‘Sup, Lords of Pain? Well here we are, just a couple of days away from one of the most anticipated PPVs in recent history. An event that has the potential to put internet darlings CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to dizzy new heights. Will we all be disappointed come Monday morning? It is a possibility but if there were guarantees in wrestling we probably wouldn’t be watching it in the first place. The important thing is that it has been one hell of a ride to the double SummerSlam main event. In fact I would go as far as saying the WWE have booked it brilliantly and the main participants have delivered their A-games to give SummerSlam 2013 a very special feel. I have every confidence that both matches will deliver in the 4 to 5 star range and now it is a case of “roll on Sunday”. Being this close to SummerSlam also means that for the last time, I am bringing you...
Statistically SummerSlam #1 - Excellence of Execution... (CPR Productions)
Aug 15, 2013 - 6:43:57 PM
Over the last 10 weeks I have looked at the careers of the 29 men who have wrestled in 5 or more matches at the WWE’s second biggest PPV. I scored them in 5 different categories and added them together to get the final ranking. The 5 categories were Appearances, Win Percentage, Average Match Importance Factor (higher for more main events etc), Average Match Length and Average Star Rating (based on Dave Meltzer’s ratings). Before we get to the full rankings however, I gave 2 final Stump Lords of Pain questions last week based on the worst in SummerSlam history according to Meltzer’s star ratings. The 4 guys with more than 1 match that did a 0 star rating or lower are Dusty Rhodes, The Undertaker, The Great Khali and The Honky Tonk Man. I guess the lesson is not to have your ring name start with a “The”. The other SLOP question asked for the 3 worst rated matches in the history of the event. They were Dusty vs Honky Tonk, Ivory vs Tori and The Oddities vs Kaientai, all of which received negative 2 stars. But that is enough about the bad. I have just 3 more pieces to fit into the puzzle. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the full Statistically SummerSlam countdown...
29. Matt Hardy
28. Booker T
27. Ted DiBiase
26. Billy Gunn
25. Sean Waltman
24. John Bradshaw Layfield
23. The Big Show
22. Chris Benoit
21 - Kane
Appearances: 10 (=5th/29)
Win Percentage: 60% (=11th/29)
Average MIF: 2.1 (24th/29)
Average Match Length: 10:00 (23rd/29)
Average Star Rating: *1/2 (28th/29)
So coming in just outside the top 20 is the Big Red Machine. Whilst it is a shame that such a talented big man doesn’t finish higher despite hitting double digits in terms of appearances, it probably isn’t a surprise. 10 SummerSlam matches puts him in equal fifth spot for that category but it is the area where he scores the most by quite a distance. He also brings a decent win percentage to the table with 6 victories, 3 losses and the 1 no contest to his name. It is the other 3 categories which really bring him down, failing to crack the top 20 in any of them. His MIF factor is 2.1, barely above a midcard level average. He has never closed the show in 10 attempts and has only one semi-main event to his name - a World Heavyweight Championship match from 2010. He has averaged 10 minutes per appearance overall and the only time he managed to go pass the 15 minute mark, he hadn’t even been given the Kane gimmick. His worst category is Average Star Rating where only one man scored lower. He has never gone past the two and a half stars mark and although he is definitely not known for his classic in ring performances, it is still a pretty poor showing.
As I alluded to earlier, Glenn Jacobs started out under the Isaac Yankem gimmick where he was Jerry Lawler’s dentist. He fought Bret Hart in his SummerSlam debut in 1995. He wouldn’t make it to the event again until 4 years later, this time sporting the red mask we would come to know and love. In 1999 he partnered with X-Pac in losing the tag team titles to The Undertaker and the Big Show, and would wrestle against his “brother” again the next year, going to a no contest. It was the tag division again in 2001, this time partnering with his big bro to unify the WCW and WWF tag straps during the InVasion angle against DDP and Kanyon. A run of 5 singles victories would follow, with Rob Van Dam, Matt Hardy, Finlay, The Great Khali all falling to Kane in extremely uninspiring encounters. His big moment would be the final of those 5 wins in 2010 as he retained the big gold belt against Rey Mysterio in his other 2 and a half star match. That leaves him with one more match at the event and whilst it only received 2 stars, it was definitely the start of something special. His defeat to Daniel Bryan came just before they were forced to team together as Hell No, a partnership that has only just cooled down with DB catapulted to this year’s main event. Jacobs’ part in Bryan’s rise could end up being the pinnacle of his career once all is said and done. He does have his own match this year though. I doubt the Ring of Fire match will do a great deal for his averages but it will be another notch on his SummerSlam post and possible another bit of work to put a superstar on the fast track to the top.
20. Eddie Guerrero
18. Rey Mysterio
16. Davey Boy Smith
15. Jeff Hardy
14. Mick Foley
13. The Ultimate Warrior
12. CM Punk
11 - Chris Jericho
Appearances: 9 (=7th/29)
Win Percentage: 44% (=20th/29)
Average MIF: 2.56 (16th/29)
Average Match Length: 15:11 (11th/29)
Average Star Rating: *** (9th/29)
This year Y2J finds himself off galavanting with Fozzy rather than trying to give his SummerSlam record that little extra push to help him crack the top 10. His 9 appearances at the event put him in equal 7th spot, and like Kane it is his best category. He hasn’t had a great amount of kayfabe success at the event either with a win record of 4-5. Despite being part of the final match on a couple of occasions, he has found himself in the midcard most of the time, putting him in 16th spot when it comes to Match Importance Factor. He does do better when it comes to average match length and star rating, but not quite as well as some of you might expect. His has the 11th longest match time at just over 15 minutes and the only time he went past 20 minutes was in the Team WWE vs Nexus multiman encounter. He hit an average of 3 stars when it comes to quality which is 9th overall. He was actually extremely consistent here, never scoring as low as 2 stars or as high as 4. He probably finds himself a victim of circumstance as he was never given that huge match to really steal the show with a decent amount of time and high profile encounter. The only year he was really in a feud where he could have done this, he was involved in a segment rather than a match, with Shawn Michaels. But let’s not waste time on matches that didn’t happen and look at the ones that did.
He started out in 2000 losing to old rival Chris Benoit in a good 2 out of 3 falls match which needed a few more minutes to hit the great category. He would defeat Rhyno and lose to Ric Flair at the next couple of years in throwaway encounters before getting his first main event in 2003 in the elimination chamber match. Like a lot of these multiman encounters though, Jericho was pretty much a strong hand to help it along. He would find himself going after Edge’s IC title the next year in a triple threat also involving Batista but once again coming up short. His title jinx would continue in 2005 when he failed to wrestle the WWE title away from John Cena in what is his top rated SummerSlam encounter at 3 and three quarter stars. A hiatus would follow but upon his return in 2009 he would finally taste SummerSlam gold. He came into the event as half of the tag champs with The Big Show and they would retain against Cryme Tyme. He would follow that up playing one of the Team WWE villains against the Nexus, where he would have the honour of being eliminated by Heath Slater. Of course last year would see him “win the big one” in a strange storyline with Dolph Ziggler which probably should have been so much more. I have no doubt that this isn’t quite the end of Jericho’s SummerSlam adventure but if he is back in 2014 I just hope that both he and the company put a bit more effort into things and maybe then he will have a shot at cracking the top 10.
10. The Undertaker (click here for column)
9. Hulk Hogan (click here for column)
8. Edge (click here for column)
7. The Rock (click here for column)
6. John Cena (click here for column)
5. Shawn Michaels (click here for column)
4. Triple H (click here for column)
3. Kurt Angle (click here for column)
2. Randy Orton (click here for column)
1 - Bret Hart
Appearances: 11 (=3rd/29)
Win Percentage: 64% (8th/29)
Average MIF: 2.63 (12th/29)
Average Match Length: 19:15 (1st/29)
Average Star Rating: *** (7th/29)
And in an ending as predictable as an Arsenal transfer saga, Bret Hart tops the list of the greatest performers in SummerSlam history. He was the favourite before things started and no matter how much I tried to cook the stats, the man just could not be denied. I kid of course. In the end Randy Orton was very close but Bret held on but let’s take a look at just how he did it. His 11 matches at the event put him in equal third spot. It helped that he pulled double duty in 1993 but very interesting to note that there were 22 years between his first and last appearances. It’s funny that despite many classics on his SummerSlam CV, it is that final match, 13 years after his second to last that confirmed his position at number 1 on this list. He could barely get around the ring as part of Team WWE vs The Nexus but it improved his score in all 5 categories. It gave him an extra match, an extra win (despite being eliminated), another main event for his MIF factor and the the length and star rating were also higher than his averages.
Bret has 7 wins and 4 losses to his name at SummerSlam, the 8th best winning percentage out there and actually his second worst category. He scores lowest in the Match Importance Factor category. Whilst he closed the show on 3 occasions and probably should have on one more (1994), he is another one of those old school guys who came up the long way. He spent a good amount of time in the midcard and in fact his first 3 matches were in the tag division, whilst he was in the Intercontinental Championship picture for the next 2. In fact the first time he got to wrestle for a world title at SummerSlam was in his 8th match. When it comes to average match length, Bret tops the lot at over 19 minutes. He was usually entrusted with 15 minutes no matter where he found himself on the card and he passed that 20 minutes mark on 4 occasions. He averages out to 3 stars in terms of quality, putting him in 7th spot there but again, this would have been higher if it wasn’t for the path he took to the top. When you think Bret matches at SummerSlam you think of classics. According to Meltzer, he hit that 4 star mark on 4 different occasions and that is not including the huge match against the Undertaker from 1997 which really changed the course of wrestling history. I would say that his match with Jerry Lawler in 1993 is probably a bit overrated at 4 stars but you cannot dispute the quality of the other 3. His cage match with Owen in 1994 is the only 5 star encounter in SummerSlam history and his main event with Davey Boy Smith for the IC belt in 1992 is often regarded as the greatest match the event has seen by fans. Both were top notch but for me it is his 1991 encounter with Mr Perfect that was his shining moment. Just a phenomenal performance by two of the best ever and it is my SummerSlam version of Savage vs Steamboat. I will finish up here with this must-see match.
So there we have it. Bret wins out and I can be sad about it for another year. Do make sure to check out the next edition of The Right Side of the Pond on Lords of Pain Radio. You can hear Bobby Cash and I discuss Hart’s SummerSlam record in a little more detail. In addition Joey, Plan and Maverick join us to preview this year’s event and we put our predictions up against Hustle team from Stateside. You can listen to the show on Friday at 9pm UK time which is 4pm EST >>>HERE<<< or download it after the fact at the same place (or >>>HERE<<< for iTunes). Alternatively you can simply use the magic LoP Radio box below. I hope you have enjoyed the Statistically SummerSlam countdown. I shall be back sometime after this year’s event with something new and also keep your ears to the ground for a special series featuring myself and The Doc. Until then however, have a great SummerSlam. Peace!
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