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The W - Pro Wrestling - WWE's fast decline on PPV (Page 2)
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jwrestle
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Since: 4.4.03
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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.16
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro


    EDIT: HEY CRZ who got you more referrals, me or Jericho and Cubs? probably me.


Just looked at that number...over 1k...nice one.

About the only piece I can add to the puzzle is that I agree wholeheartedly with original discussion & comments added.

Seriously, I goto the local bar that carries them now. If they discontinue them then I'm no going back to shelling out money. It's to costly. Though I view wrestling, yes wrestling, at its basic core. Two guys, they have a problem, are going settle it inside a ring. I am generally entertained by most matches even the ones that air on TV. Yet, the PPV's have become so watered down extensions of TV. I like the matches but they're not doing anything more than what is on TV exception is some added hype which isn't cutting it anymore.

That's all I've got.





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dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.78
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco


    - The blood feuds are gone. Even in the early days of the Rumble you knew when somebody like the Macho Man was coming to the ring that he was going after the guy he had a feud with once.

    - The art of the build up has been dead for a long time, but they don't even know how to really blow a feud off anymore.

    - Lastly, and I think this is a very big reason that gets overlooked, is that they don't have that wrestling machine ala Angle, Benoit or even Michaels.


blood feuds; they try their best. But somehow it just doesn't click (anymore). Miz and Morrison are probably the two guys with who this works best. Every now and then they will run into one another and comment about their past.
An example where it doesn't work is Kofi and Ziggler. No matter how hard they tried, I did not feel Kofi's anger about being screwed by Ziggler & Vickie G.


Build up, I mostly agree. They still know how to do it, but most of the time they don't bother. Build up greatly depends on the blood feud idea. Why do I care about these guys fighting again? How badly do I want to see the big final match.

And the wrestling machine...at least they are filling their roster again with several good to great workers.
Miz, Morrison, Rhodes, Khofi, Ziggler, Swagger are all 'new and young' guys who have some credibility and can put on a good match, and now they've added Bryan, Kaval and soon possibly Tyler Black. They might not be able to have their ROH matches but any match with them should be decent at least.

I do believe the core issue is the cost of the ppv which has been pointed out already and the fact that the current booking doesn't make ppvs "must see".






Avatar Mud
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 11 days
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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
US Unemployment

2007 - 7,078,000 (4.6% of labour force)
2008 - 8,924,000 (5.8%)
2009 - 14,265,000 (9.3%)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Falling house prices and a slowdown in earnings growth have also squeezed disposable income for those who are in work, and WWE PPVs would certainly be a 'luxury' people could think about cutting back on.

Not saying there might not be other (comparatively minor) factors, but they could be putting out PPVs with a prime Rock, Austin, Hogan, Benoit, HBK and Angle and their buy rates would still be taking a severe hit.

(edited by dMr on 5.10.10 1023)
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
I could understand their focus moving from PPV to TV broadcasting (as someone else mentioned, the shows are almost just a 2 hour catalog for kids to see merchandise to buy) if the TV broadcasting wasn't also starting to fail.

Unemployment and lack of disposable income is certainly a factor, but that wouldn't explain why even their free TV shows are taking major hits.

I think one thing to remember is that in the whole chicken and egg, UFC came before PG-13. WWE was already losing their core audience simply because UFC could show real violence. That leaves WWE with the one thing that they will always be better than UFC at, story lines. The fact that the WWE chose instead to simply GIVE UP that core audience and go back to marketing to a group that UFC leaves alone makes me wonder if even the WWE knows that they are unable to write compelling story lines anymore.

And to be honest, they're not even doing PG-13 right. PG-13 doesn't mean "boring, repetitive, and meaningless", but with WWE that's what we're getting. It seems every few months we see another G or PG movie come out from Pixar or the like that blows people away with it's writing.

I don't think the blame should be put on the fact that they are "PG" now, as much as it should be put on the fact that either no one involved in the writing seems to care anymore, or else they are simply unable to properly do their job.

It's been said before here, but I think it bears repeating. The story lines are boring. There's no point to watching the PPVs because nothing really happens. The big angles all take place on TV now and that's fine. That's the direction they want to go in. But now the problem is that nothing really happens on TV either. You can miss weeks at a time, and thanks to nothing every really happening, you can jump right in. Even if something does happen, don't worry if you missed it. In a couple weeks everything will be back to status quo within 2 weeks.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 11 days
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#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    Unemployment and lack of disposable income is certainly a factor, but that wouldn't explain why even their free TV shows are taking major hits.


The downturn in RAW ratings is pretty small compared to the gargantuan fall in PPV buys. I don't disagree that other things are hurting them but the economy is by far the most significant.



(edited by dMr on 5.10.10 1344)
JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by dMr
    Falling house prices and a slowdown in earnings growth have also squeezed disposable income for those who are in work, and WWE PPVs would certainly be a 'luxury' people could think about cutting back on.

    Not saying there might not be other (comparatively minor) factors, but they could be putting out PPVs with a prime Rock, Austin, Hogan, Benoit, HBK and Angle and their buy rates would still be taking a severe hit.


Lesnar, St. Pierre, Evans, Jackson, Couture, and Liddell haven't taken a severe hit.
DirtyMikeSeaver
Boudin rouge








Since: 19.5.02
From: Toronto

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#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.60
I've probably watched one full RAW or Smackdown over the past 3 yrs and this was the first year I didn't get either the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania (I got Summer Slam because I was bored). I can only speak for myself on some of the reasons and I'll probably be repeating a lot of what was said on this thread:

1. The wrestlers, quite simply, aren't good. I can't justify putting down 2 hours of my time or $45 on watching Cena, Orton, Edge or the rest of this cast. Comparing it to other sports, I would pay to see guys like Michael Vick, Lebron James, GSP, Brock Lesnar, Sid Crosby, CC Sabathia and Kevin Durant. Who's the star in the WWE right now that people pay to see? I guess it's Cena, but anyone over 21 generally hates him and he's just not that interesting anymore. I keep reading about how great Miz and Wade Barrett are, but I just don't see it. They don't capture my attention and I don't care what happens to them.

2. All the matches look the same. When Justin listed off the past 3 Summerslams, I couldn't even remember the main events in them. Heck, i couldn't even remember the main event in the last SS and just saw that one. That's because there's no difference in these matches. They all just blend together and there's no need to buy PPVs because I feel I'm not missing anything. Aside from Michaels/Taker, has there been a standout match in the past, say 18 months? I know there's been GOOD matches, but not anything I really have to go out of my way to see.

3. Someone brought up a good point to me about guys being on top. A successful comedy or drama last for anywhere from 5 to 7 yrs. If you can get 150 shows out of a series, you're considered a massive sucess. Usually around that 150 mark, the show sags and it's time to wrap it up. The WWE hasn't really done that with these guys on top. Cena has essentially been the star of this show for 7 seasons, which is about 350 episodes. After a while, no matter who you are, you're going to get burned out (and that's not even taking Taker and HHH into account). The thing about guys like Austin, Rock or even Foley is that their 'primes' were about 4-5 years, then they moved on (due to injury or staring in "Doom").

4. I hate going here, but man is the WWE 'vanilla'. As a minority, there's NO ONE that looks like me that has any sort of prominent spot (and I can't understand why any woman would watch this show, seeing as they are all either bitches or gold-diggers). The African Americas are either rappers or Terrell Owens knock offs. There's zero Asians aside from Gail Kim and she's never around. Hispanics do have Alberto Del Rio and Rey Misterio, but Misterio has been around forever and is even starting to get stale. It's not just even race. At least with TNA, I can see a guy like Samoa Joe or even AJ Styles excel.




Kevin Kelly: "Mr. Austin, would you like to comment on Wade Keller's Take that endorsing the XFL hurts your anti-authority character?"

Steve Austin: "Oh shit, he actually said that? I thought the boys in the back were ribbing me!"

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Austin: "AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah... oh man that was too much."
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    Lesnar, St. Pierre, Evans, Jackson, Couture, and Liddell haven't taken a severe hit.


The "Lidell taking a severe hit" joke is RIGHT THERE.

If we compare UFC to the WWE, the WWE suffers from putting its main-eventers in matches every week. In my day, as PPVs were just coming into vogue, we young fans HAD to buy them to see matches we'd never seen on Tuesday Night Titans or Lord Alfred Hayes Sunday morning show.

The UFC might show a themed episode of a particular fighter's career on Spike for free or an upper midcarder might headline a UFC Fight Night, but you don't get their bigger names on live TV each week. Yes, they have to rest and prepare for real fights, but it preserves their commodity for their next appearance. There's little risk of over saturation (except for the UFC's "Brocktober" marketing for his next fight).

I wonder if UFC is taking more pie away from the PPVs of wrestling or boxing. An equal helping from both?

(edited by Matt Tracker on 5.10.10 0959)


"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.13
    Originally posted by DirtyMikeSeaver
    There's zero Asians aside from Gail Kim and she's never around.
Yoshi Tatsu.

...your point stands.

But you're right - MMA recruits the best fighters from all around the world. WWE just doesn't do anything of the sort. Having people who can speak English is great, but having a wide range of different people to attract a wider audience would help too. So many guys in WWE are the same - white guys with the same short hair, the same short tights with abstract designs, the same generic rock entrance music, the same WWE-sanctioned wrestling style. It's hard for any of them to stand out, and it's hard for a fan to connect with them - even if you are (as I am) a white guy with short hair.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
      Originally posted by dMr
      Falling house prices and a slowdown in earnings growth have also squeezed disposable income for those who are in work, and WWE PPVs would certainly be a 'luxury' people could think about cutting back on.

      Not saying there might not be other (comparatively minor) factors, but they could be putting out PPVs with a prime Rock, Austin, Hogan, Benoit, HBK and Angle and their buy rates would still be taking a severe hit.


    Lesnar, St. Pierre, Evans, Jackson, Couture, and Liddell haven't taken a severe hit.
MMA is a growth industy which could see PPV buys stabilise or even rise during a downturn. WWE is a much more established product which could really only see buyrates decline. I'd also guess sports entertainment is seen as much less 'essential' luxury than 'real' sports.

Again, their free shows have taken a little hit, their PPVs have taken a massive hit. At the same time, the economy went right down the shitter. As much as I believe you a wise and sage fellow, I am comfortable that the economy's the biggest contributor here.
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 2 days
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#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
UFC is still doing great business on PPV as far as I know. Movies are still doing great too. People have shown that they are even willing to spend MORE money to see (sometimes bad) movies play in (always bad) 3-D. While the economy is weaker, the money IS out there, but the public has decided to go elsewhere. WWE *already* saw it's buy-rates decline. They didn't peak years ago and are just heading steady. They peaked, then dropped, then dropped more, and now even more. They may have been around longer than UFC, but the WWE is as close to a growth industry as it's going to get after losing most of it's fans over the last 10 years.

A few years ago, the WWE's TV ratings hit some weird low number and stabilized there. Everyone said that all that happened was they lost the bandwagon fans and were just down to their core audience. Yadda-yadda-yadda, business is cyclical and they're just waiting for it to swing back up again...

Well now we're at a point where the numbers are dropping again. Meltzer say's it's enough for McMahon to be on the verge of making panic decisions over it. They alienated their audience away to the core, and now have not only been unable to create a new audience, but are actually turning away their core.

The company that used to pride itself on being able to "make stars" is gone. They're too scared to give anyone other than Cena a real push. I understand the logic in wanting someone to "get their win back", but do you have to do it on back-to-back weeks? Everyone is in a giant holding pattern. I don't know Daniel Bryan from a hole in the wall really, but I do know that whatever push he was given ended with him looking like a Shotgun Saturday Night 1980's jobber last night, and he's one of their champions!

Speaking of Daniel Bryan, the true sign that the WWE is too far from pop culture is their treatment of the fans. I don't know if Vince realizes this, but just about everyone out there has a computer. If they follow wrestling, they most likely at least lurk on some board or news site. I have never known another sport where the athletes felt it was their right to demean the fans of theirs that have internet access. Vince is one step away from coming out one day and saying "In my day, we walked ten miles up hill both ways in a blizzard to watch wrestl...I mean sports entertainment! That's the way it was a we LIKED IT!" They are so out of touch with pop culture that they don't even know the medium people are using for it.

Even Jericho, who I love, seems to think that no one has the right to judge one of his matches unless you are a wrestler yourself. That's like Ben Affleck coming out and saying people can't criticize his movies unless they're movie stars too. It's ricockulous. There is a fundamental disrespect of the fans that seems to start at the top and work it's way down.

The blandness of the wrestlers can't be ignored either (at least, not as easily ignored as individual wrestlers may be). KJames is right, guys all come out and look and dress pretty much the same. They are all so busy trying to remember their scripted lines that they are unable to put any real emotion into anything. Could Ted Dibiase JR ever have the charisma of his dad? Honestly we might never be given the chance to find out. It says a lot that of all people, Kelly Kelly on nXt a couple weeks back would fall on the side of "letting wrestlers do their own promos" after seeing her off-script.

(edited by Tribal Prophet on 5.10.10 1620)
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.97
    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    It says a lot that of all people, Kelly Kelly on nXt a couple weeks back would fall on the side of "letting wrestlers do their own promos" after seeing her off-script.


I've heard a couple of people reference this but I have no clue what's being referred to. I didn't see anything in that promo that suggested she was "off-script". Did someone get a copy of the script and it showed something drastically different than what was being said?
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.56
I have to take a minor issue with the economy argument. The economy won't affect the Raw ratings. A few people may cut back on cable, but that is close to the last thing being cut in a household budget. Those who do are not big enough to change the ratings just for Raw other shows would be down as well. I am not really seeing that. Raw back in the day used to get 6.0 to 7.0 ratings on a weekly basis then 2003 after Austin, Rock and Foley pretty much were part timers and we were left with HHH all the time, it hit 4.0 to 3.5. They have pretty much stayed there for the last 7 years. Now, they have been in the low 3.0s to the 2.7 last week. Their core group has shrunk to a very low level.

Cena joining Nexus is obviously a ratings ploy which is good. They need to return to crash TV to a point. As much as people scream about the flaws of crash TV it was the highest rated they had as well had long term booking via Austin/McMahon, DX vs the Corporation and building other stars. They need to be Must See TV again not TV that happens to be on or I can DVR it later. WWE needs to do a look around the room which includes everyone from the camera crew to the writers to the boardroom including the guy behind the big desk and decides who is worth keeping and who is not. A major shake-up is needed and has been needed since 2008.
Moss
Kishke








Since: 23.9.10
From: Calgary, AB

Since last post: 81 days
Last activity: 4 days
#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.75
    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    I don't think the blame should be put on the fact that they are "PG" now, as much as it should be put on the fact that either no one involved in the writing seems to care anymore, or else they are simply unable to properly do their job.


THIS. Honestly I'm an annoyed at everyone here blaming PG. Hannah Montana is rated G, aimed at a much smaller demographic and is more culturally relevant (and TBH, often better quality) than WWE. I'd probably pay more money to see Miley fight those mean girls in her school in HITC than Orton/Sheamus. Toy Story is something from our youth, Toy Story 3 was rated G and was well-received by lots of people who were big into WWF during the Attitude Era and made almost half a BILLION dollars. That's because Pixar knows there's a difference between "family friendly" and "kiddy". I'm also guessing most people here are like me, 18-40 yr old males with no kids- so PG may not appeal so much to YOU but that doesn't mean there's not a sizable & profitable audience out there. Pixar can entertain you with a softer rating than WWE's aims for which by your guys' logic should limit them even more.

The problem isn't with the concept of gimmick PPVs (Rumble & SurSer are both gimmick PPVs) but the execution. When you make them based on specialty matches, especially ones that are based on brutality like HITC and do several of them a night they're not so special. Plus then you're shoehorning feuds into the gimmick based on chronology AND you can't use them for feuds that develop organically where they make sense.

As mentioned, the most reasonable causes are the soft economy (which as mentioned wouldn't be the cause for TV ratings), too many PPVs for too much money and a bad product.

(edited by Moss on 6.10.10 0006)

(edited by Moss on 6.10.10 0007)

Shut up, Josh!
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 2 days
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#35 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.97
For those interested, here's Lance Storm's take on the issue...
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#36 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.93
    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    UFC is still doing great business on PPV as far as I know. Movies are still doing great too. People have shown that they are even willing to spend MORE money to see (sometimes bad) movies play in (always bad) 3-D. While the economy is weaker, the money IS out there, but the public has decided to go elsewhere.
There's a lot less money out there. That really isn't up for debate. Unemployment doubled and those in work have seen disposable income fall and are less likely to spend in any event due to concerns over job security and declining credit availability. Of course some products and services can still do well in a downturn but these, not the struggling businesses, are the oddities requiring explanation.

Taking the two examples you offer, UFC saw PPV buyrates explode prior to the downturn. That growth has since eased significantly and, while the sort of rapid growth they saw clearly wouldn't last forever, I don't think it's a stretch to suggest they'd be doing even better were it not for the financial markets collapsing.

I know relatively little about revenues for movie theatres, but the last figures I saw said less people were going but they were able to squeeze more money out of those who were (attendance down about 5%, ticket prices up by 10% I think) . 3D is a massive part of that and it came along at just the right time, because it not only allows them to justify raising prices, but it also helps give people another reason why they absolutely have to see a film at the cinema. I'd also suggest WWE is far more dependant on people in low to mid incomes while the movie industry is a much broader church, but I could be wrong on that.


    WWE is as close to a growth industry as it's going to get after losing most of it's fans over the last 10 years.
If you know anyone who was calling WWE a growth industry in 2007 then they must be quite an interesting individual.


    A few years ago, the WWE's TV ratings hit some weird low number and stabilized there. Everyone said that all that happened was they lost the bandwagon fans and were just down to their core audience.
It isn't a weird low. 1999 to 2002 saw abnormally high ratings. The norm has generally been somewhere between a 3 and a 4. Over the last few years they've been in the mid to low threes. They've seen a fall from there to high 2s/low 3s, but the decline is nothing when compared to the fall in PPV numbers. You're looking at TV ratings down around 15% from the norm compared to PPV numbers that are down 50% which to me says it's predominantly a (lack of) money issue for their customers.


    Meltzer say's it's enough for McMahon to be on the verge of making panic decisions over it.
He *should* be concerned about it. I'm not suggesting otherwise. Just because the economy precipitated a downturn in revenues doesn't mean it's not a problem. Once people get out the way of buying your product, it's not easy to get them to start again.

I also agree with you that they have issues beyond they economy, it's just that these issues pale into relative insignificance. Certainly there are things they could be doing better, but in the current climate I'm not sure it would do much to arrest the decline because I think sports entertainment, regardless of how it's presented, would always be near the top of the list of things people would cut back on in tough times.

I'll make this my last post on the subject because I fear we'll just end up going round in circles and I doubt either of us will change our minds. Certainly *I* won't, because I'm totally right. ;)

For the record though, the 'other issues' I think they have were largely summarised by Moss. It's not what they're doing, but how they're doing it. PG can make money, but they haven't really got a handle on how to do PG well yet. More PPVs could work, but not if you run the much same matches with slightly different gimmicks attached at back-to-back events.

I can't think of a nice way to wrap all this up and I should probably do some work now so, uh, that's all I got.
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#37 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.91
In terms of Storm's commentary, it could be broken down into: angles were developed in an era when 'wrestling minds/bookers' controlled the product, while storylines are developed in an era when 'writers' control the product. This is where PG comes into play, as these writers were generally hired with a background in a context that was more adult oriented. Thus, not only are these writers out of their element in terms of wrestling, they are even further out of their element by forcing them to work within restraints.
And, considering how long it has been since the boom of the late 90's, perhaps that has to be viewed as the aberration period where everything broke right for them.
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 2 days
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#38 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.97
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    This is where PG comes into play, as these writers were generally hired with a background in a context that was more adult oriented. Thus, not only are these writers out of their element in terms of wrestling, they are even further out of their element by forcing them to work within restraints.


So what it comes down to is that they've hired shitty writers. As a writer myself, it has always annoyed me to no end whenever someone was let go because "creative had nothing for them." If creative has nothing for someone, it's because creative isn't creative. It might be slightly more challenging to write compelling storylines in a PG environment, but only because the less talented writers aren't able to rely on shock tactics as a crutch.

I've never quite agreed with Storm's assessment that the problem is storyline vs angle, though. I've always been of the opinion that nobody has every written a truly compelling storyline. There have been storylines with great moments, sure, but I can't think of any where a good portion of the story as a whole was crap.

I do think storylines can lead up to and focus on a match, but it has to be a match that will be worth watching. Rocky (Balboa, not Maivia) would be the apex example of that. Nobody would ever recommend skipping the fight in Rocky and just moving on to Rocky II to find out what happened.
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

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#39 Posted on


Damn. I've been watching wrestling for 25 years and it never occurred to me that a wrestling "angle" is derived from mathematics. You learn something new every day.



@BackoftheHead



www.backofthehead.com
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 4 days
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#40 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
    Originally posted by InVerse
    I do think storylines can lead up to and focus on a match, but it has to be a match that will be worth watching. Rocky (Balboa, not Maivia) would be the apex example of that. Nobody would ever recommend skipping the fight in Rocky and just moving on to Rocky II to find out what happened.


I continue to be surprised by how fresh and entertaining the WWE videogame angles are, and I often play them wondering why we can't have that degree of novelty in the TV product. Aside from the magic gender-transformation angle in a recent game, those angles could be done verbatim on the WWE shows. They contain all the regular elements (backstage promos, run-ins, swerves), showing you don't have to ignore wrestling traditions to polish the merchandise.

I've supported the brand split, but the recent movement of Edge to SmackDown reminds me that I get enthused for potential angles only when the roster are shuffled. Otherwise, there seems to be little elevation of new talent against established folks (the decent midcard angle of Goldust against DiBiase is both new and interesting, but I'm rooting for the old guy).

If the PPVs provided cross-roster matches, we'd get to see bouts not seen in the weeks surrounding that show. Promos and run-ins and confrontations, yes. But the actual match would be held off until the PPV, and that might spike interest enough to boost buys.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
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