Honourable Mention: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna (1996)OK, so technically this isnt one of the top five, but technically speaking this match wasnt part of Summerslam. This match was part of the 1996 SummerSlam pre-show Free For All so although Id want this one on the list proper, Ill only include as a bonus extra to match the original matches status as an extra at SummerSlam 1996. On paper this should have been a great match. Yokozuna was a two time former WWF World Heavyweight Champion, and he was facing the recently crowned King Of The Ring Stone Cold Steve Austin. Sure, Austin was on the verge of his stardom and not actually there yet, but even so you have to question why a match between these two would be put as an opening match before the PPV proper even begins. Being a former World Champion, Yokozuna should have never been booked to lose in such a low profile match, in such a short time (the match lasted under two minutes) and with one of the most ridiculous endings not to happen in a WCW ring. Such a booking move only devalues Yokozuna which has a knock on effect of devaluing the World Championship as it highlights that if a former World Champion can become so irrelevant just two years after holding the belt is really says something about the level of competition the company has. Booking Austin into this match was also a dumb move. He had just become Kind Of The Ring and done his famous Austin 3:16 speech, but at the next big PPV to follow KOTR hes booked in a free match. To sum up the situation with Austins future catchphrase... What? Austin defeating a former World Champion after winning the KOTR should have been part of a continued streak of success, but this was a meaningless match which did nothing to elevate Austin (although as history tells us, he was no worse off in the long run). The worst thing about the match was that it defied logic in more than one way. Yokozuna was seemingly one bonsai splash away from defeating Austin (which was stupid as it showed Austin could have been defeated in two minutes), but Austin was able to get the victory when the ring ropes broke and Austin got the quick pin on Yokozuna, who had fallen on his back after the ropes failed to hold his weight, suggesting that simply falling from the height of the middle rope is all that was required to beat the former two time World Champion. What's worse was that a move wasnt even done on him after he fell. If Jeff Hardy misses a swanton at the end of a twenty minute match youd accept the impact of the high risk move could be enough to finish him off, but Yokozuna fell the same distance as he would if he had performed a vertical suplex and was somehow out? This wasnt even the worst part though. Its very established in WWE and all pro wrestling that a pin attempt can be broke up by making contact with the ropes. Not only was Yokozuna in contact with the ropes, but it was lying across his chest as Austin made the pin.
Hello! My name is David Pustansky. As well as writing for this site, I'm also an actor, presenter, writer, director and artist. So basically I love creative things where there's a story to be told. I run my own theatre company, The ImProDigies. Be sure to check our shows out. As I'm sure you'll see from my articles I often look into things with a unique and quirky perspective and have a strange attention to sometimes strange details. Enjoy!See more from David