Part Forty Two
Had Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior underestimated their opponents Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan, and Colonel Mustafa at SummerSlam 1991’s Match Made in Hell? On paper, Hogan and the Warrior looked like they had the advantage, but now, the traitorous Slaughter and his Iraqi allies were dominating the match. With the question of whether Sid Justice would stay neutral as special referee or take sides with Slaughter’s team (who had attempted to bribe him before the match), anything seemed possible.
As we discussed last time, a battered Hulkster made the hot tag to the Ultimate Warrior, who proceeded to clothesline Slaughter several times. However, as the overzealous Warrior bounced off the ropes, he accidentally collided with Justice, who stood and stared at him. Before any misunderstanding could arise, Hogan got into the ring, telling Justice it was merely a mistake. However, in the confusion, Slaughter cheap-shotted the Warrior, going back on the advantage.
Throwing the Warrior into his corner, Slaughter and his heel allies made the best of the opportunity, triple-teaming the Ultimate Warrior and dishing out as much punishment as possible. Sid Justice began a five-count, forcing the heels to stop their triple-team attack. After a brief offense by General Adnan, Colonel Mustafa (who looks like the Iron Sheik’s identical twin) tagged in, going after the Warrior. However, The Ultimate Warrior wasn’t weakened enough and he blocked the suplex attempt, reversing it and suplexing Mustafa onto the mat. Warrior’s use of a wrestling move was quickly enshrined with “As often as Haley’s Comet” in the English language.
Despite suplexing Mustafa, the Warrior wasslow to make the tag, which allowed Mustafa to tag in Slaughter. The ever-crafty Sarge cheap-shotted the Hulkster, leading to Hogan foolishly going after Slaughter. Sid Justice admonished Hogan, giving Adnan the opportunity to run in behind the referee’s back and take some cheap shots on The Ultimate Warrior as Slaughter choked the Warrior.
A short-arm clothesline by Slaughter knocked Warrior down to the mat. Both men looked gassed, but Slaughter managed to throw Warrior into the ropes, missing a clothesline as The Ultimate Warrior ducked under and bounced off the ropes with a clothesline of his own. With both men down, this was the Warrior’s chance to tag in the Hulkster, but did the Warrior have any gas left in his tank?
With both Slaughter and The Ultimate Warrior dazed and lying on the mat, Sid Justice began making a ten-count to see if either man can answer. The Warrior seemed to have no idea where he was and almost crawled to the heel corner. The count continued, but Slaughter got to one knee, ending the referee’s count. Slaughter went after the Warrior, but The Ultimate Warrior managed to find enough energy to tag in the Hulkster.
Eager for revenge, the Hulkster pointed his finger at Slaughter, preparing to get some much-desired revenge on the Marine who turned his back on America during the Persian Gulf crisis and stole the WWF Championship. Slaughter went for a punch, but Hogan easily blocked it, clobbering Slaughter with a punch before hitting a big boot. General Adnan ran in only to get punched out by the Hulkster. A rejuvenated Warrior ran in, attacking Colonel Mustafa before he could blind-side Hogan. The Warrior went back to his corner but he wasn't done yet. As Hogan slammed Slaughter’s head into the turnbuckle, The Ultimate Warrior grabbed a steel chair and chased both General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa to the back. A perplexed Sid Justice (perhaps thinking of softball season) began counting out the Warrior, Adnan, and Mustafa. With Justice’s back turned, the Hulkster threw a handful of powder into Slaughter’s eyes, blinding him and making him easy pickings for the Hulkster’s legdrop. A fast-count by Justice sealed Slaughter’s fate as Hogan pinned him for the win. After the match, Bobby Heenan wondered what kind of powder Hogan used on Slaughter. Gorilla Monsoon speculated it was Victory Powder, but this writer has little doubt it was nothing more than the protein powder Hogan used for getting big and strong (as famously seen during an episode of Tuesday Night Titans).
After the match, Hogan posed for his Hulkamaniacs, showing off his physique and WWF Championship belt. After Gorilla Monsoon praised Hogan as the greatest sports athlete in the world today, Bobby Heenan noted Hogan was WWF Champion, but not “The Real World’s Champion,” further laying the groundwork for the brewing program between NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.
After several minutes of posing, the Hulkster invited Sid Justice to join him and the two big men posed for the fans.
As tumultuous as The Match Made in Hell was, it paled to the real-life drama backstage between Vince McMahon and The Ultimate Warrior. Depending on whom you believe, the Warrior either held up Vince McMahon for an additional pay-out before he’d work SummerSlam ’91 or he refused to work the event until he was paid money he was owed by the WWF. Either way, McMahon paid Warrior, then promptly suspended him from the company.
Despite this bad blood, The Ultimate Warrior and McMahon would do business several times before the Warrior’s passing in 2014, just days after the Ultimate Warrior’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
With the threat of Sgt. Slaughter finally overcome, Hulk Hogan looked to see what new menaces awaited him. The reminder of 1991 would prove to be a busy year for Hogan as he faced not only the threat of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, but that of the seemingly unstoppable Undertaker.
Cawthon, Graham. “The History of the WWE. Results. 1991”. The History of the WWE. Accessed 22 Jan. 2018.
Wikipedia contributors. "SummerSlam (1991)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Jan. 2018. Accessed 7 Apr. 2018.