Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

As summer heats up, wrestling fans eagerly anticipate the arrival of Summerslam, one of the most iconic events in WWE history. With the 2021 edition fast approaching, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit one of the most memorable Summerslams of all time: the 1998 “Highway to Hell” event at Madison Square Garden. This unforgettable night featured a legendary ladder match and a slew of other incredible bouts.

Here’s a ranking of all the Summerslam 1998 matches, from worst to best.

8. The Oddities vs. Kaientai – 4 vs 3 Handicap Match

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

This 10-minute match was all about fun and entertainment. The Oddities, with their combined weight of over 1,100 pounds, squared off against the high-flying Kaientai, who weighed in at a total of 808 pounds. While it may not have been a technical masterpiece, the comedic spots and lighthearted action made it an enjoyable watch.

7. X-Pac vs. Jeff Jarrett – Hair vs Hair Match

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

After Jeff Jarrett shaved legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel’s head earlier in the night, X-Pac sought revenge by defeating Jarrett and allowing Finkel to return the favor. The match itself was well-paced and featured some excellent spots, but it often gets overshadowed by other bouts on the card.

6. Edge and Sable vs. Marc Mero and Jacqueline – Mixed Tag Team Match

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

Edge made his WWF pay-per-view debut at Summerslam 1998, teaming up with Sable to take on Marc Mero and Jacqueline. The match marked the culmination of a months-long feud between Sable and her former partner Mero. Fans were fully invested in the action, and it was clear from the start that Edge had a bright future ahead of him. He would go on to win 11 world championships and be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

5. The New Age Outlaws vs. Mankind (c) – Handicap Match for the Tag Team Championships

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

Originally scheduled as a standard tag team match, Mankind’s partner Kane opted not to participate, leaving Mankind to face the New Age Outlaws alone. The match was essentially a short squash, with the Outlaws using various weapons to dismantle Mankind before securing the pinfall victory. After the match, Kane emerged from a dumpster and attacked Mankind with a sledgehammer, adding further intrigue to their tumultuous partnership.

4. D’Lo Brown (c) vs. Val Venis – European Championship

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

The opening match of Summerslam 1998 saw D’Lo Brown defend his European Championship against Val Venis. Both superstars showcased their impressive skills and abilities in this highly entertaining bout. Today, Brown and Venis are often overlooked, but this match serves as a reminder of their undeniable talent.

3. Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart – Lion’s Den Match

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

Before joining the WWF, Ken Shamrock was an accomplished MMA fighter in the UFC. At Summerslam 1998, he brought the world of MMA to the wrestling ring with the Lion’s Den match, a unique bout that took place inside an octagonal cage. Owen Hart, a member of the legendary Hart wrestling family, proved to be a worthy opponent. The match was a fascinating blend of scripted action and genuine fighting, making it a standout moment of the night.

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. The Undertaker – WWF Championship

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

With both Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker at the peak of their careers, this main event match was a must-see for fans. The two icons had rarely faced off in the WWF, making this encounter all the more special. Despite Austin being briefly knocked out early in the match, both superstars delivered a thrilling performance that solidified their legendary status.

1. Triple H vs. The Rock (c) – Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship

Reliving Summerslam 1998: Ranking the Matches from Worst to Best

The ladder match between Triple H and The Rock at Summerslam 1998 is not only the best match of the night, but it’s also one of the greatest ladder matches in wrestling history. The bout was a more grounded affair than the high-flying ladder matches of today, and both superstars were on the verge of becoming main event stars. The match, which lasted nearly 26 minutes, featured excellent storytelling and innovative use of the ladder. This epic encounter marked the end of the long-running DX vs. Nation of Domination storyline, and The Rock would go on to win the WWF Championship just three months later at Survivor Series.

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