Money in the Bank has passed, and now it’s time to look ahead at Summerslam! This event has largely been considered WWE’s second biggest behind WrestleMania, and the show has produced some of the best and most interesting matches in all of WWE history. Every week from now until Summerslam, I’ll be counting down what I believe are the top fifty matches in the history of WWE’s annual summer spectacular. Enjoy!
50. 1994 – Undertaker vs Undertaker: What better storyline existed in pro wrestling 1994(and don’t you dare respond with Hogan’s WCW signing)? Undertaker was locked in a casket at the Rumble by Yokozuna and a band of misfits, only to have Ted Dibiase bring back the fake Undertaker. Paul Bearer swore up and down that the real Undertaker would come and seek his revenge, and he returned at Summerslam. The match isn’t what you would call a classic, but it’s something intriguing to watch and as a five year old at the time, it was an amazing sight to see two dead men going one on one! Of course the real Undertaker picked up the win in this match; it was the only thing that made any sense. The man portraying the fake Undertaker wouldn’t appear again until 1997 when he debuted as Chainz in the DOA Biker Gang Stable, led by Crush(Brian Adams).
49. 2008 – CM Punk vs JBL for the World Heavyweight Championship: JBL pinned Punk in a handicap match on Raw to become the number one contender for the title. Punk and Bradshaw put on a solid eleven minutes of wrestling that resulted in Punk winning the match via GTS. It’s hard to believe that Punk was in the World Title scene just three years ago, as he now stands at the top of the company as WWE Champion.
48. 2003 – Elimination Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship – Triple H vs Goldberg vs Kevin Nash vs Shawn Michaels vs Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho: Triple H would survive in this elimination chamber match with a little help from his sledgehammer via Ric Flair on the outside. Hunter would retain his title on this night but would soon after fall victim to Goldberg and drop the World Heavyweight Championship to him at Unforgiven the following month.
47. 1991 – Virgil vs Ted Dibiase for the Million Dollar Championship: There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one, but this was one of the very few times the Million Dollar Title was ever treated as a championship that could be defended. Virgil had grown tired of Dibiase’s antics, and so he quit being his bodyguard and challenged him to a match. Virgil would go on and win the Million Dollar Championship that night.
46. 2010 – The Nexus(Justin Gabriel, Wade Barrett, Michael Tarver, David Otunga, Skip Sheffield, Heath Slater, and Darren Young) vs Team WWE(John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, R-Truth and John Morrison): The Nexus is one of the best things to happen to WWE in the last few years. Looking at the group’s make up, you see that every single performer(with the exception of Michael Tarver) in the group is still active within WWE today. This match was all about the dominance of the group trying to defeat the superstars who best represented WWE. Thanks to John Cena, team WWE able to reign victorious.
45. 1993 – Lex Luger vs Yokozuna for the WWE Championship: I know what you’re thinking: Lex Luger and good match don’t go in the same sentence. Well for this one, Lex did a great job as the babyface and worked his tail off to have a decent match in the main event of the 1993 show with the mighty Yokozuna. Luger would actually win the match by countout, and Yoko would retain the WWF Title. This match had all the build and all the makings for a new champion to be crowned, but the booking team decided a face victory would be good enough to close out the show.
44. 1997 – Undertaker vs Bret Hart w/ Shawn Michaels as Special Referee for the WWE Championship: This is another one that I can remember like it was yesterday. I remember that, despite the heel turn, I was still a HUGE Bret Hart mark and I was cheering for him all summer long. The setup to finish this match was brilliant: Bret gets a chair and uses it. Shawn grabs the chair and confronts Bret, so Bret spits in Shawn’s face. Shawn swings the chair at Bret and misses, smashing the Undertaker in the head. Shawn Michaels counts the pinfall win for the Hitman(5th and FINAL WWF Title reign). I loved the match between Hart and Taker, and this was easily one of the better matches from 1997 in the WWF.
43. 2006 – Edge vs John Cena for the WWE Championship: Edge had Lita, and Edge had feuded with Cena and Mick Foley the entire year while trying to prove that he was not a fluke champion. Edge would win the WWE Title from RVD in an awesome Triple Threat match involving John Cena in early July. Cena would challenge for the title once and fail, but then got his match at Summerslam. The two delivered in this awesome match in Cena’s hometown, but unfortunately for Cena, Edge walked away still the WWE Champion.
42. 1989 – Rick Rude vs Ultimate Warrior for the IC Championship: Rude had cheated his way into winning the IC Title from Warrior and WM5, and Warrior wanted his revenge in this match. Rude was one of very few people who could work a good match with the Ultimate Warrior, and I’ve actually found Warrior’s matches with Rude to be excellent compared to almost any other match I’ve seen Warrior wrestle in. Warrior went on to win the title back in this match, and he would go into the following year as the IC Champ to challenge the World Champ at WrestleMania VI.
41. 2009 – DX vs Legacy – This was the final run for DX. Shawn and Hunter would continue teaming after this event, but they eventually became embroiled in a rivalry with John Cena over the WWE Title, and Shawn would start the final rivalry of his career with the Undertaker in December(Slammy Awards on Raw). DX was feuding with the up and coming team of Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes, and both those guys were on the fast track for success. Legacy had been getting the best of DX going into the event, but Shawn and Hunter not only brought a tank to the 2009 event, but they brought their A-game as a tag team and won the match. They would go one to have one more major match with Rhodes and Dibiase at Hell in a Cell in October that year.
So that’s it for part one of our trip down memory lane. I’m sure you’re all wondering where I’ll be placing the rest of the next forty matches. Feel free to discuss it below! Thanks for reading!
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