10 Greatest Summerslam Entrances in WWE History
Second only to Wrestlemania in terms of prestige and visibility, Summerslam is, historically, the time for villains and heels to shine. John Cena, considered to be one of the most protected wrestlers in WWE history, has a losing record at Summerslam; from 2011-2016, he suffered six straight losses in a row. So many Wrestlemania victory moments are callbacks, rooted in Summerslam defeats.
Unlike Wrestlemania, where nearly every superstar gets a massive, epic entrance, with new costumes to boot, Summerslam has fairly straight-forward production values. Thus, the rare times that WWE does break the bank at the biggest party of the summer stands out all the more.
Here are the 10 of the greatest Summerslam entrances in WWE history. And make sure to check back in with us on Sunday, August 11 as Gamespot will be covering WWE Summerslam 2019 live. You can take a look at the full match card here as well as our predictions for the event.
1. The Legion of Doom (1992)
The first several Summerslam PPVs took place in mid-sized arenas like Madison Square Garden, which are still pretty big, relatively speaking, though not as big or grand as stadiums. But in 1992, WWE went across the Atlantic Ocean to Wembley Stadium, which seated over 80,000 fans. And for the entrances, they decided to do something special.
The Legion of Doom, better known as the Road Warriors, were obviously inspired by the Mad Max franchise. And for their entrance, they and manager manager Paul Ellering came out, on motorcycles to reinforce the post-apocalypse connection
2. The Undertaker (1992)
For his match against Kamala, the Undertaker went super literal; he rode a hearse to the ring in a literal funeral procession, with Paul Bearer, urn in hand, at the very head of it. This was the Undertaker character in its earliest rendition, as an Old West antihero mortician, with a penchant for body bags and wooden caskets.
3. British Bulldog (1992)
The main event for the Wembley Summerslam event was a title match between home country hero the British Bulldog and his brother-in-law, Intercontinental Champion, Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Davey Boy Smith had an entry befitting the crowd's reception. Boxing champion Lennox Lewis walked him to the ring, while "Rule Britannia" blared over the speakers.
4. The Undertaker (1994)
In 1994, the Undertaker who wrestled for "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase was a fraud (he's since been coined the "Underfaker" by longtime fans). And prior to Summerslam, Paul Bearer announced that the "real Undertaker" would appear to challenge to fake one. It made for one of the best entrances in Summerslam history. Paul Bearer brought a massive urn to the ring, via casket. Then the urn began shaking. And when Bearer lifted off the lid, a massive beacon of light burst forth. It's ridiculous and absolutely awesome.
5. Shawn Michaels (2002)
When Shawn Michaels returned to WWE in 2002, it was a delight that he was back at all; lots of fans thought that his back injury was career-ending. So when he came to the ring at Summerslam that year, Michaels was given the red carpet treatment. Fireworks, lights, and a bunch of confetti. That's how you welcome back a Hall of Famer level talent with style.
6. D-Generation X (2009)
"Holy moly, is that… a tank??" Yup, it was a tank, and Triple H and Shawn Michaels were riding astride it. This was the toned-down, babyface version of DX that played funny pranks on Vince McMahon and wore matching, signature green get-ups, and they loved the U.S. armed forces. Summerslam was the peak of that gimmick.
7. CM Punk (2011)
CM Punk was in the midst of the biggest push of his WWE career. He had absconded with the WWE Championship after Money in the Bank, but he returned at Summerslam to defend it against John Cena, to determine who would be the "undisputed" champion. And already, Punk had a little more creative control. For his entrance, he had his old Ring of Honor theme, Living Colour's "Cult of Personality," play him to the ring. WWE had already played it on Raw, but never on such a grand stage. The indies were getting an overdue spotlight.
8. Chris Jericho (2014)
When Chris Jericho was booked to fight Bray Wyatt at the 2014 Summerslam PPV, it was clear to most fans that Wyatt would be victorious; Bray Wyatt was coming off the heels of a losing feud against John Cena and needed to recover his reputation. But if Jericho was going to lose, he was going to look good doing it. He had even more lights on his jacket than before, and he brought back the old countdown clock before the pyro. The fans loved that babyface Y2J was back again, if only for a moment.
9. Finn Bálor (2017)
After Finn Bálor returned from his shoulder injury, WWE started to de-emphasize the "Demon King" alter-ego that he became notorious for. More often, Bálor wrestled as himself. But when his feud with Bray Wyatt feud reached a fever pitch, Bálor began dropping hints that the Demon King would make his return. And at Summerslam, he did. WWE made the right call in this case; when something is special, it's best to use it sparingly, lest the audience gets sick of or desensitized to it.
10. Shinsuke Nakamura (2017)
Nakamura had a solo violinist play him to the ring. That was enough to make his entrance at 2017's Summerslam something special, even if we'd seen variation of it in NXT and on Smackdown. But the real highlight of Shinsuke's entrance, as always, was Shinsuke himself. Twitchy and constantly in motion, Nakamura was an unrestrained ball of energy. And his ring ropes pose, where he dropped to his knees, was almost comically ostentatious. "Behold! The glory of me!"