If you look back across the past 29 years of Summerslam events, for the most part the match quality is very high. Sometimes incredibly high. However, as with all things it is not possible for all matches to be good. As such, we've decided to have a look back at some of the less well remembered, and perhaps better forgotten matches in Summerslam history. So settle in, and get ready to read about some of the most abysmal matches from the history of WWE's second biggest show of the year. It was quite the slog to re-watch these. You’re welcome.
The Undertaker vs The Undertaker: Summerslam 1994
No, that is not a typo. In 1994 after The Undertaker disappeared in mysterious circumstances, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase brought out an imposter Undertaker who was presented as the real thing, played by Brian Lee (Chainz of DOA fame), and it was very convincing for the most part. However, Paul bearer called "shenanigans" and the challenge was made for The Undertaker vs The Undertaker at Summerslam. All the while Leslie Nielsen was running around doing comedy skits as his character from Police Squad and The Naked Gun, trying to find The Undertaker. It was a weird time in WWE, and the audience did not know what to make of this. The match itself played out in front of near silence, in a way like I've never seen before. It was two plodding big men (long before The Undertaker peaked as a worker) punching and kicking each other in front of a confused crowd in one of the most awkward, and excruciating main events in WWE history, let alone the history of Summerslam. A mess of an angle that is understandably rarely mentioned.
Diesel vs King Mable: Summerslam 1995
In retrospect it's easy to see why Diesel vs King Mable was never going to light the world on fire. Mabel was crowned King of the Ring earlier in 1995, along with Sir Mo (his former Men on a Mission partner along with their rapping manager Mo. It was the 90s to be fair). Mabel was never going to cut it as a main eventer, despite his size. He was immobile, useless in the ring, and just generally awful. Diesel (Kevin Nash) did his best here, but he is hardly the classic ring general and there was very little he could do to carry Mabel to a good match. Having to follow Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon in a ladder match didn't help, but the only saving grace of this affair was it was mercifully short at around ten minutes.
Jerry Lawler vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts: Summerslam 1996
This match was bad, but for a whole other reason part from the in-ring quality. Jake was far past his best at this point and had been struggling in real life with substance abuse issues, and for some reason WWE felt the best way to utilise Roberts at this time was to book him in an angle with Jerry "The King" Lawler where he mocked Jake's alcoholism leading to a match. The bout wasn't very good itself, but the ending with Lawler hitting Roberts with a bottle of booze and then pouring it on him was just beyond offensive. In a mostly PG era, this was a step too far and I’m not sure what the company felt they would gain from this feud. It was horrible to re-watch and it's probably one that's best forgotten, especially if you’ve seen how Jake is now in more recent years.
Shawn Michaels vs Hulk Hogan: Summerslam 2005
I appreciate that this may be a bit controversial, but for me this match was one of the worst in Summerslam history. I know that there were backstage political issues between Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels, but this is the closest Michaels has come to the sort of behaviour that got him such a bad reputation for being a bit of a diva in the mid-t-late nineties. Michaels overselling to the point of comedy made this match look absolutely ridiculous, and HBK didn't exactly cover himself in glory by being so exaggerated and frankly, ruining the match. Yes, Hogan is limited, but Michaels had the opportunity to make this match something really special, but instead appears to have made a very selfish choice by making the match all about him and his flopping around like a fish. A poor match, and totally unnecessarily so, as it could have easily been avoided.
Bray Wyatt vs Kane: Ring of Fire match 2013
Despite being hugely hyped after their successful run in NXT, and then having very unique vignettes running for weeks before their debut, this first outing form The Wyatt Family on the main roster was something of a damp squib, ironic given the ring was surrounded by flames. However, therein lies the problem. The fire around the ring limited what Kane and Wyatt were able to do in the ring, as with the previous inferno matches. However, as the "set someone on fire" winning condition was removed (thus differentiating between the Inferno and Ring of Fire match types), then it too much of the energy out of the ring and pretty much rendered the fire element useless. As such, this could have been a cage match or really any other match type to keep Luke Harper and Erick Rowan out of bout. This was even more nullified when Rowan and Harper used a fire-proof blanket to get over the fire gimmick. If I’m honest, this match was just bad, and nobody benefitted from it. It was poorly thought out, poorly booked, poorly executed and did nothing but harm the momentum of The Wyatt Family.
So there you have it, the Top 5 worst Summerslam Matches. I could have included the Terri Runnels vs The Kat Stink face match from Summerslam 2000, but it seemed a bit too easy and the admittedly low expectations were met in that match. Disagree with any of the choices? Comment below or on social media and let us know your alternative choices. In the meantime, check out our coverage from the past week looking back at various Summerslam events from the past and much much more.