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Thread: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

  1. #1
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    Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Reading a post over at Scott Keith's blog got me thinking. He pointed at that with Takeover's usually being worth the 9.99 Network price alone, it essentially makes the following PPV a bonus. Also, in the age of streaming, it's a lot easier to simply recommend a show off the strength of one or two strong matches.

    Is this an indicator that it's becoming more okay for a PPV to be very average/bad now? Has the Network essentially allowed WWE to lower the standard of shows and not really get any real backlash from it?

    I think back to the savaging December to Dismember got back in 2006, yet if it was released now would it get an easier ride?Since it costs less and you could easily skip 90% off the show following the opener. Would it get the mauling it did then now?

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    MADMIN KING

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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    I actually don't agree with the notion that modern PPVs are overall a weaker standard than PPVs from say the first half of this decade. When you take into consideration how much improved the womens division is and I'd argue the tag team division too with the bonus of these CW title matches, then I can't agree that they are weaker shows. Jim yesterday reviewed Summerslam 2010 and I think we all agree that wasn't a good show, if you don't include the bonus blood money shows in Saudi Arabia, how many PPVs do you have to go back to find a show that had ZERO matches worth watching.

    I think what the network era has given rise to is a lazy approach to booking shows and writing good angles to make people look forward to PPVs; they'll focus on a couple of matches (sometimes badly) and then the rest of the show is just filler title matches that they set up the week of the show, like say what they did with the US title match on Fastlane. It's almost given them a free license to bait and switch matches because people's subs aren't just for ordering the one match you advertised. I think once you get to the show itself, they're actually pretty good with some great matches and performances, it's the day before the show you're not feeling the hype and in a old PPV format you would probably not bother to buy the show.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I think what the network era has given rise to is a lazy approach to booking shows and writing good angles to make people look forward to PPVs; they'll focus on a couple of matches (sometimes badly) and then the rest of the show is just filler title matches that they set up the week of the show, like say what they did with the US title match on Fastlane. It's almost given them a free license to bait and switch matches because people's subs aren't just for ordering the one match you advertised. I think once you get to the show itself, they're actually pretty good with some great matches and performances, it's the day before the show you're not feeling the hype and in a old PPV format you would probably not bother to buy the show.
    I totally agree with this. It'd be really harsh to call the Network Era "bad". The quality of the wrestling is actually pretty high, and certainly higher than something like the Attitude Era.

    The difference is everything now can be meaningless. The brand itself is the selling point, so there's no need to "sell" a PPV. Everything that happens can be reset at the click of their fingers if they decide to change direction. There's no purpose to anything. And you don't have the PPV model of having to do things within 2:40, so they can chuck on as much as they want and know that, if people don't care, they'll fast forward anyway. No-one is cancelling their subscription because the build to Fastlane hasn't excited them. It's just a different model. I don't like it (I prefer "bad" wrestling that has meaning and urgency than vaguely meaningless "good" wrestling), but I'm not the target audience anymore.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    I beg anyone to sit through 2010, 2003, or 2004 ppvs and claim they're better than any year from the Network era.

    I do think standards can afford to be lowered. December to Dismember was a disaster but if it was £9.99 nobody would think it much worse than say, elimination chamber 2015. For the price of the network I'm fine with C+ standard shows because I've long held the belief that £9.99 for the network is an absolute steal.

    PPVs are on the whole a lot better than loads of the $50 era shows. Our standards haven't dropped, good wrestling is still good wrestling. But I wouldn't get mad at a bad show today like I would have 5+ years ago.

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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    I beg anyone to sit through 2010, 2003, or 2004 ppvs and claim they're better than any year from the Network era.

    I do think standards can afford to be lowered. December to Dismember was a disaster but if it was £9.99 nobody would think it much worse than say, elimination chamber 2015. For the price of the network I'm fine with C+ standard shows because I've long held the belief that £9.99 for the network is an absolute steal.

    PPVs are on the whole a lot better than loads of the $50 era shows. Our standards haven't dropped, good wrestling is still good wrestling. But I wouldn't get mad at a bad show today like I would have 5+ years ago.

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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I actually don't agree with the notion that modern PPVs are overall a weaker standard than PPVs from say the first half of this decade. When you take into consideration how much improved the womens division is and I'd argue the tag team division too with the bonus of these CW title matches, then I can't agree that they are weaker shows. Jim yesterday reviewed Summerslam 2010 and I think we all agree that wasn't a good show, if you don't include the bonus blood money shows in Saudi Arabia, how many PPVs do you have to go back to find a show that had ZERO matches worth watching.

    I think what the network era has given rise to is a lazy approach to booking shows and writing good angles to make people look forward to PPVs; they'll focus on a couple of matches (sometimes badly) and then the rest of the show is just filler title matches that they set up the week of the show, like say what they did with the US title match on Fastlane. It's almost given them a free license to bait and switch matches because people's subs aren't just for ordering the one match you advertised. I think once you get to the show itself, they're actually pretty good with some great matches and performances, it's the day before the show you're not feeling the hype and in a old PPV format you would probably not bother to buy the show.
    Stop the presses! It seems as if Ed and I agree some on a wrestling topic!

    Obviously, quality comes and goes with some periods being hotter or colder than others. For example, for the WWE Network era, I find 2015 to be a rough time period where quality dropped some and there was a staleness. However, the same could be said about pre-WWE Network PPVs with 2010 being a lame year, but 2009 and 2011 offering some solid quality. Women quality wise, the WWE Network era, particularly since 2016, is head and shoulders better than anything that came before in the WWE PPV era. Hell, as much as I loved the quality that the WWE women tag teams were putting on with the Jumping Bomb Angels and The Glamour Girls in late 1987 to early 1988, there was also awful shit centering around the WWE Women's Title with Sherri, Moolah, ect. Not only are we seeing good matches with the women, but there's actually some consistency. Maybe they're not 100% consistent, but the consistency is incredibly higher than in previous year where we'd see a good match in 2006 with Trish vs Mickie and then we'd have to wait a couple of years before seeing another good women's match. Especially since the launch of the original brand extension, the tag team divisions had some truly awful periods of time. There were points where the the Raw tag team scene centered around teams battling on Heat. Although Raw's tag team booking seems really weird to me, there's a collection of really solid tag teams in the WWE with the ability, whether it always happens or not, to deliver consistently good matches.

    The downside to this era, and this is where I agree with Ed, but I suspect I will go farther and he'll disagree some, is that the PPVs lack much importance. Some of the laziness likely comes from the fact that Brock Lesnar has been the most dominant World/Universal Champion in the WWE Network Era and he doesn't work often. So it's not uncommon for the main Raw champion to not even bother being apart of a few PPVs in a row, which reduces the importance of the Raw's offering for that month.The time length of the PPVs is also a big problem in terms of making the laziness even worse. It's bad enough that the WWE is only putting effort into a couple of matches, but it's worse as now we have an extra hour or more of additional stuff that doesn't matter. Especially for someone like me, who doesn't watch much current WWE, if I'm sitting down to watch a PPV, I just want to see important stuff. Royal Rumble 2018 stood out especially in terms of feeling like so much filler. I didn't bother watching the Kick Off since what of those matches actually mattered? Even though there was a title match, it didn't matter. Then because there were two Royal Rumble matches, no one was interested in seeing the two tag team titles matches. Instead, it just felt like you had to endure some shit to get back to the stuff that mattered when those matches could have been on the Kick Off and made the Kick Off more important. The WWE is trying to make us keep watching the WWE Network for as long as they can and one of their ideas is to lengthen the PPV and depending on the Kick Off, lengthen those as well, whether they help the quality/importance or not. Watch time is what matters above whatever you're seeing on PPV nights.

    While the lack of importance and filler on the PPVs can lower the personal enjoyment on a PPV, we are living in the WWE Network Era and it's not that big of a deal. I've bought and later regretted some PPVs due to how bad they were, but I can't say I ever thought that I wasted my money after watching a WWE Network PPV. So to relate it back to the OP, is it okay now for PPVs to just be "Okay"? Yes, but it's also not fair to say that these WWE Network Era PPVs have just been okay. I think "Solid" is a more appropriate word than calling Network PPVs "Okay".

  7. #7
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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Stop the presses! It seems as if Ed and I agree some on a wrestling topic!
    Lets declare this a national holiday.

    The downside to this era, and this is where I agree with Ed, but I suspect I will go farther and he'll disagree some, is that the PPVs lack much importance.
    I'd agree with your point that the extra hour onto all these PPVs doesn't really add an importance or improve show quality, there's always a modern PPV where you can shave off a couple of matches that are purely TV match quality and level of importance and it would improve things.

    I think I've just gotten used to the Brock factor now, the damage was done long ago to the Universal title meaning anything to me and with every show being duel branded it's not a huge factor that Raw isn't offering up a world title match when they can offer a Ronda title defence (before she self destructed). I think the bigger issue for me is having 10 titles on the main roster and how it's literally impossible to make all those titles feel important and makes PPVs feel repetitive in structure because 90% of it is title matches.

  8. #8
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    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    Backlash 2004 is amazing. WM 20 is pretty great too.
    Yeah two good shows all year and then mountains of crap. As a year, 2004 is much weaker than even 2015 which is probably the lowest year of the network era.

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  9. #9

    Re: Is it now okay to be "Okay"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Yeah two good shows all year and then mountains of crap. As a year, 2004 is much weaker than even 2015 which is probably the lowest year of the network era.
    I get what you mean, especially on the Smackdown side of things, but Survivor Series was another really enjoyable PPV.

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