Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is It Time For An Off-Season in the WWE?

If you are a normal reader of mine, you know that I have not been the biggest fan of the WWE product recently. My RAW reviews have been under five for the last month, except for one. I thought No Way Out was by far the worst PPV of the year. Anything involving John Cena and John Laurinaitis has pretty much been unwatchable. There has been way too much filler on TV in recent weeks. Ryback and Sin Cara are perfect examples of that. The best part of WWE TV in the last month has been C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan and A.J. But if you believe Vince McMahon, those guys aren't big enough to be legitimate WWE superstars.

Now there are numerous ways that the WWE could fix this problem. Of course, the easiest way would be to have better booking. But I've come to the realization that expecting good, well thought out, long term booking from the WWE is like expecting Lindsay Lohan to be drug free, well behaved, and not get into a car accident for the rest of her life. It's never going to happen. Especially during this lull that the WWE always gets themselves into between May and July. And even when the WWE does something smart and exciting, they always seem to find ways to screw it up in the end. (see-Nexus)

One suggestion, that I think makes more sense now that RAW is moving to 3 hours, is to cut back the number of PPVs they do each year. Now I'm not the biggest numbers guy and I don't know what the loss in revenue would be for the WWE, but would cutting down to 8 PPVs a year really be that much of a loss? If anything, people might be more inclined to buy PPVs. Now I know that there has been talk of putting some PPVs on the Network when it debuts, but who really knows when that will happen. I know I've mentioned the idea before, but I think an ideal PPV schedule could look something like this:

January- Royal Rumble
Late March/Early April- Wrestlemania
Mid May- Extreme Rules
July- King of the Ring
August- SummerSlam
Early October- Over The Limit
November- Survivor Series
December- No Way Out

For me at least, this schedule does a couple things. Outside of Extreme Rules, it eliminates gimmick PPVs. Maybe then those matches could actually be used properly in feuds. You could use King of the Ring to build someone up to a Title shot at SummerSlam. Money in the Bank could go back to Wrestlemania. There is no PPV between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I think it is a pretty well planned out schedule, and would entice more people to buy PPVs so long as everything is handled the right way. But again, from what I've read and heard, the WWE would have to do absolutely terrible, like under 50,000 PPV buys, in order to actually lose money on a PPV.

So, while I continue to throw out suggestions that I know won't happen, let me throw out one that makes the most sense to me. For the last couple of years, May and June have always tended to be down times for the WWE. The booking is at its worst. Creative is coming off a Wrestlemania hangover and has a hard time comnig up with new ideas right away. Over the Limit is usually put together very half assed and whatever the June PPV ends up being named is the same way. Its bad TV all around. The ratings reflected that. They didn't go up until Vince McMahon returned. I'm really interestes to see what the PPV buys will be for Over the Limit and No Way Out. It has been a struggle to get through RAW in the last month.

Now I bet you are wondering what this is all getting to. Well, its my final crazy suggestion that I know the WWE won't consider, and that's the thought of an "off-season" for the WWE, and I think May and June could be the perfect off months for the Company. If you wanted to get a bit crazy, you could start the break right after Wrestlemania. But I think it is important to have some follow up to the biggest event of the year, which is why I would do Extreme Rules then go on a two month hiatus.

There are obviously a handful of downsides to this. There's risk that fans may lose interest in the product and not tune back in once they come back in July. There would be lost revenue from PPVs, TV ads, live event gates etc. Wrestlers wouldn't be making as much as they do right now. But, if the WWE got creative, there are ways they can keep fan interest. The biggest way would be through the use of social media. They already shove Twitter down our throats as it is. The WWE could easily keep wrestlers active with Twitter and Facebook, as well as stuff on their own web site. And hey, if the Network ever launches, they could always do stuff on their too. There are ways the WWE can keep fan interest for those two months and not worry about losing any fans.

Another thing this does is allow wrestlers to rest up and heal any nagging or lingering injuries they have. They would never admit, but a good amount of wrestlers get burnt out from traveling constantly on the road. Those long trips overseas can be killer, especially when you have to come back and do a RAW on Monday then be back on the road on Friday. Two months rest, giving wrestlers time to rest up and get rejuvinated, would more than likely help their performance when they get back.

From a creative standpoint, a two month break could help things in a number of ways. It gives the Creative team two full months to come up with new storylines and puts them under fewer time restraints. Instead of rushing to come up with ideas or storylines for a RAW on Monday, things can get planned out a bit further in advance. Now of course, Vince McMahon will always change his mind at the last minute, but they could at least have the main portion of the storyline planned out before hand. A break could also make certain characters seem fresh and less stale. Imagine being two months free of John Cena? Now I'm sure we will get just as sick of him as we were before when he opens his mouth and cuts a dumb promo, but hey it could happen! A break could give wrestlers time to rethink their characters and maybe map out with Creative where they want to go and where they see themselves going in the near future.

Now again, this is just an idea I had. Will it ever happen? Probaly not. But think to yourself: Would you rather sit through the crap TV we have gotten in the last two months, or would you have preferred a break and been waiting to see what happens when the WWE returns to TV in July? If you ask me, I would want the latter. I would much rather go two months without the WWE with the possibility of new things when it comes back then two months of John Cena, "People Power", and the never ending cycle of the horrible booking that is the WWE in May and June.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

1 comment:

  1. Take 4 months off. WWE should end with Wrestlemania, and then start up again in September.