LaBar: How To Not Fail With Dual Branded WWE PPV's

WWE returning to only dual-branded pay-per-views is a trickle-down effect challenged by two revenue models.

The WWE Network versus their live events.

Their Network is a top priority since its creation. Pumping out regular special content, which we all still refer to as PPVs, is a must to hold up the monthly value of $9.99. Since the brand split, the RAW or SmackDown Live specific PPV's are decreasing as a must-see attraction.

We see repetitive matches with the same rotation of talent. Stories either drawn out too long or sporadic and not developed enough. SmackDown Live has suffered more. RAW has the fortune of the special attractions like Universal Champion Brock Lesnar or an October TLC last-minute addition of Kurt Angle in the ring to spice up their marquee.

Making both rosters eligible for every month's event will add more interest overall throughout the year in the events, not just the big 5 (WrestleMania, Rumble, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Money in the Bank). However, it's all going to compound on an overall challenge that is oversaturation.

These events now adding both brands will likely be extending from three hours to four hours, plus the pre-show. This, in theory, is to allow for both brands to pull deeper into their rosters to feature more talent per event.

Four and a-half hours with content for these shows. From a PR standpoint, it sounds good. WWE can say the $9.99 consumers are paying will get more. But sometimes less equals more.

Then come live events and how they factor in. WWE's model is built on the foundation of live event success dating back to the 1980s. Make the towns get in front of ticket buyers several nights a week without television production cost. Sell the merchandise.

The brand split really exists to enable multiple live event tours simultaneously. Separate weekly TV shows to feature more talent so there are more "as seen on TV" characters to hype for live events.

This means WWE has to keep the brands separate. Three-hour show on Monday and two on Tuesday for cable. But for their Network, they can go as long as they want. This, in turn, results in an effort to make the Network PPVs more attractive, they bring both rosters together making the duration of show longer than most movies.

So what's the best solution? Uphold a strong, consistent value in the mid-card titles.

If WWE can keep the United States title to a level of interest where it was when John Cena held it and Intercontinental the way The Miz has repeatedly held it at, you have a shot.

The WWE World Title and Universal Championships can't and shouldn't both be defended at every PPV. That should still be primarily reserved for the big 5 events.

The mid-card titles must be held to a high regard. The biggest obstacle there is the oversaturation of them on the 5 hours combined with RAW and SD Live every week on cable.

All of this then trickles down to 205 Live and potentially the UK Championship. The Cruiserweights have their best momentum ever and it couldn't come at a better time. The quality of the shows have improved their flow and presentation, many believed to be due to Triple H taking over running it.

The UK division hasn't had much consistency, but under its umbrella it had one of the "Match of the Year" candidates last May at NXT Takeover in Chicago with Pete Dunne against Tyler Bate.

If WWE can start to feature 205 Live and the UK division more on RAW and SD Live, it will help combat the overall trickle down system of having all talent be eligible every month for PPVs.


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