10 Biggest WWE Summerslam Controversies

Backstage fights, non-PG moments, broken bones and more WWE SummerSlam drama!

Chris Jericho Brock Lesnar Randy Orton Paul Heyman WWE SummerSlam 2016

SummerSlam is often regarded as the 'second most important WWE pay-per-view of the year'. That's the first controversial statement handled here, because many fans of a certain vintage would point to January's Royal Rumble as the true backup for undoubted kingpin WrestleMania.

WWE's "Biggest Party Of The Summer" has been newsworthy since its inception in 1988 though - there's no denying that. Some of the most dramatic moments in company history have taken place on the July/August supershow, and a fair number of them didn't even happen inside the ring.

Ageing bad boy rockstars have gone against WWE's PG certification during short cameos, top stars have held Vince McMahon up for bigger paydays behind the scenes, and one of the most unlikely fights sort of/almost/kinda happened backstage in 2016.

SummerSlam has witnessed mid-match temper tantrums, broken necks that nearly ended careers for good, main events which only happened because one party wouldn't put another rising star over and more. Sprinkle on some "stripping", the complete annihilation of a top faction and even one legend taking the p*ss out of another too.

SummerSlam? It should be SummerScandal...

10. HBK Has A Tantrum Because Of Vader

Chris Jericho Brock Lesnar Randy Orton Paul Heyman WWE SummerSlam 2016

When: SummerSlam 1996

What Happened: Vader was Vader.

Yes, that sounds ridiculously simple and smart-arsed, but it's true. One could, however, have opened the entry by saying: "Shawn Michaels was being Shawn Michaels". The then-WWF Champ was feeling the pressure of his title reign and wasn't exactly a mega-positive chap in 1996.

HBK's ego collided with Vader's stiffness to cause miscommunication aplenty at SummerSlam. During the main event, Shawn leapt off the top rope for...something on the big man. Vader didn't move as planned, so Michaels landed on his feet, stomped on his peer and yelled, "Move, A*shole!"/"Move, dumb sh*t!" (Jim Cornette has said both in interviews since).

Earlier, Vader had peppered Michaels with relentless strikes in the corner. Apparently, the champ didn't like that either, and he was already smarting from the former WCW man's 'eat you alive' approach on house shows. Seeing two top stars break down this way during a featured match was shocking at the time.


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.