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After much speculation and prodding from fans over the years, WWE has finally decided to use the “Starrcade” name, one of the trademarks WWE acquired in the purchase of WCW in 2001. It was announced today that a Smackdown-brand house show in November, taking place in one of NWA/WCW’s old stomping grounds of Greensboro, North Carolina, would be called Starrcade.
With WWE apparently being more open to using past WCW trademarks, what others could WWE revive to replace some of their unfortunately-named PPVs? WWE could stand to part with bland names like Fastlane, Payback, and even Battleground, while also ditching losers like Great Balls of Fire. The rest of WWE’s 2017 PPVs are set, so we’d be looking ahead to 2018 for these.
WWE has already used and abandoned The Great American Bash. WCW’s television specials, Clash of the Champions, has been re-purposed into Clash of Champions. Halloween Havoc has struck me as the most usable for WWE’s purposes, though it’d almost have to have a Halloween theme to it. WWE may instead want to use it to brand a house show or an episode of Smackdown rather than an entire PPV. It’s what GFW/TNA has done with their former PPVs, making them “special” episodes of Impact. WWE likes to get into the Halloween spirit around that time of year anyway, so why not subtitle Raw or Smackdown to make it sound more interesting?
Starrcade not only has the history, but the gravitas in its name to be worthy of a PPV. This is especially true if WWE ever decides to bring back the War Games match, something that has been discussed by fans as much, if not more, than what WCW PPV names should be brought back. Titling a house show Starrcade could simply be a way to try to increase ticket sales on Thanksgiving weekend; or it could be the first step toward making it a bigger event down the line.
Bash at the Beach would work only if WWE did a PPV at a beach. It would be a refreshing departure from a visual standpoint and set that show apart from other PPVs (aside from Wrestlemania). But WWE wouldn’t be able to draw big, so that’s probably out. Fall Brawl would obviously have to take place in autumn, but Survivor Series has staked out November. They could move Hell in a Cell to another month and do Fall Brawl in October.
Slamboree is reminiscent of a jamboree, which is probably a little too regional-sounding for Vince McMahon. Mayhem doesn’t have the lineage of other WCW PPVs, but it fits in with WWE’s current theme of PPV names and is better than some. SuperBrawl is too hokey and too similar to the Super Bowl. Being a PG company, Uncensored is out. Souled Out is too dark. World War 3 is too on the nose in this day and age.
Looking at the list, there are few real usable former WCW PPV names from a practical standpoint for WWE. Still, those few are still better than some WWE clunkers. We’ll see if Starrcade opens the door for more WCW trademarks to be utilized in the future.
(Greg Parks joins Wade Keller on the PWTorch Livecast a couple times a month, usually after WWE Smackdown. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.)