Based on the WWE conference call this morning, executives were apparently disappointed with the Summer Slam PPV buys and the term 'attraction' was used as the reason. Couldn't agree more. PPV's are all attraction driven and they've always been. However, the more that is given away on free TV and the more free TV that is provided in general the harder it is for attractions to be considered worth spending extra, big bucks on and adding to one's cable or satellite bill.
I'm a believer that TV ratings can be achieved without giving away multiple, PPV attractions but only if long term, creative planning is firmly in place. Changing things on the fly and making 11th hour decisions regarding direction, etc will never be a successful formula.
Stars sell tickets, it's always been that way, and until company's figure out how to commit to making new stars the business is going to on its current course.
Top talents back in the day had an open door to the bookers who made the decisions regarding the matches and the creative utilized in all bouts because the goal was to sell tickets as that was the way that revenue was generated, by and large. The talents had an agenda, to draw money, in which everyone involved benefited. When the business started becoming more diverse it was thought that a 'writing team' had to be created, then expanded and to eventually to experiment with more 'entertainment' ideas rather than 'competition' ideas which seems, in hind sight, to have been a fundamental mistake.