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United State of Wrestling #2



20 December 2004

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Well, the first ever United State of Wrestling caused a tad of debate, but on the whole reaction was good. Are you ready to do it all again? As always, I am Andrew Morris.

Why do WWE insist on drowning us with worthless pay-per-views?

In the old days, World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views meant something. After weeks of story telling and building which gave the characters and the story room to grow and develop, the competitors would meet on one of the WWFs super shows. Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King of the Ring, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. They all meant something and fans actually looked forward to them. If a title was at stake in any of the matches it could seem more vital than air to the crowd who would actually care about the characters as if the result of the match meant everything.

Of course, as mentioned in last weeks column, kayfabe has been broken to a major extent now, meaning that the fans do not view title bouts, or indeed any bouts with the same gusto as back in the late 80s or early 90s. We can usually smell a title change, a heel turn, or a stinking match a mile off. So why do the WWE now insist on overloading us with so many PPVs that I cant even keep up with them? 12 I could manage, but now, when the fan interest is as low as it has ever been, they add more and more pay-per-views to the yearly calendar, with less and less people likely to buy them.

January will see a new pay-per-view for the Raw brand in Puerto Rico called New Years Revolution, where the main event is rumoured to be an Elimination Chamber match, which may, by the time you have read this have been confirmed on Raw. All well and good, and likely to get a few buys due to the chamber match. But then two weeks later we have the Royal Rumble, a true classic in WWE history. But who is going to pay for both? Then, just a few more weeks down the line will be No Way Out. Then the larger in price WrestleMania.

The thing that is puzzling me is that soon we will end up with two super cards in every month, bar the months with shows when both brands appear. And honestly, apart from a rare occasion are they worth the money? Are there going to be any interesting story developments? Will anybody new be put over? Will there be any title changes? Do we care?

I woke up on Monday morning and did not even realise Armageddon had taken place the night before until I remembered late on Monday night. That is how gripping shows and the product is right now.

And with Sky Sports agreeing a new deal to screen eight of the 14 pay-per-views in 2005 actually on pay-per-view, who apart from the real hardcore WWE fans are going to buy them, except maybe the Rumble or Mania? For 14.99, you could go to my local pub, have a pot of warm peanuts, an entry into the quiz, six pints of ale and a chip butty at half time! A great night out, lasting longer than 2 hours 45 minutes for something that leaves you feeling shortchanged.

WWE should be making changes - we all know that. But they are going in the wrong direction about it. By reducing the amount of PPVs they would be increasing my interest in characters and storylines, and the chances of me buying a show. Instead by over loading us with too many shows and wrestlers we dont care about, fans are voting with their off switch.

Please, let me know what you think of the views expressed on this page by emailing me.

Andrew Morris

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