In an analysis of SummerSlam’s history, The Score reports that since 1988 there have been 195 matches at SummerSlam. Some of those matches have been classics featuring the likes of Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Edge. As discussed yesterday some of those matches have also been overlooked gems.
Yet, there have also been matches that we would prefer to sweep under the rug and pretend they do not exist. Whether it is because of poor performers, bad gimmicks, illogical storylines or some mixture of all three, the card only surpassed by Wrestlemania in prestige has produced its share of crap. With that said here in chronological order are 6 SummerSlam Matches Worth Forgetting.
1. Ludvig Borga vs. Marty Jannetty (1993)
Despite his relatively uneventful run in the WWF that consisted of ending Tatanka’s undefeated streak and…well not much else, Tony Halme, the man who portrayed Ludvig Borga wasn’t all that bad an entertainer. Before he became Borga he packed an even more impressive amount of muscles even if he probably did shoot more juice in a week than appeared in an old school Ocean Spray commercial. Oh yeah and despite all those muscles he wasn’t exactly Shawn Michaels in the ring. Yet, he looked like he could demolish Shawn Michaels’ former tag partner Marty Jannetty and in fact here he does. Jannetty had a boatload of potential and in 1993 he still could have gone somewhere. However, matches like this where Borga completely squashed him and it was over in about five minutes made it clear that Jannetty was going nowhere. Even Iron Mike Sharpe must’ve been embarrassed for him after this one.
2. The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker (1994)
After being destroyed by Yokozuna and about 600 heels in a casket match at the 1994 Royal Rumble, The Undertaker went missing. The WWF needed someone to find him so they got Leslie Nielsen of The Naked Gun series to spend the summer tracking him down. No, seriously. Meanwhile, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase presented a man who claimed to be the real Undertaker despite it obviously being a noticeably shorter Brian Lee. Well, the two had to lock up at some point and the 1994 edition of SummerSlam was the occasion. True to The Undertaker gimmick the crowd was dead for this one. Although fans to this day talk about Brian Lee’s stint as The Underfaker (almost always in a negative way) no one shouted the name at him that night. Even Vince McMahon remarked on commentary, “You can hear the virtual silence of this capacitated crowd.” After that if you listen real closely you can hear Vince virtually void his bowels as he saw his “big money” feud draw no heat.
3. Diesel vs. King Mabel (1995)
As you can tell by this list so far the mid-1990s were a rough time for the WWF and the company reached its nadir in 1995. Still, the WWF King of the Ring tournament that year featured promising talent such as Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, The Undertaker and Razor Ramon. None of those guys made it to the semi-finals. Instead Mabel won the King of the Ring becoming King Mabel and promptly got a shot at the WWF Championship. With Diesel as the reigning champion this looked disastrous on paper. Say what you will about Diesel though, but at that point whether intentional or not he was trying his hardest every night…to put the company out of business. This match stank so bad that after interfering in it Lex Luger ran from it for a week straight until he reached WCW Headquarters. For the conclusion Diesel doesn’t even bother to powerbomb Mabel, which at least could have been a cool (if dangerous) spot. Well safety first, but he still could have done a halfway decent safer slam. That is too much for Big Daddy Cool though and instead the nine minute crapfest ends with Diesel hitting a lame clothesline off the second rope.
4. The Oddities vs. Kai En Tai (1998)
It was the Attitude Era and the WWF could do no wrong…wait something is wrong with that phrase. Right! Despite being perhaps the hottest period the WWF ever produced, 1998, a year that is often cherished as the best in wrestling still had plenty of garbage. With the war with WCW continuing, the WWF wanted a way to counter the WCW cruiserweight division. The problem was the WWF was never a place that put much importance on booking cruiserweights for extended periods of time. So they brought in talented guys like Taka Michinoku, Sho Funaki, Dick Togo and Men’s Teioh, paired them up with a stereotypical Japanese villain named Yamaguchi-san and promptly did nothing with them. Actually, scratch that. What I meant to say is it might have been better if they did nothing with them. Instead they threw them into some ridiculous things not the least of which was this three on four tag match with The Oddities. The Oddities was a good name for the team as it was odd that the WWF would allow them in a wrestling ring. Kurrgan and Giant Silva were both immobile. Golga, who was portrayed by John Tenta aka Earthquake was a skilled wrestler, but basically must have been told to no-sell almost everything in the match. Likewise, Luna Vachon was with them, but did next to nothing. Still, the terribleness would not be complete without the artists on the soundtrack to Hell, The Insane Clown Posse! At least that gave a little bit of comedy to what was intended to be a comedy match. The guys rush to the ring while rapping and sound more blown up at SummerSlam 1998 than The Ultimate Warrior looked at SummerSlam 1988.
5. HHH vs. Bill Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Nash (2003)
Bill Goldberg’s run in the WWE is baffling even if you are of the belief that the WWE never gives old WCW guys a chance. Don’t get me wrong Bill Goldberg was no long term solution to the WWE’s downward slope, but the guy still had a fan base and if you believe in that elusive “It Factor” in wrestling then Goldberg certainly had “It.” The company could have at least gotten a strong year out of Goldberg as a headline player. Unlike the other matches up to this point on the list this bout actually had some decent ring work. The two right guys are picked to start this elimination chamber match with Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels going at it. Then comes in Randy Orton, but it is the Randy Orton before he gained about 75 percent of the skill that Orton wrestling fans love him for. Up next is the 1995 SummerSlam veteran, injured quadzilla himself, Kevin Nash. Thankfully, Nash does not last long and gets eliminated before the next competitor HHH enters. The final entrant Bill Goldberg plows through the remaining competition like a monster eliminating Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho in no time. Then he meets up with old HHH who knocks him out with his trusty sledgehammer. After the match Ric Flair and Randy Orton enter and the three do what could best be described as non-sexually raping Goldberg in the chamber making him look like a joke. Of course Goldberg would get some comeuppance by briefly winning the World Heavyweight Championship before dropping it back to you guessed it…HHH.
6. CM Punk vs. John Cena (2011)
Don’t get me wrong technically this is not a bad match by any means. Similar to the elimination chamber battle that happened years earlier the WWE again just threw away a ton of potential for no real reason. Yet, first let’s address the in-ring action. Having arguably the best match in the WWE in at least ten years at the 2011 Money in the Bank the previous month, CM Punk and John Cena had a ton to live up to at one of the biggest shows of the year. What they delivered was a match about ten minutes shorter than their previous encounter that did not surpass it in any notable aspect. Perhaps the one shining spot this match had that the previous encounter did not was CM Punk dropping a big elbow drop off the top rope in a tribute to Randy Savage. The big problem though wasn’t that this big elbow was the best part of the match, but that the WWE’s hot summer angle all started to unravel here. After Punk pinned Cena despite Cena’s foot being on the ropes everyone’s favorite SummerSlam star Kevin Nash came to the ring and jackknife powerbombed Punk. This allowed Alberto Del Rio to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and pin Punk for the WWE Championship. All of this at least got fans excited for what would happen next…except what happened next took away just about everything that made that hot summer angle so interesting. Nothing good came of it. Punk didn’t care about Del Rio and was angry with Nash, Cena stayed in the title picture and HHH got a lot more screen time.
Photos 1-4: onlineworldofwrestling.com
Photos 5-6: en.wikipedia.org
Categories: Wrestling Lists