The squash match has been a WWE tradition for years. It's a great way to put over new stars, show dominance, and introduce new types of moves or finishers. Typically when a one-sided match takes place, it involves some type of developmental wrestler against an established Superstar. When a squash match involves two well-known stars, it can completely change things and shock fans. This is especially true when the squash matches occur on big WWE Pay Per View events like SummerSlam, WrestleMania, and Survivor Series. The matches can often result in a larger impact then opposing the lengthier and higher placed matches on the card.
Take a look back at 15 different shocking squash matches that took place on huge WWE PPV events. These matches changed WWE storylines, helped promote Superstars, and led to some of the craziest WWE title changes. These squash matches involve both current and older stars like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Christian and Big Show. Even some WWE Legends have been on the losing side of these squashes. See who comes out on the winning end and losing end of these incredible squash matches.
15 Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
When Brock Lesnar came back to the WWE in 2012, it was shocking to see John Cena defeat him for his first match back. Two years later, the two Superstars would compete again, this time with the WWE Championship on the line. In what was expected to be a back and forth battle, it turned into a shocking one-sided affair.
Lesnar delivered a countless number of German suplexes to Cena. Cena could barley gain any offense and when he did, Lesnar shot right back at him. Lesnar ended up getting the easy victory and the match was one of Cena's biggest losses of his career. The win helped propel Lesnar even higher in the WWE, showcasing how dangerous he could be in the ring. Cena would recover, but this match is definitely a sore spot in his career.
14 Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
After winning the Royal Rumble, Sheamus had a chance to win WWE gold by challenging Daniel Bryan to a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXVIII. Bryan had spent months barley skirting by as champion. He defeated opponents like Big Show and Mark Henry, so fans expected a back and forth encounter. Instead, the result was a quick squash match.
As Daniel Bryan kissed AJ Lee for good luck, Sheamus took advantage of the situation. He delivered a boot to Bryan and quickly pinned him to win the title. The crowd was in shock as the match for the championship ended in a matter of seconds. It would take Bryan a while to recover from the loss and reach main event status at WrestleMania again.
13 Big Show's 4-on-1 Challenge
A traditional Survivor Series match is typically the longest battle on the card as Superstars wage in battle and try to eliminate each other. Back in 1999, Big Show found himself in a four on one elimination match pitted against Mideon, Viscera, Prince Albert, and The Big Boss Man. In a matter of seconds, Big Show showcased his dominance with three chokeslams and instant eliminations. When it was The Boss Man's turn to enter, he skipped out on the match and got counted out instead.
The Big Show was declared the winner in an impressive display. Even after his victory, his night would not be over, as Big Show was selected to join the main event title match against Triple H and The Rock. He defeated both stars to win his first WWE Championship. Talk about a good day's work!
12 Triple H vs. The Ultimate Warrior
The infamous curtain call between Kliq members Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall led to a lot of backstage drama backstage and punishments. Triple H received the majority of the flack, including a memorable WrestleMania squash match that saw him on the losing end. At WrestleMania XII, Hunter’s opponent was a mystery and not announced until he made his grand entrance.
The Ultimate Warrior stormed his way to the ring as the crowd roared. A minute or so later, The Warrior was standing strong with another WrestleMania victory. One of the biggest moments of the match was when Triple H delivered his pedigree to The Warrior. He instantly shot up, no sold the finisher, and then decimated The Game to win the match.
11 The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man
The Ultimate Warrior’s convincing win over Triple H wasn’t his only huge squash match at a big time WWE pay per view. Back in 1988, The Honky Tonk Man was enjoying an impressive run with the Intercontinental Championship. He had held the title for 454 days before facing a mystery opponent at SummerSlam.
The Ultimate Warrior answered the call and ended one of the longest title reigns in WWE history within about 30 seconds. In typical Warrior fashion, The Honky Tonk Man was dominated in the ring and fell victim to the Warrior Splash. The crowd went absolutely crazy as the title reign was ended so quickly and in such shocking fashion. It was a great moment that captured the rise of The Ultimate Warrior’s dominance.
10 Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
For multiple weeks, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg built up their long-awaited rematch at the 2016 Survivor Series. The match was billed as “Fantasy Warfare” and was placed as the main event match for the recent Survivor Series PPV. After their last debacle at WrestleMania XX, fans were expecting a lot more between the two. What actually happened was a major shock.
Lesnar tried to out-maneuver Goldberg by tossing him into the corner, but Goldberg quickly shoved Lesnar off. He followed it up with two massive spears and a jackhammer. To the shock and awe of the entire WWE Universe, Goldberg easily pinned Lesnar and ended the match in less than two minutes (1:26 seconds). This squash was particularly surprising considering that Lesnar had dominated stars like John Cena and The Undertaker in recent years.
9 King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones
The WWE started off their annual WrestleMania tradition with a squash match that would feature a future main event performer. In the second match of the night, King Kong Bundy was pitted in a battle against Special Delivery Jones. Bundy was massive at the time and an imposing threat in the ring. After a huge splash in the corner, Bundy followed up the move with another splash on the mat. SD Jones was easily pinned and Bundy showcased his dominance in the ring.
One year later, Bundy would get a main event match against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania II. This squash match helped showcase his power and true threat to Hogan’s title. It would begin a grand tradition of squash matches at WrestleMania and helped create the surprise theme that WWE loves to do year after year.
8 The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws
The Shield has proven to be one of the most powerful stables in WWE history. They have won countless six-man tag matches against the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and Big Show, among others. One of their most dominant wins came at WrestleMania XXX. At the event, the new fan-favorites were going up against Kane and The New Age Outlaws. The Outlaws were just coming off a successful Tag Team Title run and Kane was showing his dominance as a member of The Authority.
This match was a heavily one-sided affair as The Shield easily overcame their veteran opponents. As they got the easy victory, it was very fitting for JBL to declare the “death of the Attitude Era.” This squash match proved to be a great transitional moment for the members of The Shield as they would all go on to compete in singles matches at future WrestleMania events.
7 Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart
At SummerSlam in 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin had one of the scariest moments of his career when his neck was plowed straight into the mat. This was during a competitive match against Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Championship. A few months later, Austin was looking for revenge and he would get it by squaring off against Hart for the title at Survivor Series.
This time, the rematch was completely one-sided. Austin was out for revenge on Hart and he did just that. He beat Hart all over the ring, showcasing that he hadn’t missed a beat since returning from injury. Even with The Hart Foundation by Owen’s side, Austin could not be stopped as he reclaimed his WWE Intercontinental Championship. This match is largely forgotten due to The Montreal Screwjob main event that occurred just minutes later.
6 Earthquake vs Adam Bomb
Adam Bomb came into WrestleMania X looking for a fight, but he didn’t put up much of one. The large Superstar and his manager Harvey Wippleman spent time berating ring announcer Howard Finkle. To stop the bullying, Earthquake rushed to the ring to take out Adam Bomb. This was one of the rare times in Earthquake’s WWE run where he was actually the good guy in a match.
He knocked Bomb down in a matter of seconds and delivered his Earthquake splash to get the quick pin and victory. Adam Bomb’s character officially "bombed" and could never recover from this one-sided match. The quick bout was a great change of pace for a night filled with longer and classic battles like Bret Hart versus Owen Hart.
5 Christian vs. William Regal
On the WWE's ECW brand, Christian was building himself up as a legitimate champion with a lot of memorable feuds. At the 2009 SummerSlam, he would put his title on the line against ring mat specialist William Regal. Unfortunately for Regal, he would only hit the mat one time and that was when Christian scored an impressive victory over him.
As Regal went to take his robe off, Christian snuck up from behind, spun Regal’s body around, and slammed his head to the mat while performing the "Killswitch" finisher. He easily pinned Regal for the win and retained his ECW Championship. Christian would pay for this quick win, as Regal cronies, Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov, came in to attack and beat down Christian for the victory.
4 JBL vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio has won the Intercontinental Championship on multiple occasions and at WrestleMania XXV he sought to do it again against JBL. Bradshaw is known as a brawler in the ring and many fans were expecting a back and forth match as Mysterio tried to outrun JBL’s attacks. Instead, fans were treated to a shocker as Mysterio tripped up JBL, delivered the 619 finisher, and pinned JBL in incredible fashion to win the belt.
Not only did Mysterio walk out as the champion, but JBL was so upset by the victory that he quit the WWE on the spot. Now that’s a nice way to create a WrestleMania moment. The fans went nuts for the surprise title change and it helped build Rey up as a credible champion once again.
3 Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan
SummerSlam 2005 was a packed card featuring The Undertaker vs Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels vs Hulk Hogan, and John Cena vs. Chris Jericho, among other matches. This is why many fans may forget the United States Championship match between Orlando Jordan and Chris Benoit. Jordan had held the title for multiple months after becoming a member of JBL’s Cabinet. He even defeated Benoit just a month before to successfully retain his championship.
However, when the two locked up at SummerSlam, it was a different story as Benoit shockingly picked up an easy victory. In just over thirty seconds, Benoit had Jordan locked into the Crippler Crossface. Jordan tapped out and Benoit became the new champion. In the weeks that followed, Jordan would continue to lose quickly to Benoit, each time in 30 seconds or less. Not only was he squashed at SummerSlam, but his entire WWE career went down the drain after that match.
2 The Rock vs. Erick Rowan
When The Rock announced a special appearance for WrestleMania 32, most fans expected some type of promo or interaction with another star. What we were treated to instead was one of the quickest squash matches in WWE history.
After The Wyatt Family confronted the Rock, The Great One issued a one-on-one challenge to any one of The Wyatt Family members. Erick Rowan was picked and he probably regrets it now. The Rock charged at Rowan, delivered a few of his patented punches, and then slammed him down with a Rock Bottom. He got the quick victory, but as expected, the rest of the Wyatt was there to pounce on The Rock. That’s when John Cena came running down for part two of the squash. Cena and The Rock teamed up to dismantle The Wyatt Family and showcase their WrestleMania dominance.
1 The Undertaker vs. Mankind
The Undertaker and Mankind’s battle in the Hell in a Cell is still regarded as one of the greatest displays in WWE history. When you take a close look back at this match, you will see how dominant The Undertaker actually was throughout the whole ordeal. This match was the ultimate squash. The Undertaker pummeled Mankind with chairs, threw him off the top of cell, and then put him through the roof of the cell. As if that wasn’t enough, The Undertaker delivered more punishment in form of thumbtacks.
Mankind may have endured a lot during the match, but it was the ultimate squash as you could not deny the domination of The Undertaker. After winning this match, The Undertaker would go on to SummerSlam and compete against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Championship.