The bizarre new ruling that has seen WWE television overrun by multi-fall matches and numerous shenanigans over the past two weeks, as first reported by PWInsider, is an edict that came down straight from the very top.
On the heels of the largely panned “Wildcard Rule”, Vince McMahon’s latest attempt to shake up WWE programming is a sweeping ban on all wrestling that takes place during commercial breaks. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Vince decided that there shall be no more wrestling during breaks because it’s not something you see during a legitimate sports broadcast.
Obviously, because there are no time-outs or rest periods in wrestling, you’d have to manufacture those instances, which is why for the last two weeks we have seen an overabundance of three-fall matches, or gimmicky finishes to nearly everything that result in the match being restarted after the commercial break.
Word backstage is that almost no one internally is a fan of the concept, with the Observer reporting from multiple sources who were “negative” and found the idea to be unsustainable.
The feeling from the community right now is that everyone is already burnt out on having so many multi-fall matches, and there really is no way to make it work. Either you’re constantly coming up with ridiculous gimmicks for every match on the show, which people won’t like, or you book them for no reason at all, and people tend not to like that either.
This new “rule” may not last very long. McMahon tried to make the “Wildcard Rule” a thing in an attempt to appease USA Network who handed him a list of reportedly awful ideas to improve viewership.
That rule originally started as three Superstars switching brands per show, then immediately changed to four per show, and is now completely out the window to the point where it has effective ended the brand split. Extreme Rules will mark the second PPV in a row where a Raw star will challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, while Raw’s Samoa Joe inexplicably challenges for Smackdown’s WWE Championship.
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