John Carbery, Jamie Lithgow and Brian Damage
With the demise of WCW and ECW, a lot of excellent PPVs went the same way. When you throw in the fact that the WWE have dropped many original ones themselves, there’s a graveyard somewhere filled with perfectly acceptable PPVs. In today’s Top Five, the team discuss which events they would like to see make a return
5. Halloween Havoc
As someone who loves the holiday of Halloween, I’d just love to see this brand of PPV come back. The WCW shows were more or less standard PPV’s just with a spooky aesthetic but I wouldn’t be too upset if WWE brought it back and had a horror themed gimmick match. It would’ve worked great a few years ago when Undertaker and Kane were still around and feuding, but I’m confident it could be a hit today and would be a much better choice of name over WWE’s current October PPV, Hell in a Cell. In fact, a Hell in a Cell match might feel all the more ominous if it were to take place at Halloween Havoc.
4. Wrestle War/Fall Brawl
Basically, I’d just like a two ring PPV so Wargames can come back. WWE and other companies have tried to come up with crazy gimmick matches that surpass Wargames and make fans forget about the double ring bloodbath cage matches of the late 80s and early 90s there’s a reason they still have a special place in the hearts of wrestling fans. Combining the violence of Hell in a Cell match with the unpredictability of the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series matches, Wargames is a match style that needs to make a comeback.
3. One Night Only
Essentially this has already been done recently with the WWE UK Championship tournament, but I’d love to see WWE do a main roster PPV once a year somewhere in Europe. The original One Night Only was a UK only PPV but a special event on the WWE Network from one of the major WWE markets in Europe would really break up the cycle of samey events that take place fortnightly in the US. It would create a bit of variety and give the company fresh audiences to perform in front of and give those audiences something substantial to spend their money on. Plus I’d love to see WWE go back to Italy, the TV they recorded there back in the day was so cool just because of the Italian crowd.
2. King of the Ring
This has been halfheartedly revived a number of times in recent years with the likes of Sheamus and Bad News Barrett winning the crown and then doing nothing at all afterwards. But I think there’s still a fondness for the name King of the Ring out there and if WWE were to present a serious multi-brand tournament where the winner gets both the crown and a world title shot down the line there would be a lot of interest. They’ve already proven with the Cruiserweight Classic and the UK tournament that they know how to present a compelling tourney on TV. Ideally it’d be like a streamlined version of NJPW’s G1 Cliamx and like the G1 I’d have the winner get their title shot in January at the Royal Rumble, which would extend the lead in to Wrestlemania season and give the Rumble a long build that gives its title matches some added prestige.
The original pro wrestling ppv supershow, Starrcade is a name that should conjure images of a great wrestling legacy. WWE have even enshrined it as a special event on their DVD releases and on the WWE Network. Smackdown presents TLC and Raw presents Roadblock in December and I’d be happy to see either of those names dumped for Starrcade. Whichever brand got it could use the name to differentiate their show from the opposing brand and perhaps use the Starrcade name as an occasion to put a sense of finality in the product as the last show of the year and build properly to the new beginning at the Royal Rumble. Despite the last few events tarnishing its good name, Starrcade is a PPV brand with a rich history and one that should be brought back.
5. Judgment Day
This was just one of WWE’s generic PPVs, which evolved from an In Your House sub-title. I just think it’s a really good name for a wrestling show, especially when you consider that somewhere on any given WWE PPV card there is almost always a feud ending match i.e. Judgment Day. If only they could get over themselves enough to pay the rights to use The Terminator theme.
4. St Valentine’s Day Massacre
This was just a brilliant name for a PPV held on February 14th. With WWE now able to broadcast an event whenever they want they could stage a St Valentine’s Day Massacre every year, should they wish. The alternative could be to stage one every seven (or so) years on a Sunday, and thus make it feel more special. I suppose the major issue would be the term ‘massacre’, which probably doesn’t fit their PG guidelines.
This is purely a pipe dream because this pay per view has the words ‘wrestle’ and ‘war’ in the title, which I’m sure doesn’t fit WWE’s corporate vision. Still, I like it and WrestleWar is what I consider to be the spiritual home of the War Games match. Yes, Fall Brawl hosted a few, but the best War Games bouts were held at WrestleWar in the early 90s.
2. Halloween Havoc
Why has this not been brought back already?! It’s absolutely perfect and WWE own the rights to use it, so what’s the issue? A Halloween themed professional wrestling event; what doesn’t make sense about that? I can already envisage fans young and old attending this event in their costumes. If they could get Slim Jim to sponsor such a show then all my dreams will have come true.
1. King of The Ring
Surely this will top everybody’s list? Maybe it’s a British thing, but everyone I know loves tournaments. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrestling, football, tennis or anything else, I just love a tournament. Granted, KOTR has never really gone away, because it keeps coming back in some way, shape or form. That said, I’d love to see it return as a featured pay per view and given the degree of importance it initially had. Here’s a thought, and this is based on the success of the Cruiserweight Classic and UK Championship Tournaments; rather than one multi-person ladder match, the Money in The Bank briefcase could be contested in a single elimination tournament i.e. King of The Ring. For branding purposes the final bout could still be a ladder match too. Makes sense to me…
5. Cyber Sunday
I am probably going to be in the minority with this one, but I liked the idea of letting the fans play booker and decide matches and stipulations. Yeah, yeah I know some if not most of the results were rigged but, if done properly, Cyber Sunday could’ve really been a fun type of show.
4. New Year’s Revolution
I love holiday themed wrestling shows as you will see by reading further. It’s a cool named for a year end pay per view before the Royal Rumble kicks off the new pay per view season in January. Have it be where all the old feuds get resolved so new feuds can develop at the Rumble.
Maybe I chose this pay per view out of pure nostalgia. The fact is though, that Starrcade was the true granddaddy of all pay per views. Maybe Vince McMahon feels threatened by Starrcade but you could put it on during Christmas time and make it a big deal. The name value alone would generate interest I would think.
2. King of the Ring
This use to be my all time favorite pay per view before it was phased out as a stand alone show. The King of the Ring made stars into superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H. Nowadays it is done sporadically, like every two or three years and on Raw, Smackdown or a network special. I feel the KOTR still has a lot of value to it. Especially if Money in the Bank becomes a Smackdown exclusive show, make King of the Ring a Raw exclusive show with the winner of the tournament the new #1 contender to the Universal title.
1. Halloween Havoc
Ah yes, Halloween Havoc was such a fun show for WCW back in the day. The set was designed like a graveyard…the announcers dressed in costumes and sometimes even the wrestlers would debut with ghoulish gimmicks like Rick Rude as the Halloween Phantom, the Yeti and even the Creatures. Bring it back!
You can read all previous ‘Top Five’ pieces here.