2002 was a great year on ppv for the WWE and this event proves that. Great stacked event from top to bottom
This event features everything a Wrestling fan could possibly want... great highflying, technical, hardcore bloody brawls.
If you call yourself a wrestling fan, regardless of whether you watched back in 2002. You HAVE to own this event! You're really missing out otherwise!
Featuring the in ring return of 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels. HBK looks like he never left the ring, after a 4 year absence because of a severe back injury. Shawn looks better than ever, puts in an incredible performance against Triple H.
This DVD is worth buying for this amazing match alone. But it also features many other good to great matches, including a very exciting opener between Kurt Angle and Rey mysterio. One of The best opening matches to a ppv ever, certainly one of my favourites. Plus Rock VS Brock.... Can't go wrong with this DVD!
Name - Summerslam 2002
Location - Uniondale, New York
Attendance - 14,000
Brand - Raw & Smackdown
Previous PPV - Vengeance 2002
Kurt Angle DEFEATS Rey Mysterio
Ric Flair DEFEATS Chris Jericho
Edge DEFEATS Eddie Guerrero
The Un-Americans DEFEATS Booker T & Goldust
Rob Van Dam DEFEATS Chris Benoit
The Undertaker DEFEATS Test
Shawn Michaels DEFEATS Triple H
Brock Lesnar DEFEATS The Rock
Summerslam came at a time where the WWE was in a process of transition. Gone were the days of the WWF and the attitude era and up ahead were the challenges of keeping wrestling entertaining without some of the big names we'd seen in times gone by. That being said, it wasn't really until the latter stages of 2004 that WWE really started to take a dip that it still in 2012 hasn't recovered from.
Summerslam is however, one of the big Pay Per Views of the year in the wrestling circuit and Summerslam of 2002 lives up to all expectations and more. We have an action packed under and mid-card with 2 truly excellent main events and a street fight between Shawn Michaels & Triple H that for me still goes down as 1 of the top 10 best matches in wrestling history.
Onto the card and review itself.
Kurt Angle defeats Rey Mysterio;
Wow, what a cracking way to start the event. Mysterio still relatively new to the company here and not given the ridicolous 'underdog' status he's been given in the last 4 or 6 years. Angle compliments Mysterio well here, in the sense that he's a quick mover, is agile and is not a clumsy slow wrestler. I dont think you can say there's a real dominator in this match as we see a couple of finishing moves from both men and near falls on both behalfs. After a very good match, Kurt Angle made Rey submit after sitting down on an ankle lock. Cracking start.
Ric Flair defeats Chris Jericho;
This was never going to be a 'catch as catch can classic' due to the age of Ric Flair. But given the age of Flair this was actually a good match. Jericho locked the figure four leg lock on Flair, at one point Flair smacks the mat asif to tap out, Jericho then thinks he has the match won and insists the referee ring the bell. However he doesn't, he restarts the match. Controversially Flair then locks in the same move on Jericho, forcing Jericho to tap out. Decent match considering Flair's age.
Edge defeats Eddie Guererro;
Right from the set off of this match, Guerrero targeted the shoulder of edge after making it weak through an early move. Guerrero capitalised on this, reversing a spear into a dropkick to the shoulder and then utilised his frog splash move to the injured shoulder. However despite huge pressure Edge managed to battle through the onslaught. Edge turned the tide and picked up the victory after an edgecution. Pretty good match, more technical than a normal edge match because of Guererro's tactics.
World Tag Team Championship Match The Un-Americans defeat Booker T & Goldust;
Admitedly im not a fan of the un-americans, not only is there gimmick boring but the wrestlers involved (Test aside) are very boring. Goldust and Booker T must be one of the strangest tag team combinations I can ever remember, as strange as they are however they were effective for what they did. This match itself didnt turn out the way they expected, but for entertainment levels and filling a card up, there was nothing wrong with this match. Booker T his the scissors kick, only to be given a big boot behind the referee's back thus allowing Lance Storm to pick up the victory.
Intercontinental Championship match Rob Van Dam defeats Chris Benoit;
Benoit was the champion heading into this match after a good streak as the champion. Van dam was a fans favourite and rightly so, performing some of the best high-flying, techically difficult and agile moves from any superstar on any roster. The match itself was a great balance of high-flying risky moves from Van Dam and the mat wrestling aggressive technical side of Benoit. Van Dam did come out on the other side though, picking up the victory and a new championship for Raw after a spectacular 5-star-frog splash.
The Undertaker defeats Test;
This match was more about personal taste than anything else. Being the American Badass Taker didnt exactly take to Test and his 'Un-american' group/politics. Both men in this match are huge, both standing well over 6'6 and over 270 pounds. It was never going to be a classy technique fest, but was infact a out and out brawl. Despite the best efforts of Test and a run-in from Lance Storm/Christian, Taker was victorious after chokeslamming Storm before giving Test the Tombstone for the 1-2-3.
Un-sactioned Match Shawn Michaels defeats Triple H;
Well, where to begin with this? This has to be one of the most intense personal rivalries in E/F history. Both men are brillant performers with huge ego's and wrestling styles of there own. The game with his powerful figure and stature both in the ring and out and Shawn Michaels one of the most classy, slick performers the ring has ever seen. The big question before the match was would Shawn be able to handle being back in the ring after 4 years out with a broken back?
I think we found out the answer. The match starts with a bleak tone for Michaels as the game completely dominates. We see back breaker after back breaker, chair shots to the back and eventually a DDT to a chair that splits Michaels open around the forehead. The game goes for the Sledgehammer but referee Earl Hebner gets in the way and allows Michaels a route back into the match. Michaels gives Triple H the sweet chin music, in the process sending a chair straight back into the fact of the game and splitting him literally wide open. Thereafter, Michaels feeds off the energy of the crowd and completely dominated triple H, using an array of weapons, including chairs, trash can lids, boots, steel steps, ladders, propane tanks and eventually a table. Michaels wins after reversing the pedigree into a role up for the 1-2-3. I wont give it away, but there's a little sting in the tale of victory. Amazing match, one of the best matches ever. Blood, gore and weapons everywhere.
WWE Championship match Brock Lesnar defeats The Rock;
The rise to the top for Brock Lesnar was seemingly a runaway train with the breaks broken. Lesnar only debuted in 2002, but in a short few months he destroyed Hulk Hogan, The Hardys, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair and many, many of the other big named superstars in the wwe. He beat Van Dam at King of The Ring to earn this title shot against The Rock.
The big question remained, after the beatings he had dished out could Lesnar beat the enigma that is The Rock? Arguably the best superstar in wrestling history? Well the answer was yes. After a back and forth main event, including a rock bottom through the announce table to Paul Heyman, Lesnar got the job done after numerous reversals before a thunderous F5.
Overall PPV score - 9/10
Best Match - Triple H v Michaels/ Rock v Lesnar
Worst Match - Non
- A match from a raw
- Un-seen Promos
You can probably purchase this dvd easily these days. Amazon have it on there seller site for £8 or so and play have it at £14. It is however worth every penny!
Following a solid Vengeance event the month before, Summerslam 2002, in Long Island, New York was headlined by the 2002 King of the Ring winner Brock Lesnar and WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock, with the championship up for grabs. At the time, Lesnar was built up as an unstoppable monster, with a ruthless personality and accompanied by the loudmouthed Paul Heyman, while the Rock, just returning from Hollywood, was seen as the perfect foil to stop this young upstart. Also on the show was the return of Shawn Michaels, after over 4 years of inactivity due to back injury, against Triple H in an non-sanctioned match. During the time, many wondered whether Michaels had it in him to compete to the high standard he was associated with.
The job of an opener is to warm up the crowd and to try keep them hot for the rest of the show, by putting on a darn good match. That's exactly what Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio did. With just 10 minutes to try do the job, Mysterio's innovative moveset kept the action very fast paced, while Angle, to his credit, kept up well. The near falls in the end easily makes this the best opener of WWE's 2002 events.
From one extreme to the other, the slow geriatric Ric Flair took on Chris Jericho. With Flair's music dubbed to avoid paying royalties, the match is watchable and of course slow and comedy Ric really should have lost this match instead of winning.
While the Edge and Eddie Guerrero match focused entirely on psychology, one had the feeling that this match could have been so much more. They were given enough time to try and captivate the audience, but while the match isn't bad in the first place, they just couldn't do it. A mild disappointment although still an okay match.
With the Un-Americans Lance Storm and Christian defending their Tag Team Championships against the team of Booker T and Goldust, both teams bungle together something decent. It's a typical tag team match, where the good guy is worked over by the bad ones until the tag is made, but the crowd reactions is what makes this one more special than it should be, thanks to the popularity of Booker and the heat of the Un-Americans.
Halfway through the show, the undercard has already been good. With the Chris Benoit defending the Intercontinental Championship against Rob Van Dam, logic would have said this would have been a fine match. Logic prevailed as these 2 men put on a fine exhibition of technical wrestling. Van Dam, much like Angle did earlier with Mysterio, managed to keep up with Benoit's working style and together, they put on a very good contest.
Logic would have also said that the match featuring Undertaker and Test would be bad. Utilising overbooking via interference, the match itself isn't as bad as expected and kept quite short. Certainly did its job by keeping the crowd excited.
The return of Shawn Michaels was next as he faced Triple H in an non-sanctioned match. Another psychological match, where HHH focused his attention to Michaels back (where else?), Shawn's selling is convincing and the match only gets better when Michael's musters a comeback. For a guy who hadn't wrestled for quite a while, there was amazingly no ring rust and this match is easily the best of the show.
Seeing the crowd turn on the Rock for abandoning the WWE for Hollywood is understandable but is also hilarious to watch. With Lesnar challenging The Rock for the Undisputed Championship as a result of his King of the Ring victory, both men put on an athletic display (the moment where they both kip-up is a blast), with some fine wrestling and good counters. The crowd's reaction to the whole thing also make this fun to watch. An excellent way to close the show.
The DVD's extras consist of some good and some bad post-match interviews with some of those involved in matches, as well as Kurt Angle's funny pre-match interview. Two vignettes, Training with Brock Lesnar and Training with The Rock just shows the effort that wrestlers have to put in to keep a high standard and are well worth watching. The HBK story and The F5 are useless extras which show exactly what it says. The making of the Summerslam commercial as well as the making of are included. An interesting watch, although you won't miss too much. However the two best features of the DVD are the Shawn Michaels Byte This feature, which is a good and refreshingly positive viewing and the Hulk Hogan vs Brock Lesnar match from a previous SmackDown, where Lesnar pummels Hogan in a bad match, but a must watch for any Hogan haters (like me) out there.
The extras aren't up to scratch when compared to this brilliant event. With half the card including minor classics and the rest of the card being better than expected, Summerslam 2002 is a must buy, for collectors and fans alike.
Wrestlemania is always the best and biggest event of the year, but it's closley followed by Summerslam, this event has had some classic matches in the past such as Bret Hart v Mr Perfect, Bret v British Bulldog, HBK v Razor and hundreds more. This particular even from 2002 is in my opinion the best Summerslam since 10 years previous. There are some great matches involved, all big stars and great action.
The event kicks off with Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio, this was Rey's first big event with the WWE and he didn't diappoint, this was a wonderful macth, a mesh of technical wreslting and high flying action, this is 12 minutes that just fly past.
We move on to a brilliant match between Jericho and Ric Flair, this was mentioned by Jericho as a huge honour for him, considering the age of Flair at the time this is an excellent match. The only real lull on the card comes in the form of Test vs The Undertaker , there was storyline with the "Un-Americans" at the time and The Taker was fighting for the USA as the American Bad Ass.
The Main event was excellent, the Rock took on Brock Lesnar, Brock was still quite new to wreslting at the time and it was shocking to have him thrown into the main event for the WWE title, however he showed he wasn't out of place. For some reason the crowd completley turn on the Rock in this match and start cheering for Lesnar. INteresting viewing.
The best match on the card wihtou doubt is the return of HBK . He hadn't wrestled in 4 years due to a serious back injury, his match was a streetfight with HHH, no-one knew what to expect. What we got was 40 action packed minutes where the Showstopper was back to his best. This is worth buying for this match alone.
All in all a very good event and a a great DVD to pick up. Highly recommended.
Summerslam 2002 is without doubt, in my top 3 of WWE PPV's. WWE was on a creative high leading into this PPV after the also excellent Vengeance 2002 and it showed in the quality of this show. There are 8 matches overall on this card and none of them disappoint.
Lets review the show...
-- Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio --
This is a great opener, very fast paced and a great high flying match with both guys in top form, it offers a load of entertaining spots and is one of the best PPV openers to date. 8/10
-- Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho --
This is a solid match with Jericho in top form as the bad guy against the veteran Ric Flair with impressive submission trading. 7/10
-- Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero --
Another good match by two of WWE's most talented performers, this match is entertaining and it told a good story, some solid wrestling skills shown by both guys. 7/10
-- Lance Storm & Christian vs. Goldust & Booker T --
Probably the weakest on the card, although all are good in-ring performers. The Un-American gimmick given to Storm & Christian got them good heat from the crowd. 6/10
-- Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit --
RVD is probably my favourite performer, he rarely has a bad match. This match was no exception, it was fast paced and lengthy without being boring. Thoroughly entertaining action. 8/10
-- The Undertaker vs. Test --
A solid big guy match, again Test with the 'un-american' gimmick got him good heat from the crowd. 6/10
-- Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H --
This is an instant classic. The first match Michaels participates in since the turn of the millennium. Lots of hardcore action provided in a match that would see Michaels return full time to wrestling. 9/10
-- Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock --
Lesnar is given his first major test against the Undisputed Champion which would make or break his short and hughly impactful rise to the top of the industry. This is an epic match, edge of your seat material. 9/10
Overall, I would highly recommend this DVD. The show is one of the best since 2000 and never at any stage disappoints. The DVD also has good extras for example showing the training regimes of Lesnar & The Rock.
SummerSlam 2002, just for the record, is one of my favourite wrestling pay per views of all time. To some people, just by looking at the matches, they may say that it appears to be a bit of a mixed bag of good and bad matches. In fact, I disagree; at the minute, wrestling is becoming undeniably dull, something I'll elaborate on a little later. However, the mix of talents here came at wrestling's final peak, in my opinion, and it shows on this DVD offering.
Match 1: Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle.
A very strong opening and a solid way to get the crowd pumped. The masked Mysterio, with his razor sharp aerial attacks (commonly known as Lucha Libre in Mexico) against Angle's suburb matt based arsenal made this bout a serious contender for match of the year candidate. Both of these wrestlers are highly respected in their field and they make everything look so realistic, even in the cartoon world of wrestling, a trait not common with many wrestlers now-a-days.
Marks out of 10: 9 - the only real problem is that the match deserved more time and came to a bit of an abrupt end.
Match 2: Ric Flair vs Chris Jericho
I am a big fan of Jericho and am glad that he has ending his sabbatical recently; he reminds me a lot of Shawn Michaels - an excellent in ring worker with great mic skills. However, unlike Michaels from a pay per view in 2003, he couldn't drag a half decent match out of the elderly Nature Boy, Ric Flair, on this occasion. A few nice spots, especially when Ric stumbled into the camera man muttering 'Oh God' but that's about as far as it went really.
Marks out of 10: 6 - one of the only moments to actually spoil the pay per view; repetitive and slow.
Match 3: Edge vs Eddie Guerrero
This match was a definite selling point to me; two of my favourite workers in the business gutting it out in a realistic match up. It still makes me sad to this day to this that Eddie isn't with us anymore but bouts like this are a testament to his memory.
Marks out of 10: 8.5 - great back and fourth, fast paced action all the way and a real treat on this DVD.
Match 4: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & Christian ('The Un-Americans') vs Booker T & Goldust.
A good effort from all participants, maybe not the best match of the night but certainly not bad. The commentary, provided by the retired Jerry 'The King' Lawler was appalling and distracted me on many occasions because of his inane comments! The anti-American bad guys of Storm and Christian capitalized on the crowds hate for them.
Marks out of 10: 7 - It was a good match but the company mainly booked this one as a way to pass the time before some of the main events. None of the participants are even with the WWE anymore which adds to this being nothing more than a time filler.
Match 5: WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs Rob Van Dam.
Another effortlessly strong match. I'm - again - a big fan of both of these athletes who really did their best to truly entertain the fans throughout their bout to accumulate in a very entertaining and hard fought match! It's a shame that people won't remember Benoit for bouts like this instead of the tragedy that occurred last summer. He and RVD had a great deal of chemistry in this match which transferred well onto the TV screen.
Marks out of 10: 8.5 - the action could be a little slow in places, because of Benoit's matt based style but otherwise a truly incredible match.
Match 6: Undertaker vs Test
Complete with his shiny motorbike, the Undertaker's 'American Badass' persona went up against another one of the Un-Americans, Test. Not a bad match but equally not one that would stick out in your mind as being fantastic. The Undertaker character wasn't at his strongest which showed badly during this match as a weak performance.
Marks out of 10: 6 - The Undertaker can be viewed as only being as good as his opponent so, against Test, the best wasn't brought out of the Deadman.
Match 7: Shawn Michaels vs Triple H in a Non-Sanctioned Match.
The main reason I got this DVD; the Heartbreak Kid's first televised match in over four years due to a back injury. I'm pleased to say this is one of the most authentic and believable pieces of wrestling I've ever seen in my life by both men. The former D Generation X buddies have brilliant chemistry together which, can be argued, got exploited a little too much over the next few years in various main event matches. None the less, this is one for the record books and, although the crowd were slightly split at the beginning of the night, by the end of the match up, there wasn't a single cheer for one man.
Marks out of 10: 9.5 - as real as wrestling will EVER get! Fantastic, even till its heartbreaking, bitter end.
Match 8: WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock vs Brock Lesner w/Paul Heyman.
On paper, I wasn't too thrilled with this match. However, watching it back, I've got to say it's a lot better than you'd expect from either man. I was never a hardcore fan of 'the most electrifying man in sports entertainment' - better known now as Dwayne Johnson - or Lesner but it wasn't a bad contest.
Marks out of 10: 7.5 - classic bad vs good guy action. Heyman as a manager stood out to me; he was simply dastardly!
Extras: This release from 2002 puts some of the recent offerings from the company to shame as far as what else it has to offer the fans. With post match interviews with Kurt Angle and RVD to the making of the SummerSlam commercial with former Diva Trish Stratus and even a video version of the former WWE web cast 'Byte This' with Shawn Michaels, there is a great deal of variety here and something for every type of wrestling fan. It's a simple DVD to use as well, with the selection of these various extras not being an issue.
I would definitely say that this DVD is worth getting. The majority of the matches here are stunning displays of athleticism from a company that is suffering from a serious case of narcolepsy at the moment. I do question why the Rock vs Lesner match was last though; the previous bout was far more electrifying and entertaining. Yet, it's important to state that there wasn't that much of a dull moment here. Even with some of the boring in ring and backstage promos including work with Stephanie McMahon (and her terrible voice!), the show didn't dwell on these moments for too long and capitalized - for once - on some of the amazing talent that they have.
One to own if you are a wrestling fan and one to perhaps give a try if you aren't!
Running Time: 205 minutes.
(Note: Previously written and displayed by myself MizzMolko on Ciao).