6 Intercontinental Title Matches that made SummerSlam

Bret Hart defeated Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect (1991)

Bret Hart and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig’s duel at SummerSlam 1991 was the exact type of match that cemented the Intercontinental Title’s legacy as the championship-of-choice for workhorses in the WWE locker room. Evenly matched doesn’t begin to describe the two Hall of Famers, both second-generation Superstars, who were near stylistic and aesthetic twins. (Years later, “Hit Man” would come to liken their battles to Mad magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” cartoons.)

Watch video highlights from SummerSlam 1991 | SummerSlam '91 photos

The pure technical proficiency on display was astounding, riveting the WWE Universe in attendance that night in Madison Square Garden. Hart even broke free of the Perfect-Plex, Hennig’s trusted finishing maneuver, and went on to use his Sharpshooter to win his first singles title. Unbeknown to much of the WWE Universe, Hennig heroically fought the match while enduring intense back pain — a condition that wound up sidelining him for years.

Full match: Mr. Perfect vs. The Excellence of Execution

“The SummerSlam ’91 match personified what the title is all about,” WWE’s reigning Intercontinental Champion, and Hennig’s son, Curtis Axel, told WWE.com. “It was a technical, competitive match between two of the greatest WWE Superstars in history.”