Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and historically, WWE is the one being copied or followed. However, TNA’s decision to cut back the number of pay-per-views is one choice that the WWE should consider. But would it make a difference with the real problem?
Payback is here but does anyone really care? Yes, there are elements that are interesting but there is nothing that for me is “Must Watch”. Now, June can be a good PPV month as Mankind and the birth of Austin 3:16 at King of the Ring have done great things in the first month of summer but is anyone expecting a great buyrate for Payback?
Is it the card and stars or too many PPV’s on the WWE calendar? Yes, back in the day, WWF pay-per-views were in June and August but now it’s combined with multiple hours of cable TV wrestling (hard for me to call it “free” because DirecTV gets paid every month) and it might be time to review their business.
Would skipping a month or two (or three) hurt or help business? Would fans be more or less likely (or the same) to order PPV’s if they were spread out. Is the whole model of Pay-Per-View events and the partnership with cable/satellite come and gone?
Fact is PPV is still a money-maker for WWE and a big one. 150,000 buys at $50 average is 7.5 million and even with the split with cable/satellite providers, it’s a pretty good take for a Sunday in June. Plus the live gate and merchandise? Monthly PPV for the WWE isn’t going anywhere.
I agree with the decision that TNA made to cut back on PPV’s because I think they needed to take a step back and decide what they are as a company. If Ring of Honor ran their iPPV’s every month, it would be too much as well.
Watching Raw last week, I saw how hot Daniel Bryan was compared to John Cena. One thing that helped was Bryan wrestled Seth Rollins of the Shield and the Shield is over. Cena had to verbally battle Ryback, who is as “un-over” as one can get. But is it getting time to start adding Daniel Bryan to Vince’s list of guys he cares about?
When I was in WWE, Vince cared only about the top guys. Probably still does today. He’d ask Vince Russo, “What are we doing with (Austin, ‘Taker, Shawn, Bret Hart, Triple H, Mankind, and Rock)?” Usually a group of four, depending on time and/or injuries. Everyone else was secondary to the top guys. Nowadays, I would imagine that Vince asks about Cena, CM Punk and I’m not sure who else… As over as Daniel Bryan is, do you think he’s in Vince’s Top 4?
I’m sure Randy Orton was in Vince’s Top 4 at one time. Kane’s had his day in that group. I can’t imagine that Alberto Del Rio or Sheamus were ever in that top group but they surely aren’t there now. Jericho’s been a Top 4 for a long time. You know that Big E Langston isn’t a Top 4 because Vince would have never let that awful segment with Kaitlyn make air if he was a top guy.
I think Daniel Bryan might be charming, interesting and supremely talented but I still don’t know if Vince sees him as a top guy. Even though fan reactions for him are as loud as any, Bryan still has some work to do to catch up to Cena and he will never get there if Vince doesn’t see him as a top guy.
Who’s in your Top 4? Let me know on Twitter @RealKevinKelly
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