Ranking SummerSlam #24: 1991 – Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan and Col. Mustafa.



(The one where Warrior was fired right after the show)

The best thing you can say about this match is that considering who was involved, it could have been a whole lot worse. The fact that it is third from the bottom means it was still pretty damn bad.

Let's backtrack.

At WrestleMania VII Hulk Hogan beat Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter. For more information about that feud and match go here: (

Let's talk about what happened after Hogan got his belt back after WrestleMania: actually not much. There was a UK-only PPV called WWF UK Rampage that isn't on the WWE Network where Hogan beat Slaughter in a rematch in late April of 1991. There were some house show wins. Hogan did his thing and the beat went on. There's a pretty good house show match from Madison Square Garden on the WWE Network from that summer of you want a sample. (

Here’s Vince McMahon’s problem during this time: The Slaughter heel turn/Iraqi sympathizer move backfired so tremendously at the time that Vince and Co. were forced to move ‘Mania from the Los Angeles Coliseum to the much smaller LA Sports Arena. Not to mention the tastelessness (although it did get Vince his coveted mainstream media attention) of having a wrestling character supporting someone your audience’s country was at war with. As a result of the Ultimate Warrior’s championship run killing house show business Vince needed to put the strap back on his proven moneymaker, Hogan, despite Hogan being staler than week-old bread left out on the counter.

But that’s not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is that there was no one to feed to Hogan. Randy Savage? Been there, done that. The Ultimate Warrior? Ditto. The "New Generation" mainstays like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were either firmly in the midcard (Hart) or still a tag team (Michaels). Mr. Perfect wasn’t really an option because after Hogan eliminated him at the 1990 Royal Rumble, he too fell back down in the midcard.

As a result, the decision was made to get as much mileage out of the Slaughter heel turn and have Hogan keep the strap through the summer.

In the summer Slaughter recruited The Artist Formerly Known As The Iron Sheik to be the third member of his pro-Iraq stable. Colonel Mustafa, as Sheiky was then known, help Slaughter and General Adnan be evil heels that summer, as they left Hogan beaten in the ring on some television tapings. No word on whether Hogan was humbled.

It was a 3-on-1 mismatch, as Slaughter and his two stooges were outnumbering Hulk. So what did Hogan do? He enlisted the aid of the Ultimate Warrior! Who knew that there were American patriots from Parts Unknown?

To add another wrinkle the massive Sid Justice, fresh from WCW, debuted in July and was immediately announced as the special guest referee for the SummerSlam main event.

The feud culminated at SummerSlam, where it was "The Match Made In Hell," Hogan and Warrior vs. Slaughter, Adnan and Mustafa.

Before the match we were treated to a joint Hogan-Warrior promo, where Hogan brothers and you know somethings and Warrior growls and runs around and does Warrior stuff. Sid is introduced to a tepid response, and then out come the bad guys, who get great heat. Adnan and Mustafa play to the crowd. Hogan and Warrior are introduced separately and we are off to the races.

Here we run into our first problem. You don't need to be a technical master in the ring to be a great professional wrestler. It helps, sure, but the very fact that Hulk Hogan is the most popular wrestler ever and he was…limited…in the ring proves that. There's one small caveat here: You need at least ONE guy in a wrestling match who can actually wrestle.

Let's take a look at our five guys in the match. You have Slaughter, age 43, with a potbelly, who was never the most technical wrestler and is well past his prime. Adnan had wrestled for decades, but was 52 when the bell rang. Mustafa was a beat-up 49 years young.

On the other side, you have two younger guys, but the issue here isn't age, its ability. Neither Hogan nor Warrior were ever great in-ring tacticians. And Hogan is pushing 40 on top of it!

It's a tag match right? SOMEONE is going to have to sell, and that someone was at first poor Slaughter, who bumped all over the place and was so gassed he was bent over on the ring apron during the few times he tagged out of the match, and later Hogan, who was better at selling than Slaughter, but that isn't exactly high praise.

The match plods along, lots of stalling and rest holds and punches and back rakes. The crowd, to their credit, stays pretty hot during all this. The commentary team – the immortal Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan joined by an aggravating Roddy Piper – spent the entire time wondering whose side Sid was on as these five wrestlers struggled to tell a story.

After a few hot tags, Warrior chases Adnan and Mustafa to the back, Hogan hulks up, drops the leg on Slaughter and Sid counts three.

Here comes the strange part. Hogan does his usual post match routine. We've all seen (and popped for it) a million times: point to the crowd, wave of the hand, cup the ear, flex the muscles. Nothing wrong there. Everyone's happy.

But it just goes on and on. After about three rounds of flexing, Hogan waves to the back and Sid Justice comes out. Sid and Hogan flex for the next few minutes. In hindsight, it's pretty easy to see how people thought the WWF had a steroid problem. Sid is just a gigantic human being. He's so muscular he looks like a cartoon character. No word on whether Vince was sitting at gorilla salivating watching Hogan and Sid flex over and over again.

They must have cut the actual match short, which was probably a good idea, seeing how Slaughter was a few minutes away from having a coronary.

Let's get to the fun part of the show: On the Tuesday after SummerSlam, Warrior was placed on suspension by the WWF. The story goes that he asked Vince McMahon for more money and he wanted to work less shows. Apparently Warrior sent a letter to Vince where he threatened to no-show SummerSlam unless he was paid over half a million a year. McMahon agreed to pay Warrior, and then fired him after the show anyway. Warrior would stay off WWF television until mid-1992, but he never got his hands on the WWF Championship again. In late 1992, McMahon, worried about a potential steroid trial, fired the massive Warrior again after he was caught buying HGH from the United Kingdom. Warrior would come back a third time (notably squashing Hunter Hearst Helmsley at WrestleMania XII) before being fired again, either because he wanted more cash and no-showed some dates (Vince’s reason) or because his father had just passed and he wanted some time off to be with his family (Warrior’s reason). Either way that was the end of the Ultimate Warrior on WWF/WWE television until he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

As for Slaughter? He turned face soon afterward. Welcome back Sarge! USA!

Curtain Jerker's Star Rating – ¾ to 1 star.

Up Next – Tomorrow's entry features a lot of balloons for nothing

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