Alright. We have about 4 hours. Let’s cash in on 2 or 3 feuds no one cares about, put a solid title match in a pre-show that’s way too long, promote the next PPV 3 or 5 hundred times, and wrap this thing up with a heel victory. Break. Are you tired of this too? It’s so cookie cutter and predictable. The WWE PPV format is bad. There’s no way around it. It’s time for a change, and not just any change, one that counts.
Time is Money
It takes just a little effort to turn something exciting, into something draining. As a long time wrestling fan, I understand the value and purpose of the pre-show. However, why is it an hour long? Do we really need to beat in every single point? Why not just run a complete undercard with meaningful matches across the spectrum? We could be seeing stars from NXT, 205 Live, and NXT UK. We could put some focus on the tag and women’s divisions. As much as I love Booker T and Sam Roberts, we don’t need them driving a point home that’s already in the driveway. We want action!
In its current form, the pre-show serves hardly no purpose. It’s a terrible start which drags down the energy going into the main attraction. I often find myself watching the PPV before I watch the pre-show, if at all. To its credit, WWE does a good job of throwing in the occasional interview or inside scoop. It’s fun to see some of the Superstars sit with the commentators and cut promos. Long story short, we need more action and a lot less talking. Maybe even shorten the thing to 15 minutes.
Time is STILL Money
Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The WWE PPV format is bad because everything feels the same. You know how long the show is going to run, you know if Brock Lesnar is on the card he’s going on last, and you know that only one of the secondary titles will even be seen. Some of this has to do with how the shows are currently scripted. There’s so much effort and energy being placed in just a few storylines on RAW and SmackDown that it’s hard to care about the rest. Why should the WWE Universe care about the IC Title if it’s getting tossed around like a game of hot potato for no apparent reason?
Surprisingly Brock has been around a lot more than people give him credit for the past year, and he’s had some good matches. WWE can save the Beast Incarnate if they’d like by pumping more creative juice into the tag divisions and secondary titles. Why can’t R-Truth (current U.S. Champion at the time of this writing) defend his title in a 20 minute Triple Threat match as a co-main event? Let’s give some time to the ladies tag division and give those new titles a nice shine. Maybe Curt Hawkins has a match early to try and end his streak? The possibilities are endless, but the reality is frivolous.
The Facts of Life
It wouldn’t take much to right this ship. If we focus on storytelling and action and showcase more talent overall, the product would look brand new without any turnover. Maybe things get cut from 4 hours to 2 and a half, and maybe a few top guys and gals miss a payday, but you gain fan interest. More tickets, more merchandise, more stars. More rest for those in need, less of the same old boring matches in a different city with the same guys doing the same thing. Spotlight up and coming talent.
This isn’t boxing or MMA. Not every match has to be for a title or title contention. How awesome would it be to just for no reason see Cesaro versus Drew McIntyre or Samoa Joe versus Lashley? We need more bookings based on talent and showcasing that talent, than some goofy storyline with a title being bobbled around. The WWE PPV format is bad, and that’s a fact. I trust that with the current status of the business, things will change soon.