It turns out Cageside Seats isn't the only pro wrestling site that runs tournaments to determine the cream of the crop in various categories. Recently, WWE.com did something similar in an effort to crown a wrestler with the title of "Mr. SummerSlam," something like Shawn Michaels having had enough insanely good matches at WrestleMania to be given the title "Mr. WrestleMania."
The initial field of participants:
- Shawn Michaels
- John Cena
- Triple H
- CM Punk
- Bret Hart
- Mick Foley
That's a strong field of eight, all having had multiple memorable moments at the biggest party of the summer. Here's how the tournament played out:
So, Punk beat out Michaels in the final but is he deserving of such a thing? Let's compare résumés:
CM Punk's SummerSlam career:
2007: Lost to John Morrison in a singles match for the ECW championship
2008: Defeated JBL in a singles match for the World heavyweight championship
2009: Defeated Jeff Hardy in a tables, ladders, and chairs match for the world heavyweight championship
2010: Lost to Big Show in a three-on-one handicap match alongside the Straight Edge Society
2011: Defeated John Cena in a singles match for the WWE championship; lost title to Alberto Del Rio right after
2012: Defeated John Cena and Big Show in a triple threat match for the WWE championship
Shawn Michaels' SummerSlam career:
1989: Lost to Rick Martel and The Fabulus Rougeaus in a six man tag alongside Tito Santana as part of The Rockers
1990: Lost to Power and Glory in a tag team match as part of The Rockers
1992: Went to a double count out with Rick Martel in a singles match
1993: Defeated Mr. Perfect by countout in a singles match for the Intercontinental championship
1995: Defeated Razor Ramon in a ladder match for the Intercontinental championship
1996: Defeated Vader in a singles match for the WWF championship
1997: Was a special guest referee for the Bret Hart vs. Undertaker WWF championship match
2002: Defeated Triple H in a Street Fight
2003: Lost an Elimination Chamber match for the World heavyweight championship
2005: Lost to Hulk Hogan in a singles match
2006: Defeated Vince and Shane McMahon in a tag team match as part of D-Generation X
2009: Defeated Legacy in a tag team match as part of D-Generation X
Michaels obviously wins in volume but one could argue he also put on more quality performances. If we were to simply take the top two from each guy -- Michaels vs. Ramon in '95/Michaels vs. Triple H in '02 against Punk vs. Hardy in '09/Punk vs. Cena in '11 -- who deserves the honor?
One could realistically lean either way and not be wrong.
The bigger issue, of course, is that Punk vs. Michaels probably shouldn't have been the final. In fact, you could easily argue the man who should have won this honor was knocked out in the very first round.
Indeed, "The Hitman," according to a recent countdown of the top 25 matches in SummerSlam history, was responsible for three of the top four and five of the top 25. Like Michaels, he had great success there as both a singles and a tag team wrestler.
So, for my money, Bret Hart is "Mr. SummerSlam."
Who do you Cagesiders think worthy of the title?