The Evolution of WWE’s Summerslam: 25 Years of Pain Revisited

When Summerslam premiered in 1988 as the WWE’s second unique and annual PPV offering, fans couldn’t wait for what would later be billed as the second most important event, just behind WrestleMania. With the 25th anniversary of Summerslam coming later this month, let’s take a look back at 10 of the most amazing and exciting moments from 25 years of WWE’s heat-soaked slam fest.

In the 80’s, Hulk Hogan was considered the biggest thing walking, not only as just a wrestling star, but a crossover star as well. Towards the tail end of the 80’s he teamed up with another huge fan-favorite in “Macho Man” Randy Savage as they did battle in the main event of the first ever Summerslam to a sold out Madison Square Garden Arena. The ending of the match saw the usually reserved Ms. Elizabeth strip off her skirt and to distract the duo of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase. She was hot way before WWE Divas even existed.

While the main event of the evening saw Hulk Hogan teaming with The Ultimate Warrior to face Sgt. Slaughter’s Axis of Evil, it was the match between Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect and fast-rising, fan-backed challenger Bret “The Hitman” Hart, which stole the show and the hearts of the audience. Battered and exhausted after their grueling battle, Hart made his way up the stands to embrace his parents, who had just witnessed their son win his first singles title in front of millions of viewers on PPV. It was an amazing moment for the fans as well.