WWE SummerSlam 2012: Top 10 Biggest SummerSlams of All Time
WWE SummerSlam 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the company's second biggest annual pay-per-view, and it has proven to be one of the most successful events since its 1988 inception.
In celebration of reaching such a commendable landmark, this list takes a look at the biggest SummerSlam PPVs of all time.
Note that the term "biggest" does not necessarily mean the best shows in terms of quality, rather the largest in terms of their attendance.
I'm well aware that the following slides may well induce some particularly strong feelings of nostalgia, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
No. 10: SummerSlam 1995
Date: August 27, 1995
Venue: Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Diesel vs. Mabel for the WWE Championship was the main event, though it was Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon who stole the show.
Their ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship was a groundbreaking encounter, and it is still to this day considered one of the greatest of all time.
No. 9: SummerSlam 2000
Date: August 27, 2000
Venue: Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Rock, Triple H and Kurt Angle contested a blockbuster main event for the WWE Championship.
The pay-per-view also saw the debut of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs concept, continuing its tradition of innovating the ladder match. Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz were the participants in what was a truly revolutionary match.
No. 8: SummerSlam 2005
Date: August 21, 2005
Venue: MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
The "First Time Ever" clash between Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels was a natural choice to main-event the 2005 PPV.
Though, it is perhaps best remembered for Michaels' over-exuberance in selling the simplest of moves from Hogan, as depicted in the accompanying image.
This was supposedly a dig at Hogan's reluctance to put Michaels over, though I personally still found the match highly entertaining.
No. 7: SummerSlam 1990
Date: August 27, 1990
Venue: The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
One of the earliest SummerSlams to rank on this list, the card was jam-packed with a hole host of big-name stars.
The Rockers, The Hart Foundation, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Hulk Hogan and Rick Rude all featured, among others, making this one of the greatest lineups in SummerSlam history.
No. 6: SummerSlam 1988, 1989 and 1991
I know that these should technically be in "joint sixth" place, but that would have forced me to leave out SummerSlam 2000 and 1995. I felt that this would be short-changing you guys somewhat, so instead I simply bunched these three events together in order to fit more onto my list.
Dates: August 29, 1988, August 28, 1989 and August 26, 1991
Venues: Madison Square Garden (1988 and 1991) and Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey (1989)
All three PPVs saw Hulk Hogan in the main event. In 1988, he teamed with Randy Savage to face Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant, coining the slogan "The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Bucks."
He was then Savage's opponent in another tag team match in 1989, before teaming with The Ultimate Warrior in 1991 to face Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan in a handicap match.
Such matches certainly continued the trend of star-studded SummerSlam cards.
No. 5: SummerSlam 1997
Date: August 3, 1997
Venue: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Bret Hart faced the Undertaker in the main event for the WWE Championship, with the notable addition of Shawn Michaels as special guest referee.
It was an interesting move from the WWE given the real-life animosity between Michaels and Hart, coming just a few months prior to the infamous Montreal Screwjob.
The PPV also featured Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Championship and Triple H vs. Mankind inside a steel cage, in what was a precursor for their epic feud of early 2000.
No. 4: SummerSlam 1998
Date: August 30, 1998
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Unfortunately, this PPV may be remembered more for its truly horrendous promotional poster than its matches. Nonetheless, the main event saw Stone Cold Steve Austin face the Undertaker for the WWE Championship, as the accompanying photo attempts to illustrate.
The Rock and Triple H also faced off for the Intercontinental Championship in yet another impressive SummerSlam ladder match.
No. 3: SummerSlam 1994
Date: August 29, 1994
Venue: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
There were two main events at the 1994 edition of SummerSlam, the first involving Bret Hart and his brother Owen in a steel cage match for the WWE Championship.
The other saw the real Undertaker face the imposter Undertaker, in the culmination of a mysterious storyline that not even Leslie Nielsen could solve.
Along with the Bret/Owen match, there were divided loyalties in the Intercontinental Championship bout, with Razor Ramon going head-to-head with his buddy from the Kliq, Diesel.
No. 2: SummerSlam 1993
Date: August 30, 1993
Venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Another questionable SummerSlam poster, this time featuring Yokozuna performing a Banzai Drop onto the American flag.
Nonetheless, the event remains the second highest attended SummerSlam in history. It was Yokozuna who main-evented the PPV, facing Lex Luger (not The Star Spangled Banner) for the WWE Championship.
Other matches included Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship and Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler in a bid to determine the "Undisputed King" of the company.
No. 1: SummerSlam 1992
Date: August 29, 1992
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England
This is not just the highest attended SummerSlam PPV ever; it also ranks as the second largest crowd at any WWE show in history.
The first main event saw The Ultimate Warrior challenge Randy Savage for the WWE Championship, but it was the Intercontinental Title match that really stole the show.
The British Bulldog defeated Bret Hart in the final match of the evening, resulting in one of the biggest pops that professional wrestling has ever seen. A truly iconic victory, it only seems fitting that so many fans were able to attend such an memorable moment in the company's history.