|Date||August 23, 2020|
|WWE Network event chronology|
SummerSlam is an upcoming professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It is scheduled to take place on August 23, 2020 at a location yet to be announced. It will be the thirty-third event under the SummerSlam chronology.
The event was originally scheduled to take place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced the suspension of all large-scale gatherings and that no permit would be issued for an event that could draw a large crowd before September 7. While most of WWE's events since mid-March have taken place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida; on July 23, the promotion said they would be announcing SummerSlam's new location soon.
SummerSlam is an annual pay-per-view, produced every August by WWE since 1988. Dubbed "The Biggest Party of the Summer," it is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four". It is considered WWE's second biggest event of the year behind WrestleMania. 2020 will be the thirty-third event in the SummerSlam chronology and feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE has had to present the majority of its programming from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since mid-March with no fans in attendance, though in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. SummerSlam, as well as the preceding night's NXT TakeOver event, were originally scheduled to take place in Boston, Massachusetts at the TD Garden. On May 8, the ongoing pandemic forced Boston mayor Marty Walsh to suspend all large-scale gatherings until September 7, effectively canceling WWE's planned events in the city. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reported that the promotion would be open to move SummerSlam to September if it meant having fans in attendance. However, an advertisement that aired during The Horror Show at Extreme Rules confirmed that SummerSlam would still be taking place on August 23, but with no reference to a city or venue. Although PWInsider had reported that the event would be held at the WWE Performance Center, the promotion put out an official statement on July 23 that the announcement of a new location would be forthcoming. WWE also stated that refunds would be issued at original point of purchase. It has been reported that WWE are looking to host SummerSlam on a cruise ship or on a beach, but still only having the Performance Center trainees as the spectators.
The show will include matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
On the July 27 episode of Raw, Randy Orton cut a promo listing many of his accolades before declaring that he wanted the WWE Championship again. He then issued a challenge to Drew McIntyre for a title match at SummerSlam. Later that night, McIntyre accepted Orton's challenge and then defeated Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules match in a rematch from The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. Following the match, Orton attacked McIntyre with an RKO.
On the July 20 episode of Raw, Andrade and Angel Garza lost to Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins). The following week, Andrade and Garza won a triple threat tag team match to earn a title match at SummerSlam.
After United States Champion Apollo Crews repeatedly declined MVP's offer to join his faction, The Hurt Business, the two faced each other in a non-title match on the June 29 episode of Raw that was won by MVP. After the match, Crews was brutally attacked by Bobby Lashley, MVP's fellow teammate of The Hurt Business. The following week, MVP unveiled a new United States Championship belt and stated that he would face Crews for the title at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. At the event, however, it was revealed that Crews was unable to compete due to failing his pre-match physical thanks to Lashley's attack. MVP then declared himself winner by forfeit and unofficially claimed himself as the new United States Champion. Crews, sporting the older United States title, returned on the August 3 episode of Raw where Crews finally faced MVP in their scheduled title match where Crews retained. Celebrating his victory, Crews later stated in a backstage interview that he would give the old belt to his kids while he kept the new belt MVP introduced. MVP then demanded a rematch for SummerSlam and Crews accepted.
Following several weeks of Seth Rollins tormenting and taunting Rey Mysterio, the two finally faced each other at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules in an Eye for an Eye match in which one has to extract an opponent's eye to win the match; the match was won by Rollins. Mysterio's son Dominik appeared on the July 27 episode of Raw to confront Rollins and his disciple Murphy for Rollins' actions, as well as for Rollins gloating about it. Although Dominik attacked Rollins and Murphy, they eventually overpowered Dominik until Aleister Black came out to Dominik's aid. The brawl, however, resulted in Murphy injuring Black's eye using the corner of the steel steps. The following week, Dominik challenged Rollins to a match at SummerSlam. Later, after Rollins and Murphy taunted commentator Tom Phillips (which led to fellow commentator Samoa Joe defending Phillips), they were both attacked from behind by Dominik with a kendo stick. An irate Rollins would eventually accept Dominik's challenge.
On the August 7 episode of SmackDown, Stephanie McMahon announced a triple-brand battle royal for the following week, where the winner would face Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam.
|1||The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) (c) vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (with Zelina Vega)||Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship|
|2||Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton||Singles match for the WWE Championship|
|3||Apollo Crews (c) vs. MVP||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship|
|4||Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins||Singles match|
|5||Sasha Banks (c) vs. TBD||Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship|
|6||Bayley (c) vs. TBD||Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship|
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