Jon Material - WWE SummerSlam Fact Sheet: 20 interesting, fun, and trivial facts regarding WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the summer

Posted in: Staff Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Aug 14, 2011 - 06:05 PM

By Jon Lopuch

1. The inaugural SummerSlam took place on August 29, 1988 from Madison Square Garden. Two of the first four SummerSlams emanated from "The World’s Most Famous Arena."

2. WWE reported 350,000 buys for SummerSlam last year.

3. The 1991 version featured "A Match Made in Heaven," the on-air wedding of Randy Savage and Elizabeth. It also featured "A Match Made in Hell," Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior battling Iraqi sympathizing Sgt. Slaughter and his commanding officers, General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa.

4. The first SummerSlam to come from California was in 2001, when The Rock pinned the shoulders of current Smackdown analyst Booker T for the WCW Championship. This year’s event is the third consecutive time the Staples Center will host SummerSlam.

5. The first match in SummerSlam history was a contest between two of the greatest tag teams in WWF history, as The Fabulous Rougeaus battled The British Bulldogs to a time-limit draw.

6. The role of special guest referee was a staple of early SummerSlams. Five of the first 12 included a match with a guest umpire, including two appearances by former Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura (‘88, ‘99).

7. The first five SummerSlams saw a new Intercontinental Champion, but the title has changed hands only once at SummerSlam since 2002.

8. The WWE Championship has changed hands twice in Los Angeles, both times at WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan defeated Iraqi turncoat Slaughter for the title at Wrestlemania VII, five months before "The Match Made in Hell." John Cena captured his first WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 21 when he pinned former Smackdown analyst John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

9. It was at SummerSlam 2004 that Randy Orton defeated Chris Beniot to becomes the youngest WWE Champion of all time. Two year earlier, Brock Lesner pinned The Rock to become the then-youngest WWE Champion ever.

10. John Cena has fought in the WWE Championship match four of the last six SummerSlams. In 2008, Cena lost to Bastista in a match that saw John suffer a disc injury in his neck. Last year, Cena captained Team WWE in a victory over The Nexus.

11. It was at the main event last year that Daniel Bryan made his return to WWE after being fired following The Nexus’ debut beatdown on Raw. Bryan’s departure from The Nextus, which according to the storyline was a result of Bryan showing remorse for the attack, has been alluded to during his current feud with Wade Barrett, who was the clan’s chieftain in its initial incarnation.

12. It was Barrett who eliminated Bryan during last year’s 7-on-7 Elimination Match. Barrett was assisted by long-time Bryan antagonist The Miz, who knocked Bryan out with the Money In The Bank briefcase.

13. The Miz was not chosen for Team WWE and did not appear the card. If Alberto Del Rio does not have a match added to this year’s card, it will mark the second time in as many years that the Raw Money in the Bank winner from the MITB PPV didn’t wrestle in the following month’s PPV.

14. The Miz also didn’t wrestle at the 2009 iteration of SummerSlam. That was a result of him losing a match to John Cena on the August 3 edition of Raw (with Jeremy Piven as guest GM). It was also stipulated that night if Miz lost that match he would be banned from Staples Center forever.

15. The WWE announce team still doesn’t remember Miz’s knee to the back/neckbreaker combo is called "The Reality Check." Last week, Michael Cole called the move "vintage Miz." However, Alex Riley obviously does remember it. He countered the move (after the knee to the back) into a backslide for an upset win on the July 4 edition of Raw.

16. Beth Phoenix will be fighting for her first WWE Diva’s Championship. She held the discontinued WWE Women’s Championship on three occasions.

17. Phoenix’s second title reign commenced at SummerSlam 2008 in Indianapolis. She teamed with then-boyfriend Santino Morella to defeat Mickie James and Kofi Kingston in a match that also resulted in Morella recapturing the Intercontinental Championship. She was also victorious in an inter-promotional Divas battle royal in 2007.

18. C.M. Punk captured his third World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2009 when he defeated Jeff Hardy in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match. Punk’s post-match celebration was cut short by a returning Undertaker, who chokeslammed the Second City Savior.

19. CM Punk’s and his Straight Edge Society lost a 3-on-1 handicap match to the Big Show at last year’s SumerSlam.

20. The Big Show will not have a match this year because of his storyline injury suffered at the hands of Mark Henry. It has been a rough summer for Show, who was also the victim of what was clearly an honest accident (ahem) when The Legendary Ricardo Rodriguez ran him over with one of Alberto Del Rio’s luxury automobiles. Del Rio told the May 30 Raw audience that he would be sending Big Show a bill for the damages Show caused to the arrogant aristocrat's vehicle, which only seems fair.

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