I decided to be simple & obvious and just create a Top 5 SummerSlam Matches list for all of you, the good people in my life.
As for tonight’s show, I’m hoping Lesnar & Cena put on another classic, and things go the way they should have last time. Let’s have Lesnar be the biggest heel champ in decades, and not only put some major luster back on the title, but help to cement a new star for whoever beats him.
Also, as a sidenote, it must make Dolph Ziggler real excited to know that just 5 years ago he was at SummerSlam competing for the Intercontinental Title, and now, after a long hard journey, he’s at SummerSlam, competing for the Intercontinental Title.
Alright, on with the show!
You know, I have to admit, I’m just now about to post this, and realized I made a major error. Some how, I completely forgot about Shawn vs Hunter from SummerSlam 2002. I looked for a previously written review of the match, because at the moment I don’t have the time to sit down and give it a proper review. So, I’ll tack on a mini review here that I freely admit is not up to snuff, but will get my point across. I’ll also leave the match in that I was going to replace with Shawn vs Hunter, and that’s Edge vs Taker.
Also, while these are in no particular order, the last one on this list is number 1, and also a Top 5 of all time.
Shawn Michaels vs Triple H – Unsanctioned Match – SummerSlam 2002
I don’t think anyone expected this match to be as fantastic as it is. Shawn had been out forever, and people weren’t sure about his limited abilities due to his back. But he went out there like it was 1995 and had one of the greatest matches I’ve ever seen. It’s a brilliant, bloody affair that everyone needs to see.
Shawn pins Triple H with a weird bridge style pin at 27:20 | *****
Mr. Perfect © vs Bret Hart – Intercontinental Championship – SummerSlam 1991
This was the SummerSlam headlined by the matches made in both heaven & hell, something that doesn’t happen everyday. Besides this being a Top 5 of all time for SummerSlam matches, it’s also in the Top 5 of my all time favorite matches, period. It’s pitch perfect in his technical prowess, with Curt doing his super-bumps that included favorites such as crotching the ring-post, and the backflip when Bret kicks his leg out. It’s really a perfect example of pro-wrestling balacning on the line between entertainment, and a believe compeition. Some people favor their 1993 King of the Ring rematch over this, but it was basically an exact copy of this match, and I love the crowd heat for this one, as well as how much the IC title still meant. Not to mention Perfect was an absolute man, as he was in Michaels-at-WM-14 like back pain, but still went out and gave a 5 star performance. Also, his hair is so fucking ridiculous that it alone makes this match worth mentioning.
Bret makes Perfect tap out to the Sharpshooter at 18:04 | *****
Christian (C) vs Randy Orton – No Holds Barred for the World Heavyweight Title – SummerSlam 2011
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, as both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. The ending was awesome as Christian came off the second rope at Orton, but was caught mid-air with an RKO into the stairs. Fucking awesome.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43 | *****
Edge vs The Undertaker – Hell in a Cell – SummerSlam 2008
Edge tries to act like he isn’t afraid in the beginning by constantly attacking The Undertaker, but all it gets him is the eventual boot to the face, that ‘Taker soon follows with by slamming Edge and various bodyparts into the cage. Back in, Edge gets the momentum back in his favor thanks to some steel steps, then quickly ramps up the progression of weapons as he brings tables, ladders, and chairs. He spears Undertaker literally through the cage in a pretty original spot, and follows that up by spearing him through an announce table as well. Once they get back in the cage they work with a great series of false-finishes, with Edge eventually being choke-slammed from the top-rope through two tables in grand fashion, speared, a TV camera broken over his head, and then finally receiving a conchairto before a Tombstone and the pin. It’s a hell of a match, and one I really wish was allowed blood, to really ramp up the brutality. Great stuff, and a worthy headline to SummerSlam.
Edge is pinned after a gallery of attacks at 27:16 | ****1/2
Jeff Hardy © vs CM Punk – TLC for the World Heavyweight Championship – SummerSlam 2009
Almost right off the bat we get one of the gnarliest spots ever as Jeff goes for Air Hardy but is caught, as Punk then drops him back first on the top of the folding chair. They brawl to the outside where Hardy gains the advantage thanks to some well thought-out use of a chair. Unfortunately, luck isn’t with him as he dives through an empty table, giving the momentum back to CM Punk. He uses it to deliver a spot even more brutal than the one from the beginning, as he suplexes Jeff from the top rope onto the length of the ladder, with his own back landing on the edge of the ladder. Soon they battle back to the outside, where Hardy lambastes Punk with multiple chair shots before literally hitting a 20ft Swanton Bomb off an enormously large ladder. Punk eventually gets up, as does Jeff, and they do battle at the top of the ladder before Punk is able to best him and grab the WHC. It’s an absolutely fantastic match. While a lot of TLCs rely on big spots, this one was more subtle in that aspect as they just beat on each other out of hate, without any of the set-ups where you can see the spot coming 20 miles away.
Punk grabs the belt at 21:34 | ****3/4
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar – No DQ – SummerSlam 2013
First off, THAT’S how you start a brawl, with both guys running at each other like freight trains that have absolutely no care for their own body, so long as the other person is hurt worse. Punk gets some momentum after smashing Lesnar’s head with repeated knees, but soon Brock returns to form and literally throws Punk all over the place, it’s fantastic. Back in the ring, Brock continues to work through pain, taking Punk’s occasional flurries. Hell, Brock doesn’t even go for his first pin until 10 minutes into the match. They trade submissions, and Lesnar actually taps out. But see, Lesnar’s version of tapping out is powerbombing you so hard he’s charged for attempted vehicular homicide, and that doesn’t even make sense. Punk nails Lesnar with a few graphic chair shots until Brock catches one and attempts to return the favor, however he gets punched in the Cock Lesnar, and follows it up with a variant of Sabu’s Arabian Face Buster. After that, the third act of the match is fucking beautiful, and is the stuff written in dreams. Brutal chairshots, submissions, finishers, reversals, close-calls and counters. I mean, when Brock hits Punk with the chair, it’s not because he’s mad Punk hit him with it, no, he’s mad because fucking Punk wasn’t doing it right. An F5 on the chair finishes what is arguably not only the MOTY, but the greatest SummerSlam match of all time. Oh, and Triple H, next time you lose a big-time match, please reference this on how it’s done. You get up, you’re pissed off, you show it, and leave. You don’t sit around in hopes the crowd gives you a verbal BJ.
Brock hits Punk with an F5 on the chair for the pin at 25:17 | *****