wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Summerslam 1989

July 28, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 89

– By special (nagging) request.

– Live from East Rutherford, New Jersey, the geographical equivalent of
crotch rot.

– Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura.

– Opening match: WWF tag champions The Brainbusters v. The Hart
Foundation (non-title). Tully and Arn were fresh off beating the Demos
for the belts on Saturday Night’s Main Event. But this match was signed
previously, see, so it’s non-title. Middling point: The little CC
symbol is the top corner of the opening montage, but the closed
captioning doesn’t seem to be on. Jesse notes that if the Harts lose,
they might not see another title shot until next year. One year after
this show, the Harts won the tag team titles from Demolition. Hitman
and the ‘busters put on a mat wrestling exhibition to start. Harts work
on the arm of Arn and play mindgames with him. The key to Neidhart’s
success is for the opponent to sell every move like they’ve been shot.
Hitman works in his wristlock bridge spot, and it gets a huge pop. Ah,
simpler times. But of course the champs sucker Bret into their corner
and lay the beatdown on him. The fans are popping like nuts for
everything the Harts do. Neidhart plays Ricky Morton once the Harts
botch a move and the champs take over. The face in peril period doesn’t
last long as Hart gets the hot tag and cleans house. Bret didn’t have
the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM yet but he works in a couple anyway. Cool
slingshot shoulderblock spot by the Harts. Then they do the “Neidhart
slams Bret on the opponent spot” (if you’ve watched the Harts lots, you
know the one) but Neidhart is escorted out by Joey “Dead” Marella and
Arn nails Bret with a double axehandle off the top for the pin. This
was a near flawless tag match, even if it wasn’t spectacular in the
modern sense. ****1/4

– Dusty Rhodes gets funky like a monkey, if you will.

– Dusty Rhodes v. The Honky Tonk Man. It’s like watching that DustyDust
sketch…except it’s real! Standard Dusty fare here. Stall, play to
the crowd, jiggle, etc. A close up of Dusty’s ass provides a disturbing
moment. Hart’s distraction provides opportunity for HTM to wallop Dusty
in the stomach. Oh, like that’ll do anything. That’s like trying to
use a Bic lighter to melt an iceburg. Honky controls with a variety of
punches and chinlocks. WCW needs to give Jimmy Hart the megaphone back
to get his heat back. More chinlocks from HTM. Why are they giving
these two this much time? Dusty comes back with the flip flop n fly,
but a ref bump comes a bit later. Hart takes a swing with the guitar
but hits HTM, big fat elbow, pin. DUD

– Honky is a bit incoherant after the loss.

– Demolition and Jim Duggan are ready for Team Slick.

– Mr. Perfect v. Terry Taylor. I refuse to call him that other name.
The man deserves some dignity. Hennig rules the friggin earth at this
point. Short match as Taylor blows out his knee on a leapfrog and
collapses on a bodyslam attempt. Taylor rolls out of the ring to assess
the damage and obviously it was pretty bad because Hennig finishes it
as soon as he could without it looking suspicious. *

– Rick Rude gives his last interview as the champ.

– The Rockers & Tito Santana v. The Rougeaus & Rick Martel. Now I’ll
have that “All American Boys” song stuck in my head all day. 6 guys in
a WWF ring in 1989 and none of them suck. What are the odds.
Controlled chaos to start, but Marty becomes Face in Peril pretty quick.
The “Battle of Strike Force” confrontation is teased, but since Martel
is a cowardly heel he runs. Now it’s Tito’s turn to get beat up.
Jacques is doing the Eddy Guerrero rudo bit. Too much kicking and
punching between the cool spots. Rougeau blunder allows hot tag to
Michaels. Chaotic ending as the heels collide midring and Tito knocks
Ray and Rick out with the Flying Jalapeno. Jacques rolls up Marty, who
reverses, but Martel knocks him on his ass and Jacques re-reverses for
the winning pin. Didn’t rule the friggin earth or anything, but good
effort for the time period. ***

– Intercontinental title match: Rick Rude v. The Ultimate Warrior.
Remember when Rude had hair? Muscle definition? Credibility as a
wrestler? Warrior destroys him for a few minutes to start, including a
*vicious* bump as Warrior press-slams him right to the floor.
Hilarious, classic rant by Jesse against Tony out of nowhere that has to
be heard to be appreciated (it’s the one about guns and DQs outside the
ring). Poor Tony sounds like he’s going to cry at the end. Total
dominance by the Warrior, including some…gasp…WRESTLING MOVES?!?
Warrior? Carry a match? Nah. He misses whatever off the top, turning
the tide. Chinlock wastes time, then a sleeper leads to a ref bump
sequence. Oh my god, I think Joey Marella is dead! Oh, wait, not
yet. Everyone is out. Warrior hulks up and hits the THREE CLOTHESLINE
OF DOOM! Then a powerslam for fun. No ref. Piledriver, still no ref.
Finally a two-count. Running powerslam (TWO VARIATIONS OF THE SAME
MOVE! WHOA!) but the splash misses. Ugly, ugly piledriver for two.
Fistdrop for two. Piledriver again for two, and here comes Roddy Piper!
Rude has some choice words and hip motions for Piper, who responds by
flipping up his kilt and mooning Rude! Rude is upset, but…uh…Rick,
look out behind you…too late. Shoulderblock! Press slam! Splash!
“And the crowd goes wild” almost seems too understated given the
reaction. Warrior regains the title to everyone’s delight. ***, his
best match to that point, ever.

– Hennig! Piper! Garvin! Heenan! Rude! Intermission must be coming
up if we’re getting all these interview sound bites.

– Review of Zeus-Hogan. Triviata: Useless git Tony Lister (Zeus)
played the president of the US in “The Fifth Element” last year. True

– Akeem, Big Bossman and Andre the Giant v. Demolition and King Duggan.
The sound techs don’t allow Slick the proper time to get funky. Kick
and punch fest. Bossman and Smash are watchable, the rest are dead
weight. Chaos ensues, Smash slams both Twin Towers, then Duggan smacks
Akeem with the 2×4 and Smash pins him. DUD

– Hercules v. Greg Valentine. Ronnie Garvin is special guest ring
announcer, so he makes fun of Valentine with some of the un-funniest
lines I’ve ever heard. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Ronnie
Garvin? Nothing match as Valentine wins with his feet on the ropes.
1/4* Garvin proceeds to announce a Hercules DQ win.

– Ted Dibiase v. Jimmy Snuka. And the crowd goes apathetic. Snuka
fucks up a leapfrog, drawing boos. Total Dibiase match, dead silent
crowd. Snuka comeback, and he goes for the big splash, but Virgil
chases him down and suckers him into a countout. 1/2* Virgil ends up
taking the splash as Dibiase bails. Don’t ask me why they even booked
this one.

– Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber Butcher Disciple Zodiac Clipmaster
Booty Man With No Name” Beefcake v. Zeus & Randy Savage. But first, the
Genius reads a poem. Sherri looks like the prostitute daughter of a
circus sideshow freak. Hogan and Beefer get separate entrances. The
heels are color coordinated in black and silver. Elizabeth shows up for
the faces. Zeus is indestructible, don’t ya know? I feel like shouting
BLACK MAN ON PCP! BLACK MAN ON PCP! until the LAPD comes with baseball
bats to beat him, but my politically correct side wins out. But
seriously, what substances was Zeus taking to make him so zonked? Hogan
gets the beats put on, hot tag to Beefcake, who takes out Savage but
falls prey to the HIDEOUS LOADED PURSE OF DOOM! Zeus may be the only
guy who calls Jorge Gonzalez for technical wrestling advice. Hot tag #2
to Hulk, who creams Savage. Savage comeback, big elbow, but of course
Hogan can’t even be bothered to take a two-count. Hogan and Zeus do the
big showdown, and since Hulk can’t take him down by legal means, he
waits until Hebner is distracted and then uses the HIDEOUS LOADED PURSE
OF DOOM!, followed by a bodyslam and legdrop, and good night Irene.
1/2* Liz decks Sherri for fun.

The Bottom Line:

Well, what you see was what you get, basically. What was supposed to be
good (Harts-Busters, Six-Man, Warrior-Rude) was good, and the rest was
crap. But three ***+ matches was not bad at all for the time frame,
make no mistake.

I still don’t specifically recommend going out of your way to watch this
show, but if you do happen to watch it some day, it’s a good watch. I
personally liked the 1990 version better, however.


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