SummerSlam ’89

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Arnold Furious: The WWF sank some money into Hulk Hogan’s acting career in 1989. In retrospect that probably wasn’t the best move. In order to try and recoup some of the cash that went into funding his vehicle; No Holds Barred, they spent several PPV’s hyping it. Including SummerSlam, which is headlined by a tag match featuring Hogan & Beefcake against Savage & Zeus. The latter being actor Tiny Lister. No Holds Barred broke even, but was sufficiently disappointing for Vince McMahon to stay out of the movie business for quite some time afterwards. He just didn’t see the money in it. No Holds Barred is ok for a wrestling movie. It’s about as good as Piper’s wrestling film, Body Slam. In that it isn’t. Although to be fair to Hogan, No Holds Barred is probably the best movie he starred in (Rocky III doesn’t count). It was released in June, coming second on its opening weekend (to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Because it was released in the summer, it got absolutely crushed by mega-huge studio releases; Star Trek V, Ghostbusters 2 and Batman in subsequent weeks. It’s performance at the box office is not reflected by the amount of time the WWF spent hyping it on TV.

 

We’re in East Rutherford, New Jersey (New York, basically). Hosts are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura. Tony isn’t as bad as he’d get in WCW but Ventura still feels the need to run him down at every available opportunity. It’s like a test, and while he doesn’t fail, he just doesn’t convey the same emotions that Gorilla Monsoon gets over. Their plan with Tony seemed to be an attempt to go legit and have a sports announcer instead of a former wrestler call the action. Tony had been a minor league baseball announcer beforehand. Eventually the WWF would go for something similar in Jim Ross. Although, Ross was far more talented.

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