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Dale Wolfe

The length of wrestling shows & overkill

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1 hour ago, DMJ said:

To me, I'd rather watch the worst 7-minute match ever than a mediocre 14-minute match because at least the former doesn't overstay its welcome.

I can definitely relate to that. Plus, really bad can be funny, while mediocre means just there and boring more often than not. Awful but mercifully short always beats mediocre going long.

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the two shows named for having breezy shows also get their stuff taped in some of the longer tapings going these days (MLW slices up one card into 4/5 weeks of somewhat coherent TV, Powerrr tapes a bunch of episodes over 2/3 nights). And there's no shortage of old time breezy watchable TV from the 80s WWF that was made from marathon tapings where the crowd had to endure.

Even a place like CMLL takes 2 hours mas o menos (more or less) to get from the first match to the end of the card while having 3 falls in most of the matches.

So if you're airing a show, or streaming it, and there's not another show going on against it, the goal is... try to keep eyeballs on the show without having the heat die?

That goal might require mixing things up on occasion or going to more of a SNME flow for some shows (Raw) than trying to sustain heat for 3 hours every week.

I'll try to not go on the overkill route for a post on this.

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28 minutes ago, Cobra Commander said:

Even a place like CMLL takes 2 hours mas o menos (more or less) to get from the first match to the end of the card while having 3 falls in most of the matches.

CMLL has a curfew of sorts since the crowd takes public transportation (if you look up Arena Mexico on Google Maps you'll see there's not exactly a lot of parking nearby), so they have to end the show before the last train leaves. 

 

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Who are these marathon shows even designed for, really? And I don't ask that to sound like a dick. I ask out of genuine curiosity, because I don't see the appeal to anyone.

I mean, I *guess* maybe there are some folks out there who binge on wrestling the same way people binge on Investigation Discovery niche shows or anything else, but fuck me. It's just too much.

To be fair, yeah. I've probably seen 20 matches or less in 2019. So I'm not exactly keyed in at the moment, nor do I care to be. But shouldn't something like that be telling? It's problematic.

Arn Anderson addressed it on his podcast, saying it's clearly a red flag whenever people are choosing to leave before the biggest main event on the biggest shows of the year. And he's personally witnessed that.

These marathon shows just feel like exhausting, bothersome chores. I can't imagine ever watching wrestling like I did before - not in this current model. The shows are just too fucking long. If it weren't for the option to cherry pick and watch a match here or there in total isolation, I wouldn't ever watch anything at all.

Just as an example, I caught some free time before a shift recently. And I felt like I wanted to watch some wrestling - a rarity for me these days. Somehow I wound up going with Sasha versus Becky from HiaC, and I thought that was a fucking blast. Like I said, I'm out of the loop. So I don't know how well it was reviewed, but I had so much fun watching it that I went ahead and watched the Roman/Bryan versus Harper/Rowan tag that followed it. AGAIN, I enjoyed the shit out of the match.

But by then, I was done. I couldn't imagine sitting there and trying to FORCE FEED myself another three hours of the same thing. There's no way I could ever ask anyone to watch a wrestling show with me ever again, because the commitment is just unrealistic.

Obviously I could go on & on about burnout and oversaturation, all of which have been discussed before. But yeah. I just don't understand how THIS marathon show model has become the framework and the trend by which all of pro wrestling must now follow.

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1 minute ago, SomethingSavage said:

Who are these marathon shows even designed for, really? 

That's a really good question. I sincerely don't think I know anyone who would feel short-changed or disappointed if all pro wrestling TV shows were limited to 90 minutes or less, and huge shows like Mania and WK "only" lasted 3 hours.

I think it's understood that RAW goes 3 hours to satisfy network demand for content. Maybe Mania and WK are so interminable because the companies want to get as many wrestlers a payday as possible and let everyone get their stuff in on "the grandest stage"?

From a fan perspective, though... Like I said, it's a good question.

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Right. And, like you said, I understand the reasoning when it comes to commerce and the demands from USA Network. But for their specials? For WrestleMania? Who was crying out for these 4-hour extensions? Who asked for shows to turn into these dreadful festivals?

Maybe I've just aged out of wrestling, but I don't get it. And I stuck with this stuff for 30 years, so I guess I take it to heart when I'm struggling to even enjoy it anymore.

If this design for marathon shows is meant to be strictly fan service, then maybe show more restraint for how often it's done. Because, at some point, it stops feeling like fan service & starts becoming this HUGE barrier of entry that stops anyone from getting into the product at all.

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3 hours ago, sek69 said:

CMLL has a curfew of sorts since the crowd takes public transportation (if you look up Arena Mexico on Google Maps you'll see there's not exactly a lot of parking nearby), so they have to end the show before the last train leaves. 

 

also it always seems like a good portion of the crowd are tourists, who they'd probably doubly prefer not wandering around Mexico City at midnight if they could help it. (Looking at the map, spotted 2 subway stations within walking distance). Then there's Arena Puebla where the shows kick off at 9 and there's a bus stop next to it. Which i'm sure is lots of fun.

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This topic reminds me of the last indie show I was at, USA pro. It went on for almost 5 hours with no intermission. The show started with about 500-600 people and by the time it ended, only 100 or so were left. People started leaving after the 4th talking segment 2 hours in and when Shane Douglas started doing intros for the decesed Bam Bam and Chris Candido. Contrast that to the last NXT house show I went to that was under 90 minutes and had about 5 matches in less than a hour. I think it all depends on the pacing of the show and what's on it. I can get through NXT and AEW easy enough in 2 hours. Raw is pushing it with 3 and even then I usually watch on DVR. I don't watch the ppvs live anymore cause I can't sit through them in 1 sitting.

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7 hours ago, Tim Evans said:

I think it all depends on the pacing of the show and what's on it.

This. Despite all the hype about it, NWAP Powerr for instance was kind of a chore to get through to me because there was jackshit in term of actual good wrestling and tons of time devoted to terrible acts like Aron Stevens and the Question Mark, or the Dawsons. With a super quick pacing that goes from one empty segment to another, 50 minutes can be a hell of a long time. Same thing for some MLW shows which have just the worst pacing. IMPACT always flies by. Some long NJPW shows are super easy to watch too despite the length. So yeah, perception of time is subjective and the length in itself matters less that what constitutes the show. (of course I still say that 90 mn is the perfect time for a weekly show and 3 hours should be the max for a usual PPV).

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20 hours ago, Tim Evans said:

This topic reminds me of the last indie show I was at, USA pro. It went on for almost 5 hours with no intermission. The show started with about 500-600 people and by the time it ended, only 100 or so were left. People started leaving after the 4th talking segment 2 hours in and when Shane Douglas started doing intros for the decesed Bam Bam and Chris Candido.

Sounds like an interesting one lol! Cagematch does not seem to have results.

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