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I’ve discussed these topics before (at length, even), but I feel that, with the year almost over and my bag of topics dwindled to nearly nothing, I felt it was best to rehash two major issues with WWE.

First, their Pay-Per-View schedule.  I’ve discussed this at least once, a few months back, about how having 14 PPV events every year tends to diminish their importance and impact.  Especially from around August to November of this year, there was a PPV every three weeks for that entire span, and it made them feel like nothing special.  With only three weeks of build between major shows, you’re lessening any chance that a feud might have to build between those dates.  Which oftentimes results in many of the matches meaning nearly nothing, as the feud, instead of having a blowoff or a rubber match, just plods along as the weeks go by, and the stipulations grow ever more ludicrous.  You’re short-changing the fans in two serious ways here: first, by not giving a feud the proper build it deserves, you’re essentially telling the fans that pay for the shows that this match that was just set up two weeks ago is not going to be the end of this feud by a longshot; in fact, it’s probably just the beginning of a two, three, or even four PPV feud which will only pay off at the fourth show.  So, at least to me, this means that the first match of this feud is basically meaningless, as are most first matches of a feud.  Secondly, with 14 PPV shows each year, you’re making the hardcore fan pay even more money to watch a product they love while the economy is still in the shitter.  Now, I don’t know the cost of a WWE PPV outside of the United States, but here, it’s (I believe) $55 per show.  Multiply that by 14 shows, and you’ve got $770 a year just to keep up with a product that in all honesty shouldn’t cost half that to keep up with it.  This is going to cause fewer people to purchase the PPV, which is going to cause your profit margins to slim, which is going to cause you to raise the price of each show, and the cycle will continue.  I know it’s a completely hypothetical situation, but if it happens, you heard it here first.

Now, what to do with this situation?  Simple: have fewer PPVs each year and have them all at set times during the year.  Have a consistent number of weeks between each show so as to (a) give at least a good bit more build for feuds and (b) make sure people know exactly when these major shows are going to occur.  Here, I’ll even plan it out for you right now.  I’ve already thought it through, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

We start with the Royal Rumble on the last Sunday in January.  We then have four weeks of build, then Elimination Chamber at the end of February.  Then, because the next show is Wrestlemania, we have five weeks of build and have it in the first week of April.  Four weeks of build, Backlash on the first Sunday in May.  Four weeks, Extreme Rules first Sunday in June.  Four weeks of build, The Bash first week in July (fits perfectly with Independence Day).  Now we get FIVE weeks of build because of one of the Big Four, Summerslam, which happens in the second week of August.  Four weeks, and we get Night of Champions in the middle of September.  Four more weeks and it’s Breaking Point in mid-October.  Then it’s FIVE weeks till Survivor Series in the third week of November.  And we finish off with four weeks of build until TLC on the Third Sunday of December.  Then five weeks of build and we’re back to the Rumble.

Two shows had to go, and I tossed out Hell in a Cell and Bragging Rights.  Why?  Well, Hell in a Cell should not be used more than once or twice a year, to keep its aura of violence at peak levels.  Basing an entire PPV around it and having three matches inside it makes it just like any other stipulation match.  And I removed Bragging Rights because it’s a pointless event.  Has the Bragging Rights trophy been shown since the following week on Smackdown?  Nope.  In fact, the only time it’s been mentioned since then is when Teddy Long said something about it in passing this past Friday night.  And the exclusion of ECW was a big mistake in the first place.  If you really want to figure out which brand is superior, you’ve got to give all three brands a chance to win it.  A lot of people have said that ECW is basically a glorified Heat.  That’s what Superstars is for.  ECW has got the most entertaining group of wrestlers on WWE programming, and they’re tearing up the TV sets every Tuesday night.  So what if they’ve only got a one-hour timeslot?  They’re just as entertaining as the other shows.  Give them a shot at brand supremacy.  But it’s likely that the trophy and the bragging rights won’t be brought up again until next year, so what’s the point of having the show in the first place if everyone’s going to forget about it until three weeks before the show happens each year?  Bragging Rights is out.

So there you have it: my perfect WWE PPV schedule.  Now, if only they’d hire me as a consultant…

Okay, let’s get to the next topic at hand.  I’ve been very critical of WWE’s decision to put the WWE Championship on Sheamus from the moment I found out about it.  I even went so far as to say that this was the biggest mistake Creative has made since putting the World Heavyweight Championship on The Great Khali.  I’d like to revise that to “the biggest mistake Creative has made since putting the ECW Championship on Jack Swagger.”  I think putting the title on Swagger was a bigger mistake than putting the WWE Title on Sheamus for one simple reason: having a new face winning the biggest title in the company generated a hell of a lot more buzz and controversy than Swagger could ever hope to create.  I’m not saying that putting the WWE Title on Sheamus was a GOOD idea.  I still think that it was a horrible idea to give him a title reign less than six months after debuting on national television.  But I have accepted that he’s not very talented in the ring.  It isn’t like Vince has never done this before, putting a major title on a guy with a limited moveset and little charisma *COUGH*Batista*COUGH*.  But what really gets me is that there are so many other guys Vince could have put the title on where the shock value of him winning the title from John Cena would be so much higher than Sheamus winning.  Case in point: Evan Bourne.  You put him in a tables match with John Cena, and Bourne walks away with the title, people are going to go batshit crazy.  Casual fans will be interested to see who this new, young guy is who just beat the face of WWE, Internet smarks will have their conquering hero, proclaiming that “Vince finally listened to us!” and will sing praises of Bourne’s courageous performance and how deserving he is of a title reign, and Vince will sit back, smile, and rake in the cash.  I’m not even putting in-ring ability into consideration (though Bourne IS leagues ahead of Sheamus).  But if I did, I think that Bourne would be an incredibly fun underdog champion.  First off, he’s much smaller then Sheamus, so he can work with pretty much anybody with no problems.  Second, he’s an incredibly good seller, and is probably one of the best faces as far as comebacks are concerned.  He honed his craft in the indies for many years, and has refined his style in FCW, and even though he’s a lower mid-card guy, he’s one of the most entertaining guys on Raw.  And, much like Rey Mysterio, people will tune in to see if he’s able to keep the title week in and week out thanks to the underdog principle.  You put him up against some 300-pound bo-hemoth, and everyone wants to know if he can hold on to the title.  You get just as many viewers as you would when you’ve got a heel champion and people tune in to see if he loses the title, and you get the IWC’s approval.  I know Vince couldn’t give two shits about the IWC, but I’m betting a lot of the wrestlers do.  If I was a wrestler and searched the web for articles about me, and found that over half of the people writing about my title reign thought it was a joke and an insult to their intelligence, I sure as hell would lose some self-esteem.  Yes, the Internet is a wretched hive of scum and villany and a breeding ground for contempt and unnecessary anger, but there are some people with sanity left out there, and if they hate you, it’s gotta sting.

I think I got a bit off-topic there.  My point is this: if Vince wanted to rile up the fans and put some new faces in the title scene, he could have done a hell of a lot better than Sheamus.  And remember, I’m not even taking in-ring ability into account.

Okay, that’s it for me.  I’ll likely do my First Annual Golden Rantie Awards column on Wednesday or Thursday, since nothing important ever happens on Superstars.  Until then, stay awesome.  Especially you, Miz.  See you next time.

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2 Comments

  1. Good article. You are right… too many articles.

    I am a big wrestling fan, and I have read your blog a couple times.

    Would you be willing to repost this on my site at http://www.Wrestilng911.com?

  2. Good call on the PPV schedule, and big props to you for the shows you booted. A Bragging Rights type match can be done easily in the Survivor Series if they want the ‘Brand Domination’ match. It’s been done before.


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