WWE SummerSlam 2014: Most Controversial Moments in PPV's History
As one of the WWE's "Big Four" pay-per-view shows, SummerSlam has had its fair share of drama down the years.
We've seen lots of iconic matches that have captivated the audience's imagination, with some of the finest wrestlers of all time putting in perhaps their best career performances at the event.
But away from the good, there has also been plenty of controversy, too—moments that catch everyone by surprise, or just moments that disappoint and anger wrestling fans. And as we all know, that is something that isn't too hard to do.
But what are the most controversial moments in SummerSlam history? There have been plenty, but here are five of the best.
The Longest Reign as IC Champ Ended After 31-Second Match (1988)
People point to Daniel Bryan's 18-second defeat against Sheamus at WrestleMania 28 as the most rapid dethroning of a (worthwhile) champion. But back in 1988, there was a much more controversial defeat.
For 64 weeks, The Honky Tonk Man had broken all records whilst in possession of the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He was an outstanding champion, but like all champions, he had to lose at some point.
But the way he lost in 1988 really didn't feel right, as in little over half a minute, his title had disappeared from around his waist.
When he put out an open challenge, nobody expected a very young incarnation of The Ultimate Warrior to answer it. Even fewer expected him to win it.
Sure, passing the title on to a younger star was a good move, but The Honky Tonk Man really deserved better.
Tatanka Joins the Million Dollar Corporation (1994)
Heading into the 1994 edition of SummerSlam, much of the talk was about Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, a match that ultimately delivered in some style.
But further down the card, there was an interesting storyline going on with the Million Dollar Corporation. Tatanka had accused his close friend, Lex Luger, of joining the corporation behind his back and, to settle the argument, they had a match at the event.
Luger was distracted by Ted DiBiase toward the end of the match, a move which allowed Tatanka to roll Luger up and score the win. However, nobody expected what followed.
Tatanka declared it had all been a cunning plan, before hitting Luger with the Million Dollar Dream, to the shock of everyone watching around the world.
Paul Bearer Turns His Back on The Undertaker (1996)
Here's a moment from SummerSlam history that has to rank as massively controversial—and pretty shocking to boot, too.
Back in 1996, The Undertaker and Mankind agreed to face each other in the first Boiler Room Brawl, the kind of match that typified the WWE in the late 1990s.
It was a great contest from start to finish, with both men giving it their all in a truly gripping match. However, the ending caught everyone by surprise, as the WWE provided its fans with a massive twist ending.
Paul Bearer was lurking around for the end of the match, with many believing he would provide The Undertaker with a helping hand when he needed it. However, instead of handing the urn to Taker in his hour of need, he passed it to Mankind.
Mankind then used it to his advantage before scoring the winning pinfall and exiting with his new ally. Bearer had turned his back on Taker, and nobody saw it coming.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Vince McMahon (1991)
Back in 1991, The Ultimate Warrior was booked to team with Hulk Hogan in a blockbuster main event at SummerSlam. They faced off against Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa and General Adnan.
It was in the midst of Slaughter playing a character who sympathized with Iraq about the Gulf War, but there was a far more controversial moment brewing backstage than Slaughter's character.
Warrior had wrote to Vince McMahon a month before the event, threatening to no-show unless he got the money he believed he was owed.
McMahon coughed up the cash to ensure he didn't lose out on his massive main attraction, but he would fire Warrior straight after the event. Warrior himself claimed he quit out of protest, but what is evident is the tension after the match itself.
Whilst Sid Justice (the special guest referee) and Hogan celebrated in the ring, Warrior simply scuttled off to the back. It was a massively controversial moment in the career of The Ultimate Warrior.
Kevin Nash Emerges Through the Crowd (2011)
Of all the controversy in SummerSlam history, there can't be many more moments that stunk as much as this one.
The 2011 main event saw CM Punk face off against John Cena for the WWE Championship. It wasn't long after Punk had dropped his infamous "pipebomb" promo, and he was still hugely over with WWE fans. They loved and adored every inch of him, which made what happened in the closing moments of SummerSlam appalling.
Punk defeated Cena, and special guest referee Triple H left the ring to leave Punk celebrating with his fans. However, he would turn around to a real blast from the past: Kevin Nash. He cleaned Punk out, before Triple H called out Alberto Del Rio.
Del Rio had won the Money in the Bank briefcase a couple of months prior, and he would successfully cash it in to leave Punk's fans absolutely disgusted.
It was a massively controversial moment that caught everyone by surprise. But isn't that what SummerSlam is all about? Let's hope there are plenty to come from the 2014 edition.