The Fan’s Revenge Match, celebrity World Champions and the infamous Judy Bagwell on a pole match, are just some of the most ridiculous concepts ever conceived in professional wrestling history. WWE and Independent promotions are all trying to be innovative to keep the fans hooked, but not every idea is a big hit. Sometimes creating original concepts can be a crap shoot, but other times a wrestling promotion strikes gold with an idea, whether it’s a match, an event, a gimmick or business model. With WWE being the winner of the Monday Night Wars, WWE is free to pick up some of these great ideas from their former rivals.
WWE already brought back a few ideas from WCW, the Cruiserweight Title, the New World Order and turning their top star heel. While the execution of these ideas may not have turned out well, the ideas themselves were ready to make a return to wrestling. There are plenty of other ideas from other promotions that could make an impact once again in pro wrestling and succeed in WWE today. However, even with the best booking, there are also many concepts from other promotions that WWE needs to keep buried.
Towards the end of WCW, the company was getting desperate and was trying anything to attract viewers. This, of course, had the opposite effect. While the ideas may have been original, they were poorly conceived and executed even worse. Original doesn’t always mean good, and WCW found that out the hard way. While WWE, remains tasked with staying fresh, concepts like WarGames are finding their way into WWE programming. This raises questions as to what concepts from rival promotions might WWE bring back next. Obviously, there are plenty to choose from, but not all are good concepts like WarGames, as stated earlier. Some of these concepts WWE needs to avoid if WCW is any indication. This article is a heads up to WWE. This article is about the 8 concepts that WWE should definitely bring back, and 7 that WWE should definitely not.
15. Should Bring Back: WarGames
WCW, especially late WCW, had some of the dumbest concepts in wrestling history. However, WarGames was not one of them. The concept of WarGames involves teams and eliminations, all surrounded in a steel cage. The match type was great for stables like the Four Horsemen against a team of heroes to battle them. Who could forget the battle between Team WCW, the nWo and The Four Horsemen? The match was a classic with major repercussions for the winning team. It was a great concept, and WWE copied a bit of it for their elimination chamber match. Still, WWE never completely brought the concept back until now.
With WarGames making its comeback in NXT, there is a hope to see WarGames make its return to the main roster. Can you just imagine a New Day vs The Shield WarGames match in WWE? Add The Miztourage into the mix too, and you have yourself some excitement.
14. Should Not: Triple Decker Cage
In typical WCW fashion, WCW turned a simple concept like a cage match in an overly complicated debacle. Vince Russo’s Triple Decker Cage, seen in the movie Ready to Rumble, was a complete and utter mess, with confusing rules and hurt even more by nonsensical booking. While it’s easy to write off this disastrous concept as a Russo original, the truth is, the triple cage wasn’t originally Russo’s idea. The triple cage first originated as The Doomsday Cage Match back in 1996. The Doomsday Cage Match actually made even less sense and was an even bigger mess than Russo’s booking, which is a really scary thought.
Even with WWE running short on ideas, the triple cage is a concept that can stay in the demise of WCW chronicles. Even though the wrestlers are better today and probably could pull off a decent match, it’s still not worth the revival. The match is just way too complicated and isn’t good wrestling no matter if the best wrestlers are in the match or not.
13. Should Bring Back: World War 3
World War 3 is a little redundant in WWE considering the World War 3 match is basically the Royal Rumble with the winner getting a title opportunity. However, the World War 3 match has some differences that makes it stand out. For example, all the superstars are in the ring at once and pinfalls and submissions count towards an elimination. There’s one entries, no lottery, no countdown, and no coveted number 30 spot. Everyone starts at once until there is only one. It’s also one of the few times three rings are connected to each other, making the event all the more unique.
A lot of people may not want this in WWE, because in WCW it was a bit of a fiasco with 60 wrestlers in three rings and so much happening at once. However, these problems could easily be rectified. Amend the rules, lower the number of wrestlers, and maybe test the waters of this concept in NXT first. Plus, would two major battle royals a year really be that terrible?
12. Should Not: The Nitro Girls
Having the Nitro Girls was a pretty cool original concept exclusive to WCW. WWE never copied this idea to have their own Raw Dance girls, and that’s not a bad thing. The Nitro girls were hot and great for helping sell magazines, but WWE doesn’t need to pay anyone to dance for a few seconds every Raw. WWE needs to focus on hiring female wrestlers, not models or dancers. If any models get hired, they would be better served as a managers anyway rather than wasting time and money dancing for something that’s not even a part of any storyline.
The Nitro Girls worked in WCW where they essentially had no women’s wrestling division. WWE has a strong women’s division, so wasting room on the roster for women that won’t wrestle or play any part in the company other than dancing around, doesn’t make much sense.
11. Should Bring Back: Television Title
WCW had a Television Title. ECW had a Television Title. WWE had just about every title ever conceived by their rival promotions, except a Television Title. The point of a Television Title was to have a title to be defended during a promotion’s televised shows. It was especially useful in ECW, which didn’t have a mid-card title for a time and needed something to showcase on their televised broadcasts. WCW never really needed a Television Title, since they had a United States Title for their mid-card, but even in WCW, it was cool seeing the TV Title defended. The title was also an effective way to get heel heat, especially when the heels survived by having the time limit run out. Why not give the roster another tool to get over?
The Television Title is one WWE needs to bring back. Even with a split roster, there’s a lot of superstars doing absolutely nothing and struggling to get over. Why not resurrect the title and give some of these superstars something to do, something to help them get over and something to help superstars engage the fans?
10. Should Not: Barbed Wire Matches
ECW is known for its extreme matches. ECW constantly upped the ante to give the fans some of the most violent matches ever witnessed. One of these matches was a barbed wire match in which the ring ropes were replaced with barbed wire.
The good news is no one ever died from this kind of match, but this is one that doesn’t need to ever return. WWE isn’t innocent in pitting superstars against each other in dangerous matches, but this barbed wire match is too much. Nothing about this match is safe and someone could get seriously injured from it. That barbed wire is real, unforgiving and there is no way to be thrown into it without it hurting. There’s really no reason to put superstars into that kind of danger.
9. Should Bring Back: Starrcade
As cool as a lot of the old WCW pay per views were, the most iconic WCW pay per view was Starrcade. Other pay per views like Bash at the Beach, The Great American Bash, and Halloween Havoc were all memorable, but Starrcade was WCW’s WrestleMania. Starrcade has a long history with some of the biggest matches in WCW and wrestling history: Randy Savage vs Ric Flair, Sting vs Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash vs Goldberg just to name a few.
WWE appears to be interested in a Starrcade return, bringing it back for a SmackDown house show/Network Special. Why not bring the event back as a PPV? There’s a lot of history there, and WWE could be marketing this history while providing historic matches of their own. Or do we really need another Great Balls of Fire pay per view?
8. Should Not: Catfights
The Women’s Division in WCW and ECW was pathetic, and the closest thing ECW and later WCW ever got to a women’s match involved wedding gowns or mud wrestling. No matter how horrible those Eva Marie matches were or how terrible these Lana matches have been, WWE needs to put those kinds of matches to rest. WWE has a real Women’s Division, so these matches aren’t needed, nor have any place in WWE’s current product.
WWE is shying away from bra and panties matches and bikini matches which didn’t serve any purpose any than to objectify the women of the roster. Sex might sell, but WWE doesn’t need sex to sell their Women’s Division. The division itself is strong enough to sell on its wrestling alone without the skimpy outfits.
7. Should Bring Back: Women’s Tag Team Titles
Speaking of the Women’s Division, even with the roster split, there are quite a lot of the women on the roster seemingly lost. Why not give them a tag title? A Women’s Tag Team Championship isn’t exactly a new concept in WWE either. The Women’s Tag Team Title existed in the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance), held by a number of legends and WWE Hall of Famers, and even WWE itself had a short lived Women’s Tag Team Championship until 1989.
Even with the roster split, there’s only so many women on the roster that can fight for their brand’s respective women’s title at a time. Why not reintroduce the Women’s Tag Team Titles? There’s a history there, and the titles seem like a match made in Heaven for The Bella Twins or members of The Four Horsewomen.
6. Should Not: Constantly Breaking Kayfabe
For those who don’t know, kayfabe is the portrayal of events as being real. This happens during the events of professional wrestling, however, sometimes glimmers of reality peak through. In the later days of WCW, Vince Russo tried to blend fiction with reality constantly but doing so caused more problems than intrigue. A lot of the worked shoot promos and one-liners went way over the heads of the fans and only caused confusion. The most notorious incident happened at Bash at the Beach in 2000 where Vince Russo went on an unscripted rant against Hulk Hogan, which infuriated Hogan (in real life) causing him to leave WCW.
As much as WWE needs a little more realism, worked shoots and trying to mix realism with the fiction in the way WCW attempted should never be introduced to any wrestling program. It just confuses the fans and causes backstage issues. Not to mention WWE and their superstars seem to break kayfabe enough as it is on social media and public appearances outside of WWE.
5. Should Bring Back: Unscripted Promos
While the overdone shoot promos of WCW was an absolute disaster, unscripted promos is a concept the WWE desperately needs. The promos of WCW superstars like Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper made WCW great. These promos were from the heart, unscripted and brought out more passion, emotion and character than any promo WWE has ever scripted. Look what a young, unknown Chris Jericho was able to do on the mic without any Hollywood script writers. No script was needed, and Jericho showed the world what he could do on the stick.
WWE needs to forget the scripts and turn their superstars loose. Reigns might suck on the mic, but his mic skills can’t be any worse than the pathetic scripts he has to work with. Can anyone name me a superstar that WWE created from their mind-numbing scripts?
4. Should Not: Excessive Violence, Blood, Rough Language
If anyone believes wrestling is fake, they should have a match with New Jack. New Jack has almost literally killed opponents and himself. Look, I miss the Attitude Era as much as the next wrestling fan, and loved ECW, and I’d love to see a little more edge to the current WWE product, but ECW went too far on more than one occasion.
I believe a little “color” can actually add to a match and shouldn’t be banned, but the blood baths don’t need to return. I believe neutering what superstars can say in their promos hurts them, but I also don’t think they need to be dropping f-bombs. I’d like to see a little more edge to the product, and love to see the hindrance of the PG-Era end, but swinging the pendulum to the other extreme isn’t the way to go either.
3. Should Bring Back: The ECW Title
Speaking of ECW and hardcore matches, there’s a way to bring back the ECW Title without having over-the-top violent blood baths in WWE. WWE brought back the Cruiserweight Division for Raw, why not bring the ECW, or Hardcore Title, to SmackDown. There needs to be something that sets SmackDown apart from Raw, and an exclusive title is just one of the things they can do in that regard.
An ECW Title or something akin to a Hardcore Title would bring a little variety to WWE. These don’t need to be death matches that put the superstars in extreme danger, but a title where tables, chairs and no disqualifications are a part of the title defense would keep the fans from seeing the same boring one-on-one matches week after week.
2. Should Not: The Big Gold Belt
The WCW World Heavyweight Title belt was one of the coolest looking titles in wrestling history. The belt was held by so many legends and has a long established history. But, it’s time to let the belt go. The illustrious history of the belt has been long ago combined with the WWE title. As cool as it would have been to resurrect the Big Gold Belt for the Raw roster, the newly christened Universal Title put a kibosh to that.
The Big Gold Belt returning is a pipe dream. It’s time to just accept that The Big Gold Belt is now the WWE Title. The Universal Title may look like a cherry Fruit Roll-Up, but clearly, WWE is trying to establish it as a new legitimate title. Other than aesthetics, bringing back the Big Gold Belt really wouldn’t accomplish anything.
1. Should Bring Back: Cruiserweight Tag Titles
Believe it or not, WCW actually had Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles which were held by the team of Elix Skipper and someone named Kid Romeo and then held by The Filthy Animals a.k.a., Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman. The titles were then abandoned once WWE bought WCW and never had a chance to get off the ground in WCW. They probably would have gone nowhere on that sinking ship, but in WWE, a Cruiserweight Tag Division has a chance to succeed.
WWE brought in a bunch of talented cruiserweights and yet, most of them aren’t featured in any prominent storyline or feud. Unless their feuding for the WWE Cruiserweight Title, none of the cruiserweights are getting noticed. Why not give the other cruiserweights something to fight for? Many cruiserweights are just begging for some screen time. Why not bolster that fledgling Cruiserweight Division with some Tag Team Titles and give the fans a reason to care about cruiserweights not named Enzo Amore. He can’t carry the entire division on his shoulders forever.
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