WWE SummerSlam Anthology, Volume 1

I was so excited to get the SummerSlam Anthology DVDs. I can’t tell you anything about the current WWE Wrestlers, but if you asked me anything WWF related from the 80’s and early 90’s I could tell you anything you want to know. SummerSlam Volume 1 features the first five SummerSlams starting in 1988. Watching these events brought back a ton of memories from my childhood.


Volume 1 features the first five SummerSlams. The SummerSlam event was never as good as Wrestlemania, but back then it was rare to have big matches except on pay-per-view. The  SummerSlam cards usually featured tag team matches as the main events instead of championship title bouts. Once in a while we got a great match, but this time period featured a lot of soap-opera like story lines. It didn’t help that the WWF wouldn’t acknowledge that it was fake.


Summer Slam 1988
The very first Summer Slam was a huge deal. For years the only big WWF event was Wrestlemania. The first SummerSlam main event was a continuation of feuds from Wrestlemania IV.  Macho Man Randy Savage won the title by defeating Ted DiBiase in the finale 14 person championship tournament. Hogan helped Savage win the title infuriating the Million Dollar Man to challenge Savage and Hogan in a tag-team match with his partner Andre the Giant. Hogan and Savage (a.k.a The MegaPowers) easily beat the DiBiase and Andre, a.k.a the MegaBucks with the help of Miss Elizabeth removing her skirt as a  distraction. Other matches included The Hart Foundation unable to defeat Demolition for the Tag Team Title, and The Ultimate Warrior defeating the Honky Tonk Man in 15 seconds to win the Intercontinental Championship.


Summer Slam 1989
Flash forward one year later to SummerSlam 1989, and Hogan and Savage are no longer friends. The Macho Man became jealous over Hulk Hogan for paying to much attention to his manager Miss Elizabeth.  Hogan also accidentally eliminated Randy Savage from the Royal Rumble in January beginning their year long feud. At Wrestlemania V, Hogan reclaimed the WWF Championship from Randy Savage who broke ties with Miss Elizabeth. SummerSlam 1989 featured Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake versus Randy Savage and Zeus (the actor from Hogan’s film, No Hold’s Barred). Hogan and Brutus easily won the match with Sherri’s pony tail cut off by Brutus. The match was a big movie promotion. Other matches included The Ultimate Warrior defeating Ravishing Rick Rude for the Intercontinental Title, and a really great technical match between Mr. Perfect and the Red Rooster.


Summer Slam 1990
SummerSlam ’90 featured a double Main Event. The first was Hogan versus Earthquake. Hulk easily proved that Earthquake was not unstoppable with the big body slam for the win. The second main event featured The Ultimate Warrior defending his recently acquired WWE Championship from Hogan against Ravishing Rick Rude in a steel cage match. Rude really had no chance of beating the Warrior in a cage. The most memorable moment was the Sapphire story line. Sapphire was Dusty Rhodes manager until The Million Dollar Man bought her. That’s right he bought her! What kind of message was the WWF sending when the rich white guy buys up black people? First Virgil and then the Sweet Sapphire!


Summer Slam 1991
This is easily the worst SummerSlam. Once again the the card featured a double main event. The first event was Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior versus Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa (c’mon we know that was the Iron Sheik) and General Adnan in a feel good about America bout. The event took place during the first Gulf War, and McMahon capitilized on the this with Slaughter going against America. It wasn’t really a match since it was clear that Hogan and the Warrior can’t work together because of their two giant egos. They can’t share the spotlight. The second main event was the wedding between Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth. This really was a soap opera event that had no reason being the final card. If you look, you can see a decent portion of the audience walked out.


Summer Slam 1992
The WWF revived itself the following year with a great double main event. The first featured the Macho Man defending his WWF Championship title against the Ultimate Warrior. The Warrior defeated Randy Savage by count-out, however didn’t win the title. The second main event was Bret Hart versus his brother-in-law, the British Bulldog,  for the Intercontinental Championship. Other matches included The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) defeating Kamala, and the Legion of Doom defeating Money, Inc. in a tag team match.


I’m a bit biased on my opinion with this volume. To me this was the best time period in wrestling. Between the Hulk Hogan pose downs, Ultimate Warrior wacko interviews, and Bushwackers you can’t deny that while corny, wrestling was never better. The transfers of the events look bad, but the price point is great.


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