Reality From Ringside #29
September 7, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of

Tables, Latters, Chairs, and Realty (sp – Reality)

WWE World Wrestling Entertainment ? TLC: Tables, Latter, and Chairs

This is not a typo? this is the actual Ticketmaster website for sales regarding WWE’s newly-named December pay-per-view, previously known as Armageddon. While I?m sure this will not be promoted as such throughout the rest of the year, it just leaves all of us on ?the internets? shaking our heads for so many reasons.

Normally I can forgive misspellings when it comes to typical forms of media administered by those who wouldn?t know any better, like McDonald’s signs. If the sign read ?2 Dubble Cheeseburgers $2?, I would be tolerant. Little Jimmy is probably going through his third year of community college trying to get his degree in heating and air conditioning because he couldn?t stand the teachers and formality of getting a high school diploma, going to a real college, and bettering his life.

We all have standards and priorities in our lives; some just set theirs so low that spelling, grammar, and climbing up the evolutionary ?latter? are not requirements.

However, when you work for the advertising and public relations departments of the nationwide leader in live entertainment ticketing and marketing, there is no room for error. You have a computer. You have ‘spell-check? as an option. You might also be at an education level that places you higher than Eugene.

Whoever is responsible for this typo of unforgiveable magnitude should be given two options: Recommendations of books regarding the English language complete with Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus? or their letter of termination due to ?lack of capable thought?. I would opt for the ?ladder?.

All kidding aside, let’s get to the ?reality? of this change in terminology.

This is the fourth instance this year WWE has initiated this change albeit for the sole purpose of garnering pay-per-view buys and ticket sales. It is completely understandable from a general advertising and marketing viewpoint, but is also undeniably horrible and ridiculous from a general promoting and company-building viewpoint.

For over three months, we have heard the collective complaints from professional wrestling enthusiasts, analysts, commentators, and other people with incredibly overblown titles of recognition. It is counter-productive to name an event after a match stipulation or akin to a stipulation because it obliterates the dramatic build-up before you even introduce the competitors involved.

Because WWE has renamed their future pay-per-view events (?Hell in a Cell?, ?Tables, Latters, and Chairs?, ?Breaking Point?), they have sacrificed their television ratings for pay-per-view buys. Be honest, now that you know WWE’s pay-per-view next month is named ?Hell in a Cell?, can you guess who would be in the signature main event? I?m not asking you to tell me who it will be, just imagine the pairing. Now? do you see any point in watching WWE television from the end of ?Breaking Point? until ?Hell in a Cell?? I sure as hell don?t.

However, since I can?t be tremendously negative every week with my ?realities?, look at this through the eyes of the advertiser and marketer.

?What’s the difference?? I?m sure you?re asking. Huge.

The promoter hypes an event before the event occurs. The advertiser displays the event’s specifics, like the organization providing the entertainment, date, time, and venue. The promoter builds the product and whips up a frenzy in anticipation for the event that the advertiser has broadcast to the eager buyer.

In WWE’s case with ?Hell in a Cell?, the advertiser locked the promoter in a cold, damp chamber somewhere in Connecticut and is telling you just to tune in sometime in October. Here’s your match stipulation, it’s going to be what the name entails. Don?t bother watching any of our programming for the next 4 weeks; you already know what is coming up!

So sure, WWE may have already won some potential pay-per-view buys with renaming their event, but they have seriously shot themselves in the foot when it comes to the prospective loss in Nielsen ratings and advertising dollars.

It will be a very intriguing October indeed. Pay attention to WWE’s ratings following ?Breaking Point? leading into ?Hell in a Cell?. Compare those numbers to that of last year. One of two things may happen?

If there is a decrease in Nielsen ratings: The promoter will be let out of the dungeon for fresh air, a bottle of water, and asked to help WWE devise ?edgier? sounding titles for their pay-per-view events that would help the numbers grow; Because we all damn well know WWE can?t promote a pay-per-view through story development, character building, and solid performances on television.

If there is an increase in Nielsen ratings: The advertiser will walk into the promoter’s dungeon with a small caliber pistol, put an end to his irrelevant existence, and we will be introduced to new WWE pay-per-views like ?Buried Alive?, ?Handicapped?, and the Punjabi Prison-themed event ?Bamboo Shoots and Latters?.

My money is on the ?ladder?.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts… adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements: Reality from Ringside.

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