WWE’s pay-per-view schedule can sometimes feel hectic between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, but this year it’s a bit too much.
From 1989 through 1995, there were zero pay-per-view (PPV) events between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. From 1996 through 2016, there was always one PPV between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
WWE increased that number by one starting in 2017, and we’ve been getting two PPVs between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania since then. This wasn’t that big of an issue in 2017 and 2018, because brand-exclusive PPVs were in effect, so one of those events only featured Raw stars, while the other event only featured SmackDown stars. But the concept of brand exclusive PPVs was dropped by mid 2018, and it’s now very apparent that WWE should cut one of these two events off the schedule. They are cramming too much content into a short period of time.
In 2019, the four PPV events from Royal Rumble through WrestleMania, inclusive, took place on Jan. 27, Feb. 17, Mar. 10, and Apr 7. So there were three weeks between Royal Rumble and the February PPV, three weeks between the February and March PPVs, and four weeks between the March PPV and WrestleMania. Three weeks is not an ideal amount of time to properly build to one PPV, let alone two consecutive PPVs. But given that there were 10 weeks between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, the February and March events were spaced out in the most even way possible.
That is not what has happened this year. In 2020, the four events are scheduled on Jan. 26, Feb. 27, Mar. 8, and Apr. 5. That means there are 4.5 weeks between Royal Rumble and the February PPV, 1.5 weeks between the February and March PPVs, and four weeks between the March PPV and WrestleMania.
I guess this is what happens when a Saudi Arabia event is scheduled on the road to WrestleMania.
There is only going to be one episode of Raw between Super ShowDown (Feb. 27) and Elimination Chamber (Mar. 8), and that episode of Raw will take place on Mar. 2. There are two episodes of SmackDown scheduled during that time, assuming WWE doesn’t experience any more travel woes when they return from Saudi Arabia this time.
So WWE is in a strange period right now where they are essentially building to three PPVs at once. Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre are getting ready for WrestleMania in April, the rest of the women on Raw are booked in an Elimination Chamber match for March, and most of the current television time has been focused on Super ShowDown in February.
WWE has a bloated roster and they can theoretically space everyone out to make Super ShowDown a very different card from Elimination Chamber. But when two events are scheduled that closely together, there is always the risk that we’ll see some matches and stories rehashed, because WWE usually focuses on the same stars, and there isn’t enough time to develop a new story. There is also the risk that we’ll see some new stories rushed, for example, if WWE needs to quickly find Bray Wyatt an opponent not named Goldberg for the March event.
It should be noted, however, that the dog food infused feud of Roman Reigns versus Baron Corbin is immune to all potential time constraints, and will simply repeat forever without end, regardless of how much time exists between the monthly PPVs.
Starting next year, would you like to see WWE ditch one of these PPVs between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania? Or do you think the schedule is working just fine?