WWE's Biggest Event of the Summer takes place in Brooklyn for the fourth consecutive time this coming Sunday, the 31st Summerslam in existence. My friends and I decided to travel down to New York this year in order to see the PPV live at the Barclays Center. We are so excited that I decided to wield my creator power and put together a list of the top fifteen matches at Summerslam with my friends. It was going to be twenty, but narrowing it down to fifteen seemed a bit better for us. Let's begin!
1. Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk (2013)
"The Best vs The Beast" is regarded as one of the best showdowns in Summerslam (and WWE) history. Paul Heyman's ties to both men furthered the storyline as CM Punk thought Heyman was his manager and friend. Heyman ultimately turned on Punk and Lesnar came in to show Punk who really was the true "Paul Heyman guy." It paid off in the ring as both men literally and figuratively fought tooth and nail.
2. TLC I (Hardyz vs Dudleys vs Edge and Christian) Giphy
Three tag teams revolutionized team wrestling in the late '90s, and this first-ever TLC match sparked the popularity of the Dudley Boys, The Hardyz, and Edge & Christian. Innovative spots, creative athletics, and the importance of the tag team titles made this a top pick from our list.
3. Bret Hart vs British Bulldog (1992)
The ONLY Summerslam to take place out of the U.S. at Wembley Stadium, Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart went toe-to-toe with his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith, The British Bulldog. This would also be the only Summerslam where the Intercontinental Championship was being defended in the main event. A little known fact: Smith could not remember the entire match's set-up with Hart from the night before due to medical issues. It would be one of the finest matches in Summerslam history.
4. Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho (2000)
Two of Canada's famous pro wrestlers warred in the summer of 2000 that had many fans gearing up for a fight. The two went balls to the wall in a 2 out of 3 falls match, and it stole the show. Their chemistry was like magic that night at a Summerslam that might be the best one of all time.
5. Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman vs Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns (2017)Giphy
Last year's main event saw Universal Champ Brock Lesnar defending his title against three other monsters in a fatal four way match. Lesnar was the target of assault from all three men early in the match, and the static crowd was fully behind Strowman and Samoa Joe (both heels at the time) as they waged a war that (SPOILER) eventually saw Lesnar gain the upper hand in the end.
6. Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio (2002)Giphy
All I can say is that this was the greatest opening match in PPV history that marked Mysterio's Summerslam debut.
7. AJ Styles vs John Cena (2016)Giphy
The rubber match between two of wrestling's biggest names went down as one of the best matches in 2016. Cena's underrated wrestling skills flowed perfectly with Styles' hybrid offense. Commentators were even shocked by the passion both men showed in that match as Brooklyn cheered heavily for Styles.
8. The Rock vs Triple H vs Kurt Angle (2000)Giphy
Kurt Angle's obsession with HHH's wife Stephanie reached a pivotal point in the early moments of the match, as both men began to brawl before WWF Champ The Rock made his entrance. The triple threat match managed to be very creative and brought an explosive end to the event that year.
9. Stephanie McMahon vs Brie Bella (2014)Giphy
Steph returned to the ring to face rival Brie Bella in 2014 after months of abusing Brie's sister Nikki and Brie's husband Daniel Bryan. The match itself was actually very well crafted, and the shocker at the end ignited another rivalry that needed to be explored.
10. Mega Powers vs Mega Bucks (1988)Giphy
The first Summerslam saw Hulk Hogan and Macho Man, the Mega Powers, face-off against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, the Mega Bucks. It defined Summerslam's essence of being a mini-Wrestlemania in the summer. Miss Elizabeth's role in the match proved to be too distracting for the evil Mega Bucks, as well.
11. John Cena vs Daniel Bryan (2013)Giphy
Daniel Bryan's rise to stardom in 2013 *shortly* culminated in championship gold, as Bryan challenged John Cena in the main event of that year's event. Special Guest Referee Triple H kept things clean and simple throughout the match as the crowd frantically cheered the underdog Bryan. It would then set Bryan's war with authority for the rest of 2013 and most of 2014.
12. Edge vs The Undertaker (2008)Giphy
Edge gravely paid for sins when ex-wife Vickie Guerrero put him in a Hell in a Cell match against WWE's top attraction, The Undertaker. The match itself saw a piece of the cell break after a spear, many weapons, and a fiery post-match segment that saw Edge travel down south. And I'm not talking about Florida.
13. Brock Lesnar vs John Cena (2014)Giphy
Lesnar's third match on this list just shows how might possibly be "Mr. Summerslam". He would also be called "Mr. Suplex Machine" that night in 2014, when he gave defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena sixteen suplexes. SIXTEEN! The younger crowd continued to chant for their hero Cena's comeback, but their dreams would sadly be crushed (SPOILER), as Lesnar would further his 2014 resurgence with championship gold.
14. Owen Hart vs Bret Hart (1994)Giphy
The second match between the Hart siblings that year saw Owen challenge older brother Bret for the WWF Title in a Steel Cage match. Widely regarded as one of the best matches in Summerslam history, both wrestlers showcased their flawless ability as wrestlers. Pure wrestlers, that is. It became a Hart family affair as the rest of the family, including ousted brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, worked their way into the match's climax.
15. Triple H vs Shawn Michaels (2002)Giphy
Michaels' return to in-ring competition after four years of rehabbing his broken back proved to be one of the most important nights of his life. Showing absolutely no ring rust at all, HBK and former best friend HHH performed to the highest degree that night. "It was like when Jordan came off the bench and lit 'em up for 56," pro wrestler Kevin Nash said of his friend Michaels' performance. It definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Hopefully the 31st edition of Summerslam this week produces some amazing matches as well as some memorable moments as I attend my first WWE pay-per-view, live in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center!