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WWF SummerSlam 1992 Review (A Spectacle For The Ages)

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August 31, 1992 (taped August 29, 1992)
Taped from London, England (Wembley Stadium)
Announced attendance: 80 355 (capacity: ca 90 000)
PPV buyrate: 280 000 (-125 000 compared to SummerSlam 1991’s 405 000)

Welcome to my review of WWF SummerSlam 1992, featuring Britain’s favorite son, ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith, challenging Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship in the main event. Also, Randy Savage defends the WWF Championship against The Ultimate Warrior, and much more.

The list of champions in WWF heading into this show is as follows:

  • WWF Champion: Randy Savage [146th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Bret Hart [146th day of his reign] – previous champion: Roddy Piper
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) [40th day of their reign] – previous champions: Money Inc.

*Number of days considering taping dates, not airing dates

IMG credit: WWE & cultaholic.com

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan

Before the show starts, we take a look at the opening festivities around the city of London

Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)(w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster)(w/ Jimmy Hart)
IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

LOD come down to ringside in motorcycles, despite Hawk being infamously impaired on this night. Furthermore, they also have “Rocco” at ringside as well. DiBiase jumps Hawk to start but immediately regrets it and bails, but Animal runs into him and throws him inside so Hawk can dump him back to the floor with a clothesline, followed by one by Animal outside. We get tags on both sides, and Animal takes over by grabbing IRS’ tie followed by a gorilla press slam. It’s off to Hawk, who eventually gets caught in a sleeper. The “drop the arm” finish is teased but it only drops twice as always, and Hawk rams his back into the buckle followed by a corner clothesline. Hawk goes up for a flying clothesline, but IRS ducks and Hawk goes all the way to the floor, where DiBiase slams him before throwing him back inside. Money Inc double-team Hawk for a while and a series of IRS elbows get two, as the heels continue cut the ring in half by pounding away on Hawk. Bobby Heenan: “I’m not sure Hawk doesn’t have a clue where he’s at right now, whether London, England or Des Moines, Iowa”. Who doesn’t love a shoot comment that isn’t really supposed to be a shoot comment!? Choking follows from IRS using his tie as the beating continues, now with DiBiase even adding his signature laugh and Heenan singing ‘money, money, money, money, moneeyy’. Hawk blocks a DiBiase suplex but the ref misses the hot tag to Animal, and we get a double-down off a Hawk/IRS collision. Animal finally gets the hot tag and he runs wild on both heels, and eventually Hawk joins him for the PIER SIX BRAWL. The Doomsday Device on Ted is stopped by IRS, so Hawk takes care of him first and allows Animal to finish DiBiase with a powerslam instead at 15:10. And then by the end of the year they were both gone from the WWF (in Hawk’s case, he was gone immediately after this show) and they didn’t team again for years.

  • Rating: An all-star opener in front of an incredibly hot crowd, though a pretty standard tag team match. Decent work. **1/4

Mean Gene questions Ric Flair. Naitch has his gear on despite not being booked in a match tonight, because he’s always ready for any kind of action. And as far as where Mr. Perfect is right now? He’s in the dressing room of the winner!

Virgil wants to make Nailz pay for what he did to The Big Bossman. Coming from Virgil, I’d be surprised if he DIDN’T want to make someone pay, regardless of what for.

Nailz vs. Virgil
IMG credit: WWE & thesportster.com

Ohh boy… Bobby Heenan: “you’re not gonna see much wrestling here”. Quite possibly the understatement of the decade right here. Nailz no sells a dropkick to start and takes over with some choking in the corner. Virgil can’t complete a sunset flip but still gets a roll-up for one, only for Nailz to quickly take back control with, wait for it, more choking. Nailz dumps Virgil and beats on him outside, which I assume counts as versatility in this match. Virgil’s comeback goes nowhere back inside, before Nailz cuts him off and finishes with…. WAIT…. FOR….. IT…… a choke hold at 3:55!!! Nailz beats him up some more after the match, this time even varying his very deep arsenal and not choking, but the crowd is SHOCKINGLY quiet. What is wrong with you, England!?

  • Rating: It almost, but not quite, choked the entire life out of the show. DUD

Lord Alfred Hayes The Explorer Part I. He smells smoke because Randy Savage’s dressing room door… IS LOCKED!

Sensational Sherri promises Mean Gene she’ll stay right by her man’s side after tonight. Also, both Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel promised not to hit each other in the face.

NO HITTING IN THE FACE! – Shawn Michaels(w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Rick Martel
IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

Pretty rare heel vs heel match from this time. Bobby Heenan whistling Shawn Michaels’ theme song remains the greatest thing ever. Whatever Bobby was getting paid, he deserved more. Martel works a headlock to start and keeps it on by holding onto the hair. Criss cross sequence, but Martel evades HBK with a cartwheel and we get a stalemate. They try it again, this time with Shawn sliding between Martel’s legs and scoring with a dropkick. Martel responds by pounding away, only to take himself out on a missed flying bodypress as Michaels goes to work on the arm. Michaels pulls the hair and causes Martel to tease HITTING HIM IN THE FACE BY GAWD, but Martel returns the hair pulling instead and dumps Michaels. Sherri checks on him, but Rick Martel gives her a hug that she seems to enjoy. Martel takes over with a backdrop back inside, but Michaels rolls him up with a handful of tights. The ref catches him and Martel does the same, getting caught as well. Martel eats KNEES TO THE FACE on a blind charge in the corner, and the ref catches Shawn using the ropes for the pin. Michaels argues with the ref and allows Martel to roll him up for two. Things get heated now and they slap each other IN THE FACE, causing Sherri to faint on the apron! They both go outside and try to revive her, ultimately resulting in a slugfest for the double count-out draw at 8:06. Sherri gets up to follow the action, but goes back down when she sees Michaels walking towards her! They both try to carry her over to the back and fight over her, until Martel dumps water on her and gets chased by Michaels to the back, leaving Sherri alone and humiliated.

  • Rating: More of a soap opera than an actual match, but it was very entertaining for what it was. The wrestling itself was good, but it was the story that carried this one. Fun little midcard match. ***

Tension is teased as Jimmy Hart is looking to get Money Inc a tag title shot, but The Nasty Boys want one too.

WWF World Tag Team Championship – The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)(c) vs. The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly)(w/ The Genius)
IMG credit: WWE & @LetsGoBackToWCW (Twitter)

Can you believe this was just two years after Earthquake worked with Hulk Hogan at this very same event? The Beverlys try to cheapshot the big guys, who easily turn things around. Typhoon drops some elbows but misses a legdrop, brother. The Disasters follow up with a few sandwich splashes until Quake eventually misses one and ends up splashing Typhoon instead. The Beverlys pound away on him and a flying splash gets two, with Beau sent flying to the floor on the kickout. Meanwhile, breaking news from Bobby Heenan: Shawn Michaels has left Wembley Stadium! The Beverlys cut the ring in half and Blake gets a falling headbutt for two. Earthquake gets the false hot tag, allowing the Beverlys to continue the assault on Typhoon with some choking. Typhoon explodes with a double clothesline out of the corner, and he sets up for a powerslam on Blake, but Beau breaks it up with a dropkick and Blake lands on top for two. Beau distracts Quake and gets him off the corner to prevent the hot tag, allowing Blake to hit Typhoon with the Genius’ scroll, but Quake breaks up the pin with a massive elbowdrop. He finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. The powerslam on Beau sets him up for Quake’s buttdrop splash (sending Blake flying off the apron to boot) to retain at 10:30. The Genius gets his after the match as well.

  • Rating: Nothing impressive here, but not bad either and the crowd were really loud for the big guys, which made it more enjoyable. *1/2

The Bushwhackers want to have royal sardines in Buckingham Palace and stuff.

Lord Alfred Hayes The Explorer Part II. This time he opens the door of Ultimate Warrior’s dressing room without knocking first, and Warrior immediately closes it in his face. Hayes’ conclusion is that while it doesn’t necessarily reveal anything, it’s certainly rude. Genius!

Repo Man vs. Crush
IMG credit: WWE

Demolition implodes! Repo jumps Crush before the bell, but Crush picks him up for some overhead presses before slamming him down. Repo Man bails outside and Crush follows and meets him there with a clothesline. Back in, Repo Man tries a bodypress but gets caught in Crush’s waiting arms, who slugs away and hits a backbreaker. Repo fights back with a Greco-Roman thumb to the eye followed by a backdrop suplex, but Crush pops right back up and hits a belly to belly. Crush goes up but misses a flying kneedrop, and Repo takes over with another eye poke. Repo Man counters a backdrop with a faceplant for two, as Crush sends him flying on the kickout. Repo comes back inside and climbs the top rope, but gets caught with a powerslam in mid air, and the TEMPLE CRUSHER CLAWHOLD OF DEATH puts Repo Man away at 4:02.

  • Rating: Not much to say here. Essentially a glorified Superstars-like squash, with Repo Man getting little offense and putting Crush over decisively. 1/2*

Mean Gene recaps the Savage/Warrior feud.
– Ric Flair was looking for a rematch after losing the WWF Championship to Macho Man back at WrestleMania, but instead the no. 1 contendership went to the returning Ultimate Warrior. Flair & Mr. Perfect said they were secretly working with one of the wrestlers, without revealing who it was. That caused dissension between Savage and Warrior, as we got to SummerSlam still with no answers.

WWF Championship – Randy Savage(c) vs. The Ultimate Warrior
IMG credit: WWE & gov-civil-viseu.pt

Warrior comes out first all by himself, and then Savage arrives… by himself too! Great atmosphere for this one, with the very loud crowd slightly favoring Warrior about 60/40. Warrior shoves Savage down off an early lockup, and Savage responds with a pair of clotheslines. He goes up but gets stopped by Warrior in midair, and Warrior hits an atomic drop. Reverse atomic drop, which Vince calls a “reverse piledriver” on commentary – ever the scientific wrestling specialist! It gets two. Warrior runs wild a series of shoulderblocks, but he misses an elbowdrop and Savage gets two from it. Chinlock by Savage, which Warrior escapes with a jawbreaker. Faceplant by Warrior gets two. Warrior follows it up with a whip to the buckle and he slugs away in the corner. Into the other side goes Savage, as Warrior proceeds to repeatedly boot him down, drawing some boos. Savage comes back by sending Warrior to the top turnbuckle, and dumps him to the floor with a clothesline. Back in, it gets him two. Flying double sledge is no-sold as Warrior starts the maniac shaking, but Savage just ignores him and goes back up to hit a second one for two. Finally someone!

Savage climbs up for a third one, but this time Warrior catches him in midair and turns it into a backbreaker for two. We get the SEE-SAW MATCHUP BACK AND FORTH line from Vince at this point, so we know it must be good! Warrior rams Savage into the corner a number of times before hitting a bearhug slam type of thing for two. Sideslam gets two. Check out the moveset! Savage pulls off a quick small package for a nearfall. Savage with a neckbreaker gets a delayed two, with the impact further hurting Savage’s bad back as well. The classic Macho necksnap gets two. Savage tries a suplex but his back gives out, and Warrior goes right after it. Warrior hits a suplex of his own for two. Warrior sends himself flying to the outside with a missed clothesline, and Savage meets him there with his flying double axe. Savage beats him up all over ringside for a second and gets two back inside. Meanwhile, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect walk down to ringside. Savage blocks Warrior’s splash with his knees and gets two from that. Now the crowd is really getting into the drama! We get a brief double KO spot with Warrior falling on top of Macho Man for two.

Perfect trips up Savage on a criss cross for the apparent big reveal, with Warrior taking advantage of the interference. The ref gets bumped on a whip to the buckle by Warrior, who then hits his own flying double axe for a delayed two. Warrior stopping to complain with the ref allows Savage to come in from behind with a high knee to the back, knocking Warrior onto Hebner for another ref bump. While Savage checks the ref on the floor, Perfect jumps in to help Warrior back to his feet… and sets him up for a shot with brass knuckles from Naitch. Now the crowd is REALLY pissed. Savage climbs up and hits the Macho Elbow for a very dramatic nearfall with a handful of tights. Savage beats him up some more but Warrior STARTS SHAKING BY GAWD. The running shoulderblock and gorilla press slam setup the Warrior splash, but Flair knocks him down with a chairshot to the back. Savage is thinking Macho Elbow, but he knows he didn’t do the impact to knock Warrior down and hesitates, ultimately jumping onto Flair instead. However, Flair hits Savage’s knee with the chair in midair, and Savage gets counted out at 28:00. The attack on Savage continues until Warrior grabs the chair and cleans house. Warrior presents the belt to Savage after Finkel’s announcement of the result, before helping him to the back, forming their brief ‘Ultimate Maniacs’ team.

  • Rating: The buildup for this match was intriguing and added a lot of drama to it. Add in the extremely hot crowd, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable classic. Granted, perhaps it would’ve been even better without the non-finish, but it should be noted that it wasn’t the original plan, with Warrior not accepting a pitched heel turn and forcing this change of plans. The bout itself was crazy good and definitely didn’t feel like it went half an hour. Fans were on the edge of their seat from start to finish, as the drama was at a fever pitch from start to finish. And while it can’t be compared to their absolute banger from WM 7, it’s still quite the barnburner. ****

Ric Flair & Mr. Perfect say there’s still an ongoing plan, and plan B starts now.

The Undertaker(w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kamala(w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee)
IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

Undertaker comes down to the ring in the hearse prior to the match. UT takes it to Kamala right from the start and chokes him in the corner. He hits Old School and tries it a second time, but Harvey gets up on the apron and Kamala shoves him down to stop him. Kamala dumps Taker as they briefly take their fight to the floor. Back inside, Kamala misses a clothesline and gets chokeslammed. UT follows it up with the running clothesline and sets him up for the Tombstone, but Kim Chee runs in for the lame DQ at 3:27. Post match Kamala slams Taker down and splashes him from the top rope thrice, but Undertaker gets back with the zombie situp and scares everyone back to the dressing room.

  • Rating: Not much to this one at all. Short match with a non-finish to set up their Casket Match at Survivor Series. The post-match stuff was nice, but not enough to save this or make it memorable. DUD

The British Bulldog will have no problem beating up brother-in-law Bret tonight as if he didn’t know him, but wishes the family gets back together afterward;
Bret Hart wants Davey Boy to tell him to his face that he doesn’t know him, when he was the one who introduced him to his sister Diana, and helped him join the WWF in the 80s; Davey’s dream might turn into a nightmare and he’s gonna wake up feeling he was in the Dungeon.

Roddy Piper cameo playing bagpipes. Hey, why not?!

Sean Mooney interviews Diana Hart Smith. Her brother and her husband have always been competitive with each other. She can’t choose a winner tonight because nothing can replace family values, not even the IC belt. What a bleh promo.

WWF Intercontinental Championship – Bret Hart(c) vs. The British Bulldog
IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

Lennox Lewis accompanies Davey Boy down the ramp, holding the British flag. The pop for Davey is LOUD, but Bret gets quite the reaction as well. Words can’t possibly describe the atmosphere and anticipation for this match! Things get underway with a small shoving action, as they feel each other out. Early lockup is won by Bulldog who shoulderblocks Bret all the way to the railing. Bret with a headlock takeover that Davey escapes using a headscissors, Bret nips up out of it and goes back to the headlock takeover, this time distancing his head to block a second headscissors from Bulldog. Sweet! Davey powers out of it, but his powerslam attempt gets turned into an O’Connor roll from Bret for two. Quick small package gets two more, and Bret goes back to the headlock takeover. Bulldog once again overpowers Bret to escape the hold, and he starts working the arm. Bret escapes it with a back elbow shot right to the kisser, which draws Bret some heat. Bulldog smoothly turns a Bret wristlock into a hammerlock, before catapulting him into the top turnbuckle for the classic Bret Hart bump.

Davey Boy gets two with a crucifix pin and he goes back to working the arm. Bret tries to get out of it with a slam, but Bulldog holds onto the arm in a great touch. This makes Bret resort to an unpopular cheap knee to the gut to escape and he works a headlock. Davey Boy escapes that, but Bret cuts him off immediately with a nasty back elbow smash to the face, again drawing Bret some heat and effectively making him heel-in-peril for the night. Bret follows it up with an inverted atomic drop, with Vince again calling it a reverse piledriver. Well, at least he’s consistent! Bulldog goes for another crucifix pin, but this time Bret drops him down for two. Davey comes back with a couple of headbutts, only to eat boot on a blind charge in the corner as Bret follows it up with a bulldog to The Bulldog! Bret goes up but gets slammed off, and Davey himself goes up but finds no water in the pool. Bulldog reverses a slam by Bret and sets up for an O’Connor roll, but Bret blocks and Davey knocks himself to the floor, and Hart meets him there with a dive. Back inside, Bret rams Davey into the corner a couple of times and slugs away, as a russian legsweep gets two. Hart throws some more blows with a little bit of extra mustard on ’em, and a dropkick gets two.

Bret goes back to the headlock for a while as this crowd seems to get louder and louder somehow, and a suplex by Bret gets two. Bulldog blocks a forearm by Bret into a backslide for two, but that only seems to anger Bret as he then hits him with the mother of all backbreakers. He wasted the whole bottle of mustard on that one, yikes. Hart proceeds to yank Bulldog down by the hair, seriously getting under the Brits’ skin. This match is pretty fuckin genius. Bret puts him in a sleeper, with Bulldog having to crawl his way to the ropes. Bret reapplies it in the middle of the ring, but the “drop the arm” pass out finish only gets two, and Bulldog rams Bret’s back into the corner. Bulldog slugs away and crotches Bret off a gorilla press slam. Davey makes the comeback with a series of clotheslines for two. Gorilla press slam gets two. Delayed vertical suplex gets two. Whip to the buckle featuring the Bret Hart bump gets two more. Bulldog picks Bret up and hits the running powerslam for the false finish! Bret hides on the apron and tricks Bulldog into trying to suplex him back inside, which Hart turns into a bridging german for two. Davey powers Bret all the way to the top rope, hitting a superplex for another amazing nearfall. A double clothesline takes both guys down, and Bret somehow sets up the Sharpshooter while down on the mat and applies it. This match rocks my world. Bulldog makes the ropes, however. Bret pounds away some more and tries a sunset flip, but Davey Boy sits down on him with all his weight while hooking the legs to wrestle the IC Title away from Bret at 25:40.

Bulldog wants a handshake but Bret teases walking out a couple times to play with the crowd some more, before eventually accepting and presenting him the belt, as they celebrate with Diana in the ring to close the show.

  • Rating: Simply put, a true masterpiece. The wrestling is obviously great here, but the way they play with the crowd and manipulate them from the start all the way to the finish line is what makes it an all-timer. Everyone wanted to see Bulldog win, and Bret smartly went with the flow and toyed with the audience’s emotions while playing the heel-in-peril role. That put the crowd right in the palm of their hands, making their final sequence that much greater and more exciting. This remains one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time. *****

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: It’s one of those shows where what had to deliver did exactly so. While the rest isn’t amazing and sometimes not even close to it, the awesome atmosphere and crowd reactions elevate everything to the next level. Overall, this show is a great watch from top to bottom, and I definitely recommend you giving it a look. 8/10

POINT SYSTEM

Read more about my point system.

WrestlerResultStar ratingsMain eventingExtrasTotal
The British Bulldog151+2 for winning a title9
Randy Savage-0.54+1 for retaining a title4.5
The Ultimate Warrior0.544.5
Earthquake11.5+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
4
Animal12.25+0.5 for winning the fall3.75
Typhoon11.5+1 for retaining a title3.5
Hawk12.253.25
Bret Hart5-11-2 for losing a title3
Shawn Michaels
Rick Martel
33
Crush10.51.5
IRS2.25-11.25
Nailz011
Ted DiBiase2.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall0.75
Blake Beverly1.5-10.5
The Undertaker00.50.5
Beau Beverly1.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall0
Kamala0-0.5-0.5
Repo Man0.5-1-0.5
Virgil0-1-1

Thank you so much for reading. Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming reviews as we continue to cover 1992. You can check out reviews from other editions of SummerSlam. Until next time, take care everyone!

Tomás Cunha