With SummerSlam upon us tonight, I thought a quick visit to the past may get us in the mood for what should be an interesting pay per view. Many great matches and careers have been launched at the hottest event of the summer, which says a lot considering there is 24 years of history at SummerSlam so far.
I just want to give my personal top five of the greatest SummerSlam matches ever, starting with:
5) Steel Cage match for the WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) v Owen Hart – SummerSlam 1994
This one is not just about the match, but the whole story that preceded it. Owen became jealous at his brother Bret, which started at the previous year’s Survivor Series, but they patched things up seemingly over Christmas. Owen then turned on his brother at the Royal Rumble, before they met one on one in one of the greatest matches at WrestleMania X, where Owen pulled off the upset win. This became important, as it looked as though Owen could legit beat his brother in a fair fight, which led to this steel cage match (via Owen becoming King of the Ring two months earlier).
The match itself was simple in it’s idea: escape and become the champion. Considering Owen was desperate to become the champion, it seemed fitting he tried everything possible to escape. Despite that, these battled for half an hour before Bret finally escaped and retained his championship. Despite the post match beat down by Owen and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the Hart family saved Bret and united as one, save for Owen and Neidhart. It was a tough contest between two brothers and it genuinely left you wondering who would win the title.
4) TLC Triple threat tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: Edge and Christian (c) v Dudley Boyz v Hardy Boyz
Everyone remembers the TLC match at WrestleMania X-7, but this was the original TLC match for the tag team titles and oh man was it an epic one. This was the first match of its kind at the time, which gave the fans something new and unexpected to see. All six men put their bodies on the line and gave their all to entertain the fans. How they managed to get back up after taking so many bumps through the tables, ladders and chairs was amazing too say the least. Edge and Christian retained their titles amidst the carnage Evidently it was successful, considering they all did the same match seven months later at WrestleMania and it even topped this match! Incredible!
3) Non-sanctioned match: Shawn Michaels v Triple H
This match holds a special place in my memory, as it was the first time I ever saw Shawn Michaels compete, after his initial retirement in 1998. Triple H and Michaels were initially going to reunite as D-X on RAW, but HHH turned on his best friend. After smashing his head through a car window, Triple H accepted Michaels request for a match at SummerSlam. I could only find highlights of this match, so i hope you enjoy them:
These two went to war at SummerSlam, with HHH trying to cripple Shawn, who had only just returned from a four year back injury. Despite that, HBK was impressive, showing no ring rust surprisingly and put on a brilliant display. He won the match but got carried out on a stretcher when Triple H smashed his back in with a sledgehammer afterwards. My hate of Triple H began from that point (not nowadays though) and my admiration for the legend of Shawn Michaels began also.
2) Ladder Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Triple H v The Rock (c)
To me, this match has not only stood the test of time, but it has increased in its importance over time, as both the Rock and HHH made their voices heard in this match. A brutal hard fought match, which more or less ended the D-X versus The Nation feud in an epic way. I am not going to say much about this match, as I want you to enjoy it in the video below:
Besides, I am watching it again myself and it still is a great match to watch. It’s also weird to see Rock as part of a stable considering he would be WWF Champion within three months of this match.
1) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart (c) v British Bulldog
As ever, I am a sucker for technically brilliant and perfect matches, hence I am a huge fan of Bret Hart’s matches over the years. This match was again based on a family feud, but it was as technically perfect as you could get. The crowd reactions were there and the match showed how important the Intercontinental Championship was back then, considering this was the main event of a pay per view.
In front of over 80,000 fans in London, England, the British Bulldog pulled off the victory via a rollup and what followed was probably the single greatest pop in wrestling history (not including pops for Stone Cold). A simple embrace between the competitors and Bret’s sister and Bulldog’s wife, Diana Smith, and it summed up the occasion perfectly. Awesome match, awesome night, awesome crowd. Ladies and gentlemen, my number one moment in SummerSlam history.
These choices are purely personal, as you may have your own choices. Comment below your personal choices and I may even post a video of those matches on my blog if I can find them. Hope you enjoy SummerSlam tonight folks!