As soon as WrestleMania season comes to a close, the road to SummerSlam begins. SummerSlam has been positioned as WWE's second biggest event of the year right behind 'Maina and its recent installments have proven to be even better than The Show of Shows more often than not. That will be a tough task this year with WrestleMania 30 widely regarded as one of the greatest pay-per-views in history, but either way, this year's SummerSlam is shaping up to be a blockbuster with what's been announced for the card. From Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella to Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt, many matches on the card have the potential to show-stealers. The main event of the show will see John Cena defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against the destructive Brock Lesnar. Given the storied history between the two, their upcoming encounter is one of the most highly anticipated matches in ages. It's the not the first time the WWE title has taken center stage at SummerSlam, however, as the biggest party of the summer has played host to several instant classics over the prestigious prize since the event's inception in 1988. Regardless of whether it has closed out the show, the WWE Championship matches have always been the focal point at SummerSlam. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar has the potential to be one of the best bouts in recent memory, but where will it rank against some of these other summer spectacles contested over the WWE title in years past?
10. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H vs. Mankind (1999)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44v22XlUNe4 Triple Threat matches have the potential to be hit or miss, but the magic of this matchup was that everyone involved had an equal chance of winning. For being as hot as he was at the time, Steve Austin was on a major roll as WWE champion and planned on leaving SummerSlam with his WWE Championship intact. His longtime rival Triple H also entered the contest with a head of steam and was a major candidate to leave with the gold. Even though Mankind was portrayed as the underdog of the three, even he had a chance of winning. Unpredictability in a match of this caliber is hard to find these ways and this 1999 SummerSlam main event captured that vibe perfectly. That's in addition to the fact that all three guys had excellent in-ring chemistry together, making for a fun back-and-forth bout. The x-factor of it all? The Governor of Minnesota and former WWF commentator Jesse Ventura serving as the special guest referee! This was over a decade removed from the last time Ventura refereed a SummerSlam event in 1988. The suspense of who would emerge from the match victorious kept the fans in attendance and those watching worldwide on the edge of their seats. Mankind was the least likely candidate to win of the three competitors, yet still managed to come out on top somehow. It was a magical moment for sure, especially in retrospect since it would ultimately be Mick Foley's last run with the title. He'd drop the strap less than 24 hours later to Triple H on Raw. Why The Game didn't embark on his first reign with the prestigious prize starting at SummerSlam is unknown, but there's no denying that Mankind winning back the belt made for a memorable moment in the history of SummerSlam.
Since 2008, Graham has been a diehard pro wrestling fan and, in 2010, he combined his passions for WWE and writing when he joined Bleacher Report. Equipped with a master's in journalism, Graham has contributed to WhatCulture, FanSided's Daily DDT, Sports Betting Dime, and GateHouse Media. Along the way, he has conducted interviews with wrestling superstars like Chris Jericho, Edge, Goldberg, Christian, Diamond Dallas Page, Jim Ross, Adam Cole, Tessa Blanchard, Ryback, and Nick Aldis among others.