Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Does WWE need brand-specific PPVs?

Reading the dirtsheets today, I keep seeing reports that Edge and CM Punk are both working injured, not badly, but they're both pretty banged up. Not sure if these reports are accurate, but it got me thinking about the injuries in WWE piling up, take a look at all the guys who are working hurt, on the shelf or taking time off right now:

RAW: Batista (bicep), Matt Hardy (hand), Shawn Michaels (time off, wear & tear)
SD: Undertaker (hip), CM Punk (rumored), Edge (rumored), Rey Mysterio (rumored) Kane (time off),
ECW: Hurricane (neck?)

Nine guys, all fairly big names on their brands and are banged up, taking time off or on the shelf, it's making me wonder if these guys could use a month off here and there? Regardless of whether or not the rumors are true about three of Smackdown's top guys, you can't deny they have to be banged up pretty bad right now. A guy like Edge is going out there and working big match style every month; whether it's two Elimination Chambers at No Way Out, a big Triple Threat at Mania, a brutal Last Man Standing at Backlash, back-to-back months with Jeff Hardy, one of those being a ladder match, he has to be hurting. It's nice that Edge is finally getting a month off from PPV, but what about all the other top guys?

That raises the question, should WWE go back to brand-specific PPVs? It would give guys a month off and it would make the few tri-branded PPVs a bigger deal. Of course, the big problem with the brand-specific PPVs was that they were often light on undercard, but the tri-branded PPVs are too heavy on main events, surely there's a compromise in there somewhere? Why not a few PPVs featuring only two brands, giving some of the guys a rest here and there and perhaps a chance for some undercard guys to shine? Here's just a rough idea of what the schedule could look like:

WrestleMania: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
Backlash: Raw/ECW
Judgment Day: Smackdown/ECW
Extreme Rules: ECW, Raw, Smackdown
The Bash: Raw/ECW
Night of Champions: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
SummerSlam: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
Breaking Point: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
No Mercy: Smackdown/ECW
Cyber Sunday: Raw/ECW
Survivor Series: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
Armageddon: Smackdown/ECW
Royal Rumble: Raw, Smackdown, ECW
No Way Out: Raw, Smackdown, ECW

Just a thought. You may notice an overabundance of ECW, but I figure on months where they're paired up with Raw or Smackdown, they could just provide a little support to flesh out what would be a thin undercard if it were just a single-brand event. Also, there's still plenty of tri-branded PPVs, so WWE wouldn't have to worry too much about losing money. If money weren't a concern, I'd suggest they go back to single-brand PPVs, make them 2.5 hours and charge $29.99 for them, but I don't think there's any chance of something like that ever happening.

It's probably not ideal, but any kind of rest for guys like Edge, Cena, Hardy, Orton, etc., who work major hard-hitting matches every month has to be a good thing. Again, it's just something I put together quickly, feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you agree and/or how you would improve the idea.


  1. The only troubling part of all of this is that buyrates have been, excluding Mania, not that great. Sadly, this time might be a poor time to put midcarders on a PPV. I don't disagree, freshening up things and giving different talents a main event shine is exactly what say UFC is doing right now to phenomenal success (even if it is apples to oranges). By comparison, I don't think Cena needs to be an every PPV draw, because he can't be that draw forever.

    But I don't know if WWE is in an experimental mood right now in relation to pay-per-view, as the closest thing to an experiment right now seems to be "different versions of the same opponents."

  2. I know it's been discussed, but what about cutting back the number of PPVs altogether? One a month seems more than reasonable to me.

  3. Yeah, I've been wanting them to go back to 12 for awhile now... at least they're not still trying to pull off 16 a year, that was a mess.

    I think they could easily cut Judgment Day and No Mercy though, which are generally useless PPVs since Extreme Rules and Cyber Sunday are three weeks later and are far more interesting concepts.

  4. I was thinking that if they did this, they might occasionally be able to give a couple of the guys they have working in the FCW a little taste of glory to see if they might be ready for prime time as it were.