Summerslam is only a week away and seeing as it is The Biggest Party of the Summer, this means that we are guaranteed some moments that will live on in the mind of the WWE Universe.
Summerslam has often had moments which have had the fans talking, such as the wedding of Macho Man Randy and Miss Elizabeth, to Randy Orton winning his first World Heavyweight title in 2004. These two moments, as well as countless others, have led to Summerslam being classed as one of WWE’s ‘Big Four’ PPVs, along with Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series.
However, for every great memorable moment, there have been moments which have led fans scratching their heads, wondering why it happened. This being WWE, there are hundreds of moments that have since become infamous, most of which have happened in the 21st century. From the hundreds of infamous moments that have occurred in Summerslam history (And believe me, there are a lot), I’ve managed to narrow it down to just five.
This article is going to describe Five Summerslam moments that have since become infamous. This could be for a variety of reasons. The fans could’ve hated it, backstage politics could have got in the way, or it could have just plain sucked. Regardless, these are my opinions, so please feel free to comment down below if you think I’ve missed an important one, or you disagree with what I’ve said.
5. Chris Jericho gets into a backstage scuffle with Brock Lesnar – Summerslam 2016
This is funny for a few reasons. One, the idea of Jericho standing up for Randy Orton is really funny and strange to me (Just me? Ok then…). Two, the fact that Jericho sought Brock out after the main event. Finally, depending on which account you believe, Chris Jericho won a ‘fight’ against a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, which is hilarious in my eyes.
If you don’t know the story, the main event of Summerslam 2016 was Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton in a dream match. The match was the usual Brock fare, with many suplexes and Randy getting a few close calls with his finisher. However, the finish was a bit different. Instead of just pinning Randy after about 20 F5’s, he proceeded to deliver vicious elbow shots to the top of Randy Orton’s head, which caused severe bleeding on Randy’s part as well as a severe concussion and causing the referee to stop the match. Brock won, and then F5’d Shane McMahon afterwards.
Jericho, a close friend of Randy’s didn’t know that was the planned finish. He was incensed that Brock would risk the life and career of Orton. Jericho and Brock then got into a scuffle backstage, which was broken up by Triple H and Vince McMahon.
This being the age of social media, word quickly spread like wildfire, and it won Jericho a lot of adulation from the internet, due to the fact that one, he stood up for his friend, and two, he actually challenged Brock Lesnar, a former UFC Champion, to a fight. What a legend.
4. Cesaro tears up fans beach balls – SummerSlam 2017
I am willing to defend the WWE Universe on a lot of things. I can forgive the WHAT chants, the singing of theme songs and the fact that they boo Baron Corbin. On this occasion, however, I fully supported Cesaro, because this was just idiotic.
At Summerslam 2017, Cesaro and Sheamus were defending their tag titles in a match against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. The match was just starting to become fantastic when Cesaro suddenly bolted into the crowd, grabbed a beach ball and ripped it in half. It turned out that fans were throwing it around during the match, which frustrated Cesaro, who felt like the fans were missing out on a great match. He was right of course and should be applauded for doing something about it.
The fact is, if you bring a beach ball to a wrestling show, you’re an idiot. Not only have you spent money just to throw a stupid ball around, but you’re also disrespecting the wrestlers who are working their arses off to put on an amazing performance for you.
Cesaro did an interview afterwards, saying that it was disrespectful to the wrestlers in the ring as well as the other fans in the arena. The moral of the story is if you bring a beach ball to a wrestling event and Cesaro sees it, you’re screwed. But don’t bring a beach ball to wrestling. Just enjoy the wrestling. Okay? Good.
3. The unveiling of the Universal Championship – SummerSlam 2016
Yet another moment from Summerslam 2016, and yet another moment that involves the fans. In 2016, WWE decided to bring the Draft back. Dean Ambrose took the WWE Championship to Smackdown with him, leaving RAW without a top-tier championship. Eventually, it was decided that Finn Balor and Seth Rollins would face each other to crown the inaugural WWE Universal Champion, which was to be unveiled at Summerslam.
Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon unveiled it just before the match, and fans everywhere immediately crapped all over it, calling it an ugly belt and a “jam” belt. The fans then took it out on the Balor vs Rollins match, chanting ‘This Belt Sucks’ throughout, turning what should have been a landmark moment for the company into another awkward experience for WWE. The belt dominated chatter online throughout the match, which took away from what was a great match between two of WWE’s best (even after Finn got injured).
Personally, I think the belt looks great. It grows on you after a few weeks. But not liking the belt and turning the focus into that, as opposed to the great match that was happening in the ring? That’s not fair on the wrestlers involved. Both Rollins and Foley released statements afterwards saying how disappointed in the crowd they were. This has set the tone for the Universal Championship, with no-one really making it their own since its inception.
2. Hulk Hogan vs Shawn Michaels – SummerSlam 2005
The Hogan/Michaels match from Summerslam 2005 was always going to be famous, no matter what happened. After all, it is arguably the two biggest stars in American wrestling history meeting for the first (and only) time. However, due to backstage politics (Hogan? Michaels? Backstage politics? Never….), this match would go down in infamy as one of the most infamous matches in WWE history.
The legend goes that both Hogan and Michaels agreed to a 3-match trilogy, with both men picking up a win before a rubber match at an unspecified date. Michaels agreed to turn heel and lose this match after Hogan promised him he’d get a win back at a later date. However, Hogan got cold feet about losing to HBK and backed out of the arrangement. Michaels, incensed at Hogan backing out of their deal, then proceeded to make a mockery of the entire match.
HBK decided that if he couldn’t win, he would make Hogan look ridiculous. He oversold everything, with even a simple punch from the Hulkster sending Michaels flying across the ring. Hogan might have won the match, but it was Michaels’ selling that had everyone talking after the match. Bottom line is, when it comes to backstage politics, Hogan remains the undisputed king.
1. Ultimate Warrior makes Vince McMahon pay up
For a long time, it looked as though The Ultimate Warrior was going to be the successor to Hulk Hogan in the WWF. He was over with the crowd, especially with children, and he had the energetic personality that was needed in 90’s WWF. However, due to our old friend backstage politics, that didn’t happen, and after losing the WWF Title to Sgt Slaughter at Royal Rumble 1991, he quickly became dissatisfied with the WWF and wanted to leave.
The Summerslam 1991 main event was Warrior and Hulk Hogan in a 2-on-3 battle against Slaughter, Col. Mustafa and General Adnan. But a month before the event, Warrior threatened to no-show unless he was paid $550,000 that he felt he was owed for his appearance at Wrestlemania VII, as well as other perks and compensation that he believed was in line with what Hogan was being paid. McMahon, furious that his PPV main event was in danger of falling apart, begrudgingly agreed to pay him, and the match went off without a hitch.
As soon as they came through the curtain after the match, Vince handed Warrior a written note of suspension, effective immediately, and launched into a furious tirade at Warrior for holding him to ransom and for thinking he was on the same level as Hogan. Warrior quit but did return for a couple of spells afterwards in 1992 and 1996, though any magic he might have had had long since disappeared.
As said at the beginning of the article, these are just 5 infamous moments, that in my opinion were worthy of being talked about. There were literally dozens I could have selected that unfortunately didn’t make the cut here.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!