The PoP! Stars narrow it down to the cream of the crop in categories ranging from (but not limited to) Comics, Movies, Toys and Geek Culture in general. This is the PoP! Top 6-Pack.
6- Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect: 1991
Possibly Mr. Perfect’s greatest ever. Who better to have it against than the “Excellence of Execution”, Bret Hart. If you are a fan of technical wrestling and seeing two fantastic wrestlers go at it for 18 minutes then this is your match! The fact the Mr. Perfect was suffering from a bad back at the time and still put on this performance tells you all you need to know about Mr. Perfect.
As a kid watching this match I didn’t want to blink because I was afraid I would miss something. That’s the type of match it was. Counter after counter with moves and holds that would make both their fathers proud. The shocking moment of the match was seeing Bret Hart kick out of the Perfect Plex. At that time it was rare to have anyone kick out of a finisher unless your name was Hulk Hogan. Then seeing Bret catch Perfect’s leg and switch it over into a Sharpshooter was…well, you know
5- Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder): 1995
When I think about Michaels vs Razor their Wrestlemania X match is what comes to mind. In watching a lot of the matches to make my list I have to say that this match does hold its own very well. Not bad considering that Razor was a late replacement for Sid. I forget why he was replaced but who cares?
How do you follow up their Wrestlemania X classic? Add another ladder. Actually it took a little more than that like having Michaels take a Razors Edge off of the ladder. Shawn hitting Sweet Chin Music to knock Razor off his ladder was a magnificent spot. The double ladder sequence to end the match as well as the overall pace makes this one of the best in SummerSlam history.
4- Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (Street Fight): 2002
This was Shawn Michaels first big match since his returning from his long absence from the ring. Who else would you put him in the ring with but his former DX partner HHH? Making it a street fight and that gives them room to improvise if things don’t go well for HBK. Fortunately he was more that up for the fight.
Four years removed from the ring and you wouldn’t know it from his 28 minute throw down with HHH. The doubts about how he would perform were gone within minutes. Wrestling someone who he knows well and trust like HHH was a big bonus. The chemistry was evident and they were step for step with each other throughout the match. Shawn and the commentator did a great job of selling everyone on the idea that Shawn’s next bump could be his last. This added to the drama and made each strike from HHH much more cringe inducing.
3- Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Cage): 1994
Brother vs. Brother. This was being worked on since the previous year’s Survivor Series (Holy Crap Remember when the built up storylines?!). This is WRESLTING and you wouldn’t expect anything less from two wrestlers with Hart as their last names. Owen played a great heel who was tired of being overshadowed by his more popular babyface brother. Tantrums aside no one but Owen could put on a ring performance like this against Bret.
Blue steel cage and the only way to win was to escape the cage. That’s how every cage match should be! Not by pinning or submitting your opponent. It makes for many escape attempts like the ones in this match up. You even saw Bret superplex his brother from the top of the cage. The brothers Hart were perfectly in sync with each other. The years of wrestling each other in dad’s basement showed. The hard work and the technical execution was on display and it was a pleasure to watch.
2- Edge & Christian vs. The Hardys vs. The Dudleys (TLC): 2000
Remember the tag team division? This was tag team action at its best. If you enjoy “Holy S#!t” moments this match was loaded with them. Edge & Christian came into the match as the champions with The Hardys the odds on favorite to dethrone them since SummerSlam was being held in Hardy Country (Raleigh, North Carolina). The Dudley’s brought their brutish style and plenty of tables to the match.
I think the motto going into the match was “no table left behind” because every table in sight was destroyed by the time a winner was announced. One sequence had Bubba pushed off the top of ladder but no worries he had a stack of tables to cushion his fall. This was shortly followed by Matt trekking to the top of a ladder only to have D’Von tilt the ladder and have Matt fall onto another set of tables.
The champions held onto the title but this match was about the spots. Another spot that stood out was Bubba Ray’s Bubba Bomb on Christian off the top of the ladder that I’m surprised didn’t leave Christian in a Reeve like state. There were also enough chair shots that in today’s WWE the fines would be enough to support a small country. The finish had Jeff Hardy handing from the tittles while Edge & Christian beat him like a piñata.
1- Davey Boy Smith vs Bret Hart: 1992
When the battle for the Intercontinental title is the main event over the WWE Title you might have something special. In the case of Davey Boy vs. Bret it was exceptional. You had the family drama of both participants being real life brothers-in-law and the match taking place Davy Boy’s backyard of London, England. Adding to the story and drama was the addition of Bret’s sister (Davey Boy’s wife) Diana Smith at ringside.
Babyface vs. Babyface matches can sometimes be a little dull if there isn’t someone to really root against. Bret did his best to take up that heel role and did his best to make sure the crowd was behind their hometown boy. Davey Boy tired out early on in the match but in true Bret Hart fashion he did everything he could to carry the match and put Davey Boy over.
Ultimately what cements this match on the top of my list is that it’s a complete story. The drama before the match, the match itself, and the aftermath were all perfect. Davey Boy was elevated to the next level and Bret showed that he can carry a main event.
“If you don’t like it you shouldn’t be here – go do the dishes,” Bobby Heenan after they showed Diana Hart-Smith. I love Bobby Heenan.
It’s a little heavy on Bret Hart matches but hey the man was good and he was really good on the SummerSlam stage. This is my PoP! Top 6-Pack. What matches are in your top 6?