Promotional poster showing various WWE wrestlers
|"Reach for the Stars" by Major Lazer ft. Wyclef Jean
"Gold Rush" by Clinton Sparks ft. 2 Chainz, Macklemore and D.A.
|Date||August 18, 2013|
|City||Los Angeles, California|
SummerSlam (2013) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE that took place on August 18, 2013 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the twenty-sixth annual SummerSlam, and the fifth consecutive one held at Staples Center. The event received 296,909 buys, down from last year's event of 358,000.
The professional wrestling matches at SummerSlam featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, WWE. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
On the July 15 episode of Raw, new Raw General Manager Brad Maddox announced that WWE Champion John Cena could choose his own Summerslam opponent. Later that night, after taking an informal poll of the live audience, he chose Daniel Bryan. In the weeks before SummerSlam, Vince McMahon would berate Daniel Bryan by trying to make him shave his beard, putting him into a gauntlet match against his former friend Kane. On the August 12 episode of Raw, Maddox served as special guest referee in a match with Bryan facing Wade Barrett. After making a quick count to let Barrett win the match, Maddox offered his services as the guest referee for the Cena vs. Bryan match at the PPV when Triple H interceded, and announced he'd serve as referee instead (punctuated by a Pedigree to Maddox).
After AJ Lee retained her Divas Championship against Kaitlyn at Money in the Bank and later cost Dolph Ziggler his attempt at winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler broke up with AJ the next night on Raw, causing her to distract Ziggler in his non-title rematch against Del Rio and leaving Big E Langston to attack him. On the July 29 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn defeated AJ in a non-title match to stay in contention for the Divas Championship, but four days later on SmackDown, AJ defeated Kaitlyn to retain the championship after Layla interfered and protected AJ. A week later on SmackDown, The Miz (the host of SummerSlam) announced that Kaitlyn and Ziggler would face AJ and Langston in a mixed tag team match at the PPV.
At Payback, CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho in his return in his hometown. The next night on Raw he challenged World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio to a match, turning face. He won by countout, but a returning Brock Lesnar attacked him. Over the next few weeks, tension rose between Punk and Paul Heyman, who cost Punk the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. The next night on Raw, Lesnar again attacked Punk. The next week, Punk challenged Lesnar at Summerslam. Heyman accepted on Lesnar's behalf.
On the July 19 episode of SmackDown, Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. However, on the July 29 Raw, Christian also defeated Del Rio in a non-title match. To determine the next challenger for Del Rio's championship, new SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero decided to make a triple threat match between Christian, Orton, and the returning Rob Van Dam. The match ended with Christian reversing Orton's attempt of an RKO into a backslide pin, winning the match and becoming the new #1 contender for the title before being attacked by Del Rio. On the August 9 episode of SmackDown, Christian defeated Del Rio in another non-title match.
At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 14, Damien Sandow won the Money in the Bank briefcase for a future World Heavyweight Championship shot, betraying his former tag team partner Cody Rhodes in the process. Rhodes attacked Sandow after the latter's loss to Christian the following night on Raw. On the July 26 SmackDown, while Sandow was facing Randy Orton in a singles match, Rhodes took his briefcase, causing Sandow to lose the match and search for it. Rhodes threw it into the Gulf of Mexico, and Sandow was unable to retrieve it because he couldn't swim. It was announced on the August 5 Raw that Rhodes would face Sandow at SummerSlam. Four days later on SmackDown, Sandow debuted his new, brown Money in the Bank briefcase with a new World Heavyweight Championship contract. Later on, after Christian defeated Del Rio in a non-title match, Sandow attempted to cash in his contract, but his effort was thwarted by Rhodes.
On the July 8 episode of Raw, after Kane defeated Christian, The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) attacked Kane, removing him from competing at the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship contract. The Wyatt Family attacked Kane again three weeks later on Raw, after losing to Daniel Bryan. A week later on Raw, after Harper and Rowan defeated Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai), Kane announced that he would face Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam.
On the August 12 episode of Raw, as a result of their feud stemming from starring on Total Divas, Natalya challenged Brie Bella to a match at the pay-per-view, which she accepted by slapping Natalya's face. Natalya also announced that The Funkadactyls (Naomi and Cameron) will be in her corner due the fact that Eva Marie has aligned herself with The Bella Twins.
Also on the August 12 episode of Raw, Rob Van Dam won a 20-man battle royal (lastly eliminating Mark Henry) to challenge Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship at the SummerSlam Kickoff Show, one hour before the pay-per-view broadcast.
During the pre-show, Dean Ambrose defended the WWE United States Championship against Rob Van Dam. The match was streamed live on WWE.com, the WWE app, and various social sites. In the end, Van Dam executed a Five Star Frog Splash on Ambrose but Roman Reigns interfered and attacked Van Dam with a Spear, meaning Van Dam won by disqualification.
The first match pitted Kane against Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire match. Following two chokeslams, Kane gestured for a Tombstone Piledriver but Harper and Rowan overcame the flames using an asbestos blanket and were able to attack Kane, who was attempting to fight them off. Wyatt executed Sister Abigail on Kane for the win. Following the match, Wyatt retreated to his rocking chair and watched Harper and Rowan use two sets of steel steps to smash Kane's skull.
In the third match Alberto Del Rio faced Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio immediately began targeting Christian’s shoulder. The match ended when Christian Speared Del Rio but his injured shoulder prevented him from covering Del Rio. Del Rio forced Christian to submit to the Cross Armbreaker to retain the title. After the match, Del Rio declared himself (in both English and Spanish) a true role model for the WWE Universe.
In the fourth match, Natalya faced Brie Bella. When Eva Marie and Nikki Bella tried to intervene, Cameron & Naomi stepped in on Natalya’s behalf, attacking Eva and Nikki. After an Alabama Slam, Natalya forced Brie to submit to the Sharpshooter to win the match.
Main event matches
In the fifth match, Brock Lesnar faced CM Punk in a no-disqualification match. After some 25 minutes of back and forth fighting involving chair shots, submission holds, aerial maneuvers and outside brawling, Punk executed the Go to Sleep on Lesnar but Paul Heyman broke up the pinfall. Moments later, Punk applied the Anaconda Vice on Lesnar but Heyman interfered. Punk punched Heyman and applied the Anaconda Vise on Heyman but Lesnar broke the hold by hitting Punk with a chair. Lesnar executed an F-5 onto a chair for the victory. Following the match, the crowd loudly chanted Punk’s name as he limped back up the ramp.
In the next match, Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn fought Big E Langston and Divas Champion AJ Lee. In the end, Kaitlyn executed a Spear on AJ outside the ring. Big E executed a Clothesline on Ziggler for a near-fall. Ziggler executed a Zig-Zag on Big E for the victory.
In the main event, John Cena defended the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan with Triple H as the Special Guest Referee. The match ended when Bryan executed a Running Knee on Cena to win his first WWE Championship. As Bryan celebrated, Cena shook Bryan's hand and offered him advice. Cena shook Triple H's hand before departing. Randy Orton appeared with his Money in the Bank contract, raising the briefcase. Triple H attacked Bryan with a Pedigree, turning heel. Orton cashed in the contract and pinned Bryan to win the title.
The event received critical acclaim, with many calling it one of the best WWE events of the year. Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk and John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan both received high praise, with both of them receiving 4 1/2 (out of 5) stars from professional wrestling critic Dave Meltzer. Critics at 411Mania gave the match between Christian and Alberto Del Rio 3 1/2, with Mark Benjaming stating "Christian and Del Rio delivered a hell of a match. They busted out counter after counter and near fall and near fall. The pace picked up as the match progressed and built to a satisfying finish with Christian tapping clean to the cross arm breaker."
The same critics called Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk match of the night, with Michael Benjamin saying "CM Punk sold Lesnar’s offense perfectly and Lesnar sold Punk’s offense perfect as well. Their styles complimented each other as good as you could possibly expect." The average rating for the match was 4 1/2 stars. Scott Slimmer of 411Mania also praised the main event match, opining that "People are going to talk about everything that Daniel Bryan did to make this match so great, and Bryan deserves all of the compliments that he’ll get. But it would be completely unfair to disregard Cena’s effort, because he absolutely stayed with Bryan every step of the way." 411Mania gave the match a rating of 4 stars.
Speaking on Randy Orton's Money in the Bank cash-in, Tony Acero, also of 411Mania said "On one hand, I’d love for Bryan to have kept the title. The win was beautiful and the crowd was molten. On the other hand, the story here was intriguing. I’m very interested to see where this is going." Scott Slimmer spoke positively of the entire event by saying "This truly felt like a show worthy of being the second biggest show of the year, and the lion’s share of the credit goes to Punk, Lesnar, Cena, and Bryan." 411Mania gave the entire event 4 stars.
|1P||Rob Van Dam (with Big Show and Mark Henry) defeated Dean Ambrose (c) (with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) by disqualification||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship||13:38|
|2||Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) defeated Kane||Ring of Fire match||7:49|
|3||Cody Rhodes defeated Damien Sandow||Singles match||6:40|
|4||Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Christian by submission||Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship||12:30|
|5||Natalya (with Naomi and Cameron) defeated Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella and Eva Marie) by submission||Singles match||5:19|
|6||Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated CM Punk||No Disqualification match||25:17|
|7||Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeated Big E Langston and AJ Lee||Mixed tag team match||6:45|
|8||Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee||26:55|
|9||Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee
This was Randy Orton's Money in the Bank cash-in match
On the August 19 episode on Raw, John Cena confronted the audience, informing them he was temporally leaving the WWE due to a triceps surgery. He returned at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view against Alberto Del Rio. The same day, The Shield and Randy Orton formed an alliance with the WWE COO Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, The Authority, which was created to stop Daniel Bryan from regaining the WWE Championship. The storyline between Bryan and The Authority culminated at WrestleMania XXX, where Bryan defeated Triple H to be added in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship main event, thus making it a triple threat match, which Bryan won.
Del Rio's former ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez began working with Rob Van Dam. On the September 13 episode of SmackDown, he was defeated by Del Rio and was assaulted by him afterwards. Van Dam challenged Del Rio twice for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions and Battleground, both in losing efforts.
After SummerSlam, AJ Lee ended her partnership with Big E and at Night of Champions, she faced Natalya, Naomi and Brie Bella for the Divas Championship in a fatal four-way match. During at that time, Lee started a feud with the cast of E!'s TV series Total Divas by cutting a worked shoot promo criticizing them.
On the September 2 episode of Raw, Big Show fought Daniel Bryan and attempted to exit the ring before Stephanie McMahon told him to return and knock out Bryan. That same night, Cody Rhodes was fired after losing to Randy Orton. Then, on the September 9 episode of Raw, Rhodes' brother Goldust returned in an attempt to earn his brother's job back, but failed to do so. The Authority then invited Cody Rhodes' and Goldust's father Dusty Rhodes on Raw, but after an argument Stephanie McMahon ordered Big Show to knockout the American Dream. At Battleground, Cody Rhodes and Goldust got their jobs back after defeating The Shield's Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns and on the October 14 episode of Raw, they defeated Rollins and Reigns to win the WWE Tag Team Championship in a No Disqualification match due to interference by Big Show, who knocked out all three members of The Shield.
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