If your boss calls you at 7:30 a.m. and tells you that you need to be at work by 8:00 a.m., chances are you’re not too happy about it.
Well, that’s almost exactly how many fans feel about the WWE announcing its PPV matches so late.
Take, for example, the upcoming WWE Payback pay-per-view. We are a mere eight days away from the inaugural PPV, and yet, the vast majority of the show is still up in the air.
The company has only announced three matches for the show so far: John Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho and Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Fandango for the Intercontinental Championship.
The obvious question here is: why? Why is the WWE waiting so long to announce more matches for the PPV?
To some fans, this may not seem like such a big deal. “If the matches are going to take place, they’re going to take place. Who cares when they’re announced?”
In reality, though, the WWE’s bad habit of announcing PPV matches at the last minute is a sign of the creative team’s biggest problem: Uncertainty.
There always tend to be so much uncertainty surrounding creative’s plans for storylines and feuds, and announcing PPV matches so late is a telltale sign of that uncertainty.
Why? Because doing that makes it quite clear that the WWE isn’t sure where it’s headed.
Sure, it’s somewhat understandable that the WWE may struggle to plan out storylines in advance at times. But at the same time, being eight days away from a PPV and only having three matches announced is essentially the WWE’s way of saying, “We still aren’t sure what we want to do even though the next PPV is almost upon us.”
What makes that so frustrating for the fans is that recent happenings on WWE TV make it pretty obvious which matches should be taking place at the upcoming Payback PPV.
Isn’t it pretty clear that Sheamus is going to take on Damien Sandow in a singles match at Payback?
Can’t we pencil in Dolph Ziggler defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio in Ziggler’s return match?
Shouldn’t Triple H vs. Curtis Axel finally take place at the PPV?
Haven’t the seeds for a Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton match already been planted?
In other words, the WWE has spent a lot of time building up a number of important rivalries, and yet, the only matches that have been announced so far are an underwhelming WWE title match, a Punk/Jericho bout that has been built up despite Punk being completely absent from TV and a Triple Threat match that features three guys who have been booked pretty horribly as of late.
At least right now, the Payback PPV card appears to be a pretty underwhelming one, which once again brings up the question: Why haven’t more matches been announced for the show?
The bottom line is that people want to see the likes of Orton, Bryan, The Shield and Triple H compete on PPV. At the same time, it’s much more likely that they are going to be interested in buying a PPV if they know well in advance that their favorite star or stars are wrestling on it and/or who those stars are wrestling.
Yet, because of all of the uncertainty surrounding the creative team and its direction for the future, the WWE essentially refuses to announce full PPV cards (or at least the vast majority of them) well in advance.
Of course, this is detrimental to the WWE product because it results in rushed, or perhaps even forced, feuds that seem to be thrown together at the last second, and—let’s be honest—who wants to watch a PPV where it doesn’t seem like the WWE really put forth any effort into it? No one, right?
Look, Payback may still generate interest because of the return of Punk and because the company’s top star will be defending its most prestigious title on the show.
But had we had a much clearer picture a week or two ago of what the PPV card would look like, the WWE would be much better off.
More fans would know what they were getting out of the PPV, and because of that, logic says that more fans would be willing to buy it.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!