SummerSlam is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced annually in August by professional wrestling promotion WWE. Dubbed as "The Biggest Party of the Summer",[1] it is one of the original "Big Four" pay-per-view events of WWE (along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series).[2] The inaugural SummerSlam took place on August 29, 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and was broadcast via pay-per-view. SummerSlam has been touted by WWE as their second biggest event of the year after WrestleMania.[3] From 2009 to 2014, SummerSlam was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Since 2015, the event has taken place at the Barclays Center in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.


Madison Square Garden has hosted SummerSlam three times to date, which included the inaugural event, SummerSlam (1988), SummerSlam (1991) and SummerSlam (1998).
Staples Center hosted SummerSlam from 2009 to 2014.

In the 1980s, Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s main competition in the professional wrestling industry was from the Charlotte based Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) who was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). McMahon countered Jim Crockett's successful Starrcade closed-circuit television event, which began airing in 1983, by making the WrestleMania franchise. After WrestleMania III, the most successful professional wrestling pay-per-view event in history, McMahon created the Survivor Series franchise, which aired the same day as Starrcade '87 in November 1987. After defeating Crockett in the ratings, McMahon created the Royal Rumble, an event airing for free on the USA Network in January 1988, which set a ratings record for the network with eight million households tuning in to watch the event. In retaliation, Crockett created the Clash of the Champions event, which aired simultaneously with WrestleMania IV. WrestleMania IV garnered higher ratings, and not long after, Crockett filed for bankruptcy and sold his company to Ted Turner, who renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW).[4]

As the WWF continued to replace its closed circuit programming with pay-per-view programming, Vince McMahon added more pay-per-views to the lineup to capitalize on the success of his previous events. In addition to WrestleMania in March and Survivor Series in November, McMahon added a third pay-per-view for August, which he named SummerSlam. To keep the WWF from having a pay-per-view market monopoly, Turner began airing monthly WCW pay-per-views, and both companies began bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.[2] SummerSlam became one of World Wrestling Federation's (and later World Wrestling Entertainment's) most successful events and one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble.[5][6] Those four events, along with King of the Ring, are known as the "Classic Five".[7]

The first SummerSlam was held on August 29, 1988 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 2002, WWE instituted a "brand extension", where the roster was split and wrestlers and pay-per-views were made exclusive to the Raw and SmackDown! brands; SummerSlam, WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series were the only four events involving wrestlers and matches from both brands.[8] The 2006 event was the first to also include the newly made ECW brand.[9] In 2007, all pay-per-views began once again involving talent from all three brands,[8] until ECW was dissolved in 2010. The brand extension ended on the August 29, 2011 episode of Raw, when it was announced that performers from Raw and SmackDown were no longer exclusive to their respective brand.[10] However, when the brand split was reintroduced in mid-2016, once SmackDown began broadcasting live on Tuesdays,[11] single-branded pay-per-view events returned, in addition to the four major pay-per-views, in which both brands are involved.[12] In 2018, all pay-per-views will begin again involving talent from Raw and SmackDown brands.[13]

Dates and venues

# Event Date City Venue Main Event
1 SummerSlam (1988) August 29, 1988 New York City Madison Square Garden Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase and André The Giant
2 SummerSlam (1989) August 28, 1989 East Rutherford, New Jersey Brendan Byrne Arena Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage and Zeus
3 SummerSlam (1990) August 27, 1990 Philadelphia Spectrum The Ultimate Warrior (c) vs. Rick Rude in a Steel Cage match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
4 SummerSlam (1991) August 26, 1991 New York Madison Square Garden Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa
5 SummerSlam (1992) August 29, 1992 London Wembley Stadium Bret Hart (c) vs. The British Bulldog for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
6 SummerSlam (1993) August 30, 1993 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills Yokozuna (c) vs. Lex Luger for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
7 SummerSlam (1994) August 29, 1994 Chicago United Center The Undertaker vs. "The Undertaker"
8 SummerSlam (1995) August 27, 1995 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Civic Arena Diesel (c) vs. King Mabel for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
9 SummerSlam (1996) August 18, 1996 Cleveland, Ohio Gund Arena Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Vader for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
10 SummerSlam (1997) August 3, 1997 East Rutherford, New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena The Undertaker (c) vs. Bret Hart for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
11 SummerSlam (1998) August 30, 1998 New York Madison Square Garden Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. The Undertaker for the WWF Championship
12 SummerSlam (1999) August 22, 1999 Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Center Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. Triple H vs. Mankind for the WWF Championship
13 SummerSlam (2000) August 27, 2000 Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena The Rock (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H for the WWF Championship
14 SummerSlam (2001) August 19, 2001 San Jose, California Compaq Center at San Jose Booker T (c) vs. The Rock for the WCW Championship
15 SummerSlam (2002) August 25, 2002 Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum The Rock (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Undisputed Championship
16 SummerSlam (2003) August 24, 2003 Phoenix, Arizona America West Arena Triple H (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton vs. Goldberg in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship
17 SummerSlam (2004) August 15, 2004 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Air Canada Centre Chris Benoit (c) vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship
18 SummerSlam (2005) August 21, 2005 Washington, D.C. MCI Center Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels
19 SummerSlam (2006) August 20, 2006 Boston, Massachusetts TD Banknorth Garden Edge (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
20 SummerSlam (2007) August 26, 2007 East Rutherford, New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
21 SummerSlam (2008) August 17, 2008 Indianapolis, Indiana Conseco Fieldhouse The Undertaker vs. Edge in a Hell in a Cell match
22 SummerSlam (2009) August 23, 2009[14] Los Angeles Staples Center[14] Jeff Hardy (c) vs. CM Punk in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship
23 SummerSlam (2010) August 15, 2010[15] John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, R-Truth and John Morrison vs. Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Skip Sheffield, Michael Tarver and Darren Young
24 SummerSlam (2011) August 14, 2011 CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena (c) to determine the undisputed WWE Champion
25 SummerSlam (2012) August 19, 2012 Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a No Disqualification match
26 SummerSlam (2013) August 18, 2013 John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship
27 SummerSlam (2014) August 17, 2014 John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
28 SummerSlam (2015) August 23, 2015 Brooklyn, New York Barclays Center The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
29 SummerSlam (2016) August 21, 2016 Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton
30 SummerSlam (2017) August 20, 2017 Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship
31 SummerSlam (2018)[16] August 19, 2018 TBD

See also


  1. ^ Dee, Louie (2006-05-17). "Let the Party Begin". WWE.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 94–95.
  3. ^ "WWE and SummerSlam sizzle in Los Angeles". WWE. August 9, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, 74–80.
  5. ^ Keith, Scott (2004). Wrestling's One Ring Circus: The Death of the World Wrestling Federation. Citadel Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8065-2619-X. 
  6. ^ Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. Lulu.com. p. 160. ISBN 1-4116-1210-8. 
  7. ^ Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6. 
  8. ^ a b "WWE Pay-Per-Views To Follow WrestleMania Formula". WWE. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  9. ^ Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk (2006-08-21). "Flair & Hogan top average SummerSlam". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  10. ^ Nemer, Paul (August 30, 2011). "Raw Results – 8/29/11". Wrestleview. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  11. ^ Steinberg, Brian (2016-05-25). "WWE's 'Smackdown' Will Move To Live Broadcast On USA (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  12. ^ FP Staff (August 22, 2016). "WWE Adds Seven Pay Per View Events To Schedule". famousplay.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  13. ^ Powell, Jason. "Major WWE pay-per-view shakeup, all co-branded events, two events dropped". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 17, 2018. 
  14. ^ a b Martin, Adam (2008-11-20). "Reader Notes: Bret Hart, WWE in Elmira, 2009 PPVs". WrestleView. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  15. ^ "SummerSlam". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  16. ^ "SummerSlam Week to return to Brooklyn in 2018". WWE. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 

External links