It is interesting to note over the last decade or so that the WWE have been upping their house show count. In 2015 it seems they had over 200 house shows but in 2016 only 100 or so are scheduled. It is becoming clear that house shows are a bigger and bigger problem for the overall product than thought.
The WWE make their money off of the televised events. Keeping fans coming back for more each week, episode after episode. This grinds to a halt when a popular star is out for injury. It is also bad for the product when that star is out for an injury that was not sustained on television. I don’t mean to sound morbid but when an injury happens on a televised event, at least the WWE can harp on it, remind fans of the star and how they got hurt. This effectively keeps the star in the mind of the viewer and their fans. When the star is injured at a house show it is not so easy to keep that star on television through vignettes and updates.
The biggest, highest profile, injury at a house show was Seth Rollins last year when he was facing Kane. This injury occurred in Dublin Ireland against Demon Kane. The reason this is a high-profile injury is Seth Rollins was the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time. This injury sidelined Set Rollins and required he drop the main title of the company.
This set off a tournament and other matches that eventually led fans to watching as Triple H, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose fought at the end of a battle royal. Fans watched in horror as Roman Reigns was thrown out and it was left to Dean Ambrose to stop the train of the “Authority” and Triple H having one more title reign. He didn’t.
Bray Wyatt was a large star that was definitely over with fans no matter if booked as a face or a heel. He is also currently out due to an injury suffered at a house show in Italy. He received a calf injury while wrestling Roman Reigns.
Tyson Kidd, half of a tag team with Cesaro, is out due to a neck injury from a house show. Kidd was wrestling Samoa Joe and suffered a neck injury while taking one of Joe’s more powerful moves. This derailed Kidd/Cesaro as they were rising the ranks and trading the tag titles back and forth with New Day and Darren Young/Titus O’Neil.
See the problem here? House shows are dangerous because they are putting stars in more opportunities to be injured. I am not saying WWE should stop touring, just tone it back a bit. They have stars that are holding titles on television wrestling, and in the case of Rollins, changing the product based on house show situations.
What do you think? Should the WWE back off on house shows?
Seth Rollins photo credit- WWE