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My Take On 12.23.13: Looking at WWE on PPV in 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 12.23.2013





WELCOME!
Welcome back to the latest edition of My Take On. It is that time of year when I use the column to take a look back at the year that was. Much like last year, I will be looking back on PPV and iPPV I have watched during the year 2013. I will give the listing of PPVs/iPPVs by the score, the top matches from the company's PPV/iPPV, a quick look at the shows and the best wrestlers on the shows before looking at an overall verdict for the year. I hope that this is something you will enjoy. This year the breakdown columns will include…

  • Ring of Honor
  • EVOLVE/Dragon Gate USA
  • TNA
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • WWE
  • Top 15 PPV Performers of 2013
  • 2013 PPV Overview

    AND NOW….

     photo wwelogo_zpsac332d55.jpg

    LOOKING at WWE on PPV in 2013

    THE PPV SCORES
  • WWE Summerslam 8.2
  • WWE Money in the Bank - 7.4
  • WWE Payback - 7.3
  • WWE Royal Rumble - 7.0
  • WWE Extreme Rules - 6.25
  • WWE Elimination Chamber - 6.0
  • WWE TLC - 6.0
  • WWE Survivor Series - 5.5
  • WWE WrestleMania 29 - 5.0
  • WWE Hell in a Cell - 5.0
  • WWE Night of Champions - 4.0
  • WWE Battleground 3.9

    As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.


    THE BEST MATCHES
  • From The WWE WrestleMania 29 – CM Punk vs. Undertaker [****½]
  • From The WWE Summerslam – CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar [****½]
  • From The WWE Summerslam – WWE Title Match: John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan [****½]
  • From The WWE Payback – CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho [****¼]
  • From WWE Night of Champions – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton [****]
  • From WWE MITB – Dean Ambrose vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Jack Swagger vs. Fandango vs. Wade Barrett vs. Damien Sandow vs. Antonio Cesaro [****]
  • From WWE MITB – RVD vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian [****]
  • From WWE Hell in a Cell: Goldust and Cody Rhodes © vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Uso Brothers [****]
  • From The WWE Summerslam – World Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian [***¾]
  • From WWE Battleground – Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns [***¾]
  • From WWE Extreme Rules – Steel Cage Match: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar [***¾]
  • From The WWE Elimination Chamber – The Elimination Chamber Match: Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Daniel Brian vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho [***¾]
  • From The WWE Elimination Chamber – The Shield vs. Cena, Sheamus and Ryback [***¾]
  • From The WWE Royal Rumble – The Royal Rumble Match [***¾]
  • From The WWE Royal Rumble – WWE Title Match: The Rock vs. CM Punk [***¾]
  • From Survivor Series Match: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Antonio Cesaro, and Jack Swagger vs. Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Uso Brothers, and Rey Mysterio [***¾]
  • From WWE TLC: Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. The Real Americans [***¾]
  • From WWE TLC: John Cena vs. Randy Orton [***¾]


     photo averagejoes_zpscba941d1.jpg

    OVERVIEW OF THEIR PPVS

    WWE PPV in 2013 was such an odd beast. The first thing that changed from last year was that overall I felt we had better wrestling on the shows as far as the high end matches I list above goes. But much like last year, WWE still has a major issue, and that is the fact that even with all of their TV time, they cannot properly build a PPV event these days. That's a sad state with the five hours of TV between Raw and Smackdown, six if you want to count Main Event, which they have on a weekly basis. But I feel that one of the worst things about the WWE PPVs in 2013 were simply the way they were booked and put together. While some have been perfectly fine with WWE PPV in 2013, and if you paid for the shows and feel that way more power to you, I personally disagree. I strongly feel that the WWE had numerous problems on PPV in 2013. First of all is the planning of the PPVs. WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world and have been in business for 50 years, they have their PPV schedule mapped out well in advance, and we keep hearing that they always have plans for the future. Now while I will agree that your money is usually in your top three PPV bouts, I simply do not understand why WWE cannot book a complete PPV. Numerous shows this year had randomly added matches on the shows. Many of them were TV level squashes, or even worse, random title matches with the secondary titles, which is another reason those guys have issues getting over. The crowd cannot get emotionally involved in the feuds. The sad part about this is that it is NOTHING new. The company had the same issues last year, which made it even more annoying this year. Quite honestly, it felt as if they really didn't care, and when you pay for a product that feels like it is crafted without care, it makes you angry.

    I also want to be clear, 95% of the time it is NOT issues with the performers, they can only work with what they are given. It's simply a case of the booking hurting matches instead of enhancing them, a sad theme for wrestling in 2013. And that was very evident during the end of Summerslam and the next few shows. The Summerslam finish was like giving your kids a box that says XBOX ONE, only for it to be filled with socks and underwear. But it was a MITB finish, so many looked past it. NOC had the finish that was overturned the next night on Raw, Battleground had the Big Show knocking out both main eventers for a non-finish and HIAC featured the HBK and Triple H shenanigans. With each show that passed, many people stopped caring. The main events didn't matter, the finishes didn't matter to the company, and the wrestling suffered. People were upset, people stopped caring because of the booking, and the buyrates are going down. But the biggest point is that you shouldn't remember a PPV for "being ripped off" or being angry, you should come away enjoying what you watched and not feeling upset show after show about the $50 you spent on the event. The company certainly delivered some great matches and great moments in 2013, but the shows were very uneven and for the prices they charged, I came away disappointed more often than satisfied with my WWE PPV purchases. WWE PPV was average at best for 2013, and when you charge what they charge, average just doesn't cut it. There is so much talent, but way too many frustrations.


     photo punk2013_zps49df0ff6.jpg

    BEST PERFORMER ON THEIR PPVS

    For the second year in a row, under my criteria and using my match ratings, CM Punk was the best performer on WWE PPV. He had a bit more competition this year, and the booking held him back, but CM Punk delivered on PPV and delivered in some high caliber matches as expected. In fact, Punk was involved in two of the best WWE PPV matches of the year, on the two biggest shows of the year. Lets look at his list of great matches from 2013…
  • From WWE WrestleMania 29 – CM Punk vs. Undertaker [****½]
  • From The WWE Summerslam – CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar [****½]
  • From WWE Payback – CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho [****¼]
  • From WWE MITB – RVD vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Christian [****]
  • From WWE Royal Rumble – The Rock vs. CM Punk [***¾]

  • While other WWE performers certainly had good years for WWE, some of which I will name below, CM Punk was once again able to take the top spot. Not only did Punk have deliver on PPV, but Punk was also able to do so in some of the biggest matches for the company in the year 2013. I mean, we all love great wrestling, but when you deliver performances like Punk did in the matches he did, it is all the more important. From his match with the Rock and the Money in the Bank Match, which were certainly different styles, but Punk was game both times, and while MITB takes others to get the great match, Punk's performance and angle with Heyman were a huge part of it. Punk's "return" match against Jericho was a tremendous one on one match, and pretty much the match people wanted and expected. Those three matches certainly were quality, but then you go to the Summerslam match with Brock Lesnar. They worked a brutal style before getting to the real aspect of NO DQ when a chair was introduced, which was awesome because they didn't rely on the stip as a crutch. On any other show it would have been the best, but the Cena Bryan match was just as good to me. But still, Punk delivered on the big stage. Finally, you cannot overlook the WrestleMania match with the Undertaker, which was another tremendous effort. After a lack luster effort early in that show, Punk and Taker easily stole the show at WrestleMania. It was simply great work from both men, and credit to the guys for still being able to make people pop for the streak possibly ending; drama, emotion, a good story in the ring, the right ending and it all worked. CM Punk delivered on the WWE's two biggest shows of the year, and added in with the other performances, and that is why he was my WWE PPV performer of the year. What's unfortunate is the fact that WWE moved CM Punk into the Paul Heyman feud, which while it delivered fun promos and the final beat down of Heyman, also led to a series of uninspired PPV matches with Ryback, Axel and Heyman, which killed Punk's momentum.

    BEST PERFORMERS: While I did name my overall best performer, I do want to make mention of the overall best performers for the promotion. These men are the ones that have consistently delivered when appearing on PPV.

  • Daniel Bryan
  • Cody Rhodes and Goldust
  • Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins


    OVERALL IMPRESSION OF WWE PPVS

    AVERAGE PPV SCORE: 5.96 {Based on 12 Events} According to the 411 scale, which is what I use for grading the PPVs, that means for the year that the gives WWE a very high "Not So Good" score, almost average for the year. This is down from last year's average score of 6.3.

    Overall verdict: Overall I felt that WWE PPV was not worth the money in 2013. Surely we got some great wrestling, that cannot be denied, but the shows had major issues the whole year. The practice of not booking complete show and adding "special attraction matches" that no one cared about was a HUGE problem. When you have five hours of TV between Raw and Smackdown, six if you want to count Main Event, there is absolutely no reason not to have the main matches set early and then take the time to fill out the rest of the card. Instead the company was all too content with half assing the build to shows, adding stuff that didn't matter and still collecting your money. On top of that, you had shows with poor to horribly booked finishes that took away from the special feel of the PPV. All too many times the PPV events feels like a $50 version of Monday Night Raw, which again, is not what you want the paying customer to feel. For the year I cannot recommend WWE PPV as it was. Obviously there were events with some great matches, and of you can get the PPV DVDs cheap or a compilation cheap, then go ahead and grab them. Let me ask you this, if you spent $600 or so on all 12 WWE PPVs, would you have been happy with that investment? I surely wasn't. But of course, this is the part where someone tells me how they steal every show so they do not care. Anyway, I hope for better from WWE in 2014, they have so much talent in front of the camera and behind the camera, so they should be delivering much better shows than they have.

  • Wrestler Of The Year: CM Punk
  • Tag Team Of The Year: The Shield
  • Show Of The Year: WWE Summerslam
  • Match Of The Year: From The WWE WrestleMania 29 – CM Punk vs. Undertaker


    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 450 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio


    Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.

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