Top 10 SummerSlam PPVs of All Time

By Nicholas A. Marsico

Top 10 SummerSlam PPVs of All Time

WWE SummerSlam
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Next weekend marks the 27th annual SummerSlam. The summer spectacular has seen tons of great matches and moments over the years. Here we will count down the 10 iterations of The Biggest Party of the Summer that from top to bottom were the best and most entertaining SummerSlams of all time.

10 - SummerSlam 1992 - London, England (Wembley Stadium)

This show is remembered for one match, but what a match it was. Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith wrestled an absolute classic in the main event for the Intercontinental Championship. Of note as well was a very good match between The Ultimate Warrior and Macho King Randy Savage for the WWF Championship. This show also boasts the highest attendance for a SummerSlam event of all time with a whopping 80,355 fans packed into the stadium.

9 - SummerSlam 2000 - Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena)

The first-ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match was a rematch from the Triangle Ladders match from WrestleMania 2000 between the Hardyz, Dudleyz and Edge & Christian that saw amazing acrobatics and terrifying falls in one of the greatest spectacles in WWE history. Kane had his mask ripped off for the first time in his career by the Undertaker, Shane McMahon fell from 50 feet in the air when he was knocked off of the entrance stage in a Hardcore Title match and nobody could turn away from the bikini-clad Terri Runnels and The Kat during their “Stinkface Match”.

8 - SummerSlam 2013 - Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)

Bray Wyatt made his PPV debut in a Ring of Fire match against Kane, CM Punk lost to his former manager’s original client Brock Lesnar in Punk’s second PPV match after his short hiatus following WrestleMania, and Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena to win his first WWE Championship before taking a Pedigree from special guest referee Triple H, which allowed Randy Orton to take the title away before Bryan even had a chance to celebrate.

7 - SummerSlam 2003 - Phoenix, AZ (America West Arena)

The first SummerSlam in the era with two World Championships saw a great rematch from WrestleMania XIX between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship and the second-ever Elimination Chamber with Triple H retaining his World Heavyweight Title against Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Randy Orton, Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho.

6 - SummerSlam 2011 - Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)

John Cena and CM Punk wrestled in a rematch to determine the true WWE Champion just weeks after CM Punk won the title and walked away from the company in one of many great clashes between Cena and Punk. The show is memorable for the surprise ending that saw Alberto Del Rio cash in his Money in the Bank contract to take the title from CM Punk just moments after he defeated Cena to claim sole ownership of the championship. Randy Orton and Christian finished their summer rivalry with a great No Holds Barred match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Often forgotten is the unexpectedly good contest between Mark Henry and Sheamus.

5 - SummerSlam 2008 - Indianapolis, IN (Conseco Fieldhouse)

Edge and The Undertaker faced off inside Hell in a Cell in a non-title rematch from their contest for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XXIV. It closed the show with the big finale of Undertaker hitting a chokeslam off of a ladder, putting Edge through the ring before a blaze of fire shot up from below. Batista and John Cena traded finishing maneuvers and power moves in a match without a break in the action. Chris Jericho interrupted an attempted retirement speech from Shawn Michaels and mistakenly struck Shawn’s wife in a continuation of a heated rivalry.

4 - SummerSlam 1998 - New York City, NY (Madison Square Garden)

Nicknamed “The Highway to Hell,” the 11th annual SummerSlam was headlined by Stone Cold Steve Austin successfully defending the WWF Championship against The Undertaker in a very highly anticipated matchup. Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart wrestled inside a small octagon in the first-ever Lion’s Den match while X-Pac defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Hair vs. Hair match, which gave Jarrett not only a visual makeover but also a career revival. Edge teamed with Sable to make his debut on PPV and The Rock wrestled Triple H in a Ladder match, the first of many high-profile pay-per-view matches between the two.

3 - SummerSlam 2009 - Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)

Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio started the show off hot with a fast-paced match for the Intercontinental Championship. Triple H and Shawn Michaels reformed DX to wrestle in a surprisingly even and very good tag team match against The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase). The main event saw CM Punk -- who had been waging a war of words against Jeff Hardy in his first opportunity to use his “straight edge” heel persona -- defeat Hardy at his own game in a TLC match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This would prove to be Jeff’s final PPV appearance as a member of the WWE roster.

2 - SummerSlam 2001 - San Jose, CA (Compaq Center)

This event took place right in the middle of the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline, with the majority of the matches pitting “Alliance” wrestlers against WWF Superstars. Rob Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match for the Hardcore Championship, a match that fans had been waiting to see. It did not disappoint. Booker T lost his WCW Championship to The Rock, who had just returned from shooting his first major starring role as the Scorpion King. Some call the WWF Championship match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle the best match of 2001, featuring fantastic work from Austin as the paranoid and chaotic leader of the Alliance.

1 - SummerSlam 2002 - Long Island, NY (Nassau Coliseum)

The greatest SummerSlam of all time featured the rise of Brock Lesnar, who defeated The Rock to win the WWE Championship for the first time. Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio started the show with a fast-paced contest that got the crowd ready for the action. Edge defeated Eddie Guerrero in one of Edge’s best matches up to that time and Chris Benoit battled Rob Van Dam in a near classic for the Intercontinental Championship. Shawn Michaels, who had not wrestled in over four years and was thought to be retired forever, waged war in an incredible contest against Triple H. Very few people, if anybody, expected Michaels to do much of anything in this match. Little did we know that it would be just the beginning of another eight years of a legendary career.

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