Everyone loves a good pay-per-view but there is a limit on how much anyone can take of anything. This is a reason why some longer events are split up into multiple day affairs because most people can’t sit and watch wrestling all day long. But WWE seems to be really bringing a lot of entertainment to their fans on PPV every time there’s a special event.
WrestleMania 34 was seven-hours including the kickoff show and that was a pretty hard pill to swallow, especially for someone like me who has to type out everything that happens. (On a side note, you can relive the build-up to WrestleMania with my new book.) But after the Show Of Shows, the Greatest Royal Rumble came at us locking fans down for five hours as we watched the Saudi Arabian showcase in the middle of the afternoon.
Backlash was pretty long too with the main event not even kicking off until after most pay-per-views are off the air. But Samoa Joe kept Roman Reigns in a headlock for an eternity to slow down the match and try to tell a story which failed to really pay off in the end. People were just tired and a lot of the Newark, New Jersey crowd left before Reigns’ eventual comeback and clean win.
Bryan Alvarez opened up on Wrestling Observer Live on why WWE is in the trend of booking such lengthy events. In the end, it all comes back to money because that’s the bottom line and Vince McMahon says so (via Ringside News).
“One of the corporate reasons for longer shows is because they love to go on [investor calls] and say ‘the WWE Network was viewed for more time this month.’ How do you make sure people are watching more WWE Network than ever? You make the shows longer. That’s what they’re doing. It has nothing to do with people walking out during Roman Reigns matches.”
It might be nice if WWE could adjust their scheduling when it comes to start times if they want to throw a four-hour event every month because some people have to go to work in the morning.
But if WWE Network can keep boasting the kind of numbers currently being racked up with these long events it looks like no amount of people walking out before the show is over will stop WWE from doing what they need to on the business side of things no matter how much it might affect the product.