WWE SummerSlam: Ranking every main event in history

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21. SummerSlam 2005: Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels

I wish so much that I could put a match between my two favorite wrestlers of all time in a higher spot but there’s just no possible way that I can do that, is there? At 51 years of age, I didn’t expect Hulk Hogan to be able to keep up with Shawn Michaels at the 2005 edition of SummerSlam but this was still a match I thought could be entertaining. It wasn’t. Well, I suppose I can’t say there wasn’t some entertainment but it was for all the wrong reasons.

After being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 21, The Hulkster made an appearance to save Eugene from Muhammad Hassan and Daivari in what was thought to be a one-off. However, the storyline kept going as the two heels attached HBK on an episode of Monday Night RAW, leading Michaels to recruit Hogan as his partner for a tag match at Backlash, which they of course won. Hogan was gone until July until making an appearance on Carlito’s talk show, a segment that saw the apple-spitter and Kurt Angle attack The Hulkster, which led Shawn to make the save, thus setting up another tag match victory. After they won, HBK turned on Hogan to make their SummerSlam match a face vs. heel matchup, which was not the original plan. The original story had the two squaring off in a face vs. face program but Hogan didn’t like that and changed it, saying that if he got the win at SummerSlam, he would later return the favor, which obviously never happened.

This led to a series of amazing skits from Michaels, specifically the Larry King spoof where he poked fun at Hulk’s age, and subsequently the match at SummerSlam. Hogan did Hogan things with kicks and punches and the like and obviously displeased with how the outcome was going to go, Shawn oversold EVERYTHING. We’re not talking subtle sells either. We’re talking cartoonish bumps that make Ted Dibiase’s worst look tame. It’s funny to watch now but perhaps a little unprofessional on HBK’s part. Hogan won with the boot and the leg drop and the two did the handshake thing like you do after a match like that. Hogan was gone after that and Michaels just went back to being a babyface like nothing had happened. This was never going to be a classic but it was what it was. Hogan would return the following SummerSlam to defeat Randy Orton in another match he probably shouldn’t have won.