Ever since its first-ever event in 1988, WWE SummerSlam was established as one of the company’s flagship shows. Along with Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and Survivor Series, the summer spectacular quickly became of the “big four” pay-per-views.
Now in its 36th year, the event has not only featured some incredible matches and unforgettable moments but it has witnessed several record-breaking moments that have left an indelible mark on the WWE landscape.
The event has launched careers, introduced new matches and titles, as well as making history. Within the rings of SummerSlam, the WWE Universe has witnessed a symphony of unforgettable firsts and unparalleled achievements. From historic attendance figures to the new title reigns, the event has played host to some of the most significant milestones in WWE’s storied history.
So, with all that being said, let’s take a look at some of SummerSlam’s records…
1. SummerSlam 1992
SummerSlam 1992 held at Wembley Stadium in London, UK was a ground-breaking and memorable event. One of the most unforgettable aspects of SummerSlam ’92 was the main event match that saw the British Bulldog challenge his real-life brother-in-law, Bret Hart, in a battle for the Intercontinental Championship. It was an emotional and unforgettable showdown and one that holds several records.
- It was the first major WWF pay-per-view to take place outside of North America
- It was the first professional wrestling event to take place at Wembley Stadium
- According to WWE, it is the fourth largest live audience ever to attend a WWE event, with 80,355 in attendance
- It was the first time the Intercontinental Championship was
- The event featured the SummerSlam debut of The Undertaker
2. The Youngest WWE Champion Crowned – Twice
SummerSlam also holds the record for being the event that saw the youngest WWE Champion crowned – on two separate occasions.
The first was in 2002 when Brock Lesnar defeated the Rock for the WWE Undisputed Championship at the tender age of just 25 years old. However, that record was broken two years later when Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit to become the youngest-ever World Heavyweight Champion at just 24 years old.
3. Championship Changes
Throughout its history, SummerSlam has seen a multitude of title changes. Since 1988 there has been a total of 58 occasions where championships have changed hands.
- WWE/World/Universal Championship – 15 Times
- Intercontinental Championship – 14 Times
- Women’s/Raw/SmackDown Women’s Championships – 9 Times
- WWE/Raw/SmackDown Tag Team Championships – 8 Times
- United States Championship – 6 Times
- Hardcore Championship – 3 Times
- Cruiserweight Championship – 1 Time
- ECW Championship – 1 Time
- Million Dollar Championship – 1 Time and the only time it ever changed hands on WWE PPV.
4. Superfast SummerSlam Title Changes
Not only has there been a plethora of title changes at SummerSlam but the event also boasts some of the quickest in WWE History.
- In 1988 The Ultimate Warrior beat the Honky Tonk Man in 31 seconds for the IC Title
- In 2005 Chris Benoit beat Orlando Jordan for the US Title in 25 seconds
- In 2011 Alberto Del Rio cashed in his MITB briefcase to beat CM Punk in 11 seconds
- In 2013 Becky Lynch defeated Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in 21 seconds
- In 2013 the WWE Championship changed hands twice when Daniel Bryan beat John Cena only for Randy Orton to cash in his MITB briefcase and capture the title in just 8 seconds.
5. SummerSlam Firsts
With such a rich history it isn’t surprising to see that many firsts went down during the summer spectacular throughout the years.
- 1991 saw Bret Hart wins his first major singles title when he beat Mr. Perfect for the IC Title
- 1996 hosted the first-ever Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and The Undertaker
- 2000 introduced the first-ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match took place
- 2016 saw the first-ever Universal Champion crowned when Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins
- 2020 was the first PPV/PLE to be held inside the WWE ThunderDome
- 2022 was the PPV/PLE without Vince McMahon in charge
6. SummerSlam Residency
From the years of 2009 to 2014 SummerSlam called the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California home making it the only arena to host the event 6 times. Then from 2015 to 2018 the Barclays Center in New York held the event for four consecutive years.
The only other arena to host the show more than once is Madison Square Garden. The event took place at the world-famous arena in 1988, 1991, and 1998.
7. Wrestlers with Most WWE SummerSlam Matches
1. Randy Orton and The Undertaker
Both have competed in the most matches at the event and are tied at 16 outings a piece.
Orton made his SummerSlam debut in 2003 challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship inside the Elimination Chamber. The following year he would capture the title for the first time in his career. The big-time outings and championship matches kept coming and he went on to face the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Brock Lesnar. His last SummerSlam came in 2021 when he and Matt Riddle defeated AJ Styles and Omos for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
The Undertaker’s SummerSlam debut took place in 1992 with a win over Kamala. His most memorable SummerSlam matches saw him defeat Ted DiBiase’s imposter Undertaker in 1994. Then in 1996, he fought Mankind in the company’s first-ever Boiler Room Brawl match. Years later he had one hell of a Hell in a Cell match against Edge before having his final SummerSlam match with Brock Lesnar in 2015.
2. John Cena
Cena comes in at a close second with 15 appearances at SummerSlam and quickly made the event one that he would thrive at for years to come. For example 10 of his 15 matches at the event have involved the WWE Championship. Of these matches, he has faced multiple foes several times such as Orton in 2007 and 2009 and CM Punk in 2011 and 2012. Other memorable outings for the 16-time World Champion were in 2016 against Daniel Bryan and his infamous destruction of NEXUS in 2010.
3. Triple H
The Game has 12 SummerSlam matches to his name. Making his debut in 1995 as Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a winning match over Bob Holly. Over the years the event saw him win championships and beat the McMahons as DX but his best match at the event was his 2002 Unsanctioned outing against Shawn Michaels.
Edge is fourth on the list with 11 matches. His SummerSlam debut came in 1998 when partnered with Sable against Jacqueline and Marc Mero in a mixed tag-team match before going to participate in one of the event’s most memorable (and insane) matches – Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in 2000. A year later he won the Intercontinental Championship from Lance Storm. In 2006 he defeated John Cena to retain the WWE Championship and in 2008 met the Undertaker inside the Hell in a Cell. His last SummerSlam match came in 2001 with a win over Seth Rollins.
5. Bret Hart
The Hitman also has 11 SummerSlam matches under his belt. The Excellence of Execution possesses the record to hold the mantle of ‘Mr. SummerSlam’ as he competed for the WWE Championship, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Championships at the event. He made his SummerSlam debut at the inaugural event in 1988 in tag team action against Demolition before going on to have classic outings against The Undertaker, Mr. Perfect, The British Bulldog, and Owen Hart.
Chris Jericho, Kane/Isaac Yankem DDS, Brock Lesnar, and Shawn Michaels also have 11 SummerSlam matches.
8. Wrestlers with Most WWE SummerSlam Main Event Matches
- Brock Lesnar
The Beast Incarnate holds the record for the most main event matches in SummerSlam history with a total of 9 headline outings.
- 2002 vs. Rock which saw him capture the Undisputed Championship.
- 2012 vs. Triple H in a No Disqualification match
- 2014 vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship
- 2015 vs. The Undertaker
- 2016 vs. Randy Orton
- 2017 vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe in a fatal four-way match for the Universal Championship
- 2018 vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship
- 2019 vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship
- 2022 vs. Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing match for the Undisputed Universal Championship
2. Randy Orton, John Cena, and The Undertaker – 5 Main Event Matches
3. Hulk Hogan, Triple H, and Roman Reigns – 4 Main Event Matches
4. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and The Rock – 3 Main Event Matches
5. Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Diesel/Kevin Nash, Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Edge, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Braun Strowman – 2 Main Event Matches
9. Best SummerSlam Win/Loss Record
- Edge – 9/2
- Hulk Hogan – 6/0
- The Ultimate Warrior – 5/0
- Charlotte Flair – 5/0
- The Undertaker – Win/Loss Record – 10-5-1
10. Worst SummerSlam Win/Loss Record
- Jeff Hardy – 0/6
- Booker T – 0/5
- Baron Corbin – 0/4
- Marty Janetty 0/4
- John Cena – 5/10