Wrestling History – SummerSlam 1994
Brother vs. Brother
Undertaker vs. Undertaker
SummerSlam took place on the 29th of August in 1994, at the brand new United Center in Chicago, Illinois. It has three great matches, all headlined by the emerging New Generation. First, we got Diesel vs. Razor Ramon for Diesel’s IC Championship. Then, it was Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart in a Steel Cage that went for over half an hour. Finally, there was the Main Event of the evening, featuring The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker.
We’ll get to that.
Let’s start from the logical point: the beginning. The event opened with Macho Man Randy Savage holding things down. He came out to get the crowd psyched to be there. He reminded everybody what the matches were, and then handed the microphone off to Vince McMahon while he did his “thing in the ring”, soaking up every single cheer the crowd gave him.
The first match was I.R.S, Irwin R. Schyster and Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu). I have to be honest, because of the Bray Wyatt article I wrote earlier today, all I could think about while I watched this was the fact that I.R.S is the biological father of the Eater of Worlds [in real life]. It took my attention away from the match, but as Vince and Jerry the King Lawler said, “this is a match about pride,” which is code for, “this is filler.”
Thankfully, all the men involved are talented. If you can get past Schyster’s paternal relation to the leader of the Wyatt Family, then you shouldn’t have a problem with this match.
Up next was Alundra Blaze vs. Bull Nakano for Blaze’s WWF Women’s Championship. Blaze really tainted her legacy when she agreed to drop that title in a trashcan, live on WCW Monday Night Nitro. It’s all I could think about during this match. Alundra retained her belt, after what was, from what I could tell, a pretty hard hitting match.
Now we come to the first of three matches I mentioned in the opening: Diesel vs. Razor Ramon. Shawn Michaels was also at ringside, as him and Diesel were sold as a duo, then. They won the Tag Team Championships the night before this event, which was only fitting, due to what happened in the finish of the match. With the referee distracted, HBK snuck into the ring to try and deliver some Sweet Chin Music to Razor while Diesel held him, but Ramon ducked out at the last second, causing the Show Stopper to miss and hit Big Daddy Cool.
This was the beginning of a long term storyline that led the two of them into WrestleMania 11, where HBK and Diesel went head to head for the Master of the Jackknife Power Bomb’s WWF Championship.
I have to group the next two matches together: Lex Luger vs. Tatanka and “Double J” Jeff Jarrett vs. Mabel. Both matches lasted an astounding 11 minutes and 47 seconds, combined. Luger and Tatanka was ok. At least there was a spark there. Double J and Mabel (same guy as Viscera) was the most boring match I have seen in a while. They stumbled through it, trying their best to make the match-up seem believable, but come on. Billy Madison came to mind while I watched this.
For those of you who haven’t seen, a supporting character in the film is a Principal with a skeleton in his closet, played by Zero Mostel’s son, Josh. Anyway, Josh isn’t exactly the world’s most slender man. The skeleton in his character’s closet is not that he was a professional wrestler, but that during a match, he sat on someone too long and killed that person. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this…
Finally, we come to our double Main Event. First, it was Brother vs. Brother in the cage, Owen vs. Bret for Bret’s WWF Championship. This storyline began its build two years earlier with Bret versus his brother in law, the British Bulldog in Wembley Stadium at SummerSlam 1992. I can only assume that the success of that match led Vince to continue the Hart Family Feud. This was a great example of the power of that storyline. The whole Hart Family, including Bulldog and Jim the Anvil Neidhart sat ringside to watch.
They were required to watch it completely in character, but as a family that lived and breathed wrestling, they must’ve been psyched to watch two of their boys wrestle on one of the biggest stages available. Millions watched, enthralled by Owen and Bret. Two brothers lived out their childhood dreams that night in August of 1994. We’re the lucky ones who get to see it.
Now we arrive at the match that captivated me when I was a child. The video rental/tanning booth place in my dad’s town always had this VHS in stock. I was the only one who ever rented it. It was always my backup. If there was nothing new, or nothing better, I would rent SummerSlam 1994 again to watch Undertaker versus Undertaker.
It all started back at Royal Rumble 1994. Taker lost a Casket Match to Yokozuna and disappeared for months. Fans wanted to know where he was. Could he have died?
Questions like that gave birth to the Mystery of the Undertaker. It was a mystery so clouded in intrigue that the WWE needed to bring in Super Sleuths Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy from the Naked Gun film series. The spectacle was here in spades. Sometime during his absence, the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase began to claim that he was in touch with Taker, and that the Phenom would be back soon.
When he returned, however, something was amiss. It looked like the Undertaker, but he didn’t respond to the power of the urn anymore, only to the power of the almighty dollar. Paul Bearer knew it wasn’t his Undertaker, he couldn’t be. So Paul went on a search for his compatriot, eventually promising he would return at SummerSlam to vanquish the impostor, and that’s exactly what he did, because he’s the f–king Dead Man.
PS: In case you’re wondering, the one in the purple is the original.