10 fun facts about the first three SummerSlams in the Barclays Center
New York City has always been a home for the WWE, ever since they brought WrestleMania to us. More often than not, WWE has been going to New York for some really big shows and events. We have seen countless memorable moments happen at Madison Square Garden, from both television and pay-per-views. There has been a whole barrage of history linked to WWE in the Big Apple. It is still the WWE's most valued weekend base. This is the area which WWE wants to target, more often than not.
Therefore, it isn't any surprise that every year or so, WWE holds one of their biggest events in New York. It has ranged from Royal Rumbles to Survivor Series to WrestleManias but in recent years, WWE has been spending their Augusts in the Apple. SummerSlam has taken place in Brooklyn every year since 2015, ending the long run of Summertime Specials in Los Angeles. They will be back there next year, but 2018 is going to be the fourth year in a row that SummerSlam has taken over New York City.
Coupled with NXT Takeover: Brooklyn one night before, the last three SummerSlams have all felt much grander even though it could be a chore to get through. The shows have ranged from disappointing to decent, but they all have some interesting stories coming from them. There have been things ranging from backup plans to backstage confrontations to actual facts, but they all stem from what went down in Brooklyn in the middle of August. Here are some fascinating factoids about the previous three SummerSlams, that you might not have known about.
#10 The 2015 edition was the first one to last four hours
WWE had been looking for ways to make the rest of their Big Four pay-per-views return to their former heights of importance alongside WrestleMania, for each to have a true cornerstone quality. They settled for an increase in run-time, starting from SummerSlam in 2015. That was the event that started the tradition of NXT TakeOvers being added to the weekends of Big Four pay-per-views, which turned out to be a regular thing after the overwhelming success three years ago.
SummerSlam 2015 was the first to join WrestleMania in the four-hour club. Of the ten matches on the show, eight of them went beyond the ten-minute mark, which was a great benefit to the performers. However, in the previous two editions, we have seen one match get either overly compromised, or outright cancelled despite the expanded length. WWE will need to manage their time effectively regarding these major shows. The longer shows here paved the way for five-hour long WrestleManias and two-hour-long Kickoff Shows, so how welcome has this change really been?
#9 Sheamus vs Cesaro was originally on the main SummerSlam card in 2016
Sheamus and Cesaro, before becoming brothers-in-kilts had a hard-hitting feud as both of them wanted to stake their claims at the beginning of the second brand split in 2016. It turned out to be an extended beef, as the future tag team partners would take part in a best-of-seven series, beginning with the first match scheduled to take place at SummerSlam. However, the match was bumped to the Kickoff Show due to a Wellness suspension completely unrelated to this match.
Eva Marie was scheduled to be teaming with Natalya and Alexa Bliss against Becky Lynch, Naomi and Carmella, but she got suspended for violating the WWE's Wellness Policy just days before the big show. Her replacement turned out to be Nikki Bella, who returned from a career-threatening neck injury that required surgery. This was perceived to be quite big a moment and had to be put on the main card, at the expense of the two European brawlers. Realistically, that was the one match on the card which could have been bumped to the Kickoff Show.