Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio
Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
WWE World Tag Team Championship:
The Un-Americans (c) vs. Booker T and Goldust
WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Chris Benoit (c) vs. Rob van Dam
The Undertaker vs. Test
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
WWE Undisputed Championship:
The Rock (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
Just watched Summerslam 2002 and it is quite easily one of my favourite PPV's of all time and for me definitely the best ever Summerslam PPV in history. I mean the card was brilliant and some of the matches on show were really enjoying to watch.
The show starts off with Kurt Angle up against Rey Mysterio making his first PPV appearance with the WWE. I thought it was a brilliant match for an opener, two very good workers putting on a fast-paced match is always bound to get the crowd involved and they loved it. Some people think the wrong guy went over here but I actually think Rey Mysterio looked just as good in losing as he would have in victory. I give the match ***1/2 stars.
I was actually very disappointed with the next match between Chris Jericho and Ric Flair. Considering the two involved it was a major disappointment. I don't think they played up the Jericho trying to out-cheat Flair bit enough and the match suffered from it, an off night for Jericho for sure. The crowd was dead for most of it too, they did go on to have a much better match at Unforgiven but that was suffered from an even worse finish. I give this match a * star and that is pretty generous, honestly.
Next up we had Edge vs. Guerrero. Edge was on a role as a singles wrestler at the time, he had an awesome awesome feud with Kurt Angle and had then moved on to Guerrero after a brief tag title run with his hero Hulk Hogan. During the match Michael Cole actually called Edge "the future of SmackDown", how true did that prove to be? I'm sure most people on here, like me think that watching Guerrero work is just a joy. For me, what makes this match really good is that both men didn't forget about the body part that they had worked on the entire match and it was important right up to the finish, you don't see that a lot nowadays. Edge's series of matches with Kurt Angle and now Eddie Guerrero were turning him into Smackdown's fastest rising star. The two would go on to have a couple of other great matches in the coming months, including that NO DQ match! I give this match ***1/2 stars, but I say it edges Angle/Mysterio as the match of the night so far.
Up next you had the Lance Storm and Christian as The Un-Americans up against Booker T and Goldust, everyone's favourite tag team! At the time The Un-Americans were a pretty generic heel stable that had a good run in the year whilst Booker and Goldust had got ridiculously over as a team due to their hilarious comedy skits backstage. I thought this was a great little tag match. The heels used all the tricks in the book to keep the isolation period interesting and build up anticipation for the hot tag. It got really good down the stretch. I give it **1/2 stars, which doesn't mean it's bad but I don't think it was as good as the two that got 3 and a half stars.
The next match takes over as match of the night most definitely. It was Chris Benoit up against Rob van Dam, this was for the Intercontinental Championship. Just an awesome awesome match in every way possible. Van Dam worked really hard and had one of his best WWE matches but Chris Benoit was just brilliant throughout, controlling the match and working the shoulder. They used some nice psychology and eventually won the crowd over. Big thumbs for this match. I give this match a **** rating, I loved every moment of it!
Next up we had The Undertaker vs. Test, a match I didn't really have high hopes for. A match I thought would probably be rivaling Flair/Jericho for worst match of the night. I was wrong. Much better than one would expect. Taker was coming off the back of a not-so-successful heel run, which I personally enjoyed, and Test was a member of the Un-Americans so this was a natural fit really. When Test was motivated he could be a really good big guy. Test had a few surprisingly good matches around this time and this was one of them. Taker brought it and Test excelled, but the wrong guy went over in my opinion. I give this match **3/4 stars.
My body was pumped for what was next. It was the unsanctioned match between Triple H and Shawn Michaels. 4 years out, he's finally back in a WWE ring. One of my favourites during the 90s, thinking he'd never be seen wrestling again, just to see him back was absolutely brilliant. One of my favourite matches of all time quite easily. This was absolutely fantastic. Shawn is a miracle worker and proved it here, while Triple H was looking as good and as crisp as he did prior to his first quad injury. Not only was the match, storytelling and drama off the charts, but even the minor characters like Hebner and JR were awesome here. I loved the storytelling throughout, two of the best story tellers of their generation (really was an end of an era at Wrestlemania 28). Michaels was looking to prove he was still the showstopper early and took it to The Game who didn’t expect Michaels to be ready for the match. Triple H soon took over and the work on the back was one of the few times when "methodical offence" looks good as Triple H came off as a massive prick for targeting the back so viciously and it served to get the crowd emotionally involved in the match. Shawn would get his second wind and really take it to Triple H leading to the finish, and the after-match antics put over Triple H's resentment of Shawn. A phenomenal effort by Michaels and The Game. I give this match a maximum ***** stars. Could be biast towards my love for the match but I thought it deserved it.
Next up was the big one, the main event, the passing of the torch so to speak. It was Brock vs. The Rock, it was for the Undisputed championship. Brock had had something of a meteoric rise early in his WWE career, winning the King of the Ring and beating Hulk Hogan on his way to this match. Rock was on his way to Hollywood full-time so there wasn’t much doubt as to the outcome. It was an explosive match from start to finish, but you'd expect that whenever The Rock is in the ring. The crowd were just as explosive and electric. They managed to keep the theme of Lesnar working on the ribs throughout the match but change it up and keep things interesting. It was WWE main event style to the max and it had the crowd off their seats the entire time. The reversal sequence at the end was great and summed up what the match was all about, explosive, edge of your seat action. I give the match **** stars and I thought it was the second best match of the night, just edging Benoit's and van Dam's Intercontinental title match.
Not only was nearly every single match on the card very good to fantastic, but Summerslam 2002 was also a very memorable show for many reasons. First of all you have the culmination of Brock's reign of terror as he wins the WWE Championship for the first time, beating The Rock's record as youngest WWE Champion of all time, in convincing fashion and in a great match, and then there is the epic Shawn Michaels return match that is pretty unforgettable. Every match felt really important either due to little things like a pre-match interview, the backstage banter of Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon or the fact that Shawn Michaels was wrestling his first match in four years. Flair/Jericho was a disappointment and actually killed the crowd for the next couple of matches but looking past that, I'll go on record as saying that this show was the best PPV since Wrestlemania 17.