What the WWE Super Show-Down shows us

Maybe you’ve heard; there’s another WWE overseas super show happening this weekend. Don’t expect a SO OF COURSE preview, however. I have to draw the line somewhere and I draw it HERE. This far; no further!

In lieu of a preview, let’s have…what do you call the thing between a preview and a review? A view? Let’s have a view look-see at the so-called “Super Showdown” happening Sunday in Australia and what it really means for WWE and the greater fanbase.

To that end I have three points…

PPVs NO LONGER MATTER

But Matthew, you say, PPVs are dead and have been since the WWE Network debuted. Yes, fine. That’s not—you know what I mean. I mean the shows you can’t just watch on TV without paying for. Back in the day, it was a $60 show that typically was overpriced by $50 based on the content. Today it’s a $10 show…that typically is over-priced by $9.01 for the content. Nevertheless, my point stands: The traditional monthly “special event” shows (No Mercy, Hell in a Cell, TLC, etc) are largely irrelevant today. As a matter of fact, this isn’t even a new development. Before these stupid, glorified overseas shows became all the rage, WWE was already shifting their focus to using the PPVs to sell the TV shows, putting more of an emphasis on TV ratings than on PPV (Network) buys.

The slow and ugly transformation in WCW is complete.

But now that we have Australia paying big bucks and Saudi Arabia paying even bigger bucks, the regular monthly shows are basically just there to set-up the big overseas shows. And I’m not approaching this criticism from an American-pride perspective; that’s stupid. I don’t care if the PPV is in Memphis or Toronto or London, etc. Personally, I think they should run more shows out of the country; the crowds are usually much more lively. What I balk at is the obvious House Showiness of the cards, the weird “is this canon or isn’t it” feel to it. Basically, it just feels like the company is selling out, and while that’s their prerogative (they are a business), I’d prefer they keep their sleazy sellouts to backroom deals and not subject it to my TV screen.

A big house show in Australia is fine. The stupid over-promotion of it as though it was the next big PPV, when really it’s just a glorified House Show, but they’re going to hype it up as something more just because they’re getting paid a lot in Australian dollars…that’s what bugs me. The diminishing of their REAL special events to make room for these shows just pours salt on the wound.

WRESTLEMANIA NO LONGER MATTERS

The Undertaker appeared at WrestleMania this year. You may have forgotten because it was a squash match. The booking of it (Taker thumping John Cena after a month of disrespect) was delightful but as a match, it felt like a waste of everyone’s time. But now he’s back and wrestling at the Super Showdown? Against Triple H? With HBK involved? We’re just re-doing the thing previously called “end of an era” just because people are paying a lot of money?

If you want to bring Undertaker back for a big match, wouldn’t WrestleMania be the better pick? If you told me Shawn Michaels was going to make a quasi-comeback after his 2010 retirement I would have guessed “WrestleMania” as the venue to feature such a wonderful gift from the heavens. Instead, it’s a throw-away at the Super Showdown.

And I get it: These really are just big House Shows, and House Shows frequently have these great little surprises here and there. House Shows are, in fact, a far better bang for your buck compared to the TV offering anyway, but this isn’t just a House Show; it’s being treated as a de-facto PPV. Kicking off HBK’s big return on something called a Super Showdown just feels cheap and diminishes the epic nature of the true supershow the company hosts every year. It’s not like WrestleMania isn’t having a hard-enough time feeling like a “season finale” as well; This year’s event felt—like all the other PPVs—like a 3 4 6 8 hour set-up for the Saudi Super Show. WrestleMania is supposed to be the place where we get dream matches, not these prestige-lacking House Shows.

YOU NO LONGER MATTER

Nothing I’m saying matters because WWE doesn’t care what I think. That’s not new; they’ve never cared what one fan here or there thought about their product. But in times past they have cared what the plurality of their fans thought. Not anymore. WWE has money. They’ve always had money, even in the mid-90’s when they looked ready to croak, they had money. But now they have money-money. They have stupid-money. And based on some of their business dealings they don’t much care where it comes from as long as the check clears.

I can complain. You can boo. We can walk out on main-events to show our disapproval. Millions of fans can just stop watching the product. It’s all being done, has been done, will be done. None of it matters because you don’t matter. It used to be the fans who buttered Vince McMahon’s bread. He needed you to buy tickets, buy merch, buy whatever the ads were selling. Now? It’s the TV networks that are willing to pay MORE THAN A LITERAL BILLION DOLLARS just to air the shows (booing/walking-out fans and all). Now they are who matters.

We’re in a new era of WWE, where the company is a quasi-French bourgeois, getting fat while the starved populous under them grows more and more bitter and discontented. And as long as Saudi Arabia is willing to pay stupid-money for WWE to hold a male-only show while they air commercials on the WWE Network about how progressive and great Saudi Arabia is, you will continue not mattering.

So…have a nice day? I guess?

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