No Chance – After Vengeance, We Close a Period of Too Many Pay-Per-Views

Between SummerSlam and Survivor Series, is a time period that seems to be crammed full of PPVs for the WWE. We get more PPV events than there are months, and with one of those events being Night of Champions, it means that we get a whole slew of title defenses between the two “bigger” events. Vengeance this week, marked the last of the PPVs before Survivor Series, and I’ve been taking a look back over the past two months or so. See each PPV is touted as a really big deal right? I mean after all, we are expected to spend a rather large amount of money because whatever happens in a must see, it will change the direction of a career, or the whole WWE, or maybe even wrestling as we know it. At least that’s how these things are portrayed. So how big of an impact does a PPV actually have on wrestling? Since we’ve had so many in the pasts few weeks, it would seem that quite a lot should have happened. Well let’s see…

First we can take a look at the biggest title in the company, the WWE Championship. At the end of SummerSlam, the belt was won by Alberto Del Rio, and now our current champion is still…Alberto Del Rio. Who did Del Rio beat at SummerSlam? CM Punk, who, as we saw on Monday Night Raw this week, is more or less his opponents for the belt at Survivor Series. So three title matches later, and the same guy still has the belt. But isn’t this a good thing? A champion who hangs on to the belt for an extended amount of time, instead of it getting passed off from wrestler to wrestler on a monthly basis? WWE actually taking the time to build credibility in their champion? This would be a good thing, except that between then and now, the title changed hands twice. Cena was champion for a few weeks in there, putting him in every single title match since SummerSlam (unless you count the eight second one at the end of SummerSlam)

But what about the other Raw title? The United States Championship has belonged to Dolph this whole time (he actually won it back in July) But thanks to Dolph’s storyline with Swagger and Vickie, he has been in as many PPV tag team events as title matches. Not to mention the fact that each of these title defenses has received very little buildup, most being announced the Monday before the PPV.  The Intercontinental Championship has a similar story. Codey Rhodes has held the title this whole time (having won in early August) but despite having a match on every PPV, hasn’t defended his title in all of them. For the title defenses he did have, again, there was very little story built up to the matches, and then the matches themselves weren’t very memorable (I couldn’t actually remember who one of his opponents was without looking it up) Of the four belts, only the Heavyweight Championship seemed to have made any real story progress over the past three PPVs. Changing hands at Night of Champs, the title has helped solidify and to a degree legitimize Mark Henry’s unexpected rise in the ranks.

So what of the non-title feuds? How have they progressed? Triple H’s story seems to have moved forward over the past three PPVs. An initial look would suggest that other than losing command of Raw, Triple H is in the same spot that he was at the end of SummerSlam, with Kevin Nash running in at the end of his match and attacking somebody. However, taking a look at Trips story with Miz and R-Truth tells a different story. At SummerSlam Miz and R-Truth were one third of a six-man tag team match that opened the show, a match that wasn’t even announced until the PPV had started. Fast forward through the next three PPVs and at Survivor Series the two of them are going to be in a match against the biggest stars the company has to offer, a match that will undoubtedly be the main event. Along the way they have fought Triple H and CM Punk, and interfered with two Main Event matches. If WWE could cause all of their storylines to be as investment worthy as these guys, I would start looking forward to PPV nights a lot more.

So the bulk of this has been a recap of the past two months, but still what was the point? Looking back at the past three PPVs, I have to ask, were any of them worth it? I’m not saying that any of them were bad exactly. I mean as far as a 3-hour episode of Raw, each one of them would have been rather outstanding. But when you’re asked to pay money for a specific product like a PPV, the quality bar is raised. And when you’re asked to pay each time, and each time comes as frequently as it has in the past two months, that quality bar is raised even higher. Now I’m not here to tell you how you should spend your money. Maybe the idea of seeing Triple H in action for the first time since WrestleMania is enough to get you to buy Night of Champions. Maybe Hell in a Cell is your favorite gimmick match, and you will always be willing to buy that particular PPV. Maybe you loved the idea of the broken ring, and the following match on a broken ring, and you consider your Vengeance money well spent. But of the thirteen PPVs we get each year, how many of them are Money well spent?

Unrelated Thought: This week’s Raw ended with quite a dramatic proclamation. We learned that The Rock was not only returning to fight at Survivor Series, but that he would also be teaming up with John Cena. The only problem is that we didn’t exactly learn that last night. The Rock had teased a Survivor Series appearance months ago. There were posters for Survivor Series with The Rock on them. We even hat advertisements for The Rock’s return throughout the night before Cena named his partner. How great would that moment have been if it was the first time we had heard that Cena and The Rock would be teaming up? Shame that moment was ruined by WWE jumping the gun and advertising before it was actually announced. And Shame that moment was ruined by Cena slobbering all over the mic.

 

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