They say too much of a good thing isn’t good for you.
That seems to perfectly describe WWE these days. If you don’t understand what I mean, let me break it down. We are still going through the fallout of Hell in a Cell that took place last week. WWE is shoving Triple H vs. The Undertaker at WWE Super Show-Down down our throats in two weeks along with a litany of other matches. Oh, and if you didn’t already know, Roman Reigns is defending the Universal Championship in a Triple Threat match against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on November 3rd. Oh, and don’t forget about the first ever exclusive women’s PPV, WWE Evolution, on October 28th.
What WWE is going through now is bringing back the issue the brand split originally brought. There were far too many PPV’s to keep up with. As soon as one show ended, there was build beginning to another one in two weeks. With WWE’s announcement that every PPV would be co-branded from this point forward, that issue was supposed to be eliminated. Instead, we are getting cross-promotion for a variety of shows within a short time frame of each other.
The problem is that no show feels any different from the other. On one show, Roman Reigns will be defending the Universal Title against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. On another show, he’s in a six-man tag. Roman Reigns just defended his title against Braun Strowman last week and Brock Lesnar F-5’ed him, and Roman Reigns has been fighting the team of Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre for what seems like forever. So nothing feels different or unique.
I understand that WWE is a business, that they are always on the road and they have to sell shows. But there does come a point where there is too much. I don’t find it disturbing that WWE is promoting their own product a lot. What I find more disturbing is WWE’s expectations to how much time we are expected to devote to the product. We loyalists who love sports entertainment commit three hours on Monday nights to Raw and another two hours on SmackDown LIVE. That’s five whole hours within two days. Then, the following day, there is NXT and 205 Live. Admittedly, both shows have been producing pretty quality content for the past couple of months. So if we have another two or so hours, we can do that there. That’s 7 hours of content, which comprises nearly a third of one whole day.
Whenever we are not being bombarded with promotions about certain network programmings that come immediately following Raw or SmackDown LIVE, there may be a PPV which seems to be averaging 3 and half hours in length on Sundays. So in a whole week, you could potentially be spending nearly half a full day devoting your time to WWE, and the cycle continues.
You can say what you want about WWE’s shortcomings in the Ruthless Aggression Era, but at least the PPV’s were more evenly spaced out, and every event felt special because there was sufficient build to each one. How are we expected to focus on The Shield’s six-man tag and Roman Reigns’ Universal Title defense simultaneously? Oh, and I have barely mentioned that there has been little promotion of Evolution, except sporadic mentions by the announce team or segments that no one remembers.
I find that WWE programming is always better when there is sufficient time to build to independent shows with a natural progression to the next feud as opposed to just building one show to build to another. For example, if you haven’t heard, Triple H will be taking on The Undertaker for the “Last Time Ever” at WWE Super Show-Down. But Shawn Michaels is basically all but confirmed to return, and since we know that Shawn Michaels will be in Triple H’s corner and Kane will be in The Undertaker’s corner, we all know that the Last Time ever singles match is just going to build to another version of that same match, but just with Triple H with his hair cut off and a semi-retired in-ring performer and part-time mayor.
Hell in a Cell didn’t lead to any form of finality between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Think about it. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler came out and tried interfering and then Brock Lesnar came out. So the ending to Hell in a Cell technically was the basis for two separate matches at two separate PPV’s and now we have conflicting storylines and separate matches interloping with each other. It’s all just one big mess to me.
Maybe I’m overreacting, and maybe I’m nitpicking, but it’s one thing for WWE’s content overload issue to be a product of having too much talent on the show and needing a brand split. It’s another when PPV’s are in short proximity of each other and you’re referencing separate shows at the same time and expecting us to keep track of all of it. I actually thought for one second AJ Styles’ WWE Championship defense against Samoa Joe was at Crown Jewel, but it turns out it’s at WWE Super Show-Down. It’s too much for me at the moment.