Saturday, March 15, 2008

WWF SummerSlam Spectacular TV Special - 8/23/92

The mega build for SummerSlam '92, complete with Bobby Heenan dressed as Sherlock Holmes!

1) Ric Flair vs. Tito Santana - 6
Watching these two work together on '92 WWF TV is pure bliss. Take away Santana's bullfighter gimmick and Mr. Perfect being in Flair's corner and you're left with two fine athletes competing in a great back-and-forth encounter. Flair and Perfect were the subject of controversy going into the SummerSlam main event even though they weren't booked to wrestle. They were playing mind games with Warrior and Savage about who's corner Perfect would be in during the match, an angle Heenan hyped big on commentary throughout the show. Anyway, Perfect runs strategic interference during the match and takes out Santana's knee with a chair. A high point of the match was when Santana locked Flair in the Figure-4 and it was teased that Flair would have to submit to his own hold. Santana sold the chair shot to the knee like a true sport and Flair wins with his Figure-4. You don't get much better than this on WWF TV in 1992.

2) Tatanka vs. Kato - 4
Tatanka was paired up against Kato here because Kato is managed by Mr. Fuji and so is The Berzerker. Kato got in some limited offense and made the match itself competitive. Tatanka was thrown to the outside and Fuji nailed him with the cane. During the match, the announcers build up the Tatanka/Berzerker match at SummerSlam. The match was eventually cut from the pay-per-view but was shown on Prime Time Wrestling weeks after SummerSlam. Tatanka wins with the Samoan drop (but he's not even Samoan!!!). Kato would be phased out shortly after and would take over the Max Moon gimmick in 1993.

3) Nailz vs. Ken Wayne - 2
Wayne was the hammer for Nailz in this bout! However, in the end, Nailz did all the hammering. A total squash for Nailz as he pretty much mopped the floor with the jobber dude's horrendous mullet.

4) Randy Savage & The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Nasty Boys - 5
What a story this match told! Savage and Warrior were the unlikely teammates who couldn't get along at all. This was set up by showing clips of Flair and Perfect setting up both men on the idea that the other was in negotiations with Perfect. It may sound confusing but this angle was great back in the day. Savage and Warrior were leery of each other and didn't even get along for the sake of the match. Now, mind you, the ring action wasn't great by any means but the reason this got a 5 is because of the angle and the story surrounding Savage and Warrior. The end saw a ref bump followed by Perfect and Flair attacking the Warrior while Savage was being beaten down by the Nasties. The Nasties winning by count-out was an afterthought as Savage and Warrior cut promos on each other for the Mr. Perfect situation. Simple but effective.

5) Rick Martel vs. Joey Maggs - 3
Oh, Joey Maggs, what have you done for me lately. Oh, wait ... you died not long ago. Martel comes out with Indian feathers attached to his beret. Maggs almost scores an upset when Sherri saunters down to ringside and distracts Martel. Moments later, Martel regroups and wins with the Boston Crab.

6) Kamala vs. Burt Stiles - 2
What is it with these portly jobber fellows and their hideous mullets? Kamala played like he was lost in the ring. Kimchee was guiding him from ringside even with how to pin the mullet-haired warrior. Afterwards, Stiles was stuck on a spit and roasted over an open flame ... because cannibals do that type of thing.

7) Ted DiBiase & I.R.S. vs. The Bushwhackers - 3
There wasn't much to this one. The announcers built up the fact that DiBiase & I.R.S. would face the Legion of Doom at SummerSlam. Heenan made jokes about the Bushwhackers having no teeth and no brains. DiBiase and I.R.S. win it with a roll-up. Again, not much here but the Bushwhackers were carried to a respectable bout.

8) Bret Hart vs. Skinner - 3
This looked good on paper but the one major problem I had was that Skinner controlled almost the whole match. Hart was feigning fatigue and Heenan was hypothesizing about what would happen to Bret if he was beaten by Skinner. Almost at the exact moment Heenan finished the sentence, Hart slapped on a sharpshooter from out of nowhere.

Going in, this was a one match show and that one match was Savage/Warrior against the Nasty Boys. That match did was it was supposed to do and that was to drive a wedge even further between Savage and Warrior and to continue the Mr. Perfect controversy. The Flair/Santana match was a pleasant suprise and was definitely the most techinically sound out of anything on the show. Bret's match was disappointing and the three squashes did nothing for me. Overall, a decent show that was the final hard sell for SummerSlam but nothing big aside from the Perfect angle came out of it.


Jessie said...

I miss these old pre-shows...they were kind of fun when you had things semi related to the big show, with some harmless matches with predictable only question is at what point was Heenan dressed like Holmes (not John, Sherlock)

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Brian said...

this is one of the all-time most viewed posts.. for whatever reason.. - Adam.. I'm dying to see this show! hope we still have it somewhere..