Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Skinner for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
We are knee deep into the summer of 1992 and on the heels of Summerslam taking place across the pond in Wembley Stadium, we have our third annual Summerslam Spectacular to help with the final push to the big show. Without a doubt, one of the most anticipated matches at Summerslam was the Intercontinental Championship match between Bret Hart and the British Bulldog which seemed like it just came out of nowhere. Obviously, it made sense given that the show was taking place in London so they wanted to give Bulldog a huge moment in his home country, but it still felt a bit weird given that Bulldog and Bret weren’t even involved with each other until a few weeks ago. But before we get there, Bret first has to get past the man he had defeated back at This Tuesday in Texas in Skinner who gets another crack at the gold out of nowhere.
Since he won the title back at Wrestlemania, Bret would begin a feud on TV with Shawn Michaels who had begun issuing challenges for the IC Title, and they would also wrestle on the house shows while Skinner worked the house shows and had no real feud with anyone. On the 7/25 Superstars, it was announced that Bulldog would challenge Bret for the title at Summerslam and they would begin that feud as it was announced Bret would face Skinner here at the Spectacular. Obviously, it was pretty clear that this was just a standard title defense for Bret and it was pretty obvious that Skinner was not going to win the title, but you just hoped they would have another solid match like they did back at This Tuesday in Texas.
Skinner had fairly tepid heat as a heel while Bret got a big pop from the crowd. The two men lock up to start the match with Bret hooking a headlock and he takes Skinner to the mat, and Skinner escapes with a headscissors and Bret quickly escapes before going back to the headlock. Skinner fights to his feet and whips Bret off only for Bret to escape a slam attempt though Skinner avoids a rollup by sending Bret through the ropes to the outside, and Skinner goes out to the apron and hits an axehandle on Bret before grabbing his claw and he hits Bret in the throat with it. Skinner returns to the ring and pulls Bret back into the ring before hitting a snapmare and he chokes him with the claw, and he puts the claw back on the post and tears at Bret’s face before biting him on the face and he chokes him with his boot. Skinner hooks an abdominal stretch on Bret and uses the ropes for leverage until Bret turns the hold around on him, but Skinner escapes the hold by sending Bret through the ropes to the outside and he pulls Bret onto the apron as he hotshots him on the top rope. Bret rolls back into the ring and Skinner slams his head into the mat before griding his face into the mat, and he stomps on Bret’s hand and pounds on him only for Bret to catch him ducking with a sunset flip for a two count. Skinner hits a shoulderbreaker on Bret and goes up top only for Bret to nail him coming in and he gets a kick in before pounding on Skinner, and he hits a Russian legsweep on Skinner for a two count and then he hits a backbreaker on Skinner for a two count. Bret pounds on Skinner in the corner and whips him into the other corner only for Skinner to catch him with a boot to the face, and Skinner stretches Bret’s legs out only for Bret to block a legdrop attempt and he hooks the Sharpshooter on as Skinner submits and Bret retains the title.
The match itself was decent as both men worked hard and put on a pretty basic title match. As I mentioned, there was no question that Bret was going to win this match as they wouldn’t have Skinner win the title this close to Summerslam not to mention that Skinner is pretty much a lower end guy at this point. Sadly, this match isn’t as good as they previous match though in fairness, this match is much shorter than their last match and it just felt like it was there to close out the show since the bigger matches happened earlier in the show. Having said that, this was still a fine enough match and it was a good win for Bret as Skinner still looked decent, but he puts Bret over strong going into Summerslam. The crowd was into the match and popped for Bret when he won. Bret retains the title over Skinner and both men move on as Bret looks to Summerslam and his match with Bulldog.
Final Grade: **