WWE used to have to try and put on the best show possible for their pay-per-view events. Times have changed considerably. WWE has a guaranteed, huge money streaming deal with Peacock. That means they get paid whether their premium live events are interesting or not.
The idea that the stakes always had to be high has been tossed out the window. With the guaranteed money coming from Peacock, WWE is only obligated to present a show, not to make it important. According to Dave Meltzer on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, that is why the company isn’t too worried about Roman Reigns’ reduced schedule impacting their business.
“One of the things that happened is when the first night of WrestleMania did so well, essentially, it did the same as the second night, and the thought always was that you would need champions to defend on both nights or you could not have a WrestleMania. Then they did a very successful show on the Saturday night with no men’s titles. They had two women’s title matches, but no men’s title match. It kind of is like, ‘Well, you know, we don’t need it as much as we thought we did.’ So, there’s that. That’s part of it and the other one is that the pay-per-view money is guaranteed. So, it’s like, if you need a championship match for a pay-per-view to draw on pay-per-view, it doesn’t really matter because that money’s guaranteed anyway. All they have to do is put on a show and people will watch the show for free or they won’t, whatever the situation is.
Without a big money cost for the show, the barrier to entry is much, much lower. It’s like, people will watch if it’s convenient. If you have a big title match, of course, that should help. But, nowadays, the viewing audience of wrestling is really not, on a pay-per-view show, a real pay-per-view show where you have to pay $50 bucks or something like that, yes, the matches make probably a pretty big difference as far as how many people are going to buy and things like that. But when it comes to television and when it comes to what WWE does, premium live events that essentially people will watch for free or for $5 depending on your cable company, it’s really a lot more determined by what else is going on in the world.
If there’s competing events, then less people will buy. It’s not really the attraction of your show. It doesn’t matter, we’ll put on a show and people will watch or they won’t watch based on other things. But it’s not like if we put on Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley and people have been waiting for it and everything like that and we do a good build-up. Is it going to make any difference in WWE’s money? Maybe a few tickets, but not that many extra tickets. Appreciably, no, it’s a different era. So, they can get away with not having a champion. It’s not as important as it was in the past.”
WWE will make their money whether they have a big main event title match on a given card or not. The Peacock deal has been a game-changer, as there is far less incentive to sell the smaller monthly premium live events. With Roman Reigns working less dates going forward, that is a huge advantage for WWE.
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Transcription by Thirsty for News