Brett Mix’s- WWF Summerslam 1991 Review:
“Elizabethhh…..WIIIIIILLL YOOOOOUUU MARRRRRRY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” – Macho Man Randy Savage
-WWF Summerslam 1991 took place on Sunday, August 26th, 1991 in The World’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden in New York City. The jam packed arena was sold out with 20, 000 fans in attendance just like there was for the first ever Summerslam in this building three years before this in 1988.
-The tagline for the event was “A Match Made in Heaven, A Match Made in Hell”
-This was the 4th Annual WWF Summerslam PPV event and all four were in the upper east coast of the States. (New York, New Jersey, Philly)
– THE Ultimate Warrior Controversy!:
Off-screen, the event was best remembered for an incident with The Ultimate Warrior. WWE alleges that Warrior threatened to no show the event unless he was paid a certain amount of money, later confirmed by Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter and everyone else on the Self Destruction of the Warrior DVD. Hogan later mentioned that if Warrior did indeed no-show, him and Slaughter (who themselves were kayfabe feuding with each other at the time) were going to do it “the old fashioned way” and legitimately take out Warrior.
According to Vince McMahon, who didn’t want Hogan and Slaughter to get into a physical altercation with Warrior, paid him that amount, then fired immediately after SummerSlam. Warrior has since responded on his website to these allegations by stating he was owed money stemming from work performed at WrestleMania VII. McMahon would later state that while he couldn’t make a last-minute change in the card due to the fans expecting the match, he “could not wait to fire him” after the pay-per-view.
-This was third time in Summerslam history the WWF Title was NOT put on the line and the last match was a tag team attraction.
-This was the third Summerslam in a row Mr. Perfect would wrestle in a single’s match in the first half of the show.
-This was the first Summerslam of the four Bret Hart appeared in at the time, that he’d wrestle in a Single’s match.
-This was the first time a WWF Wedding was shown on PPV and it went on last between Liz and Savage.
-When The Legion of Doom won at this event they became the only tag team in wrestling history to have held the WWF Tag Titles, the NWA World Tag Team Titles, and the AWA World Tag Team Titles.
-Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper do the broadcasting.
In a Dark match before the show Koko B. Ware defeated Kato at 6:03.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- 6 Man Tag Team Match: Davey Boy Smith The British Bulldog, Ricky The Dragon Steamboat, and The Texas Tornado Kerry Von Erich vs The Warlord and Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules) (with Slick)
Steamboat being in this match helped the credibility here. However the face team was pretty stacked and Von Erich and Steamboat are not only two of the greatest workers in the entire 1980’s but of all time so them with Davey Boy makes for one solid fucking team in a six man tag match in 1991. Vince I don’t think used the Dragon as good as he could have during this period after The Dragon came back to the WWF after his NWA classics with The Nature Boy.
Still, Ricky Steamboat made this match seem GOOD early as he hit an arm drag take down like only he can when Roma jumped off the top rope and did it to perfection. The Babyfaces worked over the heels for the start of the match and that part was exciting until the heels took over. Hercules used slow offense to kind of take back control of the match and some double or triple team moves with The Warlord slowed things down a but but the match had the benefit of the crowd knowing it was the opener so they remained loud despite the “GOOD GUYS” not controlling the matches pace throughout the duration. Bulldog pinned the Warlord at Wrestlemania 7 of this year with a Powerslam, and he’d do the same against this team at 10:43 after what was looked to be as some confusion between a few of the guys in this match and not knowing there spots. Oh well the babyfaces won and the match was over and the crowd was happy. Alright match here. Had its moments but nothing GREAT just good and your standard opener that got the crowd ready for the event.
2) Bret “Hitman” Hart vs Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig (c) (with The Coach) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Loved how both these second generation wrestlers felt the need to one-up the other man at the beginning of this bout. The moves came off very crisp and expertly applied. They both shared some incredible offense that would be repeated (and done better) at KOTR 1993 two years later.
This match is probably remembered more though by most fans which isn’t exactly a travesty seeing as its also another fine piece of art. This is the best match of the PPV and it’s no secret, so you know you got a keeper whenever this one comes on. Mr. Perfect actually wrestled this match with a bad back and Bret points this out in his documentary on his DVD and THAT just goes to show how good of a guy Mr. Perfect really was. Some of the spots in this match were just right out of no where, unpredictable to say the least. That’s what made it so exciting. With the unpredictability came technical brilliance and athletic one-upmanship throughout the entire duration crafting the story in this excellent encounter. Awesome back and forth action. Just when you thought it was over after the Perfectplex….it wasn’t. Amazing.
They continued the match and Bret got back in control and began to go back to Hennig. The commentary in this match is also hillarious and I thought I should point that out as Piper and Heenan did a great job, as did Monsoon as the guy inbetween them both. Heenan saying that Piper’s parents used to leave the city while Piper was at school or that Hart’s parents snuck in the building was both hysterical. Bret at the beginning of the match out matched Hennig by hitting him with agressive hiptosses that Perfect couldn’t match. Later in the match the Champion of course still looked dominant slugging it out with Hart and knocking him off the apron into the steel barricade. Hart though like a Warrior came back in the ring and battled back and forth. That’s when the reversals really started to come into play and these two had the audience in the palm of there hands. Bret locks in the Sharpshooter and before its even locked in fully Perfect quits at 18:04 of the match.
We got a new Champion!!!! An impressed Stu and Helen applaud there son as he has won the IC Title at a huge show in front of a huge crowd that enthusiastically had chanted “Lets Go Bret” during the entire match. They had just witnessed a classic. We all did. Was pretty, “perfect”, but the best was yet to come believe it or not. Bret Hart says if this was it….if it all ended here….this moment was good enough. Touching and a Great match between two great wrestlers and more importantly friends. The true meaning of doing the honors, nicely done Hennig. Mr. Perfect only lost it twice to this point and both times were at Summerslam, the year before to Von Erich and this time to Hart in what would be one of the most famous matches in both men’s career and Summerslam history! Second straight Summerslam Bret is in a **** 1/2 match.
Stu applauds his son.
3) The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) (W/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke) (W/ André the Giant)
One of the only matches of the night where The Heels would go over. This was a slower moving match as you’d expect with the Whackers and a couple of big guys in the ring but even still MSG took part in this match pretty well considering this had just followed such a great classic in Hennig and Hart, and for anyone’s money it doesen’t get much better then those two. 6:27 was the time of the finish here when even though the Whackers got in there share of offense, in the end it wasn’t enough to take down the big men. The Natural Disasters were to much for the Aussies even if Andre was in there corner. Not terrible but just nothing remotely good, pretty much filler type material.
4) Virgil vs “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (c) (with Sensational Sherri) for The Million Dollar Championship
Alright this isn’t just any match if you’ve never seen it. This has a ton of build up all the way from the days Virgil was Dibiase’s loyal servant doing everything he said. The Black Man gets his revenge in this one and in a HUGE WAY. Virgil started the match with a ton of offense. Virgil’s offense was nothing short of impressive and very surprising with how high impact it was and how agressive and fast the moves hit. It really made MSG get on there feet and behind the former servant in a big way. Piper on color commentary cheering on Virgil only added to it as he rammed Dibiase into the steel steps. Dibiase’s selling was brilliant. I consider Ted Dibiase to be the BEST HEEL of all time and its reasons like this. The way he sold the moves it was all just such great storytelling.
Virgil was in complete control of Dibiase until he moved out of the way when Virgil went flying to the outside but landed on the mat and it was so easy to listen to when the match turned direction back in these days as the crowd would either explode cheering if a babyface got in control or let out a loud groan if the babyface was in trouble which was the case here for Virgil. Dibiase then rammed his head into the steps and on the apron and pointed why he should have always listened to him. The Million Dollar Man then posed like a natural villain in the middle of the ring and then hit Virgil with a hard clothesline. Dibiase came crashing from the top rope and kept performing impact moves followed by near falls and it looked like a case of where Virgil would have a few instant moments in control until Dibiase would then take over and get the obvious win. Dibiase THEN found himself in control as Virgil took over with the Million Dollar Dream. The Match looked to be over as he had the dream locked in and then it for sure looked to be over when Sherri interfered and hit Virgil and Hebner rang for the bell as the fans booed and Piper yelled “It can’t end like this!
The Million Dollar Belt can’t change hands on DQ!” The ref decided that the match would continue and Sherri would have to leave the ringside area and the place went nuts, she always did play an exceptional heel villian which made her pairing with Dibiase so great and that added to the match and the place exploded. Good thing she went in the Hall of Fame before she died but why couldn’t the WWE mention her when she died? Either way…..Virgil took it to Dibiase for a couple of minutes and the crowd was going crazy and Heenan and Piper’s back and forth dialogue was hillarious during this exchange. Dibiase then got back in control and levelled Virgil with two back to back vertical suplexes applied pretty perfectly. Ted Dibiase, The Million Dollar Man then hit a brilliant piledriver and kicked away at the ref as he was starting to wake up. Monsoon asked what that was and Heenan hillariously said, “That’s just the way Dibiase wakes him up.” The crowd chanted for Roddy as he seemed to be in this a lot as he was apart of this storyline as Virgil’s pal the whole time after all. Virgil then lead Dibiase into the ring post as the ref got to his feet and now he counted the ten on both guys as we don’t know who’s in control. Amazing story told in this match with every move being applied perfectly, in an awesome feud, this is how they used to do it in the old days. Virgil then covered Dibiase for the three count at 13:11 to become the NEW MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPION.
The place goes crazy as you’d expect! Virgil celebrated with his title in the defining moment of his career in Madison Square Garden and we just witnessed greatness. On the surface it looks like this match is rated extremely high. Well to be honest, I don’t know what’s stopping me from giving it the FULL FOUR on EMOTION ALONE. It’s THAT GOOD. An instant Summerslam Classic and one of the best performances in Dibiase’s career, he helps give Virgil the match of a life time.
5) The Big Boss Man vs The Mountie (W/ Jimmy Hart) in a “Jailhouse Match”, where the loser had to spend 24 hours in a New York City Jail
Monsoon probably over did it when he said that this one was going to be a classic. An interesting gimmick and a decent big man match, maybe but classic, nah we had just witnessed a couple on this show already although this one had the potential to at least be alright. Once again Heenan and Piper were on opposite sides of the spectrum with who they were rooting for in this match. (I’m shocked) So much on the line here and The Big Boss Man was in complete control early with punches, blows, elbow drops among other moves in the early going.
Bossman went for his trademark baseball slide to the outside then a blow but The Mountie moved and he chased the runt Jimmy Hart. The Big Boss Man showed his power as he hit a hard spine buster slam to the Mountie right in the middle of the canvas floor as the place erupted. Jimmy Hart tried his best to distract the Bossman but he applied pressure to the shoulder of the Mountie. Like most mid-card matches with The Big Boss Man in control in the early going which had the crowd happy The Mouth of The South made sure that The Mountie had his time to be in control of the match as he slowly applied some ongoing offense to Traylor with hard round house rights and then The Big Boss Man missed The Mountie as he charged towards him in the corner and hit nothing but the buckle pad and dropped to the ring floor.
The Mountie then dropped an elbow but only got a near fall. He sent The Big Boss Man to the ride and then hit a nice dropkick as MSG groaned. Heenan says these two are fighting for there repuation then Monsoon hillariously responded with, “There fighting to stay out of the can!” The Mountie kicked The Big Boss Man to the outside and Jimmy Hart shouted on his mega phone at him. The Big Boss Man came back in the ring and gave The Mountie a desperation uppercut. The Mountie remained in control as he went for a Piledriver but he couldn’t lift all that weight from The Big Boss Man and then he eventually did and landed it perfectly similar to Dibiase’s the time before. See, the Piledriver used to be a move used in every match before guys started getting hurt. The Mountie kept slugging it out with Bossman, leap frogged over him and then when Bossman came from behind he hit him with an uppercut then a sidewalk slam and he only got a two count only, and no one can believe it. Despite the slow moments this match has turned out to be a bit better then I thought it’d be. Or remembered it being I should say…same idea. Mountie then goes for a desperation move, a pile driver to Bossman but he countered it and slammed Mountie on his back with a modified spine buster and the pinned him for the 1, 2, 3 at 9:38.
These two could put on an entertaining ten minute match at a slower pace which is a good testament to how the match should be rated and that’s somewhere in the GOOD territory. The Bossman’s theme as he won was never more fitting then this… “You’ll be servin HARD TIME!” As The Mountie was being dragged by the Police to Jail, the crowd cheered and Heenan asked if they were taking him right now to Jail and as Monsoon said YES, Heenan said hillariously, “OH MY GOD! We may never see the Mountie again!”
6) Street Fight: The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) (c) vs The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
Road Warriors get a great pop as you’d expect. LOD not wasting any time with the attack. Crowd chanting for the LOD as there early offense in the match didn’t last a great deal of time as The Nasty Boys started to dominate the Road Warriors but the crowd didn’t give up on LOD as they continued to chant for them.
The Nasty Boys rammed Animal into the steel steps as Monsoon points out there is no DQ’s and no count outs and for back then it was extra special. This PPV has seemed to have a bit for everyone, definately a great Summerslam!
The Nasty Boys won the WWF Tag Titles from The Hart Foundation at Wrestlemania 7 earlier in the year 1991 but this was the last night during this reign they’d carry them to the delight of the fans.
They cut the ring in half did the Nasty Boys as they controlled Hawk on one side while Animal looked on impatiently from the ring apron. Sags with a tag to Knobbs and more domination to Road Warrior Hawk as they sent him to the buckle and Sags hit a big splash in the corner with all his body weight.
Knobbs hit a big elbow drop off the top but Animal broke up the count.
Jimmy Hart screamed with the mega phone on the outside don’t let him make the tag but he did and Animal came in and the fans went crazy. However it did’t take long for The Nasty boys to get in control of Animal either as he got hit by both Nasty Boys with Jimmy Hart’s mega phone. The Road Warriors got back in control though when Hawk hit them both from the outside with the mega phone!
The place exploded with the LOD hit there trademarked Dooms Day Device!
We’ve got new tag team champions at 7:45!
A lot of fun! The place went insane again!
We’ve seen Bret Hart win the IC Title.
Virgil wins the Million Dollar Title.
LOD wins the WWF Tag Team Titles.
All popular decisions with the crowd and this just made the PPV complete.
Add that in with the fact Hogan was the WWF Champion then every champion in the company was a popular one.
7) Irwin R. Schyster vs Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Okay, I love The Hammer Greg Valentine more then most people.
He’s ALWAYS included on my underrated lists but this match moved incredibally slow.
Rotundo and Valentine are infact probably both underrated workers and I loved how stiff Greg was and that’s why he fit THE HAMMER CHARACTER so well after all.
IRS took it to Valentine SLOWLY through the first half but Valentine slammed him down from the top rope then slapped on the figure four leglock.
They made it seem like Irwin couldn’t reach the ropes but he did it in time.
Out of no where Irwin rolled up The Hammer with a small package after reversing another figure four attempt and IRS won the match at 7:07.
Definitely not a good match and the crowd would let you know, just seemed kind of like pointless filler yet again that got the crowd ready for the main event and charged up.
8 ) Main Event- Match Made in Hell: WWF Champion Hulk Hogan (c) and The Ultimate Warrior vs Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan in a Handicap match with Sid Justice as special guest referee
I LOVE it how Monsoon says it’s time for the Match Made In Hell and HEENAN SAYS it’s time for the wedding? Monsoon tells him to be serious.
Read Above for more on The Ultimate Warrior Controversy.
He held up Vince and said he wouldn’t go out there if not payed a certain amount and Vince not wanting a confrontation payed him then fired him.
Warrior might have been greedy but according to him was screwed on his WM 7 payment so he refused to work another big match like this till he got payed. Most likely just let his big head get to him.
Hogan and Warrior both come out to great pops while the HEELS all got bad ones as expected with MSG here. Sid got a mixed reaction. When he told Slaughter to calm down at the beginning of this match it got a good one.
This is the THIRD time Summerslam has had a main event that was a tag team match involving the WWF Champion where he didn’t put the title on the line.
Infact, Hulk Hogan has been in four Summerslam main events and none of them have been for the WWF title despite him being the Champion on more then one occasion this being one of them.
Crowd was ready for this match.
Hogan and Slaughter put on a surprising (at least to me) three star main event at Wrestlemania 7. I absolutely loved that match and it was worked very brilliantly. Hogan and Slaughter began in this match in a re-match of sorts from WM 7 and Hogan dominated him early which got the crowd going and he tagged in the Warrior who then got a good ovation.
Warrior and Slaughter then went at it in what looked like a re-match from RR 1991 when the two went at it for the WWF title and Warrior delivered some offense. Warrior tagged back in Hogan and the two top babyfaces in the company took it to Slaughter with double team moves. Hogan and Warrior kept up the frequent tags as Sid stayed out of the way as the official of the match.
Hogan irishwhipped Sgt. Slaughter into the turnbuckle then hit him with a clothesline. Hulk choking out Slaughter and it’s been all Hulk and Warrior to this time.
Sid then got in Hogan’s face as he was over choking Slaughter (Uh-OH! WM 8’s main event is shining through….) and then Slaughter got his first bit of offense in and he took down Hogan and then tried a cheap shot at Warrior.
General Adnan then got tagged in as he raked the back of Hogan as Monsoon pointed out that these guys turned there back on there country. Crowd solid behind The Hulkster and The Shiek or Colonel Mustafa then got tagged in and he hit a side slam to Hogan. Hogan then hit a camel clutch on Hogan as Piper says he remembered this from 1983! Hogan then got hit with a back breaker that was well executed by Slaughter.
Sgt Slaughter then choked out Hogan in the corner. Warrior got tagged in after awhile of dominance on Hogan and then he hit Sarg with a suplex. Cheap shots by the heels behind Sid’s back and Adna took down Warrior so Sgt. Slaughter then choked out Warrior behind Sid’s back.
Warrior going on instinct and he was down with Slaughter as Sid began to count to 10 as the fan clapped on both of them. Slaughter made it to his feet but Warrior tagged in Hogan. The fans behind Hulk as he caught Slaughter with a boot. Warrior took out Adna and the Shiek behind Hogan’s back while Hulk then slammed Slaughter’s head into the top turnbuckle. Warrior chased out those two with a chair to the back. Hogan then hit Slaughter with a leg drop and Sid counted the three a little fast and the match ended at 12:40.
For some reason the fans weren’t very loud for this main event but were still active, this MATCH MADE IN HELL wasn’t the best stuff and not one of the greatest Summerslam Main Events although it was still semi-good for what it was and absolutely nothing more.
The popular guys going over trend continued for the biggest matches of the night as the babyfaces beat the heels by a overwehlming score of 6-2 here.
Match Made in Heaven: Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth Wedding:
Ooooooooooo yeah! Couldn’t leave this off the review!
The two get married and that’s all there is to say really. The guys think Macho is the man and he is and it ends the PPV on a positive note.
This is not their actual wedding as the couple in real life were already married but this was for show and character development to get Savage more over as a Babyface.
Things were all good in Savage-Liz land until Savage got a suspicious present from Jake The Snake Roberts that made him go a little bit over the edge….Maybe a little bit Insaaaaaane if ya know what I mean!
Final Rating for WWF Summerslam 1991 = 7.5/10
This show still holds up well and is a lot of fun no matter how you cut it.
Whether it’s remembered for the Warrior hold up, The Savage-Liz wedding or the Classic Bret-Perfect match it’s a whole lot of fun.
The Road Warriors among others put on good tag matches, and of course the Dibiase-Virgil clash was big and played off brilliantly.
Probably the best Summerslam up to this point in time with only 1989 as a Rival.
Great stuff, you should see this event if you haven’t already for sure. Definately re-watchable and a lot of things to enjoy and with the atmosphere from New York is just a bonus.