There are only a few pay-per-views that stand out throughout the year in which wrestling fans, new and old, tune into. The Survivor Series, The Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and SummerSlam. SummerSlam is the second biggest event after WrestleMania. In whatever city SummerSlam is being held in, there are parties, signings, appearances, and video game tournaments, which fans can come see there favorite superstars take on each other outside the ring.
WWE literally takes over the city for the week. This year, for the 4th year in a row, the Barclays Center will be hosting SummerSlam, before it makes it return back to the Staple center in 2019.
WWE NXT TakeOver – 8/18
WWE Monday Night RAW – 8/20
WWE SmackDown Live – 8/21
Individual tix go on sale this Friday, 5/11 at 10AM.
— Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) May 7, 2018
Growing up a big wrestling fan, SummerSlam was my 3rd favorite pay-per-view of the year but in my wrestling career as a WWE Superstar. I had one of my most favorite matches and moments in my career and personal life at SummerSlam.
I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret, and don’t judge me. I didn’t write this column for you guys to be judging me (haha). Back in 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Tag Team Championship match at SummerSlam was Cryme Tyme (the challengers) vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show. That day at the arena, I had a personal moment, I’m not saying I cried but my eyes were really wet…..let me explain.
That Sunday, me and one of my best friends in the business at the time, Abraham Washington, was walking around the arena observing the SummerSlam set. As we were walking around the stage, he stopped me and brought my life into perspective for me. We trained together, lived together and teamed together back in OVW. He knew my story and exactly what I did to get where I was at that moment.
He stopped me and said to me “Yo Jay, I want you to soak this in right now, you are in Los Angeles, California, at the Staples Center for SummerSlam and you are on the card. Not only are you are on the card your match is for the tag team titles against Big Show and Chris Jericho.
“You should be proud of yourself, brotha. All those days training with Rip Rogers, setting up and taking down wrestling rings, taking out big bags of trash after our OVW wrestling shows and being roasted by the fans being called Tag Team Trash champs, you paid your dues and you deserve this.”
Before that moment, I never really stopped to think about the road I took to get where I was. I never really stopped to smell the roses, as they would say. I just was going and going and just focusing on what was in front of me.
Being a fan growing up on WWE your whole life and living your dream of being a WWE superstar a few years later is definitely beyond surreal and not normal. I started training to be a WWE superstar at the age of 18.
Five years later, I’m wrestling one of my favorite wrestlers growing up at SummerSlam in front of millions of people. I didn’t even realize what I had done. After my buddy was done talking to me and reflecting over the road I took to get where I was at that very moment, my eyes for some reason started to get hot and they started sweating.
That was the first time in my life my eyes ever did that while not being in pain, upset, or sad. I never understood why people cried when they were happy, it just didn’t make sense to me. August 23, 2009, it clicked. Again, I didn’t say I cried, I’m too much of a tough guy for that type of behavior, but I understand why some people would do it.