Here are the rankings for every main event in the history of WWE SummerSlam.
The biggest party of the summer is here as WWE SummerSlam is set for its 30th edition on Sunday, August 20 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
With a number of big matches on the card this year, including AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship and Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship, the main event of the evening — and no matter what WWE wants to do sometimes by booking a “double” main event, the true main event is the match that closes the show — will likely be the highly-anticipated Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Universal Championship featuring Brock Lesnar putting his title on the line against Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman.
This is the first time in SummerSlam history that a Fatal 4-Way will headline the event, a history that includes a number of classic encounters, all of which will be discussed moving forward. There are also a number of main events at SummerSlam that were downright terrible and there’s really no other way to put that. The main event at what has become the second-biggest pay-per-view on the WWE calendar has given us so many different types of matches. We saw tag matches dominate the early years of the event, an Intercontinental Championship match that would steal just about any show out there, world title matches, Hell in a Cell matches, Triple Threat battles, one-on-one classics and unfortunately, some duds that had no business being anywhere near the main event.
I’m sure — and expect — to get some arguments on this list but this is one wrestling writer’s rankings of every single main event in SummerSlam history from worst to first, starting with a confusing and ridiculous match between a man and himself. Enjoy.
29. SummerSlam 1994: The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker
1994 certainly wasn’t the greatest year for the then-World Wrestling Federation and while there were still some solid matches throughout the year, the main event of SummerSlam certainly was not one of them as The Undertaker took on … himself. Yeah, that’s not a typo and those of you who are old enough to remember this disaster have probably tried to forget this entire thing happened as much as I have.
What makes this whole thing even worse is that there was no title on the line in this match, which is something I just can’t stand. The WWE Championship match that night in Chicago was a Steel Cage Match for the ages between Bret Hart and Owen Hart, which is still one of my favorite SummerSlam matches of all time. And yet this nine-minute debacle between Paul Bearer’s Undertaker, the one you’ve known and loved for nearly three decades, and Ted Dibiase’s Undertaker, played by Brian Lee, who became Chainz a few years down the road, was given the spotlight at the end of the night.
You know you’re in trouble when a Chicago crowd isn’t into your match and they were — forgive the terrible pun that’s about to happen here — completely dead for this match and they had every right to be. There was so much awkwardness that even Vince McMahon himself basically bashed it on commentary. Throw in the Leslie Nielsen segments in the back throughout the evening and you’re left with the worst main event in SummerSlam history. Easy call on this one. Oh, if you’re actually curious on the outcome — which you deserve as to not make yourself sit through this match on the WWE Network — the “real” Undertaker walked away victorious. In reality, nobody won here.