Lost in all the big surprises and shocking moments of Summerslam was a quiet announcement that could greatly impact the future of the WWE. During a commercial for the WWE Network, the WWE confirmed it was adding seven additional pay per view events to its calendar. This means the WWE will have 19 PPV events over the next 12 months, or approximately one PPV every three weeks. An alleged schedule showing two events per month was previously leaked online, but this is the first time the WWE has formally acknowledged the move.
The additional events are presumably being added to support the recent brand split, which divided WWE wrestlers into two separate and distinct rosters with limited interaction between brands. The WWE has already announced "Backlash" and "No Mercy", two PPVs exclusively featuring Smackdown Live wrestlers, in September and October. Meanwhile, September's "Clash of Champions" event will only feature wrestlers from the RAW roster.
However, not every PPV event will be totally brand specific. The "Big Four" events (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble) will have cards featuring wrestlers from both brands. It's likely that Money in the Bank will also feature wrestlers from both brands due to the unique storytelling opportunities a Money in the Bank contract provides.
While additional PPV events seems like a great idea on the surface, there is a question whether that's too much programming for the WWE to put on. After all, the WWE will have eight hours of live weekly programming on weeks that a pay per view event is scheduled. With the additional pay per view events, the WWE is now airing over three hundred hours of wrestling per year. That's a lot of wrestling for fans to keep track of, and it's possible that the time commitment could turn off more casual fans.
It's the WWE's hope that the seven additional PPV events will help convince fans to keep their monthly WWE Network subscription, which acts as one of the company's main streams of revenue. Many fans will often cancel their subscription during "non-peak" seasons and make a new account for major events like Wrestlemania and Summerslam in order to minimize costs or benefit from the WWE's "first month free" offer. The WWE's hope is that adding additional events to off months will lessen the cyclical ebb and flow of its subscription numbers.
Time will tell whether the new events will strengthen the WWE's product or just lead to heightened fan burnout. Let us know what you think of the new additions in the comments below!