Dave Meltzer Discusses What Wrestling Can Learn From UFC, UFC 151 Cancellation, Much More
|By Raj Giri||September 14, 2012 | Comments|
Meltzer: It's a star-driven business. Right now, we really don't have those stars out there. Jon Jones is like the guy but he's not quite there. Anderson [Silva] never really clicked big. He's a star, but he's not a really big mega-guy unless he's got the right guy. A lot of guys with the right opponent can draw. Rashad Evans, with the right opponent, can draw but with the wrong opponent, no one cares. I think Anderson is the same way.
[Georges] St. Pierre has been out for a long time. Brock [Lesnar] was a great, great draw but he's left. They've been plagued by injury and that's hurt. TV situation is kind of weird right now. There are just a lot of factors with the injuries and the number of shows has caused less depth in the shows.
Also, they did what WWF, WCW and they all did; they kept doing pay-per-views. Once they got to a point where pay-per-views became skippable because they weren't creative enough or they didn't have the right match on top -- once you get people to start skipping pay-per-views, it's much easier for people to start skipping pay-per-views.
There was a period, I'm sure, with all of us where it was, 'If there's a pay-per-view this month, I'm watching.' Because it's the pay-per-view, you watch it. Now, I still do because it's my job. But the point is that there became a point in every one of these companies when they were on their way down that it was like, 'You know what? This pay-per-view doesn't look good. I'm going to skip it.' You don't skip one, you start skipping all of them.
Then, you maybe watch one -- the WrestleMania, the Starrcade. You know what I mean? I'll watch the big ones, but I'm not going to watch the small ones anymore. So, you go from 12 to 2 or 3 a year and that's when the thing happens. I think that's what has happened with UFC.
You have this audience that couldn't miss a pay-per-view. You get your buddies together and all that and can't miss a show. Now, you've got this situation. I know with my friends, UFC night is no big deal. Before, UFC night was something that you looked forward to for two weeks. Now, there is UFC every weekend and it's just Saturday and it's UFC. 'Hey, I got out on Saturdays. I don't even know who's fighting on UFC.'
3 or 4 years ago, 2 or 3 weeks out from a pay-per-view, you could probably tell me the top five matches without blinking an eye, right? Today, if I told you, 'Hey, what's the card for September 1st when it was not cancelled?' I can tell you, because I had discussions with someone in UFC, and we were talking about September 1st. I go, 'You know what? I can name you two fights on that card.'
I knew the main event and I knew Jay Hieron and Jake Ellenberger as the semi because it had changed. I didn't really care about the fight in the least but I did know it. I didn't even know the rest of the fights on the card. If I don't know, the average fan doesn't know. That's the kiss of death. You're not going to buy a pay-per-view when you don't know the whole line-up.
WrestlingINC: Do you think that's something they are starting to understand as far as too many shows with having to cancel UFC 151 because there was no sellable co-main event? You think this might be some kind of wake up call to kind of change just how many shows they're doing and the lack of depth on the cards outside the main event?
Meltzer: I don't know. They've always been so adament that over-exposure doesn't exist and that they need to do more shows. For a while, the demand from cities for shows exceeded the number of shows they could do. They had all these places like England and those people wanted more shows. Australia -- even cities in the United States. There was more of a demand for shows than a supply of shows.
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