Last week at WWE Extreme Rules, we saw two things that stood out from the rest of the show.
We saw real genuine emotion from Christian as he won his first major championship in a WWE uniform (I guess the ECW championship has been “forgotten”). The other thing wasn’t exactly on screen, but it dealt directly with Christian’s championship win.
It was the heart of Vince McMahon. For once, he wasn’t the predictable grouch we’ve all known him to be. He seemed to bury the anti-TNA hatchet at all was well.
Now, the Orton title win was shocking and not shocking for the same reason. Nobody actually believed that Christian would get a decent title run, but at the same time, no one thought the end would happen on the next episode of Smackdown. Just like that, all the celebrating went straight out the door.
McMahon moved Randy Orton over to Smackdown to be the big star. Orton wasn’t going to get any bigger on Raw, so this made sense. But you don’t need to destroy the rest of the roster in order to make one guy’s presence known.
Most people know by now that WWE is to simply be known by those letters and not as World Wrestling Entertainment. McMahon wants to go mainstream, and he’s doing just that. But there’s a problem.
If Orton is to be viewed as the “star” of Smackdown, it makes sense for him to have the championship. In most movies and TV shows, the star gets the top prize. So McMahon’s done a good job of behaving like a mainstream company.
But there’s a problem. Most other forms of mainstream media do not require you to pay 50 bucks every few weeks to enjoy their programming. I doubt Jack Bauer would have had such a huge following if every third episode of 24 was aired on pay-per-view.
Movies require you to pay. Not a whole lot though. I doubt Fast Five would’ve pulled in close to a hundred million if ticket prices were close to 50 bucks. But then again, McMahon probably attributes the movie's success to WWE anyway.
Feel free to disagree with me on this next statement in the comment section. The one thing above all else that people pay for when they order a WWE PPV is excitement. Quality matches fall under that category, as they generally have to draw some form of excitement in order to be remembered. We want to hear Jim Ross yell “Oh my God” because that’s what we want to feel.
So McMahon is in a bit of a dilemma. He desperately wants his company to be like other entertainment companies. But at what cost? Is McMahon really willing to alienate his loyal fanbase? Looks like it.
Over the Limit is happening in a week or so. The card hasn’t been announced yet (shocker) but we can assume John Cena will wrestle the Miz and Christian will invoke his rematch clause against Orton. Are we expecting any title changes? Doubtful.
So why bother ordering it?
I probably won’t. I’m sick of the philosophy that guys like Orton and Cena can’t be beaten cleanly by younger talent such as The Miz, Wade Barrett or Sheamus. How are they supposed to grow? I don’t think anyone really knows.
All I know is that if Vinnie Mac wants to be a mainstream company, he needs to lower PPV prices to reflect what a movie theater would charge. Because I’m done dropping money on predictable garbage.