Let me start off this review with some amazing information. Two actual pieces of amazing information.
Amazing info piece number 1: Kurt Angle wrestled in the main event with a broken freaking neck.
Amazing info piece number 2: The night before the show, Stone Cold Steve Austin was in the hospital after feeling adverse affects from stress, working out, and drinking high energy ephedrine laced drinks. He thought he was having a heart attack.
Those two guys sucked it up, and for the sake of the show, for the sake of the WWE, and for the sake of their boss, Vince McMahon, they wrestled their matches. But, Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon was seen as the top match and all the advertising was based around this match which would be marketed as “20 Years In The Making”.
Most of the WWE created hype surrounded the match that wanted to be the answer to the question of who created Hulkamania. It turned out to be a good match, but wasn’t close to the efforts that some of the other wrestlers provided.
Kurt Angle found out about a month before this Wrestlemania that he had a broken neck and was probably not going to be able to wrestle at Mania. He was going to need neck surgery and would likely miss over a year of ring time. He decided to tough it out and wrestle Brock Lesnar at Mania and defend his WWE Title. There was a ton of worry that Kurt would hurt his neck and become paralyzed. However, Kurt took the advice of a doctor that said he couldn’t do much worse in hurting his neck in the match and decided to go on and compete, albeit with reservation. The reservation was because Brock Lesnar had become the most dominant big man in the game and he wasn’t in there throwing the soft stuff. The match turned out to be a true classic, and in the end it wasn’t Kurt that everyone was worried about.
Tomorrow night, WWE celebrates 21 years of SummerSlam, the “biggest party of the summer” as they’ve been calling recently. There have been 20 SummerSlam Events since 1988. But were all of them really worthy of being called the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best PPV of the year? Absolutely not. So today I’ve decided to take a look and list what I consider the Top 10 Greatest SummerSlam Pay-Per-Views of All Time! So sit back, relax, and enjoy.
10. SummerSlam 1988
So we begin with the very first SummerSlam in 1988, live on PPV from Madison Square Garden in New York. The whole purpose of the creation of this PPV was for the WWE to compete with NWA’s Great American Bash, hoping to convert wrestling fans to save their hard-earned cash and purchase their show at the end of the summer as opposed to the Bash. This soon became the last of the “Big Four” PPVs, alongside Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and of course, Wrestlemania. The main event was a highly-anticipated tag team match between Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage, collectively known as “The Mega Powers” against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, collectively known as “The Mega Bucks”. Savage won a 16-Man Tournament at Wrestlemania IV, last defeating Dibiase to become champion. Hogan had teased prior to the show that Miss Elizabeth would showcase her “eenie, weenie bikini”, which is creepy in retrospect considering she is no longer with us.
Besides that huge match, the most memorable part of this Pay-Per-View was the Ultimate Warrior defeating the longest reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion in history – The Honky Tonk Man. Honky was scheduled to face Brutus Beefcake, but prior to the match, Beefcake was hospitalized by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Honky came out on the show and challenged anybody in the building to take the title and the undefeated Warrior came out and pinned him in thirty seconds to take the title, beginning the monster four year run that he would have in the WWF. Tag Team wrestling was definitely one of WWF’s high-points during this era, as Hart Foundation vs. Demolition was easily the best match on the show, followed slightly by the Rougeaus vs. The Bulldogs.