With the Hell in a Cell pay per view in the rear view mirror and the Survivor Series spectacular posted for the next exit, I decided it was time to rank all of WWE’s pay per views. There are pay per views so good that even those who are not traditionally wrestling fans can enjoy them. However, on the other hand there are events awful enough that you are almost wishing you had those three hours of your life back. So from worst to first here are my pay per view rankings.
In its first year the battle lines were drawn, but they look like they were etched in chalk. The only thing unique about this pay per view was a “Battleground Hardcore Rule match.” If you recall it was RVD taking on World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. What is the difference between a Battleground Hardcore match and a normal Hardcore match… I am still not really sure. Honestly everything else was standard affair. The highlight of this years event was the Rhodes family winning the tag team titles from the Shield but in all honestly you could of placed that on any pay per view and it would of been among the most emotional, engaging tag team matches of the year. With great concepts like The King of the Ring and Cyber Sunday inactive, I am left scratching my head as to how this is a better use of a pay per view.
Sticking with lame pay per views thrown together by WWE this year I give you: Payback. Granted the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE title between John Cena and Ryback puts it ahead of Battleground but not by much. Part of the reason for this is the stages themselves: you had a lumberjack match to start and a ambulance match to finish. The event needs another gimmick match… or two and something more creative than a tables match for that second stage. That said I would love it if WWE just brought back Breaking Point instead.
10. Extreme Rules
Steel Cage, Last Man Standing, Ladder, 2 Out Of 3 Falls, Street fight and yes Extreme Rules have all been part of the event of the same name. While it is a fairly simplistic concept it works. It is also a nice nod to ECW and I am grateful WWE has not attempted to wash its hands of ECW type events as it has with WCW (granted it has re-branded them). What is missing is completely axing disqualifications from the event and giving the diva’s some Extreme Rules matches. That said those seem like logical progressions so I think this event will keep growing and might move up this list in future.
9. Hell in a Cell
I love the Hell in a Cell structure it is the second best ever created in the WWE. So why is this pay per view such a dud? Well for one thing they have scaled back their use of the cell. Superstars rarely fight outside of the cell, they even more rarely get on the roof of the cell and even more hard to find is someone breaking through the ceiling or being thrown off the top. Moreover these events feature only one or two Hell in a Cell matches. That simply does not cut it, and the lack of a Steel Cage matches at this event is an odd choice at best. While it might take a re-design of the way those two structures are used the WWE should re-brand this as a cage and cell based event and have all matches in either structure (half in each ideally). The irony is the event pace would be much quicker if it started with the Cell in place and never removed. With the time they spend dropping and re-raising the Cell they might as well add the Steel Cage if possible.
8. TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs
Tables, Ladders, Chairs and even TLC matches are part of the yearly event since 2009. What is interesting is the WWE has added some nice touches to this event over the years. HHH vs Kevin Nash in a Sledgehammer Ladder match in 2011, some excellent triple threat and fatal four way matches. While you can guess I would prefer if every match was under some sort of TLC variant. It could open up the door for a 6 man elimination table match for the Intercontinental or United States Championship. Much like other gimmick events diva’s also should be given the chance to use Tables, Ladders and Chairs to take home the butterfly belt.
7. Survivor Series
Did I just put one of the big five WWE pay per views at seven? Yes and it has nothing to do with being lucky seven. No Survivor Series might as well be brought to you by 7-Eleven as in past years we had to settle for some sub-par product in the name of convenience. In 2011: Hunico and Mason Ryan were on opposite Survivor Series teams and in 2010: Tyler Reks must of won a bet to be on the traditional team that year. The problem with this event is that “creative” is so lazy they do not plan ahead for this event. They slap together a rag tag bag of faces/heels and call them teams. The common threads are so thin that the month before features the most rushed rivalries of the year. Take this year for example Randy Orton has an alliance with the Shield along with HHH but the WWE was unwilling to take the belt off him. If they had they could of let the Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and The Usos finally settle the score. Leaving Daniel Bryan free to defend his title against CM Punk or Sandow. Maybe this is more a sign of the WWE’s lack of stable building in this day and age. In any case until it is changed this event may drop down more as time goes on.
6. Night of Champions
Every championship on the line? Sign me up! Granted the WWE’s unwillingness to keep top end talents off pay per view event, even if they have no business going after the US or Intercontinental titles is troubling. Take the last such event where Dean Ambrose defended his US title against Dolph Ziggler. I understand the need to keep Ziggler on TV, but give the guy a night off so Ambrose gets a realistic competitor for his title. My other issue is the lack of title changes. Maybe all that is needed is one year where every belt or nearly every title changes hands in one night. I just do not feel like anything can happen at this event.
5. Money in the Bank
What was once a gimmick match at WrestleMania has emerged as one of the five best pay per views in the WWE! Two ladder matches with two briefcases often leading to a cash in the same night. The new All Star match for the WWE title and a Never Been Champion match for the World Heavyweight title are excellent additions. The future may open the door for similar matches for other WWE championships. I would welcome the addition of a Money in the Bank match for either a shot at the US or Intercontinental titles (winners choice of course). It could replace a feud match and would occur before the normal IC and US title matches. However, outside of that the WWE has really hit a grand slam with this event.
4. Royal Rumble
Among the best moments of the year in WWE is the Royal Rumble match. However, some odd choices like a 40 person match in 2011 have tarnished the event for me. Even worse is the use of superstars from other matches in the Rumble itself. The choice to not have a Diva’s Title match at the Rumble last year was odd to say the least. Going forward I do not want to see either team in a Tag Team Title match in the Rumble the same night. Why? Because they do not win and there are other superstars who could be in the Rumble and get eliminated just the same. The same goes for every other match at the Rumble. It feels like the WWE has cut corners with the Rumble which makes no sense. They have a big enough roster and NXT to work with. I hope the Rumble returns to the past glory where you had much less overlap. Otherwise the Rumble might take a tumble on my list.
3. Elimination Chamber
The greatest structure in the WWE. However in the last year it has gone from two Chamber matchs for the World and WWE title to a Chamber match to pick the number one contender for one of those titles. Going forward not only should both top titles be defend in the Chamber, so should one other title. I would love to see a triple threat tag team elimination Tag Team Title Chamber match. I would not mind seeing a Diva’s title Chamber match. You can probably guess I would not have an issue with an Intercontinental or US Championship match. They can change which each year, but this should be a given. One other issue for me is that this event almost always happens on the same day and time as the NBA All Star game. Someone really needs to prevent that in future because I have chosen the NBA over the WWE (and the pay per view fee) in the past and will in the future.
2. Summer Slam
Since 2009 its been the pay per view that has only taken place at the Staples Center. More importantly this pay per view gives you big comebacks like Brock Lesnar last year. While also offering solid gimmick matches like the Ring of Fire match between Kane and Bray Wyatt. Because it takes place at the end of the summer you often less cliff hangers story lines which is a welcome change. There are only two pay per views I have seen in person and this is one of them. If you gave me a time machine I would not have it any other way.
Who did not see this coming? The event that costs the most but man oh, oh man is it worth it! If you want to convert someone to wrestling this is the ticket. If you can only go to one event live in your life this is the one. No playoff game, new stadium or team compares to this. Big stars like The Rock come back, in that case you got a year of build up. Not to mention NBC will cut it up for free on TV if you somehow miss it. Every other pay per view could borrow elements from Mania and improve. The use of past NFL Superbowl sites for events creates such a grand scale. Then there is all the history such as the Undertaker’s streak and the Royal Rumble winner.
Well thats what I think but where do you rank WWE’s Pay Per Views.
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