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WWE SummerSlam 25th anniversary - greatest ever moments

By
WWE wrestler CM Punk

© Rex Features

The 25th anniversary of WWE's SummerSlam takes place this Sunday, August 19 in LA.

To celebrate this landmark occasion in wrestling, our friends at WWE have shared their greatest moments in SummerSlam history since its 1988 debut at Madison Square Garden.

Below are their favourite moments over the last 25 years. Have a read through and then share your own SummerSlam memories in the comments box.



Ultimate Warrior demolishes Honky Tonk Man, ending his 18 month Intercontinental Championship - 1988
"Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake was originally slated to challenge the Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship, but because of an injury suffered at the hands of Outlaw Ron Bass, Beefcake could not compete. A replacement was named the night of the first ever SummerSlam, but Honky Tonk Man didn't even want to know who it was. He was so confident that he didn't care who his opponent was. But when Ultimate Warrior's music started blaring over the speakers at Madison Square Garden, the champion was literally shaking in his boots. In mere seconds, the Ultimate Warrior put an end to Honky Tonk Man's 18 month Intercontinental Championship reign."

WWE Summer Slam


The Mega Powers vs. the Mega Bucks - 1988
"In the first ever main event of SummerSlam, the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & 'Macho Man' Randy Savage) took on the Mega Bucks (Andre the Giant & 'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase) with Jesse 'The Body' Ventura as the special guest referee. The Mega Bucks seemed to have everything going their way as both Hogan and Savage were down. But then Miss Elizabeth hopped up on the apron and distracted the Mega Bucks. Thanks to the distraction, the Mega Powers recovered and were able to get the win."

Virgil defeats Ted DiBiase for the Million Dollar Championship - 1991
"Virgil had faithfully been in the corner of 'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase ever since they debuted in WWE. No matter what DiBiase wanted him to do, Virgil would do it. Whether it was rubbing his feet or knocking out an opponent, Virgil was always there. At the Royal Rumble, Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire defeated DiBiase and Virgil. After the match DiBiase slapped Virgil around. Virgil finally could take no more humiliation. The two met at WrestleMania VII and Virgil won by a count-out, but therefore did not win the Million Dollar Championship. Virgil had things going his way at SummerSlam as he had DiBiase locked into the Million Dollar Dream. Sensational Sherri interfered, knocking out Virgil with a loaded purse. The referee called for a DQ, but then said the match would continue. DiBiase dominated Virgil, but Virgil turned the tables, knocking out the Million Dollar Man and winning the Million Dollar Championship."

WWE SummerSlam


'Macho Man' Randy Savage gets married to Elizabeth - 1991
"SummerSlam 1991 had the Match Made in Hell as Hulk Hogan teamed up with Ultimate Warrior to face Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa and Gen. Adnan. But there was also the Match Made in Heaven as 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and his long time manager Elizabeth tied the knot. SummerSlam 1991 was being called Nuptials and Napalm, but no matter what you call it, the wedding was one of the most memorable moments in WWE history."

The British Bulldog wins the Intercontinental Championship in front of his family and the Wembley Stadium crowd - 1992
"This one was for the Intercontinental Championship, but it was also tearing the Hart family apart. The British Bulldog was married to Bret 'Hit Man' Hart's sister, and she couldn't decide who to root for. All Diana Hart really wanted was that neither man get hurt. To make matters even more interesting, this match took place in Davey Boy Smith's backyard at Wembley Stadium in London, England. After what seemed like an eternity of back and forth wrestling, Davey Boy was able to roll up the Hit Man as Wembley Stadium erupted in deafening cheers. Then, Bret showed he was a good sport and shook his brother-in-law's hand in a great SummerSlam moment."

Bret 'Hit Man' Hart refuses to release the Sharpshooter, giving Jerry Lawler the win - 1993
"Bret "Hit Man" Hart had won the King of the Ring in 1993, but Jerry 'The King' Lawler was not happy with this. Lawler felt he was the true king of wrestling and during Bret's victory interview, he attacked Hart. The animosity grew and grew, and the two met in a grudge match at SummerSlam to see who the true King of Wrestling really was. Bret locked Lawler in the sharpshooter, making him submit. But Hart's hatred towards Lawler was so great that the Hit Man refused to break the hold. The official was forced to overturn his decision, making Lawler the winner by disqualification."

Undertaker stared down the fake Undertaker - 1994
"After losing a Casket Match to Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble 1994, Undertaker was nowhere to be seen for months. Then in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, 'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase claimed that he had located Undertaker and would bring him back to WWE. Paul Bearer said that was impossible as only he knew where Undertaker was. In one of the most bizarre matches ever, Paul Bearer's Undertaker squared off against DiBiase's Undertaker. Who can ever forget when both Undertaker's stare into each other's eyes in the middle of the ring at SummerSlam 1994."

Macho Man Randy Savage

© WENN

'Stone Cold' Steve Austin

© PA Images



Barry Horowitz gets a pay-per-view win over Skip of the Bodydonnas - 1995
"Barry Horowitz is remembered by most WWE fans as a guy that lost countless matches on episode after episode of Wrestling Challenge. But every dog has his day and Horowitz was no exception. In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam 1995, Horowtiz shocked Skip of the Bodydonnas with a win. Skip couldn't believe it and demanded revenge. The two met up at SummerSlam and Skip had things going his way. After hitting a Headbutt from the top rope, Skip picked Horowitz up at the two-count to inflict more punishment. As the match wore on, though, Hakushi came to the ring and distracted Skip. With Skip distracted, Horowtiz rolled him up for the shocking win - the first and only pay-per-view win of Horowtiz's career."

Paul Bearer turns on Undertaker and helps Mankind win the Boiler Room Brawl - 1996
"Ever since coming into WWE in 1990, Paul Bearer had been at Undertaker's side. But all good things must come to an end. Undertaker faced Mankind in the first ever Boiler Room Brawl. The two destroyed each other in the bowels of The Gund Arena in Cleveland, OH. They then found their way back to the ring where Paul Bearer was waiting. Undertaker went to retrieve the urn, but Paul Bearer turned his back on his protégé, allowing Mankind to get the win."

Shawn Michaels accidentally hits Undertaker with a chair to help Bret 'Hit Man' Hart win - 1997
"Few rivalries in WWE history can match the intensity of the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels rivalry. Their history is well documented, but in this one, HBK couldn't be biased against Bret. The Hit Man was facing Undertaker for the WWE Championship. If Bret lost the match, he could never wrestle in the United States again and if the Showstopper was biased against Hart, he couldn't wrestle in the United States anymore either. During the match, special guest referee HBK lost his cool and tried to hit Bret with a chair. Bret ducked, though, and HBK leveled Undertaker by accident. With no other options, HBK was forced to count the 1-2-3 and give Bret the win and the WWE Championship."

Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, then Governor of Minnesota, referees the Mankind vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H main event - 1999
"It is well known that WWE Hall of Famer Jesse 'The Body' Ventura went on to become Governor of Minnesota. SummerSlam was taking place at the Target Centre in Minnesota, so it was only fitting that Ventura agreed to be the special guest referee for the Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mankind Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship. Ventura wasn't afraid to get physically involved either as he disposed of Shane McMahon when he tried to interfere. At the end of the night it was Ventura raising Mankind's hand in victory."

Steve Blackman hits a flying elbow on Shane McMahon from 20 feet up - 2000
"Shane McMahon has no fear. He's shown that on more than one occasion, and SummerSlam 2000 was one of them. Shane-O-Mac was doing everything he could to defeat Steve Blackman for the Hardcore Championship. Before long, the two somehow found their way up on the scaffolding about 20-feet above the stage. Blackman was able to push Shane off the scaffolding and through the stage. To make this an even bigger spectacle, Blackman jumped off the scaffolding and hit a Flying Elbow Drop for the win."

WWE Summer Slam


Goldberg kicks in the glass of the Elimination Chamber to get to Triple H - 2003
"There were six men involved in the Elimination Chamber Match, but the biggest question was "who could stop Goldberg?". Goldberg was the last man to enter the Chamber, and when he did, Triple H was already trying to hide inside one of the glass enclosures. Tired of waiting for The Game, Goldberg kicked his way through the glass and got his hands on Triple H. In the end, though, Triple H was able to get the win thanks to the help of Evolution."

Undertaker chokeslams JBL through the roof of his own limo - 2004
"JBL defended his WWE Championship against Undertaker at SummerSlam 2004. JBL tried to use the WWE Championship as a weapon, but Undertaker saw it coming. The Deadman then took the belt and connected with it, but this time the referee saw it. Undertaker was disqualified, but that was bad news for JBL. Enraged at the match's outcome, Undertaker dragged JBL to his limo and then delivered a devastating chokeslam through the rood of his own limo."

Legend vs. Icon: Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan - 2005
In one of the most anticipated matches in SummerSlam history, Hulk Hogan defeated Shawn Michaels. Late in the match, Hogan managed to escape a Sharpshooter and kick out of the combination of a flying elbow and Sweet Chin Music. Hogan then delivered a big boot and leg drop to finish HBK off. After the match, the two men shook hands with HBK telling Hogan he needed this match to find out for himself who was the best man.

DX beat the odds against the McMahons - 2006
"D-Generation X absolutely stole the show with their stunning victory over Mr. McMahon and his son Shane in front of an ecstatic crowd in Boston. The only thing more impressive than the way Shawn Michaels caught Shane in mid-air with Sweet Chin Music was the fact that DX was able to achieve victory after fighting off half of the WWE locker room. After ending the match with a combination Sweet Chin Music and Pedigree to Mr. McMahon, The Game celebrated over the motionless Chairman to add insult to injury. The crowd erupted and showed their appreciation for the slobbernocker, and it was clear DX appreciated them too as they gave lots of high fives around the ring and up the ramp before hitting their signature pose and heading to the locker room."

Batista's blockbuster triumph - 2008
"Two of the most dominant WWE Superstars of this decade - Batista and John Cena - wove very parallel career paths that ultimately intersected at SummerSlam, and the eagerly anticipated one-on-one confrontation ended with The Animal roaring in victory. The blockbuster battle, more than six years in the making, was a match for the ages. When both men first debuted in 2002, perhaps only a few of sports-entertainment's most erudite aficionados could foresee the achievements that awaited Cena and Batista."

Undertaker sends Edge to Hell - 2008
"Edge's path to salvation ended at SummerSlam, when Undertaker returned and sent the Rated-R Superstar straight to Hell after a destructive and demonic Hell in a Cell Match. Despite his best efforts - including an incredible running spear through the announce tables after the Cell broke open during the contest, the use of a ladder and many other weapons - Edge could not overcome the anger-fueled attacks of The Phenom. After a devastating Tombstone sealed the win for Undertaker, he unleashed his aggression on the Rated-R Superstar, chokeslamming Edge from the top of a ladder through the ring. Just as it seemed that Undertaker was content with this destruction, he raised his hands in the air and flames erupted from the hole in the canvas."

The Undertaker AKA Mark Calaway - The WWE star is 45 on Wednesday.

© WENN

Shawn Michaels - The WWE legend will be 45 on Thursday

© WENN



DX reunited to take down Legacy - 2009
"After being repeatedly ambushed, double-teamed and otherwise abused by Legacy, Triple H reached out to his long-time friend and co-founder of D-Generation X, Shawn Michaels, for some help putting these Young Turks in their place. After an explosive entrance from D-Generation X that saw Triple H & Michaels ride out on a vintage tank, Legacy entered the ring at SummerSlam, ready to benefit from the tutelage of Randy Orton. Putting every one of their mentor's devious tricks to use, Rhodes & DiBiase made frequent tags, hoping to keep their opponents on the defence. But, despite Legacy's aggression and willingness to utilize every underhanded tactic at their disposal, the less-experienced team was ultimately defeated when Michaels managed to "break it down" by delivering some devastating Sweet Chin Music to Rhodes."

Team WWE takes down The Nexus - 2010
"As The Nexus have wreaked their particularly insidious strain of chaos, intimidation and ruthlessness on Raw, the group, including Wade Barrett, Skip Sheffield, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young, Heath Slater and Michael Tarver, appeared to be rushing toward total domination. The only roadblock; Team WWE and the determination of John Cena, Bret Hart, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison and R-Truth and a mysterious seventh man. While the WWE squad faltered and fragmented in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, they nonetheless united around a single purpose: Break The Nexus. Just before the start of the match, Daniel Bryan was revealed at their seventh man and helped dismantle The Nexus in an unforgettable 7-on-7 Elimination Tag Team Match and likely helped save Monday Night Raw. With looks of shock and dismay, the members of The Nexus were humbled as, one-by-one, they found themselves eliminated from the bout until finally all seven were forced to admit defeat. "

Alberto Del Rio cashes in - 2011
"WWE Chief Operating Officer and special guest referee Triple H guaranteed that an Undisputed WWE Champion would be crowned at SummerSlam in a match between CM Punk and John Cena. Yet, much to the surprise of the sold-out crowd packed inside the STAPLES Centre, neither CM Punk nor John Cena would raise the coveted prize high above their head at the end of the night. Following CM Punk's controversial pinfall victory over John Cena, Triple H's longtime friend Kevin Nash - unseen in a WWE ring since the 2011 Royal Rumble Match - stormed through the crowd and leveled the tattooed Superstar with a brutal Jackknife Powerbomb before making a hasty exit. Dazed, Punk was helpless as Alberto Del Rio seized his destiny by successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on the battle-weary Undisputed WWE Champion. After nailing a prone Punk with a devastating kick to the skull, Del Rio pinned his shoulders to the canvas to capture the title."



SummerSlam will be exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office, Sunday, August 19 at 1am

What's your favourite SummerSlam moment - let us know in the comments box below

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