Photo courtesy of WWE.com
You've probably never heard of The Wrestling Classic, so allow me to fill you in on its very simple concept: A one-night tournament.
In 1985, the WWE aired the first and only PPV under the "Wrestling Classic" moniker with a 16-man tournament in which The Junkyard Dog defeated Randy Savage in the tournament final and the show's main event.
Although there was nothing concrete on the line (no title or future title shot), the tournament-style show is something that I believe hasn't been used nearly enough in today's WWE.
The WWE calls itself "sports entertainment," and tournaments play huge roles in many of the biggest sports in the world. Tournaments are the basis for tennis, and are used in the playoffs for the NBA, NFL and MLB.
That is, of course, exactly what The Wrestling Classic was: A tournament to see who was the best on that given night at that given time.
Though there was no title awarded to Junkyard Dog when he won the tournament, a major push for him soon followed, as did pushes for a number of other stars involved in it.
Nothing shows that a wrestler is the real deal more than seeing him win four matches in one night against four of the most skilled athletes in the business.
With the WWE coming across more like a sport back then, the concept probably worked better than it would today. But it could still be a very effective way to blur the line between the scripted world of wrestling and the reality of sports.