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WWF PrimeTime Wrestling - August 23, 1992
by Scrooge McSuck
- I probably say this all the time, but 1992 was a year I completely seperated from the WWF, so very little of what happened from that year is held dearly or nostalgic in my heart. It's just me looking back at a time that I missed, and had no childhood memories of. It's really quite a shame, because I loved wrestling as a kid, and not having any access to watching it was kind of depressing. At least I had my Hasbro and Galoob figures to keep my company still.
Anyway, the big tagline for SummerSlam was that it was the SummerSlam you never thought you would see. Now, looking back now, I take this slogan as a way of saying "hey, we've got a double main event that feature all good guys, and even a heel vs. heel match", but then there's the always present rumors of "Warrior was supposed to turn heel", which really makes no sense to me, but hey, whatever people want to believe, right?
- Vince McMahon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan will be calling all the action tonight, and Heenan is dressed up as your typical Sherlock Holmes wanna-be, determined to find out the mystery of "who has bought the services of Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage or the Ultimate Warrior?" Heenan looks so ridiculous, but it's still funny twenty years later.
El Matador" Tito Santana vs. Ric Flair (w/ Mr. Perfect):
I know that Flair was involved in a crucial storyline, but I still found it pretty odd that the top heel in the company was left off the card for the upcoming PPV. Santana really did nothing since becoming El Matador, and would continue to do nothing until the following summer, when his WWF career finally came to an end. Lockup, and Flair with a headlock takeover, quickly countered by Santana with a head scissors. Lockup, and repeat. Flair with a headlock, then into a hammerlock. Santana counters, as does Flair, this time with a drop toe hold. Santana counters again into a hammerlock, and we get a break in the corner. Shoving match in the corner, and Santana with a sucker punch. Whip to the corner reversed, and Santana with a back drop and clotheslines, sending Flair out of the ring. Santana follows out and nails Flair with another clothesline, then tosses him back in the ring, only for Flair to roll back out. Lockup to the corner, and Flair knocks Santana off his feet with a big chop. Flair tosses Santana over the top, and that would be a disqualification in the old WCW, but not here. Perfect cheap shots Santana while Flair distracts the referee. Flair with a snapmare, followed by a knee drop. They exchange blows, Santana grabs a headlock, but then runs into an elbow. Flair covers, getting a two count. Flair with a headlock, but Santana catches him in a drop toe hold and slaps on the Figure-Four! Santana gets several near falls until Flair manages to crawl to the ropes for the break. Santana jerks Flair back to the center of the ring and slaps the hold on, again! Wow, a smart move by the babyface. I'm in shock. Flair is able to make it to the ropes again, though. Santana kicks at the leg, but gets a boot to the chest for it. Flair with a chop, and Santana retaliates with a roundhouse right. Flair with a knee to the midsection, then slaps on another headlock. They collide heads and both men go down.
We return from commercial, with Flair going for the Figure-Four, but Santana cradles him for a two count. Flair hammers away on Santana, then unwisely heads to the top rope. Naturally, Santana slams him off, despite attempted interference from Perfect. Santana with a pair of clotheslines. Irish whip, and Santana with a back body drop. Santana calls for the finish and connects with the Paso del Muerte, but Perfect pulls him off of Flair during a pin attempt. Santana goes after Perfect, allowing Flair to roll him up, but Santana rolls through it for a two count. Santana with a school boy for another two count. Santana with mounted punches in the corner, and Hebner does the old Tommy Young move of going to the apron to count. Flair rakes the eyes, but flops afterwards. They trade blows again, won by Santana. Whip to the corner, and Flair flips to the apron, then gets nailed with a clothesline, knocking him to the floor. Santana brings Flair back into the ring with a suplex, but that only gets a two count. Irish whip, and Santana with a high cross body for another two count. Irish whip, and Perfect not-so-subtlely trips Santana, then grabs a chair and smashes it across the knee of Santana. Flair smells blood, and quickly slaps on the Figure-Four. Santana hangs on for a little, but the referee finally calls for the bell at 13:54. Wow, that was a much better match than I was expecting it to be. It was a typical formula match from Flair, but it still works, and it was about 50 times better than most of the feature matches presented at the time. I'm very surprised that someone of such stature as Tito Santana was made to look so good, but then again, Flair was known for making any opponent look like a million bucks.
- The SummerSlam Report, brought to us by Mean Gene Okerlund. We're going to be coming to you "live" from Wembley Stadium, one week from tonight, in London, England. It's the SummerSlam you never thought you would see! In the main event, WWF Champion Randy Savage defends the gold against former nemesis and former Champion, the Ultimate Warrior. Also, the Natural Disasters defend their newly won Tag Team Titles against the Beverly Brothers. What? Now, I don't like playing fantasy booker, but wouldn't it have made sense to do Disasters/Money Inc. and LOD/Beverly Brothers, since those were the two tag team feuds at the time? These are the only matches announced in this Report, but the full card was alrready set.
Tatanka vs. Kato (w/ Mr. Fuji):
I'm not looking forward to this one. Tatanka was feuding with Rick Martel over stolen feathers, but once again, the LOGICAL match isn't scheduled, and instead Tatanka was put in a match with the Berzerker, a match that was cut from the U.S. broadcast. Speaking of the Berzerker, why was his program with the Undertaker just dropped out of nowhere? I guess this match makes sense after all, since Fuji managed the Berzerker, and thus by association, has Kato going against Tatanka. Funny thing is I don't recall Fuji being with Kato since the Orient Express split (for good) shortly after the '92 Royal Rumble. Lockup to start, and Kato takes him over with a hip toss. Lockup, and Kato with a go-behind hammerlock, followed by another hip toss. Kato slaps on a side headlock, then comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Criss cross sequence ends with Tatanka taking Kato over with a hip toss, followed by a scoop slam. Tatanka clotheslines Kato out of the ring, and we get a breather. Back inside, and they lockup to the corner. Kato with a headbutt to the midsection and a whip to the opposite corner, but he misses a charge. Tatanka with an arm drag, then slaps on the trusty armbar. Tatanka with a scoop slam, then back to the marbar. Kato with a knee to the midsection and some chops. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Tatanka surprises Kato with an atomic drop, followed by a clothesline. Tatanka tries for another, but Kato avoids it, causing Tatanka to go flying over the top rope, to the floor. Fuji takes his usual cheap shot, of course. Back inside, and Kato with a slam, followed by a wish-bone and some choking. Kato with a snapmare, followed by a jumping elbow drop for a two count. Kato kills time with a chinlock. Tatanka fights free, but can't muster a sunset flip. Kato connects with a clothesline for a two count, then goes back to the chinlock. Tatanka fights free with elbows to the midsection, and a double clothesline puts both men down. Tatanka fights back to his feet with his traditional War Dance, and chops away on Kato. Tatanka to the top rope with the Ricky Steamboat inspired chop to the top of the noggin. The Samoan Drop follows, and it's finally over at 8:40. Tatanka beats up Fuji after the match, just for fun. Not the worst match I've ever seen, but way too long for what this was supposed to be. Kato was doing 90-second jobs on SuperStars every week, so to see him get nearly 10-minutes with Tatanka just seems a bit peculiar.
- Mean Gene is hanging around "backstage" for an interview with the Nasty Boys and Jimmy Hart. They're going to face the team of Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior later on in the broadcast. They use the term "Ultimate Moron", which might be the most overused and uncreative name for Warrior used in a regular basis. I guess Sgt. Slaughter calling him "Ultimate Slime" was a breath of fresh air. Mr. Perfect also makes his presence felt. Hmm...
Nailz vs. Ken Wayne:
It's time for some squash matches, and this one is going to suck. To be generous, Nailz was an atrociously bad worker who had no right to ever find employment in the world of wrestling. Nailz was involved in a program with the Big Boss Man, but they decided to milk it for a few more months, so Nailz gets fed Virgil instead. For you trivia nerds out there, Nailz prison jumpsuit reads "DOC 902714" on it, and the referee actually frisks him before the match. Nailz sends Wayne to the corner and chokes away. Whip across the ring, and Wayne gets sent over the top rope. Back inside, Nailz with a press slam, followed by some choking. Nailz tosses Wayne over the top rope, choking him between the ropes in the process. Nailz with more choking, first using his hands, then his foot. Irish whip and Nailz with a crummy clothesline. Irish whip, and Nailz with his sleeper hold/choke for the finish to end this ungodly mess at 3:29. One of the worst squash matches I have ever seen, and I've seen thousands of them. Nailz gives the jobber a beating with the nightstick after the match.
- Mean Gene is back, this time with the colorful combination of the Undertaker and his manager, Paul Bearer. The Undertaker is set to face Kamala at SummerSlam, for no other reason other than to try and put on the wost match possible. Seriously, since the program with Jake Roberts, take a look at the laundry list of crap Undertaker got paired with in significant angles: The Berzerker, Kamala, The Giant Gonzales, Mr. Hughes, Yokozuna (decent worker, TERRIBLE angle), Fake Undertaker, Irwin R. Schyster (past his prime and another terrible angle), King Kong Bundy, Kama, and King Mabel. That was all from the spring of 1992 through the Fall of 1995.
- We recap the build up towards the WWF Championship Match between Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior. Flair, upset that he was not named the #1 Contender for the title shot at SummerSlam, came up with the grand scheme of planting the seeds in everyones mind that he and Mr. Perfect were paid off by one of the two combatants to aid them in winning the match and walking away with the WWF Title. Warrior seems believable doing semi-heel-ish stuff in the promos, but this all lead to the revelation that Flair and Hennig were just screwing with everyone, which of course was supposed to build up to a super-sized tag match at the Survivor Series.
Randy Savage & The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart):
This one is not going to be pretty. I never quite understood the idea behind the Warrior's new wrestling attire... a singlet with a flesh-colored pattern, making it almost look as if he was naked. Then they would recycle the look for the Giant Gonzales. "Is this some kind of gay thing?" "No." "You're sure?" "....Y...es." Warrior and Saggs start. Saggs tries a sneak attack, but Warrior doesn''t sell it. Irish whip, Warrior ducks under a clothesline, and comes off the ropes with a diving shoulder tackle. Warrior with clotheslines to both of the Nadty Boys, followed by a double DDT. Warrior then makes a very rude tag out to Savage. Knobbs attacks from behind and pounds away on Savage in the corner. Irish whip across the ring is reversed, and Savage connects with a clothesline. Savage with slams to both men, then comes off the top with a double axehandle on Knobbs. Double noggin' knocker! Savage goes to the top again, and connects with another axehandle, this time on Saggs, then tags out to Warrior. Warrior goes to the top, and comes off with his own double axehandle. They argue now, allowing Saggs to ram the Warrior into Savage. Knobbs comes in and clotheslines Warrior over the top rope, to the floor. Knobbs tags in, legally, and they connect with a double back elbow. Whip to the corner and some more double teaming. Saggs with a side suplex for a two count. Warrior mounts a comeback against Knobbs, but gets trapped in the heels corner and beat down. Whip to the corner, and Knobbs runs into a knee from Warrior. Saggs in with a snapmare and leg drop for a two count. Knobbs tags back in, and Warrior knocks both Nasties down with a clothesline. Warrior with more clotheslines, knocking the Nasty Boys over the top rope. We return from commercial and Savage tags in, hammering away on Knobbs. We get a referee bump, and in comes Saggs, who bashes Savage with the motorcycle helmet. Mr. Perfect and Flair make their way to the ring and attack the Warrior while the Nasty Boys work over Savage. The bell rings at 9:19, and apparently it's a Count-Out AGAINST the Warrior? Zuh?! Match was all over the place and just a chore to sit through, but it did it's purpose, I guess. Proved Warrior and Savage can't trust each other, and Perfect and Flair are playing some crazy psychological games.
- Backstage, Mean Gene comes across the Warrior, who is having a weird fit of anger, pounding against the door and walls, rambling about how this proves that Randy Savage is one the who paid off Flair and Perfect. Having your ass beat by that duo is a pretty good excuse to accuse someone of not being completely on the level, but that's just the paranoia setting in more than anything. The more I think about, the more this storyline really does make a lot of sense and was fleshed out well.
"The Model" Rick Martel vs. Joey Maggs:
More squash matches! For some unexplained reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to do some sort of weird "love" triangle program with Martel, Shawn Michaels, and Sherri. This, despite Martel was already programmed with Tatanka over some stolen feathers. I guess once the card was announced for England, the plans were changed drastically, since Shawn Michaels, I've heard, was set to win the Intercontinental Title instead of the Bulldog, had it been held in Washington D.C. Lockup, and Martel with a headlock, then turns it into a hammerlock. Maggs counters, but Martel quickly escapes with a drop toe hold. Martel with a knee to the midsection, then shows off his athleticism with a cartwheel and jumping jacks. Zuh?! Lockup to the corner, and Martel with a cheap shot as Sherri comes to the ring. Maggs with a series of arm drags, then slaps on an armbar. Irish whip, and Martel blocks a roll up attempt, but ends up being rolled up while distracted by the presence of Sherri. Martel with a clothesline, followed by a slam. Martel with a back breaker, and the Boston Crab finishes it at 2:43. An okay squash, used primarily to remind us that Rick Martel was, in fact, going to be on the card.
- Mean Gene is STILL hanging around, and this time he catches up with Randy Savage, who's pacing around as if he drank way too much coffee or something. Randy Savage rebutts the Warrior's comments, saying that their attack on Warrior was just a way to trick people into thinking that they were working on behalf of Savage, but they're not. It's all a red herring. I guess we will find out who's side they really are on... at SummerSlam!
Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kimchee) vs. Burt Styles:
Kamala might be in my Top Whatever list of least favorite wrestlers who sustained a meaningful career, just because I never cared for the idea of a wild animal-like person who lacked any wrestling ability, and obviously couldn't talk worth a crap. Kamala wanders around, doing his usual, then knocks Styles down with a shoulder tackle. Kamala shoves Styles to the corner and chops way, like he was carving carrots into his giant kettle. Kamala kicks Styles out of the ring and gets some advice from Kimchee. Kamala connects with a reverse crescent kick, followed by more chopping. Kamala drops Styles across the top rope and connects with a thrust to the throat. Kamala finishes things off with a splash at 2:30. After the match, Kamala goes to the top for some more damage, but he's called back down. Boring squash, but it was watchable.
The Bushwhackers vs. Money Inc. (w/ Jimmy Hart):
(Butch & Luke vs. Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster)
Not more Bushwhackers! Please, what have I done to deserve this kind of torture?! As mentioned earlier, Money Inc. was put into a match with the Legion of Doom, for no reasons other than to just do it, and the Bushwhackers just kept hanging around doing nothing. Money Inc. attack from behind, but the Bushwhackers no-sell and whip them together, then do some ass biting. Double noggin' knockers and clotheslines send the team of Money Inc. out for a breather. Back in the ring, I.R.S. with a knee to the midsection of Butch, followed by a hard uppercut. Whip to the corner, and I.R.S. misses a charge. Butch with a running bulldog, then Dibiase accidentally drops an elbow on his partner attempting to break a pin. Butch bashes them together, and clotheslines put Dibiase and I.R.S. down, again. Dibiase with a surprise attack on Luke, sending him to the floor, into the trusty hands of I.R.S., who chokes him down. Back in the ring, and I.R.S. with an axehandle, followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Dibiase comes in with a boot to the midsection and a back elbow for another two count. Dibiase hammers away on Luke, then slaps on a chinlock. I.R.S. tags in and drops a leg across the midsection for a two count. I.R.S. with the chinlock now, but Dibiase quickly tags back in. Irish whip, and a double clothesline puts both men down. Butch gets the warm tag and hammers away on I.R.S. Butch with a pair of clotheslines to both oppoents, and the Battering Ram on I.R.S. gets a two count. All heck breaks loose, allowing I.R.S. to nail Butch from behind and roll him up for the three count at 5:47. This may be the only time I've said this, but this was a surprisingly fun match with the Bushwhackers. It DIDN'T suck.
- We throw things to the Event Center, with our host Sean Mooney. He's here to hype more of the SummerSlam card. Crush will take on the Repo Man, and the Legion of Doom square off against Money Inc. We get promos from Repo Man, who says that he will reposess the career of Crush, and the LOD, who brag about not only having Paul Ellering in their corner, but also Rocco. Yes, Rocco. The ventriliquist dummy that was their inspiration to be the badasses from the mean streets of Cihcago. No wonder Hawk left after the PPV. What a horrible idea and a slap in the face of a team with as much crediblity among the wrestling community as the Road Warriors. Yeah, they were assholes who stiffed people and thought they were the best thing since Sliced Bread, but a friggin VENTRILIQUIST DUMMY?
Bret "Hitman" Hart (IC Champion) vs. Skinner:
This is a Non-Title Match, of course, and hey, it's a rematch from This Tuesday in Texas. Except by this point, Skinner was even more of a JTTS than before. Bret is scheduled to defend his Intercontinental Title against the hometown boy, Davey Boy Smith, otherwise known as the British Bulldog. Bret quickly takes Skinner over with a side headlock, but Skinner counters with a head scissors. Bret escapes and goes back to the headlock. Irish whip, Hart rolls through a slam attempt, but ends up being flung out of the ring trying to do a roll up. Skinner grabs his 'Gator claw and smacks Hart with it, then connects with a clothesline. Back in the ring, and Skinner with a snapmare, then into a chinlock. Skinner with the glorious offensive flurry of eye raking, biting, and choking. Jesus, was someone getting match ideas from Nailz, or something? Irish whip, and Skinner slaps on the abdominal stretch. Yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. Bret manages to escape, but Skinner casually hip tosses him over the top rope, to the floor. Back in the ring, and Bret surprises Skinner with a sunset flip for a two count. Skinner with a shoulder breaker, then heads to the top rope. Bret pops up though, and catches Skinner coming off with a well placed fist to the gut. Irish whip, and Hart with another fist to the midsection, followed by a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Bret with a back breaker for another two count. Irish whip to the corner, and Hart runs right into a boot of Skinner. Skinner with some taunting, and Bret casually blocks a leg drop across the midsection, then turns it into the Sharpshooter. See also: SummerSlam '91. That's more than enough for the submission victory at 5:53. Good enough match, nothing to brag about, but a decent waste of 5-minutes. I guess the show was running low on time, which explains the shortness of the last couple of matches. Damn Kato getting 10-minutes...
- For the last time, we're graced with the presence of Mean Gene Okerlund. This time he's with Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect. Funny thing I noticed about Perfect throughout this whole broadcast. We've seen him like 4 or 5 times, and each time there's just something not right. I realized that for all the stuff in the "arena", his hair is down, but then for all these interviews, it's up in a ponytail. Along the lines of those SNME's with Hulk Hogan's bandana changing within 5-seconds of the backstage interview and his match. Just weird continuity. Anyway, they tease revealing who their allegiance is with, but we'll have to wait for SummerSlam. Lame.
Final Thoughts: A pretty entertaining show from start to finish, despite my lack of enthusiasm going into it. We open the show with a 4-star match, and all of the matches of Superstar vs. Superstar were either good or satisfied their purposes (except for Tatanka vs. Kato. That was worthless). The squash matches were a bit of a chore to sit through, but there's only a couple, and the running plot device involving Warrior, Savage, and Flair really put the entire show together, putting emphasis on plot development for once on these shows, rather than just exclusively hyping the PPV without adding anything new.
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