Since 1988, SummerSlam has been WWE’s second biggest show of the year. As we count down the days to the 2016 edition, the Top Ten will rank the annual event’s matches year-by-year to determine the best SummerSlam matches of all time.
In this edition, we have maybe the worst SummerSlam of the modern era.
SummerSlam 2010 – August 15, 2010, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
If I never have to see this particular SummerSlam again, it would be too soon. It’s a one-match pay-per-view and that one match is a baffling example of the worst possible ways to get a group of guys over. Basically the whole third hour was dedicated to the main event, with two matches in the second hour and three in the first. And the decisions in almost all of those matches were booked the wrong way, in my opinion.
The only match where I think the booking was fine (and let’s be clear, I could not possibly care less about the Diva’s Title match or the post-match segment with LayCool) was the World Heavyweight Title Match between champion Kane and Rey Mysterio. But the whole match there was a set-up for the post-match angle between Kane and the Undertaker. Someone had attacked the Undertaker and Kane accused for Champion Mysterio of being the culprit. Of course, it was Kane all along, so when Undertaker emerged from an otherwise superfluous casket, when he went for Mysterio, they at least created a little intrigue. That was heightened by Kane eventually overpowering Undertaker and hitting him with a Tombstone Piledriver.
The match, of course, was crap, but there was at least a (somewhat) coherent angle playing out, along with somewhat logical storytelling. Unlike…
Best Match: Team WWE (John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Chris Jericho, R-Truth, John Morrison and Bret Hart) defeated Team Nexus (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield and Darren Young), John Cena sole survivor – Elimination match (2010). Give 14 talented guys 35 minutes to showcase their abilities, and you’re going to have a good match from a quality standpoint. But the booking of this match was all over the place and the wrong team went over. A Nexus win could have propelled the team into a new level. Daniel Bryan being the sole survivor, taking on his former teammates by himself, could have hastened his ascension to the main event. But they picked the easy way out. John Cena wins. Not only does Cena win, he takes a DDT to the floor and still takes out two guys after that, like he got hit by a high knee. Yes, it was the best match on a crappy show, but it still featured a lot of terrible decisions.
Worst Match: Big Show defeated CM Punk, Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury. I’m not a CM Punk fanboy by any stretch of the imagination, but Big Show winning this match was just completely terrible. And then Show pins Punk at Night of Champions, basically winning the feud. Just utterly ridiculous.
Where They Are Now: Let’s take a look at the 14 guys in the main event of SummerSlam 2010, starting with Team WWE:
John Cena – still at a main event level, currently the biggest name on SmackDown; Daniel Bryan – retired, announcing for the Crusierweight Classic, General Manager of Raw; Edge – Retired; Chris Jericho – still comes back when he gets bored with Fozzy, currently forming a superteam with Kevin Owens; R-Truth – midcard comedy act with Goldust and Pokemon, inexplicably main evented two pay-per-views; John Morrison – Gone, wrestling with Lucha Underground; and Bret Hart – Really bitter old dude, still Mr. The Summer Slam.
And Now Team Nexus: Wade Barrett – Quit in June 2016; Justin Gabriel – left in 2015 after being forced to wear a bunny suit; Heath Slater – the hottest and only free agent left in WWE; David Otunga – color commentator for SmackDown; Michael Tarver – got injured and released in 2011; Skip Sheffield – The Big Guy is now off to the Independents; and Darren Young – being made great again by Bob Backlund.
Of the 14 guys in the Main Event, six years later, only 5 are still competing in WWE. Very disappointing, as Barrett and Sheffield could have been bigger than they ended up.
Another Misstep: The WWE Title match between Champion Sheamus and Randy Orton could have cemented Sheamus as a top guy if he beat Orton with a brogue kick and a pinfall. Instead, Sheamus loses by DQ after throwing the referee down while fighting over a chair. WWE really needed some new big stars here and they seemed to go out of their way to make sure everyone but Cena, Orton and Big Show looked like chumps.
Bad News Off The Bat: The opener, an Intercontinental Title match between champion Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston – Dolph’s second IC Title opener in a row at SummerSlam – could have been a really great match. But WWE decided THIS was the match that was needed to establish Nexus as a threat, as the seven-man group interrupted the match after about 7 minutes. Just terribly dumb.
The SummerSlam Top 20!
Yeah, nothing from this show is making the list.
*DISCLAIMER* The Top Ten is for discussion purposes only and is in no way an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion.
1 – Undertaker defeated Edge – Hell in a Cell (2008)
2 – Shawn Michaels defeated Triple H – Street Fight (2002)
3 – Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated Owen Hart – WWF Title Steel Cage Match (1994)
4 – Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Razor Ramon – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (1995)
5 – Kurt Angle beat “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) by DQ – WWF Title Match (2001)
6 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Mr. Perfect (c) – Intercontinental Title Match (1991)
7 – Davey Boy Smith defeated Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) – Intercontinental Title Match (1992)
8 – Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard defeated the Hart Foundation (1989)
9 – Edge and Christian (c) defeated the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz – TLC Tag Team Title Match (2000)
10 – Randy Orton defeated the Undertaker (2005)
11 – Brock Lesnar defeated The Rock (c) – WWE Title Match (2002)
12 – CM Punk defeated Jeff Hardy (c) – TLC World Heavyweight Championship Match (2009)
13 – The Hart Foundation defeated Demolition (c) – 2-out-of-3 Falls Tag Team Title Match (1990)
14 – John Cena (c) defeated Randy Orton – WWE Title Match (2007)
15 – Ultimate Warrior defeated “Ravishing” Rick Rude (c) – Intercontinental Title Match(1989)
16 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan defeated Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant (1988)
17 – The Rock (c) defeated Triple H and Kurt Angle – Triple Threat WWF Title Match (2000)
18 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Undertaker (c) – WWF Title Match (1997)
19 – Kurt Angle (c) defeated Brock Lesnar – WWE Title Match (2003)
20 – Mankind defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) and Triple H – WWF Title Triple Threat (1999)