Thanks to the WWE Network, every WWE, WCW and ECW pay per view is available to watch as many times as you like. This was the selling point to get the network, the $10.00 for the new pay per views was the cherry on top! Even though I have most of them on dvd (and will continue to purchase them) I am a die hard fan so I go back and pick a random PPV and enjoy. I thought I might as well write a review while I do it, and my first one will be my first PPV I attended. SummerSlam 96!
Thanks to my lovely mother (and her radio call-in skills), she scored us 4 tickets to SummerSlam in Cleveland, Ohio. This was my first WWE event (living in the middle of no-where in Ohio/being poor) and my first T.V event. My favorite wrestler (at the time) Shawn Michaels was in the main event against Vader. As we waited for the gates to open, then WWE employee Todd Pettengill would stroll back and forth and wave at the crowd. Of course, every time he did this, everybody exploded with cheering. He later made the statement that 'Cleveland had the best fans in the world!' Nobody loved him like the crowd waiting in our section at the then Gund Arena. Let's get into the action as Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect and Jim Ross were on commentary that night. The free for all match was Steve Austin vs Yokozuna as Austin got the win while Yokuzuna broke the ring rope.
- Owen Hart vs Savio Vega-- Owen was such a great wrestler and I have no idea why he didn't get a run with the title before the tragic ending. This was the time where Owen had the cast on his arm and used it to his advantage during his matches (of course his arm isn't hurt anymore). Jim Ross had some good lines in this match as Owen would give us a 'Woooo' at brilliant times. Winner-Owen Hart with help of the cast! After the match Justin Hawke Bradshaw (or JBL) would attack Savio Vega for who knows what reason, but it was good to see the wrestling god in his much younger days!
- The New Rockers vs The Body Donnas vs The Godwins vs (Champions)The Smoking Guns for the WWE Tag Titles-- Here we get a four team elimination match that features a young Al Snow (Leif Cassidy of the New Rockers), and Billy Gunn (Billy Gunn of the Smoking Gunns). Billy Gunn was another one of my favorite guys as he can't outright move it in the squared circle. Sunny was in the bikini beach blast off that was featured in the free for all and she was out with her Smoking Gunns (the team not her..nevermind). Winners-The Smoking Gunns.
- British Bulldog vs Sid-- Bulldog had a lot a great matches in 96, but his match vs Sid in Cleveland wasn't one of them. I loved Davey Boy Smith (also should have had a run with the WWE Title) but this match was over pretty quick as Sid was making his climb in that era. I have a picture of Sid on my wall of fame, but I have to be honest and say it was free. Winner-Sid. Goldust vs Mark Mero-- How about Goldust showing longevity as he is featured in this ppv from 1996 (Mark Henry was shown in a video package too). The valets were the star of this match (Sable and Marlena). Winner-Goldust!
Ahmad Johnson (YOU'RE GOING DOWN, YOU'RE GOING DOWN) had to vacate the Intercontinental title due to being attacked by Faaroo..Ron Simmons. At that time, Simmons would come out as a Gladiator or Spartan or who knows (just ridiculous). Poor Todd getting yelled at by Ron Simmons was scary but Sunny came back out!
- Jerry Lawler vs Jake Roberts-- Mark Henry joins the announce table as Jerry Lawler (in a Ravens jersey) is going hard at Jake's drinking problems.Jerry hit Roberts with a bottle of liquor and then awkwardly pulls the tights in the front of Jake the Snake. Mark Henry helps him down the isle though. Winner--Jerry Lawler.
- Mankind vs Undertaker-Boiler Room Brawl-- They rolled out a bunch of tv monitors for the few (of the hundreds) to watch as this match started in the boiler room. The first one to grab the Urn from Paul Bearer would be the winner, and as the Undertaker and Mankind (Mick Foley) fought to the ring, Bearer turned on the Undertaker. This would lead to a very creepy moment where the druids would come out ( I was 10 years old and very creep'd out) and take the Undertaker to the back. Winner-Mankind.
- WWE Champion Shawn Micheals vs Vader-- How great is Jim Cornette?! He was easily one of the greatest managers of all time, and should be given his due in the Hall of Fame! After a couple DQ's from HBK (who displays his frustration with Vader clear as day in the match) Cornette gets them to restart the match and HBK wins to retain the title. HBK wasn't a pleasant guy back stage during those years, but I wasn't back there so I didn't care (or know for that matter). Winner-Shawn Michaels
My SummerSlam shirt doesn't fit anymore, but I will always have it and display it and tell anyone who see's it how I got to go to SummerSlam in 1996. Our seats were up, up, up, in the nose bleeds but it was still a blast. So do yourself a favor, get the WWE Network, and go back and watch one of the best shows from 96, SummerSlam!