Saturday Night's Main Event: Over Exposure
June 4, 2007
I watched this past weekendís Saturday Nightís Main Event, and couldnít help but wonder, whatís the point. I didnít even watch the thing live I taped it and watched Sunday Night while doing the dishes. That is how excited I was about catching the event. The sad thing is I was a huge SNME Mark back in the mid to late 80ís when the WWF first started running SNME, yet I had next to no interest in seeing this event.
This brings up the obvious question, why? Is the newer version of SNME that much worse than the SNME of old, or has the wrestling industry simply outgrown it? Some might argue that the show was not very good, I read several viewer reviews online that buried the show, but I donít think that is a valid argument. This past Saturday Nightís Main Event was very much true to form of past events. It started off big, with a World (non) Title match and much like back in the original Hogan era, it was short on actual wrestling but heavy on build up for the next PPV. We got two other solid segments with the arm wrestling contest and SD tag match, which were a solid angle and solid match respectively; from there thing went down hill, sliding into the absurd and wacky, but again that was what SNME was back in the day. Do you remember all the silly Gene Okerland, Lord Alfred Haze skits, or the Blow Away Diet? This show very much followed the SNME formula.
The reason I think people thought the show as poor, and why, like me, most people didnít care for or about this episode of SNME, is that it is completely redundant when you take into account the current state of pro wrestling. When SNME first became big, the only wrestling on television were shows like WWF Superstars, or WWF Wrestling Challenge. These shows aired weekend mornings and consisted of exclusively one sided squash matches and promos, and almost never had big name match ups. Saturday Nightís Main Event was your only chance to see big name match ups or hype for PPV feuds and therefore were extremely special. When I was in High School SNME where huge. My friends and I never missed an SNME and even if there was a big party that weekend, the TV went on and the party was put on pause for 90 minutes.
Today we have Monday Night RAW, Friday Night Smack Down, and Tuesday Night (Fridayís here in Canada) ECW, all of which feature big name match ups on a weekly basis. If WWE canít hype and sell a PPV with 5 hours of big match programming per week, an additional 90 minutes certainly wonít help and letís be honest, keeping up with 5 hours of programming a week is a tough enough task as it is. Even if SNME was a WrestleMania caliber show it would still be almost more work than it is worth.
This is especially true when you consider that WWE decided to offer this past SNME the day before the One Night Stand PPV. Die-hard wrestling fans know that the important stuff happens on PPV so they will likely want to catch ONS, which means if they want to catch both it and SNME they have an additional 4 and Ĺ hours of wrestling programming to add to their normal weekly 5. This has to be the very definition of over exposure. Over 6 days WWE offered 6 and Ĺ hours of free wrestling programming on television and still expected people to turn around and on that 7th day, and pay to watch an additional 3 hours of action. That is just too much! Even God rested on the seventh day.
With that said, I obviously donít have high hopes for the SNME ratings or the ONS buy rates. Even with strong shows, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Even the most die-hard fans have to consider 9 Ĺ hours of WWE programming a bit much. Heaven for bid a fan might also want to catch TNA Impact, a ROH DVD, or crazier yet catch a live event. I guess to be a true wrestling fan today you have to dedicate more time to wrestling than most people do to their full time job. This could be the reason a lot of people stop being wrestling fans. It gets so hard to keep up it just becomes easier to tap out and give up. Itís a good thing wrestling is my job, Iím not sure Iíd make it otherwise.