I'm a die-hard fan of many things...Horror movies, Cocoa puffs, VHS tapes, dogs with the "side-tongue hang" and Pro Wrestling.
As i sit in my modest dwelling with a broken A/C unit, it's feeling more and more evident that summer is right around the corner. Now for some people that might mean waxing the back, oiling up the ol' chest and hanging out at the beach, but if you're anything like me, it's more about staying inside, keeping cool and getting my SummerSlam on...
If you've ever considered yourself a wrestling fan, you'll remember that SummerSlam is one of WWE's big 5 Pay-Per Views of the year (not big 4...RIP King Of The Ring, never forget). So with the weather getting warmer and the chests soon to be getting oilier, i thought it would be fun to do a retrospective of the top 5 greatest SummerSlam's in history...in my humble opinion of course...Let's get started!
#5 SummerSlam '98: August 30th Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
It was a different time, the kid's were more concerned with giving the finger to authority figures and chugging soda (pretending it was a steve-weiser) than "not being a bully, being a star".
little did we know how good we had it back then; the undertaker, stone cold, triple h and the rock all in the same night and it was just another show...this event was great for 3 reasons, the rock vs. triple h in a ladder match, undertaker vs. stone cold for the title and Jeff Jarrett got his head shaved. what a night!
The championship match was a classic, running nearly a half hour, the undertaker and stone cold tore the garden apart and reminded everyone why wrestling was literally the hottest thing in the world at that time. Looking back, the outcome was painfully obvious, undertaker would go for "old school" off the top rope, stumble and wind up catching a stone cold stunner, pinfall and Austin retains the title...but for a 10 year old dopey stone cold fan like myself, i never got tired of the "rattle snake" reigning supreme.
#4 SummerSlam '91: August 26th Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
They don't make 'em like this anymore. This event had a lot of significant occurrences in WWE history, for example Bret Hart took the Intercontinental Championship from Mr. Perfect, making this Bret's first ever singles title held in the WWE. Sgt. Slaughter's final on-screen appearance as an Iraqi sympathizer and the first of many Ultimate Warrior backstage shenanigans. But, let's be honest, this SummerSlam will forever be remembered for the on-screen wedding of "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Although the two had been married in "real life" for 7 years, it wasn't official until it happened in the squared-circle. This event even consisted of a post-ceremony reception with several wrestlers celebrating with the newly weds. Unfortunately, the good time was cut short thanks to a "party-pooping" Undertaker and Jake "The Snake" Roberts who attacked Savage with an urn a frightened Elizabeth with Robert's pet snake "Damien". No one saw this coming at all.
While some fans consider the whole "wedding" thing to be cheesy, i found it quite entertaining and forever regard this a classic moment in WWE history...i just wish Miss Elizabeth started going by "Mrs. Elizabeth" after this, but maybe i'm just being a stickler.
#3 SummerSlam '03: August 24th America West Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Ok, if you can take your attention off the cover art for a second, this event is remembered for 2 things: the second ever elimination chamber and Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
First, the chamber match consisted of Triple H defending his belt against Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels (the 2nd or 3rd time he found his smile and returned) In a cell-like structure with 4 chambers consisting of wrestlers that were randomly released in 5-minute intervals. I won't get into detail with this match, however i will say that for how jumbled this match could have been, it was actually a pretty solid bout and Triple H walked away with his belt.
The match that stole the show for me was Angle vs. Lesnar. Angle, an olympic gold medalist who is arguably the best wrestler in the business and Lesnar, a freak of nature and an amazing athlete squaring off for the WWE championship. The match was nearly perfect and ended with Angle defeating Brock and returning the favor for their Wrestlemania XIX match that saw Lesnar taking the belt. This tied the two 1-1 and set the stage for their Iron Man match that would end their rivalry. If you want to see a great match with two amazing talents at their prime, give this one another watch...or don't...see if i care.
#2 SummerSlam '92: August 29th, Wembley Stadium, London, England
If you're surprised to see this to be as my #2 and not #1, I'll remind you that this article is based on my opinion, but we'll get back to that.
This event was considered the third largest audience attendance at a WWE event consisting of 80,676 screaming brits. It's a fun one to watch, i personally enjoy the huge stadiums and anytime the WWE was at Wembley, it was a great show.
Gone are the days that the intercontinental title match will steal the show and make you forget there was even a so-called "Main Event" yet to come. Bret Hart defended his IC title against his "real-life" brother-in-law "The British Bulldog" Davey-Boy Smith in what is heavily regarded as one of the greatest matches in WWE history. It was named "match of the year" in the 1992 year end review of Pro-Wrestling Illustrated, WWE has named it the "Greatest Moment in SummerSlam History" and Bret Hart has also gone on record stating this was his favorite match of all time...
wow, as i write this i'm realizing that i named this my #2 moment. I suppose #1 holds a special place in my heart and is for sure one of the wackiest SummerSlams ever...without further ado
#1 SummerSlam '94: August 29th, United Center, Chicago, IL.
For those of you who didn't know, Dominoes Delivers...says so on the cover of this tape.
I was first introduced to SummerSlam '94, not on Pay-Per View, but a year later. I was 7 years old, wandering through my local "Circus Video" looking through used VHS tapes when i stumbled upon this gem...Undertaker vs. Undertaker?? whaa whaa whaaaat!!? Needless to say i coerced mom into buying the tape and in later years i would wear the thing out! this event was entertaining start to finish. It was hosted by "Macho Man" Randy Savage (There was a short period of time when WWF didn't know how to use Randy when he quit wrestling as much so he would jump between color-commentator and "Ambassador" for the company...in my opinion the macho man can't do wrong. Oooooh Yeeeaaahhh!!!) and not to over-look the cage match between Bret Hart and Owen Hart, which is one of my favorites of all time...i always ate up the whole "he's my brother and i don't wanna fight him, but i have to because it's the right thing to do" angle. classic.
But when it's all said and done, this event was all about Undertaker vs. Undertaker. Quick re-cap, in the early to mid-90's wrestlers had super powers. period, no one asked why, they just did. When Undertaker lost the casket match against Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble, we thought we'd never hear from the dead man again. He was gone for months. Then the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase said he had control of 'taker however Paul Bearer disagreed and accused DiBiase's "Undertaker" as being an imposter, in the meantime, WWE aired promo's of seemingly regular citizens claiming they saw the Undertaker in various cemeteries and other creepy locations then he would vanish *gasp* and they even involved Leslie Neilsen to portray his "Frank Drebben" character from The Naked Gun franchise to "crack the case" on who was the real Undertaker...still with me? well needless to say this tom foolery all came to head at, you guessed it, SummerSlam. The imposter Undertaker was portrayed (quite well I might add) by Brian Lee better known as "Chainz" in later years...long story short the real Undertaker won, the imposter disappeared forever and a good time was had by all.
this one kinda makes you wonder what some of those writers back stage we're under the influence of in the mid 90's, however it all worked. Classic.
There you have it folks, my re-cap of the Biggest Event of The Summer. I'm sure you can find several other classic moments from SummerSlam...but don't take my word for it!