From the WWE Rumor Mill: Reason why the WWE pay per views are switching to co-branded
Find out why all pay per views could involve Raw and SmackDown starting in May
What's the story?
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio provided some details on the story that broke on Monday that the WWE is switching to co-branded pay per views after WrestleMania. He provided the backstage reasons for the changes that will start with Backlash in May.
In case you didn't know...
The second brand extension in WWE history occurred in July of 2016 with the WWE Draft. Monday Night Raw was led by Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley; while SmackDown Live was led by Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan. The only change to leadership so far was Kurt Angle replacing Foley.
The heart of the matter
Some of the updates that Meltzer provided on the co-branded pay per view change included the fact that there should be an official announcement coming out very soon.
One of the reasons for the WWE going away from brand-specific pay per views is that sales for those shows are not where the company wants them to be at this time, so by putting more star power on the shows, it will drive more sales.
With the way the brand-specific pay per views were set up, there could be two months before a storyline could have a blow-off match on a pay per view, making it harder for creative to book television on a weekly basis.
In addition, there is talk of making all pay per views four hours to allow for better and longer matches.
The next pay per view for the WWE is Elimination Chamber that will take place on February 25th from Paradise, Nevada (just outside of Las Vegas). The chamber matches will be full of firsts when the women have their first match, and the men have seven competitors.
I think there is a major downside to getting rid of the brand specific pay per views because it's not going to help produce new stars. That was the reason for the brand split in the first place, because of the volume of talent on the roster, but the lack of depth on the top of the card.
I think it is a short-term fix that could create a long-term problem. I think waiting two months for the blow-off match of a feud is not a bad thing, and it is just a matter of booking things different to allow for a progression of the feud in the long-term.
Just look at the Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy feud as a good example. It's continued on for a couple of months and continues to escalate.
It's hard to judge how it is going to be right off the bat either. It will take a good year of co-branded pay per views to see if there is a good mix of stars on these shows.
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