SummerSlam 2021 is officially the most-viewed and highest-grossing SummerSlam in WWE history.
The first ever SummerSlam was held in 1988 in Madison Square Garden and was headlined by The Mega Powers taking on The Mega-Bucks. But now the 34th instalment of the annual event has surpassed all those that have gone before it.
Writing on WWE.com, WWE ran down the show’s list of accolades.
- More people watched Saturday’s event live across Peacock and WWE Network than any other SummerSlam in the company’s history. The seven-figure global audience marked a 55% increase over 2020 and a 29% increase over 2019.
- The sellout crowd of 51,326 broke SummerSlam records for indoor attendance and gate receipts. With tickets purchased by fans from all 50 U.S. states, Saturday’s live gate was more than four times greater than the lastSummerSlam held with fans in attendance in 2019.
- Merchandise sales posted an increase of 155% over 2019.
- SummerSlam set a new sponsorship record, growing by 25% vs. 2019 and 18% vs. 2020.
- With more than four million views, Brock Lesnar’s return became WWE’s most-watched Instagram video of all time – surpassing the video of John Cena’s return at WWE Money in the Bank. In total, SummerSlamvideos generated more than one billion views across all WWE social platforms during the week.
SummerSlam 2021 saw the highly anticipated returns of both Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar, while new champions were crowned up and down the card.
Bianca Belair had been due to defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks, but at the last second it was announced that Banks wouldn’t compete. This initially brought out Carmella, but fans didn’t have to wait long for the real surprise, as Becky Lynch made her way to the ring.
After milking the thunderous reception from the crowd, Lynch challenged Belair, pinning her in a matter of seconds.
In the main event, John Cena came up short in his effort to win a 17th World Championship. Cena had challenged Reigns for the Universal Championship but was dispatched with a Spear after a bruising encounter. However, as Reigns celebrated a former champion decided he wanted to get in on the action.
Brock Lesnar marched to the ring staring a hole through Reigns as he did so. Paul Heyman, so often linked with Lesnar, looked like he’s seen a ghost as the two stood nose to nose. After a brief stare down in the ring, Reigns and Heyman departed, leaving Lesnar to stand tall.