Bring it Back!: International Pay-Per-View Events

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March 15, 2012

While WWE has its roots firmly planted in the United States, there’s always been a unique electricity that accompanies its Superstars when they travel abroad. Today, with WWE’s ever-expanding global reach, it makes sense that it should once again expand its pay-per-view events to other countries. In the wake of the tremendous success all around the world in places like Australia, China, Mexico, France, Italy and the most recent tour of Dubai (PHOTOS), calls for the return of international pay-per-views!

Arguably WWE’s most beloved international venue, the United Kingdom has played host to a number of pay-per-views over the years. Most memorable among them was SummerSlam 1992 — an event that drew one of the largest crowds in WWE history. Billed as “The SummerSlam you thought you’d never see!” tickets to the Aug. 29, 1992, show presented at the historic Wembley Stadium sold out in a mere 10 hours as 80,355 members of the WWE Universe packed into London’s most famous venue.

Those members of the WWE Universe lucky enough to secure a seat inside witnessed an explosive Intercontinental Championship main event as Bret “Hit Man” Hart defended his illustrious title against his brother-in-law, The British Bulldog, who was doing battle in his backyard. During a match that many consider to be the greatest in SummerSlam history, the massive crowd rose in unison with every near fall, growing louder as the seesaw bout raged on. Thanks, perhaps, to the deafening sound of his countrymen behind him, Bulldog overcame the Sharpshooter and rolled Hart up for the victory. With Bulldog’s wife Diana and the rest of his family in attendance, Wembley exploded into a wall of sound. (WATCH | PHOTOS)

Just as memorable as the classic bouts inside the ring that night was the scene surrounding the ring. The enormous British crowd was incredibly loud and seemed to move as one with the ebb and flow of each match. Every time the camera panned over the audience, television viewers saw a mind-boggling sea of people, giving those watching at home on pay-per-view the feeling that they were experiencing an instant classic.

Since that unforgettable SummerSlam, WWE returned to England on several occasions to bring pay-per-view action back to the UK. Events like Capital Carnage in 1998 and 1999’s No Mercy were hugely successful shows and live on as WWE home video release “Tagged Classics.” (PHOTOS)

Bringing back a major pay-per-view to jolly old England is well past due. How great would the crowd response across the pond be if an upcoming SummerSlam in Britain features a bare-knuckles brawl between Manchester native Wade Barrett and Blackpool’s own, William Regal?

If WWE’s history of UK dominance isn’t enough to convince you, though, there’s further evidence that WWE can once again achieve attendance records abroad. WCW has a proud history of shows in Japan, as evidenced by three straight years of Starrcade in Tokyo Dome. Combing WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest stars, Starrcade featured some classic matches and boasted massive attendance numbers. (PHOTOS)

Bringing today’s generation of WWE Superstars to The Land of the Rising Sun for a pay-per-view event would undoubtedly be a huge deal, likely to be covered nonstop by Japan’s mainstream press. And who better to headline the show than Chris Jericho, who spent years honing his craft in Japan?

Today, WWE has a growing stable of international Superstars, including Japan native Yoshi Tatsu, Canada’s Tyson Kidd and Mexico’s Alberto Del Rio. Just imagine the scenes in these Superstars’ native lands as they welcome home their WWE heroes.

WWE has a long, proud tradition of international pay-per-views, and we think the timing couldn’t be better to bring them back!

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