Pro Wrestling

10 Unique WWE PPVs That No Longer Exist Source:

For most of its existence, starting from the very first Wrestlemania, WWE has been defined by its Pay Per View specials. From the original “Big Four” shows of Mania, Survivor Series, SummerSlam, and the Royal Rumble, to the advent of monthly Pay Per Views during the Monday Night Wars, to the absolutely ridiculous number of shows that happened during the first brand extension, there have been dozens of different WWE PPVs, some involving interesting concepts, a few of which were even pretty good! However, due to shifts in the product, a number of PPVs have come and gone, replaced by shows with different names and concepts. Here, then, are some of the most unique Pay Per View concepts in WWE history that have fallen by the wayside over the years.

10. The Wrestling Classic

This show, which took place in 1985, is mistakenly thought of as the first WWE Pay Per View in history, as WrestleMania was originally only presented on closed circuit broadcasts (however, it had been available on PPV in some international markets, so more accurately it was the first American WWE PPV). However, it is actually the first major tournament of any kind in WWE history, as the majority of the show, aside from a Hogan-Piper match for the WWE Title, consisted of a massive 16-wrestler tournament, which was won by Junkyard Dog, who defeated Randy Savage in the finals. Unfortunately, the tournament format was not well-received, many of the matches were a combination of bad and very short in the interest of time constraints (most of them lasted less than three minutes, and three lasting less than sixty seconds), with even the WWE Title match lasting roughly seven minutes and ending in a DQ. As a result, WWE would not air another tournament on PPV until resurrecting the concept in 1993 with the King of the Ring (a tournament which had existed in WWE for years, but never aired on PPV until then). Source:

9. Insurrextion

Or if you prefer, you could choose from Rebellion, One Night Only, or Capital Carnage. These were the names of a series of Pay Per Views that only aired in the United Kingdom (and Canada) between 1997-2002 (along with No Mercy, which became a regular US-based PPV name in 2003), in order to capitalize on WWE’s growing overseas fanbase. Aside from their location, these were generally just regular PPVs, although while Davey Boy Smith worked for the company, he received high-profile matches. In general, however, the UK Pay Per Views did not affect ongoing WWE storylines, rarely featuring important title changes or any feud progression. When WWE began running more regular tours in the UK and other areas of the world, they dropped the UK-only PPVs, and while they have aired taped episodes of Raw and Smackdown from those locatoins, WWE have actually not run a Pay Per View outside of North America since 2002, almost entirely due to how the vast time zone differences would affect North American viewing. Source:

8. Breaking Point

This was another gimmick Pay Per View that WWE only tried once before realizing that it wasn’t a very good idea, with the concept that every major match would revolve around some sort of submission-based stipulation. As a result, D-Generation X defended the WWE Tag Team titles in a “Submissions Count Anywhere” match, John Cena faced Randy Orton in an “I Quit” match for the WWE Title, and World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk took on the Undertaker in a “Submissions Only” match. The last one turned out to be an especially bad idea, since due to the Pay Per View occurring in Montreal, WWE in their infinite wisdom decided to do a Screwjob finish, which massively irritated the live audience. The show was generally poorly received, especially due to WWE re-hashing Montreal yet again, and WWE did not re-visit the idea ever again. Source:

7. Fatal 4-Way

When WWE decided to make the majority of their secondary PPV into “gimmick” shows that would revolve around specific match stipulations, they had several stumbles along the way, due to the limited number of stipulations that could actually be used over multiple matches on the same show. One doomed idea was this PPV, which only happened once, in 2010. The concept, obviously, was that the major matches of the evening would all be contested under Fatal Four-Way rules, with four participants competing simultaneously in the match, and the winner decided by the first pinfall or submission. Fortunately, WWE did not go fully insane with the stipulation, limiting it to the WWE, World Heavyweight, and Divas Championship matches. However, the idea did not play out particularly well, as the matches felt thrown-together to satisfy the theme, and Fatal Four-Way matches, in general, are not usually very innovative, memorable, or particularly good, due to it being very hard to have an interesting match that involves four wrestlers all at the same time, resulting in long stretches where one or two participants wait outside the ring, not doing anything in particular. Source:

6. December to Dismember

We talked earlier about WWE reviving the ECW brand, and this was the first and only PPV that the resurrected ECW ever had. You have to give some credit to WWE, they at least initially tried to make ECW seem just as important as Raw and Smackdown, with alleged plans to have two ECW-only PPVs on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, between their desire to cash in on the nostalgia of old ECW fans, and the need to attract newer fans to the product, the WWE-created ECW never truly found a consistent identity, as old fans saw it as a sanitized version of the old promotion, and newer fans found it too much of a departure from the WWE product they already knew. As a result, the brand stumbled badly out of the gates, and never really recovered. For the first PPV, WWE made the curious decision of only announcing two matches ahead of time, one of which, a tag team match between MNM and the newly reformed Hardy Boyz, didn’t even involve members of the ECW brand! The show itself was a mess of bad matches and terrible booking, and was the least-watched WWE PPV in history, clocking in at roughly 90,000 buys and only 4,800 live attendance. Source:

5. Elimination Chamber

In one of their many attempts to replicate the infamous WarGames match without actually using the gimmick made famous in WCW, WWE created the Elimination Chamber, a massive steel-and-chain structure that surrounded the ring and the entire ringside area, trapping six WWE Superstars inside. After several one-off appearances, WWE decided to make Chamber matches a regular thing beginning in 201, and renamed their February PPV after the gimmick, making the Chamber a yearly tradition. Many disliked adding such a significant gimmick match (which was exclusively used for either World title or #1 Contender matches) in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, feeling it made it harder to build World Title feuds for WrestleMania when the title could easily (and often did) change hands only weeks before WWE’s biggest show. In 2015, WWE renamed the February PPV to Fastlane, although they created a one-off “special event” Elimination Chamber show in June to keep the name alive. However, since then it has been revealed that because many newer arenas aren’t capable of supporting the Chamber (which hangs above the ring when not in use), it was becoming nearly impossible for WWE to find places to have Elimination Chamber matches, likely relegating it once again to an occasional special attraction. Source:

4. One Night Stand

In 2005, WWE did an incredible little thing that made a lot of fans happy. Basically, they decided, purely for nostalgia purposes, to run an ECW “reunion” show that would use the former ECW wrestlers already on the WWE roster, and some other former talents from the defunct independent promotion. The entire thing was run completely differently from a normal WWE Pay Per View, emanating from the relatively tiny Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, as opposed to a gigantic arena, and presented in a unique style that resembled the old ECW, from Joey Styles on commentary to Paul Heyman running the show to the relatively low-budget sets. It was intended to be a one-off show, but it was so well-received that WWE decided to do another one the next year, as part of the re-launch of the ECW brand under the WWE umbrella. The second one was also good, if not as special or unique as the first one, and featured far more WWE involvement. After bringing back ECW, WWE maintained the One Night Stand PPV for a couple more years, but it became entirely a WWE show, held in an arena, with the only nod towards its origins the gimmick that every match would have an “Extreme” stipulation. Eventually, WWE changed the name of the PPV to Extreme Rules, in part due to the risque nature of the name, and because they were dissolving the ECW brand. Source:

3. King of The Ring

The King of The Ring tournament had actually existed since 1985, as a special event that did not air on PPV (although the “King” was usually referenced on WWE programming, which is how we briefly ended up with wrestlers like King Duggan and King Harley Race appearing on WWE TV. However, in 1993, WWE expanded their PPV roster from the original “Big Four”, adding the King of the Ring PPV during the summer, where eight Superstars would fight it out in a tournament to be crowned King at the end of the night. The King of the Ring tournament actually launched the careers of several wrestler, most notably “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but WWE constantly struggled with the tournament format, as it was felt that people wouldn’t buy a PPV without knowing what a significant number of the matches would be ahead of time. Originally, all three rounds of the tournament aired on PPV, but eventually WWE trimmed it down to only the semifinals and finals, somewhat lessening the achievement of wrestlers competing multiple times in one night to win the title. Eventually, WWE mothballed King of the Ring as a PPV, but retained the concept, occasionally running tournaments on Raw instead. Source:

2. Bragging Rights

During the brand split, WWE searched for ways to maintain the competitive nature between the nominally separate entities. Obviously, they violated that concept repeatedly over the life of the split, at times moving Superstars between brands for no reason at all, before abandoning the concept entirely. Bragging Rights, which happened only twice, featured matches between Superstars on separate brands, usually in the form of midcard title holders from each brand squaring off. Presumably, there was a scoring system involved in the inter-brand matches, but inevitably, things came down to a massive multi-man tag match featuring teams from Raw and Smackdown, with the winning brand being awarded the allegedly prestigious Bragging Rights trophy. Frankly, this annual PPV was quite a lot of fun, but as the lines between the brands began to blur even more, it became increasingly ridiculous to pretend that there was any rivalry between them. The show was abandoned in 2011, along with the entire brand extension. Source:

1. Taboo Tuesday

This short-lived idea was a combination of WWE’s attempt to see if fans would buy PPVs on a night other than the traditional Sunday, and a desire to increase the amount of fan interaction with the product. This was not the first time WWE would air a PPV on a Tuesday, attempting something similar in 1991 with a show titled “This Tuesday in Texas”, which was considered a failed experiment when almost nobody bought it. Taboo Tuesday, unfortunately, would suffer the same fate, as for its brief two-year existence, it was among the least-watched PPVs of the year, resulting in WWE moving it back to a regular spot and renaming it Cyber Sunday. As for the “interactive” portion of the content, fans were given voting options for every match on the card, and while the original concept allowed them to actually affect the show by choosing things like stipulations and even participants in matches, eventually WWE altered the voting options to the point that they only had minor, cosmetic effects on what aired, making the entire idea seem like a waste of time. Cyber Sunday was removed from WWE’s PPV schedule in 2008, and replaced by Bragging Rights, which we discussed earlier. Source:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.