Now that Bryan Alvarez has confirmed that regular WWE PPV’s are going to be four hours long, the question of time is more important than ever. WWE already puts out seven hours of live wrestling content a week at minimum, and double that on the longer Big Four Takeover weeks. More and more, it starts to feel like if wrestling is going to be a hobby, it has to be your only hobby. God help you if you also watch New Japan, Ring of Honor, PROGRESS, Impact, or all of the above.
This is further compounded by the fact that, for folks who work a Monday-Friday daytime schedule, having wrestling events constantly creep into later hours of worknights certainly hurts the case for staying up and watching.
Even when one of the current 4-hour PPV events is really good, you’ll still find people hurting at the length. Hell, I’m that way with 3 hours of RAW. Most people don’t want to sit through a show longer than Infinity War on a regular basis. Multitasking helps ease the load, but it’s still a pretty huge ask, especially when history has proven that most weeks you’ll probably enjoy, what, 70% of a given weekly show and 80 of a PPV?
Now that viewers don’t have to pay money for individual PPV’s, the primary currency has become time. Spending $9.99 on a month’s Network subscription is generally justifiable. Spending five hours on Survivor Series? Some years, that’s not even worth waking up groggy on Monday. People have other media to consume: this year’s Pulitzer winners, a million Marvel movies, God of War. Unless it’s a social event or you’re going live, it’s nearly impossible to justify sitting there for that long on just wrestling.
(Don’t even bother with the PPV preshows. That has long since stopped being worth it.)
I have no doubt that part of WWE’s strategy is to monopolize viewer’s mental wrestling budget, flooding them with familiar, accessible content to make it hard to justify branching out. If that works, good for the enormous corporation, I guess.
But this is only going to make my current reluctance to watch entire PPV’s even stronger. Yeah, I’ll be at the Barclays for Takeover Brooklyn, but watching five hours of Summerslam the next day?
-Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy Pixabay via Creative Commons