10 Things You Didn’t Know About 1990s SummerSlams

12 months ago by Brian Joyce

7. The Only SummerSlam With More PPV Buys than that Year’s WrestleMania – SummerSlam 1991

While pay-per-view buyrates aren’t as important to WWE business nowadays, they were once one of the most crucial metrics there was.

That is why it was so significant for SummerSlam 1991 to top WrestleMania VII in that department. The only time the summer classic has outdrawn the ‘Show of Shows’ on pay per view.

SummerSlam 1991 did 405,000 pay-per-view buys, a number that would be considered excellent in the years just prior to the launch of the WWE Network.

However, that number was significantly down from the prior two years. More alarming was the fact that WrestleMania VII only garnered 400,000 buys.

The Iraqi sympathizer angle and Hulk Hogan’s interview with Arsenio Hall took their toll on the business and resulted in these two significant buyrates.


6. Shawn Michaels Would Have Won the Intercontinental Championship if the Show was in USA – SummerSlam 1992

Everyone remembers the legendary match between Bret Hart and the British Bulldog from SummerSlam 1992.

Obviously, the location played a big factor with Bulldog’s country rallying behind him as he captured the Intercontinental Championship. However, this was not always the guaranteed plan.

The venue for the show was not decided upon particularly far in advance. As a result, backup plans were put in place.

Bret Hart has said if SummerSlam took place in the United States he would have dropped the title to Shawn Michaels rather than Bulldog.

Michaels would end up winning the title a few months later from the Bulldog anyway so no harm no foul for him.


5. The First SummerSlam with a WWE Title Change – SummerSlam 1997

World title changes seem to be the norm these days but back in the 90s, they were far more rare. In fact, it wasn’t until the tenth SummerSlam before the WWE Championship changed hands.

There had been six WWE Championship matches in the event’s history before Bret Hart challenged The Undertaker at SummerSlam 1997 but this was the first time the title changed hands.

There had been some screwy finishes in previous world title matches but the champion always left with the belt in hand. The Undertaker was not so lucky.

Special referee Shawn Michaels accidentally hit him with a chair and cost him the match. This led to both the first Hell in a Cell match and the Montreal Screwjob. Not a bad night for wrestling history, all things considered.


4. The Lowest SummerSlam Buyrate Ever – SummerSlam 1996

We spoke about buyrates earlier and how 405,000 buys was disappointing in 1991 given where the company had been. If that was disappointing then, SummerSlam 1996 was catastrophic.

The lowest bought SummerSlam in history, the event only managed to draw 157,000 buys. A number like that would be a disappointing B-level show 15 years later.

For reference, pay per views that drew more include Bragging Rights, Breaking Point, and Capital Punishment. Capital Punishment, people. Sheesh.

The mid-90s were the worst period for WWE in history and this show could be seen as one of the low points. Shawn Michaels and Vader was just about the only highlight of the show but the match wasn’t enough to draw in viewers.

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