SummerSlam is an event with a rich history of title changes, and where there are SummerSlam title changes, there are SummerSlam title stats, right? Following on from the first decade of SummerSlam history, the second decade saw a lot more variety in the kinds of titles changing hands and how often. The Hulkamania and New Generation eras were officially over as SummerSlam entered its second decade, with this period featuring what many consider to be WWE’s peak with the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras in full effect.
How did this all play out with the titles at SummerSlam? Let’s get into it and take a look!
- Out of SummerSlam’s 65 title changes to date, 18 took place during the event’s second decade. This is five more than took place in the first decade of the event and is a little over a quarter of all the title changes at SummerSlam.
- The division of title changes across the number of titles is a lot more relatively evenly spread than in the first decade. The Intercontinental Championship came first again with 5 title changes; then the World Heavyweight Championship (including one WCW championship title change in 2001) 4 times; the Hardcore and Tag Team titles draw at 3 changes each; and lastly, the Light Heavyweight, European and US titles share one title change each.
- There are four titles more that changed hands than there were in the first decade. That decade saw the World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, Tag Team, and Women’s Championships change hands. The second decade saw the Hardcore, European, Lightweight, and US Championships change hands at SummerSlam also.
- There were no Women’s Title changes at SummerSlam in the second decade. That probably says a lot about the use of women during the period as ‘divas’ and T&A material by WWE rather than wrestlers.
- The second decade of the event saw more events without title changes than in the first decade. The second decade saw three events out of the ten feature no title changes, with SummerSlams ’03, ’06, and ’07 featuring no new belt holders. This is one more than the first decade’s two events without title changes.
- Both RVD and The Undertaker draw at two each for the most amount of titles won at SummerSlam during the event’s second decade. RVD captured the Hardcore title from Jeff Hardy in 2001 and the Intercontinental Championship from Chris Benoit in 2002, while The Undertaker won the Tag Team titles with The Big Show in 1999 by beating Kane and X-Pac, and once again in 2001 with Kane by defeating DDP and Kanyon.
- RVD is the only wrestler to win titles during the event’s second decade at consecutive events, winning titles in both 2001 and 2002.
- The Rock and Chris Benoit share the record for most title losses during SummerSlam’s second decade, with two belt drops each. The Rock lost the Intercontinental Championship to Triple H in a ladder match at SummerSlam ’98 and the World Championship to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2002. Chris Benoit, in a strange mirroring of The Rock’s title losses, first lost the Intercontinental title to RVD at SummerSlam 2002 and then the World Heavyweight strap to Randy Orton in 2004.
- While there were no Women’s Championship title changes during SummerSlam’s second decade, at least one woman did claim a title: Chyna defeated Val Venis for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam 2000. By virtue of Chyna’s victory, she holds the record of being the winner of the first intergender title change at SummerSlam ever.
- This would be the only decade of the event’s history that the Light Heavyweight and Hardcore titles would change hands there. There is a Cruiserweight title change in the third decade, but that was a different title with a different lineage.
- This is also the only decade to feature the WCW World Heavyweight Championship changing hands at SummerSlam, or indeed at any WWE event.
Any interesting SummerSlam Title Stats that I’ve missed from the second decade? Let me know in the comments!