Over the Limit: The State of WWE's PPVs
by, 05-23-2011 at 09:22 AM (5218 Views)
Last night, a VERY flat crowd witnessed a below average PPV. The only saving grace was the Cristian vs. Orton match. This was the only match that had any, real, high spots. Even then, the stagnent silence upon Ortons victory should have been louder than any cheer to Vince. But once again, there were absolutely no suprises from the WWE again, last night.
There have been very few surprises, or big events that have happened in the WWE this past year. I’m talking about the debut of Nexes, the return of The Undertaker & ‘The Game’, and, of course, the triumphant return of ‘The Great One’ himself, The Rock! But one thing links them all - they were aired on live TV, on Monday night Raw, not PPV. As a consequence, WWE PPV’s buy rates have dropped so far, that in tow main events last year, Brock Lesnar outsold the combined sales of the WWE PPV. So, what does this say about the PPV’s offered by the WWE?
I remember the day’s in the mid 90’s – early 00’s when a PPV was completely unmissable. Can anyone remember Shane jumping off the top of a titantron onto Angle on a table? Can anyone remember The Undertaker launching Mick Foley from the top of the cell onto the announce table? Can anyone remember the three-way TLC match between Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. the Dudley Boys? You got to see these stars on Raw, but you hardly ever got to see them compete against one-another.
There were very few occasions where you would actually be able to see the two, or however many, wrestlers compete in a match in between PPV’s. Sure, you would see them clash backstage, they would ‘smack talk’ in the ring, they would have interviews (The Rock/Jericho interview was phenomenally funny), but no matches. In fact, I believe it was a fued between HHH & Austin where they signed a contract a month prior to a PPV which prohibited them from laying a finger on one another. Alas, this is not the case in the ‘modern era’ of wrestling, sorry, entertainment.
Nowadays, even Raw’s booking negates the importance of a PPV; who wishes to pay to see a match that will inevitably by aired on Raw the following night, or in the following couple of weeks? For example, Christian Vs. Orton…it was only a few week prior to ‘Over the limit’ that those two squared off. Admittedly, this was to fuel a main event feud void, but, still, the point is valid. So are they important? Well, theoretically, yes. But in reality, no, no they are not anymore…they are distinctly inconsequential. Theoretically, they are important to a feuds climax, but in reality the main event will most definitely be available as a rematch in a day-five day’s time. Is it possible to fix this?
At the moment, the WWE feel that their main-eventers need to compete on TV each week in order to maintain their ratings. But this is quite evidently costing the WWE millions on PPV buys. That basically means that instead of paying for their product, we can watch it for no additional cost for the same entertainment. If the ‘E were to take a more passive approach to TV bookings they could increase the prestige of their stars, and therefore begin to regain their PPV’s prestige. So all in all, the WWE have a largely ‘spotless’ PPV calendar, which have diminished prestige due to their inane booking, and as a consequence they are failing to capture a market which they once claimed complete dominance over other ‘real’ sports, i.e. boxing, etc…It will not be until Vince or HHH learns from this that the PPV will wonce again become important and unmissable.