Triple H’s character these days is all about doing what’s best for business. But, when your company’s fans are asking for their money back after a show, is that really good for business?
I didn’t order Night of Champions this past Sunday, and I’m glad I didn’t. Some fans, however, decided not to skip the show, were treated to a Daniel Bryan win (that really came a month too late), and were then disappointed when he was stripped of his title a night later. They were so upset, in fact, that PWInsider.com is reporting that they asked for a refund since the results of the show — that they had paid for — were completely nullified.
WWE defended themselves, telling PWInsider that they stand by their production even if a few fans didn’t like the next part of the storyline. Of course they’re going to stand by their show, but this is still a first that I’m aware of and it should cause some concern.
I’ve seen the results of plenty of pay-per-views that made me glad that I skipped it. SummerSlam comes to mind. I wanted to see that show and see Daniel Bryan get his moment that he’s earned. He did get his moment, but it didn’t last for much longer than that. From what I’ve heard, it was almost reminiscent of the end of Wrestlemania XX when a couple of smaller guys like Eddie Guerrero beat the odds and were standing in the middle of the ring with a world title held high and confetti falling from the ceiling. The fans showed a lot of appreciate for these guys who had been fighting for that moment for a very long time.
Just like the fans appreciate the long journey Bryan has had to get to where he is. They had gotten behind him last year until creative, once again, stalled his push and tried to tell the fans that they wouldn’t be allowed to cheer him. The fans have gotten behind him again and want to see him succeed, so throwing obstacles at him to keep him from winning the title is basic Wrestling Booking 101. I get that, and if he kept just falling short of winning the title, that would be one thing. But he’s actually been able to win it. Twice. And has had it taken away each time. It’s a little different from the norm, but is it a good idea?
I can give Orton’s Money in the Bank win a pass after the John Cena match, despite Triple H’s interference. It ruined a good moment, but that happens sometimes with the Money in the Bank. But stripping Bryan of the title the next month after giving him a decisive win over yet another top guy in Randy Orton is cause for frustration from a paying fan. I didn’t mind it as much since I didn’t actually get the show, but I do understand the frustration of those who see it. If this angle would’ve occurred on Raw, which is where angles like this should play out, I think you’d get a lot less frustration. But you’re basically telling fans that the show they paid for doesn’t matter.
Had I bought the show, I actually would’ve preferred having the Shield or Triple H interfere again, not that I like when that happens on a pay-per-view. It would at least leave the question open as to whether or not Bryan can beat Orton in a fair fight and could lead to a rematch in the Cell later in October where there would be no outside interference. Now, we already know he can beat him. I have no reason to pay for a rematch.
There are some interesting angles here, and there’s always something interesting with an underdog story, but the booking has to change. If your paying customers are feeling cheated the night after they buy a show, then that can’t possible be good for business.