Rewriting 1992, Part 3 of 4: Summerslam
Dark Match: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Bushwhackers def. The Mountie and The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Dark Match: Papa Shango def. "El Matador" Tito Santana
1. Legion of Doom (w/ Paul Ellering) def. Money Inc. (w/ Jimmy Hart)
2. Nailz def. Virgil
3. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sensational Sherri) and Rick Martel fought to a double countout
4. Tag Team Championship: The Natural Disasters (c) def. The Beverly Brothers (w/ The Genius)
5. Crush def. Repo Man
6. WWE Championship: Ultimate Warrior def. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (c) *by countout*
7. The Undertaker def. Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman and Kim Chee) *by disqualification*
Dark Match: Tatanka def. The Berzerker (w/ Mr. Fuji)
8. Intercontinental Championship: The British Bulldog def. Bret "Hitman" Hart (c)
This was undoubtedly one of the greatest atmospheres in WWE history, 80,000 people in Wembley Stadium and I honestly feel they a better show from top to bottom. Maybe I'm greedy, but 3 of the 8 broadcast matches with a DQ or CO finish was just unsatisfying, especially in the WWE Championship match. The biggest mistake was a clear one in my view, leaving Ric Flair off the card. Of course, had they known the Warrior's return would be short-lived (who as some may not know, was supposed to turn heel here), then that would've likely changed things. The great thing is with the talent available, you really hardly even notice that Hogan wasn't a part of the show. With hindsight always being 20/20, here's my SummerSlam '92 rewrite.
Rewriting SummerSlam 1992
1. "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels def. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Unless Piper had an injury that I'm unaware of here, he should have been able to put on a decent match to put Shawn over. Rather than just have him come out playing the bagpipes, let's build a story in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam and put him in the ring. Also, I really didn't care for putting Michaels in a heel vs. heel match with Martel. If Piper wasn't able to go, I'd give Virgil this spot.
2. The Beverly Brothers def. Demolition
This would finally be the swan song for Demolition and would end with Crush becoming a babyface after being turned on by Smash. Maybe this happens later than most would like, but Repo Man was just plain awful and I would have never given Darsow that gimmick personally.
3. 8-Man Tag: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Big Boss Man and the Natural Disasters def. The Mountie, "The Model" Rick Martel and the Nasty Boys
This could've just as easily been a dark match, as loaded as this card would be.
4. Tag Team Championship: Money Inc. def. Legion of Doom (c)
With the departure of Hawk after this event, obviously they would have to drop the straps to Money Inc here. In his defense though, that Rocko the dummy was ridiculous. What were they thinking with that?
5. Tatanka and Papa Shango fight to a double countout
This could have been a nice feud between 2 equally decent newcomers, and I'd be hesitant to give either a clean finish over the other.
6. Intercontinental Championship: "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith def. Bret "Hitman" Hart (c)
I loved this match and the story behind it with it splitting the Hart family up was pretty good as well. I hate to give Davey Boy the title as a transitional champ, but there really wasn't much choice there. I know most will disagree with me not putting this match on last, and if my WWE Title match had a DQ finish, that's probably the direction I'd have gone in as well.
7. Razor Ramon def. "The Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich
I'd showcase Razor here in a quick squash over either Von Erich (who would be gone very soon after SS) or Virgil. Get the crowd familiar with one of your up-and-coming heels who would be headlining Survivor Series.
8. The Undertaker def. The Ultimate Warrior
I always wanted to see these 2 huge names go head to head on a big stage like this. I nearly kept Taker heel a little longer just for this match, and it's really hard for me to picture the Warrior as a heel, so we'll keep it a battle of 2 babyfaces which comes about after some summertime tag matches where Taker and Warrior don't see eye to eye after Kamala and Papa Shango get the better of them. Taker goes over for obvious reasons.
9. Six-Man Tag: The Headshrinkers & Kamala def. High Energy and Tito Santana
No explanation needed, but a logical six-man tag here in between 2 of the marquee matches on the night.
10. WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: Ric Flair (c) def. "Macho Man" Randy Savage
I found it interesting that the WWE and IC Title matches were both face vs face at SS 92. I always thought that was ok here and there, but 2 in 1 night for your biggest titles was a bit too much for me. Ric Flair is still my champion going in after retaining versus Hogan at WrestleMania VIII. Basically, the same story develops here that did in reality between Flair and Savage, with Flair claiming to have been with Elizabeth before Randy. It becomes so personal that Savage wants Flair in a no DQ match. That stipulation comes back to bite him when Razor Ramon comes out to make it 3-on-1 (with Mr. Perfect of course). The odds are too much to overcome and Flair gets the pinfall to retain. Razor ties Savage up in the ropes and he can do nothing but watch while Flair grabs Liz and lays a kiss on her. Hennig shakes his head in disgust and says, "That's another man's wife, dammit!" When Flair laughs and turns to kiss her again, finally Mr. Perfect says enough is enough and decks him. The crowd goes wild as Perfect lays him out and sends Ramon flying over the top rope with a back body drop. Hennig frees Savage from the ropes and he is immediately all over Flair. The Macho Man sends him tumbling to the outside and he retreats with Razor Ramon, but with the WWE Championship belt in hand. 80,000 London fans cheer wildly as Hennig and Savage shake hands in the center of the ring, bringing SummerSlam to an end.
Next up in this series is the 1992 Survivor Series. Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment and/or post your changes to this card.
This is the definition of rose tint glasses for me... SS92 was the second part of my 16th Birthday present (the first being tix to the Freddy Mercury Tribute) and I was 4th row. So I'm messing with beloved memories here.
Davey winning and going on last stays... the sheer noise of that pop has never been beaten for me at Wembley, not even when England played in Euro 96... It was insane.
Anyhow, I like you're idea for the Hennig turn, that fits him as a "stand up guy".
At my version, we saw Lex Luger debut at Wrestlemania to cause more problems for Hogan and Warrior and Undertaker end Jake Robert's WWF career, remaining the champion.
In the intervening months, Hogan and Warrior have come to an understanding... while both do not 100% trust each other, it is clear their common enemies are The Horsemen... Ric Flair fired Jim Neidhart and Haku right after Mania and replaced them with Lex Luger and Arn Anderson!
At May's Saturday Night Main Event, Bret Hart upset Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental title in the first ever Ladder Match, putting him on a collision course with his brother in law The British Bulldog, who had been named #1 contender for Summerslam in his own backyard of Wembley.
Several roster members had changed over, with Jake Roberts, Rick Martel, The Bushwhackers and Smash leaving the company and Legion of Doom giving notice. While newcomers included Razor Ramon, Yokozuna, Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom from the AWA (Beverley Brothers), Kamala, Bam Bam Bigelow and a young prospect from WCW known there as Robbie V.
Summerslam 1992 was the WWF's first ever 3 hour event outside of a Wrestlemania and featured the following matches:
Crush vs Big Bossman
Since leaving Demolition and losing in a shock fashion to newcomer Tatanka at Wrestlemania, Crush had taken to randomly attacking members of the roster raising the ire of The Big Bossman. In an entertaining opening contest, Crush was able to withstand Bossman's assault and use the Cranium Crush to finish off the match.
The Natural Disasters vs The Nasty Boyz
The Natural Disasters began to fall out with Jimmy Hart when a promised title shot didn't materialise and he seemed to be putting more effort into Knobbs and Sags. While either team have yet to win the title and are both still managed by Hart, this match is billed as a #1 contenders match to face the Steiner Brothers later in the year. In a shock moment, Hart turns on BOTH teams, debuting his newest acquisitions The Wrecking Crew (Enos & Bloom) causing the match to end on a no-contest.
Kamala vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Kamala and KimChee debuted in June, with Kamala immediately targeting Jim Duggan during his matches. This is a relatively short match which sees Duggan attempt to use the 2x4 but his attack backfiring and Kamala sealing the win by pinfall.
"The Rocket" Owen Hart vs "Le All-American Bad Boy" Jacques Rougeau
Rougeau had dropped his ill-fated Mountie gimmick and returned to his roots after losing to Bret Hart on Superstars. Now managed by his brother Raymond, he had returned to a version of their hated "All-American Boys" gimmick, only this time with the appearance of a stereotypical street hood and began blaming The Hart family for holding them down in the WWF.
Owen steps up to defend his families honor and in a surprising moment for the times acknowledges the assault on Hart's associate Dynamite Kid in 1988 that started the feud. Owen strongly implies Dynamite may show up at Wembley to have his back (this is never on the cards due to the chance of Dynamite going off script) and just as it looks that Jacques will win, Rule Britannia begins to play, spooking him and allowing Owen to roll him up for the pin.
The Steiner Brothers (c) vs Legion Of Doom - LOD's Careers on the line
The feud between the two best teams in the world is at fever pitch and took an unexpected turn when former manager Paul Ellering showed up to "motivate" LOD to go back to their Road Warrior roots. In a fit of overconfidence, this saw Hawk offer their careers if they couldn't beat The Steiners at Summerslam... Ellering threatens to walk out of the match after Animal refuses to pin Rick after he distracts him... and when Ellering finally loses his patience and takes out Hawk with his cane, the crowd are stunned that Scott will not take the pinfall...instead chasing Ellering from the ring and turning the Steiners face.
This allows Animal to set Rick up for the Doomsday Device, only for his (nod to his shoot injury) back to give out and Hawk to miss... Scott takes the pinfall but both teams share the ring after allowing Rick and Scott to become the new top face team.
Yokozuna vs Virgil
Short...Brutal, just a few months earlier than Survivor Series... Yoko takes him out of the WWF!
Shawn Michaels v Kerry Von Erich
Since losing his IC title to Bret Hart, Shawn has been on "Horseman Probation" but manages to impress Flair during this match, disposing of Texas Tornado in quick fashion... he is stunned however when after the match, Marty Jannetty jumps the barrier and attacks him, marking his return to the company after a year!
Barry Windham & Mr. Perfect vs Rick Steamboat & Jerry "The King" Lawler
Steamboat shocks The Horsemen with his choice of "mystery partner" after Roddy Piper is injured, however it is a ruse and Lawler walks out on Steamboat... causing his loss.
The Undertaker (C) vs Sid Justice
These two have been on a collision course for nearly a year and Sid ultimately became frustrated with waiting for his title shot, attacking Undertaker during a Funeral Parlour segment. Taker is able to defeat Sid by stoppage after a Tombstone outside the ring leaves him unconcious.... the "Psycho Sid" character is born with the head trauma being given as the reason.
Money Inc vs Randy Savage & Mystery Partner - Rick Rude
Tensions had risen between Money Inc. and Randy Savage since Wrestlemania and his break up with Elizabeth. In a surprising turn of events their ally Rick Rude sided with Macho Man, feeling that DiBiase had gotten too big for his boots since teaming with IRS and respected Savage's position over Elizabeth, refusing to use it as an excuse for losses etc.
The two made an odd couple team with mistrust being a big key to the match... they lose, but only when Razor Ramon makes his debut and attacks Rude. After the match, Savage helps Rude to his feet and the fans accept that he is now a good guy!
Double Main Event
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs Lex Luger & Ric Flair - Special Guest Referee Frank Bruno
WWF President Jack Tunney sanctioned a match between The Horsemen and Hogan/Warrior but stipulated an independent referee who could handle a big occasion selecting Britain's most popular boxer for the task. Bruno had bravely lost to Mike Tyson a few years prior and had yet to win the World title, but his place as the "Hulk Hogan" of Britain was already assured through his loveable persona and rapport with famed commentator Harry Carpenter, indeed Carpenter was on hand to interview Bruno and Hogan, allowing the beloved "You know what I mean 'arry" catchphrase to help get Bruno over.
The match itself was see saw, with Bruno being wise to Flair and Luger's cheating tactics... however, the mood changed when Luger put his hands on Bruno... rather than disqualify him, a stern look from the normally smiling Bruno was enough to cause Luger to tag Flair in.
The finish came when Barry Windham and Curt Hennig showed up at ringside... Warrior chased them away leaving Hogan alone... Bruno was distracted long enough to miss the use of brass knux by Flair... Bruno reluctantly counted the pinfall... however when Flair began to berate him, he receives a quick knockout punch for his trouble. Hogan hits the boot/legdrop on Luger and Bruno and Hogan rule the ring. Warrior is gone after this match.
Bret Hart (c) v Davey Boy Smith
As it happened, in its entirety... nothing needs to change. Other than Bret needs to stop talking about Davey's mental/physical state...
Summerslam was another strange ppv, with some matches shown everywhere, others cut from the US broadcast, and others still cut from the UK broadcast. It was also a very disjointed card which really only had one decent and one epic match, and the rest was pretty poor.
For my opening contest, after an unsuccessful chase for the tag titles, Jimmy Hart dumps the Natural Disasters, who here face off against the Nasty Boys, who at this point are still managed by Hart. Competitive win for the new faces.
I wasn't keen on Martel and Michaels' stipulation, I think more often than not, far from telling a story, stipulations like "you can't hit each other's face" actually detracts from a match. However, without this condition, these two could have had a fine match, so this one stays, but as a regular match (storyline is the same though)
After the Demolition split, newly face Crush can get a fairly dominant win over the Repo Man here (I gave in and allowed the Repo gimmick to exist, but only for a short period of time, Darsow did do some amusing stuff with the gimmick)
Now from what I understand, although the long term plan was to have Shawn Michaels be the intercontinental champion, and the original Summerslam plan was for him to face Bret Hart here, once the venue was switched to Wembley, the call was made to put the belt on the British Bulldog. Also once this change has been determined, I understand an early plan for Survivor Series was to have Bulldog face the Mountie for the IC belt. Well if this is the case, the Mountie needs a win here, and I will give it to him against El Matador Tito Santana. Both wrestlers were used in filler matches anyway, so I'd rather have them square off here.
Now for the tag team titles. The Legion of Doom have held the belts for a year, but now is the time for them to drop them, to the newly established team of Money, Incorporated, managed by Jimmy Hart after he dumped the Disasters. Of course no Jimmy Hart title win can happen without shenanigans, which happen here allowing DiBiase and Shyster to 'steal' the belts.
Next I would take the nightstick match from Survivor Series and supplant it here. Nailz was quite frankly a one-dimensional, single storyline character, so there's no need for him to abuse Virgil here, just have him lose to the Boss Man at Summerslam instead.
WWF Title Match time: Ric Flair (c) beats Randy Savage. The Flair title run was poorly executed for me. Give the man the ultimate push of lasting an hour in the Toyal Tumble in winning the title, only to then have him lose it to his first real opponent? No, I have him beat Hogan at a Wrestlemania and Savage here, establishing him as the biggest heel in the business, and making it that whoevee beats him for the title is instantly considered a huge deal. This does mean that Savage doesn't get his second title win but sometimes wrestlers don't need a second run to stay relevant.
Undertaker v Kamala is a lumbering match but Undertaker was just starting his monster of the month phase so has to stay.
And of course the greatest intercontinental title match in history retains its main event spot (it is at Wembley, after all) and absolutely nothing changes, a brilliant match and Bulldog, who in my booking has been groomed for this for ages, beating the likes of Martel, IRS and the Mountie, all solid workers, on ppv before getting the 'worker's belt'
WWE Title: Bret Hart def. Ric Flair (c)
IC Title: Shawn Michaels (c) def. Mr. Perfect
Razor Ramon def. Randy Savage
Yokozuna def. Hulk Hogan
Undertaker def. Giant Gonzalez
Lex Luger def. Tatanka
Tag Titles: Steiner Bros def. Money Inc (c)
Headshrinkers def. Nasty Boys
Bam Bam Bigelow def. Earthquake
Not bad at all.
Their booking of Flair went from as good as it gets to completely baffling for me. From starting off red hot with Piper and Hogan, winning the title and having the big WM8 match in place...to suddenly changing directions and feuding with Savage, still done really well, but Flair/Hogan and Savage/Roberts were the way to go imo....to not even being used on the card of SummerSlam....to another title win only to lose it a little over a month later....to a lackluster Survivor Series tag match headliner....to the Rumble where he drew #1 and we were all expecting him to do the impossible 2 years in a row, but he would be thrown out by Hennig after 18 minutes....and finally the loser leaves town match, a Mania-caliber match held on Raw.
A lot of good, a lot of bad. A lot of confusion.
This was the period that Flair had "inner ear trouble" which was negatively affecting his performances and balance... if you believe that...some actually don't. He describes it in his book as a broken bone that would come out and go back into place, upsetting his equilibrium. Or he was just on the sauce too much perhaps?
Flair in general was not in a good place that summer, either because of the legit injury or because of his attitude. In truth he'd pretty much decided by Summerslam he wanted out of the WWF for whatever reason (probably the negative reaction to his work at Wrestlemania from Vince, especially the blood) and I guess there must have been the sense from Vince that he'd "failed" as the new star they wanted.
This was perhaps though, the most turbulent time roster wise ever, where things were not in Vince's control... You had Warrior and Davey's controversies, Nailz nearly choking Vince to death, Flair being at best a disappointment and at worst a flake, Sid and Hogan bailing, Animal and Hennig's back injury and Kerry Von Erich's drug problems.
It's easy to see how the show ended up so disjointed in the end...
There's a good interview with Bret Hart that I listened to recently, where he said he told Vince that he believed Flair was screwing up the finishes to their matches intentionally. He said after Flair left, Vince told him something to the effect of, "He's not so much trying to sabotage the match. It's that he can only work one way. The Ric Flair way." I think I recall Bret saying in the past if you've seen one Flair match, you've seen them all.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing when I listened to this interview.
Look no further than "The Broomstick Rule", a term coined by wrestling reviewers. The rule is that Ric Flair, at the top of his game, made matches a minimum of 3 stars simply by being in the match. It is called "The Broomstick Rule" because Ric could carry a broomstick to a 3 star match.
Bret hart can have a good match too. But he's not that good.
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