Date August 25, 2002
City Uniondale, New York
Sponsor Foot Locker
Cast Dwayne Johnson
Initial release 2002
Brands WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown
song(s) "Fight" by Jim Johnston|
Venue Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Similar SummerSlam (2005), Fully Loaded (1999), WWE Global Warning, SummerSlam (2009), SummerSlam (1995)
SummerSlam (2002) was the fifteenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by Foot Locker. It took place on August 25, 2002, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. With this event, SummerSlam became the first pay-per-view to have events in the three major indoor venues in the New York metropolitan area. Madison Square Garden hosted the event in 1988, 1991, and 1998. The Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey hosted the event in 1989, 1997, and later in 2007.
The main match on the SmackDown! brand was for the WWE Undisputed Championship between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Lesnar won the match and the championship after pinning Rock following an F-5. The main match on the Raw brand featured an Unsanctioned Street Fight between the returning Shawn Michaels and Triple H, which Michaels won after pinning Triple H by reversing Triple H's Pedigree attempt into a jackknife roll-up. There was also an interpromotional match for the Intercontinental Championship between Rob Van Dam from Raw and Chris Benoit from SmackDown!, which Van Dam won by pinfall after performing a Five-Star Frog Splash. The other matches on the undercard included The Undertaker versus Test and Kurt Angle versus Rey Mysterio.
The professional wrestling matches at SummerSlam featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television shows Raw and SmackDown! with the Raw and SmackDown! brands—storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees to different programs.
At the King of the Ring, Brock Lesnar defeated Test in the semifinals, then during the latter event he defeated Rob Van Dam in the King of the Ring tournament to earn the right to face the WWE Undisputed Champion at SummerSlam. At Vengeance, the pay-per-view one month before SummerSlam, The Rock defeated The Undertaker and Kurt Angle in a triple threat match for the WWE Undisputed Title. On the July 25 episode of SmackDown!, during The Rock's WWE Tag Team Championship match against The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian), Lesnar interfered by nailing Rock's tag team partner Hollywood Hulk Hogan with an F-5. Due to Lesnar's interference, Rock and Hogan won the match by disqualification, but not the title. On the August 8 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar would put his SummerSlam title shot on the line against Hogan with the stipulation added that if Hogan were to defeat Lesnar, he'd face The Rock in a WrestleMania X8 rematch at SummerSlam for the WWE Undisputed Championship. At the end, Lesnar locked Hogan in a bear hug. When Hogan kayfabe passed out, the referee stopped the match. After the match, Lesnar then nailed Hogan in the head with the steel chair, bloodying Hogan. The next week on SmackDown, The Rock faced Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit in a "Champion vs. Champion" match, which again involved Lesnar. During the match, Lesnar taunted The Rock while Benoit placed Rock in the Crippler Crossface. The Rock, however, was able defeat Benoit after a Rock Bottom. On the final episode of SmackDown! before SummerSlam, after The Rock and Edge defeated Benoit and Eddie Guerrero in a tag team match, Lesnar appeared to the ring for another stare down with The Rock, which led to a brawl between the two that ended the show.
At Vengeance, Shawn Michaels returned after a four-year absence (due to a back injury). Triple H received the choice of deciding to appear for Raw or SmackDown!, and Michaels helped him decide by offering to reform D-Generation X (DX) on Raw. Triple H chose to go to Raw, but the next night, as Michaels and Triple H were in the middle of reforming DX, Triple H turned on Michaels by nailing him with a Pedigree. On the July 29 episode of Raw, Michaels was found in the parking lot, laying motionless after an ambush assault. His head was also bleeding due to someone putting his head through a car window. The next week on Raw, a security camera revealed to be Triple H that had attacked Michaels from behind. Triple H told Michaels that he did it to prove a point that Michaels was "weak". Michaels then told Triple H that he wasn't 100%, but would be at SummerSlam. On the August 19 episode of Raw, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff announced an Unsanctioned Street Fight between Triple H and Michaels for SummerSlam then later that night, Michaels interfered in Triple H's non-title match with The Rock and assaulted Triple H. At the beginning of the show, Brock Lesnar brought a front-row seat ticket to watch the main event between Rock and Triple H, but even when Lesnar tried to interfere on Triple H's behalf, Michaels delivered a Sweet Chin Music on Lesnar. Michaels then leaped on top of Triple H and the security and ended the show by knocking Triple H down, sending a clear message that he isn't weak as they head into their match at SummerSlam.
Van Dam and Benoit, meanwhile, had been feuding over the Intercontinental Championship since Benoit won it on the July 29, episode of Raw. Shortly after this match, Benoit took advantage of what was referred to as "open season" on wrestler contracts and took his title with him to SmackDown!, where he had originally been drafted. Benoit was still required to defend the title against a Raw roster member at SummerSlam and Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy on the August 12 episode of Raw in a match to determine the #1 contender.
The event unofficially began with a Sunday Night Heat match between Spike Dudley and Steven Richards. Dudley pinned Richards.
The first match was between Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio. The match started off with Mysterio getting the advantage over Angle, as he hid under the ring, and when Mysterio's music hit, he took down Angle with a headscissors. The two entered the ring, which saw Mysterio execute a headscissors takeover. Mysterio attempted the 619 but Angle ducked and dominated Mysterio. However, Mysterio was able to execute a senton from the ring to the floor on Angle. Mysterio then delivered the 619 and the West Coast Pop for a near-fall. Angle reversed a diving hurricarana into the ankle lock, to which Mysterio submitted.
The next match was a contest between Ric Flair and Chris Jericho. Jericho put Flair into the figure-four leglock. Jericho insisted that Flair submitted, but the referee ordered the match to continue. Flair then won the match by applying the hold on Jericho.
The third match of the night was between Edge and Eddie Guerrero. During the match, Guerrero targeted Edge's shoulder. Guerrero also countered a spear attempt with a dropkick to the shoulder, and executed a frog splash onto Edge's shoulder. Edge retaliated with an Edgecution and a spear for the win.
The next match was for the WWE Tag Team Championship between The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian) and Booker T and Goldust. During the match, Booker executed a scissors kick to both Storm and Christian, but Test made a run-in and gave Booker T a big boot. Christian pinned Booker to retain the title.
The fifth match on the card was for the Intercontinental Championship between Chris Benoit and Rob Van Dam. Van Dam won the title by pinning Benoit after a Five Star Frog Splash.
The Undertaker against Test was next. Lance Storm and Christian both interfered in the match, but received chokeslam from The Undertaker. Undertaker won the match with a Tombstone Piledriver. After the match, Undertaker waved an American flag.
Main event matches
The seventh match was the Unsanctioned Street Fight between Shawn Michaels and Triple H. This was Shawn Michaels' first wrestling match since WrestleMania XIV. Michaels came out fast, using a punch-kick offense to start and executing a plancha. Triple H executed a series of backbreakers on Michaels. Michaels hit Triple H with a ladder. Michaels executed a splash on Triple H from the top rope through a table on the floor and a diving elbow drop off a ladder. The match came to an end when Michaels went for the Sweet Chin Music, which Triple H countered into a Pedigree attempt, but Michaels countered into a jackknife roll-up for the win. After the match, Triple H hit Michaels with a sledgehammer twice, forcing Michaels to be carried away on a stretcher.
The main event was for the WWE Undisputed Championship between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. Lesnar dominated early with some power moves. The Rock went for the Sharpshooter. Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman got involved in the match, as he was attacked by The Rock, who executed a Rock Bottom through a broadcast table on Heyman. The Rock and Brock Lesnar gave each other a Rock Bottom. The match came to an end when Lesnar stopped a Rock Bottom and then executed the F-5 on The Rock for the win and the title. Lesnar remained the youngest world champion in WWE history until Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2004.
On the August 26 episode of Raw, due to the requirements of the WWE Undisputed Championship being defended on both shows, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Brock Lesnar to be able to return on Raw the next night. Lesnar and SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon appeared to announce that Lesnar's contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown!; subsequently Bischoff established the World Heavyweight Championship as a separate world title. On the September 2 episode of Raw, Bischoff awarded Triple H, Raw's designated number-one contender, the World Heavyweight Championship in the form of the Big Gold Belt.
The Undertaker went on to challenge Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Unforgiven, and again at No Mercy in a Hell in a Cell match. Shawn Michaels would return full-time to the ring at Survivor Series and win the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H in the first ever Elimination Chamber match.
The Rock took a six-month hiatus from WWE, and did not return until late February 2003, as a heel, when Mr. McMahon booked him in a WrestleMania X8 rematch with Hulk Hogan at No Way Out.