How WWE SummerSlam Has Modified Since 1988 (& How It is The Similar)

SummerSlam has run yearly within the WWE since 1988. The world-famous wrestling occasion is older than Uncooked, ECW, and, in fact, Austin Idea. SummerSlam has modified in some ways since its inaugural present at Madison Sq. Backyard, for starters, it is a “premium reside occasion” and never a pay-per-view in 2022.



Regardless of the quite a few methods SummerSlam has advanced with the WWE (and the world usually), there are numerous features of its first present which might be nonetheless related 36 years later. This checklist examines 5 methods SummerSlam has modified and 5 methods it is nonetheless shockingly the identical.

10 Similar: Shock Opponents

Since SummerSlam is usually marketed because the second-biggest occasion in wrestling (after WrestleMania) there may be at all times loads of star energy on the occasion on any given 12 months. One method to preserve followers on their toes is to shock opponents. Right this moment, rumors will swarm social media and spoilers are powerful to keep away from, however this hasn’t stopped shocked opponents from showing.

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In 2021, Becky Lynch shocked Bianca Belair and defeated the Uncooked Ladies’s champion in 27 seconds. An identical second occurred on the first SummerSlam when The Final Warrior shocked Honky Tonk Man and squashed him, successful the Intercontinental Championship.


9 Totally different: Massive Entrances

Though WrestleMania will at all times be the WWE’s “Tremendous Bowl,” big-time entrances have turn into a giant a part of what makes SummerSlam an incredible occasion. In 2021, Edge introduced again his outdated “Brood” theme. In 2009, D-Technology X introduced out a “DX tank.”

Entrances are largely an afterthought on the authentic SummerSlam present. They weren’t very totally different from every other Wrestling present. This is among the adjustments followers welcome as SummerSlam entrances are at all times a enjoyable shock.

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8 Similar: SummerSlam Eccentric Wrestling Outfits

In 1988, “Ravishing” Rick Impolite confirmed up in an outfit that his opponent, Junkyard Canine on his tights. His outfit was undoubtedly one of many extra eccentric outfits of the night, however that development by no means ended after the 1988 occasion. Since then many stars have placed on fascinating outfits earlier than entering into the ring.

Seth Rollins, for instance, has worn a Rey Mysterio impressed outfit and a Michael Jackson jacket-inspired outfit particularly for SummerSlam previously few years.

7 Totally different: The Tag Staff Predominant Occasion Is Uncommon

Each the primary and second SummerSlam reveals had predominant occasion tag crew matches. Tag crew predominant occasions aren’t widespread at premium reside occasions, at the moment. The WWE has not had a tag crew match predominant occasion SummerSlam in over a decade.

The main focus, in current instances, is sort of solely on crowing a WWE World Champion, and tag crew matches are reserved for the center and decrease card.

6 Similar: Ten Match Card

The primary SummerSlam occasion featured 10 televised matches. In 2021, SummerSlam additionally featured ten televised matches.

Regardless of the size of matches and spectacle on the present altering with time, the cardboard normally stays close to ten matches.


5 Totally different: The Intercontinental Title Is Hardly Ever Defended

The Intercontinental Championship was as soon as one of the vital prestigious belts within the WWE. To say “it has misplaced some luster” can be placing it frivolously. The title not solely modified fingers on the first SummerSlam however was defended yearly for nearly the primary decade of the present.

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As of 2022, the IC title hasn’t been defended at SummerSlam since 2018. The belt even missed WrestleMania in 2022 fully. Time will inform how the IC title might be seen throughout this period, but it surely’s not even near the extent of status it was when Warrior gained the title at SummerSlam in 1988.

4 Similar: Massive Time Returns To The Ring

Hulk Hogan’s return after three months away from the WWE was a giant draw for the inaugural SummerSlam occasion. As lately as final 12 months, John Cena returned to the WWE for his first televised match in over a 12 months in opposition to Roman Reigns.

Due to Hogan, SummerSlam will at all times be stuffed with shock returns and remains to be an enormous draw of the occasion.

3 Totally different: SummerSlam’s Ladies’s Division

The ladies’s division may be one of many greatest variations between SummerSlam in 1988 and SummerSlam previously few years. The WWE’s ladies division is an absolute attraction for the occasion. There was mainly no ladies’s division within the WWE in 1988 and there was not a single ladies’s match on the inaugural occasion.

Since 2013, not solely have Ladies’s championship matches turn into commonplace, however they’ve additionally turn into a few of the greatest matches of the evening 12 months to 12 months.

2 Similar: SummerSlam Nonetheless Units Up WrestleMania

The aim of placing The Mega Powers (Hogan and Randy Savage) collectively on the first SummerSlam was to arrange their eventual match at WrestleMania. SummerSlam was the tv tag crew debut of Hogan and Savage. The 2 would cut up and finally compete in the primary occasion at WrestleMania 5 for the WWE title, however their story began at SummerSlam.

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SummerSlam has been step one towards WrestleMania lately as properly. In 2021, Lesnar returned to the WWE after Reigns defeated John Cena to retain the WWE Common Championship organising an eventual predominant occasion match between the 2 at WrestleMania 38.

1 Totally different: The Present Is A lot Longer Now

With an insane runtime of over FOUR hours in 2021, SummerSlam has turn into a for much longer affair regardless of having 10 matches just like the inaugural occasion. Because the WWE has moved to the streaming platform Peacock, the aim appears to be to extend “streaming time” relatively than the “variety of folks streaming.”

WWE’s premier occasions usually really feel bloated and this is among the greater variations followers usually complain about. Bringing again the two and half-hour runtime of the unique is one thing no fan would complain about.

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