Should WWE Pay-Per-Views be match themed?

by Squeak Dudley

In two weeks WWE is set to put on their eighth annual Hell in a Cell pay-per view. It is predicted that Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon will at least co-headline the event. While the build has been a breath of fresh air there is something about it that still sits funny with me, an avid wrestling fan of over 20 years. It isn’t tied to any of the wrestlers or the story line…no this feeling stems from a PPV being titled “Hell in a Cell.” Before you get too angry at me let me address the elephant in the room, I know I am very late to this debate. But what better place than the internet to throw my opinion out into. Much like fishing, gonna drop a line and see what bites.

Like I said this has been happening since 09'…and this is one of three current PPV’s the WWE puts on yearly that has a theme based soley on a match type. The other three being Money in the Bank, TLC, and Elimination Chamber (duh). If you were to remove things like the Royal Rumble (which is universally adored) and other traditional events like King of the Ring and Survivor Series you are left with an interesting question. Should the WWE put on match specific PPV’s?

My gut says no (shocking)..but i am a rational man and am ready to look at the pros and cons.

The Pros:

  1. You know at least once a year you will see that match..

When I was a kid I remember being genuinely shocked every time a Hell in the Cell match was announced. The uncertainty of not knowing when one of my favorite match types would be scheduled left a up to the suspense (also back when GM’s seemed to do more)…sometimes that suspense led to dissapointment when it wouldn’t appear for long periods at a time. For instance after the iconic 6-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000 we didnt get another until almost a year and a half later when Triple H defeated Chris Jericho in 2002.

When the first TLC match was introduced I sat in awe watching the things that Edge & Christian, The Hardy’s, and the Dudleys did. That was in 2000–2001…after that we only had two more TLC matches when we had a FOUR year break…brutal.

This argument can also be made for Elimination Chamber, where we once had a 16 month gap between chamber matches from August 2003 to January 2005.

Nowadays people can always bank on seeing these match types at least once a year. So there is some comfort there? Maybe?

Rob doesn't know either…

The Cons:

(I’ll be honest I sat here for a long time trying to think of more pros…I’m sorry everyone I don’t have it in me.)
  1. It waters down the match type..

The easiest point to make is that more is not always better. The fact that on a Hell in a Cell PPV we see three Hell in a Cell matches says it all. By the time that third Cell match comes along you are borderline bored of it…

When we get multiple matches of the same type per event it also limits what the wrestlers can do in the ring. I have even begun to notice that earlier matches will limit the amount of big spots so as not to down play the holy shit moments from matches to follow it…It’s setting up the early on matches to be tame which in turn tames down the perception of the match type. Call me crazy in the comments below.

2. It doesnt always fit the storyline..

You will have to forgive me I have really been harping on the Hell in a Cell example…how many times have we watched a Hell in the Cell match for a completely mediocre feud? Perfect example is the match coming up in two weeks with Shinsuke vs. Jinder inside HIAC…did that feud require the devils playground (it’s still real to me damnit) to settle it all?

If you have to think about it then the answer is no.

3. There is no suprise to the match being announced..

I will never forget when Commisioner Mick Foley at the time (possibly his greatest role ever) came out on RAW to announce that the Undertaker, Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Triple H, and Rikishi would fight inside Hell in a Cell at Armageddon 2000 (i’ve come full circle)…Moments like that don’t happen anymore and its for the same reason I labeled a pro above. We don’t get to wonder when these matches will be brought out of Vince’s bag of tricks because all we have to do is look at a calender.

Half the fun of pro-wrestling is buying in, and one of the biggest/easiest pops you could get is scheduling a match that everyone gets excited for. It is a missed opportunity to remove that suspense. I know above I said sometimes it leads to disappointment, but for the times it didnt…as Bobby Roode says “Glorious!”

Verdict: A Hell NO

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