of trumpeters play as we see more stock footage of London and then Vince McMahon welcomes us to the broadcast along with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who adorns a crown and says he is now Sir Bobby, King of England. Vince is disgusted and says Henry the VIII would be rolling around in his grave if he saw this, and zings Heenan further saying the only thing royal about him is that he’s a royal pain. And speaking of pains, who will Mr. Perfect align with later – Randy Savage or The Ultimate Warrior? To this Heenan gives a coy “Wooooo” as we throw to the first bout.
Match 1 – The Bushwhackers & Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Nasty Boys & The Mountie
The heels try to get cheers to no avail, while the babyfaces naturally have no issue. After a bit of back-and-forth, the heels jumpstart, but it soon goes awry. Vince tells us this is a ‘special bonus match.’ But ‘lucky’ us, we get to see it.
When control is restored, it’s Luke and Knobbs to start. Both Nasties try to cheat but Butch disposes of them, and then Duggan takes out Mountie. Back to square one, and this time its Saggs and Butch. Saggs takes down Butch with a stiff short-arm clothesline. When The Nasties try another double-team effort, they’re outsmarted by The Bushwhackers (that’s not something I thought I’d ever say). All six are in the ring and the heels get squashed in the corner with Battering Rams from Luke and Butch. “Talk about the Earl of Sandwich,” Vince says cleverly.
The heels finally get some serious offence when Jimmy Hart distracts the faces and the referee, allowing The Mountie to level Luke from behind. Vince laments the constant illegal tactics – where’s Jesse Ventura to point out the hypocrisy?! Heenan says it’s okay, it’s The Bushwhackers, you can do that to them.
After a good length of time, Saggs hits a slam and tags in Knobbs who tries a top rope nothing and eats a boot for his trouble. Finally the hot tag is made and Duggan levels everyone. The Bushwhackers send both Nasties to the outside. Duggan goes into the three point stance and hits his running tackle on The Mountie. The referee is again distracted by Jimmy Hart, but Saggs hits his own man with a flying elbow. After both Nasties are sent to the outside, Duggan makes another cover on The Mountie and wins it. ~*1/2
WINNER: The Bushwhackers and Jim Duggan
Match 2 – El Matador vs. Papa Shango
This is another one of those ‘special bonus matches’ which didn’t air on the US pay-per-view broadcast. If you get on Shango’s bad side, you’ll be tea and crumpets, according to Bobby. More great banter about the smoking skull that Shango brings, as Heenan says its still better looking than Howard Finkel, more hair on it. Tito San…El Matador makes his way down, a recent gimmick change for Tito Santana. “What is that he’s holding, a chihuahua?” asks Bobby. “That’s his hat,” answers Vince drily. McMahon boasts how quickly the event sold out, with over eighty thousand in attendance. Bobby says that’s because they knew Ric Flair was here.
Papi attacks before the bell with some clubbing blows to the back and scores with a running splash into the corner. He tries it a second time but misses. Matador fires back and sends him over the top rope with a fine dropkick. Some brief action outside the ring saw Tito glance Papi off the ring post before rolling him back in, where he dropped him with a clothesline off the top rope for a near-fall. He clamps on a sleeper but Shango breaks out of it by running Tito headfirst into the turnbuckle.
Papi unloads with some strikes, including a decent headbutt. He hits a side slam and then takes an age to try an elbow off the top which easily misses. “The ol’ tabasco is kickin’ in” as Tito unleashes a series of kicks to the gut and closed fists to the cranium. Tito scores with a backdrop and signals for the flying forearm. Vince thinks it is all over before he even hits the move and is shocked when Papi kicks out. Tito misses a charge into the corner and gets scooped up into the shoulderbreaker for the three. ~ *1/2
WINNER: Papa Shango
Match 3 – Legion of Doom vs. Money Inc.
“You have to wonder what the net worth of this team (Money Inc) is,” ponders Vince. Bobby replies with the claim “that when the Bank of England needs a line of credit, they speak to Money Incorporated.” Still, they had to walk the long aisle to the ring, while LOD and Paul Ellering rumbled in on their Harleys to a huge pop.
Ted Dibiase and Hawk start things off. Dibiase gets some shots in and then gets reversed on an Irish whip; not sure if it was Northern Irish. Teddy takes a powder to the outside but gets rolled back in by Animal. He remonstrates, and then turns around, only to get clotheslined back out. Double tag and Animal sends IRS crashing into the buckles. When he tries to get out, Animal steps on his tongue, I mean, his tie, and easily picks IRS up into a gorilla slam.
IRS slows the momentum with a sleeper on Hawk. “Great (tax) evasion,” and a fine pun from Mr. Chris Man, when I related how well IRS ducked a clothesline off the top rope from Hawk. On the outside, Ted labored to slam Hawk, and now is probably the best time to say that Hawk was not in a ‘good frame of mind’ going into this match. (Indeed, he was under the influence of pills and very shortly after Summerslam, quit the company).
Anyway, Money Inc ground Hawk for a while. IRS and Dibiase take turns wearing him down with a reverse chinlock, building the frustration. Some kind of collision takes place opening it up for Hawk to make the tag but its averted by Money Inc. More classic tag team heel work choking Hawk with the tag rope as the referee is distracted by Animal coming in. Then, as Hawk tags, Animal is stopped because the referee was out of position. Hawk and IRS hit each other at the same time and finally Animal can come in.
Animal goes through the repertoire. IRS gets atomic dropped out of the ring, and Dibiase gets smashed in the corner. LOD signal for the Doomsday Device. Animal gets Dibiase up on his shoulders but IRS hits a dropkick. That only delays the inevitable a few moments, as instead Animal hits a powerslam off a Northern Irish Whip on The Million Dollar Man for the win. ~ **
WINNER: Legion of Doom
Mean Gene interviews Ric Flair backstage. Gene sets the scene, explaining that it was Flair who believed he was the number one contender to the WWF Title, and should be wrestling Randy Savage instead of Ultimate Warrior. Flair is in his robe and wrestling gear and when quizzed on that, The Nature Boy answered that “anybody that knows Ric Flair knows he’s up for any type of action.” Gene then brings up Flair’s Executive Consultant Mr. Perfect, who said in the lead-up he would be in either the corner of Savage the champion, or Warrior the challenger. Stupidly, he expects Flair to say whose corner he will be in, and even quotes Winston Churchill (“now is the time!”) and demands an answer. Flair remains silent so its over to Sean Mooney.
Sean is interviewing Virgil, who has a big match up next with Nailz. Virgil isn’t happy about what Nailz did to his friend The Big Bossman, and says some other stuff I had a hard time understanding.
Match 4 – Virgil vs. Nailz
Nailz is already in the ring when he’s announced, and Virgil gets a nice response from the crowd. The bell rings and Nailz immediately pushes him into the corner with a blatant choke. Virgil rocks Nailz with a running clothesline and a dropkick, but his strategy of “staying on the inside” fails, and Nailz goes right back to the choke in the corner. It doesn’t get much better for Virgil after getting thrown over the top rope to the floor. One cool little thing was the way Nailz went under the bottom rope and slinked around like he had escaped from prison.
Back in the ring, Nailz applies a choke or a sleeper, depending on if you’re Vince or Bobby. “It’s a sleeper, don’t you know your holds?” says The Brain. After a while, the referee calls it off. The ordeal isn’t over – for Virgil not us but it could still apply – when he cracks Virgil with his nightstick. Bobby gives us a trio of sporting puns by saying that Virgil’s head resembles a cricket ball, that he got hit in the wickets before Nailz “soccer kicked” Virgil out of the ring. A very short match and probably for the best. ~ *
Backstage we go to a very serious Lord Alfred Hayes, who says he has been ‘investigating’ the question of which corner Mr. Perfect will be in later in the night. Apparently, this involves standing outside the locker room door of the “Macho Man” and loudly banging on it. He cannot confirm that Mr. Perfect is in the room with Savage, but the door has been locked for sometime. Not getting an answer, he throws to Mean Gene.
Gene is standing by with a preening Sensational Sherri, and he goes over what led to the next match up between Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel, with footage from WWF television. Okerlund points out that Sherri did not mind the attention of Martel, and Sherri explains the peculiar pre-match stipulation she insisted upon, where neither man will hit each other in the face.
Match 5 – Shawn Michaels vs. Rick Martel
Back to the ring, and Martel is in a tennis inspired ensemble. Bobby says “Andre Agassi eat your heart out” and of course Martel says the exact same thing to the camera (this fooled and impressed a young me when I first viewed this PPV many years ago). Some nice tennis puns and as Shawn comes out with Sherri, Vince asks who is the most conceited between these two competitors. “Well we know it’s not Howard Finkel.” “Good point,” Vince replies. Much is made of Sherri’s outfit, which is a bit risque for the era. “Oh my goodness, what happened, there’s a part of Sherri’s outfit that is missing!”
After plenty of time spent removing Shawn’s unnecessary attire, the bout begins. Some good rope work to start off which saw Martel avoid a monkeyflip with a cartwheel. Another rope spot and this time Shawn hits Martel with a dropkick to the face, which Heenan reasonably points out. Martel misses a cross body off the second turnbuckle and lands hard. “Did he hit his face?” (Vince). Michaels hauls Martel to the canvas with his hair and The Model goes for a right hand to the face, but Shawn reminds him of the rule, and does another hair pull. Martel nipped up and does a hair pull of his own, and this time Shawn draws back.
Out of that sequence, Shawn gets thrown over the top rope to the floor. Sherri tends to Shawn for a while before Martel exits and convinces her to walk away and they have a cuddle, which Sherri appears to like, before Martel moves his attention back on Shawn. In the ring, Martel scored with a big backdrop. Martel tries an O Connor Roll, but Shawn pulls the tights, which is then mimicked by Martel, similar to the hair pull spot. Sweet Chin Music (not called that yet) to the chest gets a two count.
Things breakdown when Martel eats a knee under the chin, and Shawn tries to use the ropes for an illegal pin. When the referee doesn’t count, Michaels remonstrates with him for Martel to go for a school boy with the help of the tights. Frustration takes over, and Michaels is the first to hit Martel in the face with a slap, which gets a receipt from Martel, causing Sherri to get up on the apron. They continue to push and shove and each goes to hit the other when Sherri ‘faints.’
The match stops dead in its tracks. Shawn tries to help Sherri, and only succeeds in her falling on her face on the outside. Michaels attends to her until Martel shoves him away and tries some ‘heart massage.’ Shawn and Martel get back into a shoving match before coming to blows up the aisle. The camera catches Sherri sitting up having a look, before ‘fainting’ again, when the referee throws out the contest. More referees separate them, along with JJ Dillon and Rene Goulet (no pay day for Pat). Shawn goes back for Sherri and hauls her over his shoulder, so we get this banter.
Vince: “Is that Jupiter?”
Heenan: “No, its the Moon.”
Vince: “Boy, in the States, there’s a television show called Twin Peaks, but…”
Vince: “No, Peaks, but this is bordering on the absurd.”
Martel broke away from the officials and attacks Shawn, causing him to drop Sherri. “The Model” picks her up and gets attacked from behind, sending Sherri sprawling to the floor again. “Why don’t they just roll her back?” – Heenan. Shawn tries again to carry her as Martel is escorted through the curtain by referees, but emerges a moment later with a bucket of water. Martel channels his inner babyface as he milks throwing the water on Sherri as the fans get to a fever pitch and erupt when Martel finally splashes the water to ‘revive’ her. Shawn takes off after Martel as Sherri is left upset and humiliated. ~ **
WINNER: No Contest (Double Count-Out)
Before the next match for the Tag Team titles, Vince throws to “the one and only Sean Mooney.” “Who?” asks Heenan. Sean is with The Nasty Boys and their manager, Jimmy Hart. Despite being heels, the Nasties both crack jokes about what happened to Sherri. Then, things turn serious as they bemoan the fact that they haven’t been given a shot at the Tag Team titles. When they put Jimmy on the spot, he nervously answers that his other team Money Inc have a shot, but then works them saying they will get a shot and everything is good in the world. For now…
Match 6 – The Natural Disasters vs. The Beverly Brothers (WWF Tag Team Title)
The Beverly’s are already in the ring with their manager, The Genius (never a good sign). After the introduction, The Genius gives us a great poem before the champions rumble down the aisle. The Beverly’s attack before the bell but are quickly overpowered by the champions. Repeated avalanche style moves from both Earthquake and Typhoon. Vince liked his ‘Earl of Sandwich’ comment from earlier so much, that he recycled it.
After order is restored, Typhoon worked over Blake but missed a legdrop, which Heenan compared to the Hindenburg. Blake stupidly tried a slam, but did pick him up on the third try, only for Typhoon to crash on top of him for an early near-fall. Typhoon holds Blake near a corner for Earthquake to perform another avalanche, but Beau expertly holds Typhoon’s leg while Blake escapes, and Quake squashes his own man. Typhoon still strongly kicks out, and then Heenan tells Vince to shut up as he has an important announcement – “Shawn Michaels has left Wembley Stadium.”
Typhoon gets double teamed relentlessly and much flouting of the rules by the Beverly’s. Vince gets increasingly frustrated with the referee. Out of nowhere, Typhoon hits a double clothesline and tries to tag but he’s cut off. Blake gets caught in mid-air attempting a cross body, but Beau knocks Typhoon down with a missile dropkick for a near-fall. Blake repeatedly punches and kicks Typhoon to no effect, and then gets slammed face-first into the mat by his hair.
Just when the hot tag to Quake is moments away, The Genius hands Beau his scroll while Blake distracts Quake and the referee on the outside. Typhoon gets whacked and Beau tries a cover, but Earthquake has had enough and drops a big elbow. This provides the opening for Typhoon to finally tag out and the crowd goes nuts for it.
Quake gives Beau a big hip toss out of the corner, followed by a belly-to-belly suplex. Beverly’s try a double team but get skittled. Blake is thrown over the top rope while Beau eats a big avalanche in the corner and a powerslam. Earthquake hits the ropes for the Earthquake splash, sending Beau flying off the apron in the process and secures the victory. ~ **
WINNER: The Natural Disasters
We get a typically chaotic promo by The Bushwhackers with Mean Gene before Lord Alfred Hayes’ ‘exhaustive investigating’ leads him to find the door of The Ultimate Warrior’s dressing room. We know its his room because there’s a paper cutout of the Warrior’s logo on it. Hayes decides not to knock and simply open the door, but its quickly slammed shut on him, causing Hayes much indignation.
Match 7 – Crush vs. Repo Man
Former Demolition tag partners go at it in this one. Crush has not long become ‘Kona Crush,’ and of course Repo Man is the former Smash, Barry Darsow. This match is short, so I’ll use this space to mention how much admiration I have to Darsow for taking what was a cartoony, silly gimmick, after the last few years of being one half of the dominant Demolition, and making it memorable. Even knowing who it is, the hair is cut short, his mannerisms are completely different and of course with the domino mask, it looks like a totally different person.
Anyway, Repo attacks Crush from behind but it has no effect. He gets immediately picked up and gorilla slammed, and then tries to seek refuge on the outside, but Crush goes out for him and rolls him back in. Repo begs off but eats a flurry of blows and takes a one-handed backbreaker off the ropes. A poke to the eye slows Crush momentarily and he gets belly-to-back suplexed, but doesn’t stay down long. Back up, he belly-to-belly’s Repo, followed by a rib breaker but misses a big knee off the top rope.
Despite this, Crush is hardly phased so Repo tries another poke in the eye. He takes Crush down with his mullet and tries a cover, but Crush presses him out of the ring. Heenan continues to play coy with McMahon about which corner Mr. Perfect will be in, as Repo tries a move off the top but gets caught and powerslammed for his trouble. Seconds later, Repo is having his head crushed and has no option but to submit – *1/2
After an obligatory plug for ICOPRO, Vince throws to Mean Gene – with an insulting segway – who narrates footage of the saga perpetrated by Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair. Both Savage and Warrior are made to believe that one of them will be screwed over by Perfect. There is high tension when Savage and Warrior teamed against The Nasty Boys, and ended up with Flair and Perfect laying a beating on Warrior as Savage was trounced by The Nasties.
Match 8 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WWF Title)
The Warrior comes out first, followed by the champion, but there is no sign of Perfect or Flair. Heenan even seems confused. After the introductions, Savage extends his hand to the Warrior, who is reluctant. Lots of distrust. The handshake happens but neither man lets go and fighting words and ring jackets are flown around left and right. Some intense lock ups which sees Warrior overpower Savage, who responds with a knee to the gut (which draws boos) followed by clubbing clotheslines and a cover, but Warrior easily kicks out.
An early aerial nothing misfires for Savage, and then takes a big atomic drop, followed by an inverted version. Warrior hits a series of shoulder blocks but misses the elbow. Savage resorts to heel-like tactics with repeated closed fists to the head. Has The Macho Man sold out? Mach’ tries a sleeper but Warrior counters with a nice jawbreaker. Warrior rocks Savage with big right hands and kicks and then a short-arm clothesline to the delight of the fans. Of the two fan favourites, the crowd seems to prefer Warrior.
The champion illegally pulls Warriors tights to ram him head-first into the buckle and clotheslines him over the top rope. Back in the ring, Savage hits a double ax-handle off the top but it has no effect. A second one, however, drops the challenger for a near fall. Warrior catches Savage in mid-air on a third air attack and delivers a rib-breaker. After a series of hard whips into the buckles, Warrior gets Savage in a brief bearhug into a pin for two.
Vince and Heenan chatter about the whereabouts of Mr Perfect, with Heenan saying “he (Perfect) wouldn’t lie to me, he said he’d be here.” Mach’ hits a spinning neckbreaker but can’t follow up due to a bad back. Despite the pain, Savage hits his patented run and jump over the top rope to the floor, snapping Warrior’s neck on the rope, but it’s still not enough to get three. The champion tries a vertical suplex but his back gives out. Warrior appears to revert back to his pre-wrestling days when he studied as a chiropractor by trying to manipulate his sore neck. He then hits a suplex of his own for two.
Warrior crashes to the outside when he tries to clothesline Savage. The champion then connects with a double ax-handle from the top rope to the arena floor. Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect make a fashionably late entrance. As Flair and Perfect make it to ringside, Warrior tries the big splash but eats two raised knees. They then double-down after hitting each other with a clothesline off the ropes.
After each tries a pin attempt, Savage runs the ropes but gets tripped by Perfect. “Here we go, here we go.” Now, we know who’s corner Mr. Perfect is in! As Savage argues with Perfect and Flair, Warrior goes back on the offence with a big right hand. After picking up Savage with a choke, the referee gets in the way of a whip into the corner. Warrior actually connects with a top rope ax handle and makes a cover but the referee takes too long and Savage kicks out. As Warrior remonstrates with Hebner, Savage connects with a running knee to Warrior’s back, and Hebner goes flying out of the ring.
Big piledriver from Savage, but no Hebner. He rolls out to check on the official when Perfect comes into the ring and revives Warrior. However, Perfect then holds Warrior’s arms for Flair to hit him with a pair of knucks. “Wait a minute! They’re working for Savage?!” There’s total confusion now between McMahon and Heenan. Savage and Hebner are back in, the champion tries to end it. He scores with the flying elbowdrop, but Hebner takes an age and Warrior kicks out. Vince and Heenan take note that Macho used the tights.
The crowd erupts as Warrior shakes off Savage’s blows and smashes him with a series of shoulder tackles and manages to lift Savage up into a gorilla slam. He looks to end it himself with his splash but as he hits the ropes, Flair connects with a chair. Savage than rolls Warrior in position for the elbow and begins to realise what has happened. He goes up top and hesitates. As Perfect distracts the ref, Savage chooses to dive on Flair, but eats a chair to the leg. Earl counts Randy out and Flair and Perfect pounce like hungry hyenas, trying to break Savage’s leg. Warrior eventually recovers and prevents a Flair chair shot and runs them out of Wembley. Warrior came back to the ring, snatched the WWF title and handed it to Savage, thus leaving as the ultimate babyfaces. ~ **
WINNER: The Ultimate Warrior (Count-out)
Mean Gene grills Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect over their shenanigans, with Perfect saying they went to Plan B, which was attacking both of them, I guess. The next match is another bout that didn’t air on the telecast between Tatanka and The Berzerker. Since the footage I had available to me cut out after Savage/Warrior, and since I cant find it on Youtube, I wont be able to cover what I’m sure was an epic bout. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Match 9 (technically 10) – The Undertaker vs. Kamala
As mentioned above, the footage I watched to do this review cut off the last two matches, including this one. While it is simple to find online – and I’m sure a number of DVD’s – the bout between Bret and Davey, do you think I could find Undertaker versus Kamala from this event? No, of course not. So I’ll do a quick run through of what was from memory – and from watching other reviews – another short bout. Taker tries for the Tombstone but is thwarted by Kamala’s handler, Kim Chee. This caused a disqualification. From there, Kamala hit a number of dodgy top rope splashes and then departed from the ring. Taker predictably shook off the assault, sat up dramatically, and slowly stalked Kamala and his entourage up the long aisle way. I also recall – which can be found on Youtube – Taker’s memorable entrance, with Paul Bearer slowly walking in front of a hearse with Taker.
WINNER: The Undertaker (DQ)
Sean Mooney speaks with challenger The British Bulldog, who cuts a straightforward babyface promo, followed by champion Bret Hart with Mean Gene, who is surlier and more heelish. After a rendition of Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes – featuring a surprise appearance from Roddy Piper – we go to the main event. Before the competitors come out though, Sean Mooney speaks to Diana Hart-Smith in the crowd (sister of Bret, wife of the Bulldog) for a few comments.
Match 10 (technically 11) Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog (WWF Intercontinental Title)
The hometown hero and challenger The British Bulldog enters first, being led out by heavyweight boxing champion, Lennox Lewis, who waves the Union Jack. (Lewis was born in Britain, but moved to Canada with his family when he was twelve, which works in really well with this scenario). The IC champion “The Hitman” arrived second, and both wrestlers at first are received as babyfaces.
A little push at the start during a stare-down by Bret is one of several subtle ‘heel’ moments, as the crowd predictably get more behind Bulldog as the match wears on. Heenan says he’s sick of all the talk of a family being torn apart as a result of this match, and its all about making money. Bulldog wins the first exchange as they run the ropes and sends Hart crashing to the outside with a running shoulderblock. Back in, Bret’s best offensive weapon is a headlock take-over, and he tries a few quick pin attempts.
Loud boos for Bret as he hits Bulldog with an elbow to the face – or right in the fish and chips according to Heenan – as a way of getting out of a hammerlock. Bret applies an arm-wringer, and Bulldog does some fancy stuff to get out of it as the camera cuts to Diana for the first of several times. “Who’s that, Mike McGuirk?” asks the Brain. Out of the armbar they run the ropes and Bulldog catches him and nails him with a slingshot into the turnbuckles before reapplying the armbar.
Bret gets the advantage after planting a knee in Davey’s midsection to a chorus of boos, which Bret slightly acknowledges, but goes back to a rear chinlock. Off the ropes, Bulldog tries a crucifix pin, which he did earlier and it was perfectly done. This time, Bret just falls back and and his weight crashes onto Davey. He gets back the advantage with a monkey flip, and an Irish whip into the corner. After a second whip into the opposite corner, Davey charges in and eats a boot to the face, and then Bret puts Bulldog down with a running, well, bulldog.
Uncharacteristically, Bret goes to the top rope and gets press slammed. Then Bulldog tries a flying splash/headbutt/something, and completely misses. With Davey on the outside, Bret catches him with a slingshot bodyblock. Bulldog was probably a little close to the ring, but Bret adapts and makes it look like he took his head off with his arm, and then runs him back first into the ring post. In the ring, Bret rocks Davey with some European uppercuts and a dropkick as he adopts a more rougher style.
Vince mentions Lennox Lewis’ upcoming fight with Razor Ruddock, which of course Heenan confuses with the recently signed Razor Ramon. (FYI, Lewis did indeed knock out Ruddock). Bulldog almost gets a surprise win turning a European uppercut into a backslide but Bret kicks out. The Hitman connects with an elbow off the second rope but doesn’t get the win. In frustration, he picks up Bulldog by his braids and slams him down in a very heelish move. He tries a sleeper but Davey makes it to the rope, with Bret holding on a few more seconds, before running him into the ropes and clamping on the sleeper once more.
Bulldog counters the sleeper by piggy-backing and slamming Bret into the buckles. He tries his patented press slam but loses his balance and Bret gets crotched more on the middle rope than the top. (This is a move Bulldog typically did, but usually gets them on the top rope). Bret gets cut down with a series of clotheslines but kicks out of the pin. Davey picks him up and press slams him for another near fall. Big reaction for Davey’s delayed vertical suplex. Bret takes the buckles chest first on an Irish whip for another two count.
The match appears over when Bulldog hits the running powerslam, but Bret kicks out again. At this point, Heenan predicts victory for “The Hitman.” Davey tries another vertical suplex but Bret counters into a back suplex/bridge for a close near fall. Now Heenan says he doesn’t know anybody else who could kick out from so many predicaments – apart from Ric Flair of course. Bret tries his own vertical suplex, but Davey blocks it and then sets Bret up on the top turnbuckle, crotching him in the process, and executes a big top rope superplex, but the match continues.
Both men go down after hitting each other with simultaneous clotheslines. On the mat, Bret winds Bulldogs legs up and goes for the Sharpshooter, but he makes it to the ropes. Bret tries a sunset flip, but Davey folds him up and gets the win out of nowhere to a massive ovation. After being presented with the Intercontinental Title, Bulldog tries to get a handshake from Bret, but he’s not interested. After trying to leave twice to resounding boos, Bret shakes the hand of his brother-in-law and embraces him, soon to be joined by an emotional Diana. ~ ****
WINNER: The British Bulldog (Title Change)
The Verdict: There’s no question that this was a huge commercial success for the Federation. While Vince and company lore says they drew over eighty thousand, apparently it drew just under that figure. However, it’s a bit like saying ninety-three thousand instead of seventy-three for Wrestlemania 3; whichever way you shake it, it was still a large assembly. The early 1990s were not a particularly easy time for the WWF, as business slowed down after the heady days of the previous decade, and then there was that pesky steroid trial and other claims made against the company. So, this had to be heartening that while domestically things may have been affected, internationally, there was still a huge demand for grapple-based action.
In casting a critical eye over Summerslam 1992 however, it did at times feel like a house show disguised as a stadium extravaganza. If Savage/Warrior had really been the last match on the card, there would have likely been disappointment, as it is a pretty sub-par match for the WWF Title. The psychology was okay, as Savage and Warrior kept you guessing which one of them may have sold out to Perfect and Flair. It was very subtle and it worked in my opinion, and I wasn’t actually that distracted when Perfect and Flair arrived on the scene. This was a babyface versus babyface match, so it needed something else. And really, to be honest, it was a welcome distraction, as this is not on par with their previous effort from Wrestlemania 7.
Of course, the stand out feature, and one of the best matches the company has presented on pay-per-view, was The Hitman against The Bulldog. It was another babyface match, but with a more realistic background story, one that would be revisited in more extreme measures down the road; the squabbles amongst the Hart extended family. Some of the family sided with Bret, others with Davey, and Diana – as the sister of Bret and wife of Davey – was caught in the middle. Of course, enough words have been discussed about the fact that on its own, it was a tremendous match. But when you weave in the fact that Davey – much like Hawk – was disorientated by substances leading into the bout, and Bret stepped up from a five to a six star general to make this work, just adds to the legend of this contest.
The rest of the card was mostly filler, some of which were not aired on the PPV broadcast but shown later on television. It was a shame we didn’t get more of Shawn and Martel. Again, being a heel match, there did need to be something in the background – Sherri apparently also liking Martel while being Shawn’s main squeeze – but it was agonizingly short. Despite having similar characters, the two meshed very well, and it was a shame it couldn’t have been a bit longer. Some of the other matches on the card, you were thankful they only got a few minutes.
Overall Rating ~ **1/2