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Wrestlemania III -- Professional Wrestling's Quality Event -- Writer's Poke #388


Wrestlemania is WWE’s annual sports entertainment spectacular. The show itself is typically four hours long, and event usually sets attendance records for whatever stadium that houses it. Wrestling fans know by heart, for example, that Wrestlemania III attracted 93,000 people to the Detroit Pontiac Silverdome. This event was headlined by Hulk Hogan defending his heavyweight title against Andre the Giant. Hogan even managed to body-slam the 500 pound giant, but the effort it took to do so almost destroyed his back.

Not surprisingly, wrestlers usually didn’t try to body-slam Andre, but it had been done before and would be done again. And yet, nobody talks about Kamala or Big John Studd or Ultimate Warrior slamming Andre. They don't even talk about Hulk slamming Andre at other events. All people remember and all they talk about is Hulk slamming Andre at Wrestlemania III. Something about this slam was different and special. Something about this slam could only happen at Wrestlemania.
But if Wrestlemania is such a special event, why is it held just once a year? If you like professional wrestling, between WWE and TNA, you can watch at least 7 hours of new content each week. Both brands have monthly pay-per-views, which adds another 6 hours of available wrestling entertainment each month. Altogether, then, a wrestling fan can watch up to 436 hours of body-slams, bad comedy, and sensational drama each year, and yet, the 4 hours of Wrestlemania are still valued. The event itself is still special.

Pay-per-views themselves used to be special, but now fans often complain that they are no better than the weekly episodes of Raw or Smackdown or Impact that they can watch for free. Why pay $50 for a pay-per-view if it’s the same content that you’re used to seeing? But how much different can one event really be over another? In the end, the whole idea about professional wrestling is two men (or women) pretending to fight. The potential matchups are limited, and so the writers must continually find new ways to keep the fans interested in the same people fighting.

Would it be possible to run Wrestlemania monthly? Weekly? What is the tie between quality and the sense of how “special” the event is? What is the tie between quality and time (or how often an event is offered)?

“I believe that given the audience attention level, we could do an even more compelling 90 minutes.” – Vince McMahon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD4Y6TqmAfY

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