25 Classic WWE PPVs to Binge While Social Distancing

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2020

25 Classic WWE PPVs to Binge While Social Distancing

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    Credit: WWE.com

    People around the world are adjusting to spending a lot more time inside their homes as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

    Many are struggling to keep themselves entertained without theaters, bars, restaurants, music venues and other places people go for a good time.

    You can only rewatch so many episodes of Lost and The Walking Dead before you need to look for new streaming options. This is where WWE Network comes in. Not only does the service contain almost every episode of Raw, SmackDown and numerous other shows, it also has every pay-per-view WWE has ever held, not to mention WCW events.

    Since everyone is looking for ways to fill their time, we thought it would be fun to offer up a list of 25 PPVs you can binge-watch on WWE Network while social distancing.

    This will not be a ranked list and is by no means meant to say these are the 25 best PPVs of all time. These are suggested viewing for anyone who needs a few hours to unwind and enjoy some grappling.

    Each page will contain a list of the top highlights and a description of at least one match you need to see. Some of the suggestions come courtesy of other B/R employees and writers. 

                                    

    For information about the pandemic and precautions to take, please see guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WrestleMania III

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    Top Highlights

    • Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis
    • Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat
    • Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant

    Few events in WWE history are as iconic as WrestleMania III. The main event featured Hulk Hogan defeating Andre the Giant for the WWE Championship.

    However, many will tell you that the best match of the night was Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat. Their technical prowess allowed them to steal the show in the Intercontinental Championship bout, and it proved WWE was more than just colorful characters.

SummerSlam 1988

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    Top Highlights

    • The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
    • The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man
    • Demolition vs. The Hart Foundation
    • The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Bucks

    SummerSlam 1988 is a lot of fun if you are a fan of '80s wrestling. Most of the important matches on the card were tag bouts, so teams like The Hart Foundation and British Bulldogs were front and center.

    The most famous moment from this show happened when The Ultimate Warrior ended The Honky Tonk Man's 454-day reign as IC champion in under a minute.

Great American Bash 1989

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    Top Highlights

    • Brian Pillman vs. Bill Irwin
    • The Steiners vs. The Varsity Club
    • Sting vs. The Great Muta
    • Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk

    The original focus of this piece was going to be WWE PPVs only, but another Bleacher Report writer felt strongly that this needed to be included.

    If you only watch one match from The Great American Bash 1989, make it Sting vs. The Great Muta. It is a great example of how WCW had more than enough talent to compete with WWE years before Nitro's debut in 1995.

    It also included a classic encounter between two legends when Ric Flair and Terry Funk fought over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

                                   

    This PPV was suggested by Donald Wood. You can follow him on Twitter, @Donald_Wood.

SummerSlam 1991

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    Top Highlights

    • Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
    • Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie
    • The Legion of Doom vs. The Nasty Boys
    • Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior vs. Col. Mustafa, General Adnan and Sgt. Slaughter

    SummerSlam 1991 featured so many memorable WWE stars, though Big Boss Man vs. The Mountie is one of those matches you might only appreciate if you saw it as a kid.

    The team of Hogan and Warrior was cool for fans at the time, but the match that made everyone take notice was Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect for the IC title. They put on a clinic that night, and it stands out as one of the best performances either Superstar ever gave in the ring.

This Tuesday in Texas 1991

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    Top Highlights

    • Bret Hart vs. Skinner
    • The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord
    • Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker

    Before WWE used to hold a PPV every month, and even before the In Your House era began expanding the schedule to include more than four events each year, WWE put on a show called This Tuesday in Texas in 1991.

    The rare Tuesday night event featured a huge main event between Hogan and The Undertaker for the WWE Championship. Unfortunately, the experiment of holding a PPV on a Tuesday failed, and this was the only show held under this name.

SummerSlam 1992

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    Top Highlights

    • The Legion of Doom vs. Money Inc.
    • The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage
    • Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog

    The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Macho Man might have been the WWE title match at SummerSlam 1992, but the main event was The Hitman vs. The British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Championship.

    Having Davey Boy Smith win the intercontinental title in England created an unforgettable moment. The match the brothers-in-law had that night still holds up to this day because of the talent of both Superstars. If you have never seen this one, you are missing out on a classic.

King of the Ring 1993

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    If we are going to tell you to watch the King of the Ring tournament in any year, it means you have to watch the entire tournament because skipping any matches takes away from the experience.

    KOTR 1993 was the first PPV under this name, and it featured a three-round tournament to see which WWE Superstar was worthy of wearing the crown.

    After defeating Razor Ramon and Mr. Perfect in two great matches, Bret Hart claimed victory in the final round against Bam Bam Bigelow.

    This show also included Hogan vs. Yokozuna for the WWE Championship, Michaels vs. Crush for the IC title and an eight-man tag match.

Royal Rumble 1994

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    Top Highlights

    • Razor Ramon vs. IRS
    • The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna
    • The Royal Rumble match

    If you grew up in the '90s, there is a good chance you remember seeing The Undertaker battle Yokozuna in a Casket match at the 1994 Royal Rumble.

    This is the kind of bout WWE was built on in the '90s, but it ended up being overshadowed by the Rumble match because The Hitman and Luger both claimed victory by eliminating each other at the same time.

    This led to both men receiving separate title shots at WrestleMania X against Yokozuna.

WrestleMania X

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    Top Highlights

    • Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart
    • Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger
    • Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon
    • Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna

    WrestleMania X was the 10th installment of WWE's premier event, so the company went all out to create a show nobody could forget.

    The two WWE title matches were great, but the biggest highlights were the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon and the brother vs. brother bout between Bret and Owen Hart.

    These contests stand out for completely different reasons. This is the event at which The Hitman and The Heartbreak Kid cemented themselves as main event-level talents.

SummerSlam 1994

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    Top Highlights

    • Razor Ramon vs. Diesel
    • Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
    • Tatanka vs. Lex Luger
    • The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker

    If you want to have a good laugh, watch The Undertaker battle his doppelganger at SummerSlam 1994 in a match WWE probably thought was way better than it was at the time.

    If you want to see some good wrestling, check out Bret vs. Owen inside a steel cage. The two most successful Hart brothers never had a bad match together, and this stands as one of their best.

Royal Rumble 1995

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    Top Highlights

    • Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon
    • Diesel vs. Bret Hart
    • The Royal Rumble match

    The 1995 Royal Rumble had a few standout matches. Razor Ramon and Jeff Jarrett fought over the Intercontinental Championship in a solid performance, and The Hitman vs. Diesel was one of the first times Big Daddy Cool looked like he could lead the brand.

    However, nobody can forget watching The Heartbreak Kid enter the Rumble at No. 1 and go the distance to win the match and earn a title shot at WrestleMania. It also featured an equally impressive performance from The British Bulldog, who entered at No. 2 and was the runner-up.

WrestleMania XII

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    Top Highlights

    • Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
    • Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega
    • Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

    The Ironman match between Hart and Michaels at WrestleMania XII is one of the greatest performances ever delivered in a WWE ring, but there is another match you need to see from this event too.

    Roddy Piper and Goldust had a bloody Hollywood Backlot Brawl that pushed the limits of violence on WWE programming before the Attitude Era began. Even though Piper won, both men benefitted from this bout because it showed the world they were capable of being more than colorful characters.

King of the Ring 1996

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    Once again, if we are going to tell you to watch a King of the Ring PPV, we are going to tell you to watch the whole thing because part of the fun is seeing who makes it to the next round.

    The 1996 event has been documented many times over the years because it featured the birth of Austin 3:16 during his famous promo after beating Jake Roberts.

    Stone Cold came into WWE as The Ringmaster with Ted DiBiase as his manager. When that didn't work, the Texas Rattlesnake shifted gears and took his career to a new level.

    Aside from the tourney, Michaels and The British Bulldog closed the show with a great WWE Championship match.

Canadian Stampede

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    Top Highlights

    • Triple H vs. Mankind
    • The Great Sasuke vs. Taka Michinoku
    • The Undertaker vs. Vader
    • The Hart Foundation vs. Ken Shamrock, Goldust, Steve Austin and The Legion of Doom

    If you see a card including Mankind vs. Triple H and The Undertaker vs. Vader, you know you are in for a show with some hard-hitting action.

    Candian Stampede was the 16th PPV under the In Your House umbrella, and it featured The Hart Foundation at full strength—Bret, Owen, Bulldog, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman—taking on a team of top WWE stars.

                               

    This PPV was suggested by Erik Beaston. You can follow him on Twitter, @ErikBeaston.

Survivor Series 1997

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    Top Highlights

    • Kane vs. Mankind
    • Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart
    • Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

    If you have never heard about why Survivor Series 1997 is so infamous, you are either very young or have been living under a rock.

    This is the night Vince McMahon pulled off the Montreal Screwjob to take the WWE Championship from The Hitman before he left for WCW.

    The show had some other fun matches, but Hart vs. Michaels is the contest everyone remembers for what happened at its conclusion.

WrestleMania 2000

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    Top Highlights

    • The Hardys vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz
    • Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle
    • Triple H vs. The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley

    WrestleMania 16 wasn't a cool enough name for the first 'Mania of the new millennium, so management stuck the year 2000 at the end of the title because it sounded hip—or something like that.

    The main event may have been a Fatal 4-Way featuring four of the Attitude Era's biggest stars, but this event is more famous for the tag team ladder match between The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian.

    Their use of chairs and tables made the bout more exciting and catapulted all six men from being tag team wrestlers to Superstars with main event potential.

WrestleMania X-Seven

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    Top Highlights

    • Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon
    • TLC match
    • The Undertaker vs. Triple H
    • Steve Austin vs. The Rock

    WrestleMania X-Seven is one of those events that has something for everybody. Some of the biggest stars in WWE history helped to make this one of the most memorable 'Manias ever.

    The Rock and Austin tore the house down, Taker and Triple H took each other to their limits and father and son fought as Vince and Shane McMahon went to war.

    If that weren't enough, Matt, Jeff, Bubba Ray, D-Von, Edge and Christian followed up their ladder match from WrestleMania 2000 with the first Tables, Ladders and Chairs bout in WWE history. It was a show packed full of highlights.

Survivor Series 2001

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    Top Highlights

    • William Regal vs. Tajiri
    • The Hardys vs. The Dudley Boyz
    • Edge vs. Test
    • Team WWE vs. The Alliance

    The Invasion angle gets a lot of flak from the WWE Universe but this storyline gave us some of the WWE vs. WCW dream matches we all talked about when Nitro and Raw were battling for ratings supremacy on a weekly basis.

    We got another chapter in the feud between the Hardyz and the Dudleyz in a Steel Cage match and a big main event featuring WWE's The Rock, Chris Jericho, Taker, Kane and Big Show taking on The Alliance's Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Shane McMahon.

    Also, take some time to watch Tajiri vs. William Regal. It is an underrated match that deserves to be admired.

One Night Stand 2006

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    Top Highlights

    • Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
    • Rey Mysterio vs. Sabu
    • RVD vs. John Cena

    When WWE first started holding shows under the ECW name, it tried to include as many former ECW Superstars as it could to make the fans happy.

    Rob Van Dam was an Extreme Championship Wrestling mainstay, and seeing him win the WWE Championship from John Cena was a special moment.

    We also got to see a younger, cockier Randy Orton take on Kurt Angle when he was at the top of his game. That alone should be enough reason for anyone to check out this show.

Royal Rumble 2008

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    Top Highlights

    • Rey Mysterio vs. Edge
    • Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy
    • The Royal Rumble match

    When you build a card around two matches like The Viper vs. The Charismatic Enigma and Mysterio vs. The Rated-R Superstar, you are going to have a great PPV.

    The Rumble match at the end of the night saw John Cena make a surprise return at No. 30 to win the whole thing by last eliminating Triple H.

    Cena had been out for months with a torn pectoral muscle, and everyone thought he would be out for several more months. When his music hit, the crowd exploded with cheers. That was the night everyone found out about Cena's superhuman healing power.

                                   

    This PPV was suggested by Jeff J. You can follow him on Twitter, @JeffJSays.

WrestleMania XXIV

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    Top Highlights

    • Money in the Bank match
    • Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
    • Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
    • The Undertaker vs. Edge

    WrestleMania XXIV is one of those events with several matches that could have served as the main event. Edge vs. Undertaker was great, but it was slightly overshadowed by a few other contests.

    CM Punk winning Money in the Bank was the moment it was clear he was meant for big things, and Orton vs. Triple H vs. Cena for the WWE Championship was a meeting between three of the biggest stars in the industry.

    The most memorable contest has to be Flair vs. Michaels in what ended up being The Nature Boy's final WWE match. It was everything sports entertainment is about wrapped up in a 20-minute package.

                                        

    This PPV was suggested by Anthony Mango. You can follow him on Twitter @ToeKneeMango

WrestleMania XXV

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    Top Highlights

    • Money in the Bank match
    • Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
    • The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
    • Triple H vs. Randy Orton

    CM Punk remains the only Superstar to win back-to-back MITB matches after his victory at WrestleMania XXV.

    The event also featured a grudge match between Matt and Jeff Hardy, another chapter in saga involving The Viper and The Game and the first of two classic 'Mania encounters between HBK and The Deadman.

    WWE went all out for the 25th WrestleMania, and it led to a memorable PPV with some must-see matches. 

SummerSlam 2009

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    Top Highlights

    • Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
    • DX vs. Legacy
    • Randy Orton vs. John Cena
    • CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

    SummerSlam is like a second WrestleMania every year, and in 2009, WWE put together a show with some amazing wrestling and great storytelling.

    Cena and Orton met for another memorable encounter, HBK and Triple H took on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a generation vs. generation encounter and the main event saw CM Punk win the WWE title from The Charismatic Enigma in a TLC match.

    One bout a lot of people sleep on from this PPV is Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler. This is a classic example of two guys in their prime giving everything they have to make a 13-minute match as good as it can be.

Money in the Bank 2011

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    Top Highlights

    • Raw MITB match
    • SmackDown MITB match
    • Christian vs. Randy Orton
    • CM Punk vs. John Cena

    The 2011 Money in the Bank PPV saw Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio claim victory in the SmackDown and Raw MITB matches, respectively, but it also included some other memorable moments.

    Christian and Orton had a fantastic match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but the one bout everyone will remember the most from this night is Cena vs. Punk.

    The Straight-Edge Superstar not only took the WWE title from his greatest rival, but he also departed the company with the belt the same night, leaving Vince McMahon standing speechless at ringside. It was all part of the story, and it was just one chapter of one of the best feuds of the modern era. 

                                     

    This PPV was suggested by Graham Matthews. You can follow him on Twitter, @WrestleRant

Royal Rumble 2017

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    Top Highlights

    • Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
    • Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
    • Neville vs. Rich Swann
    • John Cena vs. AJ Styles
    • The Royal Rumble match

    Most WWE PPVs have a lot of matches, but The Royal Rumble only had five in 2017. Honestly, you should just watch the whole show because every bout is worth seeing.

    Neville and Rich Swann made sure 205 Live was well-represented with a high-flying contest, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns did what they do best and the Rumble match saw Orton join the club for two-time winners.

    The standout contests from this event were John Cena vs. AJ Styles and Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair. These were four Superstars at the top of their respective divisions, and they showed everyone why they were in those positions with two memorable fights.

                                     

    This PPV was suggested by Eric Ball. You can follow him on Twitter, @EBall_BR.


    What WWE PPVs are you watching while stuck at home? Let me know on Twitter @BR_Doctor

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