SummerSlam 2004 was the seventeenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by Stacker 2's YJ Stinger and took place on August 15, 2004 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario and featured talent from the Raw and SmackDown! brands.
The main match on the Raw brand was Chris Benoit versus Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Orton won by pinfall after performing an RKO. The predominant match on the SmackDown! brand was John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) versus The Undertaker for the WWE Championship, which JBL won after Undertaker was disqualified. The featured matches on the undercard included Kurt Angle versus Eddie Guerrero and Triple H versus Eugene.
The main feud heading into SummerSlam on the Raw brand was between Chris Benoit and Randy Orton, with the two feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship. At Vengeance, Benoit defeated Triple H to retain the title. On the July 26 edition of Raw, Orton won a 20-man battle royal, last eliminating Chris Jericho, to become the number one contender to the title at SummerSlam. Also that night, Benoit defeated Triple H in a 60-minute Iron Man match to retain the title with the help of Eugene. The following week on Raw, Evolution (Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair) defeated Benoit, Edge, and Chris Jericho. Evolution won the match after Orton pinned Benoit following an RKO. On the August 9 edition of Raw, Benoit defeated the team of Orton and Triple H in a Handicap match by disqualification.
The primary feud on the SmackDown! brand was between John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and The Undertaker, with the two feuding over the WWE Championship. JBL had won the title two months prior at The Great American Bash by defeating then-champion Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bullrope match. One month later, on the July 22 edition of SmackDown!, JBL defeated a jobber to retain the title. After the match, Undertaker came out and challenged JBL to a match at SummerSlam. On the August 5 edition of SmackDown!, as JBL called out The Undertaker, a midget wrestler came out and began to imitate the real Undertaker. The real Undertaker came out shortly afterwards and attacked JBL, until Orlando Jordan came out to help him. The following week, Undertaker defeated Jordan by disqualification after JBL interfered and executed a Clothesline from Hell on Undertaker.
The secondary feud on the SmackDown! brand was between Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero. The feud first started at WrestleMania XX, when Guerrero defeated Angle to successfully retain the WWE Championship. Guerrero lost the title to John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) in June, when Angle, then-SmackDown! General Manager, screwed Guerrero and declared JBL the winner. Three weeks later, on the July 15 edition of SmackDown!, JBL defeated Guerrero in a Steel Cage match to retain the title. Towards the end of the match, El Gran Luchadore (portrayed by Angle) interfered, giving JBL enough time to escape the cage and win the match. After the match ended, Guerrero attacked Luchadore and pulled off his mask, revealing him to be Kurt Angle. On the following edition of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon scheduled a match between Angle and Guerrero for SummerSlam.
The secondary feud on the Raw brand was between Triple H and Eugene. The feud first started, when on the May 17 episode of Raw, during an in-ring segment with The Rock, Eugene revealed that is favorite wrestler was in fact Triple H due to Eugene's adoration of "playing games". Capitalizing on this opportunity, Triple H began to befriend the star-struck and naive Eugene even making the young wrestler an honorary member of Triple H's stable Evolution. However, Triple H soon revealed that this was all a calculated ploy and that he planned to utilize Eugene to help him win back the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit. Yet, Triple H's plan failed miserably when during his title match with Benoit at Vengeance, Eugene inadvertently hit him with a steel chair costing him the match and the championship. The following night on Raw, Triple H responded by brutally assaulting Eugene in the ring after falsely implying that he had forgiven him for the preceding night's events. On the July 26 episode of Raw, Eugene would return to exact a degree of revenge by costing Triple H his re-match with Benoit. This led to an infuriated Triple H demanding a match between the two at SummerSlam, to which Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff consented.
Before the event went live on pay-per-view, Rob Van Dam defeated René Duprée in a match taped for Sunday Night Heat. The first match that aired was a six-man tag team match between The Dudleys (Bubba Ray, D-Von, and Spike), who changed their name from the Dudley Boyz following their heel turn the month before, and the team of Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, and Paul London. Towards the end of the match, Spike pinned Kidman after a 3D from Bubba Ray and D-Von to win the match for his team.
The next match was between Kane and Matt Hardy. Hardy gained control over Kane, after performing a Twist of Fate onto Kane outside of the ring and hit him with the ring bell. Kane then countered a suplex attempt by Hardy into a chokeslam from the top rope. Kane scored the pinfall on Hardy to win the match. As a result of the pre-match stipulation, Lita was forced to marry Kane, as part of their on-going storyline. The third match was between John Cena and Booker T in a "Best of 5 series" for the WWE United States Championship In this "series," Cena and Booker would compete in up to five matches, where the first person to win three matches would become the new United States Champion. Early in the match, Cena gained the advantage over Booker, but towards the end of the match, Booker performed a scissors kick on Cena, who retaliated by performing an FU. Cena scored the pinfall to win the match and gain the upper-hand in the "Best of 5 series."
The following match was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship involving Edge, Batista and Chris Jericho. During the match, Edge and Jericho performed double-team maneuvers onto Batista. Toward the match's end, Edge performed a spear on Jericho to score the pinfall and retain the title. The fifth match on the card was between Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero. Angle gained control over Guerrero early on in the match. Mid-match, the referee was knocked out, and as a result, Guerrero took his boot off and used it to hit both Angle and Luther Reigns, who was at ringside with Angle and tried to get involved in the match. The match concluded when Angle was able to counter a frog splash and perform an ankle lock on Guerrero. Angle then won the match via submission after Guerrero tapped-out.
The next match was between Triple H and Eugene. At the start of the match, Triple H pretended to attack the ring announcer, Lilian Garcia, as a distraction to attack Eugene. Eugene countered Triple H's attacks by delivering a Rock Bottom. During the match, Ric Flair came down to ringside to interfere, but he was ejected by the referee. As Flair was leaving from ringside, William Regal hit Flair with a pair of brass knuckles. After losing focus by watching the events that took place, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Eugene and pinned him to win the match.
The following match was for the WWE Championship between John "Bradshaw" Layfield and The Undertaker. Immediately, JBL and Undertaker started the match outside of the ring. Mid-match, the referee was knocked out, so Orlando Jordan, who accompanied JBL to ringside, handed JBL the title, which JBL used to hit Undertaker. In the last moments in the match, Undertaker countered and hit JBL with the title. The referee saw this and disqualified Undertaker, which resulted in JBL winning the match. Afterwards, Undertaker started to take his frustration out on JBL by delivering a chokeslam to JBL through the roof of JBL's limousine. This caused JBL to have to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher. During the match the fans did the "mexican heatwave".
The last match of the card was the main event between Chris Benoit and Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. Early on in the match, Orton attempted to perform a Sharpshooter on Benoit, but instead, Benoit performed a Sharpshooter of his own. Later in the match, Benoit performed seven German suplexes on Orton, but lost the advantage after Orton blocked a headbutt attempt. Towards the end of the match, Benoit attempted to perform a Crippler Crossface on Orton. Orton, however, was able to escape, perform an RKO, and win the match via pinfall. As a result, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history. Following the match whilst Orton was celebrating his victory, Benoit returned to the ring and offered Orton a handshake, telling him to "be a man", which Orton accepted.
On the August 16 edition of Raw, Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit in a rematch to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. After the match, Evolution (Batista, Ric Flair, and Triple H), threw Orton a mock celebration, only to reveal that they were not pleased with his new victory. While Batista had Orton propped on his shoulders, Triple H gave him a pleased thumbs up, but abruptly changed it to a thumbs-down. He then told Batista to drop Orton to the mat, and Flair and Batista attacked Orton as Triple H told him that he was nothing without Evolution. On the August 23 edition of Raw, Triple H told Orton to give him the title or "pay the price". Orton refused, and then he spat in Triple H's face and hit him with the title belt turning Orton face. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff then scheduled a match between Orton and Triple H for the title at Unforgiven. At Unforgiven, Orton lost the title when he was pinned by Triple H.
The feud between John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and The Undertaker continued. The next few weeks on SmackDown!, JBL wore a neck brace, to signify that he was recuperating from Undertaker's chokeslam. On the August 26 edition of SmackDown!, Orlando Jordan defended the WWE Championship for JBL against The Undertaker. Undertaker won the match via disqualification following interference from JBL; as a result, JBL retained the title. The following week on SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long scheduled a Last Ride match at No Mercy between JBL and Undertaker. At No Mercy, JBL retained the title after interference by Heidenreich.
After Diva Dodgeball, the Raw Diva Search continued on, with Christy Hemme being announced as the winner on the September 20 edition of Raw. The following week, Carmella DeCesare, who was the runner-up, turned heel and began a feud with Christy that came to a head at Taboo Tuesday, where Christy defeated Carmella in a Lingerie Pillow Fight.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley, Spike Dudley, D-Von Dudley) defeated Billy Kidman, Paul London, and Rey Mysterio (8:07)
- Kane defeated Matt Hardy in a Till Death Do Us Part Lita Marries The Winner Match (6:08)
- John Cena defeated Booker T in Match 1 of a "Best of 5" series for the WWE United States Championship (6:26)
- Edge (c) defeated Chris Jericho & Batista to retain the Intercontinental Championship (8:26)
- Kurt Angle (w/ Luther Reigns) defeated Eddie Guerrero (13:37)
- Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) defeated Eugene (14:06)
- The Raw Diva Search contestants defeated the Raw Divas in a Diva Dodgeball contest
- John Bradshaw Layfield (c) (w/ Orlando Jordan) defeated The Undertaker via DQ in a WWE Championship match (17:37)
- Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship (20:08)
Other on-screen talent
- SummerSlam 2004 Offical Website
- SummerSlam 2004 at CAGEMATCH.net
- SummerSlam 2004 at Online World of Wrestling
- SummerSlam 2004 on WWE Network
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