Review for WWE: 30 Years of SummerSlam
Summerslam is the second biggest show for the WWE. For many this is the summer event and WWE would certainly like you to think so with this new set looking at the thirty year history of this PPV.
Over three disks we get a disk for each ear from the classic 80s/90s hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund. The late 90s/early 2000s hosted by The Coach and then up to date with Charly Caruso. Each of these sections has a bizarre intro to the matches with promos, this would have been fine if they had been before each match, but they are all just cobbled together which makes no sense. At the end of each disk there is a bizarre photo or video montage of what you just saw. If you don’t have the time you could just skip to the final section and just watch that instead.
Match Highlights include Summerslam 1988’s Intercontinental Championship match between Honkytonk Man and Ultimate Warrior which is possibly the greatest 31 seconds ever! That is all I have to say. If this set was just this match I would still be satisfied. From Summerslam 1990 the 2 out of 3 Falls for WWE Tag Team Championship between Demolition and The Hart Foundation is a great match from all involved and one of the best tag matches I have ever seen.
They obviously include from Summerslam 1992 the Intercontinental Championship match between Bret Hart and British Bulldog. As an Englishman this match fills me with so much joy. This was the time when we showed how good we could be and British Bulldog was the very epitome of British Wrestling. This is such an amazing match with an amazing story leading into it. It won PWI’s Match of the Year and is generally regarded as one of the best matches in Summerslam history. From Summerslam 1994 they include the Steel Cage for WWE Championship between brothers Bret Hart and Owen Hart. One of the few 5 Star matches WWE have ever gained from Dave Meltzer and greatly deserved. Over this and the previous match it proved just how amazing Bret Hart was in the ring.
Included are three of the best Ladder matches ever from Summerslam 1998 Intercontinental Championship match between The Rock and Triple H which is a great early match from these two as their stars grew as leaders of DX and The Nation. Summerslam 2001 WWE Hardcore Championship Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam which was one of the few highlights of the abysmal Invasion angle. Also Summerslam 2009’s TLC for the World Heavyweight Championship between CM Punk and Jeff Hardy TLC World Heavyweight Championship which was one of the best matches I had seen from these two and certainly showed just why the two became such major stars in the company.
Also bizarrely included is Summerslam 1996’s Boiler Room Brawl between Undertaker and Mankind. My biggest question is did people actually watch this match before adding it? This match is a highlight of brutal spots and utter boredom. Even Foley admitted it didn’t work as it should. It is far too long and is really only on here because it was such a surprising match. Personally if you are going to include a Mankind match I would have included his brutal cage match against Triple H from 1997.
For some reason they include the Money in the Bank cash-in at Summerslam 2013 after Daniel Bryan and John Cena’s pretty decent match. This was one of the dumbest things that WWE ever did. As is the boring Summerslam 2014 match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. Now, I hate John Cena, but after a few minutes of this one-sided ‘match’ I just wanted Lesnar to pin him and get on with it.
Missing matches are obviously Hulk Hogan and Macho Man against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant from 1988. Ultimate Warrior against Rick Rude in a Cage 1990 as well as Mr Perfect against Texas Tornado from 1990. Bret Hart against Mr Perfect from 1991.
Some years are completely ignored. 1993 I agree with as there was nothing worth watching on that card, but 1995’s had a great ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, though it is not as great as their original Wrestlemania match it is still worth being here. The only thing memorable from 1997’s was Owen Hart’s botch that almost crippled Stone Cold for life. 1999’s is also ignored which is a surprise as the triple threat between Stone Cold, Triple H and Mankind which was a great match as was the surprising Test against Shane McMahon match.
Surprisingly missing is the first TLC between Edge and Christian, the Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz from 2000 and Kurt Angle against Brock Lesnar from 2003. 2004’s is ignored with the only match that could be worth watching again is Orton defeating Chris Benoit, so you know WWE are never doing that. 2006 had a few good matches such as Edge against John Cena and Mick Foley against Ric Flair, but nothing that I am surprised are not on here.
However ignoring 2008’s event and not including Edge against Undertaker in Hell in a Cell is a crime. 2010 and 2011 are rightfully ignored despite all the surprise regarding the WWE against Nexus feud and a great match between Randy Orton and Christian in 2011 which is one that I have not seen on every set and certainly a good match to watch. Finally missing is Brock Lesnar against CM Punk from 2013.
This Summerslam set is well intentioned, but unfortunately feels like it was rushed with a random selection of matches. The set itself feels unfinished. I would have preferred some kind of documentary about how the PPV came to be and the build to certain matches and moments. Instead it is simply just a set cobbled together with matches. There are many matches missing and some that are added baffling to say the least. With only eighteen matches spread across thirty events it just feels that it needs maybe another disk or for this to be a Blu-ray to get the most out of it. However, this is not a terrible set, just not the tribute to this event that I expected.