10 Backstage WWE SummerSlam Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Today is August 15, which is the same day that both the 2004 and 2010 SummerSlams took place.
Both were newsworthy events, as much for what happened behind-the-scenes as what happened inside the ring.
The 2004 version is mostly remembered for Randy Orton winning his first World Heavyweight Title, beating Chris Benoit in the main event. Not only did it cap off the meteoric rise of the Legend Killer, but it also removed Brock Lesnar's record (set at SummerSlam 2002) as the youngest world champion in WWE history.
Orton was 24, while Lesnar was 25 at the time of his triumph.
Did WWE put the belt on Randy before he was truly ready in order to take the honour away from Brock, who had unexpectedly left the company months earlier?
It's hard to say but the answer is 'yes'.
As far as 2010 goes, that was built around the Nexus versus WWE storyline and headlined by the elimination match pitting the two sides against one another.
Common sense dictated that the red-hot rogue 'rookies' would prevail and continue to gather momentum, but WWE instead booked Cena to overcome the odds and dispatch Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett with relative ease in order to win the contest (after receiving a DDT on the concrete floor, no less).
Not only did this irk many fans, but it also upset some of Cena's co-workers, most notably Edge and Chris Jericho - two of his teammates on the night - who subsequently publicly voiced their dismay at the booking decision.
Yes, whenever there's a SummerSlam there's bound to be more than meets the eye and juicy backstage stories, whether it's legitimate fights, changed plans or other peculiar events, are never too far away.
10. Diva Dodgeball Resulted In Wrestler's Court in 2004
SummerSlam 2004 also came slap-bang in the middle of the initial WWE Diva Search.
It had made for some pretty brutal television in the weeks prior and was a turnoff to many fans, but managed to find its way onto pay-per-view with Diva Dodgeball, where the remaining hopefuls (minus heat magnet Carmella DeCesare) took on some of the established WWE Divas.
You might assume such a contest would be worked for the benefit of progressing storylines but, in keeping with the 'reality' theme of the Diva Search, the thing was done as a shoot.
And it turned out to be a disaster for the WWE crew, as they were trounced by the rookies, who only had one member of their team eliminated.
Deemed to be such a bad look for the sports entertainment juggernaut, the WWE Diva team were summoned to the infamous Wrestler's Court to stand trial for their pitiful performance.
The Divas chose veteran Ivory to act as their defence, while Val Venis acted as prosecutor and Triple H oversaw as the judge.
As was the norm, the defence's thin case fell on deaf ears and the Divas were forced to provide The Game with vouchers for the Red Roof Inn (in order to avoid a harsher sentence).