Each SummerSlam, Yay or Nay? - Part I

Johnathan McDonald

SummerSlam has a remarkably strong track record of producing great pay per views. In terms of the "Big Four" (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), it may have produced more classic cards than the other three.

So forget clickbaity lists that take forever to go through. Don't worry about rankings, top tens, fave fives, or star ratings. You have the network. Some stuff you watch with your eyes glued to the screen; some stuff you have on in the background when you're doing the dishes; excellent pay per views and simply good pay per views have their time and place.

We also have skip-ready technology that allows stinker matches to be clicked away in the blink of an eye, and as such, in my view, bad matches don't drag down pay per view qualities like they once would.

So, we'll go through each Summer Spectacular ,and the question is simple: Yay or Nay?

1988: Yay. It's historic, it's from MSG, and it has a rabid crowd. The main event is fun as hell, and Jesse Ventura could sit down breathing air, and still somehow be a badass. Honkytonk Man's legendary IC Title reign also comes to an end in a huge surprise that sends the fans into a frenzy.

1989: Yay. The Meadowlands also provides a great crowd, and these fans were loud. Brainbusters vs Harts is a damn good way to open the show, and Rick Rude goes for broke in trying to give the Ultimate Warrior his greatest match ever.

1990: Yay. In a match that has been referenced a lot this week due to the way-too-early passing of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, the Hart Foundation and Demolition have a 2/3 falls classic. Also Hogan and Earthquake is way better than it has any right to be, and in a repeat of the year prior, Rude carries Warrior to a good match.

1991: YAY. Tremendous stuff. The WWE is back in MSG where the crowd is even more rabid than 1988. Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect have a classic. Hogan and Warrior team up in a fun main event. Speaking of fun, the entire, night-long angle between The Mountie and The Big Bossman is just that. Plus, ~DASTARDLY~ Jake Roberts ruins a wedding reception.

1992: Yay yet again. Bulldog is fooked but Bret takes care of it. As well, Warrior and Macho have a great match that isn't talked about enough due to their Mania VII Classic.

1993: Yay. This SummerSlam has been rechristened by wrestling fans as "Luger Chokes II", but it's still good. Mr. Perfect and HBK don't quite have the flawless match that was bizarrely promised in the show buildup, but it's still tremendous stuff. The Steiners have a dandy old-school tag match with The Heavenly Bodies, and Bret Hart brings the CANADIAN ANGER.

1994: Yay. We get us a really fun match between Klique members Razor Ramon and Diesel featuring Walter "Sweetness" Payton in The "Bad Guy's" corner. Bret and Owen calmly proceed to have one of the greatest steel cage matches of all time, and, speaking of "greatest", Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano have what was probably the greatest women's wrestling match in North America to that point.

1995: Yay (barely). Shawn and Razor and ladders make magic once again. Diesel and Mabel defy all odds and have an acceptable wrestling match.

1996: Yay. We have a string of "good not great" stuff in the form of Owen vs Savio Vega, Bulldog vs Sid, and Goldust vs Marc Mero. We then elevate to "just better than good" with the Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and The Undertaker, and finish with "very good" as HBK battles Vader.

1997: Yay (with a nostalgic tear in my eye as this was in the prime of my childhood wrestling fandom). Pre-neck break, Owen and Austin were tearing the house down. I absolutely love the story telling in the main event between Bret Hart and the Undertaker (with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee), and Triple H (or should I say Hunter Hearst Helmsley) and "Superfly" Mankind have a hell of an opener.

So 10 in, and all yays. That's extremely impressive.

See you all for Part II tomorrow!