Cyber Sunday Format More Suited to a Match Rather Than a PPV

Alex DavidsonContributor IJanuary 7, 2009

Right, before we get started I'd like to clear something up—I know that Cyber Sunday has come and gone but I'll have probably forgotten before October, so I decided to write this article now.

Originally, the event was called Taboo Tuesday, but after two attempts the event was re-branded Cyber Sunday and moved to a Sunday night to help bolster poor viewing numbers.

Cyber Sunday is known for its "the fans decide" format, which allows the fans to log onto, or more recently by text, to vote to decide various features in a match—whether this means participants, stipulations, or attire in the case of women's matches, each match will have something that fans can vote upon.

However, Cyber Sunday is also known for it's crappiness (some may disagree, but this is the common feeling among most fans) and often falls into the "C" class of WWE PPVs; however, I will admit that this year's was a mild, but not huge, improvement.

My main "gripe" with Cyber Sunday is with it's predictability. The audience participation factor is often a double-edged sword when involving titles. Often WWE won't risk making a title change in case the proposed new champion is not voted in by the fans.

Batista may have won the title at last year's event but the vote was for the special ref and not for the participants. Due to Batista's ultimatum, the WWE had to give him the title to keep him happy and allowed a title change the week after on RAW's 800th show, at which point he lost the title back to Jericho.

It also stops momentum that's been built in a feud. If HBK and Y2J are in a feud and the fans decide which wrestler HBK would face between Undertaker, Y2J, and HHH the majority of fans would go for the two other wrestlers—I would love to see HBK vs. Undertaker or HHH, but as far as building a feud would go, it would be the wrong choice.

Plus, the fan's choice might not always lead to the best match. For instance, faces are often likley to be chosen over heels. If Triple H was defending his WWE title and the choices were Randy Orton, JBL, and Rowdy Roddy Piper (Piper is simply for example purposes), chances are that many people (who don't know what a good match is) would vote for Roddy Piper. Even though the best option would be Orton, you would end up with a face vs. face match, which the title would never change hands.

Cyber Sunday relies to heavily on the fact that if a person votes for something in the match then they will pay the hefty PPV price tag just to see if they're vote mattered rather than whether the card is any good.

So my (if want to call it) "proposal" would be to scrap the PPV. Firstly, it would reduce the number of PPVs a year (if they're to remain the same this year as last year) to 12. This isn't as small a number as I would like but at least it reduces the schedule to one PPV per month freeing up a small amount of time for rivalries to build.

Secondly, what is wrong with taking the format and transforming it into a gimmick match? Recently, the WWE has failed to create a gimmick match that will stand the test of time like the Hell in the Cell match with the last great idea being the Elimination Chamber back in 2002.

Last year the Championship Scramble showed promise but it is yet the finished article. Plus, I can't really see people rushing to call Sky Box Office (I don't know where Americans order PPVs from, sorry) to order a PPV just because of a scramble match in the same way they do when a ladder match is announced.

When a feud is building up between more than one wrestler they could decide on one definite superstar and allow the fans to vote for the other participant. WWE could gage which superstars are liked more than others and also which gimmick matches are more popular than others.

If only one match is on the card that has some sort of vote it will also produce a more concentrated set of results from which WWE can decide what the fans want. At Cyber Sunday people can log onto and vote randomly, meaning WWE cannot be certain whether the results there are concrete evidence of the fans' opinion.

Also, I wouldn't bet my TV (I don't think my mum and dad would be too pleased if I bet the house) if, let's call it, a "what the fans want" match was announced. It would excite fans; it would still garner the same profits as Cyber Sunday and probably more if the rest of the card was above average.

If Cyber Sunday remains a WWE PPV then it will probably only serve as a tool to allow a former great like Stone Cold referee a pointless match with a predictable outcome. It's great to see someone like Austin still wanting to be involved with WWE, but it isn't worth £20 (I think it's $40 in America) to see it happen.

Why can't this year's Wrestlemania have a "fans get what they want" match and have Stone Cold as a possible special ref which fans could vote on? It would allow Austin to come back without him having to do much (with Austin's long list of injuries an actual match against someone might put him off making an appearance) and make the result a bit unpredictable if it was to happen at 'Mania.

Please leave me your comments on whether you'd like to see a "fans get what they want" match (obviously with a good name) or if you'd prefer if Cyber Sunday remained a WWE PPV.