Let’s be honest: Sunday’s Survivor Series event was a terrible disappointment of a pay-per-view. It was little more than a glorified Raw, really. And if WWE wishes to turn around its floundering pay-per-view business, it needs to rectify its mistakes at the upcoming TLC show.
Alas, there is a genuine possibility that the TLC event will end up being another flop on the company’s pay-per-view calendar.
For one thing, the traditionally comedy-filled Slammy Awards will serve as the go-home show. How is that supposed to serve as an opportunity to sell the importance of buying TLC to the masses?
Another, arguably bigger, problem is the event’s main attraction.
Ideally, you would think a unification bout would be a major, major deal, something that could potentially headline a WrestleMania.
But, really, it isn’t. When the match was made by Triple H and Stephanie, few fans in the arena seemed to care (you could have probably heard a pin drop when the bout was revealed).
Nor has the announcement provided any demonstrable buzz amongst fans or critics.
The match may also be hindered by the fact that it’s Orton and Cena facing off, a feud that has been done to death. As one frustrated fan noted after Survivor Series was over:
So, how can WWE turn things around and avoid another flat main event like Survivor Series?
Well, a definitive ending—unlike the awful, achingly predictable conclusion to Big Show-Orton last Sunday—would be nice. You know, where the titles are actually unified.
It’s been suggested that management will elect to do an ending in which Cena takes down the WWE belt—and Orton grabs the World Heavyweight Championship.
Essentially, that would be an ending that would essentially solve nothing.
At a time when every pay-per-view—not counting WrestleMania, of course—is fast sinking into irrelevancy, the company’s writing crew needs to make a genuine attempt to show that major developments and title changes will occur at these shows, and that they are definitively worth spending cash on.
WWE could also make the effort with the rest of the card. It may not be a huge selling point, but it’s still important. At Survivor Series, we were given various matches that meant little or nothing.
What was the point of the 14-women elimination match, anyway?
Other than, apparently, anger over who had won a terrible game of “Divas Musical Chairs” on the previous week's Raw?
What was the reasoning behind Ryback vs. Mark Henry, a match thrown casually out there at the show?
Even the opening 10-man bout, while extremely entertaining, had no real reason to happen, other than WWE just needed to give those guys something to do.
Again, the booking team needs to devote airtime to selling TLC’s undercard matches and making them feel like a big deal.
The company has been stuck in a rut creative-wise over the last few months, something reflected in its pay-per-view business. (As Wrestleview notes, buyrates have been slipping.)
Can Vince McMahon turn things around at TLC? Or will this be simply another forgettable show?