WWE axes brand-specific PPVs
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
WWE has made yet another cut that will effect its broadcasting, but this time it's not a member of the talent roster.
Instead, the Fed, through its corporate website, announced that brand-specific pay-per-view events would no longer occur. The decision, as noted in the release, was made due to the success of inter-promotional events.
“We have seen over the past two years that WWE pay-per-views have significantly better buy rates when more than one WWE brand is involved,” said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing for WWE in the release. “WrestleMania, with an average of one million buys per event over the past three years, is the perfect example. This new direction will give our fans more of what they want in every one of our pay-per-views.”
The move to brand-specific PPVs occurred shortly after the initial brand split, when the two flagship shows Raw and Smackdown! were split into two separate entities with unique rosters. While initial events included talent from both shows, the specific PPVs soon came the norm, save for major events, including The Royal Rumble, Summerslam, Survivor Series and WrestleMania. On occasion, the two brands would appear on other PPVs, most notably during the Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday events.
In 2005, during the first ECW: One Night Stand event, WWE wrestlers from both brands appeared, with some ECW alumni like Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio wrestling against their former ECW co-workers, while other wrestlers would late make their presence felt. When ECW was resurrected in 2006, WWE once again infused ONS with its Raw and Smackdown talent battling the fledgling brand's stars.
WWE has also mixed its brand rosters in recent months on its television shows, with members of the various shows appearing on all three broadcasts.
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Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.