WWE: Should the Company Ease Up on Their Travel Schedule?
You're traveling from city to city an average of 250-300 days a year. This is the life of a WWE superstar.
If they're not working Raw or Smackdown, they're doing a house show or an interview for a local radio station. Maybe it's an autograph signing or a Pay-Per-View event.
Yes, these wrestlers are highly compensated, but their personal lives suffer. Between all the aforementioned appearances, John Cena has to be one of the busiest people on Earth, considering all the media appearances he makes to promote the product.
But between burnout and injuries, the grueling schedule of World Wrestling Entertainment catches up to most of these stars. Just this week, Kelly Kelly asked for some time off, citing a need to get refreshed.
Alberto Del Rio, who recently returned from injury, has reportedly suffered another one. Now, his title match with Sheamus at next Sunday's No Way Out event may not happen.
Constantly having to nurse injuries can lead to many problems, including abuse of painkillers and denial of the severity of the injury, as these wrestlers know they can miss a payday if they're too hurt.
Brie and Nikki Bella also left the company recently, and they suggested in an interview that they were tired of being on the road so much.
It begs the question: Is too much being asked of these superstars?
WWE runs two weekly television shows, at least two weekly house shows and at least one monthly Pay-Per-View. However, there are countless other appearances some of these superstars make. Add to that the fact that Raw Supershow is soon going to three hours on a permanent basis.
So, what could they do to change it? First off, they should consider going back to the model of the original brand split. There is absolutely no reason to have every single talent at every single show, especially if you know you're not going to use them.
The WWE is a TV ratings-driven, money making machine. The demand is so high for them to produce new content on a weekly basis, and the pressure is likely on everyone in the production to do so.
Fans who have been watching for many years can remember a time when they were lucky to see two "big name" superstars face each other on free TV. Usually, you just had one big name in a showcase match.
In those days, WWE would tape several weeks worth of television at once and air it later. Of course, that was long before the internet, social media, etc., and that type of plan would not succeed now.
At the same time, the career span of a wrestler in those days was at least twice what it is now.
It's an issue that is not easily fixed due to the sports entertainment machine that WWE has become, but it's something that the company needs to at least try to come up with some sort of solution to.
Yes, they have to appease their fans, but they need to come up with a system that allows each superstar to get adequate time to be away from work and the road. The health of these men and women depends on it.
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