Thursday, August 6, 2015

WWF Summerslam 1994

Summerslam is hitting the network, so I guess to coincide with the challenge here on the blog, we might as well hit a couple of these up as they play.

This is one of the more "interesting" shows in that it features two big matches. In one main event, reigning WWF Champion Bret "Hitman" Hart defending his title against his young brother and newly crowned King Of The Ring winner Owen Hart. In the other main event, both Ted Dibiase and Paul Bearer have Undertakers and the two fight it out to see who's the genuine article... except it should be plain as day who's the real deal given that the other one is played by some other due.

Should be fun, I guess... then again, maybe not.

Irwin R. Schyster and Bam Bam Bigelow (with Ted DiBiase) defeated The Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu) (with Afa and Lou Albano) by disqualification when Afa attacked Bigelow and was spotted by the referee. Unfortunately, I had to rewatch the match a couple times and even refer to online sources to determine what the hell happened because I didn't catch it. Either that, or I just forgot. That's how memorable this encounter was. Oh well...

I guess this deserves mention because it does get touched on and it was sort of a running gag on episodes of Monday Night Raw. Every so often, there's a bit where the late great Leslie Nielsen is backstage looking for the Undertaker, resulting in a bunch of shenanigans taking place. Why was Leslie Nielsen looking for the Undertaker? Because he was in the Naked Gun films, obviously, where he played Sergeant Frank Debrin, detective-lieutenant Police Squad, a division of the Police Force. Obviously, his experience playing a police detective must mean he has actual deductive skills... because it's WWF and they operate that way.

Summerslam also features a couple bits, except now Leslie Nielsen is joined by George Kennedy, who played Captain Ed in the Naked Gun films. And... look, I like Leslie Nielsen. I like The Naked Gun films. I like Police Squad! And try as they might, these didn't really do much for me. Although in fairness, a Naked Gun/Police Squad! movie or television special where Drebin is looking for the Undertaker seems much more interesting than what we're watching now.

WWF Women's Champion Alundra Blayze (c) defeated Bull Nakano (with Luna Vachon) to retain the title. Bull Nakano, for those who don't know, is this sizable Japanese woman with funny hair and a massive frame, which fits her name just fine. The same can be said for this match, which is fine. Did nothing for me, but it's nice to see a women's match with actual semblance of action rather than whatever the usual Diva output is.

Razor Ramon (with Walter Payton) defeated IC champion Diesel (c) (with Shawn Michaels) to win the title. Shawn accidentally kicked Diesel at one point, allowing Razor to get the win. This was fine for what it was. I can't complain.

Tatanka defeated Lex Luger thanks to a timely distraction from Ted DiBiase. The backstory is that Tatanka has been accusing Lex Luger of shady business deals with the Million Dollar Man and Luger denied the whole deal. At the end of the day, the shady turncoat turned out to be Tatanka, who joined Million Dollar Man's Million Dollar Corporation that would be a thing in 1995 and then proceed to do absolutely nothing. Luger would eventually stick around another year before making history at WCW a year later.

Jeff Jarrett defeated Mabel. This was the 1994 equivalent of a modern-day Bella Twins match; piss break city. Mabel would eventually win King of the Ring in 1995... because fuck you, that's why.

In case anybody forgot, here's Leslie Nielson and George Kennedy in the aisle looking for the Undertaker, completely oblivious to the silhouette at the entrance. I'm almost surprise they didn't get O.J. in there for more hilarity. It's not like he was doing anything at the time...

Oh... Ooh... Aww... Never mind.

WWF Champion Bret Hart defeated Owen Hart in a cage match to retain the title. Considering how much coverage this match had received in terms of DVDs, retrospectives, and other things, there is very little I can say about this match that hasn't already been said by others. Well, I can say that I enjoyed the match tremendously and out of all the steel cage matches in wrestling history that lacked color (blood), I'd say this was closest to an old-school NWA brawl, but sanitized.

The Undertaker (with purple gloves and Paul Bearer) defeated The Undertaker (with grey gloves and Ted DiBiase). There's a nice bit of detail in the music department where Greytaker has the original theme while PurpleTaker has a slightly tweaked theme (the one that he uses today, actually). It's a minor detail that's probably missed on because the crowd is just that loud. Unfortunately, there's the minor detail of the match itself being a big steaming pile of poopy; think Taker vs. Kane, but even more dull and stupid. Greytaker is Brian Lee, who would eventually be dubbed Chainz, and he does a fair approximation of Taker's mannerisms and moves, so credit where it's due there. That doesn't make this a good or worthwhile match, though.

And so, the show closes out with our Naked stars finding out the case is closed and that's that.

Well, I can't say this was the worst show ever conceived, but I'd be lying if I said that I enjoyed sitting through the whole thing. Obviously, the cage match is a classic and there's a couple other decent bits here and there, but there's nothing else in this iteration of Summerslam that stuck to me. The comedy bits fell flat, the undercard underdelivered, and the main event with the two Takers is lame. If Summerslam 1994 is bad, I shudder to think what Summerslam 1995 is like, considering '95 is the absolute worst year of wrestling anywhere.

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