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Charles (Loss)

[1990-08-27-WWF-Summerslam] Rick Rude vs Ultimate Warrior (Cage)

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Not as good as their Summerslam match the year before, but another good match in their feud. Rude and Heenan both give an inspired performance, and Warrior is always at his best opposite Rude. Again, it would have been nice to see Rude work matches as more of a threat considering the training vignettes, but whatever.

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Okay, well-laid out match for the most part but probably the least of the series, with an anticlimactic ending, though I kind of liked Warrior doing the hip swivel as he was about to drop down. Rude blades, which surprises me. Awfully short for a PPV main event even by WWF standards but it enabled them to cut a quick pace.

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I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Short match but the action was sustained throughout the match. I never felt like Warrior was really threatened but that could just be the structure of this show with it essentially being Warrior's first title defense.

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You can win either by escaping cage or pinfall which isn’t always the case with WWF cage matches which mostly push just the escape only rule. Match starts with them at the top of the cage. Warrior does a flying shoulder tackle into the cage. Dumbass. Rude hits the Rude Awakening. He could have climbed out the door but instead climbs up the cage. He could have climbed down easily but instead jumps off the cage on to Warrior. One of those spots that doesn’t make sense in a cage match.

 

Heenan gets yanked into the cage and beaten up by Warrior. Multiple clotheslines and Gorilla Press Slam. Warrior doesn’t go for pin either and instead just climbs up and out of cage. The pinfall stip was useless as they didn’t use them. Anyways, Rude can get good matches out of Warrior.

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I'd almost forgotten how horrible the blue cage was. I know wrestling viewing is about suspending disbelief but come on. The match itself was rushed, messy and unsatisfactory.

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I've always hated those cheesy blue bars cage. That said, this was....okay. They must have been running low on time because this was way too rushed.

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It always looked so stupid compared to the chain-link fence type cage. To be fair, I guess I like the WWF cage over those chicken-wire and two-by-four monstrosities they had in the 70s down South.

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This match certainly wasn't aesthetically pleasing, but it did its job, which was to bury Rude as a top contender for the World title once and for all. He was made to look like a fool when he had the chance to cover after the Rude Awakening, plus at least two chances to get out over the top without opposition, and capitalized on exactly none of them. He was the one who looked like he'd never been in the cage before, not Warrior. The only time he seriously tried for the win was after Heenan slammed the cage door on Warrior's head. Clearly, Vince had no further plans for Rude to do anything meaningful.

 

Speaking of Bobby, how on earth did the outside ref not try to stop him from slamming the door on Warrior? I know there weren't supposed to be any rules, but I thought that only applied to the competitors in the match itself. Of course, it all led to the standard Heenan cage match bumps, which he was taking for what turned out to be the last time on pay-per-view, so all was well that ended well.

 

Warrior was about what you'd expect: nothing earth-shattering, but nothing offensive either. I loved the hip swivel just before he dropped to the floor; it was one final gesture of contempt toward the man he'd finally vanqiuished.

 

Piper did an excellent job putting over the brutality of the cage and the need for each competitor to focus on escapes instead of delivering unnecessary punishment. He also had the brilliant idea for Rude to tie the Warrior's armbands to the cage, which Vince had no idea how to take. Maybe it wasn't that Piper cheered too much for the heels which led Vince to tell him to change his approach; maybe he was too busy actually talking about the matches for Vince's taste. The only small criticism I have is that he didn't at least acknowledge his own feud with Rude in passing.

 

Vince himself wasn't as bad as he'd later become, but he was clearly more interested in gushing over the atmosphere he'd created than in discussing the match. He gave a bare minimum of actual match description and that was it. I wonder where Gino was, especially since the Spectrum was his home arena. Maybe he was running the show backstage.

 

All in all, this match would have fit just as well on the October SNME as it did here. It was far from the epic main events we'd come to expect from the WWF, and while it wasn't a squash, no one ever really doubted the outcome. The sad thing for Warrior was, this would be his only successful pay-per-view title defense; the next time he put the belt up at a pay-per-view, he'd lose to Sarge at the '91 Royal Rumble.

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Of course. I'm kind of ashamed of myself, as I just referenced the taping Gino sat out not too long ago. He actually returned at the next Challenge taping two days after SummerSlam in Wheeling, but those shows didn't air until mid-September.

 

Thanks, Pete!

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I'm getting into The Lapsed Fan podcast. First episode I'm into covers this show and right away they talk about how the heat for this match is pretty much evaporated because of the "Hogan Must Pose" finish of the previous match. I hadn't really thought of that before but it's true. Add that on to the fact the WWF audience has already seen Warrior beat Rude several times before (they try and add suspense by saying this is Warrior's first cage match, suggesting somehow that he could be too stupid to understand the rules of one or maybe that's just me) already, it's a lackluster finish to the show. 

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