Place To Be Greatest Wrestling PPV List-A Mania Analysis

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We heard the PICs draft their TV shows for their “networks” a few months ago, now it is time to flesh out the programming with some PPVs.  I will go pick by pick giving my thoughts and then declare my winner at the end. If you’ve listened to the podcast, don’t forget to check out the draft results and make your vote here.

Round 1:

Pick 1 – Scott: Wrestlemania 3

This is an obvious choice on the surface.  However, if you know both Justin and Scott’s taste in wrestling you could make an argument that Scott over reached by taking this #1 overall since Justin doesn’t have as high of value for this show as most.  I acquaint it to if the Atlanta Falcons get one of the first picks in the upcoming NFL draft, they won’t be looking for a QB because they already have Matt Ryan.  All of that being said, I do agree with Scott in picking this show first overall and I also appreciate his bravado in absolutely not putting it to chance that he wouldn’t get this show.  Wrestlemania 3 is his baby and his best available show so he went and seized the opportunity to snag it.

Pick 2 – Justin: Wrestlemania 17

The other gold standard to hold all other PPVs up to.  TLC 2, Rock vs. Austin, Triple H vs. Taker, Vince vs. Shane, Benoit vs. Angle.  That is a murderer’s row of top stuff.  Regardless of how you feel about the ending, this show is the absolute peak of the most successful run in the most successful US Company in the history of professional wrestling.  Worthy 2nd overall choice.

Round 2:

Pick 3 – Justin: Great American Bash 1989

The first real blowaway quality wise PPV.  Yes, Wrestlemania 3 has an all-time classic in Savage vs. Steamboat, a main event that workrate should not judge and some other fun stuff on the undercard.  This show from the Paul E vs. Cornette tuxedo fight (Yes, you heard me correctly) is tremendous.  The final four matches build on top of each other and are really different overall.  The main event chaotic scene between Flair and Funk is one of my favorite endings to a PPV and the match is in my top 10 NWA matches of the 80s.  I was curious to see where this one would land and was pleased it went this early.

Pick 4 – Scott: No Way Out 2001

This is an awesome “B” PPV featuring what many consider to be one of the best matches in company history. This is not a one match show like Wrestlemania 13 though, as the main is a great match in its own right and the undercard is filled with very fun matches.  I expected this to go in the top 10 picks and have no problem with it being #4 overall.

Round 3:

Pick 5 – Scott: Summerslam 1998

This show is a little sneaky.  It doesn’t have the all-time classic match that the other picks to this point have, but it does have two matches that are very close to that standard.  The show also builds beautifully and really has a storybook feel to it that culminates in the Highway to Hell main event.  #5 overall would have been the earliest I would have considered this a decent pick and getting the best Summerslam from one of the most premiere WWF events is not a bad choice Scott made either.

Pick 6 – Justin: Royal Rumble 1992

Since I didn’t criticize Scott for picking up in his mind the best Summerslam, I can’t fault Justin for taking the best Royal Rumble.  In a lot of ways this also parallels Summerslam 1998 with a climatic main event.  The undercard is fun if unspectacular but does have Piper achieving gold.  I do feel this was a slight reach in this position as while the Rumble match is around 40% of the entire PPV, the other 60% besides the Piper moment is just not that good and there is a ton of better top to bottom PPVs in my opinion.  From a programming standpoint, this would be a show where I would be channel surfing through the first two hours, then stay locked in for the main.

Round 4:

Pick 7 – Justin: Spring Stampede 1994

Top to bottom fabulous show.  Match in and match out, I put Spring Stampede 1994 up against any other PPV.  It also has the distinction of featuring a chaotic ECW brawl in Nasty Boys vs. Cactus Jack/Maxx Payne, and old school Memphis brawl with Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes, a hoss match with Vader vs. The Boss, and then a technical masterpiece main event with Flair vs. Steamboat.  The only real dog on the show is Muto vs. Austin and even that is a cool match to watch in retrospect.

Pick 8 – Scott: Starrcade 1985

This was the first big surprise of the night.  Magnum vs. Tully is in my top ten matches of all time.  If you just judge the show alone, Dusty winning the belt at the end feels like a triumphant moment, and Scott can program this show to pretend the “Dusty Finish” never happened.  The rest of the undercard features a lot of good if unspectacular action.  WCW tried to brand Starrcade as its main PPV and failed miserable trying one misconceived concept after another.  Here, most goes right and this is the best Starrcade in history.  In the confines of this draft though, there was only eight slots total allotted for WCW PPVs unless one of the guys used a flex spot.  WCW had at least 15-20 PPVs that I wouldn’t have scoffed at if they had made the list.  I also doubt this PPV was even in Justin’s stratosphere so I think Scott could have picked something else here and snagged this one later on in the draft.

Round 5:

Pick 9 – Scott: Summerslam 1989

Another really good top to bottom show with some real high end stuff like Warrior vs. Rude and Brainbusters vs. Hart Foundation.  There is some slow spots within this show but Scott has really beefed up his Summerslam roster with his first two picks in that slot.

Pick 10 – Justin: Wrestlemania 19

The WWE’s version of GAB 1989.  The first hour is solid but from Jericho vs. Shawn on, this thing really cooks.  That match is really great and is followed by a bevy of uniquely awesome stuff like Vince vs. Hogan, Rock vs. Austin and the Angle vs. Brock main event.

Round 6:

Pick 11 – Justin: In Your House -Canadian Stampede

Another no brainer “B” PPV choice.  I do think this show looks slightly worse in retrospect than when it happened.  The Sasuske vs. Taka match is lessened a little bit on repeat viewings.  Still instead of a card with one super main event, one great match, and two very good ones; it is now just one super main event and three very good undercard ones.  A breeze to blow through at two hours too.  Good value picking this up here.

Pick 12 – Scott: Wrestlemania 10

I really wrestle with this show and where it should be placed.  Perhaps the only show with two ***** matches on it and a feel good moment at the end.  The rest is pretty horrid though.  I will say that I think this one could have been held back a few picks and I like certain Manias overall better.  This again feels like a good chunk of channel changing would be occurring throughout.

Round 7:

Pick 13 – Scott: Survivor Series 1988

This pick shocks me.  The tag match is really good and the main event is good build towards Wrestlemania V but there feels like a lot of stuff is left in the canon before I would go for this one.  Honestly don’t think this would be a top 5 Survivor Series for me.

Pick 14 – Justin: Fully Loaded 2000

A really good PPV but I also think it was the worst pick from Justin so far. There is a lot of PPVs surrounding this era of WWF that are either just as good in my opinion or not that far off.  Especially in regards to the secondary shows, where you have 12 slots to fill.  I would have waited and grabbed higher value elsewhere in other slots.

Round 8:

Pick 15- Justin: Wrestlemania VI

I have debated this show enough with everyone so I will just say that I think the majority of the viewing audience won’t see this as a bad pick and it is Justin’s favorite.

Pick 16 – Scott:  Royal Rumble 2001

This is my favorite top to bottom Rumble.  I think I am more forgiving to the Angle vs. Triple H match than most and the actual Rumble match is one of the best in history.  I liked this pick.

Round 9:

Pick 17 – Scott: Chi Town Rumble 1989

Flair vs. Steamboat is amazing.  The undercard has plenty of good matches including Windham vs. Luger that a ton of people are big fans of (I merely think it is good).  This PPV is another off the radar choice that again could be lumped in the vast amount of WCW PPVs.  I think this is another choice Scott could have held off on until later.

Pick 18 – Justin: Summerslam 1992

I am not even that big of a fan of Bret vs. Bulldog and I still think this takes all the atmospheric elements of Wrestlemania VI and puts on a better overall card.  Really nice show to have for uniqueness and quality.  Sumemrslam has a huge history of great shows as evidenced by this draft.

Round 10:

Pick 19 – Justin: Summerslam 2002

Top to bottom this is a great show.  Most people say the three most important matches on the card are the main event, the semi-main, and the opener.  This hit a homerun on all three fronts.  Michaels vs. Triple H is my favorite Shawn match from his return up until the end of his career.

Pick 20- Scott: Survivor Series 1996

Austin vs. Bret is an amazing match.  The main event is an amazing match and moment.  Rocky’s debut in the company and some other decent action.  Not a terrible choice at all with Scott stocking up on Survivor Series picks.

From here on out I will give both picks simultaneously and give a few brief thoughts on each.

Round 11:  Summerslam 1991 (Scott), Money in the Bank 2011 (Justin)

Scott continues his MSG push.  Summerslam 1991 doesn’t have a blow away great match but from top to bottom is a lot of fun (minus the main) and featured one of the best booking stretches in WWF history.  Justin getting Money in the Bank at the 22nd pick overall feels like great value as it is a top 5 WWF/E PPV to me.

Round 12: Vengeance 2005 (Justin), Vengeance 2003 (Scott)

Two Vengeances come of the board here and two good picks for both.  2005 features one of the last true blow offs in recent memory and 2003 is a really interesting show in retrospect with great action and the rise of a lot of today’s stars.

Round 13: Wrestlemania 22 (Scott), Superbrawl II (Justin)

Wrestlemania 22 is an odd choice.  Solid top to bottom stuff throughout but nothing really spectacular and no blow away great matches.  I would have gone some other options here.  Superbrawl II gets overlooked a ton.  Rude vs. Steamboat is a super match.  The two tags are both great and the opener is hot.  I think you can argue that this show has 4 **** matches on it.

Round 14: One Night Stand 2005 (Justin), Judgment Day 2000 (Scott)

This is my favorite 1-2 punch of value picks so far.  One Night Stand could have been a top 10 overall pick.  WWE produced a perfect reunion type show.  Judgment Day 2000 is also a good pick and goes into what I was saying earlier about the Fully Loaded 2000 pick.  I actually like this show a smidge better and Scott got it seven rounds later.

Round 15: Halloween Havoc 1997 (Scott), Royal Rumble 2000 (Justin)

Havoc 97 is another one I have trouble ranking.  The DDP vs. Savage match is my favorite of the trilogy and Rey vs. Eddy is amazing but Age in a Cage is atrocious.  Royal Rumble 2000 here is super value and the best Rumble undercard ever.

Round 16: Extreme Rules 2012 (Justin), Survivor Series 2002 (Scott)

Justin gets my PPV of 2012.  Extreme Rules doesn’t have the relentless quality stuff that MiTB 2011 does but is still a really great overall PPV.  Survivor Series 2002 rounds out Scott’s slots in that category and is my 2nd favorite Survivor Series.  The Elimination Chamber has been a go to match for WWE for over a decade now.

Round 17: King of the Ring 1993 (Scott), Royal Rumble 2007 (Justin)

These two picks are interesting but not bad in either regards.  King of the Ring produced some horrible PPVs and then some good ones.  I think 1993 is clearly the best with the three Bret Hart matches as the centerpiece.  Rumble 2007 gets overlooked but it has my WWE MOTY in Cena vs. Umaga, the great old school tag opener, Mr. Kennedy at his peak, and a very fun Rumble with the best Rumble final stretch.

Round 18: Spring Stampede 1999 (Justin), Royal Rumble 2002 (Scott)

I am not crazy about the WCW pick.  One, I think Justin could have held off and snagged this one later.  Two, I think other better WCW PPVs are still on the board.  This was the best WCW PPV from 1998 to the end of the company and DDP winning the title was a shocking moment.  Scott’s first Rumble pick is a good one. A solid undercard and fun PPV that I got to witness live.  I don’ t think the PPV has too much sizzle to it overall besides the Triple H Rumble victory.

Round 19: Wrestlemania 8 (Scott), No Mercy 2008 (Justin)

This is a round I prefer Scott’s pick.  Wrestlemania VIII is a poor man version of WM X with two **** and a feel good moment at the end.  Having said that, I like WM VIII in round 19 much better than WM X in round 6.  No Mercy 2008 is a very good PPV and show but besides the main event and Hardy vs. Triple H, I just don’t see a lot of high quality action there.  Not an awful choice, but not a PPV I expected to be in the upper half either.

Round 20: Summerslam 2013 (Justin), No Mercy 2002 (Scott)

I like both these picks a lot.  No Mercy 2002 is a better PPV overall than No Mercy 2008 that Justin just picked.  Summerslam 2013 is so recent but I think it is safe to say it at least has two classic matches and a lot of other good stuff surrounding it.

Round 21: Backlash 2000 (Scott), Survivor Series 1992 (Justin)

Another round I go with Scott.  I like Backlash 2000 with all around good action and the really good template main event.  Survivor Series 1992 is not a show I hate, but I feel I am less high on it than most and the Bret vs. Shawn match seems aimless at times for me.

Round 22: Royal Rumble 2004 (Justin), Starrcade 1983 (Scott)

Royal Rumble 2004 is a very good Rumble.  I think the undercards are better elsewhere but now Justin has the 1st and 2nd best Rumble matches in his possession.  Starrcade 1983 is not a bad pick at all.  The Race vs. Flair match has some big fans and at the least a really cool moment.  Piper vs. Valentine is an all-out war and both tag matches are very good.  This show really set a template on what a supercard can look like.

Round 23: In Your House 5 (Scott), No Way Out 2000 (Justin)

No Way Out 2000 is the last of the truly great 2000 PPV’s to come of the board and is still good value here.  “Chad will faint when he hears this pick.”  ………

Round 24: Heatwave 1998 (Justin), Living Dangerously 1998 (Scott)

Not much to analyze here since they are two shows near back to back with each other. I like Heatwave a good deal better so I have to go with Justin in this round and I think Heatwave 1998 was the logical #1 ECW PPV to be selected.

Round 25: Summerslam 1997 (Scott), King of the Ring 2001 (Justin)

I like both of these picks for a variety of reasons.  One, Scott uses his first flex pick and I think Summerslam 1997 is a worthy choice as Summerslam overall has 9-10 great iterations and you are only guaranteed six roster spots.  King of the Ring 2001 is another top to bottom solid show with a good main event and Shane McMahon nearly dying.

Round 26: King of the Ring 1996 (Justin), St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (Scott)

I like this round for Scott.  Two secondary shows but St. Valentines feels like a really big show and again has two really good matches on at the end.  KOTR 1996 has three good matches and the iconic Stone Cold promo but also has a good bit of filler.

Round 27: TLC 2011 (Scott), One Night Stand 2006 (Justin)

TLC 2011 was a surprising pick for me but not an awful overall show.  However, I think One Night Stand 2006 is one of the best value picks of the entire draft.  Two super matches and a great atmosphere make ONS 2006 just one step behind the original.

Round 28: Wrestlemania VII (Justin), Armageddon 2002 (Scott)

Scott’s PPV choice has two good matches but I am not a fan of the Triple H vs. Shawn three stages of hell match and that match being this show’s centerpiece hinders it overall.  Mania VII is one of the more underrated Manias but it is now getting its due as it continues to age.  Hot opener, solid main event, some really fun stuff in the undercard with the Nasties vs. Harts tag and the blindfold match and of course one of the best WWF matches of all time in Warrior vs. Savage.

Round 29: Wrestlemania 14 (Scott), Backlash 2009 (Justin)

Backlash 2009 has a great main event and a really fun undercard.  I have to go with Scott in this round though as I do think Mania 14 is one of the 10 best Wrestlemanias in history and a good overall show from a flow standpoint.

Round 30: Turning Point 2009 (Justin), Royal Rumble 2008 (Scott)

This is a tough round to judge.  Scott hanging around for Rumble 2008 is good value here and Cena’s appearance is one of the most shocking things in wrestling in the past 10 years.  Justin though grabbed my #1 TNA PPV of all time from a top to bottom standpoint.

Round 31: Lockdown 2013 (Scott), SummerSlam 2001 (Justin)

Lockdown was a good PPV with some fun matches but I find plenty of TNA PPVs that I have seen to be better.  I am not the highest fan of SummerSlam 2001 but Austin vs. Angle is great, the main event is good, and the undercard is solid.

Round 32: Wrestlemania 28 (Justin), Unforgiven 2006 (Scott)

I just don’t really like Mania 28.  The Hell in a Cell match is not that good to me and the main event feels bloated and unfocused.  Unforgiven 2006 is not my favorite show either but I do like the Cena vs. Edge match better than any match at Mania 28 and I do think there were better Mania choices available.

Round 33: Wrestlemania 29 (Scott), Wrestlemania 20 (Justin)

Easy win for Justin here.  I loved hanging out with the crew for Mania 29 but when the most memorable moments from the day involve people dressed up as Bushwhackers in the parking lot that is not a great reflection on the actual show.  I also thought the crowd was pretty awful.

Round 34: Unbreakable 2005 (Justin), Bad Blood 1997 (Scott)

Another tough round to judge.  Badd Blood gives you the great HIAC match that really was a trendsetter for the era to come in the WWF.  Unbreakable 2005 secures Justin my #1 and #2 TNA PPV’s overall.  I judge this one too close to call.

Round 35: Barely Legal (Scott), Hardcore Heaven 1997 (Justin)

This being both drafters’ 2nd ECW PPV, it is pretty easy for me to give this one to Scott.  The M-Pro match is good, Taz vs. Sabu is a very good match even though it may not have been the one the crowd wanted and Funk winning the belt is a feel good ending moment.

Round 36: IYH 2 (Justin), Royal Rumble 2003 (Scott)

IYH 2 is a good bad PPV because you at least get a diamond in the rough match with Jarrett vs. Shawn.  However, for the bad PPV slots I was expecting GAB 1991, Heroes of Wrestling, etc so I don’t know if IYH 2  is really bad enough to warrant inclusion.  Rumble 2003 wouldn’t have been my choice for the final Rumble slot (HI 1991) but it is not a bad overall show with a technical classic, a decent Rumble and at least some comedic gold in Triple H vs. Steiner.

Round 37: Bound for Glory 2006 (Scott), Wrestlemania 11 (Justin)

BFG 2006 is again not a bad TNA show overall and had some major developments, but I just think there are plenty on the board that are better.  Mania 11 is the type of bad show I was hoping for as it feels as un-Wrestlemania as you can get.

Round 38: Survivor Series 1995 (Justin), IYH: International Incident (Scott)

IYH: International Incident again goes into my concept of yes it is bad, but not THAT bad.  Survivor Series 1995 hanging out for Justin in these last two rounds was a suave strategy that paid dividends for him.  That show overall is all about the main event and the wild card match and one of the better Survivor Series shows.

Round 39: Wrestlemania 2 (Scott), Survivor Series 2001 (Justin)

Now Scott is talking.  It is a miracle that Scott’s fandom didn’t end right there with watching this show with his dad.  Survivor Series 2001 is another smart pick this late.  I love both these picks as Round 39 selections.

Round 40: Wrestlemania 23 (Justin), No Way Out 2006 (Scott)

Have to go with Justin on this one even though No Way Out has a super main event and I wouldn’t sleep on that Orton vs. Mysterio match either.  Mania 23 would have been one of my 6-7 Manias selected and I prefer it over Mania 28, 14, and maybe even 7 and 20.

5 best PPVs left on the board:  Slamboree 1994, Wrestlemania 21, Wrestlemania 24, Royal Rumble 1991, TLC 2012

Overall Thoughts:  We saw a mixture of strategies in this draft between a mixture of eras and best available shows from Scott and a template draft strategy from Justin.  Justin went in knowing he would be weak in Survivor Series and accepted that fate.  Overall both strategies are effective and I must commend both guys on doing a great job picking and making it extremely entertaining to listen to.

Overall Winner in Chad’s opinion:  JUSTIN

Author: Chad Campbell

Chad Campbell is assistant managing editor of Place to Be Nation and co-host of Where the Big Boys Play Podcast. He is waiting for the next Atlanta sports team to break his heart. Send Chad an email