Wrestling / SummerSlam

The Biggest Party of the Summer

SummerSlam is one of WWE's most famous and long-running pay-per-view events, and one of the 'Big Four'; the three others are WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series. Much like 'Mania, it is considered a major "transition" PPV as major feuds and storylines tend to begin, end, or otherwise have a major element added to them at SummerSlam. Notable as being the only one of the 'Big Four' PPVs to have taken place outside North America; SummerSlam 1992 took place at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Between 2009 and 2014, SummerSlam was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The 2015 and 2016 editions took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Has recently been billed as the "WrestleMania of the summer" with matches frequently being part of the big storylines of the season, such as Team WWE's clash with The Nexus in 2010 and the second John Cena vs. CM Punk bout in 2011.

This event has examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Summer Slam.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Kane won a "Till Death Do Us Part" match with Matt Hardy in 2004 and Lita had to marry him as a result.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: A notable aversion from SummerSlam 1991, as far as the championships go; Bret Hart beat Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship, and the Legion of Doom beat the Nasty Boys for the tag titles. The WWF Championship, held by Hulk Hogan, wasn't even defended, resulting in all the titles being held by faces by the time the event ended, a rarity for WWF's PPVs.
  • Batman Gambit: Bret Hart knew that Shawn Michaels had to be impartial as the Guest Referee in his 1997 title match with The Undertaker. He just had to anger Shawn enough to swing the steel chair at him, get out of the way so Undertaker was hit, and cover him while Michaels was forced to count.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twice in the one match at the 2001 show. Ivory, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson were set to face Lita and Jacqueline. The Alliance girls ambushed Lita backstage, leaving Jacqueline alone in the match. Molly Holly ran down to team with her, and Lita came down to the ring at the end to even the odds.
  • Birthday Episode: At the 2014 event, Paige won her second Divas' Championship on her 22nd birthday.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Implied to be what happened when The Mountie was put in jail for the night after his 1991 loss to the Big Boss Man.
  • The Chew Toy:
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In 2005, Chris Benoit defeated Orlando Jordan in 25 seconds. And bragged about it for the next couple months.
    • Brock Lesnar's victory over John Cena at the 2014 event.
  • Enemy Mine: Team WWE which included heels Edge and Chris Jericho on a team led by John Cena against The Nexus in 2010.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • In the 1996 event, Paul Bearer turned his back on The Undertaker and sided with Mankind, ending his initial six-year tenure as Undertaker's manager.
    • At the 2014 event, Nikki Bella turned heel on Brie and helped Stephanie McMahon beat her.
  • Final Battle: In 2008, the Hell in a Cell match between Edge and The Undertaker was the culmination of their feud that begun in late 2007.
  • History Repeats:
    • The youngest WWE (Brock Lesnar in 2002) and World Heavyweight Champions (Randy Orton in 2004) were both crowned at this event. The two faced each other at the 2016 event.
    • John Cena and Randy Orton fought each other at this event twice (2007 and 2009).
    • The event has occasionally featured rematches from WrestleMania. Examples include are Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon in a Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship in 1995 (which was the rematch from WrestleMania in the previous year), Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title in 2003, Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero in 2004, and The Undertaker vs Randy Orton from 2005.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jerry Lawler won his 2000 match with Tazz after Jim Ross got involved, breaking a glass candy jar over Tazz's head.
  • Kick the Dog: After beating Tori at the 1999 event, Ivory decided to rip her top off For the Evulz.
  • Literal Ass Kissing: What happened to Mr. Ass at the end of his match with The Rock in 1999.
  • Mirror Match: Undertaker vs "Underfaker" at the 1994 event, where the real Undertaker defeated Ted DiBiase's fake one.
  • Not in the Face!: A stipulation placed in the match between Shawn Michaels and Rick "The Model" Martel in 1992.
  • Serious Business: While this trope always applies to Professional Wrestling, special mention goes to the 2005 Custody of Dominick match between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
  • Something Completely Different: SummerSlam '92 stands out to date as being the only 'big four' PPV held outside North America. Its location really makes it stand out from other PPV's of the SummerSlam name.
  • Squash Match: Two memorable high-profile ones:
    • The inaugural SummerSlam saw Intercontinental Champion the Honky Tonk Man without an opponent after his scheduled opponent, Brutus Beefcake, was "injured." Honky practically demanded a match against anyone...and then that anyone showed up and plowed him down in 30 seconds to win the title.
    • SummerSlam 2014, where Brock Lesnar laid out John Cena to win the WWE World Championship. Unlike most squashes, which last less than two minutes, this one went 16 minutes, thanks in part to Lesnar just wanting to permanently injure Cena and show his superiority he used 16 German suplexes to practically lay out "The Champ" and threw in a second F-5 fireman's carry for good measure but also because of Cena's stubborn pride, risking permanent injury in the futile hope that Lesnar would make a mistake that would cost him the match. Cena's offensive flurries were, at best, ineffective, the mark of most squash matches back in the day.
  • There Can Only Be One:
    • The main event of the 2011 event featuring WWE Champion CM Punk and Interim WWE Champion John Cena squaring off to determine the sole WWE Champion (the former won).
    • The main event of the 2003 event featuring the second Elimination Chamber match in history or the World Heavyweight championship. Triple H retained the title.
  • Tempting Fate
    Honky Tonk Man: Get me somebody out here to wrestle, I don't care who it is!

Alternative Title(s): Summer Slam