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Time for the WWE to cut back on the PPV schedule – Inside the Wheelhouse

The WWE 2011 Draft takes place April 25, 2011As I was watching this past Sunday’s WWE Night of Champions PPV I couldn’t believe that the WWE was running another PPV in two weeks time as part of their 13 PPV schedule for the 2011 year.

It got me thinking about a lot of things, all stemming from the United States current recession and the fact that the WWE ratings are continually dropping week after week. With the brand extension just about dead, isn’t it safe to say that it’s time for the WWE to cut back their PPV schedule?

After I got to thinking some more about it I wanted to take a look at the remaining WWE PPV’s left on the schedule for 2011. Counting Night of Champions on September 18th, 2011 here is the rest of the PPV schedule and the gaps between each other as we near out 2011.

October 2nd, 2011 – WWE Hell in a Cell (2 weeks from N.O.C.)
October 23rd, 2011 – WWE Vengeance (3 weeks from Hell in a Cell)
November 20th, 2011 – WWE Survivor Series (4 weeks from Vengeance)
December 18th, 2011 – WWE TLC (4 weeks from Survivor Series)

In nearly a 90 day span the WWE will be holding 5 Pay-Per-Views and this is without a brand extension to speak of, the country being in a recession and the ratings continuing to drop. To me it may be only a matter of time before the WWE returns to its older philosophy of limiting their pay-per-views or even cutting the prices of their shows from $50 to maybe even $30-$35. Not only is it not making sense from a consumer standpoint but it may not be making sense from a wrestling standpoint anymore either.

When Triple H started to take over the WWE from a storyline perspective the same was happening in a similar fashion behind the scenes. “Dirtsheets” were reporting that Triple H wanted to go back to an “old school philosophy” where feuds run a decent course and there is better focus on what is being presented in the ring & on television. One way he can keep going with that course of action is starting to eliminate certain WWE PPV’s because as a consumer & a wrestling fan, they just aren’t making sense for me to purchase unless there is reason too.

Eliminating the PPVs and granting more focus onto the storylines themselves on television may help the build to a PPV match make it worthwhile for a consumer. Let’s face it; the WWE has been shotgunning a lot of matches that fans would pay to see if the storylines were built better or longer. Case in point, look at CM Punk.

CM Punk not too long ago was the hottest thing in wrestling. He was a throwback character that had wrestling fans talking and former wrestling fans tuning in or wanting to check out the product. From July to right now, we have seen CM Punk wrestle two matches in which the feuds would have or could have been a bigger deal had they had enough time to build.

Fans were talking about Triple H/CM Punk being a match at a Survivor Series, Royal Rumble or even WrestleMania 28. Not once did fans think they would be wrestling in September at a B-rated PPV. That could have been avoided had they not gone down the Kevin Nash path or if they had enough space (say Summerslam to maybe Survivor Series) to let the damn thing build. The shotgun the whole thing and who knows if it will ever catch with fans again now.

Business is not good right now and to adapt to the way things are going you need to stay with the times. The ratings were in the toilet for RAW & Smackdown so they basically eliminated the brand extension. I’m sure the buyrates won’t be amazing for any of these current PPV’s coming up (sans Survivor Series) and maybe it’s time to re-think the PPV scheduling plan.

I’m not saying go back to a “big 4” (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam & Survivor Series) PPV schedule but maybe limit the 13 to maybe 10 or even 8. The days of 13 PPV’s in a 12 month year just doesn’t make sense right now. Business is dwindling and the WWE needs to stop the bleeding before things get really bad.

For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday September 22nd edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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