Promotional poster showing various WWE Superstars.
|"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 event produced by WWE that took place on August 18, 2013 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the twenty-sixth annual SummerSlam, and the fifth consecutive one held at the 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 opponent for SummerSlam. Later in the night, after taking an informal poll of the live audience, he chose Daniel Bryan. In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, Vince McMahon would berate Daniel Bryan by trying to make him shave his beard, putting him into a gauntlet match, and putting him 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 allow Barrett to 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 would serve as referee instead (punctuated by a Pedigree to Maddox).
At Payback, CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho in his return match in his hometown. The next night on Raw, he turned face when he challenged World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio to a match. He won the match by countout, but was attacked by the returning Brock Lesnar. Over the next few weeks, tension rose between Punk and Paul Heyman. At Money in the Bank, Heyman cost Punk the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match. The next night on Raw, Lesnar again attacked Punk. The next week, Heyman accepted Punk's challenge for a match at SummerSlam on behalf of Lesnar.
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 in a singles match, The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) attacked Kane, removing him from competing at the Money in the Bank match for the WWE Championship contract. The Wyatt Family attacked Kane again three weeks later on Raw, after Daniel Bryan defeated him in a singles match. A week later on Raw, after Harper and Rowan defeated Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai) in a tag team match, Kane announced that he would face Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam.
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.
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 win the right to challenge United States Champion Dean Ambrose for the title at the SummerSlam Kickoff Show, one hour prior to the pay-per-view broadcast.
In the pre-show, the United States Championship was on the line with Dean Ambrose defending against RVD. The match was streamed live on WWE.com, the WWE app, and various social sites. After a Five-Star Frog Splash, Van Dam had the U.S. Champion finished, but Roman Reigns stormed the ring and nailed Van Dam with a Spear, causing a disqualification.
The first match pitted Kane against Bray Wyatt in a ring of fire match. Following two huge chokeslams, The Devil’s Favorite Demon 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. This allowed Wyatt to grab Kane and execute Sister Abagail to secure the victory. 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.
The next match was between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. The match begins where they tie up, Sandow works on the arm for a short while before Rhodes manages up a comeback. Sandow performs a full nelson slam on Rhodes although Rhodes kicked out at a two count. At one point in the match Rhodes was bleeding from the side of his head from bouncing off the ring post from Sandow. After dropkicking Sandow out of the ring, Rhodes performed a moonsault to the outside, thus throwing back Sandow into the ring for a two count. Near the end of the match Rhodes performed a Disaster Kick on Sandow and performed a Cross Rhodes to win the match,
The next match was for the World Heavyweight Championship with Alberto Del Rio defending against Christian. Del Rio immediately began to target his opponent’s shoulder, skillfully looking to weaken him for the dangerous Cross Armbreaker submission hold. In the height of the action, Christian finally hit a Spear, but the pain of his injured shoulder prevented him from going for the cover. Del Rio turned the tables and locked in the Cross Armbreaker to secure the victory by submission. Following the match, Del Rio declared himself (in both English and Spanish) a true role model for the WWE Universe.
Natalya would then face Brie Bella in a singles match. When Eva Marie and Nikki tried to intervene in the match, Cameron & Naomi stepped in on Natalya’s behalf, attacking Brie. After an Alabama Slam, Natalya locked Brie into the Sharpshooter again, this time forcing her to tap out.
Main event matches
In one of the first main event matches, Brock Lesnar beat CM Punk in a no disqualification match. The stipulation, consented by both individuals, was proposed by Heyman and revealed on the Kickoff event immediately preceding the pay-per-view broadcast. After some 25 minutes of back and forth fighting involving chair shots, submission holds, aerial maneuvers, and outside brawling, Punk connected with the Go to Sleep on Lesnar, but Paul Heyman broke up the pinfall at two. Moments later, Punk would have Lesnar locked in the Anaconda Vice, but Paul Heyman would interfere yet again. Punk thenceforth punched Heyman and locked him in the Anaconda Vise. Lesnar, from behind, broke the hold by hitting Punk with multiple chair shots to the back. Lesnar finished by picking up a motionless Punk and dropping him face-first into a chair with a devastating F-5. Following the match, the Staples Center crowd loudly chanted Punk’s name as he limped back up the ramp, with his entrance music playing.
In the next main event, Dolph Ziggler and Katliyn fought Big E Langston and AJ Lee. The action later moved to the floor at ringside, where Kaitlyn plowed through AJ with a spear. Back on the canvas, Langston laid out Ziggler with a clothesline, but Ziggler somehow survived and nailed a Zig Zag to secure victory.
In the final main event, Daniel Bryan faced the champion John Cena for the WWE Championship. With "YES!" chants showering him from the Staples Center, Bryan blasted Cena with the Running Knee for the pinfall victory, thus earning him his second World title and first ever WWE Championship. As confetti rained upon the newly minted WWE Champion, it seemed for a moment that Cena would deck Bryan out of frustration. He instead offered his challenger words of wisdom that only Bryan could hear before clasping his hand in a show of respect. Acknowledging Triple H’s fulfilled promise to call the match down the middle, Cena shook Triple H’s hand as well. Randy Orton emerged from the locker room through the falling confetti with his Money in the Bank contract in hand. Ever the tactician, Orton seemed to want no part of an able-bodied WWE Champion. But moments after Bryan had repelled Orton, Triple H shocked the WWE Universe and their new champion by cutting down Bryan with a Pedigree, turning heel in the process for the first time since 2006. With a smile, Triple H beckoned Orton to the ring and accepted his Money in the Bank contract, counting the pinfall and handing Orton his first WWE title in three years.
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||07:49|
|3||Cody Rhodes defeated Damien Sandow||Singles match||06:40|
|4||Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Christian by submission||Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship ||12:30|
|5||Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated CM Punk||No Disqualification match||25:17|
|6||Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeated Big E Langston and AJ Lee||Mixed Tag Team match ||06:45|
|7||Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee||26:55|
|8||Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee[Note 1]||00:08|
- This match was Orton's Money in the Bank contract cash-in
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 being defeated by 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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