Summerslam 1992: The Hitman & The Crackhead

Ah, 1992. What a time to be alive. Jump by Kris Kross was taking the nation by storm. Al Pacino was yelling HOO-AH in Scent of a Woman. And a young 9 year old buckaroo named “Cowboy” Bob was glued to the screen to see one of his favorite wrestlers, Bret “The Hitman” Hart defend the Intercontinental Title against The British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith.

Technically, Bret was my third favorite wrestler, as, as bound by childhood law, I was flip-flopping between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior daily. But Bret was always my go-to. Now, obviously lil “Cowboy” at the time knew nothing of “workrate”, but Bret is arguably the best pure wrestler that WWE ever had.

This match at Summerslam 1992 is considered his masterpiece, and a big reason why is that apparently (and this is according to Bret himself in his book), Davey Boy Smith had a nice little surprise for him once the match started. Bret had essentially mapped out the entire match, which was to be Bulldog’s showcase at Wembley Stadium in front of his home crowd. However, early in the match, apparently during the first headlock, Bret says that Bulldog told him “Bret, I’m so fucking sorry. I was smoking crack with Jim all last night. I forgot the whole fucking match.”

Jim being Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.

This led to Bret having to lead this crackhead through the main event of the second most important pay-per-view of the year. And you know the time-honored saying, “You can lead a crackhead to wrestle, but you can’t make him pull off a crisp inverted atomic drop.”

With Summerslam on the horizon, I decided to rewatch what is considered an all-time classic. Will it hold up?

Please note that I rate all matches with “Bobs“. They are similar to stars, just very, uniquely different. It’s nuanced.

“Cowboy” Bob Notes As He Re-Watches Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs The British Bulldog from Summerslam 1992

  • Oh yeahhhhh, now I remember. This was the whole “sister is in the middle” storyline where Diana Hart has her brother facing her husband.
  • Would not be shocked if Diana is reading off cue cards. It feels like Sean had to cut her off from rambling. She sounds like a hostage.
  • Bulldog comes out to a massive pop. Understandable of course as he is from England, but in the US he was always a fan favorite which is a bit confusing. No taxation without representation! Never forget.
  • Vince gets angry that Bobby Heenan thinks “Joe Louis” is bringing out the England flag when really it’s Lennox Lewis.
  • Still a pretty solid face pop for Bret Hart. You know you’re pretty damn good when you can pull off bright pink pants.
  • I can’t believe there is no modern star that has a regular piece of merchandise they give to a kid in the crowd like Bret’s glasses.
  • Always loved how Bret kisses the title before handing it to the ref. Shows how precious and valuable this championship is.
  • Trying to find the spot where Davey tells Bret that he forgot the match because he’s a gigantic crackhead.
  • Oh shit! I see it! It’s right here.
  • You can actually see Bret lean down to listen to what he’s saying.
  • “They’re very evenly matched when you think about it. They’re both not bright.” — Bobby Heenan
  • Everything Bret does looks like he is making instructional videos on how to execute professional wrestling maneuvers.
  • Bulldog is also pretty damn good. I saw him in a match against Owen recently from 1997 that I never saw before, and he’s shockingly agile for a big guy. For some reason from my youth I remembered him as a lumbering power guy.
  • Diana Hart literally placed in a picture-in-picture box to show her “concern”. I guess this is better than Michael Cole screaming “WHAT IS DIANA HART THINKING???” for 40 minutes.
  • Bret starting to get heel heat. Always loved “whiny” heel Bret.
  • I mean he’s kind of a whiny heel in real life too. But we love him.
  • Lots of rest holds here. Smoking crack must take a lot out of you.
  • I feel like we haven’t had “mat-based classics” like this since the days of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit.
  • Vince taking gigantic pains to explain why one of his top babyfaces, Bret, is being booed. “We’re in fucking England” would’ve sufficed. This isn’t hard.
  • Vince is an awful commentator. Way more annoying than Cole ever was. He tries so hard to scream how great and amazing and incredible all of this is instead of just letting you discover it. Kind of like what he forces Cole to do to this day.
  • Diana Hart’s acting is like somebody who burned their hand on a frying pan in an infomercial at 4 am.
  • “There’s got to be a better way!” That kind of shit.
  • This “fighting for the sleeper” spot is kinda cool. Bret won’t release, Bulldog powering out, Bret gaining control, etc. We will never, ever see it again. Nobody would have the patience. Wrestlers wouldn’t have the patience. Crowd wouldn’t have the patience.
  • Botch.
  • “What a match. I don’t care who wins. But what a match.” Hilarious statement from Heenan.
  • That Bret “runs face first 150 mph into the turnbuckle spot” is always a winner. If Kevin Owens can take ownership of the stunner, why can’t somebody take this Bret bump? Hello, Ziggler, are you out there?
  • Whoa. Bulldog hits the powerslam, the shitty ref with poor counting cadence does a fast count, and Bret kicks out.
  • Heenan with more gold. “There’s only one man I know who can get up from all these moves. Ric Flair!”
  • More shit “Cowboy” Bob wants back from the 90’s including Beavis & Butt-Head: the “double clothesline and both are out spot.”
  • Couldn’t they have hired an actress to play the role of Diana Hart? Was Meg Ryan not available or some shit?
  • So off the rope, Bulldog gets a sunset flip and it just ends. That was kind of lame. Yet it’s also kinda cool that the match could end at any time and didn’t have to follow a “formula” of when it’s “supposed” to end.
  • Incredibly well-done wrestling match. Goddamn miracle considering Bret had to lead a drug addict through the entire thing on the fly. Don’t get me wrong, an excellent technical showcase, but this didn’t blow away “Cowboy” as it did in the early 90’s. I wish I just listened to Achy Breaky Heart instead.

4.00 Bobs

  • Bulldog, who is probably high on crack, standing around confused and looking at the title. “It’s your belt, put it on, stupid, you won it.” Bobby Heenan is amazing.
  • Bret teases walking out without shaking hands. Which would have been dank.
  • Bret finally shakes the hand and gives the hug. “You’re welcome, druggy” — Bret, probably
  • Man if this ended with Bret ambushing Bulldog and putting Diana in the Sharpshooter it would have been legendary heel heat.

4 thoughts on “Summerslam 1992: The Hitman & The Crackhead

  1. Ever gonna do a retrospective on The Montreal Screwjob? I’ve heard many different things about it from Bret being arrogant for not wanting to drop the title in his home country or for Shawn and Mcmahon taking things too far

    Like

      1. Got any hot take on it? Or is it too sensitive a subject to just give a hot take on? Needs a more thorough analysis

        Like

      2. Quick tease: I personally think 99% of what happens on camera in a wrestling ring is meant and expected to have happened in that ring.

        You’ll have to wait for Wednesday or Thursday to find my more detailed thoughts!

        Like

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