SummerSlam is one of the 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 it at SummerSlam. Notable as being the only one of the 'Big Four' PPVs to take place outside North America; SummerSlam 1992 took place in the Wembley Arena in London. Since 2009, SummerSlam has been held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.Has recently been billed as the "WrestleMania of the summer" with matches frequently being part of the big storylines of the season from the WWE clash with the Nexus to the second John Cena vs. CM Punk bout in 2011.
This event has examples of:
- Alliterative Name
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- History Repeats: The youngest WWE (Brock Lesnar in 2002) and World Heavyweight Champions (Randy Orton in 2004) were both crowned at this event.
- Improvised Weapon: Jerry Lawler won his 2000 match with Tazz after Jim Ross got involved.
- 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, which 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