WWE has been producing massive events for over three decades. This was initially done through closed-circuit television before it was moved to pay-per-view. Since the launch of WWE Network and later with Peacock, the shows have begun streaming online and are now called Premium Live Events.
With these events spanning over thirty years, different names and concepts have come and gone. Some, like WrestleMania and Summerslam, have stood the test of time. Others have disappeared after just one attempt.
While plenty of the ideas were scrapped, some past shows deserve a second chance. This is especially true in the streaming era, where fans aren’t required to pay $30-$60 per event. Some of these concepts could work in today’s environment.
Below are just five pay-per-views WWE should bring back.
#5. The submission-focused WWE Breaking Point deserves another chance
WWE Breaking Point took place on September 13, 2009. The concept for this event was simple. TThe major matches stipulated that the superstar must win via submission. This concept worked at the event. Legacy taking on DX and Randy Orton vs. John Cena both delivered high-quality matches.
This theme as a Premium Live Event would work just as well today, or perhaps even better than it did then. The largest sports entertainment company in the world has a diverse roster that would flourish under this stipulation. Stars who already use submission maneuvers won’t have to change a thing.
Meanwhile, a story can be told with superstars who don’t typically use submissions. They could debut new finishing moves or even struggle to win as submission wrestling isn’t their forte. It would be a fun way to change up the storytelling on a show.
#4. WWE Day 1 should return when possible
WWE Day 1 is a new event for the company. It premiered on January 1 of this year and was the first Premium Live Event to air on New Year’s Day. The concept of this event is pretty self-explanatory. It didn’t have any eccentric gimmicks. Instead, it was all about bringing in the new year with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Due to WWE’s weekly schedule of televised programming, Day 1 can’t happen every year. At some point, the first day of January will occur on a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday and thus intervene with RAW, NXT, or SmackDown. Still, January 1, 2023, falls on a Sunday, which would be perfect for the Premium Live Event to return.
#3. WWE King of the Ring should return but with a twist
The King of the Ring tournament first began in the form of a pay-per-view back in 1993. Over the next decade, it contributed to the making of megastars, including Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H. The event has ceased to be a pay-per-view, but the tournament still takes place every few years throughout weekly TV, sometimes culminating at whichever Premium Live Event is happening that month. In 2021, the Queen’s Crown tournament debuted, which is the KOTR counterpart for women.
The issue with one-night tournaments being a pay-per-view is that wrestling promotions can’t sell the audience on it. World Wrestling Entertainment can advertise talent set to appear and first-round matches, but that’s it. This made the King of the Ring a difficult sell for traditional pay-per-view back in the day. Thankfully, today is the era of Peacock and WWE Network, and consumers don’t need to spend fifty dollars to see the special.
King of the Ring absolutely should return as a one-night special, but why stop there? Make it a two-night event, with night one being the Queen’s Crown Tournament and night two being the King of the Ring Tournament. This gives both tournaments time for their matches while also giving the audience more bang for their buck.
#2. The all women’s event WWE Evolution should return
Evolution was held in 2018. The unique quality of the show was that it was comprised of entirely female superstars. The contenders not only included current RAW and SmackDown Superstars but also those from yesteryear and even the future stars of NXT. It was a celebration of female athletes.
Nearly four years later, a second Evolution event hasn’t happened. This is a shame as the women’s divisions across the company have never been stronger in terms of having top stars and quality performers. Even with the promotion’s barrage of releases in recent years, they still have enough talents to put on a memorable show each year.
Having this Premium Live Event yearly allows the company to honor past women who paved the way, showcase modern stars, and shine a spotlight on upcoming stars. Evolution is empowering for women of all ages, but with the talents of female WWE Superstars, it’s also enjoyable for anybody.
#1. WWE Cyber Sunday was ahead of its time
Taboo Tuesday debuted in 2004. The concept of this pay-per-view was all about putting power into the hands of the fans. Superstars in matches and match stipulations were decided on by a fan vote via a computer or cellphone. Taboo Tuesday returned the following year before the event was rebranded as Cyber Sunday, which aired in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
In 2022, there’s a heavy focus on social media. This isn’t just in wrestling but in nearly any form of business. With that in mind, a show like Cyber Sunday makes sense. The interactive element is likely to attract more viewers, and if not, it would at the very least increase viewer engagement.
Plus, just like King of the Ring, the price point for an event today doesn’t inherently keep people away from watching the show. The Cyber Sunday concept needs to return.
Whether or not fans will see these shows return remains unclear, but some elements of these will continue in the company. In the meantime, the audience can always relive past iterations thanks to Peacock and the WWE Network.