5 times in this millennium when SummerSlam was better than WrestleMania
SummerSlam is widely known as the WrestleMania of the summer, although the difference between the two could not be greater. WrestleMania is an institution in itself, an entirely different ball-game. The size and grandeur relating to the spring spectacular are untouchable, along with the host of events surrounding WrestleMania week.
WWE has attempted to give SummerSlam the feeling of 'Mania. There are various events in the lead-up to the August extravaganza but it is nowhere nearly as celebrated as the Showcase Of The Immortals.
Making SummerSlam bigger could make it seem as long as a modern-day 'Mania but there is only one thing that could make SummerSlam as big as WrestleMania. The quality of the show. If the WWE can pull out all the stops from a creative and technical perspective, they would be able to produce a better show for the viewers.
Bigger and better matches on the SummerSlam card certainly go a long way in making the overall show feel much grander. They should treat it like a WrestleMania in terms of card quality because that is the one thing that could help it actually beat WrestleMania.
Over the years, there has been a handful of scenarios where SummerSlam exceeded the WrestleMania of that year. It could be down to many things. Maybe the 'Mania that year did not live up to expectations, or WWE actually made an effort to make SummerSlam a show which would be as grand and celebrated as WrestleMania.
Most of the time, it is a mixture of both. There have been some stellar SummerSlams in the past and these five editions show that WWE could really up their game when it comes to the summer.
At WrestleMania XXV we saw arguably the greatest match in WWE history as Shawn Michaels faced The Undertaker in a show-stealing all-time classic. The rest of the show was highly average, with a few good bits in the middle. Like WrestleMania 13, which featured the equally legendary Steve Austin vs Bret Hart Submission Match, WrestleMania XXV is widely considered as a one match show. It was certainly a disappointing event, considering how good the build-up to some of the matches was.
SummerSlam 2009 was a much different story. The event featured a clash between the two biggest stars of the current generation when Randy Orton successfully defended the WWE Championship against John Cena. The show also saw the final reunion of the original D-Generation X, as Shawn Michaels teamed with Triple H to take on the young Legacy duo of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. The opener was also worth watching, with the Intercontinental Championship up for grabs in a back-and-forth bout between Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler.
Finally, a great main event TLC match between the World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, in his last pay-per-view match until WrestleMania 33, and CM Punk gave way to both the crowning of a new champion and another SummerSlam return of The Undertaker, who immediately went after Punk and the big gold belt.
WrestleMania XXV may have been the more prestigious event, and a high watermark show for the company, but SummerSlam 2009 delivered more in terms of the booking, storytelling and surprises to provide a higher quality show.