Summerslam is WWE’s second-largest show of the year behind WrestleMania. The biggest party of the summer sees the company go all out with the event, with the event taking place at the Staples Center. The event was headlined by CM Punk and John Cena, following on from their classic Money In The Bank match a month prior. But, which matches were the best? Here is every Summerslam 2011 match ranked from worst to best.
6. Mark Henry vs Sheamus – Singles match
Both Mark Henry and Sheamus are very capable Superstars, with the World’s Strongest Man now being a WWE Hall Of Famer and Sheamus recently losing the US Championship at Summerslam 2021. But, at Summerslam 2011 they were plagued by shoddy booking, with the match ended up in a countout after Henry rolled out of the ring following a Brogue Kick, which led to Sheamus tackling him through the barricade, eventually leading to Sheamus being counted out. Both men can do much better than what they were given at this event.
5. Kelly Kelly (c) (with Eve Torres) vs Beth Phoenix (with Natalya) – Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship
I’m so glad women’s wrestling gets the respect it deserves today, but that wasn’t the case in 2011. While the match went nearly seven minutes, which is double what we usually saw during this period, it still didn’t live up to the expectation of what we know both Superstars could do, especially Beth Phoenix. The match ended when Kelly managed to reverse Phoenix’s Glam Slam into a roll-up to retain the title.
4. John Morrison, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio vs R-Truth, The Miz and Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) – Six-man tag team match
The opening match of Summerslam 2011 saw John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, and Rey Mysterio take on R-Truth, The Miz, and Alberto Del Rio. Overall, it was a pretty decent match, but perhaps lacking considering the level of star power and the abilities of the Superstars involved. The match ended after Mysterio delivered a 619 to R-Truth. Not a bad opener to kick off the show.
3. Wade Barrett vs Daniel Bryan – Singles match
Lasting almost 12 minutes, the former leader of The Nexus defeated Daniel Bryan in a good match. While this match won’t light the world on fire, it was still an impressive display by both men. Wade Barrett scored the win after executing a Wasteland to Daniel Bryan to score the pinfall. At this point in his career, Daniel Bryan hadn’t quite become the star he would later become, mainly down to the WWE being unwilling to let him run with the ball.
2. Christian (c) vs Randy Orton – No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Christian vs Randy Orton is an extremely underrated feud from this era. It was during this period that we saw Christian his only world championships in the company, depending on if you class the ECW Championship as a world championship, with him defeating Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match, to then lose to Orton days later, only to capture it again which led us to this match. Both Superstars traded finishers, including Orton reversing an RKO by Christian into his own on the commentator’s table. The match ended when Orton reversed a sunset flip into an RKO to win the match and once again regain the World Heavyweight Championship. This would be the last time Christian held the title in WWE.
1. CM Punk (c) defeated John Cena (c) – Singles match for the Undisputed WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee
Just a month after their classic Money In The Bank WWE Championship match, CM Punk once again faced John Cena to decide once and for all who would be the WWE Champion. The odds were stacked against Punk as Triple H served as the special guest referee in the match. The match went over 24 minutes, and although not as good as their Money In The Bank encounter it isn’t far off. Punk and Cena traded finishing moves, with Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment, followed by Punk delivering the GTS. CM Punk retained the title after a second GTS despite Cena’s foot being on the rope.
After the match Kevin Nash came out to attack CM Punk, performing a Jackknife Powerbomb on the WWE Champion. It was at this moment that the end of the PPV was ruined as Alberto Del Rio decided to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase on a weakened Punk to win the title from him in five seconds. But, even with the terrible ending to the event, it doesn’t take away from what a fantastic match this was.