The 20 Best WWE PPV Posters Ever
There are a few things that are sacred in life. This isn't to be disputed as it seems logical enough.
Aside form the obligatory answers of love and family and french fries, one of those things for me are posters.
Posters as we know them today are about 200 years old. According to historian Max Gallo, posters had been strung up all over the place for a variety of reasons. Their main purpose, as one could surmise, is advertising of either a political or mercantile natures.
Around the 1870s, with the perfection of color lithography, is when the heyday of posters came about and it hasn't looked back since. Whether they hang in your bedroom, outside a theater or search for them online is almost irrelevant.
Posters are designed to capture your imagination (and the money from your wallet as a result) and entice you like someone or something. They remain an effective piece of advertising and, for the most part, are just cool.
Every WWE pay-per-view since the very first WrestleMania has had an associating poster to hype the event. The reasons that people like certain posters vary as much as what they want on their pizza. Somethings just are what they are.
As such, this isn't meant to be a definitive list of the coolest of all time by any sort of measurable metrics or system. These are just posters that I like.
WWE's Invasion Pay-Per-View was originally to be Fully Loaded. However, the title was changed to take advantage of the ongoing "Invasion" storyline that was engulfing the WWE.
Shortly after the WWE (WWF at the time) bought out the WCW properties form AOL Time Warner and picked up the ECW name and properties from a bankrupt Paul Heyman, the WWE began a highly anticipated story where WCW and ECW talent, such as Booker T and Rhyno respectively, began an "invasion" of the WWE.
The alliance of WCW and ECW talents began escalating the scope and number of appearances on TV and PPV's, interfering with matches and doing various other run ins. The angle culminated into the aforementioned Pay-Per-View.
While the Pay-Per-View failed to really resolve anything between the "WWF" and "WCW/ECW" factions and the angle continued, the poster remains a testament to the audacity of the entire angle.
When I first saw this poster, it tickled my morbid fascination on a number of levels. It still does to this day.
For the record, Andre the Giant was 7'4". Hogan was 6'7". Was hogan standing on a couple of phone books when they took that photo?
WrestleMania III took place before over 93,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome. The Andre vs. Hogan feud had Vince seeing dollar signs, so the Survivor Series Pay-Per-View event was created continue drawing money from the feud.
Sometimes, the simplest forms of advertising is the best. Hogan and Andre staring at one another remains a cool thing to look at and it's telling on how hot the feud was in the late 1980s. Simply put, this was a testament to the drawing power wrestling possessed.
Torrie Wilson. Armor. Sword. Fire.
Good enough for me.
Torrie Wilson wasn't involved on the card at the Pay-Per-View and the event only drew 9000. With that said, it's still a cool poster to look at.
Fast forward six years and we get this one.
Chris Jericho, for most of his second run in the WWE, cut a dapper figure. Short hair, suits and an impeccable promo style and gimmick well suited for the smarmy political type, it's easy to see him pushing the giant red "End of the World" button.
Jericho challenged John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship and lost. Ultimately whether he got to push the big red button remains the subject of debate.
Breaking Point 2009
Breaking Point 2009 featured Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr) vs. D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) in a Submissions Count Anywhere Tag Team match. That said, the long stand duo lost to the up and coming Legacy.
The poster itself remains a solid advertisement for the Pay-Per-View and a strong play on the title on the title of the show.
An interesting thing to note is the name and logo likeness were included in the "WWE '12" game for the submission system.
Also, I'd like to thank a couple of readers who pointed out an error in this slide. Thanks for the save guys.
In Your House: St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999
If Vince showed up at your door, holding a bouquet of roses, blood dripping from his hand and wearing that scowl as only he can do, you probably should be saying some prayers.
In any case, poster is a nice play on the name of the Pay-Per-View and was an effective sell for it.
Vince was in the middle of his famous feud with Austin. Austin wanted a piece of McMahon badly so the match took place in a steel cage between the two.
A debuting Big Show tossed Austin through the side of the steel cage, technically giving Austin the win as one of the typical stipulations in a steel cage match is that victory can be gained either by pin fall, submission, or escaping the cage.
Cyber Sunday 2008
It really isn't a secret that CM Punk has been an darling of the Internet wrestling community since before he debuted with the WWE.
As such, the poster was always metaphorical for me for that fact and is a nice bit of digital editing.
Ironically, in staying with the Cyber Sunday concept where fans chose stipulations and matches for the Pay-Per-View, Punk wasn't voted into the card.
Fans were offered a chance to choose the Tag Team match and Cryme Tyme vs. The Miz and John Morrison narrowly defeated the match up of Legacy vs Punk and Kofi Kingston for the Tag Team Championship.
To quote the move The Matrix, It seems history isn't without a sense of irony.
No Way Out 2004
This was the scene of Eddie's sole World Heavyweight Championship win before his untimely death in 2005.
Eddie's gimmick at the time was the infamous "Lie, Cheat and Steal" gimmick where he would win by any means necessary. Eddie was featured on the card against the champion Brock Lesnar. In a highly memorable match, Eddie defeated Brock for the title and would go on to defend the belt at WrestleMania XX against Kurt Angle.
The poster itself is pretty clever for the use of the Eddie's gimmick and Eddie himself. Simple, straight and to the point.
Survivor Series 2007
Edge wielding a chainsaw will always garner points with me. The trench coat is simply a bonus.
The dust and canvas flying while Edge channels his inner-Bruce Campbell (of "Evil Dead" fame) is evocative of a lot of movie scenes full of either full on bad ass moments or possessing enough cheese to make the effort for watching worth while.
The fact the Pay-Per-View met with mixed reception is oddly appropriate in this case.
Sometimes, jokes are subtle when dealing with girth.
Than again, this is the WWE.
Yokozuna was one of the WWE's biggest heels in the early 1990's. The tag line "Somebody has to stop him!" was a reference to the infamous Lex Luger.
Luger and Yokozuna's feud started on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid after Lex bodyslammed the big man. To build the feud, the WWE rented a tour bus dubbed the "Lex Express" and had him meet fans from all across the country.
Luger was receiving a massive push after Hogan left the WWE for greener pastures. The end result featured iconic pictures like this and was full of corny moments.
Luger defeated Yokozuna by count out in the ensuing match up. Yokozuna retained the title while all the faces celebrated how awesome Luger and the U.S.A. were in another corny scene.
That said, the poster remains a lovely bit of corny humor.
Royal Rumble 1998
In the last 1990's, Austin was billed as the "Toughest S.O.B." in the WWE. From standing up to Mike Tyson to refusing to submit to Bret Hart's Sharpshooter, the WWE did everything possible to have him live up that monicker.
Austin won that installment of the Royal Rumble and went on to defeat Shawn Michaels (with some help from Tyson) at WrestleMania XIV for the WWF Championship (the precursor to the WWE Championship).
A pity that Austin never attempted this nail bit in real life. In the end run, I suppose he's done enough to make up for it.
Judgment Day 2006
Any Pay-Per-View where Undertaker jobs to The Great Khali is bound to be the subject of some sort of ridicule.
The poster, however, is clever in a number of ways. The gallows with the crow is a very strong reminder for the Undertaker and is a nice reminder of the name of the Pay-Per-View.
Overall, it looks like a very well done photograph.
Undertaker jobbed to Khali? Excuse me while I shudder.
Leading to Unforgiven 2001, Austin was feuding with Kurt Angle over the WWF Title while the "Invasion" storyline was still in full swing.
Austin was being pulled in several different directions. As leader of "The Alliance" and a heel, Austin was the face of a faction bent on the destruction of the WWE. Angle was a face and challenged Austin for the title as that year's SummerSlam.
Austin caused himself to be disqualified and retained the title as a result. Angle forced the issue with Austin by threatening to dump a blindfolded Austin into a river if he didn't give him a title shot at Unforgiven. Austin agreed and Angle unceremoniously pushed Austin into a kiddie pool.
The resulting match featured several kick outs by Angle before he made Austin submitted to the Ankle Lock to win the title. The feud continued with Angle and Austin trading title wins before the feud was concluded.
The poster remains one of my personal favorites for a number of reasons. Simply put, it's a great reminder of Austin's character at the time and of his insanity gimmick which was still in full swing.
Royal Rumble 1994
Royal Rumble 1994 featured an infamous situation where Bret Hart and Lex Luger eliminated each other. While refs argued over the situation, WWF President Jack Tunney ruled both men were "co-winners."
The poster, itself, is an effective piece of advertising which emphasized the chaos of the match. Doink holding the bucket of water for no apparent reason while every other superstar is exploding out of the TV is a nice touch.
In the wake of the Gulf War and the Sgt. Slaughter heel turn, the theme of patriotism was riding high as you can see in this poster.
Hogan defeated Slaughter in a 20 minute Main Event. The Event also featured the emotional reunion of Savage and Miss Elizabeth and helped the make the event memorable.
That said, the picture of Hogan "roiding out" while practically being draped in the American flag gives some chuckle worthy reminders of the bygone era.
In Your House 12: It's Time 1996
Finishing moves have a special place in the hearts of wrestling fans across the world. They signal that one unstoppable maneuver that should end an opponent either by knocking them out or making them tap out due to the pain inflicted by the move.
In the mid 1990s, two of the most feared moves in the WWE were Psycho Sid's Powerbomb and Bret Hart's Sharpshooter. As such, using it while underscore the main event of the Pay-Per-View was nicely done. Sid retained the title after defeating Hart.
Catching both moves in mid stride and using it on the Pay-Per-View poster isn't done very much by the WWE. None the less, it remains effective.
Cyber Sunday 2007
Aside from Candice Michelle in a short skirt, this is a very clever poster. Beyond that, the term that "sex sells" seems to be taken to heart with this poster.
The Cyber Sunday PPV series was an interesting concept. This particular poster featuring computer mouses moving towards Michelle, whom is apparently defending herself with a WWE branded mouse trap is nicely done.
It's easy on the eyes in a number of ways and with the WWE wanting to trap you into watching the PPV seems a nice bit of sub conscience pull. Michelle wasn't featured on the card in any way, similar to Torrie Wilson at the Armageddon 2002 Pay-Per-View.
But I said it before and I shall say it again.
Extreme Rules 2010
There were a few posters to choose from for Extreme Rules. All things being equal, I rather like Sheamus' crazy face over Rey Mysterio's insane eyes.
Sheamus was feuding with Triple H at the time. After being defeated at WrestleMania XXVI, Sheamus beat down Triple H on the following Raw and announced a Street Fight between them for the Pay-Per-View.
Sheamus defeated Triple H and the feud was in full blow off mode.
Sheamus' epic facial hair being the only thing in color on him is a nice touch for the poster.
Suvivor Series 1994
Survivor Series 1994 was headlined by a Casket Match between Yokozuna and Undertaker. This was a rematch from the infamous affair at Royal Rumble 1994. You can read the incident here.
The match featured Chuck Norris as a special Guest Referee. In any case, Undertaker defeated Yokozuna in the match.
Undertaker's undead gimmick is one of the best of all time and his attire has morphed with the various eras in the WWE. The tie withstanding, the poster remains a cool one. Compared to various other ones, this isn't the flashiest or most beautiful, but it gets the job done.
In my own opinion, "The Shawshank Redemption" remains one of the best movies all time.
In the iconic movie poster, if features Tim Robbins as the lead character Andy Dufresne in the rain with his shirt half opened while he's seemingly opening himself to the sky to be judged.
That said, while this poster is a pretty blatant ripoff, it's still a good one in it's own right and does a nice job underscoring the name of the Pay-Per-View.
Batista was involved in the main event, which the WWE's first rendition of their Championship Scramble match. Jericho replaced the champion Punk (who Orton punted in the head to eliminate from the match) and went on the win the title.
Thanks for reading! Do you feel your favorite Pay-Per-View poster was left off the list? Feel free to leave a comment below.