One month traditionally separates each WWE pay-per-view event, but with six weeks between Night of Champions and Hell in a Cell, there has been much more time to properly craft the card and the quality of Monday Night Raw has improved noticeably.
If there is one thing that I simply cannot stand, it's when the WWE rushes to put together a makeshift pay-per-view card. Sometimes that is due to sheer incompetence from the writers, but it is often a product of them having to race against time in order to produce something palatable for the fans.
Having six weeks between events assures that there is no panic and no sense of urgency, and it allows angles to run their course rather than being accelerated for the sole purpose of being pay-per-view ready.
That isn't to say that the build has been perfect over the past month, but the WWE is clearly taking its time and trying to develop storylines rather than throwing them at the wall and hoping that they stick.
This is most apparent when it comes to WWE champion CM Punk.
The WWE championship feud is usually the one with the most emphasis placed upon it, but the way that Punk has bullied legends like Mick Foley, Jim Ross and Vince McMahon while ducking an injured John Cena has been enjoyable to watch.
The increased time has even allowed the creative team to get Ryback involved in the feud in order to see what type of reaction he elicits from the fans and gauge how close he is to being ready for a main-event push.
If not for the six-week layoff, Cena probably wouldn't have had elbow surgery and we most likely wouldn't have seen Ryback elevated to such a lofty status so quickly.
More time between pay-per-views has also allowed the World heavyweight championship feud between Sheamus and Big Show to take shape. It has even provided a window of opportunity to hold a tournament to determine the No. 1 contenders for the tag titles.
The usual four-week time frame probably would have led to Rhodes Scholars being named the No. 1 contenders to Team Hell No's titles a week before the event. Six weeks is a lot of time and the WWE has taken advantage of it by showcasing the revamped tag division and utilizing eight of its finest duos.
Perhaps the midcard could still stand to be built better, but Hell in a Cell is still a couple of weeks out and it seems like The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental championship is all but set. When you consider the fact that Miz hasn't had a true feud since nabbing the strap from Christian on the 1,000th episode of Raw, that is certainly progress.
I realize that Raw's ratings from two weeks ago suggest that the show has been lackluster, but that isn't really the case. The absence of Cena likely had a lot to do with Raw's lowest rating of the year, as did the presence of Monday Night Football. Raw always sees an obvious decline in ratings during football season and that simply isn't an indictment of the product.
Now that Raw is a three-hour show, it tends to drag out at times. However, when the WWE is trying to execute an abbreviated build toward a pay-per-view, Raw often feels rushed and muddled.
I believe that the pacing of the three-hour shows has been fantastic since Night of Champions. I can't help but think that the extra cushion between that event and Hell in a Cell has had a lot to do with it.
I have been so pleased with the storyline development as of late that I feel like the WWE would be wise to cut down the pay-per-view schedule in order to spread everything out more over the course of the year.
There are currently 12 events on the calendar, but lessening that number to 10 could work wonders.
I would drop two of the lower-end shows like Over The Limit and No Way Out, which would then allow the WWE to increase the amount of time between each pay-per-view.
I understand that pay-per-views equal money for the WWE, but at some point, a better overall product becomes more valuable than 100,000 pay-per-view buys, especially if that show is sub-par.
The WWE's quality has been up noticeably since Night of Champions and I don't believe that it's a coincidence. The company has something good with this six-week break between pay-per-views and I hope that Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWE brass comes to that same realization.
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