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The Count: 4 Times SummerSlam Undeniably Outshone Wrestlemania

By 08.15.14
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SummerSlam has been called the Wrestlemania of the summer, but let’s be honest, most of the time people referring to it as that are doing it with big implied air-quotes in their most sarcastic voice possible. SummerSlam is supposed to be a big deal, but all too often it ends up existing in a dead zone between the Wrestlemania before it and the build to the Wrestlemania to come.

That said, there have been a handful of truly memorable SummerSlams. In fact, there’s been a few Wrestlemanias of the summer that actually outshone that year’s actual Wrestlemania. These are the SummerSlams this year’s event will, hopefully, take after (but probably won’t)…

But first, before we go on, give this article a share won’t you? Let’s get this SummerSlam party rockin’!

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SummerSlam 1988

The very first SummerSlam may not have been a hall of fame show from a workrate or star ratings perspective, not that we care particularly about that ’round these parts, but it was pretty much packed butt to gut with memorable moments.

This of course was the show where Ultimate Warrior ended the Honky Tonk Man’s record-setting IC title reign in 30 seconds, which was the first and last time the whole Honky Tonk Man undeserving champion thing has ever really worked. The pop when Warrior wins is unlike anything that could happen today — human beings aren’t capable of expressing that kind of passion any more, especially for fake underpants fighting.

The main event was THE MEGA POWERS in their first ever match against the combined villainy of their most mortal enemies, Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase. Wrestlemania may have, technically, been when The Mega Powers first formed, but this was their coming out party, and both Hogan and Savage are in all their f*cking deliriously coked-out glory. You can make the case for countless other tag teams being better in the ring or whatever, but in terms of star power, in terms of #1 King Shit of the World teaming up with #2 King Shit of the World, nothing beat The Mega Powers, and SummerSlam ’88 was them at their height. Just look at these glorious assholes…

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Damn, those vitamins get results. 

…the match itself is great too. Honestly it kind of transcends regular analysis. At least the kind of analysis I’d apply to a match of 2014. Oh, and yes, the match featured Elizabeth and her magic tearaway skirt.

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And thus a very specific fetish was planted in the mind of an entire generation or wrestling fans.  

So, you could say I have a bit of a soft spot for this one. And a hard spot too. Hey-O!

Wrestlemania IV

Wrestlemania IV sounds good on paper. A one-night tournament that ends up crowing Randy Savage the new WWF Champion? Tournaments are the balls, Randy Savage is even more balls, so this was great right?

In reality the show was a shambling, 16-match monstrosity in which the average match length was around three minutes (although maybe that was just my friend’s VHS version) and half the bouts ended in some manner of f*ckery. Until the very end when Hogan helps Savage win the title, the show is just a steady drumbeat of undistinguished, unexciting 80s wrestling stuff happening. It set some awesome things in motion, but the show itself is a rough watch.

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