The first entry in this series is going to focus on something that is the current focal point in WWE...
WWE always promotes SummerSlam as being their biggest event of the year underneath WrestleMania, which is undoubtedly the #1 ranked pay-per-view with no doubt. However, over the past few years, SummerSlam has lost its luster and there are other events that are overshadowing it.
Money in the Bank comes to mind as a relatively new event that has been rendered just as important if not more than SummerSlam. Night of Champions can be a pretty big event as well. Extreme Rules and Elimination Chamber have found a steady enough footing that even they could be in contention to bump SummerSlam out of the "Big Four"—though Survivor Series would have to be taken out of that list first, as it clearly is valued even less than SummerSlam is.
But it is the other member of the Big Four that I feel takes SummerSlam's spot as #2 behind WrestleMania, and that is the Royal Rumble. If you were to poll wrestling fans, probably an enormous majority would pick Royal Rumble as their favorite pay-per-view outside of WrestleMania (with a lot of people probably picking it OVER the Grandest Stage of Them All).
This is because the Royal Rumble has not only one of the most entertaining matches, but it also is the kickoff point to the Road of WrestleMania and the outcome of that particular battle royal sets the pace for everything that will happen for the rest of the year, for the most part. SummerSlam, in comparison, is at best an anchor point to switch things up midway through the year.
Sure, SummerSlam typically has at least one or two important matches on it (like this year's CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan vs John Cena) but those big matches have also happened at Money in the Bank and other events when the time's called for them. Sometimes, the main events aren't even that impressive...such as when you include Big Show in them.
Having The Miz as a host this year helps boost its credibility, as does the SummerSlam Axxess, but do those two factors make all the difference when neither of them have made much of an impact on the promotion so far? What about the underwhelming Christian vs Alberto Del Rio title match or the lack of several matches to even be announced so far, which will probably result in some quick rush booking on this upcoming Raw?
I think a case can be made for SummerSlam still being in the silver medal position based on the history of it being so, but as time goes on, these elements are weighing it down.
MY ANSWER: No, SummerSlam is now the #3 event behind the Royal Rumble and in front of the #4 event, Survivor Series, which is becoming surpassed by Money in the Bank (#5) and Extreme Rules (#6).
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