With the 31st installment of The Biggest Party of the Summer just around the corner, join us as we take a look back at the history of SummerSlam. The ups, the downs, the moments, the stars, and the very first event ever held in Chicago’s United Center!
The Undertaker vs The Undertaker
To the casual reader who maybe did not watch in the mid-90s, that’s not a misprint, this was the main event, The Undertaker squared.
I feel an explanation is in order, so a little back story – at the Royal Rumble in January, Yokozuna defeated The Undertaker in casket match with the help of about ten of his closest friends. In a scene that was far ahead of its time, The Undertaker appeared on the video wall saying that we would soon see the rebirth of The Undertaker. That rebirth would happen in the summer when Ted DiBiase would claim that he has found The Undertaker and was bringing him back to the WWF to join his newly formed faction “The Corporation”.
It made sense as DiBiase was the one that brought The Phenom to the WWF in the first place. Paul Bearer had other plans saying that DiBiase’s Dead Man was a fraud and that HE had the real Undertaker. Both managers would bring their Undertaker’s to Chicago to decide who was the real one. It was such a head-scratcher that WWF brought in super-sleuth’s Leslie Neilson and George Kennedy of The Naked Gun to solve the case.
TME TO GRAB SOME SNACKS
The build-up and entrances were pretty good. But once the actual match started, it was WAY too confusing – who could have guessed that would be the case when The Undertaker was fighting himself. The crowd was dead (pun intended) from start to finish, and who could blame them. Cheer The Undertaker…but boo The Undertaker…and which one…it was just too confusing, especially for the main event. It was an interesting idea on paper, and probably wouldn’t have been done in any other era, but there was a match that should have ended the show (pure foreshadowing!).
GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
This wasn’t exactly the most exciting SummerSlam in history. So, as a Chicago guy, the best look at the future in this show was the venue. The Madhouse on Madison has seen it’s share of memorable sports moments from the dominant Bulls of the 90s to the recent run of Stanley Cups from the Blackhawks. The United Center has been rocking since 1994 and it all started with The Biggest Party of the Summer.
MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Bret and Owen Hart had such great chemistry in the ring it was almost like they had a strong relationship outside of the ring (pause for laughter). The two would take their sibling rivalry to the confines of the 15 foot high steel cage with Bret’s WWF Championship at stake. Bret said it best saying that they wanted to show that a cage match could be entertaining with more than just being slammed in the cage and buckets of blood lost. They pulled it off and then some. Bret would hold on to the title and a bigger family brawl would ensue after the match with nearly every male in the Hart family trying to get in the cage.
OTHER TOP MATCHES
Diesel (with Shawn Michaels) vs Razor Ramon (with Walter Payton) for the Intercontinental Championship
Lex Luger vs Tatanka
Alundra Blayze vs Bull Nakano for the Woman’s Championship
This was pretty similar to the 1992 show – the show had an all-time classic, another memorable match, but not really too much else. The only difference is that 1994’s “not really too much else” was worse than 1992’s. This was just a bad time for the WWF, and it would only get worse from here…as you’ll see with the next submission. (foreshadowing master!)
OVERALL SCORE – 5/10