From top to bottom, here are the storylines and SummerSlam 89 bookings stemming from the fallout at WrestleMania V.
WWF World Title Match – “Macho King” Randy Savage (c) vs “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The match was set because Roddy Piper was the winner of the 1990 Royal Rumble, but things got extremely heated leading up to the event. Piper never backed down from Savage in face-to-face interviews, occasionally shoving the champion to get him out of his face. Sensational Sherri “scouted” Piper during some of his exhibition matches, involving herself in some of them, just providing a distraction in others. Three weeks before WrestleMania, Piper called out Savage for sending Sherri instead of stepping up to Piper himself. At that point Savage showed up and the two brawled in the ring, with Piper eventually escaping after busting open Savage’s lip and walking off with a smirk on his face. In separate interviews, they both talked about how this was about WAY more than the title, it’s about two guys who don’t get along and the pride involved in beating the other guy.
Hulk Hogan vs Earthquake
In an interview, it is revealed that although Earthquake first showed up in WWF at Survivor Series in something totally unrelated to Hulk Hogan, that getting the opportunity to end Hulkamania has always been his goal. He didn’t care about winning the Royal Rumble, because he would’ve had a shot at Randy Savage or The Ultimate Warrior. Going into the Rumble, his one main goal was always to get in there and get his hands on Hogan – which is why he attacked Hogan weeks prior to the pay per view to keep Hogan from winning the #1 contenders match to the World Title. A couple times leading up to WrestleMania, he and Hogan came face to face. The first time seemed like Hulk might not make it to WrestleMania, as Earthquake left him laid out in the middle of the ring, coughing up blood. A month later, Hogan returned and nearly dropped the leg on Earthquake!
WWF World Tag Team Titles – The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs The Rockers
During the first two weeks after Royal Rumble, Bobby Heenan and his team worked to get The Rockers removed as number one contenders once they found out that Jannetty was medically cleared and that the front office was honoring the #1 contenders match victory before Royal Rumble. When he found himself face to face with Michaels and Jannetty, Heenan explained to the two that they weren’t ready for a shot at an experienced and talented and tough team like The Brain Busters. Michaels spoke up and said that The Brain Busters weren’t ready for a brash, fast, and exciting team like The Rockers. The two teams had a couple of one-on-one matches, with Michaels beating Blanchard first, and then in a disqualification, Jannetty scored a victory over Arn Anderson when The Brain Busters attempted to re-injure him. In a six-man tag match in the weeks leading up to the flagship event, The Brain Busters scored the big victory over a team featuring the challengers.
Intercontinental Title Match – Dusty Rhodes (c) vs Rick Rude
The rematch is nearly a year in the making. It was back at SummerSlam when Dusty Rhodes was able to defeat Rick Rude for the Intercontinental Championship, and according to Rick Rude, nothing in his life felt as good while he had to watch someone “of the caliber” of Dusty Rhodes holding “his” belt. Rhodes and Rude would meet face to face on a couple occasions, and in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, Rude attacked Dusty in the ring, tied him up in the ropes and ripped away at his clothes, leaving Rhodes humiliated with a busted lip and shredded pants and no shirt. In a tag match the following week, Rhodes was able to hit Rude with the Bionic Elbow, but Rick rolled out of the ring (with the help of Bobby Heenan) and escaped to the back.
Ultimate Warrior vs Andre The Giant
They locked up at SummerSlam, and again at Survivor Series in an 8-man tag. Following the Royal Rumble, The Ultimate Warrior spoke about how the disturbance in the power fluctuations from the Warriors was getting too much, too loud to ignore any longer. He rambled incoherently and then spoke about how Andre The Giant is a legend in this business, and legends are only built by the spine of legends come before. Instead of mocking The Ultimate Warrior like he and Heenan had done in the past, Andre took it right to The Warrior, getting in his face one week, scouting an exhibition match the next, shoving him as they crossed paths in the halls. At no time was The Ultimate Warrior able to knock Andre off his feet, but a few times he did retreat. The match is being billed as the unstoppable force against the immovable object.
The Hart Foundation vs Demolition
While the WWF tag team division continues to grow, with new talent joining the ranks, there hasn’t been a match with championship implications featuring either of these two teams in the past year. Both of these teams wanted to reclaim the top two-man prize in the business. Leading up to the event, Bret Hart defeated Ax in one-on-one competition and Smash defeated Jim Neidhart..
Tito Santana vs Rick “The Model” Martel
Their long-time partnership disintegrated, and when Tito Santana tried to extract a measure of revenge at Survivor Series AND The Royal Rumble, Martel was able to get away both times. In the lead up to this match, it was agreed to by Martel that if he purposefully gets himself counted out, that he would be unable to carry his atomizer or wear his beret for a year.
“Championship” Match – “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs Jimmy Snuka
DiBiase claims that an organization wanted to recognize him for his significant contributions to world peace, world hunger, and world boredom by the work he has been doing, so he claims they presented him with his gold belt encrusted with diamonds. While he claimed that it was an official “championship” in WWF, Jack Tunney never dignified the remark with a response. Jimmy Snuka called DiBiase’s claims of being a humanitarian a sham, to which DiBiase took offense. When the two met face to face, it ended up with Snuka starting to walk off, but DiBiase drilled him in the back of the head with the Million Dollar Championship belt, then got in his nearly-unconscious face and told him never to disrespect the Million Dollar Man, then stuffed dollar bills in his mouth.
Mr. Perfect & Haku vs Jim Duggan & Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Mr. Perfect claimed that The Heenan Family was on pace to have a meteoric rise, and that WrestleMania VI was just going to be another step in the process. Perfect claimed that he and Haku were going to be able to show the world what they were capable of doing by beating some high profile opponents. In the weeks prior to WrestleMania, Jim Duggan defeated Haku in singles action to strip him of the “King” status, but Perfect said he wouldn’t be deterred. When Perfect scouted Jake Roberts’ exhibition match, he got into the ring afterwards and had a gloating staredown with The Snake… only to be drilled with a smirk-clearing DDT.
Hercules & Big Boss Man vs The Fabulous Rougeaus
Hercules has started to gain a decent fan following, and after he had words backstage with Big Boss Man about his attitude, the Georgia Law Man decided he needed to better represent Cobb County by doing what’s right. The Fabulous Rougeaus scoffed at the idea that those two were going to make any difference, and so Boss Man challenged the Canadian brothers to a tag match at WrestleMania.
The Bolsheviks vs The Bushwackers
The fun loving Bushwackers were interrupted after a victorious match by the Russian contingent, and berated for their “ridiculous antics”. The Bolsheviks claimed that their rise to the top of the tag division in WWF would be starting with taking out the zany duo and sending them back to Australia.
The Genius vs The Blue Blazer
The Genius has been on an incredible unbeaten streak since Survivor Series. In seeking out an opponent for WrestleMania, The Genius claimed that he wanted to find someone who would draw attention to the match, someone who would let the crowd all around the world know just how talented he was. The Blue Blazer showed up, but The Genius “politely declined”. After watching exhibition matches of The Blue Blazer for a couple weeks, The Genius attacked the masked man in the ring after the final of those victories, then announced that he “reconsidered his options”.
Now that you’ve read what the card looks like… check out the results!