SummerSlam in one of the longest-running Pay Per Views in WWE history, and one of the original “Big Four”, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble. And as you’d expect with any PPV with an extensive history, there have been more than a few incredible matches which have taken place at this event over the years, from technical masterpieces, to the most ridiculous gimmick matches ever seen. For your consideration, we’ve gathered up what we believe are the absolute best matches to take place at SummerSlam over its lifetime, and there are a lot of them. Honestly, if you’ve never seen any of the matches on this list, make sure you remedy that, and soon.
WWE has another huge weekend of wrestling events scheduled this weekend, and it’s safe to say that the stakes are high in a lot of ways. Over the course of a live NXT TakeOver special and a four-plus hour SummerSlam Pay Per View, an incredible nine titles will be on the line, including a match to determine the very first WWE Universal Champion. Plus, Brock Lesnar wrestles his first match since WrestleMania, amidst accusations of drug use from the USADA and laziness from other wrestlers. Oh yeah, and it’s also the first Pay Per View to occur fully within the confines of the new Brand Extension (remember, Battleground’s matches were booked before the Draft ever happened), and will likely set the tone for WWE’s plans for the rest of 2016. We thought about predicting match results, but anyone can do that, so we decided to take a deeper look at all the important stuff we think you should pay attention to on SummerSlam weekend, things that could determine if the whole event is a smashing success, or WWE’s worst nightmare.
The final Raw before SummerSlam did well not to lose any more viewers to the Summer Olympics, but didn’t see any particularly large gains either, coming in well below the usual numbers. The show, which featured the first appearance of the Demon King persona of Finn Balor in the second hour, and a long third hour main event match between Roman Reigns and Rusev, averaged 2.92 million viewers and a 1.01 rating in the 18-49 demographic. These were minimally larger than last week’s show, but also represent the first time since Raw moved back to the USA Network that it has dipped under a 1.0 rating for two straight weeks. The show did gain viewers for the second hour, but as usual, lost them all again for the third one. On a night when most shows took another week off to avoid the Olympics, Raw was #2 among cable original programming, behind Love and Hip-Hop, which beat Raw in the demos, but had significantly fewer actual viewers.
While doing promotional work for the upcoming SummerSlam Pay Per View, Smackdown GM and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan shared some candid thoughts on his retirement, and the entire process that led up to the end of his in-ring career. It’s quite clear that Bryan misses being able to get in the ring and wrestle, but the interview also shows that if doctors and WWE hadn’t stepped in, it’s very likely that things could have gone much worse for Bryan, who talks about how dedicated he was to not changing his high intensity, hard-hitting style despite the advice of everyone around him. Here’s Bryan on what happened to him in the days after he retired on Raw, then headed off to film episodes of Total Bellas immediately afterwards.
It might have gotten lost in the chaos last night, but for the second straight year, retired former host of The Daily Show and noted huge wrestling fan Jon Stewart will be appearing at the SummerSlam PPV, this time as a guest of Mick Foley. Hopefully this year he won’t show up looking like a homeless man in poorly-fitting clothing, but more importantly, what are the chances that Stewart has as big of an effect on SummerSlam as he did last year, when he singlehandedly prevented John Cena from defeating Seth Rollins and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for a record-tying 16th time?
We’re not exactly sure why Conor McGregor is focusing all his attention on WWE the week before UFC 202 instead of his opponent for that evening, Nick Diaz. Maybe in some weird way, this was part of the cross-promotional agreement UFC made with WWE to promote SummerSlam, which will take place the day after McGregor’s fight. Or maybe McGregor is just paving the way for a WWE appearance in the future, possibly after he gets destroyed for fighting outside his weight class again.
SummerSlam is one of WWE’s longest-running Pay Per Views and one of the legendary “Big Four”, a massive show which WWE likes to tout as “the biggest PPV of the summer”. And when you have a Pay Per View that has been around for roughly three decades, you get all sorts of weird statistics and interesting facts that crop up from years and years of matches. As a result, we’ve picked through the entire history of SummerSlam to come up with some items about WWE’s big summer party that we thought you’d find interesting. Enjoy!
According to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Vince McMahon has not been physically present at WWE TV for the past two weeks, and allegedly there are no plans for him to be around until the weekend of SummerSlam. No reasons have been given for why McMahon, who has been backstage for pretty much every WWE show for years (or at least for Raw and Pay Per Views), has not been around lately, and it’s somewhat odd that he would step back at a time when WWE is in a bit of an upheaval thanks to the Brand Extension. But don’t worry, he’s still in contact with the people running the show, as apparently he was in constant communication with the Creative team for both shows, and this is a quote, “micromanaging every single detail of Raw and Smackdown”.