Sunday, August 2, 2015

SummerSlam A to Z: Fists Banned

 By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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SummerSlam '92 featured an interesting match between two great competitors.  Many talk about the match up between Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith, but the one I'm writing about today was between Shawn Michaels and "The Model" Rick Martel.  Michaels had been wrestling as a heel for a short time at this point and the Model had been established as a bad guy for a few years by this point.  The heel vs. heel component was just one interesting side to this match as the WWE rarely booked these matches back then.

Courtesy: WWE

Both men were full of themselves and very interested in having Sensational Sherri with them.  Shawn and Sherri were the couple at the time, but when Martel started making advances; the Heartbreak Kid got mad.  So not only was a match signed between the two, but the stipulation was added that fists to the face were banned.  That was Sherri's idea.  

The two put on a great match as Shawn was on the cusp of super stardom and I always thought Martel was a top notch competitor.  Both men made it through most of the match without punching one another, but a slugfest ensued and the match ended in a double count out.  Rewatching the match, Michaels clearly throws the first punch, but the referee didn't disqualify him.

Courtesy:  WWE
Technically speaking, closed fists are not supposed to be a part of any wrestling match, but it's a "rule" that's often ignored.  The Michaels-Martel match helped to bring it to light, at least for a few minutes.  I don't remember this feud going anywhere after SummerSlam as Shawn would soon beat Smith for the Intercontinental title and have a mini-feud with Bret. 

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