Sunday Sermon: The Need for the WWE Network Specials to Actually be Special

Craig Wilson & Brian Damage

Last week the WWE hosted a Network special show live from MSG. In the end it left the bulk of wrestling fans underwhelmed by how, frankly, unspecial it was. In today’s Sunday Sermon Craig and Brian discuss the benefits to the WWE of making the Network specials actually special.

Craig: I think we can all agree, and I certainly include those reading this, that last week’s MSG Network wasn’t the best. We anticipated such last week but after hyping it as a special show, it certainly failed to deliver anything that special.

It was a host of rehashed matches that we had seen in previous weeks and on PPV. So today we ask, what should the WWE do to make these events more special?

For me, it was just that it felt like a house show. We’ve all been to one and that was the vibe it had. Matches that had very little meaning and with a presentation that looked exactly what we are used to. What really marked this out as different from a house show or things we see week in, week out bar the fact there was less interviews?

They managed to make the Tokyo NXT show feel special and different, why did they fail so badly with the MSG show?

Brian: I think it boils down to how do you differentiate a WWE special with a WWE pay per view? Firstly, a network special would be better on a Saturday or a different day other than Sunday. Secondly, it should be shorter in length than the average ppv. A network special would be better suited as a specialized event like the King of the Ring was. Something big should always happen on a network special…to get buzz about buying the network and not missing anything that happens on it. Oh yeah…it should ALWAYS be a live event.

Craig: I’d agree with that. More attempts need to be made to differentiate between other events.

The Tokyo show had a very different vibe and not just because it was in Japan. Whereas last week’s MSG show, the only difference was a different commentary team but it was only throwing in the guy that features on Smackdown so even that change wasn’t that great.

I’ll say again, I had low expectations but even still.

Yes to King of the Ring style things. Like after WrestleMania 1 the WWE hosted The Wrestling Classic – a one night tournament. A totally different format to the usual type of show ran then and ran now.

The clue is in the title: If it’s a Network special it has to be, well, y’know, special. Right?

Brian: Absolutely…it also doesn’t have to be a monthly thing…but they should happen more often. Fans need to know that when a special is is a must see thing. With that, fans should know that at such and such a time…every other month…there will be a network special…so tune in. A glorified house show isn’t the answer. It should be something people really want to see…whether it is a King of the Ring tournament….or perhaps a one night tournament to create a future #1 contender. It has to be…well…special.

Craig: Absolutely. I think it all comes down to effort. You get a “that’ll do” vibe from the WWE and they deserve the results – ratings etc – that come from it.

You’d think it’s in their interest to offer something genuinely special out there to drive Network subscriptions rather than just chucking about free trials.

You know what would have made the MSG show stand out a bit, had they used the former msg entrance rather than the style we see at every wwe show. Doesn’t always need wholesale changes to make things different. NXT excells at doing the small things right and it all coming together.

Brian: I like the whole idea of making the MSG show something old school and unique. Heck…have Howard Finkel come out and do the ring entrances. I agree, it doesn’t have to be so stylized for every show…just as long as the content is up to par.

Craig: That’s a terrific idea. Just seems obvious that they’d want to go the extra yard to create a special show that’d result in network buys.

Brian: Exactly…why do fans have these ideas and not upper management? It just seems so obvious NOT to do…

Craig: I think we keep coming back to the need for creative to be freshened up. I don’t necessarily think it needs to be packed full of Wrestling fans, merely people with fresh ideas for a stale product. Designers that come up with graphics and stage set ups that are new and writers that have ideas how to change raw about and come up with different story lines for those at the top, and nearer the bottom, of the card.

You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.


5 thoughts on “Sunday Sermon: The Need for the WWE Network Specials to Actually be Special

  1. I read that the reason the Japan show was successful was because of Triple H and the reason the MSG show wasn’t well-received was who was in charge of it, Vince. It is proof that yes, he is out of touch.


  2. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2015 week 42 | Ring the Damn Bell

  3. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2015 week 43 | Ring the Damn Bell

  4. Man I can remember when Andre beat Hogan for the belt, and it seemed like half of the USA was watching that night. It was all people were talking about for a few days. THAT, you goofballs who run WWE, is what you need, and sorely lack.


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