SummerSlam 2002 was the fifteenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on August 25, 2002 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The main match on the SmackDown! brand was for the WWE Undisputed Championship between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Lesnar won the match and the WWE Undisputed Championship after pinning Rock following an F-5. The predominant match on the Raw brand featured a Unsanctioned Street Fight between Shawn Michaels and Triple H, which Michaels won after pinning Triple H by reversing Triple H's Pedigree attempt into a jackknife roll-up. The primary match on the card was an interpromotional match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Rob Van Dam and Chris Benoit, which Van Dam won by pinfall after performing a Five-Star Frog Splash. The main matches on the undercard were The Undertaker versus Test and Kurt Angle versus Rey Mysterio.
The main feud heading into SummerSlam on the SmackDown! brand was between The Rock and Brock Lesnar, with the two feuding over the WWE Undisputed Championship. On the June 24 edition of Raw, it was announced that Brock Lesnar would face off against the WWE Undisputed Champion at SummerSlam. At the King of the Ring, Lesnar defeated Test in the Semi-Final tournament then during the latter event, he defeated Rob Van Dam in the King of the Ring tournament to earn the right to face the WWE Undisputed Champion at SummerSlam. At Vengeance, the pay-per-view one month before SummerSlam, The Rock defeated The Undertaker and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE Undisputed Championship by pinning Angle after executing a Rock Bottom. On the July 25 edition SmackDown, during The Rock's WWE Tag Team Championship match against The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian), Lesnar interfered by nailing Rock's tag team partner Hollywood Hulk Hogan with an F-5. Due to Lesnar's interference, Rock and Hogan won the match by disqualification but not the titles. On the August 8 edition of SmackDown!, Lesnar would put his SummerSlam title shot on the line against Hogan with the stipulation added that if Hogan were to defeat Lesnar, he would face The Rock in a WrestleMania X8 return match at SummerSlam for the Undisputed title. At the end, Lesnar locked Hogan in a bear hug. When Hogan kayfabe passed out, the referee stopped the contest. After the match, Lesnar then nailed Hogan in the head with the steel chair, causing Hogan to bleed. The following week on SmackDown, The Rock took on the WWE I.C. Champion Chris Benoit in a Champion vs. Champion match, which again involved Lesnar. During the match, Lesnar taunted The Rock while Rock was placed in the Crippler Crossface by Benoit. Rock, however, was able defeat Benoit following a Rock Bottom. On the final edition of SmackDown!, after The Rock and Edge defeated Benoit and Eddie Guerrero in a tag match, Lesnar appeared to the ring for another stare down with The Rock, which led to a brawl between the two that ended the show.
Another feud heading into SummerSlam was between Shawn Michaels and Triple H. At Vengeance, Michaels returned after being out for 4 years. Triple H was given the choice of deciding which brand he would appear for, SmackDown or Raw, and Michaels helped him decide by offering to reform D-Generation X (DX) on the Raw brand. Triple H chose to go to Raw, but the following night, as Michaels and Triple H were in the middle of reforming DX, Triple H turned on Michaels by nailing him with the pedigree. On the July 29 edition of Raw, Michaels was found in the parking lot, laying motionless following an ambush assault. He was also bleeding from the head due to someone putting his head through a car window. The next week on Raw, a security camera revealed to be Triple H that had attacked Michaels from behind. Triple H told Michaels that he did it to prove a point that Michaels was "weak". Michaels then told Triple H that he isn't 100% but he will be at SummerSlam. On the August 19 edition of Raw, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff announced an Unsanctioned Street Fight between Triple H and Michaels for SummerSlam then later that night, Michaels interfered in Triple H's non-title match with The Rock and assaulted Triple H. At the beginning of the show, Brock Lesnar brought a front-row seat ticket to watch the main event between Rock and Triple H but even when Lesnar tried to interfere on Triple H's behalf, Michaels delivered a Sweet Chin Music on Lesnar. Michaels then leaped on top of Triple H and the security and ended the show by knocking Triple H down, sending a clear message that he's not weak as they head into their match at SummerSlam.
The first match was between Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio. The match started off with Mysterio getting the advantage over Angle, as he attacked Angle from the entrance way. The two entered the ring, which it saw Angle dominate Mysterio in the match. However, Mysterio was able to hit a huge senton, from the ring to the floor on Angle. The finish had Angle reverse an attempt top rope hurricarana, directly into the Ankle Lock, which Mysterio could not escape, and tapped out.
The next match was a contest between Ric Flair and Chris Jericho. Jericho put Flair into the figure-four leg-lock. Chris insisted that Flair tapped out, but the referee ordered the match to continue. Flair then won the match by putting the same move onto Jericho.
The third match of the night was between Edge and Eddie Guerrero. During the match, Guerrero targeted Edge's shoulder. Guerrero also countered a spear attempt by dropkicking Edge right in the shoulder, and Eddie deciding to deliver a frog splash onto Edge's shoulder instead of onto his torso. However, Edge rallied with an Edgecution and a Spear to get the pinfall.
The next match was for the WWE Tag Team Championship. It was between The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian) and Booker T and Goldust. During the match, Booker was able to hit a scissors kick to both Storm and Christian. But Test, made a run-in, giving Booker the big boot. Storm was able to make the cover, as a result, Storm and Christian retained the WWE Tag Team titles.
The fifth match on the card was for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It was a match between Chris Benoit and Rob Van Dam. Benoit went into this match holding the championship, that was exclusive to the Smackdown! brand. Van Dam was on the Raw. Van Dam won the match, after pinning Benoit after a Five Star Frog Splash and taking the title from Benoit, and bringing it over to the Raw brand.
The Undertaker against Test was next. Lance Storm and Christian both interfered in the match, but received chokeslam from The Undertaker. Undertaker won the match with a Tombstone Piledriver. After the match, Undertaker celebrated with an American flag.
The seventh match was the Unsanctioned Street Fight match between Shawn Michaels and Triple H. This was Shawn Michaels' first WWE match since WrestleMania XIV. Michaels came out fast, utilizing a punch-kick offense to start, but also hitting a reverse crossbody. However, Triple H took the advantage in the match, as he hit a series of backbreakers to Michaels. Michaels retaliated many assaults by Triple H, as he hit Triple H with a ladder. Michaels was able to hit a splash on Triple H from the top rope, through a table on the floor. The match came to an end, when Michaels went for Sweet Chin Music, but was reversed into a Pedigree, but Michaels reversed the Pedigree into a jackknife roll-up. After the match, Triple H struck Michaels with his sledgehammer twice, forcing Michaels to be carried away on a stretcher.
The main event was for the WWE Undisputed Championship between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar dominated early with some power moves. The Rock went for the Sharpshooter. However, Paul Heyman got involved in the match, as he was attacked by the Rock. Which was followed by Heyman being delivered a Rock Bottom through the Spanish announcers table. The two gave each other a Rock Bottom. The match came to an end, when Lesnar stopped a People's Elbow. Then Lesnar hit the F-5 on the Rock and got the three count, thus making Lesnar the new WWE Champion, and the youngest WWE Champion in history. Lesnar remained the youngest world champion in WWE history until Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2004.
On the August 26 edition of Raw, due to the requirements of the WWE Undisputed Championship being defended on both shows, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, expected Brock Lesnar to be able to return on Raw the next night. Lesnar and SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon appeared to announce that Lesnar's contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown!, forcing Bischoff to separate the World Heavyweight Championship from the WWE Championship and in turn making the title lose its "Undisputed" name. On the September 2 edition of Raw, Bischoff awarded Triple H the World Heavyweight Championship in the form of the old WCW Championship belt.
The Undertaker went on to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Unforgiven, and again at No Mercy in a Hell in a Cell match. Shawn Michaels would return full-time to the ring at Survivor Series and win the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H in the first ever Elimination Chamber match.
The Rock would take a 7 month hiatus from WWE and would not return until late February 2003, when Vince McMahon booked him in a Wrestlemania X8 rematch with Hulk Hogan.
This pay-per-view was awarded Best Major Show for 2002 by Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Sunday Night Heat: Spike Dudley defeated Steven Richards (2:34)
- Kurt Angle defeated Rey Mysterio (9:20)
- Ric Flair defeated Chris Jericho (10:30)
- Edge defeated Eddie Guerrero (11:54)
- The Un-Amercians (Lance Storm and Christian) (c) defeated Booker T and Goldust to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (9:40)
- Rob Van Dam defeated Chris Benoit (c) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship (16:30)
- The Undertaker defeated Test (8:10)
- Shawn Michaels defeated Triple H in a Unsanctioned Street Fight (27:50)
- Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated The Rock (c) to win the WWE Undisputed Championship (14:38)
Other on-screen talent
- SummerSlam 2002 Offical Website
- SummerSlam 2002 at CAGEMATCH.net
- SummerSlam 2002 at Online World of Wrestling
- SummerSlam 2002 on WWE Network
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