31 years after WWE(F) put on a massive show under the twin towers, AEW took advantage of WWE’s decision to go to Cardiff instead of North London for last year's UK stadium show by holding a show which has already exceeded expectations with the amount of tickets sold before bell time.
With Adam Cole vs MJF happening under the arch that is now England’s national stadium’s trademark and with memories of that night on Bank Holiday weekend in August 1992 on some minds, I thought why not look back on SummerSlam 1992.
So, let's try to navigate the new WWE Network interface and watch SummerSlam 92 and see if you agree with mine and others ratings such as:
Brian Zane from Wrestling With Wregret
Our Vantage Point Podcast and their Patreon and their opinions on this show.
Well, this was something. Not saying Hawk was in no condition to perform but the last time I saw someone this wrecked was when I looked in the mirror of my hotel bathroom at 2am after a night out in Manchester the other weekend. Funniest thing about the whole ordeal was that Hawk played the “face in peril” which is hilarious when you see the state of him
It was a crowd pleasing "face team coming from behind to win the contest" match that was a staple of the WWE tag division at the time and it was a substandard version of it and also WCW were doing better versions of this match structure at this time. The only memorable bit of it watching Hawk completely off his tits on something. To be fair to Hawk, if I got lumbered with a puppet called Rocco as part of my gimmick, I’d be on pain pills too.
The heels got heat on Hawk after he missed a clothesline off the top rope, but Hawk in the ring gave off the impression he didn't want to be selling.
Note to self- “next time I make a spectacle of myself in public with enjoying the best that Manchester has to offer I'll just say that “I am not wanting to sell anything”
One of three matches that wasn’t rated by Cagematch because of their “less than 5 minute matches aren’t rated” rule, this made me want to watch Chase Owens vs Hikuleo as a plate cleanser. Nailz only knows one move, the choke. The last time I saw some choking so much was when I watched Harry Kane take a penalty in the World Cup Quarter-Final and Virgil’s attempt at offence was chaotic. Just bad
One of 4 matches with a storyline (out of eight on the card) this was a good wrestling match with an interesting stipulation which saw both men, who had caught the eye of Sensational Sherri (who looked great on this show) promise not to hit each other in the face.
Of course, because wrestling, that promise was broken quicker than an England fan’s heart during Euro 2020 and Sherri took a dive that wouldn’t look out of place at Anfield. Cue shenanigans and a count-out which took the mood down a massive notch.
In an interesting side note, Martel playing the face in the post-match was cool. It would be a missed opportunity that we didn’t see a Martel face run in the final portion of his WWE run considering how great Rick was in the couple of months stint he had in WCW in 1998 playing the face.
On a side note, Vince McMahon references the All England Tennis Championships, pronouncing it Wimbleton showing his lack of pop culture reference knowledge that has been a feature of many a Vince story.
Ok, I have a confession to make. I liked the Beverly Brothers when I was six
Yes, you can judge me.
To be fair, 37-year-old loves watching Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom while watching old stuff from 1990 AWA when they were the Destruction Crew.
Also, I know it’s heel heat but The Genius’ poems are just awful. I could do a better poem
There was a man called Typhoon
He was the worst wrestler in the room
The next year he went to WCW
Where he thought he could impress a few
Turned up as the Shockmaster
He probably thought he’d be class
But it ended up being a disaster
Because he landed on his fooking ass
See, better than anything The Genius did
The match itself was a carbon copy of the L.O.D vs Money.Inc match even to the exact same neckbreaker botch (which both were edited off the VHS copy of the show). The only real difference was how much fun Earthquake’s hot tag was. John Tenta is a very underrated big man wrestler
In between matches Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed The Bushwhackers where The Bushwhackers claimed that they were being invited to Buckingham Palace. These guys are welcome yet Meghan Markle wasn’t. Scandalous. Luke and Butch are still better guests than Prince Andrew though.
Doing my research for this article, I got reminded that not only did Sky Sports not air this show live but they edited out Crush vs Repo Man so they could show a preview to Norwich vs Nottingham Forest. I don’t know what is worse, watching Richard Keys and Andy Gray or watching Crush vs Repo Man? I know having been subjected to Keys and Gray’s talkSPORT radio show for a couple of years that I would rather watch Chase Owen’s matches for 2 hours than suffer that monstrosity of a radio show again.
In the “Demolition Explodes” Match, I came to the conclusion that Sky actually made the right call to show the Norwich/Forest preview as this was a massive bag of nothing and no amount of banter could save it. It was another less than 5 mins squash match which in the VHS version that we see on the “new and unimproved” WWE Network (seriously, the new updated version is a mess for us UK viewers) there is a massive edit which probably says a lot for this match.
Some wrestlers don’t have chemistry. FTR and Lucha Brother just couldn’t work well together, as did Steve Austin and The Undertaker. Some pairings just produce magic which would surprise many. The Rock and Triple H never had a bad match, Kevin Nash and Bret Hart’s WWF trilogy was really fun and Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior always produced with that Wrestlemania VII match being a great match and this SummerSlam match is forgotten by many.
Maybe that’s because of the storyline which saw Mr.Perfect and Ric Flair claim that they were in the corner of one of the combatants which has more plot holes than Season 3 of Lost and the finish which will make sense in the weeks after when Flair uses his attack of Savage’s knee to help him win the World Title a few weeks later. The reveal at the end that Flair and Perfect were not in cahoots with anyone after all feels like a let down though after the build beforehand.
The match itself is good. Like the Mania 7 match, Savage laid it out and saying that he played up to Warrior’s strengths in his organisation is probably incorrect, it’s more of a case that he hid Warrior’s massive weaknesses by slowing Warrior down.
But the “which side is Flair on” drags the end down with the count-out initiated by Flair’s attack on Savage feeling like a let down
The most memorable moment of this segment was the entrance via hearse from The Undertaker. When the second most notable thing that happened was Harvey Wippleman making himself a prime candidate to present on GB News by saying that Kamala hailed from the “Dark Continent of Africa” you know this was garbage.
Kamala would be the first of a list of awful workers that Taker would work with. Not many HOF votes for The Giant Gonzales (sorry @Friendswrestle) Brian Lee, IRS, King Kong Bundy, Kama Mustafa and King Mabel there. Mick Foley’s greatest achievement was getting a good match out of Taker and readjusting him to the changing wrestling landscape.
The atmosphere for this is incredible. While 1992 wasn’t a bad year for British sport with Nigel Mansell winning the F1 World Title and Linford Christie winning the Men’s 100m at the Olympics, British fans were starved of success on the whole and to those in Wembley, this was a massive deal.
Thanks to Bret and his autobiography and Davey being unable to defend himself, history tells us that Bret single-handedly carried a “fooked” Davey Boy to one of the greatest matches in WWE history and while the latter claim is certainly a legit correct one. This match is easily in my Top 10-15 in the history of the “New York territory” Bulldog does pull his weight on this night even if Bret does put work in on this night.
Bret stopping any Bulldog momentum from starting up made this a great match structure with Bret also hitting big moves to try and get the away win. His plancha/slingblade was awesome making up for Bulldog actually being out of position for the intended spot.
Bret’s control segment is excellent in its execution and then as Bulldog tries to come back into the match we get a gorgeous sharpshooter from The Hitman. Moments later, we get the “Bret/Bulldog” pin which we should absolutely get in the MJF vs Adam Cole match at All In for a near-fall and the Bulldog would win the belt whether he wanted to or not. A fantastic occasion which gave us a fantastic match. It still holds up 30 years after the fact, it’s well deserving of its high ratings.
So the lessons learnt from my rewatch of the original Wembley spectacular.
Anybody who has complained about the All In build needs to look at the card and build for SummerSlam 1992
Current fans are spoiled compared to fans 30 years ago. I’d be stunned if we get any count-outs/DQ’s on August 27. We are absolutely not getting three on Sunday like we did 31 years ago.
As awesome as the Wembley Arch is. It will be never be the Twin Towers (13 year old me was so in awe of that feature of the first Wembley)
I’m not being pessimistic or even worse being Shane Silver in that Voices of Wrestling article he put out the other day but I’m not 100% certain that we’ll get a match at All In that will be better than Bret vs Bulldog. I absolutely hope I’m wrong
With a fantastic go-home show on Dynamite, I am absolutely buzzing for All In which will be my first AEW live show. If you want to spot me at the show, I’ll be the guy trying to start the “Same old Aussies, always cheating” chant during the ROH Tag Titles match.
Yes I’m still bitter about the Second Test of this year’s Ashes.