Top 10 Highest Grossing WWE Summerslam Pay Per Views

WWE Summerslam is advertised as the biggest party of the summer and considered by many as the second biggest event of the year in the WWE calendar. We look at the highest grossing Summerslam pay per views by buy rate ever. 

The first Summerslam in 1988 doesn’t feature in our Top 10 but grossed a big number for the premier event, it draw a big 500,000 buys and the famous Summerslam from Wembley Stadium in 1992 where The British Bulldog defeats Bret Hart for the WWE Intercontinental Champion in his home country doesn’t perform the greatest, It has a buy rate of just 280,000. 

Brandon Thurston of has predicted the Summerslam pay per view buy rates for Summerslams 2014 to 2018. Using a formula he created using Google trends he can use this to gauge how many buys a pay per view would get if the WWE Network didn’t exist. This is based on WWE and Summerslams popularity and number of searches in the build up to the event. His Summerslam 2015 predictions would be close running for our top 10 as he predicts that it would have an estimated 505,000 buy rate.

10. Summerslam 1990 – 507,000

Number 10 on our list is Summerslam 1990 held on August 27th in Philadelphia. Headlined by The Ultimate Warrior defending the WWF Championship against Rick Ruse in a Steel Cage Match, we also see Hulk Hogan up against Earthquake and Randy Savage went one on one with Dusty Rhodes.

9. Summerslam 2002 – 520,000

Headlined by Brock Lesnar’s first match for the WWE Championship against The Rock. This show was also helped by the return of Shawn Michaels who made his return to the ring for the first time in four years against Triple H in a unsanctioned match. Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio open the show in what some regarded as one of the greatest opening matches ever.

8. Summerslam 2007 – 537,000

Held in East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 27th. The main event was a WWE Championship match between John Cena and Randy Orton, The Great Khali battled Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship and Triple H made his return from injury in a match against King Booker.

7. Summerslam 2006 – 541,000

2006 edition of Summerslam is held in Boston on August 20th and headlined by Edge defending his WWE Championship against hometown hero John Cena. D-Generation X went up against Vince and Shane McMahon, Hulk Hogan faces The Legend Killer Randy Orton and Mick Foley and Ric Flair battle in a ‘I Quit’ Match.

6. Summerslam 2001 – 565,000 

The second pay per view in the Invasion angle where the WCW/ECW alliance battles WWF. The show is headlined by The Rocks first match since March against Booker T for the WCW championship. Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWF Championship against Kurt Angle and The Undertaker and Kane battle DDP and Chris Kanyon for the Tag Team Championships.

5. Summerslam 2000 – 570,000

The big story and angle of this Summerslam was the love triangle of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle. Triple H and Kurt would be in the main event in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship against The Rock. The Undertaker fought Kane, Shane McMahon and Steve Blackman battled for the Hardcore Championship. Also this show sees the first ever TLC match between The Hardyz, Dudleyz and Edge and Christian.

4. Summerslam 1989 – 575,000

Held in East Rutherford on August 28th, The second ever Summerslam is headlined by the team of Hulk Hogan and Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake against ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and Zeus. Ted Dibiase defeated Jimmy Snuka and the Ultimate Warrior battled Rick Rude for the Intercontinental Championship.

3. Summerslam 1999 – 650,000

Summerslam 1999 was boosted by the return of Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura to be the special guest referee in the WWF

Championship main event. Ventura was governor of the host state Minnesota which made headline news across the country. The championship match was between Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H and Mankind, The Rock faces the 1999 King of the Ring Billy Gunn and The Undertaker teams with the Big Show against Kane and X-Pac.

2. Summerslam 2005 – 650,000

The 2005 edition of Summerslam was headlined by the dream match of Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels facing each other for the very first time. John Cena defended his WWE Championship against Chris Jericho, Batista defending his World Heavyweight Championship against JBL in a No Holds Barred match and The Undertaker and Randy Orton battled in a Wrestlemania rematch.

1. Summerslam 1998 – 700,000

The highest grossing Summerslam of all time was held at Madison Square Garden on August 30th. Advertised as the Highway to Hell, The show is headlined by WWE Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin going one on one with The Undertaker. Triple H and The Rock battle for the Intercontinental championship in a ladder match and the New Age Outlaws defend their tag team championships against the team of Kane and Mankind.

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