Nostalgia is a funny thing in WWE. Especially when it comes to shows like WWE Breaking Point.
WWE have this notion that wrestling fans will lap up any single bit of nostalgia they throw at us. Goldberg winning the Universal Championship, RAW: Legends Night and The Undertaker’s Final Farewell all played on that feeling. While many were not successful, often alienating new and old fans in the process, it seems the creative is stuck on this one constant. That constant is… we need the Attitude Era.
Yes. The Attitude Era was a boom period for wrestling. Viewing figures would never be topped and the Monday Night Wars would bring more eyes to the product, but why does WWE not play for nostalgia in other areas? It seems anything pre-2000s is slammed onto our screens at least every month, but WWE need to be looking further ahead if they want to capitalize on nostalgia.
Late 2000s WWE
While the product wasn’t necessarily the best, late 2000s WWE has its fans. This time period is often looked at as borderline abysmal by corners of the WWE Universe. “Super Cena” was at his peak and there was a distinct lack of star power at the top of the card. However, this era has lots of high points. Jeff Hardy’s main event run, the incredible feud between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho and, most importantly, some great Pay-Per-View (PPV) concepts.
Remembering Breaking Point
Breaking Point isn’t the first great concept to be lost in the history of WWE. Cyber Sunday is a show that is screaming out to make a return. But for some reason, Breaking Point always seems to stand out. The execution of the show itself wasn’t perfect. The finish to the CM Punk/Undertaker match was questionable. The I Quit match between John Cena and Randy Orton wasn’t the best encounter between these two, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. The standout match on the card, however, is the Submission’s Count Anywhere match between DX and Legacy. This is match shows how great the PPV could be if given the right treatment.
WWE’s Old Approach To Work Rate
It is hard to believe how much wrestling has changed since 2009. Re-watching Breaking Point in 2021, the work rate is just nowhere near the quality that it is today. The opening contest saw MVP and Mark Henry take on Jeri-Show for the Tag Team Championships. Jericho and MVP hold this match together and it shows. Their interaction is what makes the match bearable. However, if you look at the performers both main roster shows have now, then there is no reason a strong card couldn’t be put together. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus putting on a match under Submission rules could be amazing. Their recent work has shown they can deliver both singles matches as well as gimmick matches.
The Best Of A Bad Bunch
Another issue surrounding Breaking Point is that it often falls into the same category of other “one-off” WWE PPV’s. Breaking Point came at a time when WWE was branching out with new gimmicks and very few of them succeeded. Fatal Four Way, Capital Punishment, Bragging Rights and The Bash just to name a few. The difference is that none of the previously listed shows had anything new to offer. Bragging Rights was just a rerun of Survivor Series while Fatal Four Way had to artificially insert four people into a feud. Breaking Point is the opportunity to introduce superstars into an environment they’re unfamiliar with. Stars like Riddle would fit perfectly into the Breaking Point environment and it would actually work well in getting those stars over. On the other hand, a superstar who isn’t familiar with a submission match can also benefit by coming out the victor. There is an arch and aspect of character building that can be done with a submission based stipulation and it is very rare WWE capitalize on these stipulations.
WWE Needs To Adjust Their Schedule
It’s no secret that WWE needs to adjust their PPV line-up. WrestleMania Backlash is staring us right in the face as an example of a show that could easily be replaced by Breaking Point. Hell in a Cell has been done to death and even Money In The Bank is losing some of its magic. Slotting a new gimmick show into the mix seems like it would at least freshen up some of the action, especially if well booked.
Closing The Book On Breaking Point
It would be a shame if we never saw another iteration of Breaking Point. It is a gimmick PPV that has some awesome concepts and match potential. Not only that, it offers the opportunity for some excellent character progression. Maybe I’m looking at the show through rose colored glasses. But if WWE continues to “spew” 90s nostalgia at every given opportunity, surely they can draw from the late 2000s and give us a second serving of Breaking Point.
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