You know how some dream matches exceed expectations, and others are wild disappointments? The Hulk Hogan/Shawn Michaels battle of the icons at SummerSlam 2005 registered somehow, but it’s not exactly clear in what way. The sight of The Heartbreak Kid spitefully spiralling around like a tumbleweed hooked up to a car battery doesn’t easily leave the mind’s eye. Certainly, it’s one of the most memorable main events that SummerSlam has ever had, even though our memories are usually accompanied by chuckles.
That might be the skinny on SummerSlam 2005 as a whole: memorable, but odd. On paper, it looked as though the card was fixing to join that year’s Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, One Night Stand, Vengeance, and others as nights of excellence, where anticipated matches would be paid off in grand fashion. Instead, because of some questionable booking, SummerSlam 2005 is instead decent at best, while also viewed as a collection of missed opportunities.
Still, times were exciting for WWE. The return to their spiritual USA Network home was about six weeks away, and the celebrated nostalgia wave was a fresh one. There was a lot going on in the company, some of it new, and some of it renewed. While SummerSlam disappointed in some ways (while being morbidly fascinating in others), it didn’t detract from the general fun of the period.
10. The Apple Gets The Shaft
By the time SummerSlam rolled around, Carlito had reigned for two months as Intercontinental Champion, and had only a month to go before dropping the strap to 56-year-old Ric Flair at Unforgiven. So who did Carlito retain his championship against at SummerSlam in the meantime? Would you believe it was nobody at all?
According to Chris Jericho, earlier plans for the show were to see him (still as a babyface) taking on Carlito at SummerSlam for the belt. However, Jericho knew he was flying the coop after SummerSlam, and made this clear to the company. He also stated his desire to have a bigger match, to put over WWE Champion John Cena strongly on the way out, to give the new top dog a victory he could hang his trucker cap on. Jericho got the match, and Carlito was never issued an alternative plan.