Will the dual-branded PPVs solve the problem of same matches on TV before the PPV?
The most obvious and sad example of this is of course AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho which happened twice on TV, once on Fastlane, before they battled at WM 32. It baffles me to this very day. How much special would it have felt had they had AJ and Jericho team up, win the titles first, THEN led to a Y2J betrayal, leading to an Epic showdown at WM ?
Remember that was the year of injuries and AJ Styles had just debuted at the Royal Rumble. Imagine how awesome it would've felt had they done it for the first time at WM, similar to Jericho vs Michaels at WM 19.
Now consider the last Elimination Chamber PPV.
Only two matches on the show were actual first-timers or basically Special, and therefore PPV-worthy. Those being the chamber matches of course.
I don't follow women's divisions that much so I'm not sure if Nia Jax vs Asuka happened on Raw before, but I think it probably did, and so the Elimination Chamber encounter would feel like a rematch or something.
Then we were left with The bar vs Titus Worldwide, and Bray Wyatt vs Matt Hardy. Both lasted under 10 mins and the overall quality also felt like they belonged on Monday Night Raw.
Weirdly enough, a 2 out of 3 falls match between the two teams which SHOULD happen on a PPV, especially a Raw PPV(which means the card isn't as STACKED as a Summerslam or WM), happened in a rematch on Raw next night.
Also, we've all been familiar with the early days of the brand split 2.0, particularly on Raw where,
Seth Rollins vs KO, Roman vs Rusev, Roman vs Jericho, Seth Rollins vs Jericho, and Roman vs KO all happened multiple times on Raw, and then the same on PPVs.
How does it help distinguish a PPV from Raw then?
I remember that the roster in the original brand split was just about the same, with the same number of performers on Raw and Smackdown as today, but matches rarely happened on TV before the PPV.
Take HHH's rivalry with Rob Van Dam, they only really wrestled at Unforgiven 2002 and perhaps on Raw once in a Lumberjack match, later, and that's it.
Same with HHH and Kane.
Or take John Cena and Undertaker. They wrestled once on Smackdown in 2003 before Backlash(to determine who'll face Brock Lesnar at Backlash), then at Vengeance '03, and I'm not even sure if a rematch ever happened.
And then next year Taker beat Cena unclean, during the whole "Paul Heyman owns Taker and his Urn, so he'll bend over to the Dudleys" storyline.
That's how rare the encounters were back then, and that was still the era of Single-brand PPVs, TV time to fill, two months between PPVs, and a not-so-stacked roster.
So one thing's for sure,
owing to the dual-branded PPVs from Backlash this year, we won't be seeing TV-quality matches like Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt and The Bar vs Titus Worldwide any more.
And there will be less time to kill before performers engage in matches or have rematches, which would be once every month as both shows and rosters will be featured on PPVs.
But the problem you will encounter is that will you won't get tv quality matches anymore, you will get a lot of the same combination of wrestlers on PPV every months and feuds will last longer which mean you will probably continue to have rematches on TV from time to time to advance whatever storyline they have going for those performers. So nothing will feel special anyway
Let's say that at Backlash, they decided to have Randy Orton vs Aj Styles as one of the feature bout for smackdown and let'S say Reigns vs Balor for Raw. Then they will find a way to make sure that these guy face each other at less once before the PPV and they're a good chance that the PPV match lead to a longer feud which mean that you will see that match multiple time on tv before the blow off match happen.
So sadly, i don't see this changing anything in the way their booking stuff, you're just going to see more T.V. Feuds that leads nowhere because they're not enough space on PPV.
The Quality of TV matches has gotten MUCH better ever since RAW became 3 hours.
Having big matches on RAW and SD is not bad, but they should announce it at least a week in advance. Cena vs Styles getting announced on the same show its happening is a mistake, they should have at least announced it on RAW somehow.
its shitty booking and lazy writing that gives us the same guys on ppv on free tv the weeks and days before. The people meeting on ppv should have little to no physical contact leading to the ppv, that's what people used to PAY to see. Now the Network, its just an extended show which you have to subscribe to to see for free
I have noticed that there are less matches where two superstars team up against their respective opponents.
Once, this was a way to keep one-on-one matches for the PPV, but I have noticed less and less of it these days.
I remember during the Attitude Era, they had matches like SCSA and Mankind v The Undertaker and the Rock in late 1999. Having different combinations like this keeps from giving away a one-on-one match sooner.
The OP mentioned A.J. Styles and Chris Jericho. Well, you could have had A.J. and another superstar team for the night to fight Jericho and the other guy's Wrestlemania opponent.
They used to also do the same thing with tag-teams, by having one member of the team (with his partner in his corner), fight a member of the team they are fighting at the next PPV (with his partner in his corner).
I think doing more of this will give them matches to fill the slots, but keep the actual match between two people at the PPV. I think, especially now, with a brand split and less options, different combinations of tag-team matches and singles matches, which advance the feud without giving away the actual match, should happen more and more.
It won't hurt, but my belief is that the best way to keep programs fresh is to create the most divisional depth possible. Part of the problem with the upper mid-card and main event scene is that the writers don't have enough to work with throughout the show. And so they rely heavily on the top talent to get them through the required 20 hours of monthly TV content.
My thought would be to put all the women on Raw ... all the tag teams on Smackdown.
Think about it- you'd have a women's division that includes Charlotte, Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Nia Jaxx, Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Carmella, Naomi, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Mickie James, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Sonya Deville and Sasha Banks. You could fill up a good portion of the show with just the women, in which event you'd be able to have multiple titles within the division (a women's mid-card title would add some fantastic depth to the women's usage.) Having that additional depth, even at cost of losing what is a very weak Raw Tag Team roster, would give the writers a ton more to work with during a three hour show, and would make it a bit easier for them not to give us the same programs in the men's division for months at a time.
On the Smackdown side, it would greatly improve the tag team ranks. You already have the Uso's, New Day, the Bludgeon Brothers, and Gable/Benjamin. You could add The Arrival, The Authors of Pain, The Club, Titus Worldwide, and you could even keep Sheamus/Cesaro together. There you'd have the makings of a fantastic division, which would give the writers more to work with throughout the show.
As it is, there's just not enough depth throughout the show for the WWE to fill 20 hours of monthly TV with fresh content - which forces them to go rely too heavily on the top talent to fill the gaps.
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