The pandemic era has been hard on wrestling. Overnight, companies like WWE and AEW had to switch from touring the world, performing in front of crowds of diehard fans, and getting live reactions to empty arenas with a skeleton crew and only a commentary team to react to the action in the ring. The pandemic era has also been an era of much-needed innovation for wrestling as well, as companies learned new ways to keep the attention of their audiences. Cinematic matches, virtual audiences, and special episodes seem to pop up regularly, offering wrestling fans a little variety to go along with the "regularly scheduled" wrestling matches.
NXT has done a great job of keeping things fresh by diving into WWE's catalog of content and reviving WWE's aesthetics and signature elements and WCW's retired pay per views. So far, we have seen the revival of In Your House, The Great American Bash, and the upcoming Halloween Havoc. However, anyone with a WWE Network subscription can tell that tons of retired events could be brought back by the creative team at NXT. These are my picks for the five events that NXT should bring back.
5. New Year's Revolution
Maybe it isn't as nostalgic of a look as the 80s to mid 90s pay per views that NXT has brought back so far, but New Year's Revolution defined the mid-2000's WWE aesthetic. This pay per view had the look and feel of a WWE that was still rocking out to nu-metal and wearing Ed Hardy even after the rest of the world had moved on to The Black Eyed Peas and The Twilight Movies. It isn't the most fondly remembered era for WWE, and the event only ended up lasting for three years, but let's be honest, this pay per view kicked some serious ass!
If NXT were to revive New Year's Revolution, all I would want to see would be a recreation of the massive dragon at the entrance ramp and NXT's first-ever Elimination Chamber match! I love the elimination chamber match, and I am glad that it only occurs once a year, but if NXT had their own Elimination Chamber, I'd be fine to see the match twice just as long as one of the events includes a massive dragon at the entrance ramp. That dragon was pretty damn cool.
4. WCW Uncensored
The concept of WCW Uncensored is actually pretty simple, in the storyline, the WCW board of directors has washed their hands of all of the matches on the card, and they are officially "unsanctioned." This concept was downplayed later in the life of WCW, but I think that the all unsanctioned concept should come back with the NXT revival.
The great thing about uncensored is that it allowed for ridiculous gimmick matches and insane action to occur, but it never quite hit the level of violence that ECW did. NXT has shown that they are eager to mess around with stipulations this year, having featured their first-ever strap match and the creation of the gauntlet eliminator match. I think that this kind of event really does work in favor of the more creative minds in NXT, such as Adam Cole, Shotzi Blackheart, and Cameron Grimes.
With Uncensored, I do feel like NXT might be more willing to borrow the concept but leave the aesthetic behind. Maybe this event will get the WarGames treatment and receive an era-appropriate update.
3. WCW Road Wild
A lot has been said about WCW's decision to host a pay per view at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just because Eric Bishoff liked motorcycles. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is currently the butt of a lot of jokes in the wrestling community because of several COVID-19 cases tied to a Fozzy (aka Chris Jericho's band) held at the rally back in August of this year. Still, just being honest, a wrestling show at a motorcycle rally just sounds cool.
Now, I don't think that NXT needs to find the next biker rally happening and force their wrestlers and crew to potentially expose themselves to the virus that put us all in this mess to begin with. Still, I think it is totally reasonable to get a bunch of motorcycles in the new Captial Wrestling Center and maybe have some of the talent ride out to the ring on the back of a Harley. The matches themselves can be more like NXT's Great American Bash, big spectacle matches, dream matches, and stuff that would get a crowd pumped. The 1998 edition of Road Wild featured Jay Leno; maybe some other celebrity might want to get involved. The sky is the limit with this concept. Let's make it happen.
2. Cyber Sunday
What pairs better with virtual fans than letting those fans vote on the stipulations and contestants in the actual match? Honestly, I can't believe that WWE has not brought back the fan voting concept in some way recently. With the rise of social media, it is an easy way to get engagement with the audience, and it's so much easier to poll your audience now than it was back when these pay per views were initially running.
This is also another chance for NXT to play around with interesting match types and pairings that maybe wouldn't get booked in a traditional pay per view. Like Uncensored, I could see NXT taking the concept and updating the look to match more current technology. This one is a huge no-brainer to me, and I expect that NXT will be doing this concept in some form soon, even if they don't adopt the Cyber Sunday name.
1. ECW One Night Stand
ECW One Night Stand evolved into WWE One Night Stand, and eventually, even that evolved into WWE Extreme Rules. This pay per view isn't technically retired if you count the fact that Extreme Rules is a pretty popular event and is still occurring once a year, with the most recent event bearing the "Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules" moniker.
Aside from the fact that Extreme Rules as it is doesn't feature any NXT stars, something was lost when WWE removed the ECW title from their extreme pay per view, and I think that NXT needs to bring it back. Other than WarGames and the occasional street fight, there isn't really a ton of opportunity for NXT fans to get the kind of violence that ECW used to offer their fans. This could also provide a great opportunity for NXT to bring back the Fight Pit that was used in the blow-off to Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher's feud.
However, if NXT wants to revive One Night Stand, I really want to see two things happen. The first is for the event to go back to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. That ballroom made the first two installments of this pay per view feel like an event dedicated to ECW. I'm not sure if the venue could be retrofitted with screens to allow for a virtual crowd during the pandemic era, but I am also willing to wait for this revival if it means that One Night Stand can be back in the Hammerstein Ballroom.
The second thing that I want is for NXT to round up as many ECW cameos as they can possibly get. RVD just finished his contract with Impact; maybe he'll come back for a night. The Sandman seems to be open to bookings at the moment; maybe NXT can convince him to stop by. The Dudley Boyz will always come back to WWE as long as the check is big enough. Even if we don't see the ECW originals get back in the ring, it would be awesome to see them show up and support this new generation.
So there you have it! Which of these shows would you like to see NXT revive in the near future? Is there a pay per view or event that I didn't mention that you'd like to see revived? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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