The Scientific Ranking of SummerSlams Part 1

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SummerSlam has been the biggest party of the summer for going on twenty-seven years now. It has been home to classic matches, unforgettable moments and countless HHH returns. Countless columns have been written ranking the WrestleManias but few have tackled the far less interesting, but often better, SummerSlams. So I decided to tackle this one with a different slant. WITH SCIENCE!!!

Here’s how it works: I re-watched every SummerSlam, EVERY SINGLE GOD DAMN MINUTE of these things and ranked all the matches (save for the Sherri/Sapphire forfeit). There have been 216 illustrious matches in the history of this… illustrious event. The 1st place match was awarded 216 point, the 2nd 215, the 216th 1 point… you get the idea. I toyed around with the idea of averaging out the score for each individual SummerSlam but the more I looked at it the more I started to believe that cards deserved to be punished for doing C-Lo Green concerts and weddings instead of matches. Then I looked at the intangibles. I ranked each show in five important categories:

Commentary – We spend the whole show with these guys so they better be good.

Main Event – That which the show was built on should get a few more points if it delivers.

Best Moment – Matches aren’t all that count, sometimes a great segment or angle can greatly enhance a show.

Crowd – A great crowd can make a good show great, while a poor crowd can suck the energy out of everyone.

Opener – The first impression you get for a given show can go a long way towards how you remember it.

So seeing as there have been twenty seven SummerSlams to this point, each show was ranked 1 to 27 in each of the preceding categories. Again 1st place received 27 points, 27th 1 point and so on and so forth. It became clear the deeper we got in the rankings that the points won and lost with these intangibles actually moved some SummerSlams up and down the list.

So the complicated formula for this series is (Cumulative points for all the matches on the show) + (Commentary, Main Event, Best Moment, Crowd &Opener Scores) = Final score which is used to rank the SummerSlams SCIENTIFICALLY!

I totally gave myself up to the project and didn’t check big picture until the final day where I added everything up. I just ranked the matches as they came and in no way tried to taint the process by playing favorites with certain cards. The results were…extremely interesting. It was a different process to look at a whole show instead of focusing on just the best parts. The bad matches should matter as much, we have to sit through those too. In the end, sure everything is just my opinion here but I’m the leader in the field of sitting down and watching SummerSlams back to back wasting my summer. Yes, I’m the only one involved in ranking the matches… but hey, it’s science.

 

#27

SUMMERSLAM 92

August 31st 1992- Wembley Stadium London, England

92

You son of a bitch

Well this is unexpected

Look at the card though.

Total Points: 648

The Matches

1.The Legion Of Doom d. Money Inc.
RANK:   165/216          POINTS: 52
2.Nailz d. Virgil
Rank:     213/216          POINTS: 4
3.Shawn Michaels wrestled Rick Martel to a double count out.
RANK:   155/216          POINTS: 62
4.The Natural Disasters (c) d. The Beverly Brothers – WWF Tag Team Title
RANK:   209/216          POINTS: 8
5.Crush d. Repo Man
RANK:   200/216          POINTS: 17
6.The Ultimate Warrior d. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) by count out – WWF Title
RANK:   30/216            POINTS: 187
7.The Undertaker d. Kamala
RANK:   202/216          POINTS: 15
8.The British Bulldog d. Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) – Intercontinental Title
RANK:   5/216             POINTS: 212

Commentary                     RANK:   4/27       POINTS: 24
While it’s certainly not bad, Vince is no Gorilla Monsoon when it comes to dealing with Bobby. For whatever reason he just can’t keep up with the Brain as he absolutely refuses to run with most of what Heenan throws at him. He’s basically the worst improv partner in the world, refusing your ideas and throwing out about 50,000 English puns. Still, Heenan is funny and Vince is decent enough, they just don’t click together. Side note: Why does Vince always promote that there’s going to be pagentry? Why does he love pageantry the way he should have loved his son?

Main Event                        RANK:   3/27       POINTS: 25
To this point easily the best match in Summerslam history. It tells a great story and sends the crowd home happy. What a novel concept! No humiliating the hometown hero. Crazy stuff.

Greatest Moment              RANK:   11/27     POINTS: 17
Bret can say all he wants that it was also the crowning moment in his career but this is Davey’s moment and he’ll never get higher again without the aid of heavy pharmaceuticals…and resurrection… Honorable mention does go to The Ultimate Warrior’s entrance where he practically runs into the sunset. That should be in like every WWE intro ever.

Crowd                                RANK:   4/27       POINTS: 24
They popped for Earthquake squashing one of the Beverlys. Let that sink in and tell me they weren’t awesome throughout the night. Consistently loud and engaged which just helps make everything seem better than it really is.

Opener                              RANK:   27/27     POINTS: 1
I loathe Money Inc as a team as they consistently put me to sleep through the great insomnia summer of 2013. Add Rocco in the mix and you have the worst opener of any Summerslam. If Animal claims this is the LOD’s crowning moment I hope he was talking about the damn motorcycles. What’s with everyone and crowning moments at Summerslam 92?

Best Match: Obviously it’s the main event. For all the smack that Bret talked about Davey not being in shape for the match you certainly can’t tell by watching it. It just builds perfectly to the point where you can’t imagine either guy losing. The finish out of nowhere is a perfect way to end this classic.

Worst Match: Nailz Vs. Virgil. It’s just choking for five minutes followed by an attempted murder. What is the fucking point of Nailz? What’s the fucking point of attempted murder? Just do murder!!!

Sneaky Underrated Match: I really dug Martel and Michaels going at it. Sure it was mostly played for comedy (that actually landed) but when they got down to brass tacks they both could still go and I could have lived with a longer feud from these two. Isn’t every match, “No punching in the face?”

Biggest Pop: There’s a bunch of great pops. The LOD winning is huge (why?). Piper coming out to play the pipes is big. But without a doubt the three count for the intercontinental title match blows the roof off the joint.

Most Heat: The crowd was already ready to boo Randy Savage. They got really mad when it seemed like Perfect was on his side.

Best Interview/Skit: All the Ric Flair/Perfect interviews were high points on a night of pretty boring mic work.

Worst Interview/Skit: Diana Hart Smith talking about going to the front lines with her husband. Man when nice guy Sean Mooney has to cut you off you know you should cover our face with that frilly jacket and take the walk of shame to the dressing room.

Best Booking: Everything to do with “Who’s corner is Mr. Perfect in?” The spots in the actual match were so well done that the crowd bit on every one. They booed when they tripped Savage but they bit just as hard when Flair leveled the Warrior with the knux. Just… Perfectly done… Ugh. I hate myself.

Worst Booking: Why did Rocco get introduced? I don’t mean in general (although that’s a problem too), he got a god damned ring introduction from Finkel! Why does Ellering insist on making Rocco talk? Why wasnt it enough to just bring back their long time manager?

Best Attire: Sherri’s slut suit. It takes balls to wear such a slut suit. Sherri has balls. Physical balls. The slut suit was very revealing.

Worst Attire: There’s just something wrong with all the outfits in the WWF title match. Both guys look like lamer versions of their old selves. Warrior’s wearing that skin toned color singlet for whatever reason, there’s a Warrior symbol on Warrior’s dressing room door that Warrior’s child clearly drew with crayons. Savage may have long ago forgone the trunks with stars in favor of tights, but when he wears the matching shirt he always looks second rate. When all the colors smash together epileptics of the world unite in a giant seizure WHETHER THEY WANT TO OR NOT!!!!

Best Little Moment: I love Martel modeling the tennis stuff only because they’re in England, and only because Vince knows nothing about Great Britain. Bobby Heenan drops, “Eat your heart out Andre Agassi,” only to have Martel actually say it seconds later. I also get a huge kick out of a character called the Model heeling it up but still getting cheered by the crowd. Man they hated Michaels.

Funniest Moment: In the Martel/Michaels match they do a sequence where they try to roll each other up by pulling on the tights. Each guy gets two pin attempts as they roll across the ring, with each roll their pants getting lower until they both stumble to the outside. Heenan gleefully exclaims: ” I’ve never seen so many smiles in all my life!”

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Pulling out all the stops means sometimes using moves we never see you do. Bret pulling out a German suplex with a bridge was awesome.

Please sir, no more: Sherri on her knees undoing Michaels’ belt, trying with all her might not to graze his penis.

Biggest Botch: Hawk is drunk, stoned or apathetic. Either way it’s like watching a bear eat a banana under water.

3 Random Thoughts:

The British Bulldog is going to win, whether he wants to or not. Why wouldn’t he want to?

This is the SummerSlam you thought you’d never see because a lot of the booking going in makes no fucking sense.

Maybe I’m the only one but I feel the Natural Disasters don’t get enough credit for tanking the tag division

Why It’s Number 27: When I tabulated the results this was the most shocking outcome for me. I always thought that 92 would be lower than I expected, I just never thought it would be the worst. It missed second worst by two points and I’m really glad I didn’t look at the results before tabulating, I would have been very tempted to cheat for this one as it was the first SummerSlam I ever watched live. I guess when you get down to brass tax there’s just too much crap on this card to outweigh one of the greatest matches of all time. The Taker match is horrible, the Nailz match is worse, Crush gets a boring squash and the tag title match is abysmal. Even the card scoring very high in Commentary, Crowd and Main Event couldn’t pull this one out of the cellar. To think I didn’t even take ANY points off for Rocco! I’m sure this result might turn off some readers, that was not my intention, but it also kind of makes this experiment fun and unpredictable. Sorry if there’s hurt feelings but I’m not sure you can defend the overall match quality here.

 

#26

SUMMERSLAM 2006

August 20th 2006, Boston

2006

Chavo ruining Rey

Batista gets screwed again

I hate this DX.

Total Points: 650

The Matches

1.Chavo Guerrero d. Rey Mysterio
RANK:   159/216                POINTS: 58
2. The Big Show (c) d. Sabu – ECW Title
Rank:     146/216                POINTS: 71
3. Hulk Hogan d. Randy Orton
RANK:   109/216                POINTS: 108
4. Ric Flair d. Mick Foley – I Quit Match
RANK:   89/216                  POINTS: 128
5. Batista d. King Booker (c) by DQ – World Heavyweight Title
RANK:   148/216                POINTS: 69
6. D-Generation X d. Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon
RANK:   193/216                POINTS: 24
7. Edge (c) d. John Cena – WWE Title
RANK:   66/216                  POINTS: 151

Commentary                     RANK:   14/27     POINTS: 14
So three teams. JR/King as usual, Cole/JBL and Styles/Tazz for ECW. JBL sets the mood by stating that Eddie Guerrero was a groomsman at his wedding and he had to hire security in case Guerrero fell of the wagon. Stay classy JBL. JR is pretty solid throughout, particularly losing his mind during the no holds barred match. Michael Cole only says “It’s over” when it’s not. Ross is also pretty great during the McMahon match as he clearly hates him and when he exclaims, “Jesus Christ brass knuckles to the back of the head. Son of a bitch.” I wish he had called the whole show.

Main Event                         RANK:   18/27     POINTS: 10
Edge versus Cena is fine. No more, no less. I was never the hugest fan of Edge and had this match delivered the whole card may have moved up a couple of spots. Cena has a pretty good track record at SummerSlam and a better match here would have done a world of good.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   26/27     POINTS: 2
Foley says I quit… It was a lame night.

Crowd                                RANK:   15/27     POINTS: 13
They barely pop for anyone but they certainly want fire! While they didn’t detract they certainly weren’t a very big part of the show. Not that I blame them, the show was awful.

OPENER                             RANK:   26/27     POINTS: 2
I hate Chavo. Michael Cole says Rey and Eddie were like brothers…. brothers who tried to kill each other last year right Michael? Chavo just does nothing of interest in this match and this is a completely inexcusable waste of Rey Mysterio here. It’s not a horrible match per say but Rey has to wrestle down to Chavo’s level. They both do the “three amigos” suplexes and the crowd boos both guys. What a tribute! Vickie eventually knocks Rey off the top rope by accident and Chavo pins him after the frog splash. The pandering here was gross.

 Best Match: The main event was a mediocre match but the cream of the crop on this shitty show.

Worst Match: DX versus the McMahons. Jesus did they have to put DX over the whole fucking roster? The “Let’s get ready to suck it,” followed by “Two words for ya…” just don’t go well together. You’re making the audience yell the same thing twice within five seconds. That’s why the Outlaws shtick worked. It was different. HHH at one point goes from legally dead to perfectly fine after one tag. Yay! This was slow and boring and worst of all destructive for all involved. You mean to tell me that when up against Vince, Shane, the five Spirit Squad guys, Regal, Finlay, Kennedy, The Big Show and Umaga one of these two ego maniacs can’t do the job? Just end the match already. No one was cheering by the end, and Hunter needs to not do Hogan’s pandering to the crowd at the end of a match when HOGAN’S ALREADY BEEN ON THE FUCKING SHOW!!!

Sneaky Underrated Match: Nothing. Foley and Flair killing each other was good but we all remember it as such. On top of which it had the dumbest ending to an “I quit” match in the history of wrestling. Think about what that means.

Biggest Pop: Hogan. On the third match on the show the old man out-pops the whole roster.

Most Heat: Face of the company: John Cena!

Best Interview/Skit: Benevolent King Booker his queen are amazing in every backstage skit they’ve ever been in. He has no idea who “Rogue” Edge is yet offers to make a small “wajah” with him over the outcome of their matches. I’m just a big mark for this character. Long live King Booker!

Worst Interview/Skit: Layla tries to make friends with the other divas, but they “Initiate” her by making her take a shower WITH HER CLOTHES ON!!!! OH THE HILARITY!!! The best part was the solid acting from everyone. Like watching cats put on Othello. And yes we cast a black cat!

Best Booking: I guess using Flair and Foley’s real life feud.

Worst Booking: We’ve already covered DX’s romp through the mid-card so let’s go with the drama of Mick and Melina; which, if you read Mick’s books, Foley was convinced would be one of the greatest angles of his career. It’s just boring melodrama Mick. No one gives a shit about Melina and they’re about to stop giving a shit about you.

Best Attire: All hail King Booker!!! Also Ric Flair and his crimson mask.

Worst Attire: Vince McMahon’s black jeans and T-Shirt. What? Had he lost weight from Mania and that god damned magazine cover?

Best Little Moment: King Booker’s peaceful benevolence.

Funniest Moment: Finlay gleefully high fiving Vince on his entrance. He’s just so happy to be there. You’d think he’d be angry with Vince for having to raise/cage his bastard son for the last few years.

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Flair’s mic work in the hardcore match. Just pure hate coming out of his mouth. “You quit or I’ll kill you right here!” He’d be fired for that now instead of his alcoholism.

Please sir, no more: Matches about Eddie Guerrero a year after his death.

Biggest Botch: Sabu. His whole match. An abomination. Someone told me he botched moves on purpose during his matches. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If it’s true, it’s even dumber.

3 Random Thoughts:

Hogan just had to hold up a belt on his exit didn’t he? A weightlifting belt isn’t the same brother.

What’s with this company and guys getting shit and pissed on?

Shawn Michaels is HHH’s damsel in distress.

Why it’s number 26: Because it’s an awful show. I can’t believe this one wasn’t last. The best match is the main event which clocks in as the 66th best Summerslam match. When your best match is 66th you know you’re in trouble. The opener exploits a death and DX destroys the mid-card. I guess it squeaks out being last as it’s missing the “abomination” matches of 1992, but it’s still a far cry from anything good. Not even King Booker and all his glory could save this one.

 

#25

SUMMERSLAM 96

August 18 1996, Cleveland

96

Hope you like filler,

Mero and Goldust stink up

Smith to hospital?

Total Points: 722

The Matches

1. Owen Hart d. Savio Vega
RANK:   153/216                POINTS: 64
2. The Smoking Gunns (c) d. The Bodydonnas, The Godwinns & The New Rockers – WWF Tag Titles
Rank:     164/216                POINTS: 53
3. Sycho Sid d. The British Bulldog
RANK:   107/216                POINTS: 110
4. Goldust d. Marc Mero
RANK:   182/216                POINTS: 35
5. Jerry Lawler d. Jake Roberts
RANK:   115/216                POINTS: 102
6. Mankind d. The Undertaker – Boiler Room Brawl
RANK:   93//216                POINTS: 124
7. Shawn Michaels (c) d. Vader – WWF Title
RANK:   35/216                  POINTS: 182

Commentary                     RANK:   5/27       POINTS: 23
Put aside the outdated Partridge Family joke and Vince calling the Meros “Very special people,” the team of Vince, JR and Perfect was pretty great here. Ross was a nice compliment to Vince and Perfect was a fantastic analyst slash asshole wanting to see people get hurt. They made the commentary fun for the first time since Heenan left.

Main Event                         RANK:   9/27       POINTS: 19
While it never really reaches the heights of Vader/Sting, Vader  vs. Michaels is a great match in its own right. Shawn makes Vader’s offence look killer and even manages to build a little credibility of his own finding a way to go toe to toe with the Mastadon. The restarts really added nothing to the match, but didn’t take away either. Surprisingly the match actually picked up after Shawn’s second temper tantrum in as many years. Really solid, and one of the better main events up till this point.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   23/27     POINTS: 5
Paul Bearer’s turn was decent on its own, but when Mankind was announced the winner and that piano music played the looks on both their faces gave me shivers. I just couldn’t in good conscience place it above a screaming Jesse Ventura.

Crowd                                RANK:   26/27     POINTS: 2
Sid woke them up three matches in, but all that goodwill was lost as they were forced to watch The Boiler Room brawl on Trinitrons. They never came back. They did have the class to chant “faggot” at Goldust though. It’s not all their fault but they were easily one of the worst.

Opener                                RANK: 25/27       POINTS: 3
I hate Savio Vega, there were way too many rest holds and how did that ref miss that shot with the cast? Fundamentally sound but pretty uninteresting aside from the finish.

Best Match: It’s the main event. By a pretty wide margin.

Worst Match: There’s no botches or any moves that look wrong but Goldust versus Marc Mero bored me to absolute tears. Completely unacceptable considering how good the two guys involved could be. I guess Goldust just couldn’t have a decent match as that character by this point. So, so, so slow. Imagine how mad the crowd would have been if Goldust had fought a fabulous Johnny B. Badd instead.

Sneaky Underrated Match: For its time the Boiler Room brawl was a pretty stiff affair. You could tell they took the time to plan this thing out and kept it interesting for the most part. They used the environment and “found” weapons extremely well, and while it may have gone on a smidgen too long the knee to the face on the garage door easily makes this one watchable. Do the Druids work for the Undertaker?

Biggest Pop: Shawn is very, very, very over. You can say he tanked as champ but by God people cheered for the man.

Most Heat: On a show where Jerry Lawler wore a Ravens jersey weeks after the team left Cleveland, Paul Bearer still got more boos by simply kicking the Undertaker. That kind of betrayal unfortunately doesn’t exist any more in this new world where there are no heels or faces and people turn on each other every week.

Best Interview/Skit: Sid hears voices and screams his way into my heart. The fact that Bulldog’s music was playing in the background while he yelled “The Man Is Here” is wonderful. Dok attempting to legit ask him if he’s the master and ruler of the world is sublime.

Worst Interview/Skit: Shawn Michaels being flippant about is title matches made him look smug and unlikable. How many tries did it take Vince to get that his lead faces didn’t have to be smiling Hulk Hogans?

Best Booking: They made Sid a legit main eventer this night. The promo followed by him powerbombing the shit out of Bulldog pretty much cemented him as a future champion.

Worst Booking: There’s so much filler on this show. The Faarooq promo was pointless and we got yet another Undertaker death. Ho many times do we have to see this guy die? Is he a cat?

Best Attire: Sunny’s cowgirl outfit and also Sunny’s dress. For the rest of her career this category will belong to Sunny.

Worst Attire: So many: The New Rockers’ singlets are way too tight and way too close to their skin tone. Mark Henry should never wear a white suit again. Jake Roberts’ vest always made me puke. Faarooq takes it though with his gladiatorial teal blue suit and helmet. I’m legitimately pleasantly surprised they didn’t make him dance.

Best Little Moment: The Undertaker looks like he’s legitimately trying to pry Mankind’s hand out of his mouth while stuck in the Mandible Claw.

Funniest Moment: I really wanted in to be Sid standing over the IT crew’s shoulders not wearing a shirt, the threat of rape in his eyes but it has to be when Lawler pours booze down Jake’s throat and Perfect quips, “Might as well make a night of it now Jake.” Perfect was pretty funny all night.

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Cheap heat aside, Lawler’s ability to draw heat during the match. Just phenomenal.

Please sir, no more: Jake. Take that vest and go home please.

Biggest Botch: Michaels makes it obvious that Vader is in the wrong place by pitching a fit. Looking at it again he really wasn’t that far off. Was this Shawn Michaels fellow perhaps a dick?

3 Random Thoughts:

How many God damn animals do the Godwinns need to bring down with them?

The stupid “people need to make contact” rule in the tag match is absurd, almost as absurd as JR stating that Sunny needs to be “Taken to the woodshed.”

Think about this: it was someone’s job to clean up the boiler room and backstage area after that match.

Why it’s number 25: The wasted time weighs heavily here as there are only seven matches on this three hour show. Had Mero and Goldust had a halfway decent match and the opener not gone on for an eternity this one may have had a chance. The main event delivers and the three man booth excels but too many bad decisions help kill the crowd and sink the event. It’s a completely forgettable event which angers me every time I have to see Zip and Phineas do that ridiculous strut out of that corner. Someone kill them, and me.

 

#24

Summerslam 2007

August 26th 2007, East Rutherford New Jersey

2007

Jesus Christ Returns,

How much Pyro and music

Does this asshole need?

Total Points: 729

The Matches

1. Kane d. Finlay
RANK:   147/216                POINTS: 70
2. Umaga (c) d. Carlito, Mr. Kennedy – Intercontinental Title
Rank:     56/216                 POINTS: 161
3. Rey Mysterio d. Chavo Guerrero
RANK:   141/216                POINTS: 76
4. Beth Phoenix won a Diva’s Battle Royale
RANK:   187/216                POINTS: 30
5. John Morrison (c) d. CM Punk – ECW Title
RANK:   68/216                  POINTS: 149
6. Triple H d. King Booker
RANK:   140/216                POINTS: 77
7. Batista d. The Great Khali (c) by DQ – World Heavyweight Title
RANK:   205/216                POINTS: 12
8. John Cena (c) d. Randy Orton – WWE Title
RANK:   105                      POINTS: 112

Commentary                     RANK:   21/27     POINTS: 7
We get the six headed hydra that is JR, King, Cole, JBL, Styles and Tazz. Cole is his terrible self stating that Steve Austin has ANOTHER great SummerSlam memory. Yep! Put it right up there with getting concussed and breaking your fucking neck Cole. What else should I expect from a guy who doesn’t understand what the word “backfire” means. He still only declares “it’s over!” when someone is going to kick out. Lawler hears Booker T fuck up his phrasing backstage but is so dumb he thinks Booker is correct and declares,”It’s party time IN huge proportions!” At least JBL is trying to break down guys’ injuries but it’s a lost cause. Even JR is phoning it in tonight. Also were all the announcers instructed to suck Hunter’s dick or was that spontaneous?

Main Event                         RANK:   22/27     POINTS: 6
It’s this match before you NEVER WANTED TO SEE IT AGAIN. I’ll say this, Randy could sure teach Cena a thing or two about tightening up holds. It’s slow but it’s functional. At least you feel that Cena is in there with a wrestler of equal status which can’t be said for his previous SummerSlam opponents. That being said it’s just not as interesting as anything ranked above it.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   25/27     POINTS: 3
HHH and Rey come back. I’m happy about one of them.

Crowd                                 RANK:   17/27     POINTS: 11
So-so all night. Hot for Kane of all people and really lose their minds for Austin during the beer drinking contest. They cheer Umaga which is welcome. He was awesome.

Opener                                RANK:   24/27     POINTS: 4
Kane versus Finlay. Why is this a match? The story is he spilled coffee on Kane backstage. Really of all the angles to redo they pick that one??? How can Kane lift Finlay up for the finish when his ribs are more damaged than when he failed to lift him earlier? Fuck this.

Best Match: I liked the triple threat most.The story of Kennedy and Carlito being unable to handle Umaga worked really well. This probably should have opened the show. Seeing Umaga kill these two dead makes my black heart get hard every time.

Worst Match: There’s no universe where it’s not Batista and Great Khali. I kept thinking JUST PLEASE END THIS. FOR ALL OF US. By the time we got the forty five minute trapezius hold and the shit DQ finish I was ready to end my life.

Sneaky Underrated Match: Punk and Morrison have decent little match. I thought they were both clever in how they countered in and out of each other’s moves. The botched foot on the ropes finish hurts it a bit but it’s stiff a fun watch.

Biggest Pop: Austin by a gazillion miles.

Most Heat: Number one face John Cena even though he was fighting the biggest asshole in the promotion.

Best Interview/Skit: King Booker declaring HHH’s return a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Worst Interview/Skit: Vince telling Coach that he wouldn’t fuck an English woman with Coach’s dick. WOW.

Best Booking: Having HHH come back and squash a guy whose heat was already dead instead of a young up and comer like usual.

Worst Booking: The whole Khali reign which was only made worse by the DQ finish. Just give Batista the fucking belt!

Best Attire: MVP looked pretty swank in his suit while wearing the US title.

Worst Attire: Rey’s Silver Surfer paint job looked like shit. He looked like a guy who spent the night poorly huffing spray paint. John Cena’s jorts.

Best Little Moment: MVP’s chain goes FLYING on the stunner.

Funniest Moment: Regal’s pained reaction to the DAMN!

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Umaga just picking a guy up and spiking him for the win.The gutteral reaction it causes within me should probably be explained to a doctor.

Please sir, no more: Chavo fighting Rey. Keep in mind I’m saying this about a show that features the Great Khali. How bad is Chavo that he makes Rey look like a boring worker?

Biggest Botch: Mickie James misses a rana on Jillian Hall and neither of them knows what to do. Torrie Wilson of all people has to come and save them. Torrie Wilson is the ring general in the battle royale.

3 Random Thoughts:

This is the height of the “model” era in women’s wrestling.

What’s with Batista and winning by DQ at SummerSlams? Just give him the fucking belt.

Vince if you want to bang an old lady go home and fuck your wife.

Why it’s number 24: There’s no stand out great match and so much time is dedicated to two big returns against opponents none one cares about any longer. It’s no surprise that Cena was never fully accepted as the face of the company when they treat HHH’s return like the Messiah stepping down from the clouds. Michael Cole is also starting to really take the lead on commentary which can only bring down the points for any show he’s on. Again like 96, and 06 it’s the lack of many horrible matches that keeps it from the bottom but make no mistake, it’s a long, boring show with few redeeming qualities. The mid 2000s were a rough time for SummerSlams. It’s a shame, this with 2006 are the two shows I hate the most. I just want HHH to be at the bottom!

 

#23

SUMMERSLAM 2010

August 15th 2010, Los Angeles California

2010

Squishy, Squishy Squash,

Who cares ’bout making money

When Cena can win?

Total Points: 734

The Matches

1. Dolph Ziggler © fought Kofi Kingston to a no contest – Intercontinental Title
RANK:   88/216                  POINTS: 129
2. Melina d. Alicia Fox © – WWE Diva’s Title
Rank:     195/216                POINTS: 22
3. The Big Show d. The Straight Edge Society – Handicap Match
RANK:   101/216                POINTS: 116
4. Randy Orton d. Sheamus © by DQ – WWE Title
RANK:   85/216                  POINTS: 132
5. Kane © d. Rey Mysterio – World Heavyweight Title
RANK:   104/216                POINTS: 113
6. Team WWE d. The Nexus – 7 on 7 Elimination Match
RANK:   47/216                  POINTS: 170

Commentary                     RANK:   26/27     POINTS: 2
Cole, Lawler and Striker combine for one booth of shit tonight! Michael, is Kofi Kingston a controlled frenzy or is it something he has? It’s already confusing enough, as it means nothing, without you mucking it up more. Cole also trumpets the fact that Melina is an all time great because she’s held the women’s and Divas titles. The divas title has been around for two years that particular window is pretty fucking small. We’re into the Michael Cole LOVES the Miz period in WWE history. The darkest ever? Matt Striker says that Sheamus may be the greatest Irish born person in all of pop culture. Is this guy fucking with us? When the crowd is dead and the action is slow the announcers probably shouldn’t also sound bored. Vintage is in EVERY single match. If Michael Cole says “new champion” rest assured they are kicking out. Cole also invents a word: Metamorphis. I would just like it if Matt Striker would stop saying “vegetative state.” Cole buries Bryan’s experience. Way to get him over! Please stop saying “pack of feral dogs.” Striker at least attempts to bring up history but the other two buffoons just ignore him. I hate it. Just please stop! Everybody! I hate Michael Cole.

Main Event                         RANK:   12/27     POINTS: 16
It’s such a cool concept as seven virtually unknown guys go up against seven world beaters and do OK. The story is also very well set up with Nexus being presented as a cohesive unit and WWE being fractured. Everyone breaks out the big moves and it’s very fast paced and fun. That is until Cena gets beat down by Jericho and Edge. Then the match becomes maddening as Cena buries everyone involved. He’s DDT’d on the CONCRETE and seconds…SECONDS later he jumps up and hits one guy with an AA and taps out the leader of the other team. Apparently Edge and Jericho told him it was a mistake. Should have listened, you killed the angle dead that night. I always thought you could have beaten Cena after Jericho and Edge attacked him and have the Nexus up 3-1 on Bryan. Bryan could fight back and get two guys out before falling prey to Barrett in the end. Everyone would have gotten over that way. This way no one got over.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   16/27     POINTS: 12
Bryan joins team WWE. It gave us the hope that he might be taken seriously in the company. Oh how very, very wrong we were…HE’S A NERD!!!

Crowd                                RANK:   21/27     POINTS: 7
They’re pretty dead throughout but wake up for the main event.

Opener                               RANK:   13/27     POINTS: 15
I get what they were doing with Nexus interfering on Dolph and Kofi but they took away what could have been a great little match from the “Future” of the company.

Best Match: Despite the booking flaws the main event is pretty head and shoulders above the rest of the card.

Worst Match: The Divas title match is pretty awful despite Cameron’s (of Tough Enough) claims that it was the best match she had ever seen. No wonder Austin was so pissed. Melina needs to learn that if you’re knee is hurt/broken you can’t balance on it to kick someone. Melina’s primal scream also makes me uncomfortable.

Sneaky Underrated Match: Orton and Sheamus is good…it’s slow as hell (because Orton is still working heel) but it’s solid and some of the shots are CRAZY stiff. Both guys are very good at wrestling but not very good wrestlers. It’s like watching turtles have sex, you’re impressed with the shell penetration but never really want to see it again.

Biggest Pop: How sad is it for the state of the roster that it’s Bret Hart?

Most Heat: Vickie Guerrero and her Excuse Mes. Boy they hate that.

Best Interview/Skit: Miz goes on about what each member of Team WWE said to him to convince him to join them. Highlights were Morrison admitting that HE was the Jannetty of their team and R-Truth writing him a crappy rap.

Worst Interview/Skit: Kane screams at a casket while creepy music plays. What the fuck is going on?

Best Booking: Everything Nexus going in to the event and Daniel Bryan being the seventh man.

Worst Booking: Jobbing the Nexus after the aforementioned DDT to the concrete. Just dumb. Also as dumb but not mentioned enough is Big Show killing the Straight Edge society because he’s big.

Best Attire: While he looks a little naked without tape around his wrists Orton looks exactly like his character should. He looks like a fucking snake man.

Worst Attire: Melina dressed as a pumpkin peacock. Why is Melina holding that headdress like it’s a title?

Best Little Moment: CM Punk’s “I broke Big Show’s hand,” T-Shirt. Striker tries to bring up the significance but it’s ignored by Cole.

Funniest Moment: Punk’s face as he grabs the tag rope while Big Show murders his friends. Assuring Big Show he won’t be a problem.

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Bret’s punches and elbows still look top notch. Why is no one learning from him?

Please sir, no more: Previews for shitty movies I wouldn’t watch for free on TV.

Biggest Botch: Old man Taker suffering through tuberculosis as he threatens Rey Mysterio is great. Maybe John Cena just didn’t understand that concrete would kill him.

3 Random Thoughts:

I don’t think there’s a more fundamentally sound guy who’s had so many boring matches than Randy Orton.

What’s with the shit DQ finishes during title matches at SummerSlam?

If team WWE decided AS A GROUP to not wait till the day of the show to bring in their last member, why were Edge and Jericho begging Miz to be on the team less than three hours ago?

Why it’s number 23: A very solid main event edges 1996 and 2007 and if it had one more match it may have made a run at 22nd. The women’s match is bad but not nearly the monstrosity of many of Undertaker’s greatest “hits” at SummerSlam. The commentary is brutal though and they wasted a perfectly decent opener on angle development. Like they couldn’t have interrupted the women’s match? Imagine the rift in the time space continuum had that happened… Cameron doesn’t get inspired to wrestle, Austin doesn’t have his mind blown and doesn’t contemplate suicide, Brodus Clay does not become the Funkasaurus as Vince declares “we don’t have enough black girls!”, Brodus Clay murders his family.

 

#22

SUMMERSLAM 94

August 29th 1994, Chicago

94

Please God make it stop

Undertakers in the mirror

They must hate Chicago

Total Points:742

The Matches

1. I.R.S./ Bam Bam Bigelow d. The Headshrinkers
RANK:   137/216                POINTS: 80
2. Alundra Blayze © d. Bull Nakano – WWF Women’s Title
Rank:     57/216                  POINTS: 160
3. Razor Ramon d. Diesel © – Intercontinental Title
RANK:   44/216                  POINTS: 173
4. Tatanka d. Lex Luger
RANK:   143/216                POINTS: 74
5. Jeff Jarrett d. Mabel
RANK:   201/216                POINTS: 16
6. Bret Hart © d. Owen Hart – WWF Title Steel Cage
RANK:   27/216                  POINTS: 190
7. The Undertaker d. The Undertaker
RANK:   216/216                POINTS: 1

Commentary                      RANK:   17/27     POINTS: 11
Not the strongest night from either Vince or Jerry Lawler here. Vince’s best moment may be explaining how Diesel can use his height to reach the ropes in the abdominal stretch, his worst may be when he confuses a cross arm breaker for a wrist lock (and in turn a wrist watch). Lawler was also really reaching with some of his jokes, which of course were no sold by Vince as he didn’t think of them. You have to work to Vince, Jerry, not the other way around.

Main Event                         RANK:   27/27     POINTS: 1
Is it sad that the best part is the one act play that precedes the match where Paul Bearer finds an urn big enough to house all of Jonestown? Vince can claim that the crowd is stunned all he wants, but if I was in the crowd with these oafs lumbering around, unsure of how to work a wrestling match, I’d sit on my hands too. Every count by every ref on this night was lightening fast until we get here. Earl must have suited the final three count to this atrocious match.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   19/27     POINTS: 9
The image of all the Harts scaling the cage to save Bret has been burned in my mind since childhood. I KNEW when Davey took off his shirt shit was about to get real. Real British!

Crowd                                RANK:   7/27       POINTS: 21
Popped huge for all the faces and gave all the heels their proper booing. They get bonus marks for me for sitting silent through the death march of a main event. Like why would you subject human beings to that war crime?

Opener                                RANK:   22/27     POINTS: 6
It’s a fine opener but really doesn’t match up well next to what’s above it on the list. The Headshrinkers are one of the more underrated teams in WWF history but when you work with IRS you work that one IRS match. They made his match fun though, just not great in any way.

Best Match: It’s the cage match handily. I totally appreciate what they were trying to do with all the escapes, but unfortunately it led the match into a repetitive sequence from which it had a hard time returning. That being said the crowd was ON FIRE for every single near escape. It’s a bit long for the forgone conclusion that it is, but the intensity that both guys show (especially on their last fight next to the door of the cage) is phenomenal. It became something of a water mark in my ratings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to place it higher than 27th. I’ve seen it ranked much higher on other lists but it fell a bit short for me.

Worst Match:The main event is a big fuck you to the crowd and may have directly led to potential issues later on as residual anger was still palpable all those years later. It’s easily the worst match in SummeSlam history. Two non-wrestlers based a match around putting their asses in each other’s faces and still put on a better match. A-BYS-MAL.

Sneaky Underrated Match: The women’s title match was the stiffest match on the show. It has the realism of Blayze being pissed off at every two count she gets and all the fun of Bull’s crazy submissions. Maybe the best women’s match in WWF history to this point? Certainly the best women’s match in SummerSlam history.

Biggest Pop: When Bret finally wins the place goes nuts. Honorable mention to Razor and Blayze winning.

Most Heat: The crowd really didn’t like Tatanka. I always thought he was the kind of face you cheered begrudgingly. Like, “I’ll cheer for you so I don’t sound racist but I don’t really like you… Yay a rain dance…”

Best Interview/Skit: I love Jim Neidhart’s demeanor as he claims he’s minding his own business. Owen is the best Hart and Stu drove him to be an asshole. Great stuff.

Worst Interview/Skit: I’m as big a fan of The Naked Gun as anyone but if Leslie Nielsen did this for one penny less than a dumptruck full of money I’m going to desecrate his grave OJ Simpson style.

Best Booking: All the action in the Razor Ramon/Diesel match is super well paced. You can see Michaels controlling Peyton’s attacks on him, but it always pays off with something great like that running clothesline from the stairs. Doesn’t hurt the right guy went over too.

Worst Booking: Who thought two Undertakers was good idea? Also how do you not put that cage match on last? What? So you can have that “case is closed” joke to end the show? Poor Leslie Nielsen, I’m sorry I murdered your grave and got away with it.

Best Attire: I always loved Owen’s look. An asshole shooter.

Worst Attire: Good lord I wanted it to be the Headshrinkers’ pope hats. I really wanted it, but Walter Peyton wearing that god awful Razor shirt (tucked in!) takes the cake. Imagine how popular Ramon was that people actually bought that shirt.

Best Little Moment: Michaels running in front of Diesel during their entrance, but you wouldn’t get an argument out of me for any of his antics during the match.

Funniest Moment: Jerry: “You’ve got to admit Shawn and Diesel make a great tag team. That’s why they’re tag team champions.” Vince: “This is not a tag match.” Jerry: “Then what’s Walter Peyton doing out there?” Vince: “……”

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Bret countering Owen’s sharpshooter into one of his own. Strange no one yelled, “ring the fucking bell!!!” before he had a chance to do so.

Please sir, no more: Mabel. Good thing this is the highest he ever got on a SummerSlam card…

Biggest Botch: The Undertaker’s tumble into the ropes with all the grace of falling walruses attempting a snake eyes. MOOOOOOO!

3 Random Thoughts:

Why is Shawn Michaels wearing so much fucking gear???

Was this the last time that Bruce and Bret Hart ever hugged?

Is that the Money In The Bank case they stand on in the end?

Why it’s number 22: If it didn’t have the worst ranked match it might be higher. If it didn’t only have seven matches so they could break a record setting up a cage it might rank higher. It’s a shame because the cage match, the women’s title and the IC tile match were all quite strong. I guess the battle between rap and country trumped putting on a great card. Too bad they didn’t have a really over babyface they could have put in a hot feud with a guy who acted as a manager. Nah. It was better to have him host the show and leave the company shortly after.

#21

SUMMERSLAM 2009

August 23rd 2009, Los Angles California

2009

They need a tank now,

But we get a ladder match,

Ugh Undertaker

Total Points: 798

The Matches

1. Rey Mysterio © d. Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Title
RANK:   37/216                  POINTS: 180
2. MVP d. Jack Swagger
Rank: 102/216                    POINTS: 115
3. JeriShow © d. Cryme Time – WWE Unified Tag Titles
RANK:   119/216                POINTS: 98
4. Kane d. The Great Khali
RANK:   208/216                POINTS: 9
5. D-Generation X d. The Legacy
RANK: 160/216                  POINTS: 57
6. Christian © d. William Regal – ECW Title
RANK: 192/216                  POINTS: 25
7. Randy Orton © d. John Cena – WWE Title
RANK:   117/216                POINTS: 100
8. CM Punk d. Jeff Hardy © – World Heavyweight Title TLC Match
RANK:   55/216                  POINTS: 162

Commentary                     RANK: 22/27       POINTS: 6
We’re really putting JR out to pasture here, pairing him up with the inept Grisham. Cole gets King and Matt Striker joins Josh Matthews before Josh became the worst announcer on television today. JR sounds particularly subdued but no one with a headset on seems particularly excited to be there. How dare Michael Cole call MVP a young man after JUST saying he spent ten years in jail??? What is young to you Michael??? How old are you??? JR clearly hates Grisham. Really Cole do we need to say, “The VINTAGE knee of HHH?” The vintage stuff is completely out of control here creeping its way into every single match. Why even have the ECW guys here to commentate for three seconds? Is that an in joke of something? No absence of malice is another one of the dumbest things that’s been said for almost a decade now. JR and Grisham sound fucking exausted and bored during a main event that’s a ladder match for fuck’s sake. I hate Michael Cole.

Main Event                         RANK:   15/27     POINTS: 13
It’s fine but there’s just waaaaaaay too much time setting things up in this match as opposed to people actually trying to win the damn title. Big effort from both guys but this fell flat for me. I wanted to like this one more than I actually did.

Greatest Moment               RANK:   24/27     POINTS: 4
The Undertaker switcheroo! Yay! I got to use switcheroo! The people popped pretty big but all it really signaled was the end of CM Punk.

Crowd                                RANK:   22/27     POINTS: 6
I can’t believe they went back here for five more years after this crowd. They were hot for the opener but dead for most of the show including the main event.

Opener                               RANK:   5/27       POINTS: 23
Both guys are fighting with urgency to win the match and it translated beautifully into a tremendous opener. They bust ass and make every single sequence feel like two guys actually competing. Even a sunset flip is difficult to do on the other guy. Rey smoothly reverses a top rope rana for the win. Great opener.

Best Match: It’s the opener. I don’t want to discredit how good it was but it’s not exactly a great sign for your show when it’s all downhill after the first match.

Worst Match: Who thought Kane and Khali could have a watchable match together? Kane has to be the fast guy! Khali can’t even kick out of things, Kane has to roll himself off of him to keep the match going. Just lame. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END WITH KHALI???

Sneaky Underrated Match: MVP and Swagger have a fun little ditty before either of them got really lazy in the ring. Looking back at these things MVP really stands out as a pretty underappreciated guy of his era. Swagger had all the potential in the world too. Too bad his entrance makes him look mentally challenged. What’s with all the shaking and convulsing? He’s like a child being told his birthday IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT MCDONALDS!!!!

Biggest Pop: Sigh… DX…

Most Heat: Boy they hate this CM Punk kid. Good thing McMahon “didn’t see him” as a heel.

Best Interview/Skit: MVP: “When you wrestled in the NCAA and won, your prize was a trophy. When I was in the D.O.C. and I fought my prize was to live another day.” Then he got serious.

Worst Interview/Skit: Jack Swagger lisps his way through telling us he’ll be WWE champion and that MVP is an ex-con. Oh yeah… THAT’s why he didn’t get over…

Best Booking: Opening the show with two guys who just busted their ass. Too bad everyone didn’t follow suit.

Worst Booking: Killing William Regal for no reason. You’ve got to love those on-screen punishments for stuff that happens backstage. Guarantee this match not being allowed to go made this SummerSlam drop at least five to six positions. Just dumb. Regal is the most wasted guy of the 2000s.

Best Attire: Mysterio shrewdly dresses in LA Lakers colors.

Worst Attire: John Cena’s jorts and John Deere color scheme. And his smiles. I hate his smiles.

Best Little Moment: CM Punk’s face going from cocky smile to outright fear at the sight of the Undertaker.

Funniest Moment: THE HILLARIOUS OPENING WITH THE NEW DX!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! OH MAN THOSE CRAZY GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!

This Is Wrestling Clap Clap Clap: Nothing man. There was just so much kicking and punching on this show.

Please sir, no more: Khali, DX… all the things I hate are here.

Biggest Botch: I don’t think Lillian understands the thoughts in her head sometimes. “Per the original order this match will be restarted once again???” What does that even mean? Also she announces Orton as the winner by DQ when he’s the one who was disqualified.

3 Random Thoughts:

DX doing shadow puppets is one of the single worst things I have ever seen. In life.

How did they get away with Cryme Time?

This is the first SummerSlam where I’ve really noticed the self-congratulatory segments.

Why it’s number 21: It was downhill after the opening and the crowd and commentary didn’t help things. You can only bring Jesus Christ back so many times before people stop popping for forty year old men acting like children. Michael Cole is actively ruining shows at this point. The best announcers had a way of making boring matches look better, he makes everything feel fake and worse. Orton and Cena have a worse match than they had together with two years less experience in 2007. The main event is fondly remembered but it just didn’t click for me on rewatch. Quite frankly I’m surprised this one didn’t fall lower but such is the greatness or Mysterio/Ziggler which literally pulled this one out of the doldrums.

Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for Part 2 coming soon! Yay Science!

If you enjoyed this romp through Summerslams please follow me @aarondgeorge

If you hated this and want to scream at me please do so @aarondgeorge

Author: Aaron George

Aaron is a classically trained Shakespearean actor by day who fulfils his culture quotient by watching wrestling by night. He has two sons a great wife and once explored the sewers in his hometown.