I just finished watching WWE’s No Way Out Pay-Per-View, and amongst the advertised card were a few unadvertised matches (Fatal Four Way tag-team match to determine the new #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships, Sin Cara vs Hunico and Ryback vs two jobbers). While there were a few pretty good matches on the advertised card, namely Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan vs Kane, these advertised matches seemed to fall flat with the live crowd at the IZOD Center and it got me thinking: are unadvertised matches a good thing or a bad thing? Let’s break it down…
The obvious point in unadvertised matches is that it gives the crowd something they weren’t expecting to both be on the show and to actually turn out to be quite good. For example, the fatal four way tag team match actually turned out to be a decent filler match that featured some good tag team wrestling and one insane spot from Tyson Kidd. Now, if this match had been advertised for the PPV beforehand, how many fans would have simply dismissed it as ‘boring’? A lot. However, the fans have already purchased their tickets or bought the PPV at home to see other matches, so providing the teams put on a good show (and they did) they can get themselves over with the crowd and thus, WWE have succeeded in what they intended to do.
So, that’s the upside to unadvertised matches, but more often than not, they end up being a negative aspect to the PPV.
Matches that are unadvertised are usually something that WWE fans expect to see on WWE TV shows RAW and SmackDown, not a PPV event which they have paid to see. Seeing Ryback squash two guys on TV is fine because it’s impressive and most importantly to the fans, it’s free. Seeing it on PPV is pointless, especially because we have seen Ryback do the same things to two guys week in week out on TV. At No Way Out there as nothing new from Ryback, except a mediocre second rope frog splash. Sin Cara vs Hunico was a little better, as it lasted for a bit longer and Hunico and Sin Cara have chemistry from their ‘real Sin Cara’ feud, but even then the fans weren’t really into it as I feel the crowd have grown impatient with Sin Cara having been promised so much and only really seen a few impressive moves sprinkled with frequent botches.
Having said that fans expect to see these matches on TV, they are usually met with a negative reaction from the PPV crowd. During Sin Cara vs Hunico, the crowd erupted in a loud ‘We Want Ryder’ chant, which signals they are not enjoying seeing the match on PPV and, more importantly, would rather see Long Island Iced Z Zack Ryder on the show. He wasn’t even on the pre-show this time.
What’s more, the PPV time given to these matches that could and probably should have been on WWE TV could have been added on to other matches on the card, or even been devoted to a separate feud that had been built on WWE TV shows before. Admittedly, I didn’t want to see the tuxedo match between Santino and Ricardo go any longer, nor did I want to see more of the steel cage match between Big Show and Cena, but the point still stands.
Finally, and possibly crucially for WWE is that having unadvertised matches on PPV’s may deter people from buying future PPVs. I know this is a long shot, but if WWE fans see a card that features only three or four matches in the future, they may be weary about unadvertised matches being thrown together at the last minute and not wish to purchase the PPV. Probably unlikely as the draw of a big match will outweigh having to sit through a few minutes of a filler match, but even so it’s still a possibility.
That’s my opinion on the matter; what do you guys think? Are unadvertised PPV matches a good thing or a bad thing in your opinion? Leave your response in the comments section or as always tweet me your opinion @DeadmanDRB!