With one of WWE’s big four events commencing in mere days, I wanted to post something.
I didn’t post all of July as my life has been quite hectic and emotionally tasking. Nonetheless, I am here and ready to write.
I will be listing my personal top-10 favorite matches that I’ve personally seen over the course of the 25+ years I’ve been watching pro wrestling.
Now, there’s nothing more subjective than wrestling and their fans. I’m not posting this to stir a debate or to say these are better than anyone else’s choices. Maybe my list will spark something in you to go to the WWE Network ($9.99 a month) and watch some of your favorites and some that you may have even forgot about.
SummerSlam takes place Sunday August 20th from Brooklyn, NY inside the Barclay’s Center.
Here we go!
1- Shawn Michaels vs. Triple-H- SummerSlam 2002
Not only is this particular contest my favorite Summerslam match of all-time but it is also in my top-5 overall favorites ever. It was the return of ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels since retiring in April of 1998 due to a shattered back. Naturally, other than The Undertaker it should be Triple H who gets the chance to climb between the ropes to wrestle against HBK in his first match back. I mean, they have had sort of a history together.
Nonetheless, in a match that went over 45 minutes, Michaels proved why he is the greatest in-ring performer in the history of pro wrestling.
2- Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan- SummerSlam 2005
Just the match idea alone is iconic. The promos leading up to it were a shoot as we now know that Hogan and Michaels did not get along. It’s business, brother! Unfortunately, I thought this match should’ve ended the other way. Hogan, a guy who was wrestling a one-off and didn’t plan on offering the company anything moving forward. Michaels was going to be a continued mainstay to help elevate younger talent. Michaels made Hogan look like a million bucks but had to do the job to the ‘Hulkster.’
But, as they always say, ‘that’s how Terry does business.’
3- The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley’s vs. Edge & Christian- SummerSlam 2000
The first-ever TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) match commenced at this event and my goodness it was revolutionary. It was just under 15 minutes of amazement from these six men who probably didn’t even realize quite what they were doing besides getting into an absolute car wreck. Edge & Christian went into the match champions and walked out the same. Back then, high spots were cool because it was something new. Now, high spots are forced and in the indies high spots are all most have. It’s become a shame what high-spot monkeys have done to wrestling.
I’d much rather watch a 25 minute WRESTLING match where a couple high spots happen for storytelling and impact than see 2-6 guys completing flips and jumps while not selling whatsoever. Again, to each their own, that’s just how I feel.
4- Triple H vs. The Rock (IC Champ), Ladder Match- SummerSlam 1998.
This match was over 24 minutes and in my opinion it could’ve went so much longer because it was that good. You have two guys in the ring who rarely ever ventured to the top rope now fighting for the Intercontinental championship in a Ladder Match. Triple H won after ascending the ladder and retrieving the IC title. I loved the back and forth where neither guy really had the upper hand. This was also one of the first times we saw Chyna get involved with a big match. This match helped The Rock turn the corner and become a world championship contender. The IC title win for HHH elevated him to be seen as a great worker on the cusp of being a world champion type player.
5- Chris Jericho punches Shawn Michaels’ wife in the mouth. For a shoot. – SummerSlam 2008
The headline says it all but you have to see it. It kicked off one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history and was the hottest storyline of the decade, if we are all honest with each other. Rebecca ‘Michaels’ sold the shoot punch like a WWE vet and nobody knew anything was real until she stood up so we all could see the damage.
6- Seth Rollins (C) vs. John Cena (US-C)- SummerSlam 2015
This match was tremendous. However, at just under 20 minutes long I thought it could’ve been a little longer. Rollins won the match to secure both the WWE & United States Championship. Rollins and Cena had a great back & forth contest where both men showed why they’re bonafide superstars. Cena, who never has a bad match, really allowed Rollins to shine here and take that next step. Great match with a bad finish.
7- Bret Hart (c) vs. Owen Hart- Steel Cage match, SummerSlam 1994
This was the second big match pitting the Hart brothers against each other in 1994. The other being Wrestlemania 10. This was an incredible rematch with Bret and Owen smack dab in the middle of their primes. This match went over 32 minutes and was easily the highlight of SummerSlam ’94. The chemistry was undeniable and it’s a shame this rivalry didn’t extend longer. The Hitman won this match to retain his title.
8- Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Ladder Match for the IC title, SummerSlam 1995
The rematch! Michaels and Razor turned in the greatest ladder match in WWE history months prior at WM10 that saw Razor became the undisputed Intercontinental champion. The snag of this ladder match was WWE were not allowed to use the ladder as a weapon. Huh? Correct. Great match and by this point nobody could touch Michaels in the ring. He was flawless by this time.
9- The Undertaker vs. Edge, Hell in a Cell- SummerSlam 2008
This match was just badass. Both guys were at their peak in terms of talent Edge was a red hot heel. The match ran just under 27 minutes and I hoped it never ended. Taker and Edge beat the crud out of each other to further their Smackdown rivalry and it was awesome. I re-watch it every now and then to this day.
10- The 2017 SummerSlam!
It hasn’t happened yet but the mere fact that I am attending this SummerSlam automatically gets itself on the list. Is it a cop-out? Probably. But it’s just facts, my guy!