The 1992 SummerSlam was the fifth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). It took place on Saturday, August 29, 1992, at Wembley Stadium in London, England and aired on tape delay on Monday, August 31, 1992. It was the first major WWF pay-per-view to take place outside North America.
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||August 29, 1992|
(aired August 31, 1992)
|Tagline(s)||The SummerSlam You Thought You'd Never See!|
The pay-per-view included two main event matches. In the first, The Ultimate Warrior challenged "Macho Man" Randy Savage for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. The Warrior won the match by countout but did not win the title. In the other main event, "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith pinned Bret Hart to win the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. The undercard also included The Natural Disasters retaining the WWF Tag Team Championship against the Beverly Brothers and Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel wrestling to a double countout in a match with the stipulation that the wrestlers were banned from hitting each other in the face.
WWE considers the crowd to be the fourth largest live audience ever to attend a WWF/E event, with 80,355 in attendance; WrestleMania 29 in 2013 is reported as having 80,676 fans in attendance, WrestleMania III in 1987 is reported as having 93,173 fans in attendance and WrestleMania 32 in 2016 is reported as having 101,763 fans in attendance. Some writers believe that the WWF inflated the attendance figure for WrestleMania III, however, and that SummerSlam 1992 had a larger crowd. Between ticket prices and merchandise sales, the WWF made over $3,650,000 in revenue. Reviews of the event are almost all positive, and the Smith–Hart match has been rated the best match in SummerSlam history.
SummerSlam is an annual pay-per-view (PPV), produced every August by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) since 1988. Dubbed "The Biggest Party of the Summer," it is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series, eventually dubbed the "Big Four". It has since become considered WWF's second biggest event of the year behind WrestleMania. The 1992 event was the fifth event in the SummerSlam chronology.
SummerSlam 1992 was originally intended to take place at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. However, the WWF decided to move the event to Wembley Stadium in London, England due to the company's growing popularity in the United Kingdom and the possibility of increasing the revenue from the event. The event was scheduled to be held on Saturday, August 29, 1992, and it aired on tape delay on Monday, August 31. Shawn Michaels was originally booked to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart, but the storyline was adjusted due to the change of venue. As a result, "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, a native of Wigan, a working-class town in the north of England, was chosen to win the belt.
One of the main events was the Intercontinental Championship match between Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith, brothers-in-law in real life as Smith was married to Diana Hart, Bret's sister. On television broadcasts leading up to SummerSlam, interviews with Diana and her mother Helen portrayed the family as being torn apart by the upcoming match. Bruce Hart publicly supported Smith, while Owen Hart sided with his brother Bret. Diana stated that she did not know who she wanted to win the match, as she had close ties to both men. She ultimately stated that she simply hoped that neither wrestler would get hurt. Prior to the match, Smith was hospitalized with a legitimate staph infection in his knee. Despite the concerns about his health, he decided to wrestle the match as planned. Bret Hart later revealed in an interview that he doubted the legitimacy of the injury.
The other main event was a WWF Championship match between The Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. Although they had a previous run of house show matches in early 1989, the rivalry between them began in earnest in the fall of 1990, when Sensational Sherri, who was managing Savage, tried to arrange a match between Savage and Warrior. The Warrior refused to defend his WWF Championship against Savage, and he ripped up a contract that Sherri had given him. While they faced each other at house shows over the next few months, where Savage was unable to win the title, they never had a televised match with each other. Savage then interfered in the title match at Royal Rumble 1991, enabling Sgt. Slaughter to win the title. To settle the rivalry, Savage and the Warrior agreed to face each other in a retirement match at WrestleMania VII. The Warrior won the match, forcing Savage into retirement. However, Savage would be reinstated as an active wrestler in November 1991.
The following year, the rivalry was rekindled when the Ultimate Warrior was granted a shot at the WWF Championship, which Savage had won from Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII on April 5, 1992. Flair and his executive consultant Mr. Perfect, were upset that Flair had not been granted a rematch. They decided to cause trouble between Savage and the Warrior. In August, Perfect claimed that he was in negotiations with Savage and Warrior, who both had sought his managerial services, but refused to clarify which wrestler he would support at SummerSlam. At the SummerSlam Spectacular, a show designed to promote the pay-per-view, Savage and the Warrior teamed up to face The Nasty Boys. Perfect and Ric Flair interfered in the match, resulting in a count-out victory for the Nasty Boys and more animosity between Savage and Warrior.
The undercard included two tag team matches: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) and The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) had been feuding in 1992 over the WWF Tag Team Championship. The Legion of Doom held the championship belts until dropping the title to Money Inc. This title change occurred after Hawk failed a drug test and was suspended. Once Hawk's suspension ended, a rematch was scheduled to take place at SummerSlam. The match was first scheduled as a title match but Money Inc. lost the championship to The Natural Disasters.
Meanwhile, the Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) and the Beverly Brothers (Beau Beverly and Blake Beverly) had a rivalry dating back to a match aired on WWF Prime Time Wrestling on July 20, 1992. While Earthquake brawled with Beau and Blake, Typhoon attacked the Beverlys' manager, The Genius. When the Disasters won the WWF Tag Team Championship, their Summerslam match was transformed into a title match.
The rivalry between Shawn Michaels against Rick Martel centred around Martel's attempts to steal Michaels' valet Sensational Sherri. During one of Michaels' matches televised on August 9, 1992, Martel came to ringside and winked at Sherri, who returned the gesture. At the SummerSlam Spectacular, Sherri came to the ring during one of Martel's matches and winked at him. Both Michaels and Martel were "heel" wrestlers who bragged about their good looks, and Sherri had them agree not to hit each other in the face during their SummerSlam match.
|Interviewer||Lord Alfred Hayes|
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
Before the pay-per-view broadcast began, two matches were taped for later showings on WWF Prime Time Wrestling. These matches were never advertised on US television in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam. The first match saw "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Bushwhackers (Bushwhacker Luke and Bushwhacker Butch) defeat The Mountie and The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags) when Duggan pinned The Mountie. In the other match, Papa Shango defeated Tito Santana by pinfall.
The actual pay-per-view opened with the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) taking on Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster). The Legion of Doom used their size and power to wear down their opponents in the opening minutes of the match. Money Inc. gained the advantage when Hawk missed a flying clothesline. Hawk tried to tag in his partner but was unable for several minutes because Money Inc. kept him away from the corner where Animal was standing. Eventually, Hawk and Schyster hit each other at the same time. Hawk tagged Animal in, and the Legion of Doom attempted the Doomsday device, their signature move. Schyster stopped them, but Animal hit Schyster in retaliation, causing Schyster to run into DiBiase. Animal then powerslammed DiBiase and pinned him to get the victory.
The second match of the broadcast pitted Nailz against Virgil. Nailz spent the majority of the match choking Virgil. Virgil recovered several times and performed several offensive maneuvers, but Nailz always regained the advantage. Ultimately, Nailz won the match by performing a sleeper hold. After the match, he attacked Virgil with a nightstick.
In the following match, competitors Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel were unable, due to a pre-match stipulation, to hit each other in the face. The two men exchanged holds but were both preoccupied with looking to ringside for approval from Sensational Sherri. Martel gained the advantage by throwing Michaels to the outside of the ring and attacking him there. When the two returned to the ring, they took turns attempting to pin their opponent, pulling down their opponent's wrestling tights to reveal their buttocks each time. Michaels then kicked Martel and tried to pin him, but the referee stopped the three-count because Michaels' feet were on the ropes. Both wrestlers broke the pre-match stipulation by slapping each other in the face. Sherri pretended to faint, which drew the attention of both wrestlers. Michaels and Martel argued over who would carry Sherri backstage, with each man carrying her a few feet before being stopped by his opponent. Both wrestlers were counted out, but they continued to argue. Martel tried to revive Sherri by throwing water on her, but he hit Michaels as well. Michaels dropped Sherri and chased Martel backstage; upset at being left behind by both men, Sherri screamed and cried as she walked backstage.
The tag team championship match came next, which saw the Beverly Brothers (Beau Beverly and Blake Beverly) attack the Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) before the bell. The Disasters used their size and strength to gain the advantage, but Earthquake accidentally performed an avalanche on Typhoon. The Beverlys controlled the match for several minutes, with Blake executing a splash and a front facelock. Typhoon recovered and clotheslined both opponents but was unable to tag in Earthquake. Later, Typhoon tried to tag again, but Beau distracted Earthquake; while the referee's back was turned, The Beverlys' manager, The Genius handed Blake a metal scroll, which Blake used to hit Typhoon. Typhoon recovered, however, and Earthquake entered the ring and controlled the remainder of the match. He performed a powerslam on Beau before pinning him with an Earthquake splash.
The following match, which was not broadcast in the United Kingdom, pitted Crush against the Repo Man. Crush used his size advantage to perform a Gorilla press slam on Repo Man. Repo Man performed a back suplex, but Crush showed no sign that the move affected him. Crush continued to dominate the match with such moves as a belly to belly suplex. Repo Man eventually tried to attack Crush by jumping off the top rope, but Crush caught him and performed the Cranium Crunch to win the match by submission.
Main event matchesEdit
One of the two main event matches came next, as Randy Savage defended the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against the Ultimate Warrior. Although Mr. Perfect had claimed that he would be in the corner of one of the competitors, he did not come to ringside for the beginning of the match. Savage and the Warrior traded the advantage back and forth, with Savage performing several clotheslines and punching his opponent and the Ultimate Warrior countering with atomic drops. Savage executed two double axe handles from the top rope, but the Warrior caught him when Savage attempted the move a third time. After the Warrior missed a move and fell outside the ring, Savage jumped from the top rope and performed another double axe handle. Once the wrestlers got back into the ring, Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect walked down the aisle and stood at ringside. The match continued as normal until Perfect reached into the ring and tripped Savage, who was running to gain momentum for a maneuver. The Ultimate Warrior accidentally threw Savage into referee Earl Hebner. As a result of the ref bump, Hebner was not able to make the three-count when Savage pinned the Warrior after performing a diving elbow drop. Perfect and Flair revived the Ultimate Warrior, only to attack him when he stood up. The Warrior recovered and attempted a running splash, but Flair hit him with a chair. Savage saw the Warrior injured and realized that Flair and Perfect were causing trouble rather than trying to help either man. In retaliation, Savage jumped off the top rope to attack Flair, but Flair hit him in the leg with a chair. Savage was unable to get back into the ring, so the Ultimate Warrior won the match via countout. Flair and Perfect continued to attack Savage until the Warrior chased them away. Savage and the Ultimate Warrior then hugged and walked backstage together.
The next match pitted the Undertaker against Kamala, who was accompanied by his manager, Harvey Wippleman, and his handler, Kim Chee. Kamala attacked before the match but the Undertaker blocked the attack and punched Kamala repeatedly before performing a chop from the top rope on his opponent. The Undertaker attempted the same move again, but Wippleman knocked the Undertaker off the rope. Kamala knocked the Undertaker outside the ring, where the Undertaker attacked Wippleman and Kim Chee. Back inside the ring, the Undertaker gained the advantage by executing a chokeslam and a clothesline. When the Undertaker attempted his signature move, the Tombstone Piledriver, Kim Chee ran into the ring and hit the Undertaker with a pith helmet. As a result, Kamala was disqualified and the Undertaker won the match. Kamala kept on attacking and hit Undertaker with a series of splashes and seemingly left his opponent unconscious. When the Undertaker suddenly sat up and looked directly at the Ugandan Giant, Kamala, Wippleman and Kim Chee panicked and fled ringside with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer slowly walking in pursuit.
Next, Tatanka defeated The Berzerker by pinfall. This match was originally scheduled as part of the pay-per-view. Due to time constraints it was cut from the PPV lineup in post-production. The match, however, later aired on WWF Prime Time Wrestling. On the Silver Vision home video release in the UK, this match was placed after the WWF World Heavyweight Championship match. Up next, Rowdy Roddy Piper joined the Balmoral Highlanders in playing Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes.
The event concluded with the second main event, a contest for the Intercontinental Championship between champion Bret Hart and challenger "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, who was accompanied by the reigning Commonwealth Heavyweight Boxing Champion, London native Lennox Lewis. In the opening minutes, Hart used his technical wrestling abilities and Smith relied on his power advantage. Hart got control of the match with a reverse atomic drop and a Samoan drop. Smith came back with a monkey flip, but Hart regained the advantage with a bulldog and a plancha. Smith eventually recovered and tried to pin Hart with a back slide. Hart escaped the pin attempt and wore Smith down with sleeper holds. Smith gained the advantage, however, and used power moves to control the match, including a running powerslam and a variety of suplexes. Hart managed to place Smith in the Sharpshooter, Hart's signature submission hold. Smith escaped the hold, however, and threw Hart against the ropes. While running back at Smith, Hart attempted a sunset flip. Smith countered the move and pinned Hart to win the Intercontinental Championship. Immediately after the match, Hart refused to shake Smith's hand. He soon changed his mind, however, and hugged Smith as well as Diana Hart, who was celebrating with her husband. Writing in his autobiography Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Hart recalled that prior to the match, he had been unable to contact Smith to prepare for the match as Smith had spent the few weeks before the match smoking crack cocaine with Jim Neidhart.
According to the WWF, the 80,355 people in attendance for SummerSlam 1992 is the fourth largest in the company's history, behind only WrestleMania 29, WrestleMania III and WrestleMania 32, which is said to have attracted 101,763 fans.
The event has received positive reviews from a variety of sources. RD Reynolds has called it "a huge success". In particular, the Intercontinental Championship match has been called "one of the greatest matches of all time". Pro Wrestling Illustrated named it the Match of the Year in the magazine's year-end issue, and WWE has called the match the greatest moment in SummerSlam history. Bret Hart has also named it as his favorite match of all time.
The WWF collected $2,200,000 in revenue from admissions, up from $445,000 the previous year. The company also sold $1,456,203 in merchandise at SummerSlam, which is the largest amount of merchandise revenue at a WWF event. The buyrate for the event was 1.5, down from 2.7 at SummerSlam 1991 but higher than the 1.3 buyrate at SummerSlam 1993.
SummerSlam 1992 was released on VHS format on September 24, 1992. While the US release only included the eight matches shown on pay-per-view, the UK release included all eleven matches including the three dark matches. On October 3, 2005 in the United Kingdom, the event was released on DVD, packaged together with SummerSlam 1993, as part of the WWE Tagged Classics line. The event was again later released as part of WWE's SummerSlam Anthology boxed DVD set. The anthology was released on August 5, 2008 in North America and was released on October 6, 2008 in the United Kingdom. However, the version that is included with the Anthology is only the 8 match PPV broadcast version.
Randy Savage, who continued to sell his supposedly injured leg, lost the title to Ric Flair at a television taping on September 1, 1992 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. During the match Flair received help not only from Mr Perfect but also from newcomer Razor Ramon, igniting a feud between Savage and Ramon. Bret Hart claimed in a 2014 interview that WWF owner Vince McMahon had worked out the title-change match with Flair and Savage before hand, and that he was angry when they returned to the dressing room after the match because they had failed to do much of what was agreed upon. McMahon was so angry that he actually sent Bobby Heenan out to signal that the match be aborted and then made them go straight back out and restart the whole match. After producing much the same match that they had immediately prior, McMahon allegedly threw his headset onto the table and stormed off in frustration.
WWF writers had originally planned that the Ultimate Warrior should be the one to accept Mr Perfect's services, turning heel in the process of winning the title and that, as new champion, he would further feud with Savage. After these plans were scrapped due to the Warrior's refusal to turn heel, the two were scheduled to face Flair and Ramon at Survivor Series 1992. However, as the Warrior quit the promotion on November 21, his spot was surprisingly offered to Mr. Perfect, who accepted it in spite of Flair, thereby turning face and initiating a feud with Flair which culminated in Flair leaving the WWF in January 1993.
Shawn Michaels, who had originally been booked to win the Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart at SummerSlam, won the title from Davey Boy Smith on October 27 (the match would air on the November 14, 1992 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event XXXI). Michaels and Sherri continued their on-screen relationship after SummerSlam. Sherri claimed to have created the rivalry with Martel to test Michaels' love for her. Their relationship deteriorated, though when Michaels pulled Sherri in front of him to protect himself from an attack by his former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty on the October 31 episode of WWF Superstars. This led to confrontations between Sherri and Michaels at Royal Rumble 1993 and WrestleMania IX.
The Undertaker continued to feud with Kamala and Harvey Wippleman. The two wrestlers faced each other again at Survivor Series 1992 in a coffin match, which the Undertaker won. Wippleman gained revenge by introducing Giant Gonzalez (and later Mr. Hughes), with whom the Undertaker feuded through 1993.
Upset about the amount of his pay for appearing at SummerSlam, Kevin Wacholz (Nailz) confronted WWF owner Vince McMahon after Survivor Series 1992. According to reports, he legitimately attacked McMahon. As a result, Nailz was fired from the WWF. He briefly appeared in rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as the Prisoner but was released after the WWF sued WCW because of The Prisoner's similarity to the Nailz character. The anger between Wacholz and McMahon spilled over into McMahon's 1994 trial, in which McMahon was accused of distributing steroids to wrestlers. Although Wacholz testified against McMahon, his statements, which included, "I hate Vince McMahon's guts" ultimately proved harmful to the prosecution's case.
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