SummerSlam (2015) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on August 23, 2015, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The twenty-eighth event under the SummerSlam chronology, this was the first since 2008 to be held outside of Los Angeles as Staples Center was the exclusive home for SummerSlam from 2009 to 2014, and the eighth SummerSlam to be held in the New York metropolitan area. The Izod Center was originally supposed to host SummerSlam, but due to its closure in April 2015, the event was moved to Barclays Center. The event was the first in the SummerSlam chronology to be four hours in length, a length previously reserved only for WrestleMania.
|Date||August 23, 2015|
|City||Brooklyn, New York|
|WWE Network event chronology|
The event was the second night of what was billed as a "triple-header" at Barclays Center, with NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn having taken place the previous night, and Raw the following night. Ten matches were contested at the event, with no pre-show. In the main event, The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in controversial fashion; Lesnar put Undertaker in his Kimura lock and the timekeeper rang the bell after seeing the Undertaker supposedly indicating submission, but since the referee hadn't seen a submission and never stopped the match, the match continued. The confusion allowed Undertaker to surprise Lesnar with a low blow before trapping him in the Hell's Gate submission hold, during which Lesnar passed out to give Undertaker the win.
The card consisted of ten matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Raw and SmackDown.
At WrestleMania XXX in 2014, Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker to end his undefeated WrestleMania streak. Four months later, Lesnar defeated John Cena at SummerSlam to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but lost it the following year at WrestleMania 31 in his match against Roman Reigns when Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and won the championship. Lesnar received his rematch against Rollins at Battleground, and was closing in on the win when The Undertaker returned and attacked Lesnar, causing Lesnar to win by disqualification, but not win the championship. The following night, a rematch between Lesnar and Undertaker was scheduled for SummerSlam. This would be Undertaker's first SummerSlam match since 2008, and his first pay-per-view match outside of WrestleMania since Bragging Rights in 2010.
Ryback won the Intercontinental Championship in an Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber. On the June 1 episode of Raw, Ryback was scheduled to make his first title defense against The Miz, but Big Show attacked The Miz, preventing the match from occurring, and confronted Ryback. At Money in the Bank, Big Show defeated Ryback by disqualification after Miz attacked him; therefore, Ryback retained the championship. On June 22, Ryback was scheduled to defend the title against Big Show and Miz in a Triple Threat match at Battleground, but after Ryback sustained an injury, the match was postponed and, on August 6, rescheduled for SummerSlam.
At Money in the Bank, Bray Wyatt attacked Roman Reigns during the Money in the Bank ladder match, preventing him from winning the match. At Battleground, Wyatt defeated Reigns after Luke Harper interfered and attacked Reigns, reuniting The Wyatt Family with Wyatt in the process. On the July 20 episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose managed Reigns as he defeated Harper by disqualification. On the August 6 edition of SmackDown, Reigns challenged Wyatt to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper, which Wyatt accepted.
On the June 18 episode of SmackDown, Alicia Fox allied with The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Divas Champion Nikki Bella) by helping Brie win her match against Paige, forming "Team Bella". On the July 13 episode of Raw, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks made their WWE debuts; Charlotte and Lynch allied with Paige, later naming their team "PCB", while Banks allied with Naomi and Tamina, naming their group "Team B.A.D.". At Battleground, Charlotte defeated Brie and Banks in a Triple Threat match. On August 10, it was announced that Team Bella, PCB and Team B.A.D were scheduled to compete against each other in a Three-Team Elimination match at SummerSlam.
At Battleground, The Prime Time Players defeated The New Day to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. On the July 20 episode of Raw, Los Matadores defeated the Prime Time Players, after a distraction by the New Day. On the July 27 episode of Raw, The Lucha Dragons defeated Los Matadores. On the July 30 episode of SmackDown, The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores defeated The New Day and The Ascension. On the August 3 episode of Raw, The New Day and The Ascension defeated The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores in a rematch. On the August 6 episode of SmackDown, The Prime Time Players teamed up with Mark Henry to defeat The New Day. On the August 10 episode of Raw, The New Day defeated Los Matadores. The Prime Time Players were then scheduled to defend the championship against The New Day, Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons in a Fatal Four-Way tag team match at SummerSlam.
On the May 25 episode of Raw, Stardust confronted special guest Stephen Amell while losing to Neville. On the July 13 episode of Raw, Stardust defeated Neville. On the August 10 episode of Raw, where Amell was again a special guest, Neville defeated King Barrett, but was then attacked by Stardust. Stardust then assaulted Amell, who entered the ring and attacked Stardust in return. Amell and Neville then persuaded Triple H backstage to make a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Amell and Neville facing Stardust and Barrett.
On the July 20 episode of Raw, United States Champion John Cena challenged WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, but Rollins refused. On the July 27 episode of Raw, Cena again challenged Rollins, but The Authority instead forced him to defend the United States Championship against Rollins. Cena defeated Rollins, but sustained a broken nose during the match. On the August 3 episode of Raw, Rollins challenged Cena to a "Winner Takes All" match at SummerSlam, for both the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the United States Championship. On the August 11 episode of Tough Enough, Cena accepted Rollins' challenge.
On the June 18 episode of SmackDown, Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro. On the June 29 episode of Raw, Cesaro defeated United States Champion John Cena by disqualification after being attacked by Owens, therefore not winning the championship. On the July 20 episode of Raw, Cesaro teamed up with Cena and Randy Orton to defeat Owens, Rusev and Sheamus. On the July 23 episode of SmackDown, Owens attacked Cesaro after his match against Seth Rollins. On the July 27 episode of Raw, Cesaro attacked Owens after his match against Orton. On the July 30 episode of SmackDown, after Owens attacked Cesaro during his rematch against Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Cesaro defeated Owens and Rollins in a tag team match. On the August 13 episode of SmackDown, Cesaro was set to face Owens at SummerSlam.
At Battleground, Randy Orton defeated Sheamus. On the July 20 episode of Raw, Orton, John Cena and Cesaro defeated Sheamus, Kevin Owens and Rusev. On the July 27 episode of Raw, Sheamus attacked Orton during his match against Owens. On the August 3 episode of Raw, Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns defeated Sheamus, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. On the August 10 episode of Raw, Orton defeated WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins by disqualification after being attacked by Sheamus, therefore not winning the championship. Sheamus then attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on Rollins, but was stopped by Orton. On August 17, a match between Orton and Sheamus was scheduled for SummerSlam.
On the May 18 episode of Raw, Lana ended her association with Rusev and started a relationship with Dolph Ziggler, turning face in the process. After making numerous unsuccessful attempts to sway Lana from Ziggler, Rusev started a relationship with Summer Rae. On the July 6 episode of Raw, Rusev attacked Ziggler, resulting in Ziggler sustaining a throat injury. On the August 17 episode of Raw, Ziggler returned and attacked Rusev. The same night, Ziggler was set to wrestle Rusev at SummerSlam.
|English commentators||Michael Cole|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Backstage interviewers||Rich Brennan|
|Ring announcers||Lilian Garcia|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
Next, The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) and Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) in a Fatal 4-Way tag team match. The ending saw O'Neil executed the "Clash of the Titus" on Fernando but Big E pulled O'Neil out of the ring. Kingston pinned Fernando to win the title.
After that, Dolph Ziggler faced Rusev. In the climax, Rusev applied the "Accolade" on Ziggler but Lana attacked Summer Rae, distracting Rusev. Ziggler performed a Superkick on Rusev, knocking him onto a broadcast table. The match ended in a double countout.
The next match was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Ryback and Big Show and The Miz. The end came when Big Show executed a "KO Punch" on Miz but Ryback knocked Big Show out of the ring with a Clothesline. Ryback pinned Miz to retain the title.
In the sixth match, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose faced The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper). As Wyatt attempted "Sister Abigail" on Ambrose, Ambrose countered and executed "Dirty Deeds" on Wyatt. Reigns executed a Spear on Wyatt to win the match.
The seventh match was a Winner Takes All match for both the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE United States Championship between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and United States Champion John Cena. Cena executed an "Attitude Adjustment" on Rollins for a near-fall. Rollins executed an "Attitude Adjustment" on Cena for a near-fall. As Rollins attempted a "Pedigree" ,Cena countered and applied the Figure Four Leglock on Rollins. Rollins countered but Cena reached the ropes, forcing Rollins to break the hold. Cena executed a second "Attitude Adjustment", but in the process, Rollins inadvertently kicked the referee. Jon Stewart, the host of SummerSlam, ran to the ring with a chair, assumingly helping Cena but struck Cena with the chair. Rollins took advantage and executed a "Pedigree" on Cena on the chair. Rollins then pinned Cena to win the match.
The next match was a Three-team elimination match between Team Bella (WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, and Alicia Fox), Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina) and Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch). Brie Bella eliminated Team BAD by pinning Tamina after a diving "Bella Buster". Lynch pinned Brie after a Pumphandle Suplex to win the match for Team PCB.
In the main event, Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) faced The Undertaker. During the match, Undertaker attempted a Chokeslam on Lesnar but Lesnar countered the attempt and executed three German Suplexes. Lesnar executed an "F-5" through a broadcast table on Undertaker. Undertaker executed a Chokeslam and a "Tombstone Piledriver" on Lesnar for a near-fall. Lesnar applied a "Kimura lock" on Undertaker but Undertaker touched the ropes, forcing Lesnar to break the hold. Undertaker performed a "Last Ride" on Lesnar for a near-fall. Lesnar executed two "F-5s" on Undertaker, both for near-falls. In the climax of the match, Undertaker applied "Hell's Gate" on Lesnar, who countered the move and put Undertaker in another "Kimura Lock". At that time, the timekeeper rang the bell after seeing the Undertaker supposedly indicating submission; since the referee hadn't seen a submission and never stopped the match, the match continued. Thinking himself the winner, Lesnar released the hold. Whilst the referee argued with the timekeeper, Undertaker surprised Lesnar with a low blow and applied "Hell's Gate" again; Lesnar refused to submit, giving Undertaker the middle finger before passing out to give Undertaker the win.
The event received mixed reviews, with much of the criticism going to the endings of the "Winner Take All" and the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar matches. Will Purett from Prowrestling.net said the two main matches had bad endings. Purett was "infuriated by the finish in Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar" because "wrestling finishes in 2015 based on incompetent refereeing are bad ideas." Also, he criticized the idea of the Undertaker as the first man who defeated Lesnar in a singles match since WrestleMania 29, saying that "The Streak, [...] was sacrificed for a retirement tour." Jason Powell, from Prowrestling.net praised the Cena vs. Rollins and the Undertaker vs. Lesnar, but likewise criticized both finishes.
Benjamin Tucker of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter attended in person both WWE SummerSlam and NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn (a day earlier in the same venue). He gave TakeOver a 9.0 score, noting that it was "met with near-universal praise", higher than SummerSlam, which rated 6.5 and "was met with ridicule and scorn by the night's end". Tucker criticized SummerSlam in comparison to TakeOver, saying that "the main show writing could learn something from NXT, not WCW 2000", because "NXT provided simple stories, but they were easy to follow and made the viewer root for the good guys to prevail", in addition to "no chicanery". Yet SummerSlam had convoluted stories, "confusingly-presented characters" and "terrible" swerves. Tucker also felt that none of the SummerSlam matches reached the level of the NXT Women's Championship match the night before, "but the main event was wrestled well, as was Owens-Cesaro, Sheamus-Orton, Rollins-Cena (the probable match of the night)".
After winning the WWE United States Championship and retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena, Seth Rollins was confronted and attacked on the following night's Raw by a returning Sting, who grabbed the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt, signalling a challenge for the title. The match was set for Night of Champions. Jon Stewart also revealed that he had interfered on behalf of Rollins in order to prevent Cena from tying Ric Flair's record of World championships, who Stewart is a huge fan of. Stewart was confronted by Flair, who told him that he doesn't mind having his record tied or broken by someone who he respects, and John Cena hit Stewart with an Attitude Adjustment before leaving. A rematch for the United States Championship was granted by The Authority as they stated that all championship titles will be on the line, forcing Rollins to defend both titles back-to-back at Night of Champions, at which he lost the United States Championship to Cena but defeated Sting to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Following the controversial loss to The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman called out The Undertaker for one last match that night but instead Bo Dallas appeared and attempted to convince Lesnar to start "Bo-lieving". Lesnar responded by delivering a number of German suplexes on Dallas, and ending the beatdown with an F5 before leaving. At Night of Champions, a Hell in a Cell match to settle the feud between Lesnar and Undertaker was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
After Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose's victory over The Wyatt Family, a rematch was booked the following night on Raw. Midway through the match, a mysterious man (later revealed to be Braun Strowman) interfered on behalf of The Wyatt Family. The new Wyatt Family challenged Reigns and Ambrose to a 6-man tag match at Night of Champions. Reigns and Ambrose refused to reveal their partner until right before the match; their mystery partner was Chris Jericho, who passed out to Strowman's bear hug. Thus, The Wyatts defeated them.
On the following night's Raw, The New Day defeated The Lucha Dragons. After the match, the Dudley Boyz made their return to WWE, performing a 3D on Xavier Woods through a table and confronting The Prime Time Players. The New Day would go on to retain their titles through 2015 and 2016. On December 13, 2016, The New Day's reigns reached 479 days, officially breaking the record set by Demolition to become the longest single reign in WWE history. 5 days later, at the pay-per-view Roadblock: End of the Line, they lost the titles to Cesaro and Sheamus.
Kevin Owens started setting his sights on the WWE Intercontinental Championship leading to a feud with champion Ryback. On the September 7 episode of Raw. Owens interrupted Ryback's interview and then attacked him, costing him a Lumberjack match against Seth Rollins on the September 10 episode of Smackdown while Owens was one of the Lumberjacks. On the September 14 episode of Raw, Ryback was granted permission by The Authority to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Owens at Night of Champions. Owens would defeat Ryback at Night of Champions to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, his first major title since debuting on the main roster.
- Elimination match
|Eliminated||Team||Eliminated by||Method of elimination||Time|
|1||Team B.A.D.||Team Bella||Tamina was pinned by Brie Bella||6:17|
|2||Team Bella||Team PCB||Brie Bella was pinned by Becky Lynch||15:18|
- Lee, Joseph (August 27, 2015). "Actual Attendance for SummerSlam, NXT Takeover: Brooklyn and Raw". 411Mania.
- Martin, Adam. "WWE Summerslam PPV confirmed for Brooklyn on 8/23". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- Martin, Adam. "SummerSlam 2015 seeking new location, arena to shut down". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Fowler, Matt (July 27, 2015). "WWE SummerSlam Expanded to Four Hours". IGN. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- STAFF, WWE.COM. "SummerSlam just got bigger!". WWE. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Brookyln Triple Header – Uproxx.com
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/23: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Lesnar vs. Taker, Title vs. Title, more matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Caldwell, James. "WrestleMania 30 PPV results (Hour 3): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Undertaker vs. Lesnar Streak match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT 8/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Cena vs. Lesnar". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WM31 PPV RESULTS 3/29: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of WWE World Title match, Taker's return, Sting vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Rusev, Rock/UFC surprise, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE BATTLEGROUND PPV REPORT 7/19: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV – Rollins vs. Lesnar, Cena vs. Owens III, Orton returns home, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 7/20/15 (Undertaker & Brock Lesnar brawl)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE E. CHAMBER PPV REPORT 5/31: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of WWE Title match, Cena vs. Owens, two Elimination Chamber matches, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Raw Results – 6/1/15 (Reigns competes three times)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE MITB PPV RESULTS 6/14: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Dusty Rhodes 10-bell salute, WWE Title match, MITB match, Cena vs. Owens II, more". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- WWE.com staff. "Ryback sustains injury at Raw". wwe.com. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Smackdown Results – 8/06/15 (Roman Reigns vs. Rusev)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Smackdown Results – 6/18/15 (Tag Team Main Event)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 7/13/15 (WWE Title Contract Signing)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 7/27/15 (John Cena vs. Seth Rollins)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Smackdown Results – 7/30/15 (Ambrose/Cesaro team)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 8/3/15 (Six-man tag team main event)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Raw Results – 8/10/15 (WWE Championship Match)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 5/25/15 (Final hype for Elimination Chamber)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE Smackdown Results – 7/23/15 (Rollins vs. Cesaro)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Holland, Dustin. "WWE Smackdown Results – 8/13/15 (Rollins/Owens team)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 5/18/15 (New #1 Contender announced)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 7/6/15 (Brock Lesnar runs wild)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 8/17/15 (Undertaker attacks Lesnar)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "SummerSlam". WWE. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "Pruett's Pause: WWE SummerSlam 2015 – Bad finishes undermine some amazing efforts in Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Seth Rollins, and more!".
- "Powell's WWE SummerSlam Hit List: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins vs. John Cena match finishes, New Day win the tag titles, Divas Revolution, Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro, Americanized Lana, Divas' faction war".
- Tucker, Benjamin. "Live instant reaction – NXT: Takeover vs. Summerslam highlights the glaring difference between two products". Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Night of Champions 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "WWE Raw results, Aug. 24, 2015: The Dudley Boyz return to WWE and Sting stakes his claim on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- "WWE Hell in a Cell 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "Night of Champions 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "Shows". WWE. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- Taylor, Scott. "Randy Orton vs. Sheamus". WWE. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- Clapp, John. "WWE Tag Team Champions The Prime Time Players vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day". WWE. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Benigno, Anthony. "Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev". WWE. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- Powers, Kevin. "Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett". WWE. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Clapp, John. "Intercontinental Champion Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz (Triple Threat Match)". WWE. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Passantino, Joe. "Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns". WWE. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Clapp, John. "WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. United States Champion John Cena in a Winner Takes All Match". WWE. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Pappolla, Ryan. "Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. PCB". WWE. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Clapp, John. "Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro". WWE. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Pappolla, Ryan. "Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker". WWE. Retrieved 20 July 2015.