Friday, February 19, 2010

WWE's New PPVs

WWE continues to renovate its PPV schedule, much to the chagrin of wrestling fans, who really don't like change.  Let's take a look at the new calendar and which changes are good and which should have been left on the drawing board:

April - Extreme Rules replaces Backlash
I'm really not that upset by this.  Even though Backlash was a great PPV name and dealt with the fallout of WrestleMania, I think Extreme Rules could accomplish that and do it better.  WWE traditionally does gimmick-heavy Mania rematches at Backlash anyway, which somewhat devalues Extreme Rules just a month or two later.  So while I'll miss the Backlash name, it's just a name and I think this is a good move. 

May - Wild Card
This is the big eyebrow raiser since no one really knows what Wild Card is.  Some people are speculating that it's Raw Roulette, with match types being decided in a "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" kind of way, but with it being just one month after Extreme Rules, I can't see that being the case since they'd be way too similar.  My hope is that this is the return of the Lethal Lottery concept from WCW, with tag teams being randomly paired up, put in matches, and then the winning teams go onto compete in the BattleBowl Battle Royal.  The winner could become the new #1 contender or something to that effect, perhaps a bit too similar to the Rumble, so maybe they'll drop the BattleBowl and just center it around Lethal Lottery and the Unified Tag Titles? 

June - Fatal Four Way
Hands down, the dumbest idea for a PPV that I've seen in a long time.  The concept of a Fatal Four Way is not something that makes me think "must-buy PPV," it's a match that could make a PPV interesting depending on participants, but the match itself doesn't sell PPVs like the Elimination Chamber or Hell in a Cell.  In February, WWE has the Elimination Chamber, which features six guys inside a giant birdcage of death, but they expect people to get excited about a measly Fatal Four Way just four months later?  Really?  Why not bring back the Championship Scramble, it's definitely a more interesting concept. 

July - Money in the Bank
I know a lot of folks are upset about this one since it likely means the end of MITB at WrestleMania, but I believe it's a pretty cool idea.  Money in the Bank is the best way to set up a title match since the Royal Rumble guaranteed the winner a title shot at WrestleMania, why shouldn't it get its own PPV?  I'm not fond of the idea of multiple MITBs, and I don't want the card fleshed out with qualifying matches, so as long as they avoid those pitfalls, making it a normal PPV with MITB as the main event, it'll be a great event. 

September - Night of Champions
NoC has been around for a couple years now, it's just getting moved to September, but I did want to express how much I love this PPV concept.  With Survivor Series getting dropped, Night of Champions should officially become the new fourth in the "Big Four." 

October - Hell in a Cell
On the flipside, I hate this PPV.  I hate the concept, last year's show was undoubtedly the worst PPV of 2009, and it hurts the aura of WWE's most intimidating gimmick match.  To make matters worse, this year's Hell in a Cell PPV occurs just two weeks after Night of Champions, presumably so they can squeeze another PPV in October.  WWE better have one hell of a card, but as was pointed out to me by friend of the site, TKz, last year's show looked pretty good on paper too, so even that doesn't mean much.  If WWE drops to 12 PPVs in 2011, I hope this is the one to go.

Those are all the changes listed on WWE.com, it still leaves for one more PPV in October, something to replace Survivor Series in November, and presumably the return of TLC in December.  I also assume Bragging Rights will return, but I hope that replaces Survivor Series in November and is coupled with War Games, so that just leaves one more PPV in October.  My proposal?  Halloween Havoc! 

So what do you think of the new WWE PPV schedule?  Feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, and new PPV ideas in the comments.

9 comments:

  1. I don't mind many of these changes. I'm a little weary of the MiTB just as you said having more than one can be tiring. But it could become interesting for sure.

    As for SvS I wouldn't be surprised to see it getting replaced by Bragging Rights since that really was just the same concept.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is far too radical for my interest, quite honestly. It feels like every gimmick has to be PPV-bound and something about it doesn't breathe right. I don't think MITB will have the draw it needs. Part of the reason it works so well is because it says to a million people ordering the PPV "HEY, THIS GUY IS A FUTURE WORLD CHAMPION OR AT LEAST A FUTURE STAR." That's pretty exciting on its own. I don't see people getting into it as much with 300,000 tops. It also leads to the temptation to put top guys in the match and to conform to the same path. With it on Mania, it gives a sense that hungry midcarders are going after the prize of a lifetime. But as a PPV in July, it doesn't feel as special to me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And the troubling thing about Bragging Rights is that the numbers for it were still worse than Survivor Series's buyrate, even with the numbers way down for the 2009 installments.

    Wild Card could be awesome. Fatal Four Way sounds disastrous. It's practically lending credence to the jokes made about WWE's PPVs called Match In A Ring.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Halloween Havoc should return for the same reason I wish we still had Clash of the Champions - different coloured ring mats are awesome. >_>

    ReplyDelete
  5. Man, I'd get behind Halloween Havoc if there was even one really memorable Halloween Havoc. '93 was pretty good with the Vader/Cactus death match, and '97 certainly had its moments, but Havoc was generally a terrible show in WCW, and some of the worst shows in the company's history ('92, '98, '00) were Halloween Havoc shows. I guess WWE could make it work, but it's not like the Great American Bash where it had a rich history of awesome shows behind it.

    Plus it just wouldn't be the same if it wasn't SLIM JIM(R)'s Halloween Havoc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also totally with you on the whole Championship Scramble PPV. It's such a fun concept that, if they're gimmicking up the PPV's, would be perfect to keep involved. Especially since you don't really need to build FOR that match, like with Hell in the Cell. It's a lot more like The Rumble in that guys will compete for a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Sous - Here's how make Halloween Havoc work today: Michael Cole dressed as a Twilight vampire.

    @Trey - that's why I think they should just make MITB a totally normal PPV, complete with the WWE/World Titles on the line in other matches, but just put MITB on last.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It actually wouldn't totally surprise me if they changed the concept of the Money in the Bank match to suit the structure of a full Pay-Per-View. If they wanted to play it out for a whole night, a King of the Ring-style tournament bracket could be set up, with the event itself including matches from the Quarter Finals onwards.

    Don't get me wrong, though, as I would not be a fan of such an option and would rather see the traditional ladder match format in the main event, with the rest of the card separate. Coming to think of it, though, I would be very happy to see King of the Ring return as a Pay-Per-View in the near future.

    Whatever happens with the Money in the Bank format, I hope we see this year's winner cash in his title shot cleanly a la Rob Van Dam. That isn't to say that the 'cheap' wins over the last few years haven't been memorable moments, but a change would be welcome on that front.

    ReplyDelete