Old PPV Names WWE Should Bring Back After NXT Great American Bash
WWE has restored a former pay-per-view title to its calendar by dubbing this and next week's NXT as The Great American Bash.
The title dates back to 1985 when it was an NWA event, then a staple of WCW's lineup before WWE acquired the asset. While the company used the title from 2004-08, as well as a generic variation of The Bash in 2009 and a special edition of SmackDown in 2012, it has sat on the shelf ever since.
And there are plenty of other PPV names in WWE's possession that could be brought back like The Great American Bash.
All the Calendar and Holiday Names
With the forthcoming NXT shows straddling July 4, using The Great American Bash to reference Independence Day makes perfect sense. And WWE should apply that logic to other times in the year.
In Your House 5 in December 1995 was retroactively subtitled Seasons Beatings, which could be the umbrella category for all these holiday-based names.
New Year's Revolution made its return as a subtitle for the live-event tour in January, which should be a recurring thing.
March to WrestleMania is perfect for that month, which should lead into Spring Stampede for April and May.
WWE has been using ECW's Heat Wave on its tour for the summer months leading to SummerSlam for years. Then, Fall Brawl—the original prefix for WarGames—should follow suit in the autumn months from September.
Any episode of Raw, SmackDown or NXT that happens to fall around October 31 should be dubbed Halloween Havoc. The sets are normally already decorated with pumpkins and feature themes such as the Trick or Street Fight, so there's no reason not to give it the moniker.
No Way Out and Rage in the Cage
Hell in a Cell comes around every autumn, and at least one match on the card is played out within the structure. But what about other shows that might employ the standard steel cage?
In 2010, WWE stopped using the No Way Out title and opted instead to call the show Elimination Chamber. It's a bit bland but makes sense to boost the trademark recognition.
That opens No Way Out for future use in other shows, though, if a cage is involved. In Your House 6 in 1996 was subtitled Rage in the Cage, which also fits the bill.
Stomping Grounds was created only last year, but it was taken off the calendar for 2020 and may never return.
What's baffling, though, is how WWE hasn't utilized that name during a time when every single show takes place at the Performance Center.
Considering the term means "a place where someone regularly spends time" and has connotations that point back to someone's origins, it's a must while fans are kept away during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Your House was used to call attention to everyone being stuck in their homes, so NXT TakeOver: Stomping Grounds would be a great name for the next special, which could be split between the Performance Center and Full Sail University.
SuperBrawl, Battlebowl or Halftime Heat
Last year, WWE brought back Halftime Heat after a 19-year absence. It still serves a purpose to piggyback off the Super Bowl and should be revisited whenever possible.
However, the company's partnership with Fox has put that on hold for the time being, as Triple H clarified in a media call before TakeOver: Portland in February.
Nixing that time slot prevents Halftime Heat from returning, but that doesn't mean WWE can't still play off the Super Bowl by having Super Brawl or Battle Bowl as a special edition.
SuperBrawl and Battlebowl are on the list of trademarks Cody Rhodes has tried to acquire for AEW, so if Vince McMahon wants to retain ownership, he may have to find use for them soon. Next February would be the perfect time to pull them out.
Before Survivor Series became the "one time a year where Raw and SmackDown go head-to-head in competition" as its tagline and selling point, there was Bragging Rights.
This short-lived event only took place in 2009 and 2010, but its concept is still fundamentally sound 10 years later.
WWE needs to avoid doing too many brand-competition shows, but it might not hurt to bring this one back at a time time of disappointing ratings.
In January, Worlds Collide had the theme of NXT vs. NXT UK, which also would have been a good spot for Bragging Rights.
Perhaps it would be better to do TakeOver: Bragging Rights with those two sides of NXT battling it out, while Worlds Collide events in the future could just utilize talent from all five brands in random matches without having a win-loss counter determining the superior group.
There's no reason Breaking Point couldn't have become a regular PPV name alongside Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Extreme Rules and other recurring events.
It's just as cool of a title, if not better than many of the other shows WWE has run far longer.
What stopped that from happening was WWE's submission-match theme for the 2009 show, which hindered its pizazz. It's hard to create a card with more than one I Quit-style match without feeling redundant.
But it doesn't have to be that, if it were to come back. WWE almost made King of the Ring the name of the United Kingdom Championship tournament and stopped having One Night Stand as an ECW show. No one would make a fuss if Breaking Point wasn't a submission-themed event.
Timothy Thatcher, Matt Riddle, Drew Gulak, Daniel Bryan and plenty of other Superstars have the submission credentials to put on a match that would feel special enough for a TV show with this subtitle.
Fastlane and Roadblock: End of the Line
After five years, it was surprising not to see Fastlane on the pay-per-view lineup this year, as it had become a fixture of The Road to WrestleMania season.
An arguably better name that was used during that stretch of time was Roadblock in March 2016. Confusingly, though, WWE brought the same name back in December of the same year with the subtitle End of the Line.
While that makes sense to cap off a year, the Roadblock better fits The Road to WrestleMania period.
WWE could have some fun with this by having a Roadblock to WrestleMania special house show, as well as a No. 1 contender's edition of Raw or SmackDown under the Fastlane moniker.
Global Warning, International Incident and Capitol Punishment
WWE staged an Australian tour in 2002 that was called Global Warning and released on DVD, rather than a pay-per-view.
Just as Seasons Beatings could be a catch-all for certain themes, Global Warning could act as a universal term for "WWE travels around the world and puts on a live show in specific spots."
When Brock Lesnar went to Tokyo in 2015, WWE called the special "The Beast in the East." If another big event were to happen outside America that wasn't a Crown Jewel or Super ShowDown, International Incident could be its moniker.
The one Capitol Punishment event in 2012 took place in Washington, D.C. Whenever WWE returns to a venue in that area for Raw or SmackDown, it wouldn't hurt to brand it a special with that title.
Location-based names don't have to be as generic as TakeOver: New York and the like, but WWE is kinda corny in many ways and fans chuckle at these hokey titles.
Any time it seems WWE is putting more effort into making the local audience feel special, there's more of a chance bigger droves of passionate fans will show up to the arena.
Names That Should Be Non-PPV Events
Not all PPV names should be brought back as major events or special television episodes. Some could work better as subtitles for other avenues.
Battleground may not come back now that there is a new WWE video game Battlegrounds, which is a better use for the name if it can become a series.
Beach Blast was only a WCW show for 1992-93 and has largely been forgotten. If WWE ever has a beach-themed live event, this could fit perfectly.
As Slamboree is a play on the word "jamboree," which means a large celebration or party, that could be a great name for a gathering of fans like WWE Axxess.
ECW Battle of the Belts could be used for marketing around Clash of Champions or for the brand vs. brand champions matches at Survivor Series.
Generic PPV Names with No Theme
On top of all the other names suggested, there are still plenty of titles WWE could bring back that are worth talking about but don't have a theme to build around.
While we all know we're getting a ladder match with a briefcase at the top of it at Money in the Bank, nothing has to be guaranteed for generic events such as Backlash.
In the same vein, nothing is stopping WWE from slapping the subtitle Payback on any show in the future, and the same goes for Vengeance, Judgment Day, Unforgiven, Armageddon and Bad Blood.
No Mercy is a fantastic title WWE shouldn't sleep on and should be a regular part of the lineup as is.
Fully Loaded and Over the Limit are severely underrated names that could make shows feel like they're jam-packed with great matches.
WWE has these assets and it doesn't do any good to not use them, particularly when a change in graphics and a subtitle can make an otherwise ordinary show feel significantly more special.
Hopefully, with The Great American Bash making its return, WWE has realized this and will continue to bring back other PPV names for events to come.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.