From top to bottom, here are the storylines and SummerSlam 1990 bookings stemming from the fallout at WrestleMania VI.
WWF World Title Match
Randy Savage (c) vs Dusty Rhodes
The reign of Randy Savage atop the WWF has lasted two years, and Dusty Rhodes isn’t going to sit back and let it happen any longer without taking his shot to dethrone the champ. A month after WrestleMania VI, The American Dream made it known that back at WrestleMania V, Rhodes was battling for the Intercontinental Title, and the after party was not as sweet because Savage retained his belt. Dusty calls Savage lucky because he has been busy dealing with the second most prestigious belt in the world, but the silver lining on losing to Rude at WrestleMania VI is that now he’s set as the top contender. Savage says that it’s no fluke that he got to where is is, and after all the title defenses he’s not planning on losing the belt to a guy who is six months away from being a plumber, fixing his toilets! Dusty says he’s happy to fight for all the plumbers and painters and candlestick makers that Savage wants to disrespect, because he fights for the common man happily. Savage ambushed Rhodes backstage, attacking Dusty in the bathroom and dumping a bucket of paint on him before leaving, just weeks before SummerSlam.
Hulk Hogan & Big Boss Man vs Natural Disasters
Just when Hulk Hogan thought he was finished with Earthquake, a second wave of attacked showed up… TYPHOON! The two Natural Disasters, as they call themselves, beat up Hogan fairly bad as he was arriving at the arena. A few weeks later, Hogan returned and called out the duo, and when they showed up, they wouldn’t back down, and then they took a cheap shot on Hogan. Big Boss Man showed up with his nightstick and evened the odds, chasing away The Natural Disasters. Leading up to the pay per view, there were a couple singles matches featuring each of these superstars. During one of them, Typhoon nearly crushed Big Boss Man, leading to speculation over whether he would be able to compete. He vowed to be there for Hulkster, broken ribs or not!
WWF World Tag Team Titles
Brain Busters (c) vs The Hart Foundation
Bobby Heenan was riding high, with his crowning achievement of The Brain Busters reaching the one-year mark as WWF Tag Team Champions after successfully retaining at WrestleMania VI. The Hart Foundation showed up and let it be known that they were the top team after having vanquished Demolition at the flagship event, and now they were getting tag title shots. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard didn’t back down from the challenge, saying they were prepared to get the signature victory over the former champions. Each of the four superstars got the opportunity to face the members of the opposition in a singles match (Bret Hart even got a chance to fight Bobby Heenan). Tully Blanchard lost both of his matches, with Arn Anderson defeating only Jim Neidhart. A non-title handicap match (with Heenan filling the third spot on his team) resulted in a victory for The Brain Busters, giving them the last bit of momentum going into SummerSlam.
Intercontinental Title Match
Rick Rude (c) vs Tito Santana
Having reclaimed the championship he lost at the prior year’s WrestleMania, Rick Rude celebrated by talking about all the pathetic “specimen” backstage who weren’t worthy of taking on the challenge of trying to take the belt from “The Ravishing One”. In an interview with Gene Oakerland, Tito Santana talked about having defeated his former tag team partner on the grand stage, but then mentioned that he took offense to Rick Rude’s comments. In a follow-up interview, Rude laughed off the idea that Santana was offended, and then talked about how Tito might’ve been good at tag team wrestling, but that it was clear that Rick Martel ran that tag team. Tito Santana issued a challenge to a non-title match against Rick Rude, and when it was accepted, Tito got a victory by a backslide. Rude claimed that he wasn’t giving it 100% in that match because it wasn’t for the title, but that if people wanted to see him dissect Santana, he’d be happy to silence the critics!
Ultimate Warrior vs Mr. Perfect
After putting Andre The Giant out at WrestleMania, The Ultimate Warrior told Gene Oakerland that he was unsure where “the Fates” would carry his “eternal struggle of good versus evil”. He talked about how The Warriors would give him a sign and make his ultimate direction clear to him. During a follow-up interview, The Ultimate Warrior started rambling about the same sort of things when he was blindsided by Mr. Perfect. Laughing, Hennig asked if that spoke loudly enough for The Ultimate Warrior. During one of The Ultimate Warrior’s matches, which Warrior claimed would give a preview for what he would do to Mr. Perfect, Hennig showed up at ringside to watch him do battle. When Warrior was running into the ropes, Perfect executed the low bridge, dumping Warrior to the outside. Hopping back up to his feet, Warrior chased Perfect around the ring, until Perfect got into the ring. When Warrior chased him in, Perfect pounded on him, having the higher ground. The Ultimate Warrior didn’t stay down very long, and after hitting Perfect a few times, Hennig escaped backstage, vowing to end things at SummerSlam!
Jim Duggan vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Incredibly angry over Jake Roberts betraying him at WrestleMania, Hacksaw sought out The Snake to try to get some answers. Jake cowered back, telling Duggan that it was a moment of weakness, he wasn’t in his right mind, and that he barely remembers what happened. When Roberts asked Duggan to forgive him, Hacksaw gave it a moment’s thought, then accepted the handshake… ONLY TO GET PULLED IN FOR A DDT! In the weeks that followed, Hacksaw wouldn’t let Jake Roberts have a full match, interrupting and forcing Jake to either run off or get bulldozed. A month prior to SummerSlam, Jake returned the favor, only he brought a snake with him, causing it to bite Hacksaw on the leg. There was speculation over whether or not Duggan was going to be able to compete in the pay per view match, but when Jake The Snake was being interviewed about what he did to Duggan and the idea that the match might get canceled, Mean Gene’s surprise was that Jim Duggan was in attendance! A brawl broke out and the two men were separated, but they’re obviously both ready for the match.
The Bolsheviks vs The Rockers
Starting off their time in WWF on a hot note, The Bolsheviks beat a couple jobber tag teams in the weeks after the flagship event, then made it known that they wanted a match against The Rockers. As the two teams squared off, The Bolsheviks resorted to cheating tactics outside the ring, once it was clear that The Rockers had too much speed and energy for their foreign opponents. Following the disqualification victory, Shawn Michaels told Mean Gene that The Bolsheviks were going to get what was coming to them. In the return match, The Rockers were able to score a count out victory when Volkoff wasn’t able to get back into the ring to answer the 10 count.
Million Dollar “Championship” – Ted DiBiase (c) vs Virgil
Week after week, Ted DiBiase and Virgil welcomed competitors to try to defeat him for the Million Dollar Belt, and week after week, The Million Dollar Man defeated a jobber (and a few lower tier competitors). As they came closer to SummerSlam, Mean Gene interviewed some fans about what they hoped to see, and one of them wanted to see if Virgil could beat DiBiase for the belt. Virgil had been instrumental in many of the victories, but DiBiase laughed off the idea that his bodyguard could get it done. Virgil said he didn’t want a match, but that he’d be able to stand toe-to-toe with DiBiase “no problem”. DiBiase took offense, and pride getting in the way, he said he would accept a challenge from Virgil at SummerSlam if he was up to it, which Virgil was more than happy to oblige, at the encouragement of the fans.
Jimmy Snuka vs Haku
A few weeks before SummerSlam, Jimmy Snuka talked about having pride in his heritage, and how he was honored to be recognized as the most accomplished Pacific Island native in the sport. Haku showed up, with Mr. Perfect in tow, and we heard all about how Haku was a much better wrestler, much tougher, much stronger, and Snuka poked back about being interrupted during an honoring time, and not appreciating their antics. While Perfect distracted him, Snuka got blindsided by Haku, who didn’t seem like he was going to let go of Superfly. WWF officials broke it up, and it was announced that week that the duo would square off at SummerSlam.
“The Model” Rick Martel vs The Blue Blazer
Martel took some mic time and spoke of the unwashed masses backstage, and how foul they smelled. He related it to their wrestling ability, calling it animalistic and unrefined. He claimed that there were no high quality, high class individuals on the roster, and that he was going to demand a higher level of excellence from the superstars for whom the fans cheer. The next week, Rick Martel interrupted a match The Blue Blazer was in, spraying him with the Arrogance atomizer. Two weeks later, The Blue Blazer returned and took the fight directly to Rick Martel, forcing him to retreat to get away from the masked superstar.
Now that you’ve read what the card looks like… check out the results!