wrestling / Video Reviews

The SmarK Retro Repost – Summerslam 1994

July 28, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 94.

Well, what do you do when you’ve got 2:40 left until RAW? Watch more
wrestling! In this case, you, WrestleLine reader, get a first-run rant
instead of the re-runs from the past week. And again tomorrow with
Summerslam 95, and probably Thursday with a re-mixed version of 96.
Truly, your cup runneth over.

Speaking of the WWF, I’m working on the epic King Lear rant for the WWF
as we speak. King Lear rant, you say? Wait and see, faithful reader.
You won’t be disappointed.

Am I evil, or what?

In the meantime…

– Live from Chicago, IL.

– Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler, who announce that Shawn &
Diesel captured the tag team titles the night before.

– Opening match: The Headshrinkers v. Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS. This was
originally for the tag titles, but the title change from the night
before changed that. Could they POSSIBLY have picked a crappier opener
than this? Bam Bam and Fatu trade some power stuff to start until
Bigelow eats a superkick for two. Bammer comes back with an enzuigiri,
as Vince calls it a “grueling matchup” two minutes in. Nice looking
double-team superkick gets two for the cannibals. Irwin tags in and
gets nowhere, missing a charge and going flying to the outside, where he
gets beaten up. Alas, Bigelow pulls down the top rope shortly after,
sending Fatu crashing to the floor. Thankfully, he landed on his ass,
and thus had lots of padding. The cannibal-in-peril thing lasts about
30 seconds, before Samu gets the hot tag and kills both heels. A diving
headbutt gets two, and the Shrinkers hit the finishing sequence on IRS
— headbutts, double-front-legsweep, big FAT-ASSED SPLASH OF DOOM. Ref
is districted by Ted Dibiase, and all hell breaks loose as all 14
managers get involved and the bell rings at 7:20 for the DQ. A
pleasantly peppy little match ruined by a bonehead ending. **1/4

– Leslie Nielsen does a C-level comedy bit on his “search for the
Undertaker”. Do you think Vince Russo wrote this one?

– We get a locker room interview with Razor Ramon. QUICK, SOMEONE HIDE

– WWF Meaningless Women’s title match: Alundra Blayze v. Bull Nakano.
Alundra is current WCW window dressing Madusa. Man, did she have ugly
implants when she had the breast implants done, or what? She went way
downhill in the looks department when she had those puppies super-sized.
Blayze tries a couple of dropkicks to start, but Bull shoves her aside
and proceeds to kicking ass. I don’t watch much women’s wrestling, but
Nakano has always impressed me. Bull is working super-stiff here,
getting a legdrop for two. After some more punishment, Blayze comes
back with a rana for two, but misses a roundhouse kick and Bull chokes
her out. An interesting variation on the Boston crab follows, but we’re
in Chicago so Alundra makes the ropes. Now Bull follows with a Standing
Sharpshooter that draws Ooooo’s from the crowd, and rightly so. Blayze
gets a quick two off a rollup, then Nakano hooks an armbar submission,
called a wristlock by Vince. Well, he’s trying. Blayze comes back with
the HAIR PULL SLAMS OF DOOM for two. Bull reverses a piledriver and
covers for two, but Blayze bridges out. Backslide gets two for Blayze,
and she tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two. Bull goes to the top
and misses a legdrop, allowing Blayze to hit the GERMAN SUPLEX OF DEATH
for the pin to retain at 8:20. HUGE pop from the crowd, so of course
the women’s division was buried soon after. ***

– Toad Pedophile interviews the new tag champs. For those keeping
score, this is officially the moment when the Clique took over and the
WWF began it’s slow death. Remember, the King Lear rant is coming!

– Intercontinental title match: Diesel v. Razor Ramon. You young’uns
would probably know Diesel better as “Big Poochie” or “That dumbass
booker Kevin Nash”, while Razor Ramon is better known as “AA Member
#191939″ or “Scott ‘Alka’ Hall”. Hey, don’t look at me, I’m not the one
who got drunk and groped a 50-year old woman. Anyway, Walter Payton,
some football guy, is in Ramon’s corner, and while Chicago seems happy
to see him, Payton doesn’t seem terribly thrilled. Ramon tosses his
toothpick at Diesel…and he sells it. See, now there’s dedication to
your craft. Slow start, until the Outsiders lock up and Diesel
dismantles him. I can’t believe I used to mark out for this big goof
back in 1994. Actually, much of the internet jumped on the Diesel
bandwagon in 94, which is why he got the World title a few months after
this. Shawn interferes freely, and Diesel ends up with a sleeper.
Ramon backdrops out, but ends up going over the top to the floor,
allowing Shawn to pull off a turnbuckle pad and get in Payton’s face.
Only Shawn F’N Michaels could carry two guys in a match he’s not even
involved in. Diesel continues the assualt on Ramon back in the ring.
He runs Ramon into the exposed turnbuckle back-first, then hits a nasty
side slam for two. He hits Snake Eyes, and Shawn interferes some more.
Ramon has gotten NO offense in here. Big elbow gets two. Now the
legacy of Big Lazy rears it’s ugly head, as we get the chinlock and the
abdominal stretch, two Nash favorites when he wants a break. Ramon
comeback #1 fails, but when Diesel goes for Snake Eyes again, Ramon
escapes and cradles Diesel for two. Ramon comeback #2 succeeds, as he
gets the better of a test of fisticuffsmanship and then posts Diesel,
which leads to the bulldog off the top for two. Dramatic bodyslam gets
two. Shawn gets involved and goes flying into the railing, taking the
best bump of the match. Diesel ends up on the top, but Ramon can’t
suplex him off. Diesel goes for the jackknife, but Ramon backdrops out.
Shawn interferes AGAIN, and we get the double-KO spot. Shawn and Payton
get into a tug-of-war over the IC belt, which distracts the ref. Shawn
tries for the superkick on Ramon, but he misses and nails Diesel, which
would actually signal the start of Diesel’s face turn. Ramon crawls
over and covers for the pin and the title at 15:05 while Payton subdues
Michaels. It was Ramon’s second title, btw. ***1/4 So sue me, I
enjoyed it.

– Shawn and Diesel do seperate followup interviews, setting up
Wrestlemania XI, albeit indirectly.

– Lex Luger and Tatanka face off in the locker-room, with Tatanka
accusing Luger of selling out.

– Lex Luger v. Tatanka. The story here is that Luger may or may not
have sold out to Ted Dibiase’s Corporation. However, the crowd boos
Tatanka heavily and cheers Luger, so obviously THEY knew what the real
deal was. Series of lockups to start goes nowhere. They do a sad
little wrestling sequence to reinforce that this is babyface v.
babyface. Tatanka gets two off a powerslam and does the Pissed Off
Racial Stereotype comeback with chops for two. He goes to the top and
hits….wait for it….A CHOP. He misses whatever off the top on the
second try, and Luger comes back with his SHITTY CLOTHESLINES OF DOOM.
Cue Ted Dibiase, who wanders out with a bag of money. Luger yells at
him, allowing Tatanka to roll him up for the pin at 6:09. * After the
match, Luger is upset with Tatanka, and goes after Dibiase. However,
the fans’ suspicions are confirmed as Tatanka jumps Luger from behind,
thus officially joining the Corporation. Pretty much everyone on RSPW
second-guessed this one easily enough at the time, but it was still
pretty shocking to see career babyface Tatanka suddenly turn.
Unfortunately, it was completely wasted since he’s the worst heel in the
history of wrestling. Oh well, good intentions and all that.

– Jeff Jarrett v. Mabel. Where’s the puppies? MABEL ATE THEM! Okay,
so they weren’t around then, but it’s still a good joke. Speaking of
good jokes, popular legend has it that other members of the WWF
locker room would gather around Mabel in a circle and sing the Barney
theme song. Onto the bad jokes: Oscar’s “rapping”, as he gets all up
in our area with an intro that sounds like “Throw your hands in the air,
awoogaoaodjfjaoidjokjkjkjka, anakjodmvomeioajifdaf, everybody in the
house OH YEAH!”. Sadly, I left my Dumbshit-to-English translation guide
at my friend’s house, so I have no idea what he was shooting for there.
To the match. They strut a lot, and Jarrett gets thrown around the ring
a lot. He comes back with some high-flying stuff, but Mabel no-sells.
He hits the FAT-ASSED LEG LARIAT OF DOOM for two, as we cut to Abe
“Knuckleball” Schwartz, who is on strike in the stands. Don’t ask.
Jarrett goes after Oscar, but misses and hits the post. Back in the
ring and Mabel misses a splash, allowing Jarrett to get two. Jarrett
goes for a sunset flip, Mabel drops down, Jarrett moves and gets the pin
at 5:50. Total crap, but the crowd was into it. *

– Cage match, WWF title: Bret Hart v. Owen Hart. Owen attacks right
off the bat, ramming him into two turnbuckles and doing the 10-punch
count. Bret comes back with a lariat, but Owen stomps on his hands.
Bret blocks a shot to the cage and DDTs Owen. Another slugfest erupts,
won by Bret. He makes the first climb attempt, but gets pulled off by
Owen. ENZUIGIRI, BABY! Owen nearly makes it out but Bret catches him
going over the top and hits a backdrop suplex to the mat. Bret crawls
for the door but Owen catches him and whips him to the other corner.
Bret grabs a quick bulldog and tries for the door again. Owen yanks him
away and dives, Bret yanks him away and dives, repeat twice. Bret tries
to climb out, and gets slammed off by Owen. Now Owen climbs and again
nearly makes it, but Bret grabs him by the hair and they fight on the
top. Owen kicks him off and dropkicks him off the top rope. SWEET.
Owen climbs again and they fight on the top again with Owen getting the
better of the situation. Owen goes for a piledriver but Bret reverses.
Whip, reverse, and double-KO. Owen lunges for the door again, but Bret
stops him and drops a vicious looking elbow on him. Bret to the top,
Owen stops him again. Bret kicks him in the face a few times, but Owen
holds on and crotches him on the top rope. Owen tries for the door
again, but Bret stops him. Headbutt to the groin puts Owen down and
Bret goes for the climb out again. He changes his mind and goes for an
elbowdrop, but misses. Owen climbs out, with Bret not moving. He pops
up at the last second and blocks Owen, however, pulling him in by the
hair in a great visual. He slams him in for good measure, then makes
his own ascent. Owen brings him back in with a modified samoan drop.
Owen tries to climb again, Bret stops him. Owen keeps control, however,
and they end up ramming each other into the cage. Bret recovers first
and makes it about 3/4 of the way down the cage…when Owen grabs his
hair and pulls him back in. Piledriver on Bret. Both guys are
exhausted, but Owen tries to climb out again. Bret meets him at the
top, and they have a slugfest that leads to both guys collapsing to the
mat below. Bret immediately crawls for the door, but Owen grabs his
leg. Owen fights him down and then lunges for the door himself, but
Bret blocks, drags him back in, and slingshots Owen into the cage.
Crowd is WAY into this one. Bret crawls for the wrong corner to build
suspense, then finds the right one…and Owen leaps over and stops him.
Crowd is having a collective heart attack. Owen is up first and goes
behind Bret, but ends up going facefirst to the cage. Bret is selling a
knee injury, but still climbs up again. Owen gets
up….collapses….and makes it juuuuuuuuuust in time to stop his
brother from winning. Back in via the hair, and Owen hits a leg lariat.
The crowd is absolutely losing it. Owen climbs to the top again, and
makes it halfway out before Bret stops him. They fight on the top rope,
with Bret getting a big field goal kick to send Owen flying. He pops up
again and hauls Bret back in. Owen hits some european uppercuts, and we
get another double-KO. Owen makes it up and to the top rope, but Bret
stops him and superplexes him back in. Even Davey Boy, at ringside, is
marking out. Both guys are out cold again. Bret crawls to the door . .
. slowly . . . but Owen grabs him. Owen slaps on the Sharpshooter,
screaming about how the belt is gonna be his the whole time. Bret
breaks free and reverses to his own. He releases and climbs again, with
Owen once again lunging at the last split second and grabbing the hair.
Both men fall to the mat. Owen makes it up and to the top first, and
both guys make it halfway down the cage, fighting the whole way. Owen
rams Bret into the cage, but slips and gets hooked in the cage, allowing
Bret to drop down at 31:51 to retain the title. Meanwhile, Jim Neidhart
blindsides the Bulldog in the audience, taking Diana down with him.
Owen and Anvil toss Bret back into the cage, chain the door shut, and
beat the holy hell out of him as the Hart Brothers storm the cage. Oh
man, this is so NWA. I love it. Finally the Bulldog (with his caveman
hairdo and all) fights his way in and makes the save. This is easily
the best cage match you’ll ever see in the WWF, and it’s a terrific way
to end the show. *****

– Sadly, this didn’t end the show, because we still have one more piece
of business to take care of.

– Main event: Undertaker v. Underfaker. At Royal Rumble 94, Undertaker
got beat by Yokozuna and shoved into his own casket, at which point he
rose into the air and “died”, but not before read a dramatic soliloquy.
He took a couple of months off, then in the stupidest plot development
in WWF history, and that’s saying something, Ted Dibiase introduced his
newest charge…the Undertaker. But see, it’s not Mark Callaway, it’s
Brian Lee, (who would go on to become Chainz), which EVERYONE knew at
the time. And of course, the original Undertaker returned, and they
decided to fight. First of all, Lee is about 6 inches shorter than
Callaway, so the illusion is blown right there. Anyway, Paul Bearer has
a couple of Druids wheel out a casket, then unveils his new urn, with
flashlight built in, then the real Undertaker makes his return, debuting
the new purple look that he had until Survivor Series 1996. The Purple
Era is generally considered the low point of UT’s career, and coincides,
not coincidentally, with the lowest point of the WWF’s history. This
will all be covered in greater detail in the King Lear rant. Don’t you
just hate a tease?

Oh yeah, the match. Brian Lee does a pretty decent job of pretending to
be the Undertaker, right down to no-selling every single move. UT
chases UF outside the ring, then suplexes him back in. Crowd has no
idea who to cheer for. The faker gains control and tries the ropewalk,
but gets slammed off. And sits up. Taker comes back with his own, and
the crowd seems to be catching onto the fact that the purple one is the
good guy. More no-selling happens. Crowd is just dead. Pardon the
pun. They “brawl” outside, and it’s like listening to a 45 at 33 1/3.
For those under 20, that’s, uh, like watching something really slow.
Yeah. Anyway, Faker gets a chokeslam and Taker doesn’t sit up, so he
takes that as a good sign and tombstones him. UT sits up, so Faker
tries again, but Taker reverses to his own. Then picks him up and gives
him two more, just for good luck. And this time, there’s no sitting up.
Undertaker gets the pin at 9:20 and puts everyone out of their misery,
and the words “fake Undertaker” are never, EVER spoken on WWF TV again.

The Bottom Line: Well, the show was going okay until that last match.
Bret-Owen is truly something special, however, and the Ramon-Diesel
match is worth a look. Still, this show signalled the true beginning of
the end for the WWF, as the Clique began their rise to power and never
looked back.

Mild recommendation.


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Scott Keith

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