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Would WWE be better if it had an off-season?

We explore if it would be beneficial for the WWE to have an off-season.

Feature 15 Apr 2017, 22:22 IST
WWE never takes a break!

WWE Superstars have an extremely difficult job. Not only do they put their bodies on the line every Monday and Tuesday for our entertainment, but they also compete at House Shows throughout the week, meaning they’re on the road for the majority of the year.

As seen in multiple WWE programmes, the Superstars are responsible for their own travel to and from events in different cities, and they usually opt to drive between destinations. However, if you are a long-term employee like Kane or John Cena, travel and accommodation may well be included in the contract, but most wrestlers are responsible for themselves.

There is no off-season in WWE. It is a well-known fact that WWE Superstars are on the road for 300+ days a year. Not only is this physically draining, as they must find gyms to train in the day and they are competing at night, but it can be mentally draining too, especially if the travel is not smooth-sailing.

This can have a massive impact on the Superstars’ well-being and can even go as far as shortening careers. When a wrestler embarks on their career, it is part and parcel of the job to travel hours and hours for a show in a gym to be paid 25 dollars. It’s what’s known as ‘paying your dues’ in the industry, but when you’re a bona fide superstar, one would argue that travel should be paid for.

Paid travel would improve the job significantly

I don’t think it would cost the WWE much to put on a few coaches like they do for football players to escort the wrestlers to their next destinations. I feel like the people that risk their lives and limbs for my entertainment deserve to have that little luxury. It shouldn’t matter that they earn enough to pay for their own travel, it’s an invalid point because footballers earn more in a month than some wrestlers earn in a year and as I’ve just said, they get coaches put on for travel to away games.

Also read: The only thing that is wrong with the WWE today, may be you

An off-season would allow for the superstars to be more rested, and it would give them a much better work/life balance. A lot of Superstars miss out on pivotal moments in their family’s lives due to the life they have signed up for. Granted, they can ask for time off but the more time you’re off TV, the more people will begin to forget about you. Giving them an off-season would help them spend that quality time with loved ones.

Would an off-season have convinced Punk to stay?

Superstars are not the only people who would benefit from a season based format in WWE. The audience would benefit in a massive way as storylines could be pre-planned way in advance and every segment would mean something. Admittedly, this has got better since the draft, but there are still some episodes of the weekly broadcast that feel like a drag and would have benefitted from extra planning.

With WrestleMania being the end of the wrestling calendar every year, it would be best to have a break for a couple of months following this event. That way, the show could act as a season finale for storylines and create cliff-hangers for the next season. It would be a great send-off before a break.

The creative team would then have ample opportunity to plan the next 10 month season. Storylines would still have to change now and then due to injury and other factors that can’t be controlled, but the main plan would be there and would result in more captivating viewing and more thought out feuds.

I feel this would make the WWE feel more special. I look forward to the Premier League, and I’m sure many Americans can’t wait for the NFL season to start. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I feel that is the same with sports.

I’m not ashamed to say I take a break from wrestling every now and then.Yes, I look at the results online, and I still follow, it but there are some weeks where I’d really prefer to just not watch the show. I feel like watching it week in week out can feel like a chore, unless the quality is there. Broadcasting for 52 weeks is going to see peaks and troughs. I feel an off-season would renew the excitement of seeing our favourite superstars in action.

A pre-season draft would be perfect to build anticipation

It could start with a pre-season draft. This would keep each season fresh and allow for the Superstars to have feuds they have not had in previous years. Sticking to this format would also make the brand war more prominent and ratings would increase too.

There are some disadvantages to this idea, though. The WWE gains a lot of money from sponsorships, TV deals and WWE Network subscriptions. Stopping the live broadcasts for any amount of time would be detrimental to this income and would have a knock-on effect on the money they pour back into the business.

Furthermore, this would begin to affect wrestler’s salaries. One might argue that the income would rise to higher levels while the season was underway.

Despite all the positives mentioned, there is no guarantee that the money made would rise due to increased interest, so broadcasting every week with no break is the best business strategy for the WWE at this moment in time. Things may change in the future, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

Would you enjoy a break from WWE or do you enjoy the fact it’s on every week without fail? Leave a comment and let us know!

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