WWE Summerslam 2002 Review

As we enter 2003, its time for me to review another WWE DVD. This time I’m reviewing WWE Summerslam 2002, the PPV that many people consider the best of 2002, but why? Was it the triumphant return of Shawn Michaels to the ring? Or was it the crowning of a new WWE Undisputed Champion? The PPV certainly had a lot to offer, but was it truly all that good?

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Cert: 15

Length: (VHS) 162 mins (DVD) 205 mins

Here is a full look at the card:

Matches

  • Undisputed WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock
  • Unsanctioned Match: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
  • Undertaker vs. Test
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit
  • Tag Team Championship Match: Booker T and Goldust vs. Christian and Lance Storm
  • Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
  • Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho
  • Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio

On the PPV card they were plenty of matches that I was looking forward to but none more than Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H. Yeah believe it or not I was looking forward to watch a Triple H match, but not because of Mr Helemsy, I was looking forward to see HBK back in action. Although I was very doubtful to see if HBK could work a decent match, never mind put on a performance like he did when he was in his prime. Never the less I kept an open mind about the match, and I was looking forward to it more than anything. I must admit, the feud between HBK and Triple H had been pretty interesting to watch, and it was nice to see Triple H play the role of heel. This match certainly had the hype, but I was doubtful if it could live up to it. Find out if it did.

Another match that would certainly be interesting to watch was Brock vs. Rock, for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Brock Lesnar was on a role being crowded the King of the Ring 2002, and winning the opportunity to go onto Summerslam and face the WWE Champion, it seemed nothing would get in his way. The Rock had just made a return, and at Vengeance he became the WWE Undisputed in a fantastic match with Kurt Angle and The Undertaker. As Summerslam approached the rivalry between these two superstars was gaining momentum, and Brock vs. Rock looked to be an outstanding match up.

The PPV card was filled with matches for RAW and Smackdown. However one match would see Chris Benoit of Smackdown take on Rob Van Dam of Raw for the WWE IC Championship. This match would be very good to watch, the contrasting styles of Chris Benoit and his technical wrestling, and the highflying style of RVD.

Highs and Lows

The opening match of the PPV featured Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio, and it was a decent opening bout from the pair. The match started off with Rey attacking Angle from behind, Rey used fast paced and highflying moves to try and wear Angle down. As Rey went for the 619 he missed and went to the floor, Angle took advantage of this opportunity and beat Rey down in the ring. Once both men were up, Rey went for a bulldog but Angle reversed the move into a German suplex, however Rey rolled Angle up for the pin, but only got a two count. Angle battled away with Rey, using his technical ability to wear Rey down. The action was fast paced and very entertaining, the ending came when Rey was caught in the ankle lock and he tapped out. The match was great, and it was a perfect opening to a great PPV. It did surprise me that Kurt Angle, a former WWE Champion, would be put in a match with Rey Mysterio, no disrespect to Rey at all, I just though Angle would have been higher up the card, however the match paid off and it was very good.

Whoooooooo, Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho. This could have been a fantastic match, if Flair was about 10 years younger in his prime. I never expected that this match would be any good, and I was about right. The build up to the match was good, and it would have been great if the match had been good, sadly it wasn’t. Ric Flair starts the match off and he takes Jericho down, Jericho comes back and takes it to Flair. A few chops later, Ric Flair manages to lock the Figure Four on Jericho and he taps out. Jericho is a first class athlete; its sad Flair is nothing like he used to be, but that’s expected. The match was ok, but I can’t see why Jericho was stuck fighting Flair, he should have been in a match where the opponent could keep up with him. Not a totally bad match, but not a match I advise people to watch again.

Ah, Smackdown saves the day once again. Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero two of Smackdown’s superstars. This was a solid match from start to finish. It was not spectacular, but it was solid. Edge and Eddie certainly give it their best shot. The match was technical and very aerial, and it was a just what I needed after the Flair vs. Jericho match. Once again the match was solid and the ending came when Edge speared Eddie for the pin. Top-notch wrestling and entertainment from both men, certainly a match that should not be missed.

WWE Tag Team Championship match now, Booker T & Goldust vs. Lance Storm & Christian. Both these teams are a credit to RAW, I find them entertaining in any match their in, and this was no exception. Both teams fought solidly throughout the match, and Booker T & Goldust performed best to their ability. Storm & Christian performed excellently as heels, and this helped the match a lot. The ending to the match came when Test interfered and let Christian pick up the pin. The match was good, although I though the ending was very disappointing, I was expecting Goldust & Booker to win the titles, but I suppose it just wasn’t their night. Overall a good, solid and entertaining bout.

RVD battles Chris Benoit for the IC Championship now. Story goes, Chris Benoit defeats RVD on RAW for the IC Championship, then Benoit along with Eddie Guerrero defect over to Smackdown taking the IC Championship with him. So RVD gets a rematch against Benoit at the PPV. Ok, so there is not much history between the two, but surely the match would be great. And it was, the action was superb from both men. Chris Benoit worked on RVD with a variety of suplex moves and a variety of submission moves, wearing RVD down so he could lock the Crossface on. RVD tried to battle back with some offence of his own, but Benoit locked him into the Crossface. He battled back and Benoit continued the assault. RVD then manages to gain back the advantage and hit a Five Star Frog Splash for the pin. This was a great match by both men and maybe even the match of the night.

It seems no WWE PPV is without its “Lets not put someone over” type match, and sadly Summerslam was exactly the same. Undertaker vs. Test was the match. This was a brawl from the start as both big men hammered away at each other. Taker goes for a bit of Old School, but Test throws the referee into the ropes causing the -Deadman to come crashing down. The match continues with Test dominating for a while and then Undertaker gaining back the advantage. Storm & Christian head down to the ring, but they are met with a Chokeslam for their efforts. Test hits Undertaker with a big boot but only gets a two count. Undertaker hits Test with the Tombstone and gets the victory. Pretty usual stuff from Undertaker, just very disappointing to see Test lose. Probably the worst match of the night, but still not terrible stuff.

Did I say RVD vs. Benoit was match of the night? Well I spoke to soon, because the match of the night award goes to Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels. This match was truly outstanding and it was very entertaining. The match was Non-Sanctioned by the WWE, so in another words it was going to be a Hardcore, Street Fight type match up. Anyway the action began with HBK and Triple H brawling with each other and using various weapons to batter one another. Triple H gives HBK a DDT onto a chair, and goes outside to look for a sledgehammer; HBK tries to fight back but to no avail. Triple H continues the assault onto Michaels injured back, but in a true “Earl Hebner moment” Earl starts verbally laying into Triple H, supposedly telling him to lay off Michaels, but Triple H continues to beat up Michaels. The match follows this pattern for a while, Triple H beating Michaels up, with Michaels trying to fight back but getting nowhere. Then HBK starts to fight back, he manages to get a ladder from under the ring and beats Trips up with that for a while. He then sets a table up outside the ring and lays Triple H onto it, in a “Holy Sh*t” moment, HBK goes up to the top turnbuckle and he dives on to Triple H crashing through the table. Back in the ring, HBK sets up the ladder; he climbs it and delivers a classic flying elbow onto Triple H. Shawn goes for some Sweet Chin Music, but Triple H catches him and sets him up for the Pedigree, however Shawn reverses it and rolls Triple H up for the 1, 2, 3. As HBK celebrates, Triple H assaults Michaels with the sledgehammer, leaving him to be carried backstage on a stretcher. After an absence of many years HBK got back into the ring and he was not a wreak like many people thought, he was great in the ring, nearly as good as he was in his prime. I never though that I would see HBK perform any of the spots he did in that match, but he did, and it was truly fantastic. The match was great, and hats off to both men for putting on a great entertaining match. The only part I did not like was the ending, there was no need for HBK to be beaten up by Triple H; it was pointless and not necessary. Anyway, it was a top match regardless off the ending.

Before we move to the main event, The Fink addresses the crowd but is interrupted by Trish Stratus. Then Lillian Garcia comes out and attacks The Fink. Can’t really think why this was on the PPV, if they wanted to fill a bit of extra time they should have just had one of the matches last a little longer.

WWE Undisputed Championship match now, Brock Lesnar takes on The Rock. This was pretty good indeed. As always, The Rock puts a solid performance on and Brock did as well. The match started out with Rock attempting to gain the early advantage, then Brock comes back and starts to gain control. The match goes outside where Paul Heyman takes some shots at Rocky. As the match continues Rock manages to lock Lesnar in the Sharpshooter, however with some interference from Heyman, Brock manages to take control. Brock locks The Rock into a Bear Hug and squeezes the life out of The Rock. Rock comes back and goes low, and then the action goes to the outside of the ring where Paul Heyman is put through the announcing table. In to the ring and Rock hits a Rock Bottom for the two count. Brock then hits his own “Brock Bottom” but the Rock kicks out at two. The match continues and Rock goes for The People’s Elbow, only to be met with a clothesline from Brock. Brock eventually hits the F5 and pins Rock to become the new WWE Undisputed Champion. Great match from both guys and Rock sold very well for Brock. I have got to admire The Rock, he maybe taking a lot of time off, but he doesn’t mind putting guys over, not like a lot of the WWE main event stars. Overall this was a good match and it was the dawning of the Brock Era in the WWE.

Overall

This is quite easily the best PPV of 2002, it had everything a WWE fan wants, it had an electric opening match, a solid match between Eddie Guerrero and Edge, a classic IC Championship bout between RVD and Chris Benoit, an awesome match with Shawn Michaels and Triple H and a top quality main event. I thoroughly enjoyed the PPV, even the bad matches weren’t that bad. Summerslam 2002 was like a shinning star for the WWE, in a year where the Pay Per Views had been pretty mediocre this was excellent.

DVD Extras

  • Post Match Interviews with Kurt Angle, Booker T & Goldust, Eddie Guerrero, RVD and Brock Lesnar
  • Training with The Rock
  • Training with Brock Lesnar
  • The HBK Story
  • The “F-5”
  • The making of the Summerslam commercial
  • The Summerslam Commercial
  • Sunday Night Heat Interview: Kurt Angle
  • Brock Lesnar v Hollywood Hulk Hogan (Smackdown – 08/08/02)
  • Shawn Michaels on Byte This!

The DVD has a lot more to offer than the video does, with extras such as Shawn Michaels on Byte This! And Brock Lesnar vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan from earlier on in the year, this DVD is well worth buying. As always the DVD offers better sound and picture quality, but if you can’t get the DVD, the video is also well worth buying. All in all this is the best WWE event of the year 2002, so I suggest if you have some spare money, head over to silvervision.co.uk or any good video stockist and pick up this excellent WWE event.

Points: 10/10

Buy it:

UK: £14.99 (VHS) / £15.99 (DVD)

USA: VHS / DVD

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