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[1989-08-28-WWF-Summerslam] Rick Rude vs Ultimate Warrior

Superstar Sleeze

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WWF Intercontinental Champion Rick Rude vs Ultimate Warrior - Summerslam 1989

Every heel in the wrestling business should watch how Rick Rude sells. Heel selling is rapidly becoming a lost art. I should NOT feel sympathy for a heel. I should either be pointing & laughing OR wanting to see the babyface kick more ass. Rick Rude is the master of this. Every cringe and expression of pain, I get a little bit of joy and I want to see the Warrior pour more on. Warrior is pissed because Rude & The Brain stole the Intercontinental Title from him at WrestleMania V and this is his revenge match. He is full controlled anger, stalking King of the Jungle mode. Lots of Warrior no selling to establish he feels NO PAIN! There is a crucial difference from no selling & not selling. "No selling" is a form of selling. It signals to the audience "I am a badass muthafucka and I am here to kick ass" or it is to announce the comeback. Not selling is when some tool takes a shot then just keeps moving to finish out the sequence. "No selling" is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a babyface and should NOT be decried. 

I LOVE the first highspot of this match. Warrior literally chucks Rude out of the ring. Warrior from a Military Press THREW Rude out to the floor. It was insane! Warrior throws Rude into the apron face-first. This is that heel selling I was talking about earlier. Belt shot by Warrior on the back of Rude again great Rude selling. Warrior is a man possessed. The Irish Whips into the corner, then the reverse atomic drop and then Warrior making Rude do a seat drop, these are all spots that in Rude's wheelhouse for selling. Rude really put on a heel selling clinic. Warrior had scored one move from the top, a double axehandle so he goes back for more, but Rude knocks him off the top. We get the reverse chinlock as is customary in Rude's matches. This is the only low point of the match. One thing, I should note is I liked Warrior's selling. He was just going down to one knee and NEVER bumping. He is looking to fight back. He is down not out. Kudos to Tony Schiavone pointing this out. This is actually a great match to point out the difference between babyface and heel selling. Also, I like the feeling that Rude's control is tenuous. We know that Warrior is an overwhelming force of nature. You know that Rude is just hanging on by a thread. Warrior starts to show life when he pries the hands of Rude open to avoid the Rude Awakening, which would have curtains. But Rude wraps him up in a sleeper. Warrior breaks free, but in the fracas the referee gets run over. Warrior unleashes a badass onslaught of offense: clotheslines, powerslams and even a piledriver! However, the ref being knocked out means he could not get the pinfall. On the piledriver, Rude got his foot on the rope once the ref awoke from his slumber. Running powerslam...WARRIOR SPLASH EATS KNEES! Wow! Rude goes for a piledriver...WAIT...is that a...GANSO BOMB?!?! Rude hits a safer version that but it was really not that safe. Warrior could have easily been spiked on his head! WOW! Now Rude unleashes a badass assault of offense, fist drop and a conventional piledriver. Now Roddy Piper is here. I have seen their steel cage from later in 1989 and I highly recommend it. I dont know what the beef was and Tony was pretty vague. It seems a way to protect Rude who they saw as a top flight heel still and didnt want to lose clean to Warrior, which is surprising as Warrior would be the Man in less a year. I dont think Hogan would have needed help to win his match. Rude hip swivels at Piper. So Piper lifts up his skirt to reveal a pair of his bare ass cheeks! Woah I didnt need to see that! Rude gets up on the turnbuckles in anger and Warrior comes gives him a German suplex! Nice! Warrior Shouldertackle! He really launches himself! PRESS SLAM! WARRIOR SPLASH! 1-2-3!

Very fun, popcorn action blockbuster. In a era bereft of great matches, this match stands out as something really great special. Rude looked phenomenal here both on offense and selling. Hell even Warrior looked way better than usual, some great offense and selling when necessary. The bomb throwing at the end was awesome and riveting. It felt like I was watching All Japan at the end. I would still say Rockers vs Rougeaus is my WWF Match of the Year for 1989, but this is a close, close second. Highly recommended. ****1/2

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