In addition to splittling the roster and bringing back Raw and SmackDown-specific pay-per-views, WWE announced earlier this year that it is increasing the total number of annual pay-per-views to 19, the most in the history of the company. SmackDown just staged Backlash, which returned after a seven-year hiatus, and No Mercy is making a comeback next month. Raw will have Clash of the Champions - originally a WCW event - on September 25th.
There are dozens of defunct pay-per-views for WWE to choose from, but here are the best options for 2017 and beyond.
King of the Ring
Being the King of the Ring used to be a prestigious honor, and the annual event started way back in 1985. It became its own pay-per-view in 1993 - at the time WWE only staged five pay-per-view events a year - and in 1996 it turned Stone Cold Steve Austin into a superstar.
King of the Ring ran out of steam (the last four winners were Booker T, William Regal, Sheamus and Wade Barrett), but the WWE roster is deep enough now that there could potentially be a men’s and women’s tournament filled with must-watch matches.
Invasion (WWE vs. NXT)
Invasion was a one-time only show in 2001 that pitted WWE stars against wrestlers from WCW and ECW (The Alliance). The rise of NXT gives WWE a perfect opportunity to showcase their rising stars in an annual pay-per-view. Imagine a card stacked with Shinsuke Nakamura vs. John Cena, Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles and Asuka vs. Sasha Banks. A re-imagined Invasion would give fans some fresh matches they haven’t seen before, and make NXT stars look even stronger for whenever they’re eventually called up to the main roster.
The month of October already has two pay-per-views on the schedule (No Mercy for SmackDown on the 9th and Hell in a Cell for Raw on the 30th), but No Mercy could easily be shuffled around the calendar in 2017. WWE is already reviving a WCW event in Clash of the Champions, and Halloween Havoc is a perfect brand for an October show. WWE might even have the old blow-up pumpkins lying around somewhere in storage.
No Way Out
There have been 12 events under the “No Way Out” brand since 1998, but it’s been more than four years since John Cena faced The Big Show in a cage match (which resulted in John Laurinaitis being fired). No Way Out has name recognition and a long history behind it, and it hosted some classic Attitude Era main events.
New Year's Revolution
New Year’s Revolution was a Raw pay-per-view for three years from 2005 to 2007, typically taking place the first week on January. Raw already has Roadblock scheduled for the December 18th later this year, but the return of an early-January event would line up perfectly for SmackDown ahead of the dual-brand Royal Rumble.
One Night Stand
One Night Stand was originally an ECW pay-per-view that became a WWE pay-per-view, and in 2006 John Cena lost his WWE Championship to Rob Van Dam in what was likely the toughest crowd of his career. The hardcore title is long dead, but one night a year where WWE stars are taking part in hardcore matches would likely be a huge hit with the older generation of fans.