Something Zeus, This Way Comes
Until today, I have not had a reason to venture back past 1995 for my work here on Today’s Knockout. That has been by choice. Thing is, when you go back that far, you’ll find that wrestling was nothing like it is today. It’s bad enough in ’95 and ’96, but anything that came before then might as well have been animated. It was all a gigantic cartoon with a few guys who could actually wrestle. We’re talking about a time when guys like the Red Rooster and friggin Zeus were on the card for one of the biggest shows that the WWE has.
Speaking of Zeus, he is the reason for my trip back to the past in the first place. If you haven’t had a chance to read my article on the Hulk Hogan film No Holds Barred, here it is. You’ll need to give it a read before you can finish this. Otherwise you’ll spend the whole time wondering who in the blue hell Zeus is.
The Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson) vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart)
For anyone who considers themselves a wrestling fan, this match speaks for itself. Blanchard and Anderson were two of the original Four Horsemen, one of the greatest factions in the history of the Sports Entertainment business. They were led by the Nature Boy, Ric Flair, back in the day, but here they had the Hall of Famer, Bobby The Brain Heenan in their corner. Standing across from them were The Hart Foundation, one of the most legendary tag teams in the history of the business. Actually, thinking about it, I believe all five men involved in the match are in the WWE Hall of Fame today. I’m not sure about Neidhart, but I know for sure that the other four are.
Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man
The American Dream has been the man for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a fan of the guy. I have fairly vivid memories of watching the early WrestleMania’s and stumbling across Dusty, which is nuts. Most of my childhood has evaporated from my long term memory, but I could never forget Dusty. He was always so unique. It’s not like he gained weight when he was older. Dusty was always a big ol’ boy, but it never made a difference. He was all charisma, dancing around the ring, and dropping Bionic Elbows like it was his job.
Honky Tonk Man, on the other hand, can suck a hot fart. I was so thrilled a few years ago when it looked like Santino Marella was going to break Honky’s record for the amount of consecutive days he spent holding the Intercontinental Championship. He didn’t, of course, leaving that jump suited schmuck at the top of that particular mountain. Seriously, think about it. If you hold the IC title, the shining example that you are meant to follow is the Honky Tonk Man. That f–king guy is the greatest of the many men to hold that belt.
See what I’m talking about? It was just a big cartoon.
Mr. Perfect vs. The Red Rooster
This is another one of those speaks for itself situations. Read that out loud to yourself: Mr. Perfect vs. The Red Rooster. Say it over and over again a few times. Now, who do you think won a match between those guys? Do you think it was the man they called perfect? Or do you think it was the guy they named The Red Cock? That’s a tough one, no?
Rick Martel and The Fabulous Rougeaus vs. The Rockers and Tito Santana
There were too many people in this match to type it all out in full on the header, so if you don’t know; the Rougeaus were actual brothers named Jacques and Raymond. If you don’t know who The Rockers were, chances are I’d hate you.
I’m kidding. The Rockers were Marty Jannetty and the future Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. This is one of the better matches that was put on during SummerSlam 1989. I may not be too fond of the characters involved, save for Jannetty and Michaels, but all six of them could wrestle like nobody’s business. They were mechanically sound in the ring, which meant they wouldn’t be sinfully boring to watch.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude for Rude’s WWF Intercontinental Championship
This is the only Championship match that was held at SummerSlam 1989. There were nine matches on the main card, and only one of them was for gold. The stakes were so low during the majority of this event. All of the other Champions were in non-title matches for some reason. Warrior vs. Rude was the only match on the card that wasn’t irrelevant after a couple months. The Warrior picked up a win over Rude, thanks to the interference of the returning Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Match Six – Eight
Jim Duggan and Demolition vs. Andre The Giant and the Twin Towers
Greg Valentine vs. Hercules
Ted DiBiase vs. Jimmy Snuka
I had to group these matches together. There’s no way I could have gotten through this if I did. Look at all those talented names. We got Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Andre, The Million Dollar Man, Greg Valentine, and Jimmy Snuka in three separate matches that lasted a little over fifteen minutes, in total. Not each. What can I really say about that? How am I supposed to dig into these matches when the longest one was seven minutes and twenty three seconds? The most I can tell you is that Duggan and Demolition won their match, Valentine won his, and Jimmy Snuka got counted out, giving DiBiase the win.
The Main Event
Macho Man Randy Savage and Zeus vs. Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake
Finally, I’ve made my way back to what brought me here in the first place. This match was as good as it could have possibly been. You need to understand, Zeus wasn’t trained. He was brought into the WWF to capitalize on the success that No Holds Barred had in theaters. The film doubled its budget, so it wasn’t exactly a hard decision for Vince McMahon.
Luckily, with the character he was given, wrestling wasn’t a necessity. Zeus was a monster, nothing more, nothing less. That’s what he was there for. He no sold every move he had applied to him. It didn’t matter who it was. Nobody no sold Hogan, except for Zeus. That was his whole gimmick, which was carried over from No Holds Barred. Thank God this was a tag match. If it was just Hogan and Zeus, the match would’ve been hot garbage. With the addition of Macho and Brutus, it became cool garbage.
All four men had a rematch in a Steel Cage at the No Holds Barred PPV, which was just the film played in its entirety. I have to be entirely honest, I have no idea when, or even if I will cover that match. This one was hard enough to get through.