How WWE Could Revolutionize Its Pay-Per-View Lineup for 2013
The WWE pay-per-view system is done decently well. For the most part, the idea of 13 pay-per-views works for the 52 week year and the idea of having one per month makes a lot of sense as well. However, there is some part of the system that's broken.
It starts with the garbage pay-per-views with gimmicky names and the effect of these gimmicks isn't getting over. There are some that work and some that don't, and keeping the ones that work is always a good idea.
WWE needs to keep the big named ones of Survivor Series, Summerslam, Royal Rumble and of course Wrestlemania. Another thing that the WWE needs to do is bring back some of the WCW concepts, and even some of the older concepts. Follow along as these pay-per-views are finally fixed using 2013 as an example.
The biggest issue is timeline. While there are 52 weeks in a year and 13 pay per views means one every four weeks, that's not how WWE does them. The erratic build up times make it much harder to design the standard storylines. This would fix that, as only one event would have just 3 weeks of build up, but it has the chaotic effect to where they could get away with it: The Royal Rumble.
January 20th, 2013: Royal Rumble
You can't fix what's not broken. The Royal Rumble would only get three weeks of build up every year, but it doesn't need anymore than that. It's best as a chaotic event where the rumble match itself takes an hour of the show.
The other two hours could easily host four to five more matches and have a great kick off to the year's pay-per-views.This would be held between the 20th-26th every year and would be excellent as a wrap up from New Year's Revolution feuds, and a way to start the road to Wrestlemania.
February 17th, 2013: No Way Out
This has been a great asset for a pay-per-view between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Keep the Elimination Chamber gimmick to it and use it as the way to draw interest. It's one of the few gimmicky pay-per-views that really does work.
Over-gimmicking the pay-per-views shouldn't happen though. Re-naming this back to No Way Out just works and could even be used as a Hell in the Cell pay-per-view as well. However, the War Games-esque structure that was brought to the WWE in 2002 is brilliant and should still be used as the main attraction.
March 24th, 2013: Wrestlemania
Wrestlemania definitely is a thing that has been fine the way it is for the most part. However, the seven week build up after already building it up for a month between the Rumble and No Way Out just makes it drawn out. In this A.D.D. world, it just makes sense to keep things more streamlined and organized.
So, why not move Wrestlemania back to it's more normal spot in the middle to late part of March. This moves it back to just a five week build up, and makes it to where people will still want to pay for the product.
April 14th, 2013: Extreme Rules
Notice not much change in the beginning part of the year? That's because WWE has it's first four pay-per-views done right. After that they screw the pooch in terms of scheduling. However, Extreme Rules has a great place here, as it's a great wind down from Wrestlemania.
Extreme Rules also is one of the few gimmicks that just seems to work. Why not have two guys go at it with steel chairs, bats covered in barbed wire, Kendo canes and trash cans? The street fight only ever mocked this in the first place.
May 12th, 2013: King of the Ring
King of the Ring is the biggest mistake WWE has made in the past 10 years. They have poorly booked it when they did it and they haven't even held it as it's own pay-per-view. The biggest issue with King of the Ring is that they never do it anymore.
It's very simple though. Use the weeks leading up to it for the tournament. Have the winner of King of the Ring get the title shot at Money in the Bank the next month. This gives some storyline leading into the shows and Money in the Bank isn't left as an afterthought pay-per-view like always.
June 9th, 2013: Money in the Bank
Money in the Bank is one of the best pay-per-views of the year. It's always a good lead up on the way to SummerSlam, and can be used as a spark for a long drawn out feud or as a way to end one. It's been a staple for the past couple of years and should continue on.
The only criticism I have is that it should be a month earlier. Money in the Bank is an excellent fit for the WWE style, and the gimmick behind winning a contract that can be used at any time within the next year is brilliant.
July 7th, 2013: The Great American Bash
This is where the WWE's pay-per-views and historic pay-per-views start to fail. So bring back the Great American Bash and have it as close to July 4th as possible. It even makes sense to try and have it in a place that's close to a beach like Jacksonville or Tampa Bay.
It doesn't need to be in a giant city though and having it at an outdoor stadium that is near water would be an excellent touch, combining old elements from WCW's Bash at the Beach and the newer WWE iterations of the Bash.
August 4th, 2013: Summerslam
Another one of the pay-per-views that works. However, it is a little bit later in the year than it should be, as it should be towards the beginning of August. Summerslam has the makings of a mini-wrestlemania, but in this format, would closer to a King of the Ring or Survivor Series PPV.
Summerslam in early August could help the ratings and the buy rates in July when they tend to be at their lowest. Also, Summerslam could be great as a wind up into the next couple of pay-per-views.
September 1st, 2013: Fall Brawl
WCW had their fall pay-per-views done right. The Fall Brawl was always something fun to go see and should be the lead up into the next pay-per-view. The way September falls in 2013, they get the benefit of two pay per views.
Fall Brawl is a good lead up pay-per-view and unlike the current Over The Limit, it has at least some bearing and relevance as a historical pay-per-view. It also has relevance as something that fits into the time of year and brings back some nostalgia for WCW fans.
September 29th, 2013: Starrcade
This one would likely create some backlash, but how fun would it be to see such a historic event brought back? Starrcade is one of those pay-per-views that everyone had to buy, and by the end of WCW, it was almost as big as Wrestlemania.
By having a huge event both in March and in September, there would be quite a bit more interest in the surrounding pay-per-views. It would also make the pay-per-views that much better by having them all be a big event. This format essentially gives the WWE six big pay-per-views—Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, King of the Ring, Summerslam, Starrcade and Survivor Series—to build the year around.
October 27th, 2013: Halloween Havoc
Hell in a Cell? WWE could be much more creative with their pay-per-view for October. This isn't saying to get rid of the Hell in a Cell match that happens every year, but rather, that they should have a Halloween theme for their pay-per-view that happens around Halloween.
With Survivor Series coming up the next month, this is always going to be a pure build up pay-per-view. So why not have fun with it and do what WCW did with their Halloween theme. Have some crazy and good matches every year at this pay-per-view and treat it more like TLC than Hell in a Cell.
November 24th, 2013: Survivor Series
It's a classic. It's a flagship pay-per-view and one that is just truly special for the memories like Montreal Screwjob or the Survivor Series matches. It's also the first time we saw the Elimination Chamber match. This one shouldn't go anywhere.
It also tends to be put in the perfect spot, as having it later in the month is perfect. Survivor Series isn't broken, so it's pointless to even thinking about fixing it.
December 29th, 2013: New Year's Revolution
TLC? Again, WWE just stopped being creative with their pay-per-views years ago. We understand that having a pay-per-view in December feels long and drawn out, however, this was a gimmick that never needed to leave.
Honestly, I think having a pay-per-view on New Year's Eve every year would be an awesome way to spend the night and could be great for the talent. Unfortunately, it normally doesn't happen that way. This would be the best way to end a grueling slate of pay-per-views and lead into the new year and another Royal Rumble.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.