When SummerSlam burst onto the scene 29 years ago, wrestling PPVs were still in their toddler phase. WrestleMania IV had just taken place a few months earlier, and the first Survivor Series occurred the previous Thanksgiving. But the (then) WWF knew even back then that one of the biggest draws for a major PPV was to give fans a significant title change, as the first SummerSlam produced one of the most memorable title changes (more on that later).
SummerSlam is often billed as “The Biggest Party of the Summer,” and Sunday night’s installment will probably be no exception. And with eight title matches on the 13-match card, it’s likely we’ll have a couple new champions to add to the more than 30 new champs crowned at SummerSlam. Throughout SummerSlam’s history, some of these matches have been truly memorable affairs – the sight of the new champ hoisting the title high a visual that sticks with fans for years afterward.
These selections are not based solely (or even mainly) on match quality, but also important the title change was going forward. Did it create a new star? Did it cause a major shift in storylines going forward? These are the title changes that matter – the ones whose reverberations are felt well after the match ended.
Let’s take a look at some of the most significant title changes in SummerSlam history…