From top to bottom, here are the storylines and SummerSlam 89 bookings stemming from the fallout at WrestleMania V.
WWF World Title Match
Randy Savage (c) vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Still popular with the fans for scaring people with his snake, Damien, Jake Roberts drew the ire of Randy Savage. The champion felt like the crowd should be cheering him more for having “toppled Hulkamania”, and he took his frustrations out on Roberts. While Jake was cutting a promo backstage about how he was surprised Savage had beaten Hogan, he got blindsided by The Macho Man and beaten down until WWF officials showed up to hold Savage back. Damien escaping the large canvas sack Jake usually carried him in, endangering backstage staff and roster members, was deemed to be Savage’s fault. Jake eventually found Damien at a future show, but the potential loss of his pet (“and closest friend”) made Jake Roberts demand a match against Savage, “Title or No Title”. WWF officials were happy to let him have a chance at revenge… and the belt.
The Destruction of Hulkamania
Having lost to Randy Savage at WrestleMania V, Hulk Hogan seemed less “Immortal” than before, and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase decided to capitalize on it. Pulling the monster from Hogan’s latest movie project, NO HOLDS BARRED, into real life, DiBiase enlisted the services of Zeus, bringing him to WWF with one goal in mind: The destruction of Hulkamania. When Hogan tried to reason with Zeus, he realized that the man was blinded by hatred. Hulk told DiBiase that he wanted to focus on getting the WWF World Title back, but after Zeus and DiBiase executed an attack on Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Hogan agreed that he and Brutus would take on DiBiase and Zeus at SummerSlam!
WWF World Tag Team Titles
Demolition (c) vs The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan)
During a backstage segment with Demolition, Mean Gene Oakerland was inundated by tag teams asking who was getting the next title shot. The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The Twin Towers and Strike Force all asked the official interviewer if he knew who the championship committee had selected, and he promised to find out. The following week on Superstars, Oakerland took to the ring and said that the decision had been made… and The Brain Busters showed up in the ring. Bobby Heenan talked about how Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were the most talented, well-rounded team in the world of professional wrestling, and that they were going to show the world that with his guidance, they were going to get the gold they so truly deserved. The following week, The Brain Busters showed up to watch Demolition in action, and after the champions were victorious (over a jobber team in a non-title match), Arn and Tully rushed the ring and beat down the champions, while Heenan encouraged their actions from outside the ring.
Intercontinental Title Match
Rick Rude (c) vs Dusty Rhodes
Rick Rude took 15 minutes in the ring on Superstars, celebrating his victory over Ultimate Warrior. He talked about how he was the “perfect man”, and how his body was what a champion looked like, and how he had the God given ability to beat anyone… even beating most people without even breaking a sweat. He says he’s even thinking about skipping SummerSlam to go vacation in the South of France until Labor Day. That’s when Dusty Rhodes showed up, taking offense to a champion who doesn’t even want to have to work. He has always prided himself in being a working man, for himself and for wrestling fans world-wide. Rick Rude took umbridge, saying that Dusty Rhodes is a commoner, not a worldly guy. Over the next couple months, the two ran into each other again and again, with things finally coming to blows. After being pulled apart, Rick Rude threatened a lawsuit if the WWF officials didn’t “unhand the Golden Man”, and when they let him go, Rude rushed in and drilled Dusty Rhodes with the Intercontinental Championship, giving him a crimson mask backstage. The bloodied Rhodes didn’t stay down, and in a blood-stianed shirt, he showed up the following week and announced that he had asked for – and had received – a shot at Rick Rude and the Intercontinental Championship. Rude wouldn’t dignify the announcement with a response.
Ultimate Warrior vs Andre The Giant
After The Ultimate Warrior got disqualified for running wild on Honky Tonk Man in a match on Superstars, Bobby Heenan derided Warrior backstage in an interview with Gene Oakerland. He called Warrior crazy, uncontrollable, unfocused, and said that he’s not a true warrior. The following week, The Ultimate Warrior confronted Bobby Heenan backstage during another interview of the same ilk. Heenan goaded Warrior, saying he couldn’t beat any of the best wrestlers in the business, that he can’t compete with greatness. Warrior rambled about rising to the challenge, no matter how great or small, and that the power collective of warriors worldwide would help him muster the energy force to vanquish any villain set before him. That’s when Andre The Giant showed up, laughed, and Heenan goaded Warrior further. To his credit, The Ultimate Warrior didn’t back down.
Mr. Perfect vs Jimmy Snuka
While spending time on commentary, Mr. Perfect had some unkind words to say about Jim Duggan and his brute-force, unintelligent approach in the ring. The next week, Perfect was on commentary again, this time for a Jimmy Snuka match. After Superfly was victorious, he was interviewed by Gene Oakerland in the ring, and Snuka called out Perfect, saying that he heard the comments last week, he heard them at ringside, and he wasn’t happy with it. Perfect got into the ring, stood nose-to-nose with Snuka, then backed off, complaining of “bad breath”. When Snuka turned from Perfect, Curt hit him with a forearm to the back of the head, knocking him down, then escaping. Snuka held his head in the ring, wanting to chase Perfect, but Curt already had quite some distance between them.
The Twin Towers vs The Rockers
After it was determined who was going to get the tag title shots, The Twin Towers (with Slick) laughed at how undeserving tag teams thought they were going to get their “big break” by scooping up a title shot they didn’t deserve. The following week, The Rockers were interviewed and they said that once they got their shots, people would see what they were capable of doing. Slick heard about these comments and laughed it off before agreeing that his team would face The Rockers on SuperStars the following week. During that match, The Twin Towers lost the match via roll-up, which visibly upset the duo and their manager. They demanded a rematch, saying that it was a fluke. Before the match even got underway, The Twin Towers attacked The Rockers during their entrance, leaving them beaten up at ringside, unable to compete. The Twin Towers had their hands raised by Slick, signaling that they thought they were the ultimate victors. The WWF match makers felt like the two teams deserved one more match to decide who was better.
Strike Force vs The Fabulous Rougeaus
Both teams looking to continue moving up the ladder, Rick Martel said they would beat anyone, anywhere, anytime. The Fabulous Rougeaus showed up and said they wanted to take Martel up on his offer, and without even consulting Tito Santana, Rick signed them up to the match at SummerSlam.
Jim Duggan & The Hart Foundation vs Greg Valentine, Honky Tonk Man & The Genius
Jimmy Hart was looking to strengthen (and better round-out) his team by adding The Genius to the mix. He made a joke of a match with Jim Duggan, and then when Duggan asked for a rematch, it was muddled with outside interference from Jimmy Hart’s other clients – Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man. When The Genius tried to get involved during a tag match between Rhythm & Blues and The Hart Foundation, Jim Duggan showed up with his 2×4 to play the equalizer.
Now that you’ve read what the card looks like… read the SummerSlam 89 results!