WWE's Pay-Per-View Challenge: Bring Back Tradition and Prestige
I was thinking about WWE pay-per-view's recent struggles. It is no secret Vince McMahon is not happy about the lagging buy rates. Then it struck me, the pay-per-views themselves are just randomly thrown out there.
Whatever happened to great PPVs such as Cyber Sunday and Starrcade? Who remembers when pay-per-views were a must buy?
This article will not make any suggestions on how to improve WWE's product. Instead it will list a pay-per-view system that stresses continuity and revenue.
A pet peave of mine is the pay-per-view time should ALWAYS go three hours or more.
Anything less than that is UNACCEPTABLE!
This means we won't see six PPVs per year. Twelve is ideal for maximizing revenue and fan interest. Any more than that is just too many.
Ideally WWE should have a monthly PPV that has some history and tradition behind it. I will not only list the ideal times of the PPVs but analyze why it should be on the calendar.
Late January: Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble must be on this new PPV schedule, because it is not only well-known but popular. The unique 30-man battle royal is an amazing way to determine a No. 1 contender for a world title at WrestleMania.
Since 1988, the Royal Rumble has electrified the fans with countless classic moments. It's a perfect way to start the new year by generating excitement and buzz with WWE fans.
Late February: No Way Out
Just think the same concept as Elimination Chamber but not as obvious. It can also continue the Royal Rumble to WrestleMania story lines. Moreover it can have main events in steel cages or Hell in a Cell matches and not seem too random.
No Way Out can be that perfect bridge PPV from Royal Rumble to WrestleMania. It can have an Elimination Chamber match to make it worth buying if needed. Either this can be used to end a feud, or create a feud heading in to WrestleMania. It should be a versatile PPV for WWE.
Late March/Early April: WrestleMania
It's WrestleMania. Do I need to say more?
Just make sure to keep the Money in the Bank ladder match and create timeless moments.
Late April: Backlash
Backlash is a good bounce back pay-per-view following Wrestlemania. This can allow the younger guys to flourish as the older stars (Triple H, Undertaker, etc) take time off.
Mid/Late May: Extreme Rules
This PPV can honor ECW by making Extreme Rules live up to its name. Always have this located in either Madison Square Garden or in Philadelphia.
TLC, Street Fights, Extreme Rules and any violent matches you can think of should be on this PPV. It can cap off any lingering feuds after WrestleMania.
Any potential way WWE can waive the PG rating just for this PPV should be strongly considered to add the necessary violence.
Mid-June: King of the Ring
After watching the latest KOTR episode of Raw, I realized how successful of a PPV it really was. Any lack of buildup can be erased by the intrigue and prestige of the event.
Stars such as Bret Hart, Stone Cold and Triple H benefited strongly from being the King of the Ring.
Given WWE needs to push new stars, this is the perfect venue for pushing them while veteran stars take their summer vacations.
Late June to Early July, Saturday Night's Main Event: Undisputed
How many PPVs should there be for WWE?
While this is not a PPV, an occasional one hour show on NBC can do wonders for the WWE. It can be a fairly low cost way to generate ratings for both NBC and WWE.
Have the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Champion do battle to see who the "Undisputed" Champion really is. Do the same with US and IC champs. Don't unify any of the belts but make this a special occasion.
Give the US-IC match 15 minutes to get the crowd worked up for the huge main event. Make a pregame "show" for the main event.
Mid-July: Night of Champions
Night of Champions has always been a solid pay-per-view. The every title must be defended stipulation will generate fan interest. This is a good set up pay-per-view for Summerslam.
Always have this PPV outside of the country to expand the international fanbase.
It appears Summerslam will be permanently based out of Los Angeles.
Given many wrestlers live outside of LA, this is good for them to take a break from the foreign tour culminating at Night of Champions.
As kids are going back to school, properly promote this PPV.
Early to Mid-September: Cyber Sunday
Cyber Sunday needs to back on the calendar. WWE needs to make sure the fan voting actually means something.
Instead of voting for No. 1 contenders as in the past, I say just let them vote on the stipulations and possibly guest referees.
The intrigue of the PPV will overshadow the lack of buildup. Just be sure to give the time gap three weeks instead of two.
Armageddon had to be stopped due to the 9/11 fallout. Now it can be brought back without political backlash.
Make it like No Way Out and Extreme Rules in terms of matches such as street fights and no holds barred. It can even cap off feuds started at Summerslam.
Mid-November: Survivor Series
Survivor Series must be kept. This is ideal for the inter-promotional matches Bragging Rights was known for.
Have a Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown match along with other multi-man elimination tag matches.
Mid to Late December: Starrcade
Dedicate this pay-per-view to WCW and NWA. Always have this located in Atlanta.
Starrcade can be the fifth-biggest pay-per-view of the year for WWE. Feuds can be capped off here.
This pay-per-view schedule will not only have proper buildup, but enable WWE to maintain their desired revenues.
So, would you pay $55 for any of these pay-per-views? That might be a whole different story.
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