SummerSlam is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced every August by professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The event was created in 1988, with its inaugural event taking place on August 29, 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The event was a pay-per-view unlike the Royal Rumble of that year which was broadcast as a television special on USA Network. SummerSlam was created as a pay-per-view to help the company compete against rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (formerly Jim Crockett Promotions). The event has been dubbed as "The Biggest Event of the Summer." Along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, the event is considered as one of the "Big Four", the original four annual WWE pay-per-views.
In the 1980s, Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s main competition in the professional wrestling industry was from Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP). McMahon countered Jim Crockett's successful Starrcade pay-per-view, 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 made the Survivor Series franchise, which aired the same day as Starrcade '87 in November 1987. After defeating Crockett in the ratings, McMahon made 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 made 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).
As the WWF continued to replace its closed circuit programming with pay-per-view programming, McMahon added more pay-per-views to the lineup to capitalize on the success of his previous events. In addition to WrestleMania in March, the Royal Rumble in January, and Survivor Series in November, McMahon made an event 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. SummerSlam became one of World Wrestling Federation (and later World Wrestling Entertainment)'s most successful events and one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble. Those four events, along with King of the Ring, are known as the "Classic Five".
SummerSlam dates and venues
Video & DVD Gallery
- List of WWE pay-per-view events
- SummerSlam Axxess 2009
- SummerSlam Axxess 2010
- SummerSlam Axxess 2011
- SummerSlam Axxess 2013
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