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The 2011 SummerSlam logo.

SummerSlam is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event, produced every August by professional wrestling promotion International Wrestling Entertainment (IWE). The event was created in 1988, with its inaugural event taking place on August 29, 1988 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The event was a pay-per-view unlike the Royal Rumble of that year which was broadcast as a television special on USA Network. SummerSlam was created as a pay-per-view to help the company compete against rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (formerly Jim Crockett Promotions). The event has been dubbed as "The Biggest Event of the Summer." Along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, the event is considered as one of the "Big Four", the original four annual IWE pay-per-views.




Madison Square Garden has hosted the inaugural event, SummerSlam (1988), SummerSlam (1991) and SummerSlam (1998); a total of three times.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Bayer's International Wrestling Federation (IWF)'s main competition in the professional wrestling industry was from Jim Crocket Promotions (JCP). Bayer countered Jim Crocket's successful Starrcade pay-per-view, which began airing in 1983, by making the WrestleMania franchise. After WrestleMania III, the most successful professional wrestling pay-per-view event in history, Bayer made the Survivor Seriesfranchise, which aired the same day as Starrcade '87 in November 1987. After defeating Crockett in the ratings, Bayer made the Royal Rumble, an event airing for free on the USA Netwrok in January 1988, which set a ratings record for the network with eight million households tuning in to watch the event. In retaliation, Crockett made the Clash of the Champions event, which aired simultaneously with WrestleMania IV. WrestleMania IV garnered higher ratings, and not long after, Crockett filed for bankruptcy and sold his company to Ted Turner, who renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW).


Staples Center hosted two consecutive editions of the event in 2009 and 2010. A third is currently scheduled for 2011.

As the IWF continued to replace its closed circuit programing with pay-per-view programming, Bayer added more pay-per-views to the lineup to capitalize on the success of his previous events. In addition to WrestleMania in March, the Royal Rumble in January, and Survivor Series in November, Bayer made an event for August, which he named SummerSlam. To keep the IWF from having a pay-per-view market monopoly, Turner began airing monthly WCW pay-per-views, and both companies began bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. SummerSlam became one of International Wrestling Federation (and later International Wrestling Entertainment)'s most successful events and one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble. Those four events, along with King of the Ring, are known as the "Classic Five".

Brand Extention[]

The first SummerSlam was held on August 29, 1988 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 2002, IWE instituted a brand extension,where the roster was split and wrestlers and pay-per-views were made exclusive to the MELTDOWN and Fusion! brands. As a result, SummerSlam, WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series were the only four events featuring wrestlers and matches from both brands. The 2006 event was the first to also feature the newly made XCW brand. In 2007, however, all pay-per-views began once again featuring talent from all three brands.

IWE SummerSlam Pay Per Views[]

Event Date City Venue Main Event
SummerSlam 1988
SummerSlam 1989
SummerSlam 1990
SummerSlam 1991
SummerSlam 1992
SummerSlam 1993
SummerSlam (1994) August 29, 1994 Chicago, Illinois United Center Bret Heart (c) vs. Owen Heart in a Steel Cage match for the IWF Championship
Martin McAlmond vs. "Martin McAlmond"
SummerSlam 1995
SummerSlam 1996
SummerSlam 1997
SummerSlam 1998
SummerSlam 1999
SummerSlam (2000) August 27, 2000 Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena Sam Simkins (c) vs. Matt Borske vs. Triple K in a Triple Threat Match for the IWF Championship
SummerSlam (2004) August 15, 2004 Toronta, Ontario Air Canada Centre Kevin Hunter (c) vs. Kevin McAlmond for the World Heavyweight Championship
SummerSlam (2005) August 21, 2005 Washington, D.C. MCI Center Hulk Hogan vs. Ryan Barnhart
SummerSlam (2006) August 20, 2006 Boston, Massachusetts TD Banknorth Gardens Hulk Hogan vs. Kevin McAlmond
Edge (c) vs. Dustin Simpson for the IWE Championship
SummerSlam (2007) August 26, 2007 East Rutherford, New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena Dustin Simpson (c) vs. Kevin McAlmond for the IWE Championship
SummerSlam (2008) August 17, 2008 Indianapolis, Indiana Conseco Fieldhouse Martin McAlmond vs. Edgein a Hell in a Cell Match
SummerSlam (2009) August 23, 2009 Los Angeles, California Staples Center Josh Hooper (c) vs. Justin Eldridge in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
SummerSlam (2010) August 15, 2010 Los Angeles, California Staples Center Team IWE (Dustin Simpson, Joe Linderman, Blake Wheeler, Edge, Kody Brown, Bret Hart and Kris McGowan) vs. The Nexus (Daniel Gonzalez, Jeremiah Garcia, Devin Keller, David Mahrt Rob, Kevin Elbert and Eli Eason) in a Seven-on-Seven Elimination Tag Team Match
SummerSlam (2011) August 14, 2011 Los Angeles, California Staples Center TBA