Question: do WWE know what their fans want?

bryan_1810883aAfter today’s post from reader Mike, I thought I’d respond and put forward a few of my own thoughts on the plummeting PPV buyrates – and basically I’m starting to question whether the WWE powers-that-be know (or care) what the fans want.

Summerslam was a damp squib because of:

  • The lack of titles being defended on the card

The failure to defend belts on the main card means a lack of glamour and attraction; throwing away the Shield and their duo of titles on the pre-show is ludicrous. AJ could have defended her title against Kaitlyn; Dolphin and Langston could have been the pre-show.

  • The way WWE try to enforce cross-promotion

Any card with the Bellas on is going to dissuade me from coughing up for the show. The Divas tag match was a mish-mash of women who had been featured on the E! Network – hardly the epitome of great professional wrestling. And it makes me cringe watching WWE struggling to cope with the ‘reality’ of their ‘reality show’ impinging on the ‘reality’ of their ‘sports entertainment show’ (viz Natalya’s marriage to Tyson Kidd being acknowledged the week after she’d been holding hands and dancing with the Great Khali).

  • The fact we all knew how it would end

We’re sick of screwjob finishes. If the main event had simply been a storyline with Daniel Bryan and John Cena, that would have been one thing; but with Triple H lurking and Randy Orton waving his briefcase ominously for the preceding month, everyone knew that Bryan wouldn’t be able to emerge victorious in the long run.

This is an ongoing problem – WWE Creative are wheeling out the same old ideas again and again and whenever something new and innovative catches on (like Bryan, for example) they don’t give it a chance to bed in; they get scared and return to the status quo. We get five hours of WWE programming here in the UK every week. Let’s see something original.

  • The cost

I realise it’s a minimal complaint for those of us in the UK, who if we are Sky Sports subscribers get some of the PPVs for free, but honestly, I cannot understand how or why anyone would regularly spend seventy dollars on an inevitably disappointing WWE TV programme.

And as for British folk who don’t have Sky Sports, well, you can’t buy the PPV. Not on the WWE website, or on their much-vaunted app. No. They won’t take your money. Maybe this might be something WWE can assess – or maybe they are contractually tied up for the foreseeable future.

And there’s a nasty little rumour circulating that Bryan and Punk have to be midcard because we, the fans, want to see giants wrestling each other. I can only speak for myself and pretty much everyone else I know, but I want to see people who can wrestle wrestling each other. I think there’s much to be said for featuring a range of physiques in the WWE roster, as long as they also have skills to back it up. Look at it like this – I DO want to watch Luke Harper (yeahyeahyeahyeahYEAH). I DON’T want to watch the Great Khali. Stop trying to make me.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I won’t be ordering a WWE pay-per-view until I see some indication that I’m going to be viewing a product I want to see. We’re a long way from that at the moment.

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