Today is Sunday. And if it is Sunday it is highly likely that there will be a WWE pay per view on. And there is today – the Smackdown event Tables Ladders and Chairs (TLC). There will be another pay per view in two weeks – the RAW event Roadblock : End of the Line – held a week before Christmas (what terrible timing). But since the Brand Split returned in July that has been the pattern – two pay per views a month except for the months there is a combined pay per view (August’s SummerSlam and November’s Survivor Series). There will be a total of fifteen pay per views in the WWE in 2016.
And next year will probably be even worse. There were rumours that WWE were going to have NINETEEN pay per views in 2017 with seven months of the year having both a RAW and Smackdown event and five having one combined event (the traditional “Big Four” plus Money in the Bank). Which would be far too many.
A fact that even the WWE seem to be realising. With subscriptions to the WWE Network plateauing there are rumours that WWE will be cutting down the number of pay per views next year (but we don’t know by how many).In my opinion the history of the wrestling industry has shown that a company can get away with one pay per view a month. Anymore is over exposing the company and fans start to pick and choose (which I suspect is happening already). So if I were in charge of WWE there would be twelve pay per views four RAW, four Smackdown and the traditional “Big Four”. This is how my 2017 pay per view calendar would look.
January – Royal Rumble (combined). No more needs to be said. The Rumble is my favourite event. As for the match RAW and Smackdown would both have fifteen men in the match and the winner would get a shot at his brand’s Champion – no jumping to the other brand as Chris Benoit did in 2004.
February – No Way Out (Smackdown). I would bring back some old names (as the WWE have done with Backlash and No Mercy). In the early 2000s No Way Out was the pay per view between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania and I would bring it back. As the last single brand pay per view this year is a RAW show the first single brand pay per view of 2017 should be a Smackdown show.
March – Fastlane (RAW). For the last two years Fastlane has been the pay per view between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. With both brands needing a pay per view between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania I’ve kept Fastlane in the schedule just moved it back a month and made it a RAW event.
April – WrestleMania (combined). No more needs to be said.
May – Backlash (Smackdown). In September Backlash made a welcome return as a Smackdown pay per view. I would keep it in the calendar and as a Smackdown pay per view but move it back to where it was and where it belongs – as the pay per view after WrestleMania.
June – King (and Queen) of the Ring (RAW). I’ve always liked the King of the Ring and I would bring it back to the calendar and in its old June slot. But since WWE is now taking women’s wrestling seriously I would add a Queen of the Ring tournament. The event would be a RAW one except that the King and Queen of the Ring events would be open to both brands. Eight men and four women from RAW and Smackdown would compete on their own show until there is a RAW King and Queen of the Ring and a Smackdown King and Queen of the Ring. Each brands King and Queen would fight at the pay per view for brand superiority – like the World Series or the Superbowl. The rest of the event would be RAW only.
July – Battleground (Smackdown). Battleground would keep its July place on the calendar and become a Smackdown event.
August – SummerSlam (combined). Again no more needs to be said.
September – No Mercy (RAW). No Mercy returned to the calendar in October as a Smackdown pay per view. I would move it back to September and make it a RAW pay per view. This is because I want to bring back….
October – Halloween Havoc (Smackdown). Wishful thinking on my part perhaps. A Halloween themed pay per view was one of those things that made World Championship Wrestling (WCW) different from the WWE. WWE have used a WCW pay per view name before (Great American Bash) so I would bring it back as a Smackdown pay per view.
November – Survivor Series (combined). Again no more needs to be said.
December – Armageddon (RAW). From 1999 to 2008 -apart from 2001 – Armageddon was WWE’s December pay per view. It was a RAW, a Smackdown and a combined event in its history but this time I will bring it back as a RAW event.
And that’s it! A simple one pay per view a month calendar. You’ll notice that there is no Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank, Hell in a Cell, Extreme Rules or TLC event. That is because the impact of these gimmick matches has been lessened by giving them their own pay per views (three Hell in a Cell matches in one night for example). I would not scrap any of these gimmicks but they would be held on an ad hoc basis when feuds and storylines demanded it rather than “It’s the Hell in a Cell pay per view so we must have Hell in a Cell matches” situation which exists now.
In my opinion this is far more sensible than WWE’s current clusterfuck of a pay per view schedule… which means there is no chance that WWE will adopt it. But we can but hope….