What's in a name?
Recently, many have voiced their displeasure at the WWE changing names of several of their pay per views. Please take a step back and clean off your glasses for a second.
Why is it that so many are opposed to change?
You lot whine when you are given the same faces in the title scene, when you don't see any upward elevation of talent, when the show doesn't go how you would book it. Here you are getting some change from the WWE and you still become furious.
Before I get in to the real meat of this piece, the wrestling has always changed the names of certain things. It doesn't take away from what we are going to see. I mean, look at all the different names we have for hardcore matches: hardcore, street fight, Belfast Brawl, Chicago Street Fight, NY Street Fight, etc.
Now, on to the PPV issue. Let's look at what we've been given. The One Night Stand show is now Extreme Rules, Unforgiven is now called Breaking Point, No Mercy is Hell in a Cell, Cyber Sunday is Bragging Rights, and Armageddon is TLC.
The name of the PPV does not change the action that you are bound to see on that specific Sunday. You will still be able to tune in to see Randy Orton, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Christian, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy...well, that last one might only appear if the show is held in county lockup.
Folks see the name Hell in a Cell and TLC and then think that the ingenuity of those matches will be watered down because of overexposure. That might be so but that might be a small price to pay in the bigger scheme of things.
TNA has their annual Lockdown PPV in April. All the matches take place inside a steel cage. Why don't we hear the frustrations from those who feel the steel cage match should just be for special occasions?
As we can see from this upcoming Breaking Point PPV, not every match will have a submission theme. Folks will still be able to see a pinfall or a hardcore match on the card. The PPV does provide something different though. How often do we see matches end in submissions nowadays? It's a breath of fresh air. It also allows superstars to show fans something they might not have seen before.
How many fans out there knew about CM Punk's Anaconda Vise? Allow me to rephrase that: How many fans who aren't smarks knew about the Anaconda Vise? Exactly. The WWE hasn't really featured that move by Punk since he debuted. This is something will be new to viewers.
Look at the match this Friday between Punk and Matt Hardy. The older Hardy was able to expand his repetoire and utilize moves that many haven't seen him do. It goes beyond his clothesline/bulldog combination, Side Effect, and Twist of Fate.
Over on RAW, we have an 'I Quit' match between Randy Orton and John Cena. It's a match where one man must submit, but it has the added humiliation of saying you quit. Then there is the the Submission Counts Anywhere match between DX and Legacy. This match is much like a Falls Count Anywhere match with the stipulation that one of the losers must submit and the match doesn't have to finish in the ring.
Randy Orton, DX, and Legacy aren't known for finishing their matches with their opponents tapping out, so things do appear weird. It does make it seem that some folks might have an advantage over the other. But, I think Hayley Graham said it best when talking about the PPV: "If someone doesn't look to have a submission, then we become interested because it makes us think as fans 'how is it possible for them to win? What can they do?' It opens a whole new ballpark of ideas."
So, submission-themed or not, it still sounds like a pretty interesting affair to me.
Moving on, we aren't guaranteed to see every match have a Hell in a Cell or a TLC stipulation. It just means at least one match of that gimmick will take place. For all we know, this might mean that the only time during the year that we will see a HIAC or a TLC match might be at these PPVs. That ought to cause less dilution of the gimmick. Every three months won't result in a PPV featuring an angle being blown off with a HIAC encounter.
This whole thing is funny because, before there was a No Way Out, a Backlash, a Judgment Day, there was In Your House. Why weren't we storming up to Titan Towers demanding that In Your House be re-instated as the name for all non-Big Four PPVs?
And then there is the money aspect, ladies and gentlemen. We all know that buyrates are down throughout the wrestling world when it comes to PPVs. Do you not think that having these name changes might increase buys?
Think of the casual fan, yet again. The fan who is not on a dirt sheet website five times a day. If they come across the original TLC match from years ago and were thrilled with what they saw. Don't you think the very thought of seeing two or maybe three of those matches on one card is enticing? The same when it comes with a Hell in a Cell match.
So, I ask you once again, what is in a name?