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SummerSlam by the numbers: A match-by-match preview

Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar headline a star-studded SummerSlam card in their first-ever pay-per-view showdown. @WWE

The 29th annual WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view takes place on Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Since the inaugural SummerSlam in 1988, the event has been held in 13 different states, as well as one event each in England (1992) and Canada (2004). This is the second straight year that SummerSlam has taken place in Brooklyn (with at least one more year in Brooklyn guaranteed); the Staples Center in Los Angeles hosted the event from 2009 through 2014.

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton

  • Despite both superstars debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton have never faced off at a WWE pay-per-view event.

  • SummerSlam was an important event for both early on in their careers; Lesnar defeated The Rock for his first WWE. Championship at SummerSlam in 2002, becoming the youngest world champion in WWE history (25). Two years later at SummerSlam in 2004, Orton broke Lesnar's record, winning the world heavyweight championship at the age of 24.

  • This will be Lesnar's fifth consecutive SummerSlam appearance, tied for second-longest active streak in the WWE; John Cena has the record, as 2016 will be his 13th straight SummerSlam appearance.

  • This will be Orton's 12th career SummerSlam appearance, fourth-most in WWE history.

  • Lesnar competed in the main event at SummerSlam three of the last four years; he could tie The Undertaker for second-most if this match closes the show.

  • Lesnar has not lost a one-on-one match since last year's SummerSlam, when he was defeated by The Undertaker.

  • Orton lost at SummerSlam in each of the last two years -- to Sheamus in 2015, and to Roman Reigns in 2014.

WWE Universal championship: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

  • SummerSlam will be the first meeting between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor.

  • Rollins is 2-0 at SummerSlam, including a win last year over John Cena to become the first superstar in WWE history to simultaneously hold the WWE championship and the United States championship.

  • Overall, Rollins has the third-highest WWE pay-per-view win percentage in WWE history (min. 25 matches)

  • If Rollins wins and becomes the inaugural WWE universal champion, it would be the second instance in which he was the first to hold a title in WWE. On July 26, 2012, Seth Rollins won a tournament to become the inaugural NXT champion.

  • SummerSlam will be Balor's first WWE pay-per-view match, and he will become the seventh man in WWE history to compete in a world title match in his pay-per-view debut. None of the previous six won their title matches.

  • B├ílor is looking to become the second WWE superstar to win a world title in his SummerSlam debut (Lesnar did so in 2002). He would also be the second Irish-born world champion in WWE history (Sheamus), as well as the second former NXT champion to go on to become a WWE world champion (Rollins would be the other).

WWE world championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

The WWE world championship has changed hands eight times at SummerSlam, including five times in the last five years. CM Punk won the title in 2011 before Alberto Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank contract; Daniel Bryan won the title in 2013 before Orton cashed in his briefcase; and Lesnar won the title in 2014.

  • This will not be the first one-on-one meeting between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler at a WWE pay-per-view event. At Night of Champions 2013, Ambrose defeated Ziggler to successfully retain his United States championship.

  • SummerSlam will be Ambrose's 11th pay-per-view match of 2016 -- the most of anyone in the WWE this year. He has won each of his last five pay-per-view matches, with his last loss coming at the hands of Lesnar at WrestleMania 32.

  • No one has appeared in more WWE pay-per-view matches in the last five years than Ziggler. SummerSlam will be his 50th pay-per-view match since the start of 2012 -- most in the WWE.

  • Outside of the 2016 Royal Rumble match where the WWE World Championship was on the line, this will be Ziggler's first WWE World Championship match in nearly four years; he lost to CM Punk on SmackDown on Oct. 2, 2012.

WWE women's championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte

  • On July 25 on Monday Night Raw, Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte for the WWE women's championship. Before the two were called up to the main roster, Banks had also defeated Charlotte for the NXT women's championship on Feb. 11, 2015.

  • SummerSlam will be the first 1-on-1 meeting between Banks and Charlotte at a WWE pay-per-view event.

  • The bar has been set high for Banks; the two previous champions in the WWE women's division each held the title for more than 300 days (Nikki Bella was Divas champion for 301 days; Charlotte's combined Divas/women's championship reign was 309 days). She seems up for the challenge, though, as she has not lost a one-on-one match since Feb. 1, when she fell to Becky Lynch on Raw.

  • Before losing the WWE women's championship to Banks, Charlotte's 309-day reign was the second-longest WWE title reign by any woman in the last 20 years (Trish Stratus held the record at 448 days, in 2005 and 2006).

  • Charlotte is 7-1 in pay-per-view matches in 2016, the most pay-per-view wins of any competitor in the WWE this year, male or female. She is 13-2 all-time in WWE pay-per-view matches, including a perfect 11-0 in singles matches. No WWE superstar in history has had a better record through their first 15 pay-per-view matches.


John Cena vs. A.J. Styles

  • SummerSlam will be the third straight pay-per-view event in which John Cena and A.J. Styles meet. On June 19 at Money in the Bank, Styles defeated Cena in their first-ever meeting. On July 24 at Battleground, Enzo Amore, Big Cass and Cena defeated The Club (Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) in a six-man tag team match.

  • This will be Cena's 13th SummerSlam match, tying Triple H for second most all-time (The Undertaker has wrestled 16 times). He hasn't missed a SummerSlam event since making his first appearance in 2004.

  • Cena is currently in the middle of a SummerSlam slump. He has lost at each of the last five SummerSlam events -- all of which were for the WWE world championship. Overall, Cena has lost eight times at SummerSlam -- his most losses at any pay-per-view event.

  • This will be Styles' first SummerSlam appearance. If he wins, he'll become the first superstar to defeat Cena in multiple pay-per-view singles matches in the same calendar year since CM Punk did so in 2011.


WWE tag team championship: The New Day (c) vs. Gallows and Anderson

  • The New Day won the titles for the second time at SummerSlam one year ago, defeating The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil and Darren Young). The New Day will have been WWE Tag Team Champions for 364 days when the event starts, the longest reign since the current tag titles were introduced in 2002. Only Demolition (Ax and Smash) have held a tag team championship longer in the WrestleMania era (since 1985).

  • A tag-team championship has changed hands six times at SummerSlam, but just once since the current titles were introduced in 2002.

  • Kofi Kingston has won each of his last three SummerSlam matches -- all of which were tag team contests. Overall, this will be Kingston's fifth SummerSlam tag-team match -- the most in WWE history.

  • Xavier Woods has never competed at SummerSlam.

  • Anderson will be making his SummerSlam debut, but it will not be the first SummerSlam appearance for Gallows. During his first stint with WWE, Gallows teamed with CM Punk and Joey Mercury at SummerSlam in 2010, losing to Big Show in a one-on-three handicap match.

  • Anderson and Gallows look to become the third tag team in WWE history to win its first tag-team championship at SummerSlam (Legion of Doom in 1991; The Undertaker and Big Show in 1999).

WWE United States championship: Rusev (c) vs. Roman Reigns

  • This will be the seventh time that the United States championship has been defended at SummerSlam. The title has only changed hands twice at this event -- most recently in 2015 when Rollins defeated Cena to unify the WWE world and United States championships.

  • This will be Roman Reigns' seventh pay-per-view title match of 2016 -- tied with Charlotte for most in the WWE. SummerSlam will be Reigns' first career televised United States championship match.

  • This matchup features the winner and runner-up of the 2015 Royal Rumble match (Reigns eliminated Rusev to win).

  • Reigns is 2-0 at SummerSlam; he defeated Orton in 2014 and, teaming with Ambrose, defeated Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in 2015. Only 10 WWE superstars have won each of their first three SummerSlam matches -- the most recent being John Morrison, who improved to 3-0 in 2011.

  • SummerSlam will be the eighth televised 1-on-1 meeting between Rusev and Reigns, but the first to occur at a WWE pay-per-view event. Five of the previous seven meetings ended either by disqualification or no contest.

WWE Intercontinental championship: The Miz (c) vs. Apollo Crews

  • The Intercontinental championship has changed hands 14 times at SummerSlam -- more than any other title. Most recently, Ziggler defeated The Miz to win the title in 2014.

  • This will be the first meeting between The Miz and Apollo Crews, and it will also be Crews' first SummerSlam appearance. He looks to become the sixth WWE superstar to win the Intercontinental championship in his SummerSlam debut and the first since Santino Marella in 2008.

  • The Miz is a five-time Intercontinental champion, tied for fourth-most in WWE history. Only Chris Jericho has held the title more times (nine) among active WWE superstars. At SummerSlam, The Miz will have held the Intercontinental championship for 139 days -- the longest reign since Big E held the title for 167 days in 2013-14.

  • This will be the fourth time that The Miz has competed for the Intercontinental championship at SummerSlam -- passing Ziggler and Mr. Perfect for the most such matches in WWE history. Each of The Miz's last three SummerSlam appearances have been Intercontinental championship matches.


Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass

  • This will be Jericho's 11th SummerSlam match, moving him into a tie with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Kane for fifth-most in WWE history.

  • Jericho is 2-0 in tag-team matches at SummerSlam; most recently, in 2010, he and Team WWE defeated The Nexus in a 14-man elimination tag-team match.

  • Kevin Owens has never competed in a tag team match at a WWE pay-per-view event.

  • Both Big Cass and Enzo Amore will be making their SummerSlam debuts. This will be the fifth pay-per-view match for both -- all tag team matches. Most recently, at Battleground on July 24, they teamed with Cena to defeat The Club in a six-man tag team match.


Cesaro vs. Sheamus

SummerSlam will be the first match of a best-of-seven series between Cesaro and Sheamus. This will be the third one-on-one meeting at a WWE pay-per-view event between these two; Sheamus defeated Cesaro at both Payback and Night of Champions in 2014, and both matches were for the United States championship.

Cesaro's first career WWE pay-per-view match occurred at SummerSlam in 2012, when he defeated Santino Marella for the United States championship, and he remains the only superstar in WWE history to win that title in his WWE pay-per-view debut. Cesaro has not won at SummerSlam since.

Cesaro has not won a pay-per-view match since returning from a shoulder injury the night after WrestleMania 32 (0-3).

Sheamus has won each of his last two SummerSlam matches, defeating Alberto Del Rio in 2012 and Orton in 2015. Sheamus has also never been pinned or submitted at SummerSlam. His two career losses occurred by DQ (to Orton in 2010) and by countout (to Mark Henry in 2011).