The Most Important Stats to Know Ahead of WWE SummerSlam 2020

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

The Most Important Stats to Know Ahead of WWE SummerSlam 2020

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    The 33rd edition of WWE SummerSlam takes place on Sunday, but this pay-per-view will be unlike anything we have seen before for a number of reasons.

    SummerSlam is the fourth-longest running event behind the Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and WrestleMania, but it is often considered to be second only to The Show of Shows in terms of importance.

    This is typically one of the longer shows on the calendar. The last four editions have each had a dozen or more matches while this year's event only has eight.

    Here is a look at what WWE has planned for SummerSlam:

    • Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
    • Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt (Universal Championship)
    • Bayley vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women's Championship)
    • Sasha Banks vs. Asuka (Raw Women's Championship)
    • Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose (Hair vs. Hair)
    • Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins (Street Fight)
    • The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza (Raw Tag Team Championships)
    • Apollo Crews vs. MVP (United States Championship)

    WWE loves to tout statistics for the Rumble and WrestleMania but it rarely does it for other events. Let's look at some of the stats you should know before Sunday. 

Randy Orton's Record

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    Shawn Michaels might be Mr. WrestleMania but when it comes to SummerSlam, Randy Orton is the man. Since debuting in 2002, The Viper has only missed two of these PPVs, in 2012 and 2018.

    That gives him 14 appearances, which is more than anyone else on this year's show by a large margin. His win-loss record stands at 7-6-1 due to the double count-out finish against Kofi Kingston last year.

    Orton might have a record that is almost even but when it comes to title matches, he does a little better. He has been in eight championship bouts at SummerSlam with a record of 5-2-1. He went into seven of those matches as the champion, so he has only won a world title once at the PPV. 

    The Legend Killer has taken on a lot of current and future legends at The Biggest Party of the Summer including The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan, John Cena and many more. 

    If we are going off of these numbers, Orton has a strong chance of leaving SummerSlam as the new WWE champion against Drew McIntyre.

WWE Title Stats

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    The WWE Championship has been defended at almost every single SummerSlam since the first event was held in 1988, but it has only changed hands at the PPV a total of eight times.

    Here is a rundown of those title changes:

    • 1997: Bret Hart defeated The Undertaker
    • 1999: Mankind defeated Triple H and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
    • 2002: Brock Lesnar defeated The Rock
    • 2011: CM Punk defeated John Cena
    • 2011: Alberto Del Rio defeated Punk by cashing in Money in the Bank
    • 2013: Daniel Bryan defeated Cena
    • 2013: Randy Orton defeated Bryan by cashing in Money in the Bank
    • 2014: Lesnar defeated Cena

    It has been six years since the WWE Championship changed hands at SummerSlam. This indicates that more champions retain their titles at the summer event. That favors McIntyre, but since Orton has a good record with title bouts at the event, they are about even.

Women's Matches

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    While WWE has employed many talented women over the years, the women's division as a whole has only been taken seriously since 2015. You can practically track the way women have been booked by looking at the history of matches at SummerSlam.

    The first two years did not feature a single bout from the division. The first came in 1990 when Queen Sherri defeated Sapphire by forfeit, so technically, a match never actually took place. It took another four years before Alundra Blayze took on Bull Nakano in the first real fight between two women at SummerSlam.

    The rest of the '90s was no better. The only other women's matches during that decade took place in 1995 and 1999. That is only four matches booked across 10 years, and one of them didn't even happen because Sapphire was unable to compete.

    The 2000s were only slightly better with a total of six bouts. One of them technically took place on Heat in 2001 but since that served as a pre-show of sorts, we will count it. This brings the total up to 10 bouts across the first 22 years of SummerSlam. 

    The 2010s have been much better for the division. A total of 17 matches took place over the last decade, with 12 of those happening within the past five years. The division went from having one contest in 2009 to four in 2019. 

    All in all, WWE has booked 27 bouts, leaving 13 SummerSlams without a single women's match. It took all the way until 2014 before they were given more than one. 

    This year's show has three out of eight matches dedicated to the women's division, which is a higher ratio than any other year in SummerSlam history. The women's division has come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to do. 

Brock Lesnar's Absence Is Felt

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    Unless there is a surprise appearance planned, this will be the first time Brock Lesnar has missed a SummerSlam PPV while under contract with WWE.

    He wrestled in 2002 and 2003 before leaving the company. Since returning in 2012, The Beast Incarnate has been a fixture at every SummerSlam. Not having him as part of the show this year leaves a noticeable gap.

    Other than Orton, Lesnar is one of the few people who could claim the Mr. SummerSlam title. He has not only been part of the show every year, but he has also faced some of the biggest names in the industry at the event.

    Here is a list of every opponent he has battled:

    • 2002: The Rock
    • 2003: Kurt Angle
    • 2012: Triple H
    • 2013: CM Punk
    • 2014: John Cena
    • 2015: The Undertaker
    • 2016: Randy Orton
    • 2017: Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns
    • 2018: Roman Reigns
    • 2019: Seth Rollins

    Almost every name listed is a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate. Considering The Beast lost his last two SummerSlam encounters to Reigns and Rollins, maybe it's wise for him to take this year off. 

A Year of Firsts

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    SummerSlam is known as The Biggest Party of the Summer, so you would expect it to take place in warm, tropical climates most years to feed into the theme. That is not the case at all, though.

    Not only have the majority of the cities to host the event been landlocked, but this year will also be the first time the company holds the show in Florida. 

    It will also be the first time WWE uses a new technique to bring fans to the event virtually instead of having a live audience. Screens will be placed around the arena featuring fans watching from home instead of the usual array of developmental talents who have surrounded the ring for the past few months.

    When it comes to the Superstars, this might be the biggest night of Asuka's WWE career. Not only is this her first time being booked at SummerSlam, but she will also become the first person to challenge for two different titles in two separate matches on the same night at the event. 

    She will face Bayley for the SmackDown women's title and Banks for the Raw belt. If she wins both matches, The Empress of Tomorrow will become the latest double champion in WWE.

    In another major first, Dominik Mysterio will make his WWE in-ring debut against Rollins in a Street Fight. Few Superstars have had their debut match take place at a PPV, and even fewer have done it with a hardcore stipulation.

    Last but certainly not least, Deville and Rose will take part in the first Hair vs. Hair match in SummerSlam history and the first in WWE since 2010 when Punk put his hair up against Rey Mysterio's mask at Extreme Rules. 

    SummerSlam 2020 is going to be an experiment for WWE. If the virtual-fan element works out, this could be the norm until the company can start having live crowds again. Let's hope for a fun and entertaining show. 


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