Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog (1992)
This match for the Intercontinental Championship is arguably one of the greatest in SummerSlam history. The highly intense
battle of two real life brother-in-laws delivered a masterpiece of 2 highly skilled technical wrestlers.
The setting for this match was electric as over 80,000 fans were assembled in the outdoor Wembley Stadium to cheer on their hometown hero, the British Bulldog. Upon researching this rivalry, Bret Hart mentioned in his autobiography that the Bulldog forgot everything he was supposed to do and that he had to literally carry him during this match. While the Bulldog won the Intercontinental Championship Belt, Bret’s incredible performance elevated him to his first WWE Championship a few months later.
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (1995)
This was a rematch of their classic ladder match at WrestleMania X from earlier in the year. Whenever you try to recreate such a magical match, it usually fails to disappoint. However, in this case the sequel more than lived up to the original.
This rematch saw these wrestlers spark up the intensity and add some new twists to an already intense match. Shawn came out on top, but the real winners of these two ladder matches were the fans. Because of the performances of Shawn and Razor Ramon, the ladder match is now one of the most anticipated gimmick matches.
Bret Hart vs. Undertaker (1997)
Fans can argue for hours about what truly kicked off the Attitude Era in the late 1990s, but without this classic it could very well be a moot point. This match saw the Undertaker defend the WWE Championship against Bret in a match where Bret’s ability to wrestle in America was on the line. The match itself was great, but the ripple effect was even greater.
This was a fantastic match that set up a chain of events that forever altered the landscape of the WWE. The Undertaker and HBK participated in the first Hell in a Cell match that saw the debut of the Demon Kane. The rest is history.
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (1994)
In another SummerSlam classic of family heritage, Owen Hart battled Bret in what was then the most extreme match of its kind. This match lived up to legendary greatness and is one of the greatest steel cage matches in the history of wrestling.
Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz
This was a match between 3 of the most symbolic and intriguing tag teams the wrestling world has ever seen. These teams engaged in a series of classic TLC matches in 2000 and 2001, and this was the first.
The battles between these men resulted in some all-time classic matches and this could be the most infamous. In some eyes, these teams took the template that Shawn and
Razor created and innovated the ladder match to a level that fans never thought would be possible.
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (2002)
This was the shocking return of Shawn Michaels, when it was thought he would never wrestle again after his back injury. The Showstopper exceeded expectations and with a match that went from one night only status to a full-time return.
Five years earlier, Shawn’s career was ended when he fell awkwardly on a casket. This match saw him return to the ring in a match against his former D-Generation X partner. This was another classic match between 2 already hall-of-fame worthy wrestlers.
Stone Cold vs. Owen Hart (1997)
How can we ever forget the foundation for this classic match? We have seen the footage countless times on may highlight reels or narrated video tales. This is the match in which Owen Hart infamously delivered a piledriver to Austin that could have ended the Rattlesnake’s career.
Most fans remember the match for the finish, but Austin
and Hart had a fantastic bout prior to the ending. Stone Cold would, from this point on, capture the WWF Championship in early 1998 and become one of the biggest stars in the history of Professional Wrestling.
The Rock vs. Triple H (1998)
This was a match between 2 of the most decorated wrestlers in the prime of their careers. The Rock and Triple H were embroiled in a feud where both men were on the cusp of
becoming mega-stars in the Attitude Era.
This was a contest full of Pedigrees and People’s Elbows, including a People’s Elbow to Triple H with a ladder underneath him. This classic bout elevated both Superstars to Prime Time Player status within the Attitude Era.
Undertaker vs. Edge (2008)
In another intriguing matchup, Edge and the Deadman squared off in Hell in a Cell. The match wasn’t thought to be electric, but it exceeded expectations as Edge reached down to a darker place for this bout in order to beat Taker at his own game. He used a variety of spears to keep the crowd enthused. This match had it all and cemented the Rated R Superstar as one of the most established wrestlers of all time.
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar (2002)
This match featured two tremendous athletes at very different points in their careers. The Rock was beginning to be Mr. Hollywood and Brock Lesnar was the Next Big Thing that had just arrived on the scene by demolishing everyone in his path.
The two clashed at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island and the crowd would not be disappointed. Even with The Rock being over, Lesnar was fresh and the crowd went old school on him with some “Rocky Sucks” chants. The changing of the guard had been completed.
Did your favorite SummerSlam match make the list? What other matches would you include? Do you agree my choices?
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