10 Best Blockbuster SummerSlam Matches Of All Time

Which is your favourite?

We aren’t far away from one of the most highly-anticipated pay-per-views of the year, SummerSlam. This year’s main event will feature a huge, blockbuster match where John Cena will challenge ‘The Tribal Chief’ Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship. We will also see Bobby Lashley defend his WWE Championship against Goldberg in a battle of the powerhouses, and for the first-time-ever, ‘The Rated-R Superstar’ Edge will face Seth Rollins.

“The Biggest Party of the Summer” has produced so many incredible moments and matches throughout its thirty-plus years including The Undertaker returning and destroying Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar obliterating John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and last year when Roman Reigns shocked the world and attacked both ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman.

Blockbuster matches are those once in a lifetime situations where larger than life superstars face-off. These are the kind of encounters that could sell out any WrestleMania on any day. If you look at this year’s main event, Cena vs. Reigns could have definitely closed out Mania 37. With that in mind, here are the top ten blockbuster matches in SummerSlam history.


10. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (2002)

Shawn Michaels vs Triple H
Source: WWE

Back in the late 90’s, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels and Triple H were the best of friends and totally on the same page, raising hell as part of the faction D-Generation X. That was until HBK retired from in-ring competition following prolonged injuries and HHH was forced to make his own version of D-Generation X with new members Road Dogg, X-Pac and Billy Gunn.

In 2002, Michaels made his return to the squared circle against his longtime friend and now bitter rival HHH. This came ,after someone had mysteriously attacked Michaels from behind and it was revealed to have been his former partner.

This was considered a dream match because it was a clash between two different generations, and the classic protege versus leader match. Nobody ever thought that they would ever see HHH vs. HBK, or just see Michaels inside the squared circle again.

‘The Showstopper’ was fed up and challenged HHH to an Unsanctioned match at SummerSlam. The two rivals beat the hell out of each other in a brutal encounter. HBK eventually outsmarted HHH and used a backslide to score the shocking victory. The two superstars would continue their feud throughout the next five years.


9. Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock (2002)

Brock Lesnar
Source: WWE

In 2002, there was no hotter superstar than ‘The Next Big Thing’ Brock Lesnar. It was scary to see his strength and ruthless aggression on display as he convincingly dismantled The Hardy Boyz for months leading to SummerSlam. Lesnar made his way up into the main event title picture after defeating Rob Van Dam in the King of the Ring Tournament finals, earning himself a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam.

The stage was set for a dream match where The Rock would defend his title against Lesnar. The Rock had done it all in professional wrestling, while Lesnar was just rising up to the main event. ‘The People’s Champion’ would be making his way into Hollywood during this time, and in true wrestling fashion, he’d “do the honors” for the young up-and-comer.

A vicious F5 later, Lesnar would shocked the world and became the youngest WWE Champion in history.


8. Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan (2005)

Shawn Michaels
Source: WWE

In 2005, Shawn Michaels and ‘The Immortal Hulk Hogan joined forces to form an unlikely alliance to defeat anti-American villains, Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. After weeks of Hogan’s mysterious disappearances, HBK finally had enough and nailed him with Sweet Chin Music. The following week, Michaels laid out the challenge for a huge dream match at SummerSlam.

Unfortunately due to backstage politics, it’s best known for Michaels’ overselling of Hogan’s signature moves. It’s still a great match to rewatch between two of the biggest icons in sports entertainment, despite the theatrics from Michaels.


7. John Cena vs. Batista (2008)

John Cena vs Batista
Source: WWE

In 2008, for the first time since their days in the OVW developmental program, John Cena and Batista competed on the same brand of WWE programming. An egotistical Batista was ready to prove without a shadow of a doubt that he was better than his main event counterpart.

For years, the WWE fanbase questioned whether or not the dream match would ever take place, but it finally happened at SummerSlam. Both superstars threw everything at their opponent, but it was ‘The Animal’ who had his hand raised in victory after two Batista Bombs.

They would pick up their rivalry the following year and have another match at WrestleMania 26.


6. CM Punk vs. John Cena (2011)

The world of professional wrestling witnessed the “Summer of Punk” in 2011. This was an exciting time where Punk was given the liberties to address his real-life frustrations and issues with the WWE on live television. At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view a month prior, Punk shocked the world when he won the WWE Championship from John Cena and walked out on the WWE.

Leaving the company without a championship, then-COO Triple H made a tournament to crown a new champion which Cena won. Punk would then return soon after and claim that he was the true champion, which led to a highly-anticipated rematch at SummerSlam to determine the Undisputed WWE Champion.

After another awesome match between both superstars, Punk was victorious and crowned the official WWE Champion. Moments later, the state of the WWE would be changed, as Kevin Nash powerbombed Punk, allowing Alberto Del Rio to cash-in his briefcase.


5. Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (2012)

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at Wrestlemania 33
Image Source:

On the RAW after ‘Mania 29, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE and immediately set his sights on John Cena. Lesnar would then try to manipulate John Lauranitus into receiving special perks, such as being on the opening vignette, having a private jet, and a whole lot more money. The COO, Triple H, was not going to play that game, and in return Lesnar broke his arm with the Kimura lock.

A few short months later, HHH challenged ‘The Beast’ to a massive match at SummerSlam. To ensure a full fight, HHH instructed the referee for there to be no count outs or disqualifications.

This was a very physical match which solidified Lesnar as an ass-kicker, giving him a huge win over Triple H early on in his comeback year.


4. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (2015)

Brock vs Undertaker
Source: WWE

At WrestleMania 30, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ did the unthinkable when he defeated The Undertaker on the Grandest Stage of Them All, ending his illustrious undefeated streak, leaving the WWE fans in a state of shock as Lesnar’s hand was raised in victory. Over the next year, Lesnar went on an absolute tear as WWE Champion.

At the 2015 Battleground pay-per-view, ‘The Phenom’ made his return to WWE, costing Lesnar his championship. ‘The Deadman’ was infuriated with how Paul Heyman, and Lesnar, never stopped bragging about breaking the streak.

The highly-anticipated rematch took place in a high-octane and dramatic encounter at SummerSlam. The match ended in controversy setting up the final chapter at Hell in a Cell.


4. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (2015)

Seth Rollins vs John Cena
Source: WWE

At the same event, both John Cena and Seth Rollins defended the WWE United States and WWE Championship in a winner-take-all match.

A few weeks prior, an egotistical Rollins legitimately and (accidentally) broke Cena’s nose with a vicious high knee to the face, So how did the fifteen-time champion respond? With a massive championship match with even higher ramifications.

Cena was ready to match the legendary ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair’s world title record and become a sixteen-time champion, while Rollins was preparing to cement his name in the history books as the first-ever WWE United States and WWE Champion.

This was such a classic match where both superstars brought everything out of their arsenal to score the victory, but the finish came after guest host John Stewart cost Cena the match. Rollins capitalized on a wounded Cena and delivered a Pedigree on the steel chair to mark his name down in the history books.


3. John Cena vs. AJ Styles (2016)

John Cena vs AJ Styles
Source: WWE

At the 2016 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, ‘The Phenomenal One’ AJ Styles made his long-awaited debut.

Styles would begin to prove how amazing he truly was despite unsuccessfully challenging for the WWE Championship, putting him on a slight losing streak until John Cena made his return from injury. Immediately, ‘The Phenomenal One’ turned heel on the WWE veteran, setting up a dream match for SummerSlam.

The two rivals faced each other for the first-time-ever at Money in the Bank, where with the help of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Styles was victorious. Their next one-on-one match took place at SummerSlam in front of a raucous crowd.

Everyone was on their feet while these two in-ring specialists had a phenomenal match. In what came as a shock to the WWE fanbase, Styles beat Cena clean in the middle of the ring, solidifying him as the legitimate main event superstar.


2. Seth Rollins vs. ‘The Demon King’ Finn Balor (2016)

Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins
Source: WWE

At the 2016 SummerSlam pay-per-view, the WWE fans witnessed an incredible dream match which featured ‘The Demon King’ Finn Balor battling Seth Rollins to become the inaugural Universal Champion. Ever since Rollins came up to the main roster and Balor joined NXT in 2015, fans had speculated if this match would ever happen. Both superstar’s wrestling styles meshed perfectly and their timing was dead on.

Within five minutes of the match, a freak accident took place, as Balor dislocated his arm landing a buckle bomb awkwardly. Balor, being the true gem he is, continued the match at full capacity for the following twenty minutes.

Rollins and Balor tore the house down and delivered a classic for the right to be called the first-ever champion. In the end, ‘The Demon’ ascended into the skies, delivering a thunderous Coup de Grace to become the inaugural Universal Champion.


1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman (2017)

Braun Strowman
Source: WWE

If you’re looking for the biggest match in SummerSlam history physically speaking, go back and rewatch this colossal main event.

During 2017, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar had a stranglehold on the WWE Universal Championship and was destroying all the competition. Therefore, GM Kurt Angle set up this titanic Fatal 4 Way match for SummerSlam.

Lesnar successfully defended his title against all three powerhouses in a wild and chaotic match. ‘The Monster Among Men’ completely annihilated Lesnar, slamming him through two announce tables and flipping one on top of his body. The champion eventually recovered and delivered a few German suplexes and a vicious F5 to retain his Universal Championship against some very game competition.

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