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SummerSlam 1992

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SummerSlam 1992 was the fifth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on August 29, 1992 at Wembley Stadium, London, England but was aired in the United States on August 31.

The pay-per-view featured two main event matches. In the first, the Ultimate Warrior challenged Randy Savage for the WWE Championship. The Warrior won the match by countout but did not win the title. In the other main event, Davey Boy Smith pinned Bret Hart to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The World Tag Team Championship was also defended, as The Natural Disasters retained the championship belts in their match against the Beverly Brothers. One of the heavily promoted matches on the was between Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel. The match, which had a special stipulation that the wrestlers could not hit each other in the face, ended in a double countout.

The WWF considers the crowd to be the second largest live audience ever to attend a WWe/F event, with 80,355 in attendance; WrestleMania III in 1987 is reported as having 93,173 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.

Background

SummerSlam 1992 was originally intended to take place in Washington, D.C.. The WWF decided to move the event to Wembley Stadium in London, England due to the company's popularity and the possibility of increasing the revenue from the event. Although the writers' plans originally called for Shawn Michaels to win the Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart, the storyline was adjusted due to the change of venue. As a result, England native "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith was chosen to win the belt.

Bret Hart defended the WWE Intercontinental Championship against his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith. One of the main events was a match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship between Bret Hart and "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith. This match was significant because the two were brothers-in-law in real life. Smith was married to Diana Hart, Bret's sister. On television broadcasts leading up to SummerSlam, interviews were shown with Diana and her mother Helen, in which both claimed that the family was being torn apart by the upcoming match. Bruce Hart publicly supported Smith, while Owen Hart sided with his brother Bret. Diana claimed 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 an infection; despite the concerns about his health, he decided to wrestle the match as planned.

The other main event was a WWE Championship match between the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. The storyline between them began in August 1990, when Sensational Sherri, who was managing Savage, tried to arrange a match between Savage and the Warrior at SummerSlam 1990. The Warrior refused to defend his WWF Championship against Savage, and he ripped up a contract that Sherri had given him. Later that month, he ripped Sherri's dress off after a match against Savage. They faced each other at house shows over the next six months, but Savage was unable to win the title. Savage then interfered in the title match at Royal Rumble 1991 enabling Sgt. Slaughter to win the title. Sgt. Slaughter's first 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, but Savage's former valet Miss Elizabeth reunited with Savage after the match. Retiring on pins and needles Savage continued to wrestle for the WWF, but the feud with the Ultimate Warrior did not continue. The following year, the rivalry was rekindled when the Ultimate Warrior was granted a shot at the WWF Championship, which Savage had won on April 5, 1992. Ric Flair and his manager, Mr. Perfect, were upset that Flair had not been granted a title shot. They decided to cause trouble between Savage and the Warrior, and Perfect announced on August 8, 1992 that he was negotiating with Savage, his former rival, to appear in his corner during the WWE Championship match at SummerSlam. The following week, Perfect claimed that the Ultimate Warrior had also been seeking his services. Perfect announced his intention to appear in one man's corner but would not clarify which one. At the SummerSlam Spectacular, Savage and the Warrior teamed up to face The Nasty Boys. Perfect and Ric Flair interfered in the match, but Savage and the Warrior chased them back to the locker room after the match.

Two tag team matches were also featured on the undercard. Money Inc. (Irwin R. Schyster and Ted DiBiase) and the Road Warriors (Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk) were feuding in 1992 over the World Tag Team Championship. The Legion of Doom held the championship belts until Michael Hegstrand, who portrayed the character of Hawk, failed a drug test. As a result, the WWF suspended him and had the Legion of Doom drop the belts to Money Inc. Once Hawk's suspension ended, a rematch was scheduled to take place at SummerSlam. Money Inc. had since lost the championship to The Natural Disasters, so the belts were not defended in this match. Meanwhile, The Natural Disasters (Typhoon and Earthquake) and the Beverly Brothers (Beau and Blake) had a rivalry dating back to a WWF television taping on June 30, 1992. Typhoon attacked The Genius, who managed the Beverlys, while Earthquake brawled with both of the Beverlys. The same day that it aired, the Disasters won the WWF Tag Team Championship from Money Inc. The Natural Disasters' first reign. As a result of this win, the title was on the line in the match at SummerSlam.

In addition to the title defenses, the event also featured a match between Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel. Their rivalry focused on Martel's attempts to steal Michaels' on-screen girlfriend 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, a show designed to promote the pay-per-view, 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.

Event

Before the pay-per-view broadcast began, two matches were taped for later showings on WWF Prime Time Wrestling. The first match saw Papa Shango defeat "El Matador" Tito Santana by pinfall. In the other match, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Bushwhackers defeated The Mountie and The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) when Duggan pinned The Mountie.

In the opening match, the Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) faced Money Inc. (Irwin R. Schyster and Ted DiBiase). 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 to perform the Doomsday device, their signature move. Schyster stopped them, but Animal hit Schyster in retaliation, causing Schyster to run into DiBiase. Animal then powerslam DiBiase and pinned him to get the victory.

The second match of the broadcast featured Nailz competing 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 and Blake) attack the Natural Disasters (Typhoon and Earthquake) 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 attempted to make the 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 shown on the telecast in the United Kingdom as Repo Man was unable to perform many offensive maneuvers against Crush. 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.

One of the two main event matches came next, as Randy Savage defended the WWF 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 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 to execute 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 world championship match was followed by a bout between The Undertaker and Kamala. Kamala, who was accompanied by his manager, Harvey Wippleman, and his "handler", Kim Chee, attacked The Undertaker before the match. 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 to perform his signature move, the Tombstone Piledriver, Kim Chee ran into the ring and hit The Undertaker with a safari hat. As a result, Kamala was disqualified and The Undertaker won the match.

The next match, which was taped for WWF Prime Time Wrestling rather than for broadcast as part of SummerSlam, saw Tatanka defeat The Berzerker by pinfall.

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 boxer 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 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.

Aftermath

Randy Savage, who continued to sell his supposedly injured leg, lost the title to Ric Flair on September 1, 1992. Flair received help not only from Mr Perfect but also from newcomer Razor Ramon, igniting a feud between Savage and Ramon. After plans by WWF writers to turn the Ultimate Warrior against Savage were scrapped due to the Warrior's refusal, the two were scheduled to face Flair and Ramon at Survivor Series 1992. However, as the Warrior quit the promotion shortly before the match, 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 early 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 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event). 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 edition 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.

Reception

According to the WWF, the 80,355 people in attendance for SummerSlam 1992 is the second largest in the company's history, behind only WrestleMania III, which is said to have attracted 93,173 fans. Some observers place the attendance for WrestleMania III closer to 78,000, however, which makes the crowd for SummerSlam 1992 arguably the biggest in WWF history (and the largest verified crowd in the history of the company).

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 in VHS format on September 24, 1992. In the United Kingdom, it was released on DVD, packaged together with SummerSlam 1993, as part of the WWE Tagged Classics line on October 3, 2005. The event is also included 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.

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD & Video Release

External links

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1992 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views
Royal RumbleWrestleMania VIIIUK RampageSummerSlamSurvivor Series

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