clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: WWE dual-branded PPVs may increase shows to five hours long

Cue up the GIF of Vince McMahon laughing like a madman, or maybe the GIF of McMahon smelling money would work just as well. Who’s ready for the possibility of watching five hours of Backlash, Clash of Champions or Battleground on a Sunday night?

The WWE’s no off-season, yearly schedule can often times feel daunting but they can’t be this crazy, right?

In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required and recommended) Dave Meltzer reports the WWE is anticipating five hour long shows once the company switches back to dual-branded PPVs/Network Specials.

“While again not official, within WWE the belief was that, because of having to fit the top stars of both brands, that the former B shows will be increased an hour with two match pre-shows and four hour PPV shows. They will have both shows specifically pushing the same PPV every month and all the top stars would be on it. The negative is a lot of the middle and lower card acts won’t be on PPV as much, if at all. And if they’re not on the PPV, they’ll be focused on less on television. One of the benefits of the brand split, which, when it comes to ratings has been a success since Smackdown is more popular and Raw’s massive slide has decreased, is that more wrestlers are being featured each week as stars. Since they have to fill hours of television, you’ll probably get more stipulation matches on the television shows that would have been on PPV with mid-level guys.

It also makes having separate champions in each brand feeling even sillier since the key title bouts will be on shows with the other brand’s title also defended. You’ll have two women’s title matches and two tag title matches on most shows, along with two world title and two secondary singles titles and a cruiserweight title (which is likely to almost never be on the main PPV shows). There will be title matches relegated to the pre-show, hurting their significance. There will be less place for non-championship matches, and to get the top stars on the show, likely more multiple-person matches. Also, there will likely be more matches on the shows meaning less time or more rushed matches. So there’s good with the bad. The biggest complaint on WWE PPV shows has been the length of the big shows, and now every show will be five hours long.”

If our WWE math checks out, a one hour pre-show plus a four hour main card would check in Sunday night WWE events at five hours or more, depending on any overrun.

With pro wrestling fans already near their viewing limits, in part due to a three hour Raw every Monday night, there has to be some comprise to this potential situation.

After WrestleMania 34, the WWE already has eight scheduled pay-per-view events that last year were only one brand.

Maybe roll Money in the Bank and Hell in a Cell into the big four turn into a big six, so pro wrestling fans only have to mark six Sunday nights a year down as ‘long nights’? With a ‘big six’ the WWE could keep the other six remaining PPVs capped at three hour run time, with maybe a 30 minute pre-show thrown in if need be.

Now that dual-branded PPVs are looking more and more likely after Mania, are any pro wrestling fans on board with the move to potential five hour Sunday night Network specials?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats