HAMMY’S TOP 10…WWE SUMMERSLAM MATCHES!

Summerslam 2017 has been and gone. It was a PPV of two halves (or there about). The first half was forgettable, verging on awful: the second half consisted of very good to great matches. I’ve seen my fair share of Summerslam PPVs, and it got me to thinking…what are my favourite Summerslam matches? The PPV has been host to some corkers since its inception. So here are my Top 10 WWE Summerslam matches!

  1. Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio, Summerslam 2002

WWE often used Rey Mysterio Jr to open up PPVs with a bang. In 2002, he and Kurt Angle put on the best opening bout in Summerslam history. They had just under ten minutes for their match, but they packed that short duration with unbelievable intensity. Rey played the gusty underdog, Angle played the dominant heel. It showcased the best of both wrestlers in styles that shouldn’t really gel together: Angle’s technical abilities were pitched perfectly against Mysterio’s high-flying antics. It left you wanting more, but satisfied at the same time.

  1. Bret Hart vs The Undertaker, WWE Championship Match, Summerslam 1997

I feel like this is a forgotten bout in WWE history, as it was a part of the bigger feud between Hart and Shawn Michaels. He played the referee here, and his antics would lead not only to the inaugural Hell in a Cell match, but to Survivor Series 1997 and the “Montreal Incident.” But nothing should take away from this showcase of two legends who rarely met in the ring on PPV. It’s a tale of Hart’s technical ability against the bigger, stronger and more durable Undertaker. Hart chops Taker down again and again, only for Taker to get up. Most people only think of Taker’s brutal brawls against Mankind when thinking of his career back in 1996/97. But here, he hangs with one of the best wrestlers in the industry in a very convincing manner. An underrated bout that deserves more appreciation.

  1. CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy, TLC Match for the WWE Championship, Summerslam 2009

This was the penultimate stop in a feud that lit up WWE’s summer in 2009. CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to defeat Jeff Hardy for the WWE Championship. From that moment, the feud was based around two different views of morality. Punk pitted his straight edge morality against Jeff Hardy’s ‘living for the moment’ philosophy in a slow-burning heel turn. Their feud ended with a Cage match on the Smackdown following Summerslam, but their Ladder match at the PPV stands out as a brilliant battle. It included everything you’d hope for from a TLC match, plus a hell of a lot more. In my humble opinion, it’s the finest singles TLC match in WWE history.

  1. Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk, No Disqualification Match, Summerslam 2013

At Summerslam 2013, it was The Best vs The Beast in Brock Lesnar’s finest match since his return to WWE. He doesn’t’ rely merely on German suplexes to make up a match. There’s actually a story to this one! The gutsy, smaller Punk as David taking on the hulking Lesnar as Goliath. It’s a tale as old as Biblical time, and Lesnar and Punk told it very, very well. Punk took everything Lesnar threw at him but kept coming back for more. The No DQ stipulation helped Punk along, but it wasn’t used as an excuse to rely on kendo sticks and chairs. Punk sells Lesnar’s moves like he’s been hit by a sledgehammer, and quite right too. The Best vs The Beast was almost the match of the night, if not for my entry at #6…

(Click here for my full review)

  1. John Cena (c) vs Daniel Bryan, WWE Championship Match, Summerslam 2013

Lesnar vs Punk was gruelling to watch. You felt as battered and bruised as Punk did by the end of it. However, Cena and Bryan put on one of the best wrestling matches in WWE history. Say what you want about Cena, but in big matches, he pulls out all the stops (and often starts selling!). It’s a match of babyface vs babyface, but where Cena is booed and Bryan plays the heel to loud cheers. Of course, Cena being booed is nothing new, but for his opponent to be cheered was a novelty back then. Bryan fully deserved the cheers. He brought out the best in Cena, and Cena brought out the best in Bryan. They constructed a hard-hitting, fast-paced match full of counters and reversals. It’s one of the best Summerslam main events in history.

(Click here for my full review)

  1. The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz vs Edge and Christian, TLC Match for the Tag Team Titles, Summerslam 2000

This was the inaugural TLC match. The three teams showed the insanity they were capable of at WrestleMania 2000 in a triple threat ladder match. With added tables and chairs, the insanity was ramped up to a heady degree. It’s violent, full of unbelievable and unpredictable stunts, and a showcase of courage/stupidity (depends which way you view it!). Wrestlers are hurled off ladders through tables, jump off ladders through tables, are battered and batter with chairs…anything you can think of involving tables, ladders and chairs happens here. Some may rate TLC II at WrestleMania X-7 as the better match. But here, for sheer originality and unpredictability, TLC I takes the biscuit, and throws it off a ladder through a table. Pure insane genius.

  1. Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon, Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship, Summerslam 1995

This as a sequel over a year in the making. A sequel that had a lot of expectation weighing it down. As we all know, great sequels are the exception rather than the rule. Here, however, HBK and Ramon delivered a match as good as (if not better than) their WrestleMania X classic. Their original Ladder match may have innovated the concept (if not created it), but their sequel did everything a great sequel is supposed to do. It delivered more thrills and spills, but played with your expectations. It delivered spots from the first match with a twist, almost playing as a meta-commentary on their classic. You always see highlights from their first ladder match, but HBK and Ramon (in my humble opinion) outdid that bout with the sequel.

  1. Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect, Intercontinental Championship Match, Summerslam 1991

If you think of the WWE in 1991, great matches aren’t what spring to mind. But Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect were determined to put on a great match for Summerslam 1991. They did just that, even with the handicap of Mr. Perfect’s legitimate back injury. It’s a game of one-upmanship in a match that’s a constant battle of back and forth between the two wrestlers. One, Hart, was a former member of a famous tag team who wanted singles glory. The other was a tested veteran. They set the standard for fast-paced story-telling without resorting to big spots. A lesson to all students of wrestling.

(Click here for my full review)

  1. Shawn Michaels vs Triple H, Unsanctioned Match, Summerslam 2002

The big question surrounding this match was about HBK. It was his first WWE match in four years. Could he perform as well as he did in his prime? Not only that, but HHH had come back earlier in the year from a torn quadriceps injury and was a shadow of his former self. He’d only had one memorable match since his return (against Stone Cold in a Three Stages of Hell match). Were the two wrestlers up to it? This match answered the question with a resounding ‘yes!’ The tables and chairs weren’t a distraction or a crutch, but a necessary part of a bout built on hatred. HHH worked over HBK’s back, HBK made the comebacks his career was built around. From story to psychology to selling, this bout delivered in spades. HBK proved he was could still perform like the old days and HHH proved he wasn’t obsolete.

(Click here for my full review)

  1. Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog, Intercontinental Match, Summerslam 1992
    They were both winners here

Could there be any other contender for the #1 Summerslam match? For the second year in a row, Bret Hart made the Intercontinental Championship look like the premier belt in the business. The setting was perfect: Wembley Stadium! The crowd gave their hometown hero deafening cheers. It is a spectacle in every sense of the word. The Bulldog was Hart’s brother-in-law, and he wanted his brother-in-law’s Intercontinental Championship. In 1991, Hart played the plucky youngster fighting a veteran. Here, he was the veteran, fighting an up-and-comer. Bulldog’s wife, Hart’s sister, added something special to the match: seeing her reaction to either man receiving a hit gave the match a veneer of realism.

But what more can I say about this match? It is a classic and easily the best match in Summerslam history. Do yourself a favour and watch this match if you haven’t watched it before.

Honourable Mentions

HHH vs The Rock vs Kurt Angle, Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship, Summerslam 2000

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle, WWE Championship Match, Summerslam 2001

Randy Orton vs Christian, No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Summerslam 2011

Edge vs The Undertaker, Hell in a Cell Match, Summerslam 2008

Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman vs Samoa Joe, Fatal 4 Way for the Universal Championship, Summerslam 2017

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

10 thoughts on “HAMMY’S TOP 10…WWE SUMMERSLAM MATCHES!

    • Hammy Reviews August 22, 2017 / 2:50 pm

      Saw Hart v Perfect for the first time a few weeks ago, thanks to the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches to Watch before You Die. It is a stunner of a match!

      Like

  1. Cold Cobra August 23, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    I enjoy your lists, I just feel I have to point out that your opening paragraph still talks about WrestleMania 33 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ian April 28, 2021 / 12:23 pm

    No Bret Vs Owen Summerslam 94?
    Not even in the honourable mentions.
    Really?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews June 3, 2021 / 6:46 pm

      Sorry…I have yet to watch that one!!! Is that the cage match?

      Like

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