The fifth edition of SummerSlam was a history making event because it was the first time a WWE pay-per-view took place in London, England at Wembley Stadium. It was mostly a two match show with Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior for the WWE Title and Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Title. They were promoted the most and got the most time.
It was the first time Hulk Hogan missed a SummerSlam and he wouldn’t be back for another one for over a decade. Due to Hogan’s absence and a lot of names on this show that weren’t there in previous years it felt like the company was rebooting a bit. It felt like the start of big changes in WWE and they would continue for a few years especially with the steroid trial coming up as well.
The main reason why WWE chose England for this PPV is because business was down in the US and it was strong in England, so about three months before SummerSlam they made the decision to do it in England. The original plan was to do it in Landover, Maryland near Washington, DC. They were going to have Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart in the first Ladder Match as well, but they changed it to Bulldog vs. Bret because it was in England. Why has WWE not done a major PPV event in England in the last 25 years? I don’t have the answer to that other than logistic reasons, but I really think they should do it.
On a final pre-show note, it was taped on Saturday, April 29, 1992 and aired two days later on pay-per-view. It’s rare to air a PPV on a Monday, but that’s what WWE did. It’s not like the internet was around to spoil the results for people. I had no idea it was taped back then and I doubt most people did either. The announced attendance number was 80,255 people. Keep in mind that WWE tends to add to their attendance numbers, so it was probably somewhere less than that, but it’s still one of the biggest crowds ever.
I remember a lot about the show because of the venue. It was so cool to see such a huge outdoor stadium filled with a WWE crowd that was loud all-night long. Plus, the main event is one of the greatest matches ever. Let’s get to it.
WWE SummerSlam 1992
Wembley Stadium in London, England
August 31, 1992 (Taped August 29, 1992)
The opening of the show featured Vince McMahon doing a voiceover for Icopro. That makes me laugh because Icopro was such a failure.
There was a shot of the fans outside the stadium commenting on the big matches.
A group of six trumpeters started the show by performing a song in front of a packed crowd. Vince McMahon was on commentary mentioning there were over 80,000 fans.
Vince was at ringside with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on commentary. Heenan put a crown on to say that he’s the King of England. Vince called it the SummerSlam we thought we’d never see.
Irwin R. Schyster and Ted Dibiase entered first. IRS did a promo about tax cheats. Legion of Doom made their entrance while on motorcycles.
Money Inc (Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster) w/Jimmy Hart vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) w/Paul Ellering & Rocco
(Pre-match notes: LOD were the faces. You may be wondering what Rocco is if you’ve never seen it. It was a dummy that Ellering carried around with him. Money Inc were the heels. Dibiase was getting older, so he formed this team with IRS that was a natural fit for them.)
LOD were on fire early with Hawk hitting a clothesline that sent Dibiase to the floor and Animal hit Dibiase with a clothesline on the floor. The heels took control with IRS applying a sleeper on Hawk, which ended when Hawk drove him back first into the turnbuckle. Hawk with a clothesline. Hawk went for a clothesline off the middle rope, Schyster moved and Hawk bumped all the way to the floor. Dibiase with a body slam on Hawk on the floor. The heels worked over Hawk after making some quick tags and taking turns in the ring. There was a headlock applied on Hawk for about two minutes. Hawk got some brief offense by sending Dibiase into the turnbuckle. Hawk hit a clothesline on Schyster, but Irwin brought Dibiase back in the ring. Schyster choked Hawk with the tag rope while Dibiase distracted the ref. Tag was made, but Schyster distracted the ref. Classic heel move. Double clothesline spot by Hawk and Schyster knocked them both down.
Animal got the hot tag against Dibiase with a leaping shoulder tackle. Animal avoided a double team attack and hit a double clothesline. Crowd was on fire for LOD. Atomic drop by Animal on Schyster sent Irwin out of the ring. Corner clothesline by Animal on Dibiase. Hawk up top, Hart distracted the ref and Schyster with a dropkick to knock Animal down. Animal whipped Dibiase into Schyster (who was on the apron) and Animal hit a powerslam on Dibiase for the pinfall win at 15:10.
Winners by pinfall: Legion of Doom
Analysis: **1/2 Solid match with the heels working over Hawk for the majority of it and Animal cleaned house after the hot tag. The finish came out of nowhere. They should have teased some other nearfalls before it because it would have meant more when they got the win. After learning of the backstory of the match, I can understand why Hawk wasn’t given more of the spotlight for the finish.
There wasn’t much of a post match celebration. The camera just cut away after a brief replay.
Analysis: This match was the end of LOD for a few years. Hawk’s drug problem was bad and he ended up joining the Hell’s Angels in England after quitting WWE following this match. McMahon wanted Hawk to go to rehab and he didn’t want to. The duo returned in WCW together about four years later. All of this was covered in the Road Warriors DVD released in 2005.
Ric Flair was interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund backstage in the SummerSlam interview area. Flair’s debut at SummerSlam. Flair was in his wrestling attire even though he wasn’t booked in a match. Flair said he’s ready for any kind of match. The story was about whose corner Mr. Perfect might be in during the Savage vs. Warrior match. Flair didn’t answer Gene’s question about whose corner Perfect will be in. Flair just said that Perfect was in the dressing room of the winner.
Analysis: The idea behind the story is that somebody might turn heel thanks to Perfect’s help and we had no idea who that might be.
Virgil was interviewed by Sean Mooney about his match with Nailz while I realize that I have to watch that match. Oh shit.
Vince shilled the WWE SummerSlam Hotline. “Kids, make sure you get your parents permission before you make that call.” I never called it. My parents are great, but I think I was scared to do it.
Nailz vs. Virgil
(Pre-match notes: Nailz is the heel and Virgil is the face. Nailz’ gimmick was that of a former convict seeking revenge on the world, especially Big Boss Man.)
Nailz choked Virgil for about a minute early on and he tossed him out of the ring. Nailz beat on Virgil a bit outside the ring. Back in the ring, boots to the face by Virgil and then he ran into a Nailz clothesline. Nailz applied an aggressive choke hold/sleeper with Vince saying it was a blatant choke. Virgil was out, so the ref called for the bell at 3:55.
Winner by submission: Nailz
Analysis: -* Awful match that was just a squash as expected. Nailz had a terrible gimmick and he was even worse in the ring.
Post match, Nailz got the nightstick that once belonged to the Big Boss Man and hit Virgil with it. Nailz choked Virgil with the nightstick as well. Nailz stared at the hard cam and that was it.
Analysis: A few months later, Nailz attacked Vince McMahon in his office because he was mad about his pay for matches like this. Others had to go in the room to break it up because Nailz was choking Vince. That was the end of Nailz in WWE. He wasn’t missed.
There was a shot backstage of Lord Alfred Hayes standing outside of Randy Savage’s locker room for the whereabouts of Mr. Perfect.
Sensational Sherri was interviewed by Mean Gene. She was the manager of Shawn Michaels. Mean Gene narrated some clips to show the build to this Michaels vs. Rick Martel match. The story was she had a crush on Martel even though she managed Michaels. Sherri did a promo saying that both men have agreed to not hit eachother in the face.
Martel was already in the ring. Michaels made his entrance with Sherri. Vince McMahon called them two of the most conceited individuals in the company.
Shawn Michaels (w/Sensational Sherri) vs. Rick Martel
(Pre-match notes: Both guys were heels, which is rare for a PPV match. They were similar egotistical type heels.
Sherri was showing a lot of cheek in her outfit. Vince said there was a part of her outfit missing, which is funny. As mentioned, the wrestlers agreed to not hit eachother in the face.
Martel did a cartwheel taunt early on to show he was ready to go. Michaels hit a dropkick with Heenan wondering if a dropkick to the face was okay. Martel went for a cross body block, Michaels ducked and Vince did his “what a maneuver” line for Shawn avoided the attack. Each guy teased a punch to the face, but neither man did it. Michaels ran the ropes, Martel avoided him and sent him over the top to the floor. Sherri checked on Shawn on the floor and Martel gave her a big hug, which led to her smiling. Back in the ring, Martel with a back body drop. Each guy did rollups while grabbing the tights because they are both heels. Michaels with a kick to the chest. Michaels got a boot up and went for a pinfall with his foot on the ropes, but the ref saw it, so Martel got a rollup for two. Both guys ended up slapping eachother in the face. Sherri was on the apron yelling about it, which led to her fainting on the apron. Heenan had a funny line about how he knows when a woman faints. Michaels checked on Sherri on the floor. Martel shoved Michaels away and did CPR on her. The guys shoved eachother outside the ring and then it turned into a slugfest as they went up the aisle. The referee counted them out.
Match Result: Double disqualification
Analysis: **1/2 Solid match that should have been better, but it never got to the point where it was an exciting match. The heel/heel dynamic didn’t work in terms of getting the crowd into the match because they had nobody to root for. The finish was cheesy and I don’t recall there being a good payoff to this storyline.
Post match, Sherri sat up and saw the two guys fighting for her in the aisle. Officials showed up to break up the fight. Michaels went back to the ring to take Sherri to the back by carrying her over his shoulder. Vince said “oh my goodness” when there was a closeup of her ass. Martel went back to the ring, punched Michaels and Martel carried Sherri. Michaels knocked down Martel from behind and Michaels picked up Sherri again to take her to the back. Martel had a bucket of water in his hands and he tossed it onto Sherri. She was left alone as Michaels chased after Martel and she went after them.
Analysis: It ended up coming off as a comedy segment with both guys fighting over Sherri, her bumping to the floor repeatedly and then the water bit at the end. As I said, there wasn’t a big payoff to the angle since both guys were heels.
The Nasty Boys were interviewed by Sean Mooney in the locker room with manager Jimmy Hart. They complained about how they didn’t have a title shot.
The Beverly Brothers were in the ring for a match. The Genius was their manager and he read some poem before the match. Big pop for The Natural Disasters, who were the Tag Team Champions.
WWE Tag Team Championships: Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Tugboat) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly) w/The Genius
(Pre-match notes: A year earlier, the Natural Disasters were heels and this time they were face champions. The Beverly Brothers were heel challengers. The Beverlys were not really brothers in case you were wondering)
The champs used their massive size advantage to run over the heels with running body attacks. Typhoon with a running splash in the corner. Earthquake charged for an attack while Typhoon held one of them, but the heels cheated leading to Earthquake splashing Typhoon by accident. Heenan announced that Shawn Michaels has left Wembley Stadium. Blake hit a headbutt off the middle rope on Typhoon as the heels isolated him. Heenan: “Is it buffoon or Typhoon?” Heenan’s the greatest. The heels kept tagging and out as they worked on Typhoon some more. Typhoon tagged out, but the ref didn’t see it because the heels did the spot where they prevented the ref from seeing it. The heels worked on Typhoon in their corner some more and Typhoon ended up hitting a double clothesline to knock them down. Typhoon had Blake in his hands and Beau hit a missile dropkick leading to a two count for Blake. Earthquake nearly got the hot tag, but Beau went after him and Blake hit Typhoon in the back with the scroll that the Genius had. Quake got in the ring with an elbow on Blake’s head to break up the pin attempt. Earthquake got the hot tag to a big ovation and a hiptoss sent Beau across the ring followed by a belly to belly suplex. Blake went in the ring, Quake knocked them down with a double shoulder tackle and Typhoon sent Blake out of the ring. Corner splash by Quake on Beau followed by a powerslam. Running splash by Quake led to the pinfall win at 10:30.
Winners by pinfall: Natural Disasters
Analysis: * Boring tag match following the same formula of every tag building to the hot tag. The problem is the Beverlys weren’t interesting and having Typhoon sell for like seven minutes was boring. This should have been a shorter match. At least the crowd got into it by the end.
Post match, Natural Disasters brought The Genius in the ring and tossed him over the top to the floor. Natural Disasters celebrated with their titles.
Analysis: It’s better to toss a guy onto others on the floor to have them break his fall, but Genius bumped to the floor.
The Bushwhackers did an interview with Mean Gene to kill some time.
Lord Alfred Hayes was outside the Ultimate Warrior’s dressing room thinking Mr. Perfect was in there. Hayes opened the door briefly, but somebody threw something at the door so he closed it and said it was door.
Analysis: Just another way to hype up what might happen in the main event.
Crush vs. Repo Man
(Pre-match notes: Crush was the face pushing his Hawaiian heritage and Repo Man was the heel. They were both in Demolition when Repo Man was using the Smash name. He completely changed his look as Repo Man.)
Repo attacked early and Crush came back with a Gorilla Press Slam. Crush continued on offense with a backbreaker. Crush went to the top rope with a knee attack, but Repo Man moved to avoid it. Back body drop attempt by Crush, but Repo Man slammed him face first. When Repo went for the cover, Crush did the power kickout. Repo up top, he jumped off and Crush hit a powerslam. Crush applied his cranium crushing finisher move for submission win at 5:41.
Winner by submission: Crush
Analysis: 1/2* Squash match win for Crush, who got a mild push. I forgot about how cheesy that finishing move was.
There were videos leading up to the Savage vs. Warrior match with Savage attacking Flair and Perfect after a promo while Warrior saved Savage. The story was furthered by more promos between the four men. There was also a tag match with Warrior and Savage against the Nasty Boys that led to a lot of more troubles between Warrior and Savage. It also led to Flair and Perfect attacking Warrior. The Nasty Boys attacked Savage with chairs as well.
Analysis: The story was pretty good because I remember thinking something big was going to happen for this match and I was excited to see what it might be.
The challenger, The Ultimate Warrior, made his entrance to a thunderous ovation. Warriors attire was different from what he wore in previous years because he had on a singlet.
Randy Savage, the WWE Champion, entered to a huge ovation as well. Both guys were rocking the bright colors and the crowd loved them.
Analysis: This was a huge match at the time. It was also a rematch of one of my favorite matches at WrestleMania 7 when Warrior beat Savage to retire Savage. This time, both guys were faces, so there was a different story.
WWE Championship: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior
(Pre-match notes: Both guys were faces and very popular. I think Savage was more popular in 1988 than 1992, but he was still over huge. Warrior’s peak was 1990, but the fans still loved him too.)
Savage wanted a handshake. Warrior shook his hand and then it began after some aggressive shoving. The fans were cheering for both guys. Warrior was aggressive early with two atomic drops. Warrior worked over Savage in the corner with punches. Savage got the momentum back his way by grabbing the tights to send Warrior into the turnbuckle. Savage took control thanks to a clothesline that sent Warrior out of the ring. Back in the ring, Savage hit a double axe off the top, which Warrior no sold, so Savage went up to hit a double axe again and knock Warrior down. Savage jumped off the top again, Warrior caught him in his arms, hit a backbreaker and sidewalk slam. The announcers kept talking about where Perfect is as Savage got an inside cradle for two. Savage hit a neckbreaker that didn’t look great. Savage continued on offense by sending Warrior throat first into the top rope. Savage was selling a back injury really well, which led to Warrior focusing on it with forearms to the back. Suplex got a two count for Warrior. Savage was against the ropes, Warrior charged, Savage ducked and Warrior went crashing over the top to the floor. Savage up top and he connected with a double axehandle smash, which was a signature spot for him. Savage sent Warrior into the ring post and they went back into the ring.
The duo of Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair (in his robe) made their way down to the ring as Warrior hit a clothesline on Savage. Warrior went for a running splash, but Savage got his knees up to block it. Both guys ran the ropes leading to the double clothesline spot. Flair and Perfect were outside the ring watching with Vince yelling about what a matchup this is and each man got a two count. Savage ran the ropes, so Perfect tripped him up with the ref not seeing it. Vince did his over the top routine yelling about Warrior selling out to Mr. Perfect. Savage yelled at the heels on the floor, so Warrior took advantage by slamming Savage towards the turnbuckle. There was a spot by the turnbuckle where Warrior whipped Savage in and Savage grazed referee Earl Hebner. Warrior with a body slam. Warrior up top and he hit a double axe off the top. Warrior slapped his head to the mat three times, the ref went over to count and Savage kicked out at two. Good false finish spot. Savage with a knee to the back of Warrior, who went into the ref and sent the ref out of the ring. Savage hit a piledriver on Warrior. Savage checked on the ref while Perfect held up Warrior for Flair, who nailed Flair with a punch to the face using brass knuckles. Savage didn’t see any of it as he brought ref Hebner back into the ring. Body slam by Savage. Savage went up top and hit the Flying Elbow Drop for a cover with Hebner slowly getting over there to count one…two…no because Warrior kicked out. Fantastic nearfall right there.
Warrior did his no sell routine as Savage tried to keep him down, but Warrior kept getting stronger. Warrior hit a punch followed by three clotheslines. Running shoulder tackle by Warrior knocked down Savage again. Warrior with a Gorilla Press Slam. Warrior ran the ropes, Perfect tried a trip, the ref looked at him and Flair hit Warrior in the back with a chair shot, which wasn’t seen by Savage. It led to Savage looking at Flair wondering what he did. Savage went up top while the ref was dealing with Perfect on the floor. Savage turned to Flair and jumped towards him, but Flair avoided it and hit him with a chair to the knee. The ref counted Savage out of the ring to give Warrior the win by countout at 28:00.
Winner: Ultimate Warrior by countout (Savage retained the WWE Title)
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good match given a lot of time with a controversial ending that hurts the match quality, but it fit in with the story they were trying to tell. I had forgotten how long the match was at nearly 30 minutes. I think the WrestleMania 7 match between them was better by a bit because of the drama that surrounded that match, but this was still very good too. The story that was teased going into the match was that Perfect and Flair were working with somebody even though they were there to cause havoc at ringside.
Post match, Flair attacked Savage outside the ring with a Figure Four Leglock on the floor while Perfect stomped away. Warrior left the ring on the other side as he stumbled over towards Savage on the floor. Flair went for a chair attack, but Warrior grabbed the chair from him. Flair and Perfect ran away while Warrior had the chair with him.
Analysis: Great angle that got a lot of heat. The crowd was screaming during the Flair attack and Warrior saving Savage
Savage was back in the ring selling the left knee injury. Ring announcer Howard Finkel announced Warrior as winner by countout while Savage is still WWE Champion. Warrior left the ring and grabbed the title. Warrior went into the ring, raised Savage’s hand and helped him get back to his feet. Savage did a fantastic job of selling with McMahon calling them two of the greatest superstars of all-time. Warrior ended up helping Warrior to the back with Savage selling it well.
Analysis: Savage selling the knee was key to the story because a few days after this took place, Flair faced Savage for the WWE Title at a TV taping and Flair won the title from him. The knee injury was a key part of that match.
Flair and Perfect were interviewed by Mean Gene. Perfect said that Plan B is in full effect. Flair complained about how he should have got the title shot to begin with. Flair said that the two most perfect men alive were Perfect and himself. Flair ended it by telling Savage that the title is coming back to me.
Analysis: Flair ended up getting the title as I mentioned. The long term story was going to be Savage and Warrior vs. Flair and newcomer Razor Ramon at Survivor Series. It ended up not happening because Warrior quit the company before Survivor Series, which led to Perfect turning face by becoming Savage’s partner and Perfect feuded with Flair.
Vince announced the attendance at 80,355.
Kamala made his entrance after being introduced by manager Harvey Wippleman. The Undertaker entered on a hearse with his manager Paul Bearer walking ahead of him. Cool entrance for Taker.
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Kamala (w/Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee)
(Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face and Kamala was the heel.)
Undertaker was on fire early with the top rope walk into the punch that later became known as “Old School.” Taker went for it again, but Wippleman went on the apron to shake the ropes and knock him down. Kamala attacked outside the ring by sending Taker into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Kamala did his chops. Undertaker came back with a Chokeslam. He did it a lot better in later years, but it still looked cool here. Taker hit the leaping clothesline. Kim Chee went into the ring and hit Undertaker in the ribs, so the ref called for the disqualification at 3:27.
Winner by disqualification: The Undertaker
Analysis: 1/4* Pretty bad match, but the best part is it was short. Out of respect for Undertaker I won’t go into the negative stars for it. He was still early in his WWE career and would get better as the years went by. Kamala was booked as a serious heel at times, but I always laughed at him because of how silly he moved.
Post match, Kamala continued the attack with a splash in the corner and a body slam. Kamala hit a splash. Kamala went to the middle rope and connected with a splash from there. Kim Chee told Kamala to go to the top rope. Kamala jumped off and hit a terrible looking splash. Heenan said “we have seen the end of The Undertaker.” Not exactly.
Kamala left the ring, Undertaker sat up, the crowd loved it and Undertaker slowly followed Kamala up the aisle.
Analysis: The reason they did the DQ and the post match attack is because they did the match again at Survivor Series 1992 in what was called a Coffin Match at the time. Believe me when I tell you that was a terrible match too.
Davey Boy Smith, also known as the British Bulldog, was interviewed by Sean Mooney in the locker room. Bulldog said he’s fought hard for two long years to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. Bulldog said when he steps in the ring with Bret it will be as if he doesn’t know him, but at the end of it he hopes that the family can unite. Bulldog said performer in front of 80,000 people is a dream and his other dream is that he’ll be the IC Champion.
Analysis: Pretty good promo from Bulldog, who wasn’t known for consistently great promos. He did well with that one, though.
Bret Hart, the Intercontinental Champion, said that he was the one that introduced Bulldog to his sister and that Bret helped him more than anybody in WWE. Hart said that Bulldog is the one responsible for the family tension because he’s the one that wanted a shot at the gold. Bret ended it saying he’s going to win.
Analysis: Since it was face vs. face, it was necessary to have a bit of a story with each guy wanting to prove who the better man was.
There were some dudes played the bagpipes and they were joined by Roddy Piper, who probably wasn’t playing, but he sold it like he was.
Diana Hart Smith was interviewed by Sean Mooney in the crowd. She was the wife of Davey and sister of Bret, so she just talked about how hard it’s going to be to watch this. She said she wasn’t concerned with who wins and said she’s supporting both of them.
Davey Boy Smith entered first to massive ovation in his home country. He had boxer Lennox Lewis with him with Lewis carrying the United Kingdom flag. Loudest ovation of Bulldog’s career.
Analysis: Great intro for Bulldog there. Lewis won Olympic Gold in boxing for Canada in 1988, but he was from Great Britain when he was a pro because it was better to make money that way. In Canada, we didn’t really like that, but he still had support from Canadians a lot.
Bret Hart, the Intercontinental Champion, got a really nice ovation too. It wasn’t as loud as Bulldog, but it’s not like he got booed either. Hart was a rising star that was loved in Europe as much as anywhere.
Intercontinental Championship: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
(Pre-match notes: Both guys were faces with Bret walking in as the IC Champion. Bulldog had never held the title heading into the match. As mentioned earlier, they were brothers in law.)
Bulldog used his power early with a shoulder tackle to knock Bret out of the ring. When they got back in the ring, Bret got a couple of nearfalls. Bulldog used his power to do a takedown followed by a slingshot that sent Hart into the turnbuckle. Bulldog got a nearfall and then worked on Hart with an armbar as the crowd chanted for Bulldog. When they got vertical, Bulldog ran the ropes and Hart hit him with a knee to the ribs. Back elbow by Hart followed by an elbow drop and an atomic drop. Bret slapped on a headlock and you could tell he was talking to him, but couldn’t hear it. In his book, Bret mentioned Bulldog was tired and forgot most of the spots, so Bret had to guide him the rest of the way. Bulldog with a monkey flip that sent Hart into the ropes. Bulldog charged at Bret in the corner and was met with a stiff boot to the face. Hart with a bulldog. Bret went up top, which was not a usual spot for him and Bulldog slammed him down. Bulldog up top, he went for a leaping attack and Hart moved out of the way to avoid it. Neither guy was known for top rope moves, so that was just a way to show they were trying different things just to win. They did a spot where Bret used his momentum to send Bulldog out of the ring as the fans booed because they wanted Bulldog to win. They did a spot where Bret did a slingshot over the top and ends up pulling Bulldog down in a nasty landing for Bulldog. Hart drove Bulldog into the ring post and rolled him back into the ring.
Analysis: In his book, DVD and many interviews, Hart talked about how Bulldog was blown up early and forgot a lot of their spots. You could tell that was true of Bulldog just from that spot. Bulldog was supposed to catch him there and fall to the mat with him. Instead, Bulldog was hunched over against the side of the ring where he was trying to catch his breath. Hart ended up grabbing him by the shoulder to pull him down. Like Bret said on his DVD, he could have easily torn his knee.
Back in the ring, Hart remained in control with a whip into the corner followed by a Russian legsweep. Hart worked him over with punches followed by a dropkick. Back body drop by Hart led to a rough landing on the knee of Bulldog. Bret continued on offense with a backbreaker followed by the elbow drop off the middle rope for a two count. Hart picked up Bulldog by the hair and yanked him down, which led to boos. Another headlock by Bret to probably give instruction to Bulldog again. Sleeper time by Hart. After about a minute of that, Bulldog drove him back into the turnbuckle and Hart applied the sleeper again, so Bulldog sent him into the turnbuckle again. They did a spot where Bulldog did a Gorilla Press Slam and Hart was sent groin first into the middle turnbuckle. Bulldog connected with three clotheslines for a two count. Bulldog with a press slam for a two count. Delayed suplex by Bulldog, which was a signature spot for him, earned a big ovation as well as a two count. Hard whip into the corner by Bulldog led to Bret taking the sternum bump into the corner. Bulldog hit the Running Powerslam, which was his finisher and Bret kicked out at two. Bulldog was shocked by it. It was rare to see people kick out of finishers in this era. Bridging German Suplex by Hart got a two count. That was sweet. Bulldog went up top and hit a Superplex for a two count. The crowd was going crazy for all of this. They did a double clothesline spot. Bret wrapped Bulldog up in the Sharpshooter while they were on their backs. Hart sat down on him in the Sharpshooter, the crowd was going NUTS freaking out and Bulldog got to the ropes. “If you don’t like it you shouldn’t be here – go do the dishes,” is what Bobby Heenan said when they showed Diana. The Brain is a legend, folks. Bret whipped him into the ropes, sunset flip, Bulldog dropped to his knees, hooked the arms, leaned forward for the one, two and three for what was one of the loudest ovations in WWE history. Vince didn’t even call anything. He let the picture tell the story, which is actually good in that case. It went 25:40.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Davey Boy Smith
Analysis: ***** Five stars out of five. I loved it 25 years ago and the more times I watch it as an adult I love it even more. The only part of the match where I could be picky about it is when Smith didn’t catch him for that spot I mentioned, but that’s not that big of a deal. Through a lot of it, Bret was working as a heel because I think he realized he needed to in order to get the crowd totally behind Smith. It’s the perfect example of a match doing great things for both guys. One guy went over (Bulldog), but the other guy became a bigger star after it was finished (Hart). That’s the point of wrestling. It’s not about the wins and losses. It’s about telling stories, getting over and creating memories to last a lifetime. That’s exactly what they did here. I’ll never forget how loud that pop was when Bulldog countered Bret, dropped down and sat on top to get the victory.
Post match, Bulldog was handed the title. Hart was frustrated about the loss, so he teased leaving. Hart stopped before leaving and Bulldog wanted him to shake his hand. Bret shook his hand and they hugged in the ring with the crowd cheering even louder than before. Diana went into the ring and hugged Davey as well as Bret. All three of them hugged. Vince McMahon called it one of the greatest wrestling matches of all-time. Guess what? He was right.
Analysis: The celebration was awesome because the crowd went crazy for it even more than the match. It made Bret even more likable as a top babyface too.
Vince was going crazy with his yelling saying “What a match! What a SummerSlam! This has been a family affair! This has been SummerSlam!” Fireworks went off in the stadium as they said goodbye. Vince signed off with: “WHAT A SUMMERSLAM!” Bulldog celebrated with his title some more and that was it.
Analysis: I wrote a lot of praise already, so I’ll share with you what Bret said in an interview with Sports Illustrated earlier this year:
“I’ll always be partial to Wembley. It’s one of my greatest matches, and it was special to have an outdoor show at Wembley. Everyone was scared it was going to rain and ruin the show, and it was supposed to rain, but everyone crossed their fingers and it never rained. There were 82,000 people and something that made the match so special was that nobody knew who was going to win. I was able to do that with Bulldog at Wembley; right to the very last pin, no one knew who was going to win. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful thing to watch in wrestling when someone loses in the exact perfect way. That’s why the pin was so dramatic. There was no escape, there was no shame, but I made a mistake and Davey capitalized. It was a beautiful story, and I believe that was the match that launched me into a world champion.”
Great point in saying it was the perfect pin. I loved the ending and that’s such an important part of the match. That’s what people remember the most a lot of time, so it was the right way to bring it home.
I wrote a lot there referencing Bret’s book. If you haven’t read it yet, prowrestlingstories has excerpts of it with Bret telling his side of the story. Sadly, Davey Boy passed away, but I believe most of what Bret says about it.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 47 minutes on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– The main event is one of the best matches in WWE history. It’s also one of my favorite matches ever and always will be. On his DVD and in his book, Bret talked about going into this match with the idea that not only will people think Bulldog got elevated by winning the title, but that Bret would be a bigger star after his performance. He wanted to prove that he could be the top guy in the company. Less than two months later he would win his first ever WWE Title. He was right.
– I remember hating the finish to Savage/Warrior when I was a kid, but I understand it better now after watching so much wrestling in my life. It was a brilliant way to end it because it led to Flair getting the next WWE Title shot and beating Savage for the gold. It also set up Survivor Series well although Warrior quitting (or getting fired) prevented them from doing the tag as they had planned.
– Bobby Heenan was spectacular on commentary all night long. He had so many great one liners, which was usual for him. I think he’s the best color guy in wrestling history while Jerry Lawler was very good at it for the majority of his career.
– It’s a shame that WWE hasn’t had another major PPV event in England. I know they had a NXT Takeover last year and in the 1990s and 2000s they had England only PPVs, but I’m talking about major WWE main roster PPVs. England deserves a big one whether it’s in a stadium or going in an arena. I hope it happens some day soon.
– The show didn’t do that well in terms of PPV buys that period with 280,000 buys. That’s down 125,000 buys from the year before even though that 1991 show was much worse. It’s the presence of Hulk Hogan really because without him, business suffered until Steve Austin became the guy in the late 1990s.
Best Match: British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart (*****)
Worst Match: Nailz vs. Virgil (-*)
Most Memorable Moment: Bulldog winning the IC Title was an amazing moment. The post match hug with Bret drew an even louder ovation and made both of them bigger stars.
- Bret Hart
- British Bulldog
- Randy Savage
- Ultimate Warrior
- Legion of Doom
Show rating (out of 10): 7
It’s a fun show carried by the two major matches and one of the biggest (and loudest) crowds in WWE history. Every match had a pretty good reaction, which certainly helped the quality of the show. It would have been nice if some of the tags were better, but it’s still an above average show to me because of how good the top two matches were.
Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:
British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart @ SummerSlam 1992 (*****)
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect @ SummerSlam 1991 (****1/4)
Ranking SummerSlam Reviews (on 1-10 scale)
SummerSlam 1989 (Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks) – 5
SummerSlam 1991 (Match Made In Heaven & Hell) – 4.5
SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude) – 3.5
Next up is SummerSlam 1993, which features one of the biggest celebrations for a countout win that you’re ever going to see.
Check out the SummerSlam Reviews archive.