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.
This time around, we get the return of “The Body”!
SummerSlam 1999 – August 22, 1999, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
We’re still in my general sabbatical from professional wrestling, but the rise of guys like Mick Foley (who went to the same college as I did), The Rock and Triple H, I was starting to get drawn back in.
We’re just over a year removed from the Mr. McMahon character becoming a regular fixture on WWF programming, and now the rest of the family is starting to have its own impact on the show. One of the main matches of SummerSlam 1999 even featured a McMahon fighting for the honor of another McMahon! Sure, 17 years later, Shane and Stephanie are back at each other’s throats like a couple of pre-pubescents, but in the halcyon days of 1999, Shane O’Mac was fighting for his sister’s honor, protecting her from getting involved with a pro wrestler (that ended up working quite well!). Shane’s “Love Her or Leave Her” match against Test was one of the highlights of the show, a fun garbage brawl and a better match than I think anyone was expecting.
Of course, Shane lost, even with the help of his pals, the Mean Street Posse. And this is how Shane SHOULD be booked, needing three other guys to even think about competing against a midcard act, not standing toe-to-toe with a legend inside Hell in a Cell.
That’s WWE for you.
Best Match: Mankind defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) and Triple H – WWF Title Triple Threat. Maybe this is sentimentality talking, but having Jesse Ventura act as special referee (just like he did at the first SummerSlam) really helped this match (and the show as a whole) out. The bits where he tried explaining rules to the participants leading up to the match were great, and the match was a fun brawl. Foley gets the win to set up Triple H winning the title the next night on Raw, allowing Ventura to avoid raising the hand of a heel while he’s the Governor of Minnesota. The best moment of the night, though, is when Shane interfered and Ventura tossed him over the top rope and yelled, “That’s for your old man, you little bastard!” If only they got The Body to announce during the show, too. What a missed opportunity there.
Worst Match: Ivory (c) defeated Tori – WWF Women’s Title Match. We are not yet at an era where the women’s matches are any good. This is just another example.
Setting the Table: While the multi-team TLC match the next year is the more memorable event, SummerSlam 1999 featured the first meeting between Edge and Christian and the Hardy Boyz at a SummerSlam. The two teams faced off to start the Tag Team Turmoil match for the number one contendership to the Tag Team Titles, with Edge and Christian getting the best of the brothers. E&C would go on to beat Mideon and Viscera and Droz and Albert before losing to eventual winners Farooq and Bradshaw.
Unhealthy Fixation: Vince McMahon is really focused on people’s asses. Or maybe it was Vince AND the Rock, who told people to shove various objects up their anal cavity frequently during his career. And of course we have “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn, who was in a “Kiss My Ass” match against The Rock. Gunn brought with him a rather large woman, promising that Rock would kiss her ass, so in true Chekhov’s Gun fashion, Rock shoved Gunn’s face in her rear end before finishing him off for the win. I guess it could have been worse. It could have been Yurple the clown.
Did you know you could hire Yurple for parties and/or child care? If you live in Arkansas, I encourage someone to try it out.
My Favorite Sign: Seen during the Shane-Test match: I POOP TOO MUCH. Thank you for sharing, sir. I hope that you got that cleared up eventually.
The SummerSlam Top Ten!
We get a new member of the Top Ten this time around!
*DISCLAIMER* The Top Ten is for discussion purposes only and is in no way an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, leave your thoughts in the comments section.
1 – Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated Owen Hart – WWF Title Steel Cage Match (1994)
2 – Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Razor Ramon – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (1995)
3 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Mr. Perfect (c) – Intercontinental Title Match (1991)
4 – Davey Boy Smith defeated Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) – Intercontinental Title Match (1992)
5 – Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard defeated the Hart Foundation (1989)
6 – The Hart Foundation defeated Demolition (c) – 2-out-of-3 Falls Tag Team Title Match (1990)
7 – Ultimate Warrior defeated “Ravishing” Rick Rude (c) – Intercontinental Title Match(1989)
8 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan defeated Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant (1988)
9 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Undertaker (c) – WWF Title Match (1997)
10 – Mankind defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) and Triple H – WWF Title Triple Threat (1999)