Should WWE Remove Gimmick PPVs?


Over the past few years, WWE has decided to present several gimmick-based pay-per-view events. Is this a trend the company should continue in the future?

If one were to look at WWE’s current event schedule, they would see a number of shows which revolve around gimmick matches. At one point in time, matches such as TLC and Hell in a Cell served as a culmination of a given feud. Their insertion meant that things had gotten so personal, so chaotic in a rivalry, that a normal match wouldn’t suffice. It simply wouldn’t bring about a true end to the issue.

When these gimmick matches first started appearing, fans took them very seriously. This was not only due to the company’s presentation, but the effort the athletes themselves put into them. For example, if Mick Foley hadn’t put his body on the line in his Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker, that menacing structure wouldn’t have the reputation it has today.

Imagine if the infamous TLC matches were contested without the death-defying stunts those competitors delivered. Even Hardcore matches (an Attitude Era staple) had their own identity as a physically demanding contest.

As time went on, these matches began to appear on television and pay-per-view more frequently. Fast forward to today, and there are a number of gimmick-centered events that WWE presents annually. One such event is the upcoming Extreme Rules show, and other examples include Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, and Money in the Bank.

Because of this rapid expansion, fans are quickly becoming immune to the spectacle. People will still react when these contests take place, but it’s usually nothing they haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, this isn’t something the superstars can fix on their own. There comes a point in time where you can only do so many high spots in a given contest. Once you reach that threshold, it becomes very detrimental to the athletes themselves to try and up the ante.

So what can WWE do to restore interest and prestige to these gimmick matches? First, they need to drastically edit their event calendar. By replacing their gimmick-centered events with newer or even vintage shows, they can negate the damage that comes with a lack of familiarity. Over time, fans will come to appreciate the new events, provided the company presents compelling action.

Going along with this change, WWE cannot present these special contests on a regular basis. There is a very well-known saying which states “less is more”. That is what the company needs to follow at this point in time. Save big matches for the more important events, unless there is a rivalry or program that demands it. If this is implemented, fans will once again appreciate the gravity of the situation when a gimmick match is announced.

Now before I end this, it should be noted that there is one exception to this rule. Personally, I like the idea that comprises the Extreme Rules event. Having one night out of the year where anything and everything can happen is pretty enticing. When done correctly, events such as this can establish talent as stars of the future. It can also serve as a way for fans to appreciate older athletes who can still give to the industry.

My only suggestion is that if the company continues to present the event, let it delve deeper into the company’s TV-14 roots. That way, both old and new fans can enjoy the product in their own way. For the old, it gives them a chance to reminisce about a more aggressive era of professional wrestling. As for the new, seeing such intense action may cause them to tune into the programming more frequently. Whichever market it appeals to more doesn’t matter, because either way, it draws in an audience.

More wwe: Ranking Every Extreme Rules PPV

At the end of the day, the gimmick events we’ve experienced as of late are likely going to remain a consistent part of WWE programming. Do you agree with this trend, or do you feel certain matches shouldn’t be presented annually?