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The SummerSlam logo, since 2014.
The SummerSlam logo, since 2014.
Promotion(s) WWE
Brand(s) Raw
First event SummerSlam (1988)

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",[1] it is considered one of the "Big Four" original pay-per-view events of WWE (along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series),.[2] Although the Royal Rumble generally attracts a larger viewership, SummerSlam has been touted by WWE as their second biggest event of the year after WrestleMania.[3] Beginning with the 2009 event, SummerSlam has remained exclusive to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. However, on August 17, 2014, during SummerSlam, it was announced that SummerSlam would take place in the IZOD Center at East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 23, 2015.



Madison Square Garden has hosted SummerSlam three times to date, which included the inaugural event, SummerSlam (1988), SummerSlam (1991) and SummerSlam (1998).
From 2009 to 2014, SummerSlam was held exclusively at the Staples Center.

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).[4]

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.[2] 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.[5][6] Those four events, along with King of the Ring, are known as the "Classic Five".[7]

Brand extension[edit]

Further information: WWE Brand Extension

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.[8] The 2006 event was the first to also feature the newly made ECW brand.[9] In 2007, however, all pay-per-views began once again featuring talent from all three brands,[8] until ECW was dissolved in 2010.

Dates and venues[edit]

# Event Date City Venue Attendance Main event
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 Undisputed WWE 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 Chris Benoit (c) vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight 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
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[10] Los Angeles, California Staples Center[10] 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[11] 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
25 SummerSlam (2012) August 19, 2012 17,482 Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H
26 SummerSlam (2013) August 18, 2013 17,463 John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship with special guest referee Triple H
27 SummerSlam (2014) August 17, 2014 17,357 John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
28 SummerSlam (2015) August 23, 2015 East Rutherford, New Jersey Izod Center[12] TBD TBD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dee, Louie (2006-05-17). "Let the Party Begin". Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 94–95.
  3. ^ "WWE and SummerSlam sizzle in Los Angeles". WWE. August 9, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 74–80.
  5. ^ Keith, Scott (2004). Wrestling's One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation. Citadel Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8065-2619-X. 
  6. ^ Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. p. 160. ISBN 1-4116-1210-8. 
  7. ^ Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6. 
  8. ^ a b "WWE Pay-Per-Views To Follow WrestleMania Formula". WWE. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  9. ^ Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2006-08-21). "Flair & Hogan top average SummerSlam". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  10. ^ a b Martin, Adam (2008-11-20). "Reader Notes: Bret Hart, WWE in Elmira, 2009 PPVs". WrestleView. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  11. ^ "SummerSlam". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  12. ^ "IZOD Center to host WWE SummerSlam in 2015". WWE. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 

External links[edit]