A few people emailed me this week about Final Resolution bashing TNA and hoping I would probably be inclined to do the same this week but I thought about it and chose not to. I chose not to because like I would imagine many I didn’t order Final Resolution. When I thought about it I really haven’t ordered any WWE PPV’s in years either. As a matter of fact the last time I ever ordered a wrestling PPV it was when DGUSA first started up. It had me thinking because once upon a time believe it or not I used to order and watch every wrestling PPV and even though I wind up seeing everything anyway I am not in a rush to see things live. As a matter of fact the only PPV I would probably order if I did order PPV’s is Wrestlemania and well I have been there the last 3 years live so that wasn’t going to happen. Anyway I am sure I am not the only wrestling fan who just doesn’t order PPV’s anymore and I’m just wondering why? You’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
As many of you know I don’t like to just make things negative around here. I mean anyone can just come out and write “this sucks” I think it takes creativity and insight to try to fix things so while I will list many of the reasons why I don’t and why I think others don’t order PPV’s I will also try to come up with some solutions. After all we are wrestling fans and well I would like to think we all want the industry to succeed and it honestly cannot do so without PPV’s which is a big source of revenue for any promotion and the major driving points of a promotion today. So without further ado let’s get into it.
The content in the TV show is unappealing
I would wager many wrestling fans would probably tell me this one and I can’t argue with it too much. Thing is I personally was still ordering PPV’s in 2006 when I didn’t feel the quality of shows was that much better and I don’t think that’s what turned me off to ordering PPV’s. I still think it would help if WWE and TNA could do something big to get fans entrenched in the TV show to make them actually want to order the PPV. I’ll give credit where it’s due I think both WWE and TNA are trying with the Nexus and Immortal Storylines respectively. They just aren’t doing a good job of it. An N.W.O storyline doesn’t fall into your lap everyday but at the same time I do think both companies have had good opportunities to really get things rolling but have dropped the ball for whatever reason and seemingly seem stuck at what is now status quo. While I can’t say the same for TNA I am somewhat optimistic with WWE as they seem stuck in a rebuilding phase and can see another boom period. The bad news with that is I still foresee it being years away but the foundation is being laid out right now which I am excited about. I’ll just be happy at this point if TNA is around in 5 years to maybe sponge off of that boom period.
There is an oversaturation of the product
It’s funny but as bad as fans say wrestling is there is so much of it on T.V. At one point there was actually wrestling available every day of the week. Monday was Raw and ROH, Tuesday was WWE: NXT, Wednesday was Wrestlicious (whether you watched it or not it was there), Thursday was TNA and Superstars, Friday of course you have Smackdown ,Saturday if you had the channels you could watch AAA, WWC and CMLL, and Sunday you had PPV’s, WWC and for those of you in the Florida area FCW. That’s 21 hours of wrestling during a PPV week. That’s a hell of a lot of product to watch, especially if you are a school child or someone who works 40 hours a week. Plus I think you also have to take into consideration that if I can get anywhere from 12 to 18 hours of free wrestling a week why would I want to pay for a PPV? Now for the most part only WWE really has multiple shows and does so to dominate the market but would probably do best for their product if they scaled back shows. At least if they scaled back on times of the shows. Do we really need 5 hours of WWE programming a week? I personally watch all of these shows plus shows from Japan every week which brings my total to well over 20 hours of TV a week. This is not counting the stuff I watch from WWE Classics on Demand or anything else that happens to make its way to my DVD player or Computer. There is just so much out there that I just don’t find myself in a hurry to pay for anything. I would imagine so would many of you. I really think TNA doesn’t need Reaction and WWE probably doesn’t really need Superstars, NXT and you might even make an argument for Smackdown. Less is indeed more in this instance.
PPV’s are just too damn expensive
I believe WWE PPV’s are 45 bucks at this point with some markets charging more for HD. I also believe TNA is about 35 with each company putting on over 10 PPV’s a year and other companies chiming in from time to time for your PPV dollar that’s a lot of money to be a dedicated wrestling fan. If you only have a limited budge you sort of become stingy with when you decide to order a PPV and what PPV to order which is one of the reasons why the big four PPV’s up until recently have always done well because that person who will not order every month will order the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam and Survivor Series however in recent years with content not delivering even those sales have gone down and consumers have found better ways to spend their money. If I was WWE I would lower the price on all non big 4 PPV’s and maybe even experiment a bit with IPPV. I still believe there are fans out there that would like to order everything and just can’t this would help bridge that gap.
There are too many PPV’s
I remember when PPV’s used to mean the resolution to angles, these days it feels like the next chapter in a never ending book and if all I have to do is wait until the next day to get the chapter right after and not even feel like I missed out on the book I’m probably going to wait. WWE and TNA both run well over 10 PPV’s each a year and as a result have had to come up with goofy stipulations, rushed booking and tons and tons of rematches that typically lead nowhere. Even Wrestlemania which is usually where you would expect the culmination of many angles is now followed just weeks later by a PPV with rematches from that show and other PPV weeks after that one with rematches again. When you see the same guys fight over and over again and nothing really gets resolved why pay for anything? I think both companies should switch to 6 PPV’s a year and run every other month so as not to compete with each other and take their time out to build storylines that fans want to get into.
The internet makes things accessible and free
I have this here but I kind of don’t believe it should be up there. My reasoning is because UFC still does great numbers in PPV despite many people watching them for free online or torrenting them but I am sure there are some fans out there that may want to order something but will instead take the cheap way out. Me? If I really want to see something I’d probably pay for it. This is not to say I have never watched a PPV being streamed online but I find the whole deal of sitting in front of my computer too laborious and oftentimes wind up tuning out. I’m sure that if you gave people a product that they were behind they would be more than happy to pay for it and not steal it.
The competition from MMA
I mentioned it before UFC is doing incredible numbers every month. While MMA fans probably don’t like to admit this a large percentage of them is the same fan who used to order PPV’s from WWE and WCW every month and have just become disenchanted with all things wrestling. There are also fans of everything that just find MMA more appealing and will buy the MMA show before the wrestling show and just can’t afford both. MMA is popular and you have friends who get together and chip in for the PPV and make it even more affordable. Wrestling is not so popular and if you watch a show you are likely watching it with a very small group of people or by yourself which makes it not so feasible.
After looking at this, this is all I could come up with. It doesn’t seem like much but it all adds up and well I haven’t ordered a WWE or TNA PPV in over 4 years now and yet I’m a big fan of the product and I can afford to watch these PPV’s every month. I said at the beginning of this column that I didn’t want this to be a negative piece and I wanted to offer up solutions but upon getting to this point I have seen that this is easier said than done. I do believe WWE is rebuilding and am not as worried about them as others are but I am not sure that the rapidly growing world of entertainment is going to be able to ever lift PPV buys back to what it used to be. There is just too much to do and too many options that people didn’t have before. With that being said wrestling could stumble upon something cutting edge and really bust loose in the next decade. I hope that it does.
I’m going to wrap up this week but I have a few things to talk about first. The first thing I have to do is thank everyone that wrote me with congratulations and feedback for the 100th column last week. It has apparently been well talked about in many circles including message boards which I’m sorry to inform all of you I don’t follow. I’ve been hit up by readers who have sent me links to message boards including the one here at Wrestleview where threads were started talking about the “Wrestling Rumblings Top 100” but can honestly say I have not been on any of those boards nor do I plan to be. Nothing personal to those that do, it’s just not my thing. I put my email out there for a reason and all of you can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and expect a reply. So for those readers who wanted my feedback to criticism and praise on message boards I really can’t offer any since I don’t read. I also had a reader ask me how I felt about colleagues of mine at Wrestleview comment on the column in message boards and well again I don’t read them so I can’t comment. I would like to think all comments were made with respect and well if they weren’t I guess there is nothing I can do about that. Fact is whether you liked the column last week or you didn’t many of you read it and were talking about it and well I appreciate that. I’ve said it over and over again that this is a thought provoking column and I am glad that it provoked thought. I don’t force feed my opinions down anyone’s throats and I’ll be the first one to admit that the “Wrestling Rumblings Top 100” would probably be a different list if I had to sit down and do it again and probably a different list if I had to do it again after that. If it got you to thinking where you’re all time great’s stand than that is great because it accomplished its objective. Everyone’s top 100 is going to be different. This was mine as of last week, this week it would probably be different. I’m not backing off the column as it was what it was, just being very honest in my assessment of things and letting those that do go to message boards that have feedback know that I am receptive, open minded and accessible to all my readers.
OK I have to give you guys something to do right? I actually have a copy of Dustin Rhodes AKA Goldust’s new book “Cross Rhodes: Goldust out of the Darkness” and it hits shelves officially December 14th. I haven’t started reading it yet but am looking forward to reading and reviewing it for an upcoming installment of “The Eye Gouge” which for those of you who missed it debuted last week and you can check out in the archives here on the site. Another item of interest that I am hoping to make time for is the new RF Video Shoot Interview with Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman “Face Off Vol. 12: Friends 4 Life” Rob Feinstein has been touting this as the most controversial shoot interview he has ever done and well it has piqued my interest maybe it will yours as well. I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my good friend Sean “The Mic” McCaffrey’s WSU promotion is holding a show this Saturday for those of you that did order the WSU IPPV last month this is a chance to go ahead and maybe see a WSU show live for more information on that you can check out doiwrestling.com and wsuwrestling.com. I actually believe that the last WSU show that was on IPPV is being released this week and I may be getting a copy to review for those of you who are still on the fence. I will say this much while I am not a fan of women’s wrestling if you like women’s matches this is the promotion for you. The girls work hard, the storylines make sense and the shows are well paced. If you even think that you may enjoy a women’s only show give it a shot you just might surprise yourself. That’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.