DC’s Book Review – Gimmick Pay Per Views
by Dale Clarke on September 3, 2009

World Wrestling Entertainment have recently changed up their pay per view schedule a fair bit and with that of course comes some changes to the pay per views output, namely the number of gimmick matches that appear on a card. While Breaking Point isn’t the first pay per view to focus on a single gimmick, TNA’s been doing it for years with Lockdown, it is the first pay per view based around submission type matches.

The biggest problem with gimmick pay per views is that eventually, all the matches lose that special lustre that is present when a special match is held during a regular pay per view. Matches like the Elimination Chamber and Hell in a Cell match are made that much better by the knowledge that they only happen once or twice a year. When a gimmick match is held periodically like this then there is actual excitement at the idea of getting something different.

This is one of the main reasons why I have never understood the booking of an all gimmick pay per view. Sure, it’s intended to boost buy rates by selling the gimmick but for me it takes away from the entire experience of watching a wrestling event, because every match is the same. As a result spots are inevitably reused and face it, after having the same gimmick match six times on one show the seventh match is never going to feel fresh or new regardless of the competitors.

I must admit, I’m a sucker for a gimmick match if it’s done and built up correctly. That means plenty of story building between the wrestlers involved and an actual reason for a gimmick match to be needed. That does not mean just throwing it on a card to boost ratings and buy rates because it seems like a good idea. Sure, gimmick matches raise ratings but that is only because people have been following a feud and want to see this big climax to it. It’s meant to be a special event, not a convoluted mess of a pay per view with a new name and a special tag line to it.

One recent example is Ring of Honor who in their time has not put on an overly large amount of gimmick matches. The reason? Because they never needed to. Any potential specialty match is kept until the end of a feud and only if that feud has been built up as particularly heated. That’s the way it should be and that is the real way you get people to watch your product.

World Wrestling Entertainment need to focus more on building up the storyline’s and providing great wrestling than using publicity stunts like an all submission based pay per view because when people tune into wrestling it isn’t primarily for the gimmicks but to see their favourite wrestler engaged in a storyline they actually care about knowing that when the feud does blow off its going to actually mean something, not feel cheap because you’ve already seen three submission type matches before hand.



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