SummerSlam is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced annually in August by professional wrestling promotion WWE. The inaugural SummerSlam took place on August 29, 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York and was broadcast via pay-per-view, unlike the Royal Rumble of that year which was broadcast as a television special on USA Network. Dubbed as "The Biggest Event of the Summer", it is considered one of the "Big Four" original pay-per-view events of WWE (along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series),. Although the Royal Rumble generally attracts a larger vierwership, SummerSlam has been touted by WWE as their second biggest event of the year after WrestleMania. Beginning with the 2009 event, SummerSlam has remained exclusive to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
In the 1980s, Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s main competition in the professional wrestling industry was from Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP). McMahon countered Jim Crockett's successful Starrcade pay-per-view, which began airing in 1983, by making the WrestleMania franchise. After WrestleMania III, the most successful professional wrestling pay-per-view event in history, McMahon created the Survivor Series franchise, which aired the same day as Starrcade '87 in November 1987. After defeating Crockett in the ratings, McMahon created the Royal Rumble, an event airing for free on the USA Network in January 1988, which set a ratings record for the network with eight million households tuning in to watch the event. In retaliation, Crockett created the Clash of the Champions event, which aired simultaneously with WrestleMania IV. WrestleMania IV garnered higher ratings, and not long after, Crockett filed for bankruptcy and sold his company to Ted Turner, who renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
As the WWF continued to replace its closed circuit programming with pay-per-view programming, Vince McMahon added more pay-per-views to the lineup to capitalize on the success of his previous events. In addition to WrestleMania in March, the Royal Rumble in January, and Survivor Series in November, McMahon made an event for August, which he named SummerSlam. To keep the WWF from having a pay-per-view market monopoly, Turner began airing monthly WCW pay-per-views, and both companies began bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. SummerSlam became one of World Wrestling Federation (later World Wrestling Entertainment, and eventually just WWE)'s most successful events and one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble. Those four events, along with King of the Ring, are known as the "Classic Five".
The first SummerSlam was held on August 29, 1988 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 2002, WWE instituted a brand extension,where the roster was split and wrestlers and pay-per-views were made exclusive to the RAW and SmackDown! brands. As a result, SummerSlam, WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series were the only four events featuring wrestlers and matches from both brands. The 2006 event was the first to also feature the newly made ECW brand. In 2007, however, all pay-per-views began once again featuring talent from all three brands, until ECW was dissolved in 2010.
Dates and venues
|1||SummerSlam (1988)||August 29, 1988||New York City, New York||Madison Square Garden||20,000||The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) vs. The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and André the Giant) with special guest referee Jesse Ventura|
|2||SummerSlam (1989)||August 28, 1989||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Meadowlands Arena||20,000||Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage and Zeus|
|3||SummerSlam (1990)||August 27, 1990||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||The Spectrum||19,304||The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Rick Rude in a Steel Cage match for the WWF Championship|
|4||SummerSlam (1991)||August 26, 1991||New York City, New York||Madison Square Garden||20,000||Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan in a 2-on-3 Handicap match with special guest referee Sid Justice|
|5||SummerSlam (1992)||August 29, 1992||London, England||Wembley Stadium||80,355||Bret Hart (c) vs. The British Bulldog for the WWF Intercontinental Championship|
|6||SummerSlam (1993)||August 30, 1993||Auburn Hills, Michigan||The Palace of Auburn Hills||23,954||Yokozuna (c) vs. Lex Luger for the WWF Championship|
|7||SummerSlam (1994)||August 29, 1994||Chicago, Illinois||United Center||23,000||The Undertaker vs. "The Undertaker"|
|8||SummerSlam (1995)||August 27, 1995||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||18,062||Diesel (c) vs. King Mabel for the WWF Championship|
|9||SummerSlam (1996)||August 18, 1996||Cleveland, Ohio||Gund Arena||17,000||Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Vader for the WWF Championship|
|10||SummerSlam (1997)||August 3, 1997||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Continental Airlines Arena||20,213||The Undertaker (c) vs. Bret Hart for the WWF Championship with special guest referee Shawn Michaels|
|11||SummerSlam (1998)||August 30, 1998||New York City, New York||Madison Square Garden||21,588||Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. The Undertaker for the WWF Championship|
|12||SummerSlam (1999)||August 22, 1999||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Target Center||17,370||Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. Mankind vs. Triple H for the WWF Championship with special guest referee Jesse Ventura|
|13||SummerSlam (2000)||August 27, 2000||Raleigh, North Carolina||Entertainment and Sports Arena||18,124||The Rock (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H for the WWF Championship|
|14||SummerSlam (2001)||August 19, 2001||San Jose, California||Compaq Center||15,293||Booker T (WCW) (c) vs. The Rock (WWF) for the WCW Championship|
|15||SummerSlam (2002)||August 25, 2002||Uniondale, New York||Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum||14,797||The Rock (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Undisputed Championship|
|16||SummerSlam (2003)||August 24, 2003||Phoenix, Arizona||America West Arena||16,113||Triple H (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton vs. Goldberg in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|17||SummerSlam (2004)||August 15, 2004||Toronto, Ontario||Air Canada Centre||17,640||The Undertaker vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield (c) with (Orlando Jordan for the WWE Championship|
|18||SummerSlam (2005)||August 21, 2005||Washington, D.C.||MCI Center||18,156||Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels|
|19||SummerSlam (2006)||August 20, 2006||Boston, Massachusetts||TD Banknorth Garden||16,168||Edge (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship with the stipulation that Edge would lose the title via disqualification|
|20||SummerSlam (2007)||August 26, 2007||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Continental Airlines Arena||17,441||John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship|
|21||SummerSlam (2008)||August 17, 2008||Indianapolis, Indiana||Conseco Fieldhouse||12,480||The Undertaker vs. Edge in a Hell in a Cell match|
|22||SummerSlam (2009)||August 23, 2009||Los Angeles, California||Staples Center||14,116||Jeff Hardy (c) vs. CM Punk in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|23||SummerSlam (2010)||August 15, 2010||14,178||Team WWE (John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, R-Truth, and John Morrison) vs. The Nexus (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Skip Sheffield, Michael Tarver and Darren Young) in a Seven-on-seven elimination tag team match|
|24||SummerSlam (2011)||August 14, 2011||17,404||CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena (c) for the Undisputed WWE Championship with special guest referee Triple H
CM Punk (c) vs. Alberto del Rio for the Undisputed WWE Championship (Alberto's Money in the Bank cash-in match)
|25||SummerSlam (2012)||August 19, 2012||14,205||Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H|
|26||SummerSlam (2013)||August 18, 2013||14,500||John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship with special guest referee Triple H
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship with special guest referee Triple H (Orton's Money in the Bank cash-in match)
|27||SummerSlam (2014)||August 17, 2014|
DVD box set
- Dee, Louie (2006-05-17). "Let the Party Begin". WWE.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 94–95.
- "WWE and SummerSlam sizzle in Los Angeles". WWE. August 9, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 74–80.
- Keith, Scott (2004). Wrestling's One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation. Citadel Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8065-2619-X.
- Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. Lulu.com. p. 160. ISBN 1-4116-1210-8.
- Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6.
- "WWE Pay-Per-Views To Follow WrestleMania Formula". WWE. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2006-08-21). "Flair & Hogan top average SummerSlam". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- Martin, Adam (2008-11-20). "Reader Notes: Bret Hart, WWE in Elmira, 2009 PPVs". WrestleView. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- "SummerSlam". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
- WWE: SummerSlam: The Complete Anthology (DVD). WWE Home Video. 2008.
- "SummerSlam Event History". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham (2002). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-5143-6.
- Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6.
- Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. Lulu.com. ISBN 1-4116-1210-8.
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