In the WWE landscape, Summerslam is the third
biggest event of the year behind the Royal
Rumble and WrestleMania, and is often used
as a landmark event for storylines.
The Mega Powers took on The Mega Bucks in
the first ever Summerslam, The Undertaker
took on a mirror version of himself at Summerslam
‘94, Brock Lesnar became the youngest WWE
Champion when he defeated The Rock at Summerslam
But sometimes the promise of great storylines
are ruined by perplexing booking and bad finishes,
frustrating fans who got their hopes up for
I am Luke Owen and here are 4 Summerslam disasters…
Triple H’s Botched First WWF Title Run,
In 1999, there wasn’t a bigger star in the
world of professional wrestling than Stone
Cold Steve Austin, but going into Summerslam
‘99, Austin was facing a lot of issues – mainly
his long list of injuries, needing to drop
the WWF Championship to take time off.
Vince and the creative team saw this as their
opportunity to put the belt on their next
main event prospect: Triple H.
Through convoluted means, the main event of
Summerslam ended up being a triple threat
match between Steve Austin, Mankind and Triple
H, with the idea that Hunter would win his
first WWF Championship on a big stage.
But stories started to come out prior to the
event that Austin was becoming increasingly
difficult to work with.
There had already been reports of him refusing
to work with the 1999 King of the Ring winner
Billy Gunn and Intercontinental Champion Jeff
Jarrett – both of which creative wanted to
push into the main event scene – and rumours
started to circulate the same was happening
with Triple H.
“There was a lot of talk within wrestling
in the days leading to the show about Shawn
Michaels getting in Helmsley’s ear and Austin
refusing to do the job.”
– Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter,
August 30th 1999
There were also questions around the special
guest referee – Jesse The Body Ventura – who
was the Governor of Minnesota at the time,
where the PPV was being held.
Because Ventura was a political figure, many
believe that he didn’t want to raise the
hand of a heel at the end of the night.
Both of these stories were heightened to the
point of urban myth when Mankind surprisingly
won the title by pinning Austin, and then
Triple H won the championship less than 24
hours later on Monday Night Raw.
However according to Dave Meltzer, none of
this was the case.
“At the end of the week the decision was
made for Austin to do the job for Mankind
for a double surprise of the expected finish
[of HHH winning].”
Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter,
August 30th 1999
It was a really bad start for Triple H’s
run as WWE’s top heel.
The whole storyline going into Summerslam
was Triple H’s coronation, so to do it 24
hours later, and then drop the title to Mr
McMahon of all people a month later, is nowhere
near as impressive.
The Nexus Buried, Summerslam 2010
Not since the nWo has there been a group with
more sudden impact in North American wrestling
than The Nexus.
The group – made up of “rookies” from
NXT season one – made their debut on the June
7th 2010 edition of Monday Night Raw and would
go on a tear, beating up legends including
Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat and even Mr. McMahon.
This all built up to a 7-on-7 match at Summerslam
2010 with The Nexus taking on Team WWE: John
Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, R-Truth, John Morrison,
Bret Hart and The Great Khali – the latter
of whom was replaced with a returning Daniel
This was the first WWE PPV match for The Nexus,
and it was in the main event with some of
the biggest names in the company’s history.
The storyline going in was that The Nexus
were united – as their song suggested, they
were one and stand together – while Team WWE
couldn’t get along.
Nexus had two guys eliminated straight away
before Skip Sheffield – who would return a
couple of years later as Ryback – eliminated
Morrison and Truth.
But those were the only clean eliminations.
Bret Hart got himself disqualified, Jericho
and Edge were eliminated by the classic distraction
roll-up and The Miz hit Daniel Bryan with
the Money in the Bank briefcase so Wade Barrett
could pin him.
It came down to Super Cena fighting 2-on-1
against Barrett and Justin Gabriel, where
he managed to survive being DDT’d onto the
concrete, eventually pinning Gabriel and submitting
Barrett clean with the STFU.
This match killed the Nexus angle, and the
group never recovered.
On Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast,
Edge and Y2J opened up about how they lobbied
for Barrett to win the match, but Cena shot
“We were fighting for Barrett to go over.
And, in all fairness, where’s Wade Barrett
They should have listened to us.”
– Chris Jericho, Talk is Jericho, December
According to Jericho, after the match, even
Cena realised his mistake.
“Afterwards he came over to us and said
‘I should have listened to you, but I wasn’t
seeing it that way.
And sometimes you just don’t see it that way,
– Chris Jericho, Talk is Jericho, December
The Love Triangle Scrapped, Summerslam 2000
In the summer of 2000, Kurt Angle made his
ascent into the main event by getting into
a love triangle storyline between himself,
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
The story was that Kurt was besotted with
Steph – Triple H’s wife – who was having
her own marital issues with The Game.
Steph claimed she and Kurt were just friends
– but Triple H belived otherwise – and this
all came to a head at Summerslam 2000.
Oh, and The Rock is the champion but that
doesn’t really matter.
Sadly, this would be the end of the storyline,
and it was dropped shortly thereafter.
In shoot interviews, Angle has said the concussion
he received at the start of the match cut
the program short.
“I was pretty goofy for a while and kept
That might have had something to do with the
Triple H wasn’t blocking anything.”
– Kurt Angle, Shoot Interview, Date Unavailable.
However the real reason behind the angle being
killed – at least according to Dave Meltzer
– was because Triple H didn’t think the
story was believable.
The original plan was for Stephanie to leave
Hunter for Angle – which would have pushed
Triple H’s babyface run – but The Game had
“HHH told the writers that it wouldn’t be
believable that a woman would leave him for
Kurt, and thus, for credibility’s sake, it
had to end.”
Instead, Stephanie simply ended up as Kurt’s
manager leading into his Championship win
at No Mercy, and Triple H turned heel by revealing
himself as the mastermind behind the running
over of Steve Austin.
The Summer of Punk Prematurely Ends, Summerslam
CM Punk was always a popular character in
WWE, but his cult-like status exploded withhis
infamous pipe bomb promo on the 27th June
2011 edition of Monday Night Raw.
It was a promo that highlighted a lot of fan
frustrations with the company, and built up
to an epic match between Punk and WWE Champion
John Cena, where Punk said he would quit WWE
with the belt once he won it.
It was one of the most gripping main events
in the company for some time, seeing Punk
win the championship and flee into his hometown
Money in the Bank crowd – presumably never
to be seen again.
In his pipebomb promo, Punk talked about defending
the championship in Ring of Honour, or New
Japan Pro Wrestling, making wrestling fans
around the world salivate at the seemingly
Just two weeks later, though, Punk was back
They had just crowned a new WWE Champion in
John Cena, and a Champion vs Champion match
was soon made for Summerslam 2011.
After breaking into the mainstream media following
his title win, Punk appeared set for mega-stardom
when he beat Cena in Summerslam’s main event
two months later – even if John did have his
foot on the rope.
But WWE had other plans.
Enter Big Daddy Cool.
Immediately after becoming the undisputed
WWE Champion at Summerslam, Kevin Nash returned
to WWE, taking out Punk with a Jackknife Powerbomb.
Alberto Del Rio then cashed in his Money in
the Bank briefcase and beat Punk for the title
he’d just won.
The worst thing is, Punk never got his revenge
Punk vs Nash was announced for Night of Champions,
but it was quickly changed to Punk vs Triple
H – which was meant to take place at Survivor
“I was on [heart medication] Plavix.
So this comes through.
When the doctor sees I’m on Plavix, I can’t
So now I’m supposed to wrestle C.M.
They won’t medically clear me.
Triple H has to take my spot.
It screws up the entire angle.”
Kevin Nash, PWTorch Livecast, March 23, 2012