The Ten Count 3.12.14: The Top 10 WWE PPVs
Posted by Evan Daniels on 03.12.2014
From WrestleMania 17 and In Your House: Canadian Stampede to the 1992 Royal Rumble, WrestleMania 22 and more, 411’s Evan Daniels breaks down the top 10 WWE PPVs of all-time!
YOUR THOUGHTS (IF WE WANT TO CALL THEM THAT) So, We All Agree with Cena
I agree with John Cena's statement from the Austin Podcast that in-ring actions translate better overseas than promos. I mean, it's one reason why so many people who still enjoy wrestling on this side of the Pacific watch NJPW, you know? We don't understand anything that's going on, but basic story-lines and phenomenal in-ring action make foreign fans like me tune into them.
MY THOUGHT: What is this NJPW thing you speak of? Just kidding, I know what it is just haven't seen much of it.
Better Not Piss Off the TV Networks:
The WWE Network will eventually have older episodes of RAW and Smackdown. I'm wondering what the buffer zone is so that the broadcast networks won't feel as if they're getting hosed. One year? Two years? Should I expect that, in March of 2014, I can watch old RAWs up to March of 2011? It'll be interesting to see where that line is drawn.
MY THOUGHT: I think the buffer will be about a month. Raw and SmackDown are usually a "live" viewing experience.
So How Many Superstars Came From WWECW:
"Keep in mind, 1 superstar emerged from the ashes of WWECW and that was CM Punk who by the way was already a star."
I beg to differ. Sheamus thrived there and carried it over to the main event, and the same might have been said about Jack Swagger had he not gotten himself in hot (bong) water. You also had Bobby Lashley at one point, as well as the potential for Ezekiel Jackson but that ship seems to have sailed.
MY THOUGHT: Sheamus, Jack Swagger, and Bobby Lashley are the best we can do. They are all very good superstars but they are not main eventers. Sheamus might be the closest to the top.
So How Many Superstars Came From WWECW:
I love the idea of doing away with some of the gimmicky PPVS and concentrating on the big four and making them BIG again. WWE network also gives WWE a chance to have longer builds for some of the feuds instead of thrown together cards a week before the PPV.
MY THOUGHT: I would tend to agree with this in the long term. In the short term, they will continue to make all the events important so they still get PPV buys or people to sign up for the network. I would love it if WWE basically had 4 big PPVs a year. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
WWE Library > WWE Superstars:
"The libraries are probably the most valuable, non-people, asset in WWE today."
No, the library is more valuable than the people in todays WWE and it isn't even close. The Network could show nothing but classic PPVs and TV shows and have exactly as much success as it will have with them. The shows about current people and wrestling shows are 100% irrelevant to the networks success.
MY THOUGHT: Maybe I was not clear in the column last week…..the current product is not as important to the network as the older stuff but the current superstars are more important to the bottom line of the entire company than the network. The WWE Superstars are and always will be the most valuable asset to the WWE and it's not close.
And Finally, ROH on WWE Network:
In all honesty, why not charge independent promotions a reasonable fee to air their content on the Network? Then sell ad time to businesses in that promotion's area. So, for example, some nothing indy in Florida decides to pay WWE somewhere between $5,000 to $10,000 to air a year's worth of programming on the Network, then WWE has a marketing/sales rep hunt down Florida-based businesses in that promotion's geographic area to buy ad time.
WWE would still control the content because they'd retain the right of refusal to air anything that didn't meet their broadcast/quality standards, and maybe even work a deal in where they retain rights to rebroadcast for a limited amount of time (1-3 years).
Everyone benefits. Fans get more content, small independents get national exposure to help boost live attendance, and WWE makes additional money while also maintaining a pipeline on future talent that they can poach down the road. You've basically recreated the territory system.
MY THOUGHT: I can't imagine a different company allowing WWE to distribute their content. Content is king for any company so I wouldn't want my content on someone else's airwaves. Also, why would WWE pay for that?
The Chicago episode of Raw was supposed to be "hijacked" by the fans in Chicago but in the end it was hijacked by WWE. WWE played that Chicago crowd perfectly in many ways:
They actually talked about CM Punk and used Paul Heyman to do it. Heyman was so masterful and was able to defuse the crowd while moving a wrestling angle forward. Genius!
Batista vs. Daniel Bryan was the perfect main event for this crowd. They were given the chance to boo Batista and cheer Daniel Bryan.
Tag Team Title Change….that's always a good thing.
Finally, giving Chicago a chance to have fun with HHH and Stephanie. That was some of the loudest heat I have heard in a while.
Here is the bottom line to the whole thing, CM Punk didn't show up and the crowd didn't riot. They didn't get really loud leaving the building. They didn't really do anything except make some noise and maybe change some booking. In the end, this was not a Raw after WrestleMania crowd. It was a normal Chicago crowd which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
IS CM PUNK COMING BACK?
I don't know….I've given up on trying to figure it out.
I hope he does since the main event at WrestleMania is just not good and the addition of CM Punk would be perfect.
If there is no CM Punk….I wouldn't mind seeing a Fatal 4 Way with Orton, Batista, HHH, and Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan having to go through Evolution for the title would be very interesting….very, very interesting.
Here are the Ground Rules
These events just need to be WWE Pay-Per-Views, pretty simple.
This is one of those PPVs that became one of the best ever based on 1 match. When that 1 match is the greatest Royal Rumble of all time I think it is allowed. The biggest collection of talent to that date in a Royal Rumble match also with the greatest performance ever done by one of the greatest wrestlers of all time made this match so special. Combine that with the commentary of Monsoon and Heenan and it is one of the best ways to spend an hour of your time. On top of that, the Mountie/Piper match was good featuring the 1st and only title reign for Piper along with a very good opening match. Overall, a strong beginning to this top 10 list.
This show featured a very underrated match between Mankind and Triple H. These men were just beginning to hit their stride as upper mid-card singles wrestlers and decided to just beat the hell out of each other. The Undertaker and Vader had a good big man match for the WWE Championship as well, but the main event is the biggest reason why this PPV is on the list.
It was a 10-man tag team match pitting, in essence, Canada vs. the USA during the Calgary Stampede. Bret Hart and Steve Austin led their respective teams into battle while the entire crowd was at a fever pitch. This match was the perfect match at the perfect time in the perfect city and magic happened. It is just so sad that 4 of the men who competed are no longer with us. It is a great thing that we have this match to remember them by.
Let's start with this….I know it was awesome because I was there!
There are 2 matches that I believe make this show as special as any show in history. In my humble opinion, it features the best women's match on a major PPV in history. Yes, I know there are independent shows where there have been better matches but none better on the big stage than Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus. The speed, aggression, and Mickie James' craziness was just so awesome to watch. They just beat the hell out of each other….much like match #2….
Edge and Mick Foley had one of the most "beautiful" hardcore matches in the history of the business. Both of them wanted a WrestleMania moment and they sure as hell delivered. This type of match can degenerate into just a spot fest but it didn't feel that way. The story was so solid and the action made sense which is refreshing in a match set up like this.
On top of these 2 matches the HBK/McMahon, MiTB ladder match, and Cena/HHH matches round out a great show.
Which corner will Mr. Prefect be in? That was the question leading into the WWE Championship match between Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior. This lead to a very good match between these 2 men with Ric Flair and Perfect floating around ringside. Money, Inc./LOD and HBK/Martel were both good matches but one of the greatest SummerSlam matches ever closed the show.
Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart had one of the greatest matches ever and to realize it was in the home country of the Bulldog made it even more special. I do agree with Bret Hart's assessment that the match was not Davey's coming out party but instead it was the final piece of the puzzle in Bret's ascent to the WWE Championship. The match has a feel and magic that is so hard to duplicate which is why it stands out as one of the best closing matches of all time.
Let's just list all the awesome things that happened during this PPV:
Taz(z)'s debut in the WWE defeating Kurt Angle
The 1st WWE PPV Tables Match between The Dudleys and the Hardys
The Rock winning his 1st Royal Rumble
Finally, the WWE Championship Match between Cactus Jack and Triple H
Any one of these things would have made this PPV memorable but all of them made it outstanding. The Foley/HHH match I ranked as the 3rd best Triple H match on a previous list. The tables match started a string of matches between the Hardys, Dudleys, and Edge/Christian which we will see later in this list. Of course, the last thing that makes this show so special is the fact it was in Madison Square Garden. The MSG crowd just makes everything better.
This event is the most recent entry to my top 10 WWE PPV List. I usually shy away from saying something so recent is so good but this event was really, really good. The CM Punk/Brock Lesnar match was just brutal. It was brutal in a way that made it truly believable which is tough to do in this day and age. Watching this match again makes me long for another CM Punk/Lesnar match which we may never see again. We also had a good mixed tag event and the breakup of the Rhodes Scholars. The main event once again proved that with the right opponent John Cena can have a wonderful match. Daniel Bryan brought out the best in John Cena and John Cena brought out the emotion in the crowd and Daniel Bryan. Of course, a Money in the Bank cash in is always fun as well. This event was the best event in the current era of WWE and we are still feeling the aftershocks.
This is the 1st of 2 PPVs from the beginning of 2001 that will appear on this list. The show contains the greatest HHH match of all time. The 3 stages of hell match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Here is a previous write-up about this match:
There is nothing I love more than a match that is like a movie. A slow start, the buildup, the crescendo, and a strong ending, which was delivered perfectly in this 45 minute masterpiece. Steve Austin won the 1st fall (straight wrestling) followed by Triple H winning 2 straight. I watched the match again to make sure it was #1 in my mind and it was as fun now as it was then. Just a tremendous match and is the greatest in Triple H's career.
It also had a match that by all accounts shouldn't have been anywhere near as good as it was, Stephanie McMahon vs. Trish Stratus. That match was one of the better women's matches the WWE was putting on at that time. In the main event, Kurt Angle lost the WWE Championship back to The Rock and beginning the road to WrestleMania 17 which may or may not be showing up later on this list.
Let's just start with this….it was awesome….you know how I know….I was there!!!
The match that I got the most enjoyment out of was the Evolution/Rock and Sock affair. I think it's because I knew that it could have been the last time I saw The Rock in the ring live (it was) and the last time I could have seen Mick Foley in the ring as well (it wasn't). The match was just a joy to watch as you could tell all the men were just having the time of their lives.
The fans got to have a great time during the Goldberg/Lesnar match. The chants still live to this day (Hogan, Savage, the Na-Na song, and a bunch of others). We hijacked WrestleMania before it was cool.
It was also the return of the "real" Undertaker with Paul Bearer which brought tears to my eyes. Watching him walk down that aisle and feeling the crowd was just unbelievable.
Finally, the main event was (finally according to WWE) a Triple Threat Match with HBK/HHH/Chris Benoit. It was and is the greatest match I have ever seen live. Everything worked and clicked with a crowd that wanted Benoit to win the title and 2 other men who wanted to make him look as good as they could. Tremendous main event to end one of the greatest nights of pro wrestling I have ever seen live.
2 ***** matches in 1 event is more than enough to make a show legendary but this store had much more than that. The Savage/Crush match was tremendous along with the 2 WWE Championship matches that culminated in the passing of the torch to Bret Hart and the New WWE Generation.
Of course, the 2 matches I am referring to is the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship along with the 1st match between Bret and Owen Hart.
Those matches might be the best 1-2 punch on a PPV in the history of the business. The event truly was the passing of the torch from the Hulkamania era to the generation lead by Michaels and Hart. I don't think I truly appreciated the event as it was happening in 1994.
Our #1 WWE PPV of all time I appreciated the minute it was over.
Was there any doubt this would be #1? I hope there wasn't.
Every match on this card was good to very good to great to legendary. Hell, even the Chyna match for what it was is a good match as well. Let's review the card:
1 Chris Jericho (c) defeated William Regal Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship 07:08
2 Tazz and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) (with Jacqueline) defeated Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) (with Steven Richards) Six-man tag team match 03:52
3 Kane defeated Raven (c) and The Big Show Triple threat hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship 09:17
4 Eddie Guerrero (with Perry Saturn) defeated Test (c) Singles match for the WWF European Championship 08:30
5 Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit Singles match 14:04
6 Chyna defeated Ivory (c) Singles match for the WWF Women's Championship 02:39
7 Shane McMahon defeated Mr. McMahon (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) Street Fight with Mick Foley as the special guest referee 14:12
8 Edge and Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Championship 15:47
9 The Iron Sheik won by last eliminating Hillbilly Jim1 20-man Gimmick battle royal 03:07
10 The Undertaker defeated Triple H Singles match 18:57
11 Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Rock (c) No Disqualification match for the WWF Championship 28:07
You had the fun stuff with the Gimmick Battle Royal (Bobby Heenan's last big commentary job), you had great wrestling (Benoit/Angle), you had family emotion (Shane/Vince), and you had Undertaker/HHH on the biggest stage of all.
The TLC 2 match is still in my personal Top 10 favorite matches (not greatest) but favorite matches. I could watch that over and over again. It is just so much fun and heart stopping to watch. The shame is that we ended up seeing Edge's career cut short by matches like this so it tempers it a little.
On top of everything else we saw the culmination of the Attitude Era in 1 match. The Rock and Stone Cold waged a war for the WWE Championship with Stone Cold joining the evil Mr. McMahon with Jim Ross having a heart attack on commentary.
The fans remember this event so much that it is the #1 download on the WWE Network as greatness never gets old. I don't know what will top this event…..it definitely seems like it won't be WrestleMania 30. WrestleMania 17 is the greatest wrestling show from any federation of all time. Bar none, and that's the bottom line.
So there you have it, the Top 10 WWE Pay-Per-Views! What is your opinion?
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SO EVAN, WHAT IS THE TOPIC OF NEXT WEEK'S COLUMN:
With WrestleMania about a month away I think it is a good time to write some WrestleMania centric top 10 lists.
The next list will be the Top 10 WrestleMania moments of All Time.
Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.