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OO GUEST COLUMN  
The Very First SummerSlam:
Memorable for Exactly Two Reasons
November 20, 2003

by Adam Gutschmidt 
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Emanating from Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

Your commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham.  Where’s Jesse you ask?  He’s been assigned to referee the main event tonight.

Opening Match: The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The Rougeaus offer handshakes, but the Bulldogs are suspicious.  Davey Boy goes right to work on Jacques giving him some rough turnbuckle treatment.  Jacques gets thrown to his corner where he’s consoled by Raymond.  Aww.  As the referee tries to separate Raymond and Davey Boy, Raymond sucker punches him.  Davey Boy escapes a monkey flip attempt and tags Dynamite.  Dynamite nicely works on Raymond’s arm as Jacques fails to get a U.S.A. chant going.  As Dynamite tries to punch out Raymond in the corner, Jacques illegally comes in and hits him with a back suplex.  Jacques now legally comes in and gets a 2 count on Dynamite.  The Rougeaus now take over and hit Dynamite with a tandem gutbuster.  Jacques locks an abdominal stretch on Dynamite, but Davey Boy breaks it up.  As the referee sends Davey Boy back, Raymond comes in and puts the abdominal stretch back on Dynamite.  Dynamite finally escapes, but can’t follow it up.  A splash by Jacques gets a nearfall.  The Rougeaus are doing a nice job of continuing to draw Davey Boy into the ring so that they can double-team when he’s ushered out.  A small package by Dynamite gets 2.  Dynamite finally makes a tag to Davey Boy, but of course the ref didn’t see it and won’t allow it.  Dynamite continues to fight back and now does make the hot tag.  Davey Boy tries a dropkick, but Jacques holds onto the ropes.  Jacques whips Davey Boy, but he reverses it, catches Jacques in a press and then crotches him on the top rope.  Crowd loved that one.  All four guys in now and the Bulldogs give the Rougeaus a double-noggin knocker.  Davey Boy launches Dynamite who hits a flying headbutt on Jacques.  Suddenly the bell rings.  Howard Finkel announces that time has expired and the match is a draw.  Crowd does not like that decision at all. 

Postmatch: The Rougeaus offer a handshake again and then sucker punch the Bulldogs.  The Bulldogs then chase the Rougeaus to the back.  Billy Graham suggests they “finish it in the showers” if they have to.  That really creeped me out.

BL: A super weak ending to a really good match.  Unlike the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude match from Wrestlemania 4, it wasn’t obvious that they were going for a time limit draw.  The optimist would say that this finish means a rematch between the two, so we’ll focus on that.  *** ¾

- We’re shown a clip of Ron Bass’ “vicious” attack on Brutus Beefcake, where he raked his spur against Beefcake’s head.  This was so “graphic”, it had to be censored.  As a result, Beefcake won’t face the Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Title tonight (darn) but Gorilla promises us that Honky will defend the title tonight against the new #1 contender.  Please be Iron Mike Sharpe, please be Iron Mike Sharpe.

Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown

This is a matchup where if I had seen it when it originally aired I would have totally cheered for the heel.  Bad News jumps Patera as soon as he gets in the ring and we’re underway.  Patera hasn’t even gotten his dorky jacket off yet, as Bad News continues the beating.  As Bad News charges Patera in the corner, Patera nails him with a clothesline.  Patera slams Bad News, but then misses the follow-up elbow.  Bad News now goes back on offense focusing his attack on Patera’s head.  Patera kicks Bad News when he puts his head down to slow him down.  An elbow gets 2 for Patera.  Patera locks a bearhug on Bad News.  What good guy uses a bearhug in his moveset?  Bad News rakes his eyes to escape.  Patera gets the full nelson on Bad News, but Bad News immediately grabs the ropes.  They botch an Irish whip spot, so they try it again with the end result being Patera charging and posting his shoulder when Bad News moves out of the way.  Bad News then hits the Ghettoblaster and pins him.  The NY crowd actually cheers that win.

BL: It was mostly Patera getting squashed which amuses me, but doesn’t necessarily say a whole lot for the quality of the match.  There was some sloppy work and a little long for what it truly was…a Superstars main event.  ¾ *

- We then get a rough cut and go straight to…

Junkyard Dog vs. Ravishing Rick Rude

As JYD puts away his collar, Rude hits him from behind.  JYD comes right back though with a back body drop.  The doggy-style headbutts send Rude to the floor to regroup.  He doesn’t get much time though as JYD pulls him back in.  A missed headbutt by JYD gives Rude a chance to recover.  Rude goes up top and hits an ax handle.  After some brief offense, Rude tries to hurt JYD’s arm, but hurts himself instead.  JYD goes to work on Rude until he gets distracted by Heenan.  Rude takes the opportunity to knee JYD from behind.  Going up top, Rude stops to pull down his tights to reveal another pair of tights that have an airbrushed photo of Cheryl Roberts on them.  Rude then nails JYD with a fist and poses.  Jake Roberts comes out and attacks Rude as the crowd goes bezerk.  JYD is disqualified but the crowd doesn’t seem to mind.

BL: The obvious issue here was between Rude and Jake, so why not put that match on the PPV instead of trying to prolong it and have it take place on a forgettable Saturday Night’s Main Event.  As for the match, it was just ok, nothing spectacular.  * ¾

- I apologize if there was backstage stuff between these matches, but on my tape, it’s another rough cut right to…

The Powers of Pain vs. The Bolsheviks

All four men brawl to begin and the Powers of Pain clean house.  The Bolsheviks try to double-team the Barbarian, but fail miserably.  Then the Powers of Pain show how double-teaming is done right on Zukoff.  Referee has no control of this match.  Zukoff keeps trying to get into a rhythm but the Barbarian stops him each time.  The Warlord whips Zukoff from pillar to post.  The Bolsheviks trap the Warlord in their corner, but he fights out of it.  A roundhouse kick by Volkoff slows the Warlord down.  The Bolsheviks whip the Warlord and then put their heads down, which the Warlord makes them pay for.  “Hot tag” made to Barbarian, even though I never really felt like the Warlord was in jeopardy.  The Barbarian takes out both Bolsheviks.  The Warlord powerslams Zukoff and it’s followed by a flying headbutt by the Barbarian.  And that’s all she wrote for the Bolsheviks.

BL: If the wrestling ring were a vegetable garden, the Powers of Pain would be growing a whole lot of squash.  The Bolsheviks got treated like the jobbers they are.  Match stunk though and the Powers of Pain’s finisher saved it from dud-ville.  ¼*

Brother Love Show with special guest Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Brother Love tries teaching Duggan a lesson in love, but Mr. A.D.D. would rather mug for the crowd and yell “hooo” instead.  Then he has the audacity to threaten to hit Brother Love with his 2 x 4.  Brother Love opts to flee.  Can we move on please?

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Honky Tonk Man (champ) vs. ??

Honky says he don’t care who it is, just give him an opponent.  So out pops The Ultimate Warrior.  A couple of punches, a couple of clotheslines, a couple of shouldertackles and a big splash by the Warrior and it’s all over before Honky could even get his jumpsuit off.  Honky’s year plus reign comes to an end in a blink of an eye. 

BL: Not much to say here except that is was a DUD of a match but an awesome mark out moment.  The Warrior era had begun.

“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo

Lockup between the two goes nowhere.  Frenchy Martin gets on the apron, so Muraco punches him.  He then nails Bravo too.  Muraco goes for a slam, but Bravo escapes and hits Muraco with his side slam.  Bravo covers and it’s over?!?

BL: Wow, who did Muraco piss off to deserve that kind of treatment?  I don’t have the answers.  All I can tell you is that we’ve gotten 2 DUDs in a row now.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Demolition vs. The Hart Foundation

Jimmy Hart, the former manager of the Hart Foundation, is accompanying Mister Fuji to ringside.  Ax uses his strength to his advantage at the onset.  Bret fires back though on both Ax and Smash.  Smash comes in and is greeted with an armdrag.  Bret tags Neidhart, who continues the work on Smash’s arm.  Neidhart runs off the ropes, but gets kicked in the back of the head by Ax.  After a brief beatdown by Demolition, Neidhart stops their momentum when he catches Ax with his head down.  Neidhart makes a tag to Bret.  The referee becomes distracted by Jimmy Hart, which allows Smash to whip Bret into the corner and into Fuji’s cane.  Demolition now do a nice job of further injuring Bret’s shoulder.  Bret knees Smash as he was charging into the corner to buy Bret some time.  Hot tag to Neidhart who unloads on Ax and Smash.  Neidhart cleans house and then has Bret launch him out of the ring and onto Smash.  Back inside, Neidhart powerslams Smash and covers for a nearfall.  Wow, that was close.  Neidhart tags Bret, who gets a couple more nearfalls on Smash.  All four men in now and the Harts are dominating.  Fuji gets on the apron and is nailed by Neidhart.  While the referee tries to separate those two, Jimmy Hart tosses Ax the megaphone and he blasts Bret with it.  Smash covers and picks up the cheap victory.

BL: Excellent match that’s marred by a cheap victory.  I’ll cut it some slack though as it furthered the Jimmy Hart/Hart Foundation storyline.  Nice to see some good action again after our string of duds.  ***

Koko B. Ware vs. The Big Bossman

Slick begins to mouth off at Koko, which allows the Bossman to nail him from behind.  Bossman tosses Koko to the floor and then just leaves him there.  Koko comes back in and uses his speed to his advantage.  A dropkick by Koko causes the Bossman to get tied in the ropes.  Bossman gets free and finally catches Koko.  A headbutt by the Bossman actually drops Koko.  The Bossman hits a splash in the corner as Slick brags that he told him to do that.  After hitting Koko with a clothesline, Bossman covers, but then picks him up at 2.  The Bossman goes up top, but misses a splash.  Koko gets whipped to the corner, but moves before a charging Bossman can hit him.  A top rope dropkick and a big splash by Koko are not enough to put the Bossman away as he heaves Koko off when he covered him.  Koko charges at the Bossman, but the Bossman catches him and dumps him over the ropes.  Back inside, Koko gets hit with the Bossman slam and it’s all over.

BL: You know, WWF magazine has done a few articles on Summerslam history and they always mention this as a memorable match along with such matches as the Bret/Owen cage match from ’94 and the HHH/Rock ladder match of ’98.  Why?  I have no idea.  Maybe it’s a rib on one of these guys.  Or maybe Bossman still has a lot of pull with the company.  To me though, this was a completely forgettable match that only served to get the Bossman over.  *

Jake “the Snake” Roberts vs. Hercules

Heenan is mysteriously absent from Hercules’ corner.  Hercules tries a sneak attack but Jake catches him.  Jake tries charging at Hercules, but he gets his knee up at the last second.  A kneelift by Jake makes him think it’s time for the DDT, but of course, Hercules bails as he tries to hit it.  Hercules and Jake block each other’s punches about four times in a scene that looked like it came straight out of the WWF No Mercy video game.  Trying to escape a headlock, Hercules back suplexes Jake, but Jake won’t release it.  Now Hercules escapes and puts Jake in a resthold.  Yee-haw.  A clothesline by Hercules gets 2.  Jake gets elbowed by Hercules and falls to the floor.  Hercules tries attacking Jake on the apron, but Jake pulls him out and to the floor.  Back inside, Hercules tries the chinlock again, but Jake jaw jacks him.  Short arm clothesline by Jake.  Hercules backdrops Jake when he goes for the DDT.  Jake tries a running kneelift, but misses.  An elbow by Hercules gets a nearfall.  Jake escapes a Hercules powerslam and plants him with the DDT.  Jake covers and gets the 3 count.

BL: What was the point of that match?  Jake didn’t have an issue with Hercules.  The Jake/Rude storyline wasn’t advanced.  And it was a totally clean finish.  This was too long for having nothing of importance brought to the table.  * ½

- A video package setting up the main event shows Dibiase lining Jesse Ventura’s pockets with cash.  What kind of man do you think Jesse is?  He would screw over Hogan for free!

Main Event Tag Team Match:  The MegaPowers (Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan) vs. The MegaBucks (The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant)

In a shocking selfless act Hogan comes out with Macho and to Macho’s music.  Long stallfest to begin as we wait for Jesse to change the corners that the tag ropes are in.  Finally, we begin with Andre taking it to Macho.  Dibiase comes in and says he wants Hogan.  Macho obliges and tags Hogan.  Dibiase doesn’t fare well as he gets hit with an atomic drop and then is used as a ping-pong ball by the MegaPowers.  The MegaPowers do some legal double-teaming on Dibiase as Heenan and Virgil protest.  A double big boot to Dibiase allows Hogan to get a nearfall.  Hogan makes the mistake of trying to get a cheap shot on Andre, because Andre grabs him and hits him with a headbutt.  Andre is in now and does his usual sleep-inducing wear down moves on Hogan.  Dibiase comes in and uses restholds too.  Crowd keeps themselves entertained with a “weasel” chant.  Hogan breaks free and then we get a double KO spot as Hogan and Dibiase clothesline each other.  Hot tag to Macho who comes and gives Dibiase everything he’s got.  A crossbody by Macho gets 2.  Dibiase gets up, clotheslines Macho and then tags Andre.  Andre works over Macho in the corner.  Dibiase comes back in to try and finish the job, but he fails to hit that falling backwards elbow.  Hogan gets tagged and beats up Dibiase some more.  Andre tries to do a sneak attack but Hogan catches him.  Macho attempts the big elbow, but Andre boots him.  The MegaBucks now double team Hogan with Macho down and out on the floor.  Soon they toss Hogan to the floor too.  With the MegaPowers on the floor, all the managers get on the apron and Jesse tries to command order.  All of a sudden Elizabeth rips off her skirt and everyone stands there with bug eyes and open mouths.  The distraction allows the MegaPowers to come back in and clean house.  Macho hits the big elbow and Hogan hits the legdrop on Dibiase.  Hogan covers and Jesse counts 1…2…and has to have Macho push his hand down a third time.

Postmatch: Hogan hugs Elizabeth and Macho looks a little perplexed.  But he shrugs it off and they pose for the crowd.

BL: This was a pretty dull affair until Liz pulled off her skirt.  That’s not going to raise my rating any, but if you’re a red-blooded American male, it does give you a very good reason to see this match.  **

Final Thought: The two tag matches are great, a historic title change occurred and we got a little T and A.  Yet, I can’t help but feel that this is only a mediocre show.  There was too much feast or famine between good stuff and utterly forgettable junk.  For the inaugural edition of Summerslam,  I would have expected a bit more than what I got, but for the most part it’s an entertaining three hours. 

Next time, teams of five strive to survive which Coliseum Video has fun with scissors.   

E-MAIL ADAM
BROWSE THE OO FEATURES ARCHIVE


  
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