Views From The Turnbuckle: Fixing The WWE's PPV Schedule
The main reason a lot of fans felt that Battleground was a lackluster PPV was because it lacked a proper buildup and the storylines were rushed into the show. The reason they were rushed was because the WWE has mushed together three separate PPV events in just over a month. Because there is so little time in between PPVs, it handicaps in what the WWE can do creatively, since they have to develop big time matches in a short period of time in order to sell the PPV.
It is obvious why the WWE tries to cram as many PPVs into the year as possible. No matter how crappy the buildup or the storylines are going into the show, a WWE PPV is essentially guaranteed to hit over 100,000 buys. A show with any proper build or investment can hit around 200,000. The money the WWE makes from these sales easily covers all of the operating costs, so it makes sense to have as many of them as possible because the more you have, the larger the profit margins are going to be.
Even if the product is suffering and the storylines are very unappealing to some hardcore fans, the WWE is still secure in all of its other fans, fans who buy every single WWE PPV, that they can afford to piss off the burnt fans and still turn a nice profit.
Some fans really want to the WWE go back to its original PPV formula, and that is to only have four PPV events a year; the Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania in April, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series in November. Although I am all for fewer PPV events, the possibility of the WWE cutting its PPVs from twelve to four is preposterous. In pure numerical theory, those four PPV events would have to triple their buys to make up for the loss of PPV revenue. It is never going to happen.
I propose that the WWE cuts down on the number of PPV events, but only slightly. That way the WWE has more time to develop feuds, but the remaining PPVs do not have to post outrageous buy rates to turn a similar profit that they get under the current PPV system.
The beginning of the year is perfect for the WWE. The Royal Rumble is easily the second best event of the year (and some would argue it is better than Wrestlemania) and sets up "The Road to Wrestlemania" in a way that no other event could. I also like the idea of the February PPV, although I'm not sure if they should keep it as Elimination Chamber. The Elimination Chamber, like Hell in a Cell, is a match that should be held only when the situation calls for it, and not annually at a specified date. A February PPV however, gives the WWE a chance to further feuds that started at the Royal Rumble, as well as a second chance to start feuds that will lead to matches at Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania is obviously perfect, although I would suggest changing the date to late April instead of early April. The difference in weather between early April and late April in a northern city is tremendous, and that would give northern cities without a large indoor stadium, like Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and others a better opportunity to host Wrestlemania.
Post-Wrestlemania deserves a little bit of a rest, so I think we stay right on schedule with Extreme Rules taking place in late May. If Wrestlemania stays in early April, that gives the WWE a good 6-8 weeks to build up feuds and deal with the post-Wrestlemania fallout. Extreme Rules is a gimmick PPV, which I am not that big of a fan of, but they can diversify the matches enough to at least keep the card unpredictable.
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