5 things done at WWE SummerSlam that haven't been done at WrestleMania
SummerSlam is certainly one of WWE's biggest shows of the year - and has been since its inception in 1988. Despite that, it's always taken a back seat to WrestleMania in terms of scale and importance.
It makes sense, of course - WrestleMania is WrestleMania, after all, and there's no reason to even attempt to overshadow The Grandest Stage of Them All (provided there isn't a worldwide pandemic going on).
That's not to say, however, that the annual Biggest Party of the Summer can't be a spectacle in its own right. In fact, WWE has done some pretty spectacular stuff with SummerSlam - including things we're honestly surprised haven't been done in conjunction with the Show of Shows.
With SummerSlam 2022 less than two weeks away, let's take a moment to look at five things WWE has done at SummerSlam that they haven't even attempted at WrestleMania.
As always, if you can think of any other example, be sure to share it in the comments section at the end of the article.
#5. SummerSlam was held in the same venue six years in a row
At its core, WWE - and pro wrestling in general - is a traveling carnival. This is where the business got its start, and much of the same mentality from that era still permeates throughout the industry today.
It's essentially why wrestling is so freaking weird to begin with. This is also why RAW, SmackDown, and every premium live event is held in a different city each time.
However, between the years 2009 and 2014, SummerSlam was held in the exact same city - Los Angeles, CA. It was even hosted by the exact same venue - the Staples Center (now known as the Crypto.com Center, because of course it is), home of the annual Grammy Awards and all of L.A.'s professional basketball teams.
It got to the point where SummerSlam and the Staples Center became synonymous with each other. Plus, if you're going to hold the "Biggest Party of the Summer," where better than Southern California? (Be sure to tell us where better in the comments below!)
The event would eventually leave L.A. in 2015, moving to the Barclay's Center on the other side of the country in Brooklyn, NY. It would stay there for another four years as well - meaning that, for a decade, SummerSlam was held in just two arenas.
On the other hand, WrestleMania was held in the same arena consecutively just once, and for only two years. WrestleManias IV and V were both held in Atlantic City, NJ in what is now known as the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall Convention Center (although WWE insisted it was actually "Trump Plaza".)
While the event has been held in numerous locations multiple times (most iconically in New York City's Madison Square Garden), never in consecutive years since then.
#4. WWE SummerSlam has been held outside of North America
These days, major WWE shows being held overseas is no big deal. Multiple events are hosted (and broadcast on Peacock/WWE Network) every year in Saudi Arabia, for example. Episodes of RAW and SmackDown are also filmed in Europe on a regular basis, as well.
When it comes to the "Big Four" (now considered the "Big Five" with the addition of Money in the Bank), however, there's only one event that has crossed the pond - and that was SummerSlam 1992.
Held in Wembley Stadium in London, England on August 29, 1992, SummerSlam was not only the first major WWE pay-per-view to be hosted outside North America, but the first non-WrestleMania pay-per-view to be held in a stadium as well.
Because of the time difference, SummerSlam 1992 was taped live and aired in the United States the next day. Fortunately, it was (mostly) pre-Internet, meaning that the majority of viewers in the US were able to see the show unspoiled.
The show itself was considered a success. WWE announced an attendance of over 80K fans (as with all major WWE shows, you need to take these attendance claims with a grain of salt) and a PPV buy-rate of 1.5 - which was down from the previous year but still pretty impressive for the time.
WrestleMania, on the other hand, has only left the borders of the USA twice - and both times into Canada. Both WrestleMania VI and X8 were held in the SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre) in Toronto, Canada - a far cry from journeying to the other side of the world. And there's no amount of Robert Goulet singing "Oh, Canada!" that's going to change that fact.
While we're on the topic of SummerSlam at Wembley Stadium...
#3. An Intercontinental Championship match main-evented SummerSlam
Considering the roster WWE had at the time, SummerSlam '92 was a pretty stacked card.
The show opened (following a couple of dark matches) with the Legion of Doom riding motorcycles to the ring for their match against Money, Inc., which was incredible. They also came to the ring with a ventriloquist dummy named Rocco, which was the opposite of incredible.
The rest of the card was a mix of the kind of matches you'd expect for the era - Crush vs. Repo Man and Undertaker vs. Kamala, for example - along with some sleeper hits, like Rick Martel taking on Shawn Michaels in a rare heel-vs-heel bout on a major show.
In what you would have expected to be the main event - in fact, in what could have been the main event of WrestleMania at any point, ever - "Macho Man" Randy Savage defended his WWF Championship against his legendary rival, the Ultimate Warrior.
This was the first time they had faced each other since their epic "Retirement Match" at WrestleMania VII. Throw in some scheming from Ric Flair and Mr. Perfect and - really, how was this not the main event?
It wasn't because the show was in the United Kingdom, and national hero Davey Boy Smith was challenging his brother-in-law, Bret "Hitman" Hart, for the Intercontinental Championship. That's why.
Despite closing the show because of the hometown connection, Smith vs. Hart turned out to be a match worthy of its place on the card. The two put on a show for nearly 30 minutes, with Smith eventually pinning The Hitman to gain his first singles title in the company.
It was an historic moment, and a bout that Hart has gone on record as calling his "favorite match of all time."
There have been plenty of WrestleMania headliners that didn't involve a men's world championship - that's nothing new. There has yet to be, however, a Showcase of the Immortals that has finished with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. And, chances are, there probably never will be.
#2. WrestleMania has never had an Elimination Chamber match
Over its nearly 40-year history, WrestleMania has featured a plethora of innovative match types. It showcased the very first televised ladder match, then went on to innovate it further with the first Money in the Bank match.
There have also been multiple Hell in a Cell bouts, as well as some of the more *ahem* innovative concepts of the "Divas" era.
One match type that has yet to grace the Grandest Stage of Them All, however, actually made its debut at SummerSlam. SummerSlam 2003 introduced the world to the Elimination Chamber.
Created by Triple H - it was credited to Eric Bischoff on-camera - this high-concept steel cage match combines elements of HIAC, the Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, and even War Games. In 2010, much like Money in the Bank before it, the match was assigned its own branded pay-per-view.
While the structure has yet to appear at WrestleMania, five different Elimination Chamber matches have been used to determine championship matches at the Show of Shows. The most recent was during the Elimination Chamber show in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, where Bianca Belair won the opportunity to face Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship.
#1. That SummerSlam where The Undertaker wrestled The Undertaker
You can probably count on one hand the Superstars that are synonymous with WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan main-evented the first nine events. John Cena has made such an impact on The Show of Shows that it feels weird when he's not there. And Shawn Michaels isn't called "Mr. WrestleMania" for nothing.
While those gentlemen have made their mark by either winning, or defending, the prize of a world championship at WrestleMania, The Undertaker is a whole different story. For over 20 years, a win against him was the prize. Entire 'Manias have been built around the Deadman and "who can end the streak?"
And yet, it was SummerSlam 1994 in Chicago, IL, that had the most Undertaker-y Undertaker match to ever be undertaken.
This was the show where The Undertaker fought... The Undertaker.
Just for context: following his loss to Yokozuna in a Casket Match at Royal Rumble earlier that year, Undertaker was written off TV to heal a back injury. Weeks before SummerSlam, Ted Dibiase began managing who he claimed was the real Undertaker (in reality, it was the highly-underrated "Prime Time" Brian Lee).
Of course, the real Undertaker reappeared and the two fought it out in the main event.
Much has been said about this match - and very little of it has been complimentary (though we thought it was awesome). It was one of the most "pro wrestling" things ever and, as of yet, it's never been attempted at WrestleMania.
Can you think of anything else SummerSlam has done that WrestleMania hasn't? List them down in the comments section below!