GARDNERS KEY MOMENT OF THE WEEK Randy Orton vs Triple H given 2009: Impression Success

GARDNERS KEY MOMENT OF THE WEEK Randy Orton vs Triple H given

I was always under the impression that the success of a wrestling promoter was judged by the amount of money the promotion makes.

That wrestling, and indeed running a public company, was all about the bottom line. This is not the philosophy in 2009 WWE. Certainly there are plenty of avenues down which you can send Vince McMahon your hard-earned cash. Every character, every catchphrase is marketed to perfection. You can buy t-shirts from WWE's online store minutes after they have debuted on television. But Monday's Raw was another example of WWE displaying a complacent attitude towards making money. I'm not talking about the decision to reimburse the Green Bay crowd on Monday night that was an (expensive) PR stunt used to get the company column inches. Besides, the rock band Oasis refunded 70,000 fans after a set plagued by technical difficulties, and got major news coverage in this country for doing so. I'm not even referring to the decision to broadcast Raw free of commercials on Monday night the WWE does not receive advertising revenue from USA, and evidently that can be seen as a success after the massive rating that the program drew. The problem lies with Monday's main event. Sure the action was great, and there was no decisive winner, and I'm sure the main event between Triple H and Randy Orton at The Bash will be excellent. Yet that the two of them had a hard-hitting match for free only six days before serves to lessen the anticipation for the encounter, instead of heightening it. With the recession biting hard, the WWE has attempted to position itself as the "best value in entertainment." But the line between what is being offered for free on Monday nights and what is being offered for $39.99 is becoming increasingly blurred. It seems that whenever there is a significant drop in the ratings, Vince McMahon acts by throwing out the biggest matches he can offer for free, rather than examining some of the fundamental deficiencies with the WWE product. WWE storylines already operates at a frenetic pace due to the short amount of time between the big shows, but it feels like we have had three months booking squeezed into the period of time since Extreme Rules. Batista won the title, then he was taken out by Legacy, Vickie Guerrero quit, Triple H returned, Randy Orton won the title, Vince McMahon returned, and Donald Trump bought Raw and then sold it back the week after. This occurred against the backdrop of some of the biggest matches that the company could offer, including a four way match with Orton, Triple H, John Cena, and The Big Show. That the magnitude of the matches that are being offered on Monday is great for the fans who cannot afford to buy the Pay Per Views, but WWE is not a charity. Yet following three-hour and commercial editions of Raw with matches featuring all of WWE's top stars, where is the incentive for buying The Bash Pay Per Views are the lifeblood of WWE business. WWE stockholders should be asking why the company is willing to give away premium content away for free with such alarming regularity, while providing such a lacklustre build for its pay shows. Indeed, WWE still seem to live and die by the Monday night ratings, despite the fact that they are not in competition with any other wrestling shows. Instead of simply changing the names of the Pay Per Views, the WWE would be well-served to re-valuate the whole process used to present them.

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