WWE: Power Ranking the Top 5 Pay-Per-Views of 2011

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2012

WWE: Power Ranking the Top 5 Pay-Per-Views of 2011

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    During the course of 2011, we were provided with a total of 13 WWE pay-per-views in a 12-month span.

    While some may argue that less is more, there's no questioning that quite a few of these events were highly enjoyable as well as some of the best shows we've seen in years.

    Although there were a few duds such as Over the Limit and Capitol Punishment, I believe I got my money's worth from a majority of the shows that I purchased. Even some of the gimmick events were succeeded, proving that innovative concepts deserve a spot on the pay-per-view schedule.

    With all that being said, sit back and relax as I present to you the top five pay-per-views of 2011.

5. Royal Rumble: January 30, 2011

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    In the premiere pay-per-view of 2011, the annual Royal Rumble event was an entertaining show all night long, despite the fact that a mere four matches transpired.

    Although the Divas Championship was the only title change, we were given two spectacular performances in the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships, respectively. Seeds were planted for a future feud between Randy Orton and CM Punk, as well as an impressive showing from Dolph Ziggler in his intense bout against Edge.

    By the night’s end, it was Alberto Del Rio who outlasted 39 other Superstars to fulfill his destiny by emerging victorious in the storied Royal Rumble match.

    With only a few more weeks remaining until 2012’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view event comes to fruition, expect a repeat performance from Ziggler in his upcoming WWE Championship opportunity.

    Although the annual bout has been reduced back down to the traditional number of 30 Superstars, this year’s show looks like an exciting kickoff on the road to WrestleMania 28.

4. Survivor Series: November 20, 2011

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    Only months before they meet on the Grandest Stage of Them All, The Rock returned to the ring for the first time since WrestleMania 20 to tag team with heated rival John Cena and take on the controversial coalition of The Miz and R-Truth.

    Sure, Rock and Cena’s victory was highly predictable, but it made for an entertaining match overall.

    Earlier in the night, the IWC was treated to a streak of pleasing moments including a surprise appearance from Zack Ryder, a very cool spot from Beth Phoenix and Wade Barrett continuing his barrage against Randy Orton.

    The main purpose of the Rock returning to the ring was to increase pay-per-view numbers, which it did, but not by much.

    There have been rumors Survivor Series will be removed from the pay-per-view line-up in recent years, but I hope it sticks around due to the annual elimination tag team match that always makes the show worth watching.

3. SummerSlam: August 14, 2011

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    SummerSlam had a tough act to follow after WWE Money in the Bank.

    However, not only was I wrong in my predictions for the show, but also I was left with feeling content knowing that I spent my money’s worth.

    Headlined by John Cena vs. CM Punk, controversy followed with the unpredictable return of Kevin Nash, as well as Alberto Del Rio’s huge WWE Championship victory. Not only did Edge make an appearance prior to the World Heavyweight Championship match, but later had some strong words for a crazed Christian before he dropped the strap to Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred bout.

    Next year’s SummerSlam event looks to be a blast, but hopefully they can advertise more matches prior to the event so I won’t be on the fence about ordering the show.

2. WWE TLC: December 18, 2011

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    Going into WWE TLC, I was uninspired by the build-up leading up to the event, especially since officials backstage didn’t have much confidence that the buy-rate would be decent.

    Many viewers, me included, were proven wrong that December night, as it resulted in the most shocking pay-per-view of the year.

    In what was the start of a new era in WWE, young stars such as CM Punk, Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan all left with gold around their waist. Not only that, but the action was solid all-around as well.

    Additionally, John Cena wasn’t even featured on the card. What else can one fan ask for?

    This pay-per-view was solid for the third year in a row, as its unique stipulations make for an enjoyable show.

    Expect 2012’s event to be no different.

1. WWE Money in the Bank: July 17, 2011

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    Of the 13 pay-per-views presented in 2011, it is safe to say that WWE Money in the Bank in July takes the cake for the greatest pay-per-view of the year.

    Unlike any other candidate on this list, every aspect of the show was absolutely perfect. From the desirable results to the excellent hype, it was truly the most memorable show in a long time.

    Chicago was left in shock that night as CM Punk walked away with the prestigious WWE Championship. Despite it being by disqualification, Christian was able to defeat Randy Orton to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship.

    Both Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio solidified their legacies by capturing Money in the Bank briefcases. Mark Henry’s demolition of the Big Show was the start of what would be the biggest monster push in recent history.

    Now that I finally own the DVD after receiving it as Christmas gift, I look forward to watching it on replay for the next six months.

    Recently, it’s been reported that the Money in the Bank Ladder Match would be returning to WrestleMania following a brief absence, leaving the July pay-per-view up in the air.

    I surely hope it returns, as it has become the most shocking and controversial event of the year.


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    As an honorable mention, I'd also like to include the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view from last February. Although most matches on the card were predictable, the return of Christian and Trish Stratus was shocking.

    Do you believe that the pay-per-views I provided on my list are incorrectly ranked? Is there another event that is worthy of a mention as well that I failed to include?

    Make sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on the list, as well as any additional insight you have regarding the outlook of these events and more going into 2012.

    As always, your criticism and overall feedback is greatly appreciated.

    GSM out.

    Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant and Spoilers podcasts for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, rumors, reviews and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.