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The post-PPV world of the near-future.

Scott,

Let's assume that 5 years from now, most or all WWE PPV/"Special Events" are not on Cable or Satellite but exclusive to The Network.

In such a scenario is there any reason for them to keep having so many "Special Events" a year?

The entire reason they started doing monthly PPVs was to compete with WCW, and that was 20 years ago!

Why do they not adjust their business model to reflect the fact that once "real" Pay-Per-View is dead, there is no reason to have events every month?

Once "real" Pay-Per-View revenue has finally dried up to nothing, there's really no incentive to spend the money on producing them every month, is there? 

-Paul.

​Yeah, but TNA did that approach and look what happened to them.  They lost all focus in their storytelling and turned into a bunch of week-to-week TV that didn't lead anywhere.  It frequently happens with WWE as well if there's too long between shows -- the writers spin their wheels for four weeks and then do two weeks of build once they realize that they HAVE to.  Look at how much better NXT has become now that things build to quarterly specials, for another example.  The booking needs a target, an endgame, something.  It's become the nature of the business now.  ​

Comments

  1. Scott, I think Paul was questioning the existence of monthly specials and was not advocating for the elimination of all specials. I think you're bit about NXT actually answers the question. If WWE were to break it back down to Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble, they'd be on the same quarterly format as NXT. Now, the real question is why NXT can build to quarterly shows why WWE writers have problems maintaining focus for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

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  2. And the answer is, Vince isn't rewriting the NXT shows every week.

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  3. NXT is ONE hour shown once a week.
    WWE is SEVEN hours across four shows a week. There is a big difference in the amount of tv time used to build up to the quarterly special.

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  4. Yeah, I understood it was obvious. I was just pointing out that both Scott and Paul are actually in agreement.

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  5. They can't stop the monthly PPVs because many people get the network just for the PPVs and if there is no PPV that month they will cancel that month and that's no good for WWE.

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  6. As the comment above notes, the main draw of the Network is getting the PPVs for free. So dropping them would kill off the Network aside from 4 months of the year. So there's that, too.

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  7. One of the things, that I know will be tough to do with 5 ridiculous hours of Smackdown and RAW every week is to cut down on having all of the stars on every show. They have a bib enough roster where they could actually do it. Cena doesn't need to be on every week. Seth Rollins as champion could only show up for some promos and should only wrestle at the bigger events. More time could be spent on mid-carders to help flesh our their feuds and backgrounds. Then they could go back to the IYH/Clash of Champions kind of model where once a month they have a show everyone is on that blows off or continues storylines into one of the big events. Writers are burnt out and have no direction because every week we have the same stuff. Allow some flexibility would be helpful.


    Shows before the Monday Night Wars didn't feature EVERY star. Then WCW and WWF/E loaded up to compete, but there is no competition now.

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  8. WWE is in a safe zone and WWE continues its path of being quite short sighted because, while it hasn't made them more money over the last few years it hasn't made them lose that much either.



    It's going to take something unplanned or a fluke situation for the WWE to step out of their comfort zone and find that one thing that will either catapult them in to new highs or hurt them drastically.



    PPV's Special events dont even need to have wrestling matches on them to appeal to an audience as they already have your money. A PPV was about building something people would pay to see, now the Network is about creating content that will make people fork over ten dollars a month and continue to do so.

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  9. I would cancel the network immediately if they stopped doing monthly events. I don't have enough time to watch much old stuff so that is literally all I'm subscribing for.

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  10. 1997 was the best year of writing imo. They weaved stories together very well without giving everything away or hot shotting. A few takeaways from that year:


    1) People in a feud DO NOT have to interact every single week
    2) It is possible to feud with more than one person
    3) Wrestlers should have some sort of relationship with each other and it doesn't have to be a stable. I don't have a personal relationship with my dept manager but we will BS with each other every time we are in the elevator together. HHH/Steph don't even acknowledge 85% of the roster.

    4) Nothing wrong with using the nothing shows (Feb, May, Dec) to build to bigger shows.

    5) This is one is a personal request. Stop using the opening 20 minute promo to setup the main event. It is beyond tired.

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  11. Are Superstars and Main Event not just filler for international broadcast? Recaps and matches featuring JTTS?

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  12. Why should it cost more to "produce" a PPV than making a RAW or SD show? Hell, it should be even cheaper, because you don't have to write so many backstage and non wrestling segments, because most of the time is filled by actual wrestling (at least it should be).

    On the other side, shouldn't they not make even MORE PPVs or special events, because they aren't making as much money as before on the network? (for example, they could make some mini events every two weeks, which are only 1-2 hours long featuring only 1-2 high quality matches like Elimination Chamber or something like that).

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  13. I'm all for Tournaments Are Awesome. Something like G1 Climax, matches take place on TV and at house shows (if NXT can use matches from Axxess, I see no reason why not) and the winner gets a WHC title shot at the next PPV. Easy way to build mid carders and sell the Network.

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  14. Cena vs Orton,one more timeApril 12, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    6) Kane was actually cool back then.

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  15. 7) Big Show wasn't on tv

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  16. It seems to me that it's the expectation of weekly television shows, not monthly pay-per-views, that really keep you from getting back to late 80's style booking. You can't just be running the same programs at house shows with squash matches on TV in between four or five pay-per-views financially, and yeah, having 2+ months of TV in between the pay-per-view shows would make for a booking nightmare.

    Now, at a $10 price point I think they can get away with designating, say, five MAJOR events, and then make the rest a combination of special attraction type shows (Money in the Bank, Elimination Chamber, whatever) and straight up B-events with big time tag matches for a main event or something, and still get away with it.

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  17. Strangeley enough, VINCE RUSSO of all people always seemed to take the best approach to monthly Pay-Per-Views, as they were treated as stepping stones to Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series rather than some stuff happening to fill TV time. Of course, since it's Russo, by 1999 you got a bunch of schizophrenic hotshotting between the big shows, but there was still an endgame and a long-term plan for each quarter of the year.

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  18. You'd think it was simple: make people pay to see the World Heavyweight Champion wrestle. He shows up on Raw and/or Smackdown, but you only get to see him in action by paying $9.99.

    And you can easily make that part of their character motivation. Heels would relish making people pay for them and being able to rest and recuperate while everyone else busts their ass on the weekly shows. I mean, what heel worth his salt defends his title more often than the 30-day window requires??

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  19. That sort of ship has sailed, though, as long as WWE isn't presenting itself as any kind of sports competition, but rather a variety show.

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  20. And yet Big Show and Kane are in the main event of Raw nearly every week.

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  21. It's jarring nowadays to watch 93-mid 95 Raws where you were lucky to have HBK, Bret, and Razor show up once every taping cycle or two.

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  22. Just finished Backlash 06. One of the matches was Big Show and Kane lol.

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  23. They kinda brought it back with Brock, but then they just didn't mention him or the title for a few months until he showed back up. Baby steps, I guess.

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  24. Meh, I think 1999 gets a bad rap these days. Was there a dizzying amount of shit going on? Yes, but it was covering up for a pretty weak midcard in terms of roster and viewers were absolutely eating it up. I'll take that over 1995 or something like that.

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  25. I think that both live TV and the PPV's are essentially the same production wise, but the live TV shows have almost all of their cost picked up by the USA Network. The PPV's are fully funded by the WWE.

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  26. 8) Roman Reigns hadn't hit puberty yet.

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  27. May 19! Then, Festus shows up as fake Kane shortly after.

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  28. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighApril 12, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    MAY 19th!

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  29. I'm a big tournament fan, and it sucks that Vince or whoever apparently hates them and they rarely are done anymore.

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  30. One other major consideration: big city arenas. As a guy who lives in Los angeles and went to house shows as a kid, a couple raw tapings and 2ppvs (kotr and summerslam), I would never go to a raw taping or house show again. House shoes mean squat for title matches and the faces usually win. Raw starts way too early (5pm) and good luck getting there with la traffic on a work day. However ppvs are the only ones that would usually fill a big arena and have people pay higher prices

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  31. Is he? He could always rig it so every ends up with exactly the same number of points and no-one gets over.

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  32. They should do Coliseum Video-like specials for the Network, and use matches from international tours. Get some footage of the Superstars(TM) wandering around Tokyo - or wherever - as vignettes and, bam, take my money.

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  33. The stuff is so simple. Instead of putting in minimal effort they instead put in zero effort.

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  34. The effort is there, just look at the YouTube stuff, but I'm guessing none of that goes through Vince or that he wouldn't understand its appeal anyhow.

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  35. That's too much effort we have to put in!!

    -Vince

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  36. This makes sense. The youtube channel is really a hidden gem that I don't check out nearly enough

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  37. I bumped into this channel on youtube that shows all the promos that led to a certain feud. If WWE network did stuff like this then I'd actually subscribe. The one building to MX vs Arn and Tully is hella good and I highly recommend it.

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  38. I thought about this, and there's two ways to handle champions:
    1) face champion takes on all comers, wrestles mid careers every week and serious threats at the big shows- like Bret Hart's first reign
    2) heel champion only wrestles when he has to, and everyone under him has to scramble for the #1 contenders spot like hungry animals, like how the #2 headband worked in Afro Samurai.

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  39. I covered a WCW house show for my college newspaper during one of the rare times they came to town.

    I was able to score an interview with Wrath, who at the time was was enjoying a major push.

    He was a nice, personable guy, but I was having difficulty getting him to offer up something in the way of a nice quote or something that would fit nicely into the story.

    He was facing one of the mid-card title holders that night (maybe Booker T?) and I tried to goad him into giving me a good kayfabe-style quote by asking if he was ready to win the title that night.

    He looked at me, shrugged and said "Nah. Nothing important ever happens on a house show anyway. Unless it happens on TV, it might as well not happen at all."

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  40. Just saw this on the channel's front page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKpJpzrfaG4


    Include that sort of video as part of a tag team tounament. It seems so straightforward.

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  41. This is why I love the OSW Review videos (can't wait for the NWO2001 ep). I love that kind of context.

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  42. I'm pretty sure that fans in general don't like tournaments, as the KOTR PPVs always got the lowest buy-rates when they were on. Uncertainty seems to be a major turn-off for western audience when it comes to this.
    In Japan on the other hand they just love the format, since every promotion does a couple of Tournaments every year (NJPW alone does 4; the NJ Cup, the BOTSJ, the G1 Climax and the World Tag League, plus any one or two-nights tourneys they sometimes run on house-shows).

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  43. Who wouldn't watch a show featuring stuff like this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6AzBmh3eLQ

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  44. Exactly! Get Bill Apter in to provide the WWE-approved version of history, show the relevant matches (with links to any related interferences, etc) and there's your show.

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  45. I'm amazed they still run house shows anymore. It seems like such a relic from the past. I'm guessing they're profitable since the do them but seems like such a waste of time

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  46. I took my sister to a Smackdown house show in the weeks prior to the brand split officially coming to an end.

    Honest to goodness, I have never been so bored as I was for those 2 1/2 hours.

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  47. I actually prefer house shows to tv tapings. You get to see stuff that just doesn't happen on tv. I saw Tyler Breeze wrestle in Sacramento and lost my mind when he came out. I saw Punk vs Regal for the IC title. I saw Ricky Steamboat referee a title match. I've been to at least a dozen raw and smackdown tapings and with the waiting around with commercials, watching backstage interviews on a screen and whatnot, it can get boring. I'd rather see the guys go out and just wrestle.

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  48. Man I just sealed my own fate as a wrestling fan: decided to go back and watch the Rise and Fall of ECW on the Network. Watching something where they took guys who could do almost nothing and using creativity to turn ECW into the last truly revolutionary thing to happen in professional wrestling, and then comparing that to now where they have a roster full of some of the best talent in history and characters that carry huge potential for drama and building fan support, and seeing how they completely fail to use all those elements to make a compelling television show? I just can't do it anymore. After WM30 I really thought they were on the verge of a new era and we were about to see all the things i'd been clinging onto hope for actually come to fruition. Nope. Over the last year it's just been systematically broken down to where even the two dozen (not a fucking exaggeration in the slightest) characters I would undoubtedly tune in every week just to see, aren't enough to keep me watching. NXT isn't even enough to keep me interested in the long run. After a solid quarter century of fandom I just don't care anymore.

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  49. Honestly, I think I'm gonna give McMahon, Cornette and whomever else the credit for the good monthly booking, and Russo all the credit for the schizophrenic hotshotting, and title changes the night after the PPV.

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  50. I feel the same way about modern day wwe. It's just never going to be the same as what it once was. On the flip side, I've been enjoying the hell out of njpw and nxt. I bought a little stack of pwg dvds and I'm looking forward to watching those. There's still good stuff out there, you just won't find it on tv every Monday.

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  51. Or more shows like this. This could be an hour a week easy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYL3iSS9hZU

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  52. The effort they put in goes to shit no one is interested in, like the Jerry Springer nonsense or the South Park ripoff.

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  53. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 12, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Agreed. And I find "WWE style" boring as shit, so I can't even get excited about the possibility of a good match. And the production is downright terrible.

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  54. Warehouse is a fun show. So of course, it has no place on the Network.

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  55. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 12, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    Sunday thread is up.

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  56. I finally saw Dunn's zoom in/zoom out style when Bryan was throwing kicks in the corner. Imagine Dunn doing that when Austin was stomping a mudhole in someone? Barf!

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  57. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 12, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Shitcanning him and replacing the commentary team would make WWE SO much better regardless of the booking.

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  58. I hate questions like this, where the guy is basically asking why WWE haven't reacted accordingly to something that hasn't happened yet. And, as everyone else has probably noted, monthly specials are kind of a big draw for the Network in the first place. They'd also be crazy to take themselves off PPV entirely, because there'll always be some who'll pay $60 for a single PPV instead of $10 for a month of the Network. Don't ask me why, because I don't know, but it's be proven enough times. Hell, the fact Survivor Series pull any number at all in the U.S. when the Network was completely FREE should tell you all you need to know about that.

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  59. IMO the biggest problems with KotR were: champions not being involved, non-tourney matches on the card, short matches, and in later years fewer rounds of the tourney.

    With no champions, you're eliminating 2 (and in later years 3) guys who are likely prominent figures so the talent pool is immediately shallower.

    When you have other matches on the show, they eat into the time available for the tourney, which leads to shorter tourney matches. It's led to a few "mini-classics" in the past like Owen-Kid, but it's hard to care about a tourney when most matches are 5-7 minutes long.

    And for '01 and '02, they moved the quarterfinal round, leaving only the semis and finals for the PPV. A friggin' 4-man, 3-match tournament for $40. GTFOH.

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  60. I think now is the perfect time to break away from the monthly 'PPV' model and go back to 4-6 annual special events. They're already doing that financially with the many free Network months.

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  61. It is on there, in the "As Seen On YouTube" section. But I get your meaning.

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  62. Great post. 100% agree with every point.

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  63. I hate how Vince uses his wrestling shows to advertise his other shit projects. I understand why he does it, I just hate it

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  64. Not just profitable: it's still the backbone of the business.

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  65. Try telling the USA Network and the sponsors that have paid for commercials that John Cena isn't showing up, and see how well they react.

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  66. The big selling-point of the Network is that you get the PPVs/Specials included. If you go back to having 4-6 big events per year, then you're essentially telling the audience that there are only 4-6 months out of the year when they should subscribe.

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  67. "Uncertainty seems to be a major turn-off for western audience when it comes to this"
    Yet we watch sports playoffs no problem.....

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  68. Well obviously you don't tell them...

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  69. WWE has worked themself into a tough corner because simply eliminating some of PPVs would save millions, but they need to continue doing them to give their TV direction, and to serve as a selling point for the Network. They're essentially a loss-leader at this point, yet also the creative focal point of the company. That's all well and good right now that the brand is still strong, but if that changes this current business model is a disaster and will have to be changed.

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  70. 9) Allegedly

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  71. There is no uncertainty with the G1, everyone is wrestling everyone announced in their bloc.

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  72. I'd like to see a WWE Special on Ribera Steakhouse next time they swing through Japan

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  73. The solution is to charge $25 quarterly, so people save $20 a year and are signed up all the way through each special.

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  74. It's why Teddy Long was so great on Smackdown. He interacted with everyone, but never stole their thunder. People would ask him for matches, try to get him fired etc.

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  75. Again, personally I think alternating WWE PPVs with NXT ones every other month is the best thing to do.

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  76. I felt the same after Punk got derailed in 2011, I honestly couldn't believe they bollocksed that up so completely in such a short space of time. I tuned in for Mania but I was done as a full time WWE viewer, I didn't even have any hope that Bryans push into 30 was going to last (not happy about being right on that one). There's just so many Indy companies that do more with much less these days, I'd rather pay to watch Progress once a month rather then sit through 3 hours of Raw or 2 of Smackdown.

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  77. I still think they should charge an extra $5 each in the months for WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerFest.

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  79. That sounds awesome. What is the channel?

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  80. If the purpose of the tournament is to create a new challenger for the Champion, then what's the point of having the Champion compete?
    Also, the quarterfinal round being out of the PPV happened as soon as 1996, and the model remained as that for 97 and 98. And I suppose that they saw that the PPV when based on the tournament alone didn't sell, and that was why they added all the other matches (and least we forget, even the 1993 edition featured a tag match, Intercontinental title match and a WWF title match, so even in the beginning they didn't trust the format to sell). Also, being honest I understand the difficulty of having to manage a 3-hour PPV with 7 guaranteed matches, with extras on top (notably, with the title matches having to take some time).
    Also, the $40 pay a 3-matches PPV AND all the other matches on top of that, so you aren't exactly paying that amount for 3 matches.

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  81. That's because they use the Round Robin format, coupled with the fact that Japanese wrestling cards are mostly made up of tag matches (house-shows specially can consist of nothing but tag matches), while single matches are few and between, usually kept for the big tour-end shows.
    Another thing that makes Tournaments so popular is precisely that, the fact that you're guaranteed that some match-ups will ONLY happen on the G1, and other will may only occur once that year outside of the tournament (a title match mostly), which makes stuff like the G1 a big-time attraction.

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  82. It's weird I know, but maybe because wrestling is staged the majority of the audience prefers to be certain that they will have that specific match they want at the PPV they paid for, and dislike the "risk" that the final match-ups may be considerably less desirable.

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  83. The best wrestling promos of all time

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  84. Simple: don't have a tourney for that purpose. Have it just to see who can win it. If the champ competes and then loses in the finals or semi-finals, instant challengers while the champ still looks strong for winning 1 or 2 matches that night.

    The KotR never had a chance to sell on its own IMO. It was introduced as a PPV during a downswing in business and was bastardized before the next boom began. And by the time the Attitude Era hits, our KotR winners are HHH, Ken Shamrock, and Billy Gunn. And none of them do a damn thing after winning.

    I think it could work, but not the way WWE has done it in the past. Longer matches (so you see guys actually EARN the crown), more matches (same), and have the crown LEAD somewhere.

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  85. Not enough people were willing to purchase the Network when it required being locked in for six months. I don't think that three months improves that situation very much.

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  86. When the Network started, $9.99 seemed very cheap compared to the alternative of spending several times that for PPVs. But now that we are accustomed to this rate, it seems expensive compared to the content available from their current competition, such as Hulu and Crunchyroll.

    But I am happy to continue paying $0.00 for the free months that they keep offering. Wonder if they can make that approach profitable.

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  87. even more ppvs? wtf?!

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  88. Sorry but I don't buy that; without a prize a tournament is just a sequence of matches, no different from a run-of-mill Raw or Smackdown, it has to have some urgency to it, a reason for the wrestlers wanting to participate on it. In pro-wrestling you can't do matches just because, you need a carrot to dangle before them as a prize, or some reason for why two wrestler don't like each other.
    It's the reason why doing a Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler match at WM with both guys simply wanting to "steal the show" wouldn't work. There would be no stakes at it, and as such no reason for anyone to care.
    You can add Austin to that list, as he also remained in midcard-hell until Bret said he wanted to work with him for his return match.
    And the crowd lead somewhere, to a title match for the winner. The title of King Of The Ring means jackshit by itself, it's the title match that truly matters. Also, you don't need longer matches, you need smart, well-worked matches, and you can have a smart, well-worked, heat-drawing match in 5 minutes, so that is bogus I'd say.

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  89. Agree to disagree. The first 4 Royal Rumbles were done with no incentive, people cared. Feuds have been started due to coffee spillage and shampoo commercial spots, no one cared. The majority of WWE matches for the last 20 years have been "just cuz" with no rhyme or reason behind them, whether or not people cared has depended on the guys involved more than the reason behind it. There were zero stakes when HBK challenged Angle to a Wrestlemania 21 match. Who didn't care about that match?

    If you can't get people interested in wrestlers wrestling to prove they're the best, you're not a good promoter.And that's all most tournaments are, a chance to prove you're the best.

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  90. There were stakes for HBK/Angle, Angle was pissed that Shawn eliminated him from the Royal Rumble, and then proceeded to have Shawn eliminated which he turned pissed him off. So right there you have two guys that don't like each other because they see the other as having cost them the chance of main-eventing WM, which was a good foundation for the match, exacerbated by Angle being a douche and beating Shawn's former partner, putting his former manager on the Angle Lock, and Shawn getting payback by attacking Angle in disguise, which results in that very basic emotion, which is also the best motivator there can be in wrestling. Hate.
    Sure, the match was also sold on the concept of being the first time ever they met, and the meeting of two of the very best, but that was in the perspective of everyone else. Angle and Shawn simply wanted to beat the hell out of each other.
    Yeah, the first 4 Rumbles had no prize (but do remember that the first wasn't a PPV, and the big reason to watch was the signing for the rematch of the decade), but you'll realize that the Rumble began to become truly important only when they added that prize. Before that it was a guaranteed fun match that only happened once a year, it was an attraction on itself, but that attraction would only last so long before people lost interest, thus giving it stakes.
    And coffee spilling and Japanese Shampoo commercials, while very silly, are a reason for two guys not liking each other, and wanting to settle things on the ring.

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  92. They've got that Corey Graves "travel" show now, so hopefully that's one of the episodes.

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  93. That was such a terrible movie, especially Pierce Brosnan's performance which was the very definition of "phoning it in".

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  94. I think eight ppvs is the optimal number:
    JANUARY - Rumble
    March - Wrestlemania
    may - Extreme Rules
    Early July - Money in the Bank
    AUGUST - Summersalm
    Late September - Hell in the Cell
    November - Survivor Series
    end of December - TLC or King of the Ring

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  95. Don't ask me why, because I don't know

    I think the word you're looking for to describe this is "inertia". Which is true, but only temporarily, and with increasing fading influence...like the people who will only buy a VHS release of a movie.

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  96. Or six PPV's and six 'road to' specials. So February is 'Road To Wrestlemania', April is 'Road to Extreme Rules', June is 'Road to MITB' etc.

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  97. Stakes and reasons aren't the same. HBK/Angle didn't have stakes, though there was a reason for it to occur. It didn't matter who won; it wasn't to propel one or the other into a title match. At the end of the day, it was simply a match to see who was better.


    You're missing my point re: the coffee/shampoo stuff. They were reasons for a feud to begin, but SHITTY reasons. If anyone who cared about those matches, it was due solely to the competitors themselves, not because of those bullshit reasons. If you put two guys/teams in the ring because they want to win and make it seem important, people will care. The problem has long been WWE puts them in the ring, but doesn't want them to convey a will to win nor do they make any of it outside the main event seem important. WCW had the same problem when they'd spend the first 2.5 hours of Nitro talking about the nWo over a ton of competitive, but ultimately unimportant, matches.


    Act like it matters and it will. Act like it's filler and it is. Tournaments are no different than anything else in wrestling. Do it well (like Japan) and it works, do it poorly (like WWE) and it doesn't.

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  98. The PPV Calculus is simple. Figure out how much your core audience is willing to spend on sports entertainment in a year, figure out how much they're willing to spend per show, calculate A/B, and round up.

    Ironically, the simplicity of the Network has made the formula much more complex. What they should be doing is experimenting with new ideas and patterns (for example, eliminate all but Wrestlemania and replace with televising house shows), because the old rules no longer apply.

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  99. sorry scott disagree tna looks better without their half assing to meaningless ppvs. Their shows do have a focus and long term plans and wwe would be just fine without it Instead of the forced products they put out.

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  100. There were stakes for that match; personal pride and hate, which while not being a material prize are a prize on their own, and one that is easily understandable. They don't like each other, and want to beat each other, to have that satisfaction, it's a reason and a stake all into itself.

    And you're giving me reason; you say that matches in WWE have no stakes and that's a problem, and yet you seem to be claiming for match-ups that have no stakes to them. Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler would have been that situation, a match without stakes and just with the very flimsy reason of "wanting to steal the show". There would have been nothing for people to comprehend why they were fighting, a perilous activity. A Shampoo Commercial is very silly, but you can pierce a reason; it might have paid really well and both guys needed the money; another very basic and understandable reason for two wanting to fight; the winner's purse.
    And lastly, tournaments in Japan ALWAYS have a prize; most are sold as having a big monetary prize, to which is added a title shot. So the point in that regard is moot.

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  101. January - Royal Rumble
    March/Early April - WrestleMania
    May - Extreme Rules
    June - The Great American Bash
    August - Summerslam
    October - Halloween Havoc
    November - Survivor Series
    December - Night of Champions

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  102. You keep bringing up Bryan/Ziggler but I haven't once said anything about wanting that "steal the show" match. I'm sure it would've been good, but that build would've sucked. And if you build any tournament around something like that, it's likely to fail. It doesn't need a real prize, though you can throw in a fake dollar amount if you think the public will bite; make it about proving you're the best all in one night and it can work. Like you mentioned for Angle/HBK, pride was at stake. No different, really.

    I mean, why is a world title match important? Because they treat it as important. Why have the IC and US titles been jokes for the last 10 years despite both being upper-midcard titles? Because they treat them like jokes. Same reason one of the two world titles was considered the real one and the other was a de-facto IC title.

    I'm just tired of everything involving more than 2 guys resulting in a title shot. Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank, Royal Rumble, battle royales, musical chairs, etc. Too many random title shots with very little story behind it. A tournament allows you to build a guy up without having to immediately thrust him into the title scene because a stipulation demands it. And you also have the ability to make an instant challenger *without* a stipulation if you include the champ in the tourney itself. I feel there's just so much you can do with it, but WWE sticks to its lazy formula when it comes to them. And they wonder why it doesn't work.

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  103. cable companies get paid a percentage from the ppvs... it's only time until the secondary ppvs get so few buys they lose money even after their share and refuse to carry them...


    30-40K buys is laughable and not sustainable... getting kicked off ppv outright, even if just for the secondary ppv's is when they become "exclusive" to the network just to save face and not admit they got booted from pay cable

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  104. ehh, if TNA and ROH and for that matter ECW and WCW could get ppv with way less than 30 to 40k buys, then WWE won't be kicked off for 30 to 40k buys.

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  105. they can't take WM off the Network because their Network numbers SUCK, so good luck explaining to share holders on the next conference call that they are still losing millions on the network, over a millions subscribers away from breaking even, but they are going to start removing content... not even an option

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  106. If people aren't willing to spend $9.99 per month on it, I doubt that $8.32 it's the magic number that will do the trick.

    It'd be a nice offer, but it's hardly going to increase subs by any significant amount. The company could easily lose money on that if they fail to make up the difference.

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  107. companies have long built to big shows even before monthly ppvs and even before ppvs at all. WCCW had Star Wars before PPV existed for wrestling. WWWF would build to MSG. Most territories would run atleast 1 if not 2-3 bigger shows each year that featured several blowoffs. You can still book towards a goal without running monthly ppvs.

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  108. ECW was giving PPV time because it was the middle of the "wrestling boom" when cable companies could run a show every week if they could... if you're so confident go buy some shares in the company, but good luck

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  109. PPV isn't going to decide their stock value anymore. TV rights and network subscribers are

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  110. But if the network succeeds, then the PPV model will go away as no real distributor is going to want to go into or stay in business for WWE's scraps. In that case, after how many years would it be before the specials aren't really needed on a monthly basis?

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  111. Especially with free months offered literally every other month.

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  112. I previously wrote on this subject advocating for 7 major shows, but I could live with 8.

    Royal Rumble (late Jan, PPV) - Rumble winner gets WM title shot
    WrestleMania (late Mar/early Apr, PPV)
    Backlash (mid-May, Network) - Extreme Rules matches
    King of the Ring (late Jun/early Jul, Network) - KOTR winner gets Summerslam title shot
    Summerslam (mid-late Aug, PPV) - MITB match, cutoff for previous year's winner
    Cyber Sunday (late Sep/early Oct, Network) - Network subscribers vote on matchups/stipulations
    Survivor Series (mid-late Nov, PPV) - Survivor Rules matches are initial Rumble qualifiers

    Night of Champions (Sunday before Christmas break, Network) - Title matches only, including NXT


    And as always, stipulations like TLC and Hell in a Cell need to be mothballed as regular draws and only brought out when storylines justify it.

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  113. The problem with that is you're comparing to regional territories that drew from a set area, building to a big show at a single or select few venues. If they were to now build to a show at MSG, for example, and didn't televise it then where would the interest be, as literally only 15,000 or so fans would be able to see it?

    Whether you want to call it pay-per-view or special event, they have to continue doing them for the Network.

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  114. I don't mind it to a point. I really despise him cutting to commercial on NXT in the middle of a match for an ad about the Network though.

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  115. The whole point of PPV is to generate revenue. The money TNA gets from their network just barely keeps the company going. They have to make additional money to draw in new talent and keep happy the talent they have. They'll never grow if they can't resume live touring and PPV.

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  116. I'll say again. I miss the brand split as it at least made it seem like things weren't oversaturated. If not going back to that, why not try having two Raw brands? Meaning brand one gets the first hour and a half, brand two gets the second hour and a half. You can either have both teams at the same location or each one having their own. Then raw brand one gets X ppv's and raw brand 2 gets Y ppv's and then they combine for the four major ones. Ok, that actually sounds pretty dumb now that I type it. But really, I thought that was one good thing about the brand split the way ppv's were.

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  117. Bill Watts would have killed him for that.

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  118. Yes he most certainly would have. The funny thing was Wrath did not seem the least bit concerned that I would use that quote in my article. Yeah, we are talking about a college newspaper with a small print run and all, but his lack of kayfabe was astounding.

    Ultimately I created a story that would have made Bill Apter dance a jig as I spoke of Wrath threatening to snap me in half for interrupting him while he plotted all the ways to decimate his opponent for that evening.

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  119. So you're saying that you lied and you're a phony?


    Hey everyone! This guy's a phony!

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  120. There seems to be something there about wrestling and its fandom there.


    Wrestlers don't give enough of a shit so the fans have to make up the stories themselves.

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  121. His name's actually spelt JTG.

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  122. Just to make a last point (and I do agree with you with the fact that secondary titles have been treated like jokes), you'll notice that neither WWE, WCW, ECW or TNA (and that's all the major modern US wrestling promotions) ever made a tournament work, or had it be a big time attraction, which may support my original argument that US wrestling fans just don't care for tournaments in general. And going further back, when you think of Crocket Promotions, AWA, Memphis, Mid-South, Stampede, WCCW, etc, tournaments aren't something memorable those promotions ever did.
    I personally like them, but I can see why the majority don't.

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  123. Because they need more buyers for the network. I mean, If you make something cheaper, you have to sell more of it. And because the PPVs are for free, you have to make more to get the people on the network train. Because you make the same amount of money from each PPV on the Network: Zero. Which means, that if you reduce the amount of PPVs, you will not "sell" more of each, because they are for free anyway.

    If you have ONLY PPVs (without Network) it could make sense to reduce the amount, because then maybe more people will buy the then more rare PPVs.

    For example: If there was only Wrestlemania, nobody would buy the Network subscription, because they would pay basically 120 $ for only one event. If there would be two events, each would cost now 60$, which is still a lot. If there are 12 events, you only pay 9,99 for each one. If there are 24 events, you only pay 4,995$ for each one, which makes the Network even a better deal. And so on.:)



    The more shows, the more worth is the network.

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  124. But I think they hadn't 3 hours of RAW, 2 hours SD and 1 hour Main Event on TV every Week! Imagine how lame the shows would be if they had 8-12 weeks before the next PPV... The more TV time you have, the more blowoffs you need to keep the feuds and shows fresh.

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  125. Because NXT is only one hour a week which means every event has ca. 12 hours of "build-time".

    With 3 hours of RAW, you have the same amount of "build-time" in only 4 weeks. Not considering smackdown.

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  126. We have a brand extension: WWE and NXT.

    I think what really could help are some more titles. Don't get me wrong, an IC and US title is too much, same with two World titles or two Tag Team titles. There shouldn't be two titles on the same level BUT they could bring some more titles for the midcard or for cruiserweights. It would give the matches some meaning and a reason to watch them. They could make a hardcore title, which was always fun. They could make a TV or European title which would be a step lower than the IC/US title.

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  128. He did. Just wasn't cool to bitch about Dunn back then.

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  129. NXT is DYING for a second singles title.

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