Jump to content

The Wrestling PPV industry


tiger_rick

Recommended Posts

  • Paid Members

This has come up a couple of times recently. Triggered by comments from Loki. Couple of quotes below. There were a lot of comments last year attributed to Dixie Carter (I think) about the Wrestling PPV industry being pretty much dead. I did, do and and always will think this is a cop-out. Wrestling PPV's have been performing poorer and poorer over the past ten years or so. It's no coincidence that in the same time, we've seen a decline in the number of fresh stars, fresh matches and the number of captivating stories. They've turned to one former star after another to try and plaster over the cracks but that's all it has done.

 

Do you think the major wrestling companies can rescue PPV as a massive revenue stream? Do they even have the will? The amount of times they chuck stuff out on TV or present rematches on PPV that have no build and no consequence suggests they actually think they're doing the right thing.

 

I hope their PPV buys improve as well.

I can't see any big improvement happening until there are fresh matches to sell. As good as the product is and as sensible as the PPV build has been, it's still pretty much the same rotation of guys over and over. Some may like the Bound For Glory series but for me, it absolutely kills them when it comes to presenting fresh and interesting matches.

 

Hope the Aces and Eights thing produces a host of new guys to give Hardy, Angle, Styles, Storm, etc someone new to work with.

 

It's an interesting trade-off, isn't it? On the one hand, you're creating actual reasons for matches, on the other hand you're therefore giving away potential PPV matches on tv.

Yeah, it is interesting. I'm not against the concept. I think any more than 6 guys is too many. With 6, you can use guys who've faced each other before, saving fresh matches for the next 10 months and then using those guys next year once you've sold your matches.

 

Thing is, they did that anyway, all tv wrestling companies have for years. At least with the BFG series, there was a bit of reason behind it rather than "John Cena v Randy Orton.... in a Tag Team Match up, playa" style of tv booking.

Yeah, you're spot on here, but just because it's been done doesn't make it right. I'd argue that buyrates declining for the past 10 years suggests it's a concept that should've died out back then. Unfortunately, they both want to do things that the WWF and WCW got away with when wrestling was red-hot because people would buy anything back then. Now it's stone cold, it needs more imagination.

 

And we now have Hardy v Aries, which is fresh, for the PPV.

It's not a big winner for me. I don't particularly buy into Aries. He came from nowhere to take the title. So you've had all these guys fighting each other for months for a shot and they face a guy who got handed one. Roode/Hardy would have sold me on it.

 

Add into that we're just about to get a flood of new midcard acts with the Aces&8s, so there'll be a lot of fresh matches there too. Incidentally, what's not to love about that angle? They even have their own theme tune that sounds just like the Sons Of Anarchy theme.

I'm not in love with the angle yet. It started cool but then didn't really progress. I mentioned the other week, I think they've been too sensible with the booking. I'd have preferred a few logic holes if it meant Aces & Eights looking stronger by kicking the shit out of TNA talent each week. That said, I'm not going to shit on it completely because it still has a load of mileage.

 

In terms of fresh faces, I just don't see Mike Knox, Wes Brisco, D'Lo Brown, Luke Gallows, etc being draws at the end of it. Credit to them for trying though, it makes for good TV.

 

 

Any WWE card outside Wrestlemania from the last 2 years. Amirite? AMIRITE?

Depends on your point of view. WWE have barely presented a poor PPV in terms of match quality for 3 or 4 years. But too many PPV's are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Not to play tit-for-tat but I think the same of TNA. I haven't watched more than a few PPV's from each of WWE or TNA in the past 2 years. There's no reason too. You sit down for the next Raw or Impact and you've hardly missed a thing. The chances are the matches are re-runs or there'll be a re-run on that episode. They come out with nonsense about PPV market being dead when it's just absolute laziness on their part to not protect the PPV matches. Probably not the thread for this but I think it's an interesting debate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 47
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I think it is dead. Part of the reason is based on economic and technological reasons, particularly the availability of free streams or downloads. There's not a lot any of the wrestling companies can do about that. The other part of it, though, is that wrestling companies really struggle to create that 'big time' feel that used to make PPVs feel like they were worth shelling out for around their product in general. NEWM mentioned something in one of the other threads about how casual fans from back in the day always seem to remember the Wrestlemania at Caeser's Palace where everybody was dressed as Romans. Of course it was tacky, but that sort of thing is a good example of the things they used to do to tart up a PPV and differentiate them from TV shows. The set of the Calgary Stampede or Armageddon '99 or Royal Rumble 2000 are other examples. I'm not saying a set is all important, but you need to be able to instantly distinguish a PPV from an episode of RAW to make it even slightly worth paying out for.

 

Pitcos made a post in that 'Create your worst PPV lineup' thread where he had a list of matches like Orton vs Cena, Del Rio vs Sheamus, Ziggler vs Ryder etc. That sort of lineup was pretty much the same thing that came to my mind when I saw the thread title. It could have easily been lifted from a WWE PPV that happened 3 years ago, or it could be the lineup for one that's happening next month. Or it could be taken directly from an episode of RAW. There's very little way of telling the difference anymore, except that real stars like Brock Lesnar or The Rock or The Undertaker occasionally turn up for the bigger PPVs. Every PPV that has been in the slightest bit memorable over the last few years has featured at least one of those in a prominent position, and it's usually Wrestlemania. Aside from them, the PPVs, TV shows and the wrestlers themselves all seem to blend into each other. The WWE have created only one legitimate star who's anywhere close to the level of those three since the last boom period, and they've done that by pushing him to death with a near permanent position at the top of the card for almost a decade. I can't ever envisage a period when the old names are gone, Cena is injured and CM Punk, Ziggler, Miz and Sheamus are doing respectable PPV numbers on their own.

 

The Attitude era killed the goose that laid the golden egg, in that it created a demanded for a volume of wrestling television that is impossible to effectively fill in the modern era. With the oversaturation of TV (made even worse by the move to 3 hours for RAW) and 12 PPVs a year, together with a very limited pool of 'name' wrestlers, there's no way to effectively keep matches and angles fresh enough to be bankable PPV commodities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a hard problem to solve, what makes it harder is that there are probably people in both major companies who think there's nothing wrong with things as they are

 

I doubt there is any quick fix that could sort the industry out but I'd say if WWE cut down to, say, 10 PPV's a year then it might be a good start. Scrapping the April and December PPV's would be my idea so that the whole Road to Wrestlemania seems like a bigger deal

 

I'd have the build for the Royal Rumble start the night after Survivor Series and just have everyone on the roster go on about how they need to win the Rumble and get that Main Event at Mania, I know they pretty much do this now but I think ramming home every week for 8-10 weeks about how important the Rumble is and having literally every male member of the roster constantly talking about the Rumble would get more people interested, more people interested = more buys

 

For the Summer I'd just basically rip off Bound for Glory and have a series where the winner gets the main event at Summerslam for the title

 

I know that's going a bit too far into fantasy booking than this topic needs but at the very least it gives a definite focus for 10 months of WWE programming (and more importantly the Pay Per Views from the Rumble to Summerslam) and eliminates what I consider the main problem with most of the Pay Per Views in that people are just having matches because there happens to be a Pay Per View that Sunday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly far too many PPVs between both TNA and the WWE. Where many of them come across carelessly put together and appear to lack originality. Personally I feel the whole monthly PPV concept is very outdated and should only exist for around 4 PPVs a year. Where instead more effort is put into improving the actual product. Both companys have their flaws and having so many PPVs is a certain factor impacting this.

 

With numbers continuing to shrink in the past few years it's only time before they make a change to this

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members

WWE still makes a large profit off the PPVs, both from the live gate and the buys and the social media activity (which increases merchandise sales and eyes on the product and general mainstream wankery) is always up on PPV weekends. Business may be significantly down from its peak, but WWE still makes big money from it, and if they cut them thats a lot of money gone from it. Also a lot of money gone from the wrestlers pocket, because a bonus is a bonus.

 

TNA should cut their loses, because some of them are just pointless. Half of them seem to be done to promote Impact. If TNA doesn't take them seriously, why should the buyer? They should have one in January, April, July and October and have the rest as Clash of the Champions free specials. You'd get more eyes on them then.

 

And the PPV industry is less dead for ROH than the stream is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know some people think it can't turn around simply because there's too much wrestling on TV but the WWF's hottest period in every way was the first 8 months of 2000 and they were putting 4 hours of TV out a week plus Heat while WCW were still putting 4 hours out each week too

 

I know that's simplifying things a bit because obviously there's a lot of factors involved (mainstream popularity, roster depth, Chris Kreski) but it is possible to be overexposed and still be successful (if that isn't a complete contradiction)

 

If they wanted to change things up without changing their business model too much, I'd go back and do a proper Brand Extension again, and only have the two rosters mix at the big 4, I know it went stale eventually but at the very least it might make the Raw PPV's seem a bit more big time and certainly a lot fresher

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members

The problem definitely lies in the quantity, not the quality of PPVs. These days, PPVs don't feel like PPVs, its just another episode of Raw but the titles will be on the line and you have to pay to watch it. I can see where WWE are coming from, if they put on 12 PPVs per year and can get poor/decent buyrates for most of them then they're making more money if they put on 6 PPVs with decent/good buyrates. However, I think they're shooting themselves in the foot, people are happy to watch the PPVs on their little laptop screens through a poor quality stream because noone wants to pay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
And the PPV industry is less dead for ROH than the stream is.

:laugh:

 

Been ages since you mentioned that!

 

The point about the number of PPV's is a fair one. But it won't change. They won't risk making big money on less PPV's when they are making a bit of money on a lot of PPV's. And what most people seem to ignore is that even if they went back to 4 PPV's a year, they'd still be putting out 60+ hours of TV in between.

 

Disagree with Ian (if that's allowed) on TNA PPV's. He's right about their attitude towards them but that's what needs to change. They have a large enough audience and a good enough roster to present profitable PPV's. They don't know how to write TV without spunking everything they've got though.

 

Magnum is right about the presentation too. Running PPV's in the Impact zone is pointless. They just don't feel like they're worth the money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Not a sniff for 2.99. Also WWE don't want to piss off the PPV providers. They've tried going against them in the past for a bigger cut. Indie iPPVs go for more than that, and they don't even work half the time. While WWE's buys are down, they're still making a killing on them. Maybe TNA should follow the COTC model though, actually I thought they were going to a couple of years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a sniff for 2.99. Also WWE don't want to piss off the PPV providers. They've tried going against them in the past for a bigger cut. Indie iPPVs go for more than that, and they don't even work half the time. While WWE's buys are down, they're still making a killing on them. Maybe TNA should follow the COTC model though, actually I thought they were going to a couple of years ago.

 

I did actually just say that....

 

"I imagine it's way more complicated than that, and the PPV providers would have a breakdown if WWE started offering cheap streams online"

 

But surely the future is with internet streaming. For now it would be an additional service, not a replacement. You want your HD/3D picture for your big screen TV you get the regular PPV feed, if you are just after a decent stream that won't die, lag or go out of sinc you get the reduced price internet stream.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's a possibility, but I doubt it would happen that way.

 

From the way a lot of people on here have spoken about it in the past, most people relish their HD feeds and get proper pissed off when they have quality issues. There are also still loads and loads of people who haven't realised that you can hook up your internet/laptop to your TV, and would never "want to watch a PPV sitting at my computer screen". People who have mates round and make a night of it will still want the HD feed on their giant tellys.

 

I honestly think that the people who'd decide to use such a service would mostly be the people who currently only watch for free anyway. You'd also have the option of sending stream links to anyone anywhere in the world. As long as you can get an internet connection you can watch the PPV. Think of all the lovely people in the US Army who could watch John Cena beat the baddies from Behind Enemy Lines!! By making it an internet thing and not a PPV Provider thing, absolutely anyone could order the show from any country.

 

I'll concede that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...