On August 18, John Cena will defend the WWE title against Daniel Bryan while CM Punk meets Brock Lesnar in the co-main events of SummerSlam. There is great anticipation and much excitement surrounding those matches as many expect them to cross into "Match of the Year" territory.
SummerSlam has been defined by a number of matches. The work of men such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and The Undertaker has resulted in some of the most talked-about and fondly remembered matches in the history of WWE. Others are spoken of in the same breath as the best matches of all-time.
The annual summertime spectacular has earned the reputation for being a launching point for young talent, a showcase for tremendous in-ring work and the culmination of the top post-WrestleMania feuds. It is synonymous with several displays of sports-entertainment artistry that have made it one of the founding five pay-per-views for World Wrestling Entertainment and is a big reason it still exists today.
There are many matches that have contributed to the legacy of SummerSlam, a number of them better than some of those listed within this article. But these eight have left an indelible mark on the event and have helped it to become what it is today.