This is a chronological list of pay-per-views promoted by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Each month, WWE holds one or two annual pay-per-view events. One event is usually three hours long and features six to twelve matches. Pay-per-view events are a big part of how the WWE earns money.
Many people believe wrongly that the first WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), pay-per-view was November 1985's The Wrestling Classic. This was a tournament held at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago. The first WrestleMania event, in March of the same year, was on pay-per-view in some areas. The first two WrestleManias earned much money. After WrestleMania III became one of the best events in wrestling history, the WWF then decided to have more pay-per-views.
The first Survivor Series event took place on November 291987. It was shown at the same time as NWA's Starrcade which was thought to be the biggest yearly event for NWA. The WWF informed cable companies that if they were showing Starrcade, they would not be allowed to show future WWF events. Most companies showed Survivor Series. Because of this, Starrcade did not make much money that year. This is thought to be the start of many problems for Jim Crockett Promotions.
The first SummerSlam was held in Madison Square Garden in August 1988. These four events - the Royal Rumble in January, WrestleMania in March or April, SummerSlam in August, and Survivor Series in November - were the only annual pay-per-view offerings (other than the King of the Ring) from the WWF until 1995. After World Championship Wrestling (WCW) started showing more pay-per-views, the WWF increased the number of pay-per-views it showed. At first, the WWF used the name In Your House for its new shows. Beginning in 1996, it began using other names along with the In Your House name (such as Bad Blood and No Way Out). This was done to avoid confusion. By the end of February of 1999, the In Your House name was no longer used.
Both companies increased the number of pay-per-views until they each had one pay-per-view event each month. From the late '90s until 2003, World Wrestling Entertainment had a once-a-month pay-per-view schedule. The pay-per-view events in the United States can be bought through iN DEMAND, Dish Network or DirecTV.
Up until 2003, the WWE ran two pay-per-views a year which were only shown in the United Kingdom. After the brand extension, they stopped doing these two events. Instead of the UK events, they did international tours which were taped for television. Currently, WWE has the WrestleMania Revenge tour, after WrestleMania, at the beginning of the year and the Survivor Series tour, at the end of the year, in the UK. Each includes a RAW, SmackDown!, and an ECW taping.
In June 2003, WWE decided to only use people from one brand extension for many of its pay-per-views. Only the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series events used people from different brands. WrestleMania and The Royal Rumble were the only events with wrestlers from different brands competing against each other. This allowed WWE to show more pay-per-view events, such as Cyber Sunday and The Great American Bash. From late 2005, they decided to change this and matches with people from different brands were shown more often. In March 2007, it said they would stop only using one brand on each pay-per-view. All of its pay-per-views would have matchs from all three brands. The one-brand-only events were: