Fatal 4-Ways are tricky matches to pull off at the best of times. I have read many wrestling autobiographies, and one constant is how difficult matches featuring continuous simultaneous action among more than three guys can be. Getting it right, though, is pure art.
Last week, the match at Payback was picture-perfect beauty.
The action was frantic, but well-paced and never confusing to follow, even with the addition of The Authority at ringside. We had many a high spot (Shield reunion!) and the half hour match felt like it was dictated by the feel of the crowd—something superstars such as Eddie Guerrero intuitively knew how to work for.
For instance, when Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose powerbombed Kane, the crowd loved it so much, they screamed for them to do it again! Naturally, what could Ambrose and Reigns do but oblige?
Now, going into the match, Seth was always my bet. However, when it came to the last few minutes, there were brief moments when I thought that Reigns would win, just for a second. They had managed to pull off the suspension of disbelief for me—something WWE strives for, and when they do, you better believe that it damn well works.
A recent article on Kayfabe News stated WWE intended to add 352 more pay-per-views into its yearly schedule. This is a joke, of course, but like all content on the website, there is an element of truth to it.
Fresh out of a fairly decent Payback, we are now on the very short road to Elimination Chamber. While I am looking forward to the uniqueness of the tag team Elimination Chamber match and the vacant Intercontinental Championship bout, I still feel the journey is going too fast. Elimination Chamber will not even be a full calendar month from Payback.
In the yonder days of ye olde WWF, pay-per-views were sacred events. The Big Four—Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series were spaced far enough apart to allow anticipation and meaningful stories to develop.
Nevertheless, WWE soon decided on a business model consisting of 12 pay-per-views a year. Given the expansion it had taken, it made sense, and nobody can begrudge them for being a savvy business.
However, in recent years, some pay-per-views come around quicker than others, meaning we are often on 13-14 events a year. It may not seem like much more, but many fans feel the quick turnaround is over saturation and watering down the chance to build stories, leading to what has come to be known as "filler pay-per-views". The throwaway ones in-between the aforementioned Big Four can sometimes feel like a slightly more exciting Raw (or less in some cases.)
Compare that to the three month "Road to WrestleMania" build up. Even the most cynical wrestling fan cannot deny the anticipation. I know they are unlikely to change anything soon, but sometimes it would not hurt to stop and consider whether less could be more.
So there you have it, my two choices for the week. What do YOU think are the Cheap Pop and Cheap Heat this week in professional wrestling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!