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.
Oh yeah, it’s SummerFest time!
SummerSlam 2009 – August 23, 2009, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Oh yeah, this is the first SummerSlam after the start of the “Guest Host” era of Raw, where a few weeks prior to this, Jeremy Piven called the show “SummerFest” – spawning years worth of jokes now. And WWE doesn’t really need an outsider making a joke of their product when they have Shawn Michaels and Triple H on the roster to do it for them!
SummerSlam 2009 kicks off with the video package to hype the show, which is “interrupted” by the reunited Degeneration X, who proceeded to make the whole promo about them and then rip into their opponents for the evening, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. I know the DX return was supposed to portray the reunited team as fun and edgy, but they really just come off as the not-so-cool “cool dads,” although the vignettes with Shawn as a cook were a lot of fun.
The match between the two teams wasn’t bad, but it was clear it would be the first of multiple matches between the two teams, so having DX go over was a bit questionable, I think.
Best Match: CM Punk defeated Jeff Hardy (c) – TLC World Heavyweight Championship Match. I was never the biggest Jeff Hardy fan, and I hated the fact that WWE put the WWE Title on him. I know he was popular and people were clamoring for his elevation, but I definitely wasn’t in that group. But I will give the future Brother Nero his due, the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match here is one of his best WWE matches, although maybe that had something to do with his opponent. This was another phenomenal SummerSlam main event that should have cemented Punk as a top guy in the company. And considering how the show ended – with Undertaker chokeslamming Punk to set up a match – it may just have done that. Also, JEFF HARDY MORPHED INTO UNDERTAKER! That was weird.
Worst Match: Kane defeated The Great Khali. It’s Kane and Great Khali. I wasn’t expecting a classic and somehow it was even worse than I could have dreamed.
What Were They Thinking? Part 1: I was really excited about the ECW Title Match between champion Christian and challenger William Regal (who was accompanied by future FINAL WWECW CHAMPION EVER Ezekial Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov). The match featured two guys I was a big fan of, two guys who should have been able to deliver a great match. And then it was over in a heartbeat. A real shame.
What Were They Thinking? Part 2: That World Heavyweight Title Match was… well, it was going along great up until the end. The SummerSlam 2007 rematch between challenger John Cena and champion Randy Orton had more false finishes than Return of the King. First, a DQ, then a countout, then Orton winning with his feet on the ropes and THEN, Orton hits an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE to pin Cena clean. Cena really looked like a dope here and if they were trying to make him a sympathetic figure here, they failed miserably.
Start Strong: I really enjoyed the opener between Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio for Rey’s Intercontinental Championship. It was a really great competitive 12-minute contest between two motivated guys. For Rey, he finally got an opponent who wasn’t a Guerrero! And Ziggler was making his first SummerSlam appearance (as long as you don’t count his stint as a cheerleader) and going for his first WWE title (again, as long as you don’t count his stint as a cheerleader). Can’t really ask for more than that.
The SummerSlam Top 20!
The main event gets added to the list, as CM Punk makes his debut on the Top 20!
*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 – 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)