7. Roman Reigns Beats Brock Lesnar… Cut to Black – SummerSlam 2018
Now it must be stated that the result of this match is maybe the least shocking in years. WWE was desperate to get the Universal Championship on Roman Reigns after Brock Lesnar had reigned for over a year. At SummerSlam 2018, Reigns successfully won the title. However, that is not the shocking part.
The pushback against Reigns from fans was at an all-time high and WWE began manipulating the crowd to get the reactions desired. Not in a traditional wrestling sense but more in a lying and false advertising way. Braun Strowman came out and declared he would challenge the winner after the match but was beaten up mid-match. When Reigns won, people then expected Strowman to cash-in. Instead, WWE got the desired big reaction from Reigns winning and immediately went off the air.
It was one of the first examples of WWE blatantly manipulating their fans and it would not be the last.
6. Paul Bearer Turns on The Undertaker – SummerSlam 1996
For six years, The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were a package deal. Undertaker continued to evolve as a character and in 1996 the unthinkable happened. During a Boiler Room Brawl with Mankind, Undertaker’s trusted manager finally turned on him.
Bearer raised the urn above his head and brought it down on Undertaker’s cranium. The move shocked fans but it set the future in motion. Bearer as an adversary of The Undertaker led to the introduction of Kane the following year.
5. Randy Orton Cashes-in – SummerSlam 2013
It seems like a lifetime ago that The Authority didn’t exist. At SummerSlam 2013, we saw the genesis of the faction. Daniel Bryan had been portrayed as a talented wrestler but not Vince McMahon’s choice to be WWE Champion. When Bryan managed to defeat John Cena for the title, Randy Orton made his way to ringside.
Triple H then shocked the fans by turning heel and Pedigreeing Bryan, allowing Orton to calmly slither in and steal the title from the incapacitated Bryan. This was the first night of The Authority which would preside over WWE for the better part of the next seven years. For one moment, go back and watch this sequence as the Staples Center is white-hot for the entire thing. It is incredible.
4. Brock Lesnar Decimates John Cena – SummerSlam 2014
Brock Lesnar had shocked the world by defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Breaking the streak led to the most successful run of Lesnar’s WWE career and it began at SummerSlam 2014. Declared the number one contender, Lesnar challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship.
What fans were not expecting was how much of a one-sided squash this would be. Lesnar manhandled Cena. He absolutely crushed him. Sixteen suplexes put Cena in peril and a couple of F5s sealed the deal. This was as one-sided a WWE Championship match as you will ever see and because it happened to “Super Cena” made it all the more shocking.