The Ultimate Warrior’s victory for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at the first SummerSlam pay-per-view in 1988 is arguably what makes the event so memorable. In a couple of seconds, Warrior defeated The Honky Tonk Man to win the championship, his first in the previous World Wrestling Federation.
However, he wasn’t the first pick to put an end to HTM’s reign. Actually, that was Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, who was set to win the title, starting a months-long storyline that would have seen the two WWE Hall of Famers frequently appearing in higher mid-card slots. This storyline had already been playing on house shows prior to the event.
Speaking with Wrestling Shoot Interviews, Brutus Beefcake discussed the match and this is what led to the legendary Superstar’s 31-second loss:
“Honky knew I was getting the belt. Honky also knew that once he dropped the belt to me, we were gonna get another four, five-month run around the territory with him chasing the belt. So what it meant for both of us, main events semi-mains, whatever. Good money. Real good money.
And by changing it at the last second because Warrior, whatever, threw a tantrum and said he was gonna quit if he didn’t get the belt. Honky was so mad. That’s why he dropped the belt in ten seconds.”