The WWE has cut back the number of pay-per-views it will hold and the changes start immediately following WrestleMania 34. With that said, wrestling insider Dave Meltzer (via 411mania) noted that the reason that the WWE is making these changes has to do with money and the lack of added revenue that the extra pay-per-views bring in. This change also affects many of the WWE superstars on the roster, as only the top names will still make top money and the mid-card talent may find themselves taking significant pay cuts due to the changes, which caused Roman Reigns to make some comments about the new format in an interview with CBS Sports.
The New WWE Pay-Per-View Format
According to pro wrestling insider Dave Meltzer in the most recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the original idea for the WWE was to hold 20 pay-per-view events each year, with the four major events co-branded. The other 16 would be split between the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live brands. However, the WWE soon lowered the number to 18 and then 16 for the year.
Now, there will only be 12 pay-per-views a year, as the WWE originally operated, and they will include both SmackDown Live and Monday Night Raw talents on all shows. According to Meltzer, the reason this is happening is that the WWE realized they were spending money to make the extra pay-per-views and not making anything extra since they never resulted in more people subscribing to the WWE Network.
The thought process is that this will eliminate the gap between the solo-branded shows, based on the lower 16 event number. There is also hope that by having the top stars from both brands on each show, such as Roman Reigns and AJ Styles, it will help increase ticket sales.
This comes a few weeks after CNBC reported that the WWE enjoyed higher revenue than the previous year, despite lower ticket sales for individual events. With the WWE raising prices, there have been fewer fans attending events, but the company makes more money since the fans attending are spending more money.
What The Fewer WWE PPVs Mean For Wrestlers
In the interview with CBS Sports, Roman Reigns said that the new WWE pay-per-view model has pros and cons. Reigns said that the new format would mean an increase in the work schedule for the talent’s pay-per-view appearances, but he also said it would keep storylines fresh.
While that works well for Roman Reigns, he is one of the top stars in the WWE. According to Dave Meltzer, guys like Roman Reigns will still get paid well despite the change in structure. However, the mid-level wrestlers who were finally wrestling on pay-per-views thanks to the brand-specific model might never see action on a pay-per-view again, and those wrestlers will take a significant pay cut.
This is likely to happen because the new pay-per-view model will almost only feature title matches and feuds for those top stars like Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns who are not fighting for the title at the time.