There has been a debate between me and my friends as to whether a certain story on SmackDown deserves such big billing at WrestleMania. Step forward Bray Wyatt. The head of The Wyatt Family has been on and off with promises of bigger pushes and championship gold for the last few years, but nothing seemed to be going his way. Until the Brand Split that is. Continue reading
Last week, Vader (real name Leon White) tweeted that his doctors had given him only two years to live because of congestive heart failure, which he put down to years of strain from football and wrestling. Not surprisingly, this has come as a big shock and upsetting for the fans and wrestling world alike, as some such as Mick Foley have come out publicly in support of The Mastodon. Continue reading
As this is my first post in 18 months (wow has a lot changed personally & in wrestling in that time!), I figured I would use this opportunity to give extra focus to some of the more underrated superstars of wrestling today. Continue reading
So the WWE Network is old news and over a million people (allegedly) are currently subscribing to this new service after one year. However, it wasn’t until January of this year that this network finally made it to British shores. Continue reading
But FINALLY the WWE Network is set to debut in the United Kingdom on 3rd November, so I can finally check out everything it has to offer. I’ve been excited about the Network since I found out what it would contain in February, so the fact its 24 hours away fills me with happiness! Continue reading
With pay per views being big business in wrestling today, you can’t blame WWE, TNA and ROH for putting out as many pay per views as possible to get the fans to tune in most months. Unfortunately, in recent years, this has been overdone to the point of exhaustion, as wrestling companies try to market too many events in very short spaces of time.
To any old school WWE fans out there, they may remember the days of the Big Four pay per views, being the Royal Rumble; WrestleMania; SummerSlam and Survivor Series, with King of the Ring being added to that list in 1993. With so few PPV’s each year pre-1995, more emphasis was put on building major storylines with the main event wrestlers, in order to get fans to buy any upcoming event.
Compared to today’s events, this resulted in higher buy rates for the pay per views when there were fewer events on offer. For example, Survivor Series 1990 achieved a buyrate of 3.00 (equivalent to 1.2m buys), while Survivor Series 2009 achieved a buyrate of 0.59 (equivalent to around 250,000 buys). This could be because of a decline in interest in the WWE over the years (especially after the attitude era), but also because of a huge rise in the number of pay per views in 2009. 1990 saw four pay per views, whilst 2009 saw fourteen pay per view events.
With WWE charging about $50 per event ($60 for WrestleMania), fans may not have the money for every event, they may only pick and choose the events they want to see. This would mean the stories need to be compelling to draw the fans in emotionally and convincingly. With the number of pay per views rising, this has had a poor effect on building up storylines effectively.
Take for example September to November 2011, when you had Night of Champions; Hell in a Cell; Vengeance and Survivor Series within a two month period. A vast majority of storylines were not given enough time to develop properly (see Cena/Rock v Miz/R-Truth for Survivor Series), resulting in poor buyrates for some of these events. Vengeance 2011 drew the second worst buyrate in WWE history, with only 130,000 buys (ECW December to Dismember has the worst buyrate I believe) worldwide, suggesting the fans were not interested in another pay per view mere weeks after the previous one. Chances are this was possibly because of financial and storyline reasons, with fans waiting for Survivor Series instead with about 260,000 buys (up from the same event buyrate in 2010).
Compare this to TNA, who only does one pay per view a month, meaning they have more potential to build their events up with more stellar stories. Although this has not always proved to be the case within the company, it allows opportunity for the fans to get emotionally invested in the product and tune in to see what happens next.
There has been a debate over the last few years about whether WWE should lower the number of pay per views they offer each year to around eight (the highest number of PPV’s in one year is sixteen in 2006). However, it’s unlikely WWE will do this anytime soon, as PPV revenue is their biggest market. If you were Vince McMahon, would you lower the number of pay per views you offer and lose revenue? I doubt it.
The key to building interest in pay per views is by building a great story that the fans want to see. WWE did this with Undertaker versus Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam ’98, by building their rivalry for over two months and getting the fans firmly invested into the rivalry. A bigger example is Hogan versus Sting at WCW Starrcade ’97, a rivalry that was built up over a EIGHTEEN MONTH period, since the formation of the NWO. A well built story can hook the crowd in and help boost the buyrate for a specific pay per view (or even a series of pay per views). This is the basis of how many wrestling companies survive today.
There may be too many pay per views today, at too high a price for what the companies are offering, but if they make them money then the number of events will remain high. A lot of this is aimed at the WWE, but only because they offer a ridiculous number of PPV’s in a short period of time. The only issue I have with them is the poor quality of storyline angles they offer.
Improve them and I may purchase their pay per views. Simple as that.
It’s been a while since I have shown the standings of the Bound for Glory Series 2012, so below is the current standings after the 30th August IMPACT Wrestling. At the bottom is Pope D’Angelo Dinero, who was attacked by Aces & 8’s at Hardcore Justice last month, so he is out with a shoulder injury. James Storm and Samoa Joe have qualified for the final matches at No Surrender next Sunday, so the final two places will to Jeff Hardy; Bully ray or Rob Van Dam.
The Bound for Glory Series is hotting up now and I stand by my pick of James Storm winning the whole event and challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory on October 14th in Pheonix, Arizona.
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With SummerSlam upon us tonight, I thought a quick visit to the past may get us in the mood for what should be an interesting pay per view. Many great matches and careers have been launched at the hottest event of the summer, which says a lot considering there is 24 years of history at SummerSlam so far.
I just want to give my personal top five of the greatest SummerSlam matches ever, starting with:
5) Steel Cage match for the WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) v Owen Hart – SummerSlam 1994
This one is not just about the match, but the whole story that preceded it. Owen became jealous at his brother Bret, which started at the previous year’s Survivor Series, but they patched things up seemingly over Christmas. Owen then turned on his brother at the Royal Rumble, before they met one on one in one of the greatest matches at WrestleMania X, where Owen pulled off the upset win. This became important, as it looked as though Owen could legit beat his brother in a fair fight, which led to this steel cage match (via Owen becoming King of the Ring two months earlier).
The match itself was simple in it’s idea: escape and become the champion. Considering Owen was desperate to become the champion, it seemed fitting he tried everything possible to escape. Despite that, these battled for half an hour before Bret finally escaped and retained his championship. Despite the post match beat down by Owen and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, the Hart family saved Bret and united as one, save for Owen and Neidhart. It was a tough contest between two brothers and it genuinely left you wondering who would win the title.
4) TLC Triple threat tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: Edge and Christian (c) v Dudley Boyz v Hardy Boyz
Everyone remembers the TLC match at WrestleMania X-7, but this was the original TLC match for the tag team titles and oh man was it an epic one. This was the first match of its kind at the time, which gave the fans something new and unexpected to see. All six men put their bodies on the line and gave their all to entertain the fans. How they managed to get back up after taking so many bumps through the tables, ladders and chairs was amazing too say the least. Edge and Christian retained their titles amidst the carnage Evidently it was successful, considering they all did the same match seven months later at WrestleMania and it even topped this match! Incredible!
3) Non-sanctioned match: Shawn Michaels v Triple H
This match holds a special place in my memory, as it was the first time I ever saw Shawn Michaels compete, after his initial retirement in 1998. Triple H and Michaels were initially going to reunite as D-X on RAW, but HHH turned on his best friend. After smashing his head through a car window, Triple H accepted Michaels request for a match at SummerSlam. I could only find highlights of this match, so i hope you enjoy them:
These two went to war at SummerSlam, with HHH trying to cripple Shawn, who had only just returned from a four year back injury. Despite that, HBK was impressive, showing no ring rust surprisingly and put on a brilliant display. He won the match but got carried out on a stretcher when Triple H smashed his back in with a sledgehammer afterwards. My hate of Triple H began from that point (not nowadays though) and my admiration for the legend of Shawn Michaels began also.
2) Ladder Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Triple H v The Rock (c)
To me, this match has not only stood the test of time, but it has increased in its importance over time, as both the Rock and HHH made their voices heard in this match. A brutal hard fought match, which more or less ended the D-X versus The Nation feud in an epic way. I am not going to say much about this match, as I want you to enjoy it in the video below:
Besides, I am watching it again myself and it still is a great match to watch. It’s also weird to see Rock as part of a stable considering he would be WWF Champion within three months of this match.
1) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart (c) v British Bulldog
As ever, I am a sucker for technically brilliant and perfect matches, hence I am a huge fan of Bret Hart’s matches over the years. This match was again based on a family feud, but it was as technically perfect as you could get. The crowd reactions were there and the match showed how important the Intercontinental Championship was back then, considering this was the main event of a pay per view.
In front of over 80,000 fans in London, England, the British Bulldog pulled off the victory via a rollup and what followed was probably the single greatest pop in wrestling history (not including pops for Stone Cold). A simple embrace between the competitors and Bret’s sister and Bulldog’s wife, Diana Smith, and it summed up the occasion perfectly. Awesome match, awesome night, awesome crowd. Ladies and gentlemen, my number one moment in SummerSlam history.
These choices are purely personal, as you may have your own choices. Comment below your personal choices and I may even post a video of those matches on my blog if I can find them. Hope you enjoy SummerSlam tonight folks!
Keep up to date with me on Twitter: @Irishwarrior006
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This may not be about wrestling, but this has major significance for women in sports! Hopefully, we will see more women from countries with major restrictions on them compete in their chosen sports, such as Judo and wrestling, among many others.
By AYA BATRAWY
CAIRO — There was no way Alaa al-Mizyen, a 22-year-old Saudi investmentconsultant, was missing this Olympic match. While her family slept in late Friday morning, she alone was awake and glued to the TV.
It was, after all, her first ever opportunity to cheer a Saudi woman in the world’s biggest sporting event.
The participation of Saudi judo player Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani had raised the scorn of the kingdom’s ultraconservative Islamic clerics, who said she was dishonoring herself by fighting in front of men, including the male referee and judges. And the match Friday was a swift defeat for Shahrkhani: The teenager was thrown by her Puerto Rican opponent in just over a minute.
But for her supporters, it was an enduring, landmark victory.
Shahrkhani was taking a stand against culture and customs that have little to do with Islam but are used to…
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