|Date||August 19, 2018|
|City||Brooklyn, New York|
|WWE Network event chronology|
SummerSlam (2018) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event, produced by WWE for their Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands. It took place on August 19, 2018, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It was the thirty-first event under the SummerSlam chronology, and the fourth and final consecutive SummerSlam at this particular venue.
The card consisted of thirteen matches, including three on the pre-show. In the main event, Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship, ending Lesnar's 504-day reign. In the penultimate match, Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women's Championship, becoming the first woman to win a women's championship in both the UFC and WWE. On the undercard, The Miz defeated Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles by disqualification, and Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler to regain the Intercontinental Championship.
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The card comprised thirteen matches, including three on the pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands, with storylines produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live.
After retaining her title against Nia Jax at Extreme Rules in an Extreme Rules match, Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss gloated that she had beaten every woman on the Raw roster. Ronda Rousey, whom she had cost a championship match at Money in the Bank and who had been suspended, came out from the crowd and attacked Alexa and Mickie James. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle extended Ronda's suspension for another week, but also awarded her a title match at SummerSlam, provided that she would not break her suspension again.
As Universal Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title at Extreme Rules, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle gave him an ultimatum: defend the title or be stripped of it. On the Raw after Extreme Rules, Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman agreed that Lesnar would defend the title at SummerSlam. Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Elias, Finn Bálor, and Roman Reigns all then pleaded their cases as to why they should face Lesnar. In response, Angle scheduled two triple threat matches that night, with the winners facing each other the following week to determine Lesnar's challenger. Reigns won the first triple threat match over Bálor and McIntyre, while Lashley won the second over Elias and Rollins. The following week, Reigns defeated Lashley. Lesnar and Heyman then faked a break up before ambushing Reigns on the final Raw before SummerSlam.
At Extreme Rules, Kevin Owens defeated Braun Strowman in a steel cage match after Strowman threw Owens from the top of the cage onto the broadcast table. On the July 23 episode of Raw, Owens vowed to take everything away from Strowman. A rematch was scheduled for SummerSlam with a stipulation that if Owens won, even by disqualification or countout, he would win Strowman's Money in the Bank contract.
At Extreme Rules, Dolph Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins 5–4 in sudden death overtime of a 30-minute Iron Man match to retain the Intercontinental Championship, thanks to interference from Drew McIntyre. On the July 23 episode of Raw, Rollins and Finn Bálor defeated Ziggler and McIntyre. A rematch between Ziggler and Rollins for the title was scheduled for SummerSlam. During the contract signing on the August 13 episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose returned from injury, confirming he would be in Rollins' corner at SummerSlam.
At Extreme Rules, Finn Bálor defeated Baron Corbin. Few weeks later, a rematch between the two was scheduled, with Corbin defeating Bálor. The following week, another match between the two was scheduled for SummerSlam.
On the August 13, 2018 episode of Raw, The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) retained the Raw Tag Team Championship in a triple threat match against Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt and The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) after The Revival performed a "Shatter Machine" on Wyatt, only for Axel to throw Dawson out of the ring and pin Wyatt. Afterwards, The B-Team was scheduled to defend the championship against The Revival on the SummerSlam pre-show.
On the July 24 episode of SmackDown, SmackDown General Manager Paige was about to reveal AJ Styles's opponent for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam when James Ellsworth tried to claim the contendership. Paige fired him and saw him being kicked out of the building, when Samoa Joe attacked Styles with the "Coquina Clutch" and then signed the contract.
On July 21, Paige scheduled a tag team title tournament with the winning team earning the right to challenge The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam. The tournament began on the July 24 episode of SmackDown with The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) and Cesaro and Sheamus advancing to the finals by defeating SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain) and The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso), respectively. The New Day (Big E and Kingston) then defeated Cesaro and Sheamus in the finals to face The Bludgeon Brothers for the titles at SummerSlam.
On the July 24 episode of SmackDown, Becky Lynch defeated SmackDown Women's Champion Carmella in a non-title match to earn the right to challenge for the title at SummerSlam. The following week, Charlotte Flair returned and saved Becky from an attack by Carmella. The same night, Charlotte defeated Carmella and was subsequently added to the title match, making it triple threat.
At Extreme Rules, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy to capture the United States Championship after a pre-match low blow. A rematch between the two for the title was scheduled for the following SmackDown which Hardy won by disqualification after he was attacked by Randy Orton. On August 3, another match between the two for the title was scheduled for SummerSlam.
In the first season of NXT in 2010, The Miz served as the "WWE Pro" of "NXT Rookie" Daniel Bryan. Throughout the season, Miz constantly berated Bryan, claiming he was not WWE material and expressing his displeasure at Bryan being his Rookie. The feeling was mutual as Bryan regularly alluded to the fact that he had been wrestling longer than Miz, stating that he should be the Pro and Miz should be the Rookie. On the May 11 episode of NXT, Bryan was eliminated from the show. The following week after his elimination, Bryan attacked The Miz and Michael Cole on NXT. The two would then feud over the United States Championship, which Bryan won from Miz at Night of Champions. Six years later, on the August 23, 2016 episode of Talking Smack, Bryan (then General Manager of SmackDown) got into a verbal altercation with The Miz, which consisted of Bryan criticizing Miz's wrestling ability and "safe style" of wrestling. The Miz responded by going on a rant about Bryan being unable to return to in-ring competition due to the various injuries he had sustained throughout his WWE career. From this point forward, Bryan and Miz had sporadic interactions for over a year. On March 20, 2018, Bryan was medically cleared to return to in-ring competition by doctors, after which he resumed his feud with The Miz. On the July 31 episode of SmackDown, Bryan challenged Miz to a match at SummerSlam. Miz initially declined the match, stating that he has always been above Bryan going back to NXT season one, and recommended that Bryan return to the independent circuit once his WWE contract expired. However, the following week, The Miz accepted Bryan's SummerSlam challenge.
On the July 24 episode of SmackDown, Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Rusev. The following week, Zelina Vega defeated Lana. A rematch between Vega and Lana was scheduled the following week, with Vega winning again. On August 11, a mixed tag team match between Rusev and Lana and Almas and Vega was scheduled for SummerSlam pre-show.
On the July 24 episode of 205 Live, Drew Gulak earned the right to challenge Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship by defeating Mustafa Ali, Hideo Itami, and TJP in a fatal four-way match. On July 30, the match between Alexander and Gulak for the title was scheduled for SummerSlam. Brian Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher were banned from ringside for the match.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw matches)|
|Corey Graves (Raw/SmackDown matches)|
|Jonathan Coachman (Raw matches)|
|Tom Phillips (SmackDown matches)|
|Byron Saxton (SmackDown matches)|
|Vic Joseph (205 Live match)|
|Nigel McGuinness (205 Live match)|
|Percy Watson (205 Live match)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (205 Live/SmackDown matches)|
|JoJo (Raw matches)|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
|Pre-show correspondents||Peter Rosenberg|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
Three matches occurred on the pre-show. In the first match, Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega faced Rusev and Lana. In the climax, Vega pinned Lana with a roll-up using the ring ropes as leverage to win the match.
After that, The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). In the end, as Dawson attempted to pin Axel with a small package, Dallas fell onto Axel, reversing the small package and pinning Dawson to retain the title.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Drew McIntyre, defending the Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins, accompanied by Dean Ambrose. McIntyre sent Ambrose into the steel steps at ringside, distracting Rollins and allowing Ziggler to perform a "Zig Zag" on Rollins for a nearfall. In the end, as McIntyre attempted to interfere, Ambrose performed "Dirty Deeds" on McIntyre. Rollins performed a superkick and "The Stomp" on Ziggler to regain the title for a second time.
Next, The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day's Big E and Xavier Woods, accompanied by Kofi Kingston. The match ended when Rowan struck Woods and Big E with a mallet, thus The New Day won by disqualification, however, The Bludgeon Brothers retained the title.
After that, Braun Strowman defended his Money in the Bank contract against Kevin Owens, with the stipulation that Strowman could lose the contract by any means. In the end, Strowman chokeslammed Owens onto the steel stage ramp. Strowman then rolled Owens back into the ring and performed a running powerslam on Owens to retain the contract.
In the fourth match, Carmella defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. The ending saw Lynch apply the "Dis-Arm-Her" on Carmella, only for Flair to attack Lynch with "Natural Selection" for a pinfall to regain the title. After the match, Lynch attacked Flair, turning heel.
Next, AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe. In the climax, as Joe continued to taunt Styles' wife and child, who were in attendance at ringside, an irate Styles tackled Joe through the barricade. Styles then attacked security personnel and struck Joe with a chair, causing a disqualification, thus Joe won the match, however, Styles retained the title.
Next, Elias promised a concert. As he was about to start, the guitar broke. He then discarded the guitar pieces and then departed backstage.
Next, Daniel Bryan faced The Miz. In the end, Miz' wife Maryse, who was seated in the front row, handed Miz a pair of brass knuckles that the referee did not see. As Bryan attempted a suicide dive, Miz struck Bryan with the object and tossed the object back to Maryse. Afterwards, Miz rolled Bryan back in the ring and pinned him to win the match.
After that, "The Demon" Finn Bálor faced Baron Corbin. Bálor performed a clothesline on Corbin sending him over the top rope. Bálor performed a Sling Blade followed by a dropkick on Corbin. In the climax, Bálor performed a "Coup de Grâce" on Corbin to win the match.
Later, Shinsuke Nakamura defended the United States Championship against Jeff Hardy. In the end, Hardy attempted a "Swanton Bomb" on the ring apron onto Nakamura, but Nakamura moved, causing Hardy to land on the edge of the ring canvas. Nakamura then got Hardy back in the ring and performed a "Kinshasa" to retain the title. After the match, Randy Orton appeared, teasing an attack on Hardy, but left immediately afterwards.
In the penultimate match, Alexa Bliss defended the Raw Women's Championship against Ronda Rousey. Natalya made her entrance first to be in Rousey's corner, and she wore her father Jim Neidhart's jacket to the ring, who had died a few days prior. Rousey dominated the entire match while Bliss mounted almost no offense at all. In the end, Rousey forced Bliss to submit to an armbar to win the title, becoming the first woman to win a championship in both the UFC and WWE. After the match, Rousey celebrated with Natalya and The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella and Brie Bella).
In the main event, Brock Lesnar defended the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns. Before the match began, Braun Strowman stated his intention to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract on the winner and remained at ringside. As soon as the match began, Reigns surprised Lesnar with three superman punches and three spears. Lesnar applied a guillotine choke, only for Reigns to counter into a spinebuster. Lesnar performed two German suplexes on Reigns. As Reigns attempted another spear, Lesnar avoided it, resulting in Reigns accidentally performing a suicide dive onto Strowman outside the ring. Lesnar then performed an "F-5" on Strowman, struck Strowman with the briefcase, and threw the briefcase up the stage ramp. In the climax, Lesnar then attacked Strowman with a chair preventing him from cashing in after the match. Reigns then performed another spear on the distracted Lesnar to win the title, ending Lesnar's reign at 504 days.
On the following episode of Raw, new Universal Champion Roman Reigns made an open challenge, but announced that he specifically wanted to face Finn Bálor, as he was the inaugural champion who had to relinquish the title due to injury, but never received a rematch. Bálor accepted and Reigns retained the title. After the match, Braun Strowman attacked Reigns and attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but was intercepted by Reigns' colleagues from The Shield (Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose). The Shield performed their signature triple powerbomb on Strowman through an announce table. Also that episode, Paul Heyman confronted General Manager Kurt Angle about Brock Lesnar's contractual rematch, wanting it to occur at Hell in a Cell. Angle said that it was himself who decided about the time of the rematch and that Lesnar would not receive his rematch for a long time.
Dean Ambrose with new Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins also had a match against Dolph Ziggler. Rollins took out McIntyre, allowing Ambrose to defeat Ziggler.
A championship celebration with all of the women of Raw and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon occurred for new Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey. Stephanie tried to take credit for Rousey being in WWE and subsequently becoming champion, but Rousey said her win was for all women, not for herself or for Stephanie. Rousey then applied the armbar to Stephanie. Alexa Bliss then invoked her rematch for Hell in a Cell.
Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) took on The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) in back-to-back singles matches, where Dawson defeated Dallas and Wilder defeated Axel.
WWE Champion AJ Styles was interviewed about his match against Samoa Joe. He explained that he did not regret what he did to Joe, but was upset that he lost the match due to his actions. He warned Joe to never talk about his family again. Joe then attacked Styles from behind. A rematch between the two was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
The New Day received a SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch against The Bludgeon Brothers in a No Disqualification match. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston represented The New Day and defeated The Bludgeon Brothers to become three-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
The Miz faked a retirement speech by saying that he was retired from facing Daniel Bryan ever again. Bryan came out and called Miz a coward for having to cheat to win. He then said that General Manager Paige approved a mixed tag team match pitting himself and his wife Brie Bella against The Miz and his wife Maryse at Hell in a Cell.
Becky Lynch explained her reasoning for attacking new SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair after the triple threat match. She claimed that she realized Charlotte had been holding her back the whole time and was not really her friend. Charlotte came out and the two brawled. Former champion Carmella was granted her rematch for the following week.
Jeff Hardy faced Randy Orton in a singles match, which ended in Orton winning by disqualification. After the match, they brawled into the crowd, where Hardy attacked Orton with steel chairs and a camera, then performed a "Swanton Bomb" on Orton through a table.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship tournament
SmackDown (7/24, 7/31)
|The New Day|
(Big E and Xavier Woods)
(Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain)
|The New Day|
(Big E and Kofi Kingston)
|Cesaro and Sheamus||21:32|
(Jey and Jimmy Uso)
|Cesaro and Sheamus||Pin|
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