Sunset Flip Presents: Pay Per Views Not Worth the Money
By Jim Boy Star
Welcome to another Sunset Flip Presents column. I am Jim Boy Star, host and producer of the radio show Sunset Flip Wrestling Show.
This week’s column focuses on Pay Per Views.
Traditionally, weekly television shows would use storylines to build to a huge match. In fact, so huge that you have to pay money to see it on pay per view.
For the purposes of this column, and because they have more history on Pay Per Views, we will just be talking about World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE’s main pay per views include Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. Those are the oldest events they have and still go strong today.
Compared to the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, today’s Pay Per Views are just not worth the money. I often wonder to myself why people still bother purchasing most of them. With an American price tag of $40, that is a good amount of money to spend in a poor economy.
One of the main reasons, I feel, the worth of pay per views going down is the constant repeat matches. Some that are reading may argue that the early 90’s PPV’s were not worth the money, but I disagree with that argument.
For example, when Lex Luger fought Yokozuna at Summerslam 1993, Luger won by a countout and you never saw a rematch until Luger co-won the Royal Rumble and fought Yokozuna at Wrestlemania, 7 months later. In today’s wrestling, they build up for Randy Orton defending the title against Batista, and even though Orton won and there’s no reason for a rematch, it happens. This situation does not just happen on the Raw brand, it happens on Smackdown and ECW too. In today’s WWE, there’s a good chance you will see the same title matches two, three, or even four times before the feud ends, with nothing added to the storyline.
Simply put, instead of paying for Act 1, just pay for the final Act because Act 1 is not going to be the end of the story. Or if you do pay for Act 1, you feel cheated because nothing is resolved and nothing has changed. Isn’t that what getting a PPV is supposed to be all about? To feel like you spent your money to see something special.
You must also remember in the early 90’s, the show would cost less money. So not only does nothing get resolved, but it is more expensive to see a show where nothing gets resolved than it was in the past. I do realize that in past shows, both of these situations occurred but they occured far less than in today’s wrestling world.
With twelve to fourteen pay per views per year, by default the build has also become shortened. An easy solution for this is to not have the same matches each month and throw in a midcard guy to fight for a World Championship. This is something I feel WWE is dropping the ball on big time.
With two World Championships (ECW title matches never headline), it gives the company an opportunity to put a new wrestler on top for one match but still having the other championship match as the real main event.
For example, put CM Punk vs Matt Hardy as one title match and the other match John Cena against Randy Orton. Clearly, Cena vs Orton would close the show but it also gives CM Punk a strong win on a big time show and builds up Punk and credibility of that title. Then next month, switch it around. One match is CM Punk against the Undertaker while John Cena can defend against MVP. This situation accomplishes a couple of things. It accomplishes building up the titles’ credibility by having the champion fight a variety of different people, postpones inevitable huge money making matches so it means something when they do fight, and finally it helps establish new stars showing the midcarders can go toe to toe with main eventers even if they do not win. It should be noted this situation should be used to second rate PPV’s and not the bigger named ones. WWE has a huge opportunity right in front of them, and yet they refuse to use it.
Unfortunately, I do not see the WWE PPV landscape changing and it is really a shame. I would not mind spending $40 each month as long as I felt like I was getting my money’s worth.
Check out the latest edition of Sunset Flip Wrestling Show at sunsetflipwrestling.podomatic.com and this week includes myself and Rowdy Ross giving a complete rundown of ROH in NYC, a show that is definitely money well spent. All shows can be downloaded and burnt on CD to take on the road. For more information visit www.myspace.com/sunsetflipshow
Jim Boy Star