Anyway less of me marking out over a near 5 year old PPV and onto the more important fact of what I feel constitutes the Perfect PPV.
I’m going to take this year’s Royal Rumble as an example of good build up. The Royal Rumble is one of the big 5 of the WWE PPV calendar so extra time is given to it, but it has a good start. It has been built up since just after Armageddon. It was just after Armageddon that Smackdown started the Rumble build-up Daniel Puder was given the first sport in the Rumble as an extra Tough Enough prize by Theador Long. Then after that Smackdown not only named their Championship match, but also their big undercard match. This is before RAW has given any TV time to the Rumble at all bar a few comments.
RAW can be given some leniency because it was building up New Years Resolution which had some shocking build up to it. The Main Event was built up well given enough time, the vacant world title, the announcement of the elimination Chamber etc, but compare that to Muhammad Hussein vs Jerry Lawler. This had one weeks build up, two at a push to get this match over. WWE started off with what could have been Foley vs Hussein, but as Foley was only on for one week it wasn’t going to happen.
I like to think PPV’s are like concerts or a gig, and if you’ve ever performed in a concert or a gig, you will know one of the vital points. The audience will have two main points to decide how they will react and these two points are also the most memorable to the audience. These are the Beginning and the End; a PPV needs to have a great beginning and a memorable end. This is because a good match at the beginning of a PPV will get the crowd going and get them in a good mood. If they are in a good mood they may forgive a bad match if there is one.
Although the Beginning and End of PPV’s are important, the Perfect PPV should follow a certain format. This format isn’t a set one as a set format would get monotonous wouldn’t draw, but there are certain parts of a PPV that should always be the same. The Perfect PPV should start and end with a title on the line. The first match should have a title at stake as this immediately gives the fans something to care about.
The middle section of a PPV should be where the personal feuds and gimmick matches should occur. These matches although not for a title are still highly important, and if bad can sour a PPV. The Miller Light Girls proved that when they came on at WrestleMania and killed the atmosphere for 10 minutes.
All these matches wherever they are in the PPV need to be similar in one style and that is length. WrestleMania is called The Showcase of the Immortals, because that is what a PPV is. It’s a company showcasing their talent and saying look at us we are the best, we have the best, and you can’t show off your best in a 5 minute match. Matches need to be given time to let the wrestlers show what they can do. It’s a case of quality not quantity, I don’t know a wrestling fan out there who wouldn’t prefer a 3 hour PPV of a 30 min opening match, four 20 plus minute fill matches and a good long Main Event all of good quality. Compared to a long Main Event but more matches before it given less time and of worse quality before it.
Now in my opinion the End of a PPV should always be the World Title match unless the PPV has a specific format like the Royal Rumble or Survivor Series. If the World Title match isn’t the Main Event, what’s the point of being World Champion? You’re World Champion because you’re the best in the business, and have fought for the right to be in the biggest and longest match of the night. Now there have been some good Main Events, which haven’t been World Title matches like HHH vs Sean Micheals last year, but having them after the World Title match takes away the prestige of the title.
So the Perfect PPV needs good build-up, a good beginning and end, and the correct format style and good timed quality matches, but there is one last thing The Perfect PPV needs and that is good commentary. A PPV could have great matches but if the commentary doesn’t add anything then there is no point having it. The commentary give that extra personal touch the fans at home who can’t be at the PPV, that will make it special for them and make them feel like they are sitting in the crowd as well.
Well that is what I class as the basis for the Perfect PPV, but I’m going to leave you with this, that will hopefully let you understand the thinking by my choices.
Treat a PPV as a Sandwich, yes a sandwich. A good sandwich cannot be rushed; it takes time to prepare the ingredients, which in terms of PPV is the build-up. A good sandwich needs to have two good pieces of bread to hold it together. These are the Beginning match and the Main Event. It also needs a good quality filling that will please whoever is eating it, these are the middle matches, because a Sandwich without filling is just two slices of bread, and a PPV with only two good matches isn’t really a good PPV. The final thing a good sandwich need is a bit of sauce i.e. chutney or mayonnaise to bring out the flavours, this is the commentary to the PPV. The final reason the Perfect PPV is like a sandwich is because it has to be something you are willing to pay for to enjoy, that’s why it is called a Pay Per View. It also needs to be consistently good, if you get food poisoning of a Sandwich once you may be suspicious, but if it happens again, then you’re not going to go back to that shop. If you are constantly disappointed by a companies PPV you’re soon going to question the point of buying PPV’s.
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