So the word from the folks at TNA Wrestling is that they will be scaling back the amount of Pay Per Views this year and beyond. Personally, I think that this is a very good idea, and I also feel that at some point WWE should and maybe will follow suit. Now I am not saying that they should take things back to the way they were when I was a kid when there were only 4 Pay Per Views (though it would make the build for these events huge), but cuts should be made somewhere. I do feel that there is an over-saturation when it comes to these events, and to be honest they don’t really seem like big deals like they once did.
Take a look at WWE, their original big 4 WrestleMania, Survivor Series, Summer Slam, and Royal Rumble all get huge hype while the remaining pay per views while sometimes pretty good are looked at and treated as B level events that aren’t all that important and mostly filler. What better way to stop having the same guys wrestle each other every month in the pay per view main event than to simply not have pay per views every month? Let’s see creative teams actually have to think for once and cut out all the bullshit lazy booking and having guys trade wins.
The buy rates have shown that people just aren’t buying them as much as they once did outside of an event such as WrestleMania which is known as “The Grand Daddy of them All”. The people who do buy these pay per views aren’t really buying them because they find the matches or the event itself interesting, they are fans who buy the shows in rote. And what I mean by “in rote” is that these are fans who will purchase these shows regardless of how the product is doing because it may be a monthly thing they do with their friends or family. I always order WrestleMania and it doesn’t matter who is in the main event. I order it every year because it’s a tradition that I have among my friends who all pile into my apartment with snacks and alcohol. For me, WrestleMania is on par with the Super Bowl, wait scratch that, for me WrestleMania Sunday is a bigger event than Super Bowl Sunday!
Another thing that is plain to see is that more wrestling fans are deciding that they can save their money by streaming the shows online instead of throwing down 40 or more dollars to see these events. Why buy the show when you can watch it on your computer or your laptop for free? Today’s economic climate has more and more people trying to spend less, and I am sure 3 hours of people pretending to beat each other up isn’t at the top of the list of things to spend your hard earned cash on. And even when a streaming site gets shut down, guess what? 10 other streaming sites will continue to show up in its place.
Ring of Honor seems to be ahead of the curve with their offering of Internet Pay Per Views which cost less than the normal WWE or TNA Pay Per View, but the concept appears to still be in its infancy as all of the bugs aren’t worked out with it yet. WWE also may have something on their hands with the upcoming WWE Network (if it ever gets off the ground), in which they will be offering all of the lower end PPV events as part of the subscription to the Network. I am sure they feel that not only will it be a cost cutting measure, but will entice more people to subscribe to the network because they will save money if they happen to be one of the folks who does order pay per views on a consistent basis.
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