CGSShould WWE do an 8 man one night only elimination tournament on PPV in 2014?
For decades the WWE and the wrestling industry as a whole has used tournaments to settle situations. From #1 contenderships, to the crowning of a new champion, to even to just being able to say “I beat all of you, I DEMAND, NO I DESERVE RESPCT! Tournaments have become a staple within the company and are an easy tool to employ whenever required.
So in that case having a tournament based PPV in 2014 WWE is perfectly logical right? LOL No
Let’s start with the obvious fact. We currently have 12 WWE PPV’s on the 2014 schedule, Of Which 7 carry a specific gimmick. Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Extreme Rules, Money in the Bank, Night of Champions, Hell in a Cell and TLC. Most of these PPV’s really serve zero purpose other than just be a gimmick show for the sake of it. So why throw another into the mix? Many fans have been crying out for a reduction in the number of gimmick based PPV’s anyway. Last thing we need is adding yet another when most of the current crop is considered excessive and pointless
Hmm let’s just think about that one for a second.
Like I said, there are a bunch of reasons as to why these tournaments are held, some are used to crown a new champion or #1 contender(s) while others are just to say “I’m better than all of you”, But mostly they are used to put someone over, possibly a rising midcard talent, possibly a high level star just looking to add to their long list of accomplishments. Whatever the reasons it can be useful. But we have to remember, we have Wrestlemania, we have the Royal Rumble, hell we even have the MITB briefcase to help put over talent. Realistically is another PPV that will probably just shoot someone into the limelight for say 2/3 months before sending them back down the totem pole in typical WWE fashion required?
Which is a great statement, especially considering WWE’s current level of star power. But I gotta ask then, where exactly are you gonna find the time to fit in this tournament alongside a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and possibly 1/2 extra lowercard matches in order to really put this guy over on a 3 hour show?
Bar Wrestlemania your average WWE PPV tends to have between 6- 8 matches. Lower card matches taking around 10 minutes a piece of showtime while the bigger name matches take upwards of 30 minutes. If you’re gonna put a tournament on PPV then realistically you’re looking at a 9/10 match card. With most matches lasting what? 6/7 minutes each? Let’s assume it’s a midcard star you’re trying to build. Surely you can’t expect to show off their real ability under those circumstances. This isn’t 1985 after all.
But why should timing even be an issue in the first place when you currently have 5 hours of prime time TV every week which could easily be used instead. Just look at Raw which broadcasts for 3 hours each week. Why have a whole PPV of 5/6 minute matches when you could just as easily break a tournament down into say 2 matches a night lasting 15 odd minutes each and spread it over a month and REALLY show off your superstar’s ability?
Fact is we live in an era where many people are beginning to value a superstar’s in ring ability over everything else. Back in the mid 90’s, the early days of the King of the ring PPV the WWE were able to get away with having an entire tournament on PPV since wrestling wasn’t exactly the main focus of the WWE (seriously). Fast forward to 2014 however and well you’re considered pretty WOAT if you’re not producing at least 3* star quality wrestling matches month after month in the eyes of many. You can try and argue that the winner looking good is the only thing that matters but that’s no easy feat when in ring ability is king and short quick matches count for very little.
All in all there really is no need to be hosting an 8 man tournament on PPV in 2014 simply because they don’t need to. In terms of pushing talent you have the MITB and the Rumble to push guys and in the long run it’s doubtful a tournament based PPV would actually do much to enhance any superstar significantly to prove worthwhile.
Should WWE do an 8-man one night only elimination tournament on PPV in 2014?
Absolutely. In fact, with the dearth of stars on the roster truly ready to carry the company and take the torch from Cena and Orton, I’m a little surprised that the King Of The Ring wasn’t resurrected for June rather than moving Battleground – a PPV which did horrible numbers last year – into that slot.
The company is, whether they or their fans like to admit it or not, in the beginning of another transitional period and they need to start building stars for the future. Guys like Ziggler, Swagger and Del Rio are useful to have around in the Jericho role – guys who can take the title for short runs but are best served elevating others – but they don’t have any real stars on the rise. The KOTR tournament used to do exactly that, making stars of the likes of Austin, Helmsley, Rock and both Harts who got a rub just by being involved, regardless of whether or not they won.
From a business perspective, one night tournaments make money. They draw an audience. Why? Because nobody knows who is going to win, because you get to see eight stars battle it out and, in the latter days of the KOTR, for a prize – a shot at the WWE Title at Summerslam. KOTR should be Summerslam’s Royal Rumble, every year.
Even with the 2014 schedule set, it would make for an excellent addition to the WWE Network – something exclusive to draw in viewers with a real purpose and build on TV. An opportunity to take the guys who look like they could make it – Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, Cesaro, Wyatt, Langston, Cody and Brodus Clay – and give them a chance to shine. They could even use it as an opportunity to use guys who don’t get a shot on TV often and those in NXT to pad out the tournament with qualifiers during the preceding weeks, which could draw interest to the B and C shows like Smackdown, Superstars and NXT, meaning it’s an all-round win.
An 8-man elimination tournament – call it King Of The Ring, give it any other name – should not only be scheduled for 2014, but an annual event that should be elevating stars to main events and title shots every time. Cena can’t carry the company forever, Orton has never proven capable of carrying the company, CM Punk talks about retirement every time his contract comes up and there are still question marks over Daniel Bryan. So who’s next? A tournament can create an instant star, a white hot talent with real momentum and crowd backing. A shot in the arm that the company is going to need very, very soon.
On a wider scale, having a regularly scheduled annual tournament takes pressure off of the creative team – as things stand, they’re trying to build stars for Wrestlemania, create stars for Wrestlemania and find the best way of utilising stars at Wrestlemania, which is a massive ask for them. They should be able to cycle their focus through the year. So why not use a tournament to make stars, the Survivor Series period to build stars and Wrestlemania season to showcase them. It’s an all-round win for the company, the fans and the guys on the roster.
So yes, the WWE should do a one night 8-man tournament on PPV in 2014. And 2015. And 2016. And every year thereafter. Because that’s what’s best for business.
No, WWE should not run an 8-man elimination tournament on PPV in 2014, for three main reasons.
First, as WWE has learned (which is why we don’t see tournament PPVs anymore), tournaments simply do not draw. People buy wrestling PPVs to see a specific match between main event talents that has been built up over time, not a myriad of unknown matches which are guaranteed to be lacking in quality, as the advancing superstar has to stay in condition for his next match of the night, and by the time the finals come around both talents will not be at their best. Loading the front of the bracket with top matches doesn’t work either, as then the PPV will be played backward in terms of attractive matches, creating a very odd-feeling pay-per-view.
Secondly, WWE just doesn’t have 8 guys that people care about. I’m not even sure it has 4 at any given time, mainly due to WWE’s “one-thing-at-a-time” booking style in which it can’t seem to focus on more than a single storyline. In the meantime all the other talented guys simply aren’t getting focused pushes, and thus lack the credibility to be an attractive element in an 8-man arrangement.
Lastly, what prize exists in the WWE which could titillate viewers enough to buy a PPV which will suffer from the weaknesses highlighted above? The WWE title? Ha, just take a look at 2012 to see how much the WWE values its top title in comparison to its top stars. Punk had the title and only main evented PPVs when he was fighting John Cena for it. All throughout the year Cena, and whichever heel was being built up to challenge him at the time, was main eventing PPVs over the WWE title. The WWE title only got respect in 2013 when Cena was injured and WWE had nothing else to build their shows around. Of course, as soon as he returned, he once again became the focus of the main event picture.
Despite what some may wish to believe, the titles have become nothing more than props. People pay to see a select few talents, and there aren't enough of these talents to justify a pay-per-view built around a tournament.
I could go on but there’s really nothing more that needs to be said. There’s no reason to run an 8-man elimination tournament on PPV, and several reasons not to.
Jupiter Jack Daniels
The Wrestling Classic and King Of The Ring are WWE’s past experiments with one night PPV tournaments. While The Wrestling Classic wasn’t a notable success and didn’t really spawn any next generation talents that weren’t already established, the King of The Ring, a tournament that randomly took place at live events in the 80s, went on to become a huge success, as well as something fans have been hoping would be revived. And 2014 would be the perfect time. So, yes, I do think WWE should have a 8 man, one night only elimination tournament on PPV in 2014.
I’m pretty sure the most obvious reason is the potential of a star breaking out, citing Owen Hart, Steve Austin, Triple H & Brock Lesnar as examples. But, my reasoning is quite different.
Now, while the potential of a breakout star is there, imagine the possibility of, for example, Night of Champions being an 8 man elimination tournament. And that tournament is full of World Champions. Depending on injuries & schedules, imagine the possibility of guys like the Undertaker, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Randy Orton, The Rock, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan in a one night tournament. Not only would that be a fans dream but also a possible box office smash. The interest factor alone would be a major selling point, based on the possibility of a variety of dream matches. Would be too good to be true and likely won’t turn out like this at all.
But more importantly, the potential for something different from the past several years. Only 2-3 PPV’s have true meaning anymore and the rest just seem to be rematch heaven. The idea of a one night tournament presents a sense of unpredictability, among other things, as well as the potential to birth some interesting angles. For example, imagine 2 members of The Shield competing in the finals. That would be a perfect way to officially split them and take one, likely Roman Reigns, to the next level, regardless of a win or a loss, as well as make the other (likely Dean Ambrose) into a bonafide top heel, pending a win.
This is one of those situations where, in my opinion, the reward outweighs the risk because I don’t see a risk or a legitimate reason why WWE chooses not to do these tournaments. Maybe it’s because of Money In The Bank, which I feel is expendable, as it has lost all of it’s appeal or at least enough of it where it doesn’t require it’s on PPV setting. As a matter of fact, the same can be said for TLC, Elimination Chamber and Hell in A Cell, all PPV’s that are named and maintain a selling point based on 1 match. Why not compress those into other PPV’s, making way for a tournament-esque PPV that can, without a doubt, do more good than harm?
As I’ve said before, 2014 is the perfect time. Pretty stacked roster, with a lot of hungry, young talents who seem to just be there. Some are engaged in pretty interesting angles but those angles can be even furthered with the prospect of certain situations playing out in a tournament. And as for the rarely used guys, it can be a way to test them out and see if something is really there. And for us, the fans, it’s a helluva lot better than watching PPV rematches for 3 months. It’s the potential of a break from that, a possibility of seeing some good matchups and if WWE can pull It off well, a potential good business move. Because it is a business and while business isn’t really down, it doesn’t seem like it would be a bad idea to try something “different” and give the fans something “different”, just to see how it turns out.
And my guess is that it would turn out great, as there are various directions it could be taken, especially on the creative end. To me, it’s one of those situations where nothing can go wrong.