wrestling / Columns

My Take On 12.26.12: Looking at WWE PPV in 2012

December 26, 2012 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome back to the latest edition of My Take On. It is that time of year when I use the column to take a look back at the year that was. A new thing I will be doing this year is looking back on PPV and iPPV I have watched during the year. I will give the listing of PPVs by the score, the top matches from the company’s PPV and then look at some sub-categories before looking at an overall verdict for the year. I hope that this is something you will enjoy. I will be doing columns on the following companies and their PPV…

* DGUSA & EVOLVE You can click that!
* Ring of Honor
* TNA You can click that!


LOOKING at WWE on iPPV in 2012

* WWE Extreme Rules – 8.0
* WWE WrestleMania 28 – 7.9
* WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs – 7.5
* WWE Money in the Bank – 7.0
* WWE Summerslam – 6.9
* WWE Night of Champions – 6.6
* WWE Over the Limit – 6.5
* WWE Survivor Series – 6.0
* WWE Royal Rumble – 5.0
* WWE Hell in a Cell – 5.0
* WWE No Way Out – 4.9
* WWE Elimination Chamber – 4.0

As a reminder, this is not a basic “how good was the show” number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.

* From WWE Over the Limit – WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan [****½]
* From WWE WrestleMania 28 – Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs. Triple H [****½]

* From WWE Night of Champions – WWE Title Match – John Cena vs. CM Punk [****¼]
* From WWE Extreme Rules – World Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus [****¼]
* From WWE TLC – TLC Match: The Shield vs. Team Hell No and Ryback [****¼]

* From WWE TLC – Ladder Match: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler [****]
* From WWE Extreme Rules – John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar [****]
* From WWE Money in the Bank- WWE Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk [****]
* From WWE Extreme Rules – WWE Title Match: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk [****]
* From WWE WrestleMania 28 – WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho [****]

* From WWE Night of Champions – Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler [***¾]
* From WWE No Way Out – WWE Title Match – CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan [***¾]
* From WWE Over the Limit – World Title Match – Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio [***¾]
* From WWE WrestleMania 28 – The Rock vs. John Cena [***¾]
* From WWE Hell in a Cell – World Title Match – Sheamus vs. Big Show [***¾]


Above you see Triple H and Vince strolling through the writers meetings. Now it may not be quite that bad, but I feel that the worst thing about the WWE PPVs in 2012 were simply the way they were booked and put together. While some have been perfectly fine with WWE PPV in 2012, and if you paid for the shows and feel that way, more power to you, but I have to disagree. I strongly feel that the WWE had numerous problems on PPV in 2012. First of all is the planning of the PPVs. WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world, they have their PPV schedule mapped out well in advance, and we keep hearing that they always have plans for the future. Now while I will agree that your money is usually in your top three PPV bouts, I simply do not understand why WWE cannot book a complete PPV. Numerous shows this year had randomly added matches on the shows. Many of them were TV level squashes, or even worse, random title matches with the secondary titles, which is another reason a guy like Cesaro is having issues getting over. They throw out random matches that are not announced and that people do not care about. The TV squash matches also bothered me, because they pulled down the shows in making them feel like a Raw or Smackdown. And then there were times that they didn’t properly time out the shows, so they would add in a long promo segment in the ring. Again, in my opinion, when I pay $45 for a PPV event, I want the effort for the show to actually feel like a PPV event, not a $45 Raw, which is quite honestly how I felt way more than I should have. And then you add in some of the questionable booking (Cena over Lesnar is STILL stupid to me) and the year just wasn’t good. The worst thing about WWE PPV is 2012 was simply the fact that, for the most part, they were not booking wrestling PPVs anymore, they were writing entertainment shows; and no, they aren’t the same. I feel and have felt for a long time that there are too many writers, and not enough bookers in wrestling these days; but again, just my opinion.


One of the things I have absolutely hated in wrestling during 2012 was the continued decline of women’s wrestling in both WWE and TNA. So with that being said, I have to name the WWE Divas the worst WWE performers of 2012. When I started to write the column I was outlining things, and when it came it this category, the ladies unfortunately came to mind. At first I thought I was being too hard on them, but then I went back and looked at the year that was in WWE PPV matches. Here is what I found…

~ Royal Rumble: Beth, Natalya and The Bellas defeated Kelly, Eve, Alicia and Tamina @ 5:30 via pin [*½]
~ Elimination Chamber: Beth Phoenix defeated Tamina Snuka @ 7:15 via pin [**]
~ WrestleMania 28: Maria Menounous and Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve @ 6:22 via pin [*½]
~ Over the Limit: Layla © defeated Beth Phoenix @ 7:10 via pin [**]
~ No Way Out: Layla © defeated Beth Phoenix @ 6:50 via pin [½*]
~ Money in the Bank: Tamina, Kaitlyn and Layla defeated Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve @ 3:03 via pin [*½]
~ Summerslam: No Match
~ Night of Champions: Eve defeated Layla © via pin to win the title @ 6:29 [*¾]
~ Hell in a Cell: Eve © defeated Layla and Kaitlyn @ 6:30 via pin [*]
~ Survivor Series: Eve © defeated Kaitlyn @ 7:00 via pin [*½]
~ Tables, Ladders and Chairs: Eve © defeated Naomi @ 2:58 via pin [NR]

It’s not a pretty picture, that’s for sure. But I will say this, it isn’t all their fault. The WWE continues to book the division into hell on a weekly basis, the division is a mess, and is falling apart. Beth, Kelly and the Bellas have left, Kharma didn’t work out; it is simply falling apart and it is all due to the booking. They get almost no time on the weekly TV shows, as you can see above they barely get any PPV time, and that is why people are leaving. The product has shifted to a PG environment, so there are no bra and panty matches or anything of that sort, so when the ladies come out for a PPV match, no one cares, because they barely give them any time on TV so that you know who they are or what they are fighting about. I guess that the good news is that WWE is basically looking to give up on women’s wresting, since they don’t have a clue how to book it. WWE has started polling fans in focus groups online about what they like and don’t like about the Divas division and what roles they would like to see the Divas in going forward. The general feeling is to move the ladies into love interests for the Superstars, General Managers, ringside managers, hosts for WWE programming, reality programming and dancers; with the occasional wrestling involved. It’s all for the best really, and for those that continue to bitch that women’s wrestling doesn’t draw, a well balanced product that offers numerous different things will draw; so the fact that WWE continues to book most of their product poorly makes it not draw as well as it should. Because let’s be honest, if the current product was drawing well, they wouldn’t have opened their wallets to Rock and Brock like they have.


Overall in 2012, I have been pretty down on WWE PPV as a whole, but when I think back to what was the best part of WWE PPV in 2012, it is CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. I am a fan of pro wrestling, and when I buy a pro wrestling PPV, I want good pro wrestling matches. In 2012, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk delivered that for me. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier to write that. I have been a fan of both guys for a long time, and the thing was, everyone always said that they were “great on the Independents, but could they make it in the WWE?” Well the answer is an easy yes, they have made it to the dance, and not only survived, but they have thrived. To look at the image I selected, the two men in an ROH ring, shaking hands and then seeing the same scene played out in a WWE ring simply makes me smile. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan made WWE PPV for me in 2012, both through their performances, and because of the fact that guys I watched for years in the Independents clawed and climbed to the top of WWE. For me as a fan, it was a great thing to watch.


This was an extremely easy one to pick for me, as I have been working on a list of the top 10 PPV performers of 2012. If you look at the list above, CM Punk appears on the list six times. While it is the cool thing to do to mock Punk’s physique and to blame the ratings of the three hour Raw shows on him, the fact is that without being treated like the main event and the man, he is the one that went out on PPV and delivered the best in the company. As I was narrowing down my top 10, Punk was the only WWE performer to make it into the top 14 (rated on having the most matches ranking ***¾ or higher in the year.) CM Punk went out and had great matches with Chris Jericho, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and a triple threat with Bryan and Kane. Punk had a lot of success on PPV, and the thing is that he has been a guy that always says he delivers on PPV. Punk worked well will all of the names I mentioned, and is a name that when I see it on WWE PPV, I know that his match will do its best to give me my money’s worth. Sure he had some matches (Hell in a Cell with Ryback) that were not “PPV quality main events,” but overall he delivered and delivered well. Add into the fact that he wasn’t treated as the main event most of the time but continued to perform on such a high level while amassing the long WWE title reign, and again, this was an easy choice.


AVERAGE PPV SCORE: 6.3 {For 12 PPV Events} – According to the 411 scale, which is what I use for grading the PPVs, that means for the year that the 6.3 gives WWE a “low average” on PPV for 2012. WWE PPV was so weird in 2012, there were good matches, but so many times I felt that the PPV events felt like TV events. PPVs with lackluster efforts, thrown on matches that the fans didn’t care about, and the long promo segments; when I take them all into consideration, they really took away from the shows. Overall Verdict: In my opinion, WWE PPV was not worth it as far as the whole year goes. Paying $45 for a glorified Raw and Smackdown is not what I like spending my cash on. Hopefully WWE realizes that, because I am not the only one that has had the feeling. They had some damn good matches on PPV in 2012, but for overall shows, I need a little more for my $45.

BEST PERFORMERS: While I did name my overall best performers, I do want to make mention of the overall best performers for the promotion. These men are the ones that have consistently delivered when appearing on PPV. Besides CM Punk, I would also like to mention the following…

* Daniel Bryan
* John Cena
* Chris Jericho
* Sheamus

And there is my look at WWE on PPV in the year 2012. I hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading!

Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it…TO CSONKA’S TWITTER!



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