So it’s officially that time of year. When the temperature soars past 20 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days in North West England, it’s fairly safe to assume that Summer has arrived. Pants have turned into shorts and jumpers and sweatshirts have morphed into t shirts and vests. Also, that special breed of female has arrived for their annual three month appearances on the city streets, with their combination of lovely low cut tops and brilliantly short skirts. It’s certainly a good time to be alive.
It is also a good time to be a wrestling fan as well. Well, it almost is. See, we?re only a few words away from having the finest Summer themed PPV gracing our screens once more. Those words are ??At The Beach?. With the WWE reducing The Great American Bash to simply The Bash, we?ve been left with a rather silly sounding PPV, which is not in any way Summer themed, let alone beach themed.
?What about Summerslam?? I hear you cry. Well yes, I know it’s the premiere Summertime event on the WWE’s calendar and to some is seen as the second biggest event of the year behind WrestleMania. However, Summerslam falls as Summer is drawing to a close at the end of August. What is needed is an event slap bang in the middle of the season which will drag people away from their paddling pools and sun loungers. It needs to be a celebration of all things Summer and all things wrestling. And what better event to combine these celebrations than the now sadly defunct WCW PPV Bash At The Beach?
The ?E? had no qualms in reinstating The Great American Bash, a former NWA/WCW staple event, from 2004-2008, so why not bring BATB back? For all WCW’s flaws, they certainly knew how to theme a PPV, something which the WWE, even with all it’s pyrotechnics and production values, has never been able to replicate. Anyone remember the giant inflatable pumpkins and faux graveyards that accompanied every Halloween Havoc? Too many of the ?E’s? PPV’s look the same nowadays. Sure the quality of the show is what’s most important to the paying customer, but would it kill them to let a props department run wild on a PPV set every once in a while?
What I would do differently with the Bash is have it at an actual beach. This is something I don?t believe WCW ever did. They simply set up a beach scene inside the arena instead. Which worked fine, but I think for visual effects and a more unique atmosphere, an actual beach is the way to go.
Also, the scheduling of the current Summer PPV’s would have to change as well. Extreme Rules would have to go for a start. It clutters up the calendar and serves little purpose apart from making fans part with even more of their hard earned cash. Then, I?d bring Night of The Champions forward to June and have the Bash in the middle of July, prime beach season.
By holding the event in July, Vince would be making the event the crown jewel of his Summer. Also, it means no long wait until the end of August like with Summerslam, and the company aren?t shooting their Summer wad straight away either by holding it in June.
Like I said earlier, it wouldn?t be so much an event, but a celebration or a party. Summerslam would deal with the more serious issues, like bringing major feuds to an end and perhaps launching new ones, whereas the Bash would provide a perfect transition from Night of The Champions through to Summerslam and basically, just be a whole mess of fun.
The WWE could really go to town on the event as well. Cities and towns could campaign to have their beaches host the event in the way cities audition to host WrestleMania every year. A weekend could be made out of the show as well, with superstars hosting beach parties and everything from chugging contests to wet t shirt competitions. On the day of the show, get a few guys manning some grills around the crowd whilst other guys provide cold ones straight from giant ice buckets. Maybe even have a stage for a couple of live bands to play certain superstars entrance music. Just make it something special.
Sure, the WWE go out of their way to make ?Mania special and also throw a pretty big promotional push behind the other three ?big four? events, and are going out of their way to theme some of their PPV’s with stipulations such as No Way Out utilizing two elimination chambers whilst Unforgiven has now been renamed Breaking Point and will feature primarily submission based matches. But do they have anything as unique as Bash At The Beach? They?d entice viewers just for the spectacle alone, just to see what happens when you throw a wrestling event at a beach.
The beach setting would also give the workers all kinds of freedom. Imagine guys fighting out into the sea, or burying each other in the sand. Imagine Jeff Hardy doing a swanton bomb off the top of the lifeguard tower. Who wouldn?t pay to see Umaga destroying some poor kid’s sandcastle that he’s spent all day creating? Better yet, think about the Divas applying lotion on each other prior to some kind of bikini contest. The possibilities are endless. The beach setting would also make for some grand entrances as well. I dunno about any of you, but I?d pay to see HHH water ski to ringside.
The only downside to all of this would be the small attendance the WWE would have to settle for due to the restrictions of not having it take place in an arena. The logistics of setting up the ring and an ample viewing area may prove to be quite tricky, but the uniqueness of the idea far outweighs any negative aspects in my opinion.
In the age of the ?WWE Universe? and the company wanting to give more back to it’s fans, especially during the current economic climate, I think holding an event amongst the people would be a fantastic idea. Why the WWE has never really implemented such an idea I don?t know. One would think that more Summerslam’s would have been held outdoors seeing as it’s forever been billed as ?The hottest event of the Summer? or ?The biggest party of the Summer?.
Also, imagine the build up to the show. John Morrison giving tips on how to get the perfect beach body, and Candice Michelle modeling various bikini’s. Not to mention a series of vignettes based around Vickie trying to get into shape for beach season. Vickie fighting Chavo tooth and nail for him to let her get lipo would be something I?m sure we can all agree would be must see TV.
So that’s what I think. How about you lot? Do you want to see more themed WWE PPV’s? Maybe like me you want to see a return of the Halloween Havocs and the Bash At The Beaches. Hell, maybe you marked for Hog Wild. Let me know at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter at @JoeBaia. I?m a hoot.
I liked the element of surprise with this week’s column as I myself wasn?t sure what I was going to write about until the last minute. So I?m going to continue the trend and leave you guessing as to what next week’s visit to the Casa has in store for you. Suggestions are also more than welcome. The weirder the better.
Until next time, it’s arriverderci from me.