SummerSlam 2002: A demeanour behind during a landscape-shifting impulse in WWE history
August 8, 2017 - WWE
WWE pay-per-view events come and go, yet good moments mount a exam of time. Fifteen years ago, as WWE was looking to reinstate a temperament post-Invasion, SummerSlam 2002 constructed a landmark impulse that came to conclude a decade that followed in a WWE.
That night’s categorical eventuality noted a changing of a guard, and it was done all a some-more critical by all that preceded it. From high-octane movement and shining storytelling, to a staggering quip and a chronological conclusion, a biggest celebration of a summer was never as prohibited as it was in 2002.
On a night when highlights were a normal inside New York’s Nassau Coliseum, zero shined brighter than a illegal travel quarrel featuring Triple H and a returning Shawn Michaels. After Michaels spent 4 years on a shelf with a behind damage that clearly finished his career, this epic confront between longtime friends kicked off a second proviso of Michaels’ Hall of Fame career.
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His initial compare given a categorical eventuality of WrestleMania 14 in 1998 was equally considerable since of how many steam Michaels and Triple H picked adult in such a brief time. Michaels returned usually one month before SummerSlam, prepared to collect adult where he had left off as he and Triple H wore Degeneration-X shirts to a ring and distinguished their lapse as such on a Jul 22 partial of Monday Night Raw. But with one extraction to Michaels, Triple H became a ultimate villain.
Triple H took that violation even serve a following week when he ambushed Michaels in a parking lot. That was adequate irritation to sign a deal, yet it took an additional spin as an “unsanctioned” competition due to Michaels’ damage story — and with that, one of a biggest SummerSlam matches of all time was set.
The hitch achieved many things, yet zero larger than a story it told. The loyal inlet of Michaels’ quip was lighted with a sound of a opening bell, and it was transparent in a initial few mins of a compare that he hadn’t mislaid a step. Heading into a match, it was anyone’s theory either this was a “one some-more match” conditions for Michaels, yet as a nearby 30-minute masterpiece ebbed and flowed, it became transparent that this wouldn’t be a final time we saw him in a ring.
Michaels wasn’t a usually one who impressed, though. Triple H solidified himself as a best heel in a business with this performance, as he targeted Michaels’ formerly harmed behind via a competition and continued a attack after it concluded. Though Michaels came out victorious, Triple H was a one who exited a ring with a grin on his face after he pounded Michaels with his signature sledgehammer to a back, call Jim Ross on explanation to shout, “How in God’s name can that tellurian being be from this planet? Does he have no conscience? Does he have no heart? Do we have no soul?”
As emotionally fatiguing as that co-main eventuality was, it was usually one partial of a eight-match label that was SummerSlam 2002. The eventuality was fervent from a get-go, interjection to a assembly of dual iconic WWE stars impending a rise of their powers.
There have been some good opening matches in WWE pay-per-view history: Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart during WrestleMania 10, Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt during a 2014 Royal Rumble, Bryan vs. Triple H during WrestleMania 30, usually to name a few. The Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio compare during SummerSlam 2002 belongs nearby a tip of that list.
The compare began during full speed and did not delayed down, interjection in vast partial to a time stipulations a competitors had to understanding with. Mysterio’s aerial attacks and athleticism blended ideally with Angle’s annulment and strength-based offense. The dual delivered a shot of adrenaline to a Long Island throng that lasted a whole show.
The bout, that lasted tighten to 10 minutes, was about 5 mins brief of potentially reaching an chosen turn — yet it’s as sparkling a uncover opener as you’ll ever see.
– WWE (@WWE) June 26, 2017
It was a start of a thesis for a evening. On tip of a enthralling sold efforts put onward in a matches, a uncover was constructed remarkably good in that it managed to tie a several themes and storylines together, many particularly a importance on American honour by mixed matches.
In Jul 2002, a coterie called a Un-Americans had blossomed from nothing, primarily consisting of Canadians Lance Storm and Christian. They were after assimilated by associate countryman Test. All 3 were in movement during SummerSlam. After slicing a sardonic anti-American promo, Storm and Christian, afterwards a tag-team champions, took on a renouned twin of Booker T and Goldust in what was a really interesting championship match. Test interfered on interest of his cohorts, permitting Storm and Christian to collect adult a victory.
America was down yet not out as a American Badass himself, The Undertaker, looked for atonement in a compare with Test — and that’s accurately what he got. Despite a efforts of Storm and Christian, who looked to make it a purify brush for a Un-Americans, America prevailed in a form of a tombstone piledriver by The Undertaker, followed by his ascent adult a turnbuckle while fluttering a American flag.
Before story was done in a night’s categorical event, there was another pretension change as Rob Van Dam snagged his third Intercontinental championship from Chris Benoit in a exhausting eventuality full of superb psychological tactics.
Match psychology was a pivotal component in Eddie Guerrero’s proceed opposite Edge as well. The expertly worked compare saw Guerrero aim Edge’s shoulder as a proceed to discharge Edge’s use of his law spear. Though a diversion devise was carried out, this sold story finished with Edge topping a contingency and nailing his stalk by a pain for a victory.
The many argumentative compare of a night saw Ric Flair daub out to Chris Jericho while Jericho practical Flair’s possess figure-four leg lock, usually for a outcome to get waved off as Flair grabbed a bottom wire before submitting. The conceited Jericho was underneath a sense he’d won a match, usually to be sealed into Flair’s figure four, that eventually forced a acquiescence in a other direction.
And afterwards there was a categorical event. This unusual pay-per-view’s superstar saw widespread 25-year-old pretender Brock Lesnar plea The Rock for a WWE championship. Lesnar, who warranted a event when he became a 2002 King of a Ring, was looking to turn a youngest WWE champion in story — and a throng was wholeheartedly behind him.
The Rock, one of a many renouned WWE attractions of all time, started to see a drop in fan support following his feat over Hulk Hogan during WrestleMania 18 progressing in 2002. That drop incited into a thrust in fan support by a time SummerSlam rolled around, as The Rock competence as good have been a heel in this match. His career was headed to Hollywood, and a fans knew it.
Through “Rocky sucks” chants, The Rock and Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, anxious a hyped-up throng with plausible nearby falls. The Rock even strike a Rock Bottom on Heyman by a announcer’s table. At a finish of a day, though, it was all about Rock’s eager flitting of a flame to Lesnar, whom he believed to be a destiny of a company.
Lesnar would be a future, if usually for a subsequent year and a half, and this impulse crystallized usually how clever he could be during a rise of his powers.
A wise finish to one of a many noted WWE events of a past 20 years.