As I’m sure you’re well aware (if you’re not, where have you been in the last month?), WWE is reviving its brand split to improve Smackdown and perhaps give the entire company the unpredictability that the fans deserve by splitting the rosters into two unique entities, something which has not been seen in over 5 years. The wrestling world has since been whipped into a frenzy with rumored stars returning, championship belts and, most confusingly of all, separate Pay Per View events, which may end up reviving the bland product WWE has been producing over the last several years, or it may saturate the product even further by giving fans more WWE product a week than they can handle.
With all these new opportunities, it allows WWE to attempt to move on from this stale product it has been presenting as of late. And with the rumored returns of stars like Goldberg, MVP, Carlito and Jeff Hardy, fans will be clamoring to see new, fresh, exciting matchups. But these stars and more aren't the only things that should return, as the PPV calendar will drastically change in the coming months.
The following are 5 current WWE PPVs that should be scrapped and 10 possible PPVs from either WWE or WCW’s past that could be revived to take their place, which would help improve the product as a whole.
30 New Year's Revolution
Taking a leaf out of the book of New Japan Pro Wrestling who hold their biggest show of the year (Wrestle Kingdom) on January 4th each year, WWE should look to bring back New Year's Revolution, which helps kick the year off in an exciting fashion, and can boost or end feuds heading into the Royal Rumble, the true kick starter for the Road to WrestleMania. The most famous happening on this PPV was the first ever cashing in of the Money in the Bank contract by Edge and John Cena, and it’s this kind of unpredictability and excitement heading into WrestleMania that WWE have lacked for years (with the exception of Daniel Bryan and his meteoric rise with the ‘YES’ movement). If WWE truly look to place importance on this brand split and making it work the best they can, a good start to the year can get the fans in a positive frame of mind heading into the biggest time of the wrestling calendar, which can be vital to their perception of the product in the lead up to the biggest show, and the entire year.
28 Fall Brawl
Back in WCW, Fall Brawl was famous for holding one particular match, War Games, one with which WWE has had much interest in returning, and with stables like the New Day, Wyatt Family and the Club, and a possible reuniting of fan favorites the Shield, this could be an exciting prospect for fans if it is indeed to return. While the match can take place in any arena with any event, to bring it back with Fall Brawl in the midst of the hotly anticipated brand split would bring back memories of the best times for WCW with legends like Sting and Ric Flair, and could entice older viewers with these memories to perhaps tune back in. Considered WWE’s Survivor Series, it could be used alongside other classic WCW events to draw these viewers back, as well as been one of the most exciting matches that the wrestling world had seen in the 90s, it would be well worth the watch just to see how this concept works in the modern day ideology of wrestling.
26 Bash at the Beach
One of the best and most popular WCW run PPVs was Bash at the Beach, which added much unpredictability and a fresh, unique set for the audience, which is something that today’s WWE desperately needs. Running during the summer before or after SummerSlam, this event could be a huge success much like it was for WCW with the over the top unique setting and set itself, and while WWE are unlikely to run the event at an actual beach, if done correctly at an outdoor arena, it could be another fresh event which keeps fans tuning in because they get to see something unique each and every event. This event was biggest at WCW’s hottest time period, and these memories give it the prestige of an already solidified PPV, and let's be honest, what longtime wrestling fan wouldn’t like to turn on WWE 2K18 and play at the Bash at the Beach event to evoke memories of the classic WCW games on Nintendo 64?
24 King of the Ring
While this event is still going in WWE today (including a very rushed version in 2015, which saw Neville, Sheamus, R-Truth and Bad News Barrett in the semi-finals, what a field!), a return to a PPV event would be helpful for WWE, especially considering the kind of success these tournaments in Japan are having (like the G1 Climax and best of Super Juniors), and while WWE couldn’t blatantly rip of the structure of these, they could learn a thing or two. WWE could perhaps have two brackets, one for each brand, and present the semi-finals and final on a PPV event that also features Championship matches like a regular one, with the final being a RAW vs. Smackdown competitor. This along with a push and a prestigious trophy rather than a silly cape and a ‘king’ gimmick would make the event much more respectable and enjoyable for fans to watch, and while the World Champions of each show don’t need to take part, the field should feature some top stars in the WWE, increasing its importance.
22 Great American Bash
A WCW classic that was revived during the first brand split, it never gained the respect or importance necessary to survive in WWE, but now with the WWE network and live network specials, this would be a perfect annual 4th of July event for Americans to take pride in their Independence Day. With WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops show running during the holiday period every year since 2003, this may be a good opportunity to split these two shows between brands and make them both live Network Specials, which would give WWE the chance to again show gratitude to the troops over seas, give fans another exciting live special event and also expose/give younger NXT talent a chance to showcase their craft on the main roster level (as seen by Finn Balor/Kevin Owens in Japan and Enzo & Cass/the Revival at Roadblock). However they return it, it would be a great, classic show to revive, and again, gives talent the unique opportunity to wrestle in front of brave military personel.
While this was not a particularly popular or unique PPV concept in the early 2000s, the idea of a British exclusive PPV is one that should be revived in the coming brand split for various reasons. Firstly, it will help expand the WWE Universe even further and more regular trips to Europe may help WWE management to see some of the amazing British wrestling talent on offer at the moment, which could lead to further unique international signings. Second of all, fans of NXT or football (soccer to Americans) will know that the British crowds are absolutely mental, and if NXT Takeover: London is anything to go by, the crowds are creative in their chants and relentless as they go all night, and this significantly increases the atmosphere of an event. Simply putting this event on as a brand exclusive during a European trip would increase the perception of WWE as a global brand, and with the white hot state British professional wrestling is in at the moment, it could inspire the further growth of the sport in Europe, and while it was run only for British crowds during 2000-2003 (with the exception of 2002), it would be shown as a proper PPV for all, instead of producing it exclusively for Europe it would be exclusively held over there.
One event that started before WWE’s grandest show, WrestleMania, was Starrcade, run by WCW (or then known as WCCW, a territory promotion in Georgia, all the way up until its eventual demise), and it has hosted some of the greatest stars in wrestling history such as Sting, Roddy Piper and Ric Flair. While this obviously would not make a return as the biggest show of the year, as WWE’s top four shows (WrestleMania, Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series, which will be for both brands) are already set in stone, but this, along with perhaps the number one entry on this list could be the biggest event for each brand (one for RAW and one for Smackdown), which could help give the brand exclusive PPV events the important and prestige they deserve.
16 Halloween Havoc
One major complain fans and critics alike have had with the recent product is that the shows feel all the same, and that can be contributed to both in ring repetitiveness and the bland, corporate back drop to every event which is identical. What WCW managed to do so well, with the aforementioned Bash at the Beach and Halloween Havoc was create a show that completely captured the essence of the events name, complete with a gigantic pumpkin and other Halloween styled décor. The event becoming an annual PPV or Network Special would give either brand a special opportunity on the spookiest night of the year to entertain fans in a unique way not seen since the days of WCW, and would be a major nostalgia trip for long time fans.
14 Cyber Sunday
From Daniel Bryan’s meteoric rise to the top to the ‘fans on twitter’ influencing the decision to keep Shane McMahon, the WWE Universe have always seemed to be the top priority on screen (whether they matter at all to Vince McMahon backstage and his decisions is another story), and that is why the PPV Cyber Sunday during the first brand split was seen as a good idea, to give fans more importance and influence over the show, even if it was just for a single night. What occurred was fans being given ridiculous options (such as which Mick Foley character will wrestle, and what outfits the diva’s will wear) which eventually ruined the event and caused it to be discontinued, but in the new era, if fans were given the sole choice of either a champions opponent or a match stipulation, it could be a new way to make the Universe feel a part of the show, and help give the brand split the unpredictability it deserves.
12 Clash of the Champions
This one has been all but confirmed by WWE and by Ticketmaster, as WWE trademarked the term and tickets are now being rumored to be on sale soon for a WWE event named Clash of the Champions, and again this is a good way to revive an old WCW classic, as the network now has all WCW PPV events which WWE should definitely begin to utilize more. There is one of two ways WWE could go with this event to help the brand split be as successful as possible; the first of which was mentioned in the 4th entry on this list, as Smackdown or Raw’s own exclusive marquee show which would give the brand exclusive PPVs the name recognition and credibility they deserve. The second is in the name; Clash of the Champions, as it could be an opportunity to promote real competition between the brands, where champions from each show square off throughout the event, which would give the split a real sense of loyalty and competition it needs to truly make both shows as good as possible.
Despite it only being two years old, Fastlane has not been well received by fans during its existence, due to the fact that both main events have been extremely predictable, and neither result inspired excitement, unpredictability or any true heat from fans, due to the rejected push of Roman Reigns which it forced on the fans. While the event itself isn’t the problem (the major problem being that the event in its existence has been both predictable and unnecessary, as fans could see through the entire story WWE has had planned in the lead up to WrestleMania, making a PPV in between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania fairly pointless), WWE need to shed itself of the poor reception for both of these shows, and either re brand the show, and hopefully reinvigorate it, or scrap the idea of a PPV between the Royal Rumble and ‘Mania.
7 Hell in a Cell
WWE in the last few years have the annoying tendency to take something natural and organic and turn it into a corporate production at its worst, the best examples recently being the idea of the ‘Diva’s Revolution’ and the ‘New Era’, and this is usually accompanied by Michael Cole and the rest of the irritating RAW commentary team using any opportunity they get to use the phrase and shove it down the throats of viewers. This has filtered all the way down to the terrible idea of using a match type as a PPV all to itself, which takes all the excitement and unpredictability out of the match type, as this is usually the only time fans can see it, which take away from most of the atmosphere, and while Hell in the Cell is not the only example (Elimination Chamber, TLC), it certainly is the worse, as fans recall the excitement when Triple H vs. The Undertaker or others were announced for this match type, as it was unexpected and made it a true spectacle.
5 Elimination Chamber
Another gimmick match PPV which turned Elimination Chamber from one of the most intimidating and violent structures of all time in WWE into something that’s just there in the background for an event, and most performers who found themselves in the match rarely if ever deserved it, which is in contrast to how it was seen when it first arrived, with Goldberg, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and John Cena all making big appearances in the match. A match that while yes it did occur annually, was a special showcase event, as it pitted the championship between 6 desperate men, and now WWE are forced to do the event whenever the PPV comes around, despite the fact that they do not have the heat with a rivalry to sustain such a brutal match as this, and the scrapping of this event would allow the arrival of the chamber match to be more special and unpredictable when it does eventually occur.
3 Money in the Bank
While TLC faces the same problem as the last two entries, it also brings variety as fans see tables matches, ladder matches and a combination of the two along with chairs, but naming a PPV after a specific ladder match was a terrible idea, despite the 2011 instalment being considered one of the best PPV events in the last decade in WWE, due to the 5 star classic from John Cena and CM Punk. The idea to move the Money in the Bank ladder match from WrestleMania to its own PPV was a huge mistake, and WWE have obviously realized this, as the ladder match was a perfect way to open WrestleMania and give stars like Edge and CM Punk their big breaks on the biggest night of them all, and management have attempted to rectify this with the IC title ladder match at the last two WrestleMania’s. While these were good matches, I don’t think I am alone when I say that I’d much rather watch Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn or Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for example put on a classic singles match for the Intercontinental Championship while 8 other men vie for the contract on the biggest stage of them all again.
1 Night of Champions
The general concept of Night of Champions is very silly, as the big selling point for the annual Pay Per View is that every champion in WWE will defend their championship, and I know what you’re thinking, isn’t that the entire point of every PPV in WWE? While there have been several instances where not all championships are defended on a PPV due to a wrestler taking leave or having a non-title match, but yes, the point of a PPV is to have your best guys/girls (which should be champions or in the hunt) in matches for the most important prizes in the industry, which is championship belts. With the flurry of new and more exciting PPV concepts coming into play with the upcoming brand split, this is the one WWE definitely have to scrap for one of the events listed in the revive section of this list, or even if it isn’t replaced, it’s been a silly concept for years, and one fans are mostly sick of.
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