Summerslam 1990 could have been the first WWF pay-per-view not solely concerned with pushing Hulk Hogan as THE star of the company but even though The Ultimate Warrior was defending his World Title for the first time on pay-per-view here, his match with Rick Rude, whilst going on last, played second fiddle to Hulk's clash with the gargantuan Earthquake. Thanks to the superb Rick Rude, the Warrior's match is by far the better of the two but is hampered by the fact that no-one really took Rude seriously in this rarefied air. Hogan/Quake is predictably poor although not THAT bad, although the non-finish is somewhat of an insult.
The undercard is the usual mixed bag of the time. The whole Dusty Rhodes/Randy Savage/Ted DiBiase storyline takes up a lot of time to little effect (and is perhaps something Rhodes looks back on with less pride than his NWA Championship days) whilst the likes of Nikolai Volkoff & Jim Duggan versus The Orient Express and The Warlord against Tito Santana are as pointless as you'd imagine. There is some quality action though; whilst a genuinely injured Shawn Michaels is excused duty in the opener, it does add to some genuine heat for, what turns out to be, Marty Jannetty against Power & Glory and whilst it's criminally short, Mr Perfect's clash with The Texas Tornado is very entertaining. The pick of the undercard is a solid clash betweeen The Hart Foundation and Demolition which whilst not the best bout either team would ever have is still a good one.
SummerSlam 1991 features a dreadful main event as Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior team up to face Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan; indeed the only entertainment watching this today is gleamed from the knowledge that the Warrior had an almighty blow-up with Vince McMahon immediately prior to the match and which led to the Warrior being fired almost straight afterwards. The other "main event" was the marriage of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth which was, admittedly, ludicrous but has a kitsch charm even if it is sad to watch this with knowledge of how Elizabeth would meet her death years later.
The undercard is largely saved by the Bret Hart / Mr. Perfect Intercontinental title match which is the kind of thing the WWE cannot (or are unable) to produce today. Credit to Curt Hennig for putting over the "lesser" superstar with such veracity (and whilst obviously in such pain from a back injury) and credit to Bret for stepping up to the mark in what was his biggest singles bout to date. Nothing else comes close to that, but Virgil's bout with Ted DiBiase is entertaining, the opening six-man is solid enough and whilst their match might not be up to much, The Mountie is so over the top in selling the fact that his loss to Big Boss Man means he has to spend a night in a New York Jail that it is impossible not to laugh along with the segments. Of course no-one in their right mind would want to see I.R.S take on Greg Valentine or the Natural Disasters taking on the Bushwhackers and the Tag Team title match pitting the Legion of Doom against The Nasty Boys is a disappointment but there's just about enough good stuff on this show to give it a partial, at least, thumbs up.
The WWF of the early 90's is clearly not the WWE of the late 90's (nevermind of the current day) but if you approach these two events with an open mind there is quite a lot to enjoy, even if you do have to sit through some utter dross whilst you are there.