Venue: United Center (Chicago, IL)
Commentators: Vince McMahon & Jerry “The King” Lawler
VIDEO: Summerslam intro, complete with the classic SS theme. Man I miss that song.
We go live to the United Center in Chicago, IL and immediately out comes “Macho Man” Randy Savage to a major pop. He welcomes the crowd to the show and hypes the WWF, stopping by to shake hands with Davey Boy Smith who is sitting in the crowd. Savage introduces Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler as the commentators for tonight, slapping hands with McMahon before heading into the ring to soak in the crowd cheers. Thanks for coming, Mach. McMahon takes over, welcoming the home crowd and hyping the new United Center as well as the show itself. Lawler announces that Shawn Michaels & Diesel won the tag team titles last night at a house show, so the opening match is no longer for the belts.
1. The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) [w/ Afa & Capt. Lou Albano] Vs. The Million Dollar Corporation (I.R.S. & Bam Bam Bigelow) [w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase]
Bigelow with an Irish whip and shoulderblock to Fatu to start. Bigelow whips Fatu into the corner but misses the splash and Fatu takes him down with a savate kick. Fatu covers for the 1…2…kickout. Fatu goes for a slam but Bigelow’s too big and he lands on top for the 1…2…kickout. Bigelow follows up with an enziguiri then heads to the top but misses the headbutt. Fatu gets a running head start and turns Bigelow inside out with a clothesline. Samu tags in and The Headshrinkers connect with a double savate kick off the corner Irish whip. Samu covers the fallen Bigelow for the 1…2…kickout. Samu catches Bigelow flush with a right then whips him into the corner but Bigelow responds with a back elbow when Samu goes for the splash. IRS tags in and the crowd boos loudly. Samu takes him down with a bodyslam and savate kick for the 1…2…kickout. IRS has nuclear heat.
Samu ducks a clothesline but IRS ducks a crossbody attempt. IRS charges and Samu ducks, sending IRS flying out to the floor. Fatu grabs IRS and rams him head-first into the steel steps before rolling him back in. Samu headbutts IRS, taking him right down because Samoans have thick skulls, and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Fatu tags in and The Headshrinkers connect with a double chop. IRS reverses an Irish whip and Bigelow grabs Fatu, pulling him out to the floor. Should be a DQ but shhhh. Bigelow stomps Fatu and sends him into DiBiase’s metal briefcase. Bigelow shoves Fatu back in the ring and IRS hits back to back elbows for the 1…2…kickout. Bigelow tags in and he and Fatu collide in the center of the ring, both attempting a clothesline.
IRS gets the tag but so does Samu. Samu takes it to IRS with a series of rights followed by a back bodydrop off the Irish whip. Samu headbutts Bigelow and delivers a back bodydrop to him as well. Headbutts for both MDC members, and a scoop slam for IRS. Samu climbs to the middle turnbuckle and connects with a headbutt for the 1…2…Bigelow breaks the count. Samu shoves Bigelow out to the floor and in comes Fatu. The Headshrinkers connect with a double headbutt followed by the double front-facing legsweep. Fatu climbs to the top and connects with the flying splash. DiBiase distracts the ref to prevent the count and Bigelow takes out Samu on the floor. Albano climbs the apron and Bigelow decks him. Afa walks in and headbutts Bigelow, causing a DQ.
Winners [via DQ]: The Million Dollar Corporation (7:21)
• Jon’s Thoughts: An alright match to start that turned into a fun post-match brawl. Afa and Albano getting physically involved was surprising but I enjoyed it. Too bad DiBiase was too physically hobbled to contribute anything as well. IRS got the biggest heel reaction in the MDC, proving that Chicago hates paying their taxes on time. Deadbeats. (**)
Post-Match: Fatu hits Bigelow with a savate kick then The Headshrinkers and Afa cave in his skull with a triple headbutt. Afa checks on Albano as DiBiase hightails it. Both teams brawl up the aisle near the entrance as officials do their damndest to break it up. The fight continues to the back as Howard Finkel announces the MDC as the winners.
Leslie Nielsen is shown backstage hot on the trail of The Undertaker. Two security guards walk over and think he’s Lloyd Bridges and/or Peter Graves so they leave him alone. Nielsen turns the corner and sees a man bathed in purple light but it turns out to be George Kennedy, who played his partner Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun! movies. They say they’re both on the case then look down and see they’re standing on…sigh…a case. Off they go to find The Undertaker.
• Jon’s Thoughts: If you don’t find Nielsen or The Naked Gun! movies funny then this probably will drive you insane. However I love both very much so hell yeah bring on the lame jokes.
2. Alundra Blayze (c) Vs. Bull Nakano [w/ Luna Vachon] for the WWF WOMEN’S TITLE
Nakano goes to shake Blayze’s hand but instead kicks her, whips her into the corner, and connects with a clothesline. Blayze fights back with a dropkick but misses the second one and Nakano throws her to the mat by the hair. Nakano grabs the hair and does it once again. Blayze tries to fight back but Nakano shakes it off and clotheslines her, then drops the leg and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Nakano slaps on a chinlock. Blayze reaches the ropes to force a break but Nakano keeps a hold of the hair and keeps the attack coming. Nakano slams Blayze face-first onto the canvas and covers her with one foot for the 1…2…kickout. “USA!” chants from the Chicago crowd. Nakano goes for a powerbomb but Blayze counters with a hurricanrana roll-up for the 1…2…kickout. Blayze follows up with a spinkick but misses the second and Nakano tosses her to the mat with a choke throw. Nakano chokes Blayze with her shin then applies a sort-of Boston crab, both legs under her right arm.
Nakano clubs Blayze to the mat and then applies a Scorpion Cross Lock. Nakano releases the hold and distracts the ref, allowing Vachon to choke Blayze against the top rope. Blayze rolls Nakano up for the 1…2…Nakano kicks out and applies a Cross Armbreaker. Blayze turns it into a roll-up for the 1…2…kickout. Nakano whips Blayze into the ropes, but Blayze repeatedly slams Nakano’s head to the mat by using the hair and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Blayze goes for a powerbomb but Nakano is too strong and she counters with a back bodydrop. Nakano slams Blayze to the mat and covers for the 1…2…Blayze bridges out and goes for a clothesline but Nakano ducks and takes Blayze’s head off with a lariat. Blayze floats over a corner splash attempt and rolls Nakano up with a backslide for the 1…2…kickout. Blayze goes for a hurricanrana and Nakano counters with a powerbomb for the 1…2…kickout. Nakano slams Blayze to the mat and climbs to the top. Nakano misses the Alabama Jam and Blayze catches her with a bridging German Suplex for the 1…2…3!
Winner and STILL Women’s Champion [via Pinfall]: Alundra Blayze (8:18)
• Notes: Nakano would go on to win the WWF Women’s Title and hold it well into 1995 until Blayze regained it on an episode of Monday Night Raw leading into a feud with Bertha Faye. The Blayze/Nakano matches were big hits in 1994 and WCW would go on to try and recreate them in 1996 when Blayze returned to WCW as Madusa as part of WCW’s attempt to start a women’s division. It didn’t work out.
• Jon’s Thoughts: I remember the Blayze/Nakano matches getting high praise in 1994 for raising the bar in women’s wrestling in the United States. Even now 20 years after the fact I can see why as this was a serious match featuring serious and skilled competitors. The WWE would go on to set women’s wrestling back by decades once the Attitude Era hit but between 93-95 (even with Bertha Faye) they were on the right track. Overall I enjoyed the contest and Bull Nakano in particular. She wasn’t about to succumb to the U.S.-style and wrestled her own match which Blayze was only too happy to go along with. Check this one, and their inaugural encounter on Monday Night Raw, if you get the chance. (**3/4)
Todd Pettingill is backstage with the new Tag Team Champions, Shawn Michaels and the IC Champion Diesel. Michaels says between the two they have held the IC Title for the last two years, and the Heartbreak Hotel needed just a little more gold. Michaels says that proves they are the two most happenin’ cats in the World Wrestling Federation. Yeah real cool phrase there Shawn. Pettingill changes subjects to Diesel’s opponent tonight, Razor Ramón and Diesel says he’s had a lot of chances but hasn’t come through yet and asks why he thinks it’ll actually happen tonight. Pettingill asks about NFL Hall Of Famer Walter Payton being in Razor’s corner, and Michaels says those two cats will be oh so bitter when they’re done with them.
• Jon’s Thoughts: If you wanted proof that HBK has never been cool…
3. “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel (c) [w/ “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels] Vs. “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramón [w/ Walter Payton] for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
HBK jaws at Payton and the ref has to hold “Sweetness” back. Finally the corner men leave the ring and it’s time for the wrestling to start, only took a minute and change. Diesel charges and Razor catches him with a series of rights, the third sending him to the mat. Diesel gets back up just to fall out of the ring and to the floor. HBK gives Diesel some words of encouragement and a high five. Diesel steps back into the ring, looking confident once again. Diesel catches Razor with a knee to the gut and an elbow to the back of the neck. Diesel drives a forearm into Razor’s kidneys then another off an Irish whip. Diesel shoves Razor into the ropes, and Razor responds with a series of rights. He twists Diesel’s arm and turns right into a clothesline. Razor fights back with a corner clothesline but runs right into a back elbow during a splash attempt.
Diesel throws Razor into the corner and chokes him with his boot, HBK holding Razor’s hair from the outside for extra punishment. Razor goes for a backdrop but Diesel grabs the hair and slams him face-first into the mat. Diesel mocks Payton then whips Razor into the ropes, locking in a sleeperhold in the center of the ring. Razor feeds off the crowd and escapes with a belly-to-back suplex. Both men get to their feet and Razor charges, but Diesel dodges and tosses him out to the floor. Payton checks on Razor as HBK takes off a top turnbuckle on the opposite side, exposing the steel. HBK runs over to Razor and Payton walks over to protect The Bad Guy. Payton stalks HBK around the ring until the ref rolls out and backs Payton away. This distraction allows HBK to hit Razor with a flying forearm off the ring steps. HBK climbs the apron and high-fives Diesel, then counts with the ref. Razor wakes up and rolls in right before the 10 count.
Diesel backs Razor into the corner and connects with a series of elbows to the side of the head and knees to the gut. Diesel goes to whip Razor into the exposed turnbuckle but the ref gets in the way to prevent it. HBK climbs the apron to distract the ref, allowing Diesel to send Razor into the steel unabated. Diesel follows up with a sidewalk slam and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Diesel picks Razor up in a powerslam position and sends him head-first into the top turnbuckle like a lawn dart. Diesel chokes Razor against the middle rope and follows up with a leg lariat and clothesline (which didn’t actually look like it hit, but work with me here). Diesel follows up with an elbow to the back and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Diesel applies a chinlock, knee digging into Razor’s spine, as Chicago tries to wake The Bad Guy up.
Razor feeds off the energy, breaks the chinlock, ducks a clothesline, and…runs right into a big boot. Diesel drops down and covers for the 1…2…Razor gets his foot on the rope. Diesel argues with the ref then traps Razor in an abdominal stretch to further injure the back. Diesel uses the top rope for leverage as the ref checks on Razor. The ref runs over but Diesel releases to avoid punishment. He grabs the rope once more and the ref once again doesn’t catch it. Diesel grabs the rope for a third time and this time the ref catches it and counts Diesel off. Diesel drives a series of clubbing forearms to Razor’s back then whips him into the ropes. Razor ducks a clothesline and applies an abdominal stretch of his own but Diesel quickly counters with a hip toss. Diesel picks Razor up to launch him again but Razor escapes and sends him chest-first into the exposed steel before rolling him up for the 1…2…kickout.
Razor mounts his comeback with a series of right hands and an Irish whip into the corner. Razor slides out and trips Diesel’s legs, then pulls him crotch-first into the ring post. Razor rolls back in and connects with a second-rope bulldog for the 1…2…kickout. Razor takes Diesel to the mat with a scoop slam and covers for the 1…2…kickout. HBK climbs the apron and Razor sends him flying into the guardrail. Razor ducks a clothesline and crotches Diesel on the exposed steel. He goes for the super belly-to-back suplex but Diesel quickly elbows him off. Diesel signals for the finish but Razor counters the Jackknife with a back bodydrop. Razor signals for the Razor’s Edge and the crowd goes wild. HBK climbs the apron again and Diesel hits a distracted Razor from behind. He whips Razor into the ropes and takes him down with a nice shoulderblock. HBK tries to toss the IC Title into the ring but Payton grabs it and they tug of war the gold. Payton pulls it away and the ref gets distracted with Payton. HBK runs in and accidentally hits Diesel with Sweet Chin Music! Payton stalks HBK around the ring, still holding the IC Title. HBK tries to roll into the ring but Payton pulls him out. The ref rolls back into the ring as Razor drapes an arm over to Diesel to count the 1…2…3!
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion [via Pinfall]: Razor Ramon (15:01)
• Notes: This began Razor’s second reign as Intercontinental Champion and concluded Diesel’s only run with the title. This also began the slow build to the eventual split between Michaels and Diesel and the latter’s face turn. We’ll get there in a few months, guys and girls.
• Jon’s Thoughts: A match that ended up being far better than I expected it to be. Razor essentially had to guide Diesel through the contest as he was the much better wrestler but they delivered a very good big man contest. The outside shenanigans with Michaels and Payton also helped the overall atmosphere of the match and didn’t detract in any way. Having Payton, an NFL Hall Of Famer who helped the Chicago Bears win a Super Bowl Championship in the 80s, out there alongside Razor did wonders for keeping the crowd invested and hot. A lot to like about this one. (***)
Post-Match: Diesel yells at HBK up the aisle and to the back. Back in the ring Razor celebrates his title win with Payton and Payton’s son Jarrett.
Cut to “Macho Man” Randy Savage who’s standing by somewhere in the crowd. He congratulates Razor on winning the title and says he doesn’t want to be HBK when Diesel catches up to him…then mentions that they are still the tag team champions. He takes it back to Vinnie Mac, who takes us through the replay of Michaels accidentally hitting Diesel with Sweet Chin Music.
Todd Pettingill is standing by backstage with Lex Luger and Tatanka, who are facing one another in the next match. The result of the WWF Hotline Poll of “Has Lex Luger Sold Out to the Million Dollar Man?” is 54% Yes and 46% No. Ouch. Luger tries to say something but Tatanka interrupts and says the whole world is going to find out that Luger has sold out. He goes through various pieces of proof over the past few months on WWF TV that makes it look like DiBiase and Luger are in cahoots. Tatanka tells Luger to get the Million Dollar Man and strut to ringside because he’ll be waiting in the ring. Tatanka walks off and Luger takes over, saying that he knows what the truth is. He proclaims his innocence and says he’ll win without any help like he usually does.
• Jon’s Thoughts: Not exactly a subtle promo from Tatanka. Telegraphed like a motherf*cker.
4. “Made in the U.S.A.” Lex Luger Vs. “The Native American” Tatanka
Tatanka once again accuses Luger of selling out and Luger gets right in his face. The ref separates the two instead of letting them fight which is dumb. They finally lock up and it ends up in a quick stalemate. Second lockup brings Tatanka into the corner and the ref has to pry the two apart. Luger grabs a side headlock and wrenches it in. Tatanka whips Luger into the ropes and gets taken down with a shoulderblock. Cheers and boos from the crowd. Luger allows Tatanka to get back to his feet and the two circle one another before locking up once more. Tatanka and Luger trade wristlocks until the former keeps a hold and turns into a standing armbar. Luger whips Tatanka into the ropes but Tatanka ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody for the 1…2…kickout. Tatanka goes for a slam but Luger counters with a small package for the 1…2…kickout. The two trade rights, Luger winning the war, and Luger whips him into the opposite corner. Luger brings Tatanka out with a hip toss and follows up with a suplex, floating over into a lateral press for the 1…2…kickout.
Luger misses an elbowdrop and Tatanka catches him with a chop and series of rights. Tatanka whips Luger into the ropes and connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…kickout. Tatanka revs up with a War Dance and connects with a chop, then does it again and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Tatanka follows up with a suplex then heads to the top turnbuckle, hitting a flying axhandle for the 1…2…kickout. Tatanka connects with a scoop slam and climbs back to the top. Luger dodges a crossbody and Tatanka crashes to the mat. Luger follows up with back-to-back clotheslines and out comes Ted DiBiase to the ring, red white & blue duffel bag of money in his hand. Luger catches Tatanka with a powerslam and signals for the finish. Luger sees DiBiase and gets distracted, allowing Tatanka to roll him up for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Tatanka (6:02)
• Notes: This was Luger and Tatanka’s second one-on-one match on WWF PPV; the two previously fought to a draw a year before at the King of the Ring when Luger was still known as The Narcissist.
• Jon’s Thoughts: A mediocre match made even worse by a dead crowd not knowing who to cheer for. These two just sort-of traded basic wrestling moves waiting for DiBiase to come out and create some intrigue. (*1/2)
Post-Match: Luger argues with Tatanka for taking such a cheap win. DiBiase steps into the ring and Luger turns his attention to him. DiBiase shows him the money and Luger kicks the bag out of his hand. Tatanka takes his head off with a clothesline and hits the End of the Trail. Another ref comes in to try and stop the assault but Tatanka continues with stomps and another End of the Trail. Finally Tatanka stops and hugs DiBiase as the crowd boos. Lawler loves it. Tatanka decides to get him some more and gives Luger a parting chop. DiBiase and Tatanka go to leave but DiBiase tells him to do a little more damage and so he does as three refs try to keep him away. Tatanka picks Luger up and applies the Million Dollar Dream! NICE. Tatanka grabs a 100 dollar bill and shoves it in the unconscious Luger’s mouth. Luger just made more than the average indie worker.
• Jon’s Thoughts: This was absolutely heartbreaking to 7 year old me; as a big Tatanka fan I was shocked that he took the money and sold out. Monster. Twenty years later though I can see just how telegraphed this was and I feel dumb for not seeing it back then. Also this beatdown went on way too long. Too many exclamation points put on the heel turn.
Cut to Gorilla Monsoon in the WWF Hotline room as he awaits for either Tatanka or Ted DiBiase to show up. Monsoon calls Tatanka a disgrace to all Native Americans and sooner or later he’ll have to pay the piper. Neither man shows up as we cut back to the ring for the next match.
5. Mabel [w/ Oscar] Vs. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett
Mabel extends a hand but Jarrett doesn’t want to shake it and they lock up instead. Mabel sends Jarrett into the corner, but Jarrett escapes a follow-up attack and struts his away to the opposite corner. Jarrett grabs a wristlock, twisting the arm multiple times, but Mabel easily flings him off. Jarrett ducks back-to-back clotheslines and a kick attempt, then struts once more but this time Mabel grabs him with a standing chokehold. Jarrett tries to drop down under a running Mabel but Mabel drops an elbow on his back instead. Mabel follows up with a bodyslam and a clothesline out to the floor. Jarrett shoves Oscar into the steps then trips Mabel’s leg up and rolls back in. Jarrett stomps the fallen Mabel and hits a second-rope flying fistdrop. Lawler is not impressed. Jarrett climbs back to the middle turnbuckle as Mabel gets up, hitting a flying axhandle. Jarrett hits another and Mabel starts wobbling.
Jarrett climbs to the top turnbuckle but gets caught in a bearhug in mid-air. Jarrett escapes the hold but Mabel catches him with a right hand. Jarrett ducks a clothesline and applies a backpack sleeperhold. Mabel breaks the hold by squashing Jarrett in the corner. Jarrett jumps off the second turnbuckle and reapplies the backpack sleeper, bringing Mabel down to one knee. Mabel gets back up and squashes Jarrett in the corner once again. Mabel whips Jarrett into the ropes and connects with a spinning heel kick for the 1…2…kickout. A shot Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz being on strike in the audience is shown as we see Mabel flatten Jarrett with a slam for the 1…2…Jarrett gets his foot on the ropes. Jarrett rakes the eyes then does it again and heads outside to attack Oscar once more. This time Mabel grabs Jarrett from behind, allowing Oscar to slap him across the face. Mabel then splashes Jarrett against the post.
Back in the ring Mabel climbs the second turnbuckle and goes for a splash but Jarrett manages to move out of the way and covers for the 1…2…Mabel presses Jarrett off of him. Mabel whips Jarrett into the ropes and Jarrett tries a sunset flip. Mabel attempts a seated splash but Jarrett moves out of the way then quickly covers for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (5:55)
• Notes: Jarrett and Mabel’s first Summerslam appearance.
•Jon’s Thoughts: A fun matchup that was absolutely pointless to put on. Jarrett was great as the plucky heel trying to take down the giant, and Mabel’s spinning heel kick is always a sight to behold. Weird the match ended up on the missed seated splash instead of Mabel’s missed splash from the second-rope though. Feels like that would have knocked the big man out for a longer stretch of time. (*3/4)
Post-Match: Mabel chases Jarrett to the back.
The lights go out in the arena as Vince McMahon gets on the live mic He says somewhere in the crowd their super-sleuths are on the case attempting to solve the mystery of The Undertaker. A spotlight shines on Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy who are standing near the entryway. The shadow of The Undertaker is shown behind them, unbeknownst the two sleuths. When they finally turn around there’s no one there and off they go to the back.
• Jon’s Thoughts: 😀
VIDEO: Recap of the Bret Hart/Owen Hart feud. Todd Pettingill narrates it.
• Jon’s Thoughts: This feud was so damn good, you guys. Highlight of 1994.
McMahon and Lawler vamp for a bit as the cage is put up around the ring. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen baby blue. McMahon and Lawler catch up with Stu and Helen Hart who are sitting at ringside. Helen hopes Owen recovers from the “fever” that has taken him over. Stu says the best wrestler will come out with his hand raised. Lawler accuses both of them of turning Owen against the family. We pan over where the Hart sisters and Davey Boy Smith are sitting. Smith says Bret is in the best condition of his life right now and the Hart family feud hopefully ends tonight. The Hart brothers are sitting in the second row…and so is Jim Neidhart. Neidhart says everyone is going to see that Owen Hart is gonna be the next World Champion. Bruce Hart seems to take exception to that. Neidhart says he thinks Stu Hart did drive Owen to this “greatness”. Bruce blames Neidhart for causing the big Hart split and won’t be pulling anything tonight.
Todd Pettingill is standing by with Bret Hart. He says Hart is recovering from strep throat and Hart says it has no effect on what’s gonna happen tonight. Hart says the belt is going right back over his shoulder tonight and will prove he’s always been better than Owen. Hart says he doesn’t hate Owen but says jealousy is an ugly thing. Hart, however, does hate Neidhart’s guts for planting the seeds of jealousy in Owen. Hart says it breaks his heart that two brothers are going to be in such a barbaric match but this feud has to stop. Hart says he hopes Owen can live with it when it’s all said and done. We then cut to Howard Finkel who says the only way to win the next match is to escape the cage.
6. Cage Match: Bret “The Hitman” Hart (c) Vs. “The King of Harts” Owen Hart for the WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Owen attacks right at the bell, clubbing Bret down in the corner and driving him face-first into the canvas. Owen tosses Bret in the corner and hits a series of right hands in a corner mount position. Owen follows up with a European uppercut and series of stomps to the skull. Owen chops Bret and headbutts him, but Bret responds with an inverted atomic drop and running clothesline. Owen quickly rakes the eyes to retain the momentum. Owen tries to send Bret into the cage but Bret blocks it with his foot and connects with a DDT. Bret starts crawling for the door but Owen quickly grabs the tights. Bret floors Owen with a right hand and follows up with a legdrop. Bret starts scaling the cage but Owen grabs the leg and pulls him back in. Bret catches a kick attempt but Owen responds with an enziguiri and scales the cage. He gets to the top but Bret pulls him back in and connects with a belly-to-back suplex as Owen stands on the top rope.
Bret starts crawling toward the cage door but Owen grabs the leg and pulls him back in. Owen with a series of kicks to the knee and a hard corner Irish whip to the opposite side. Bret catches Owen with a kick and hits a running bulldog. Bret starts crawling back towards the door but Owen pulls him in then dives for it himself. Bret does the exact same, then Owen. Owen grabs the steps trying to avoid being pulled in but Bret applies a chinlock. Owen bites the fingers to escape the hold but Bret pulls him back in anyway and drops a forearm across the back of the head. Bret starts scaling the cage but Owen grabs the left ankle and press slams him back to the canvas. Owen scales the cage and manages to get to the other side but Bret grabs him by the hair and brings him back inside. A slugfest ensues and down goes Bret. Owen then kicks Bret away and follows up with a front-facing missile dropkick. Owen kips up and lunges onto the cage wall. He gets halfway out but Bret grabs a leg and pulls Owen back in by the hair. Bret climbs over Owen and straddles the cage. Owen bites Bret and connects with a palm strike followed by a series of rights. Bret hits some rights of his own and a knee to the midsection. Bret rams Owen against the cage and down he goes.
Back in the center of the ring Owen peppers Bret with rights and goes for a piledriver but Bret counters with a back bodydrop. Owen whips Bret into the ropes and they end up colliding, sending both men crashing to the mat. Owen starts crawling toward the open door but Bret pulls him back in and clubs him hard across the chest. Hart follows up with a forearm smash and starts slowly climbing the cage. Owen gets to his feet and grabs the right ankle as Bret straddles the cage. Owen grabs the tights to successfully bring Bret back in. Bret kicks Owen away with his free leg but Owen stops him once again from exiting. Owen pulls the leg and Bret gets crotched hard on the top rope, sending him bouncing to the mat. NICE. Owen crawls towards the door but Bret grabs the right ankle. Owen kicks Bret in the chest but Bret grabs the legs, pulls him into the center of the ring, and headbutts him in the midsection.
The camera pans out to the United Center crowd as Bret hits some sort of move to knock Owen down. Bret climbs to the top but misses a follow-up elbowdrop. Owen climbs the cage and straddles the top but Bret grabs the right kneepad to stop him. Owen rakes the eyes and gets to the other side. Bret grabs the hair and Owen dangles as he tries to just drop down. Bret pulls Owen back into the ring and brings him to the mat with a press slam. Bret climbs the cage and Owen grabs the right ankle. Bret kicks him away but Owen grabs him and pulls him into a Samoan drop. Owen climbs the cage and almost climbs over but Bret grabs the right leg and brings him back in. Bret blocks being sent into the cage then sends Owen face-first into the blue steel (not that blue steel, Zoolander marks). Bret scales the cage as the crowd goes nuts. Bret gets both legs over but Owen grabs the hair and he connects with a belly-to-back suplex off the middle rope.
Owen is up first and he drops Bret with a piledriver. Owen struggles to his feet and starts the climb up the cage. Bret gets to his feet and grabs the left leg. Owen decks Bret with a series of rights that sends him to the mat, but Owen drops down and crotches himself on the top rope so both men are down. Bret tries to escape through the door but Owen grabs the legs. Bret struggles to kick Owen off as he slides halfway out. Owen pulls him in and Bret hits him with a series of rapid-fire rights then slides back halfway out. Owen pulls him back in and Owen pelts him with right hands. Owen slides halfway out through the door, getting a hand on the floor, but Bret pulls him back in and slingshots him face-first into the steel. Bret struggles for the door but ends up on the wrong side, then starts crawling out the actual doorway. Owen lunges and grabs the right leg, pulling his brother back in.
Owen hammer whips Hart into the corner with such force that the cage rattles. Owen escapes a slam but gets sent into the cage when Bret ducks. However Bret’s left knee also slams into the cage and now he’s hobbled. Bret starts the climb as Owen falls back down after trying to get back up. He makes it over but Owen gets back up and grabs the arm and hair. Owen clubs the back of Bret’s neck then catches him with a spinning heel kick off the Irish whip. Owen starts climbing the cage but Bret grabs the right foot. Owen kicks him away and gets over the cage but Bret grabs the hair and forces him back in. Bret blocks getting faced by the cage so Owen decks him with a series of rights instead. Bret kicks Owen’s hand, relinquishing his grip, and he crashes to the mat. Bret climbs the cage and straddles the top as Owen grabs the tights and pulls him back in. Owen connects with a European uppercut followed by another. Bret reverses an Irish whip but Owen ducks a clothesline and they knock skulls in the center of the ring.
Owen is first up to scale the cage and he gets both legs over. Bret grabs Owen and connects with a superplex off the top turnbuckle/cage and both men are down goddamn. After a bit of time Bret shows signs of life and starts crawling out the door. Owen grabs the right ankle and pulls him back into the center of the ring, locking him in the Sharpshooter. Bret trips the legs and reverses it into a Sharpshooter of his own. Bret lets go and climbs the cage, getting both feet over, but Owen lunges and grabs the head pulling him back in. Owen decks Bret but they both crash to the mat. Owen gets to his feet and climbs the cage, both feet over. Bret climbs out as well and they start fighting on their way down. Bret blocks a cage shot and smashes Owen’s head against the cage. Owen falls back, leg caught in between the cage, and Bret drops down to win!
Winner and STILL World Champion: Bret “The Hitman” Hart (32:21)
• Notes: This marked the return of Davey Boy Smith to the WWF after a brief stint in WCW and in his native country of England. This also marked the second and final singles match between Bret and Owen on PPV.
• Jon’s Thoughts: I’m a nerd about cage matches; I prefer the mesh to the bars and I like it better when the match requires a pinfall/submission rather than mere escape as it’s more of an impactful ending. But there are always exceptions to my usual taste preferences and this match was definitely one of them. This was an absolutely stellar cage match, filled to the brim with drama, and both Bret and Owen were great as using escape attempts to build the intensity and to a crescendo. Hell even the outliers of Davey Boy and Neidhart being in the audience was kept for after the match instead of during, making this a clean cage match which was surprising. Nothing bad to say about this one other than words of resentment towards the WWF for not making this the main event though I guess since the feud continued after this it made a little sense. WATCH THIS MATCH PEOPLE. (****3/4)
Post-Match: Neidhart climbs into the aisle and clotheslines both Davey Boy Smith and Diana Hart over the guardrail and into ringside. Neidhart attacks Bret and chokes him with his shirt then he and Owen toss Bret into the ring. Neidhart closes the door and chains it shut…well eventually, anyway. Owen takes his boot off and clobbers Bret with it, then hits a Hart family member off the cage. Neidhart and Owen clear Hart family members left and right. Davey Boy Smith is kicked off as well by Owen. Neidhart throws Bret into the cage. Davey Boy takes his shirt off and climbs to the top and hammers Owen to the mat, then climbs in. Owen and Neidhart flee as other Hart family members try to attack. The Harts and Davey Boy check on Bret as the chain is cut and the door is opened. We cut backstage where Todd Pettingill tries to interview Owen and Neidhart. Owen freaks out, saying he had Bret beat. Neidhart yells nonsense and he and Owen leave to celebrate Owen’s “victory”.
VIDEO: Hype for WWF’s next PPV, Survivor Series, to take place in November. Look for a recap/review of that show on its 20th anniversary.
VIDEO: Recap of The Undertaker storyline, which includes various “sightings” across the country and Ted DiBiase bringing his own Undertaker to the company.
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase makes his way out to the ring and gets on the mic. He says he has no idea what Paul Bearer is going to bring tonight, but he brings to us the one and only Undertaker (now called Fake Undertaker or Faker for the rest of the recap). Dude is obviously not the real deal but he’s got the mannerisms down pretty well. Howard Finkel then introduces the real Undertaker and the lights go out. A spotlight shines on Paul Bearer who walks out, then turns to reveal the casket from Royal Rumble 1994 being wheeled out by druids. Bearer leads the casket and druids to ringside. The casket opens and out bellows smoke and fog. Bearer pulls out a huge urn and hands it to the ref. He steps into the ring and grabs the urn as the arena goes dark once again. Bearer opens the urns, revealing a bright light emanating from inside. Thunder cracks and the lights flicker as if there’s lightning. Undertaker’s music kicks up again and the purple light shines from the entrance, showing the outline of the one true Undertaker! When the lights turn back on, both Undertakers are in the ring. The real Taker has the purple gloves/boot coverings and the other is in the traditional grey.
• Jon’s Thoughts: I know this match is probably going to be awful but the pre-match theatrics were f*cking brilliant. Now that’s how you reintroduce The Undertaker! Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Would have fit in perfect with any of his famed WrestleMania entrances. I also love that Taker debuted his “new” look with the purple here while taking on the Fake Taker wearing his old colors. Nice way to signal the change. Guys I loved this whole goddamn segment so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much. So much.
7. The Undertaker [w/ Paul Bearer] Vs. Fake Undertaker [w/ “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase]
Taker and Faker stand in the center of the ring, staring one another down. Faker is noticeably shorter. Taker does the throat-cut signal and Faker tries for a right. Taker blocks it and sends him into the ropes. Faker ducks a clothesline and they collide, neither man going down. Faker connects with a series of rights but Taker reverses an Irish whip, leapfrogs Faker, and hits a big boot followed by a chop that sends Faker tumbling to the floor. DiBiase climbs the apron and distracts Taker as Faker stalks Bearer. Taker regains his concentration and pulls Faker back to the apron by the hair. Taker goozles Faker then brings him back into the ring with a suplex. Faker sits right up and Taker kicks him in the gut and goozles him, sending him out to the floor. The crowd is dead silent, which is fitting because they’re watching zombies fight. Taker rams Faker face-first into the apron and connects with a throat chop. Taker rolls in and brings Faker to the apron once more. Faker grabs Taker and drops him throat-first on the top rope to break the grasp.
Faker rolls in and connects with a series of throat thrusts then grabs the wrist and scales the top turnbuckles for “Old School” (or whatever it was called back then) but Taker goozles him and tosses him to the mat. Faker sits up and Taker grabs the wrist, hitting Old School. Taker rams Faker into the top turnbuckle and follows up with a kick to the midsection. Faker reverses an Irish whip and tries to hot shot Taker on the rope but it doesn’t work out very well and it’s awkward. Faker clotheslines Taker but he doesn’t go down so he does it again, this time with a little speed on him. Faker goes for a follow-up legdrop but Taker dodges it and gets back up. Taker connects with a series of right hands but misses a clothesline and gets sent out to the floor.
This crowd’s eerie quiet is throwing me off. Faker sends Taker into the ring post then into the ring steps. Faker rolls in and waits for Taker to get back in before connecting with a throat thrust and right hand. Faker kicks Taker full force in the ribs and connects with a series of rights that brings Taker to one knee. Taker fights back with throat thrusts of his own but Faker ducks a clothesline and connects with a chokeslam. Faker tries to get the crowd into it but nope. Faker kneels down and Taker sits up to avoid a pin. Faker picks Taker up and connects with the Tombstone Piledriver. Faker drops to one knee and Taker sits up once again. Taker walks right into Faker’s arms, but Taker reverses and hits a Tombstone Piledriver of his own. Taker picks Faker up and hits a second Tombstone Piledriver, then picks him up and hits a third Tombstone Piledriver for the 1…2…3.
Winner [via Pinfall]: The Undertaker (9:09)
• Notes: The Fake Undertaker was portrayed by Smoky Mountain Wrestling star Brian Lee, who would later resurface in the WWF in 1997 as Chainz, a member of the biker gang The Disciples of Apocalypse alongside Crush and The Harris Brothers (then known as Skull & 8-Ball). Lee also had a brief spell in ECW from 96-97, known primarily for taking a fall off a scaffold into a series of tables set up in the ring as seen in a myriad of ECW montages.
• Jon’s Thoughts: The match was about as dull as you would expect given the two were supposed to be walking zombies who didn’t feel pain. And with Undertaker needing to prove that he was the real deal (except to those watching who had 20/20 vision and cognitive activity) it was pretty much a 9 minute squash match headlining one of the WWF’s most important shows of the year. It also didn’t help that it had to follow a tremendous cage match right before it, which killed the crowd who were spent and just wanted to go home. Taker/Faker is to Bret/Owen as Triple H/Chris Jericho was to Rock/Hogan at WM X-8. (*1/2)
Post-Match: The Undertaker pushes Faker into the casket and the druids carry him away forever (or until he discovers his love of motorcycle gangs in 1997). Undertaker poses as thunder/lightning effects fill the arena. We cut to Randy Savage in the aisle who tries to sign off but he then takes it to Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy backstage who come across the giant casket. They open it and there’s nothing inside except smoke. They look off-camera and see a briefcase. It’s closed. The case is closed. Get it? GET IT? LAUGH GODDAMMIT. Nielsen reiterates that the case is closed and off they go into the night.
Summerslam 1994 is a one match show when you boil it down, as Bret Vs. Owen easily outshined every other match on the card in every conceivable way. However there were still some other gems to be found, with a better than expected contest between Diesel and Razor, a very good women’s contest between Blayze and Nakano, and the awesome pre-match stuff with The Undertaker (the match itself can be skipped and wiped from your memory). I enjoyed the show overall but that’s mostly due to nostalgia; if you’re watching it for the first time get ready to ride that FF button because there’s a ton that can be skipped. Hell you may just want to skip over Luger Vs. Tatanka twice just to twist the knife.
• Average Match Quality (Out of *****): **1/2
• Best Match: Bret Hart Vs. Owen Hart
• Worst Match: Tatanka Vs. Lex Luger
• Best Moment: Undertaker’s pre-match return.
• Worst Moment: Jim Neidhart tries to lock the door shut and has to yell at The Hart Family to stop pushing at the door so he can do it, leaving them awkwardly standing around and waiting for it to be locked instead of charging in.
Remember to check out more of Jon’s work over at his site Jon vs. Pro Wrestling.