The WWE Network era has made it very affordable for wrestling fans to catch major PPV events. While we used to debate whether we wanted to pay $35 or $50 to watch three or four hours of wrestling, we can now justify it for $9.99 per month or about 33 cents per day if you want to break it down that way. Was Survivor Series a great show at $9.99? Probably. Would you say the same if it was $50? Maybe not.
When WWE brought back the brand split in the summer of 2016, there was a belief that there might be more events on WWE Network. In terms of PPV events, there were 13 in 2015 (year before the brand split), 15 in 2016 and 16 in 2017 with Clash of Champions wrapping up the year on December 17. Looking ahead to 2018, it appears as though WWE is cutting back on PPVs while making a change to Money in the Bank.
It was reported by PWInsider’s Dave Scherer that there will be 14 WWE PPVs in 2018, with five of the events featuring both Raw and Smackdown stars (an increase from the usual four), five Raw-only events and four featuring Smackdown talent. Here’s how it breaks down.
Royal Rumble (Raw and SD), Philadelphia, PA – January 28
Elimination Chamber (Raw), Las Vegas, NV – February 25
Fastlane (SD), Columbus, OH – March 11
WrestleMania 34 (Raw and SD), New Orleans, LA – April 8
Backlash (Raw), Newark, NJ – May 6
Payback (SD), Baltimore, MD – May 27
Money In The Bank (Raw and SD), Chicago, IL – June 17
Battleground (Raw), Pittsburgh, PA – July 15
SummerSlam (Raw and SD), Brooklyn, NY – August 19
Extreme Rules (Raw), San Antonio, TX – September 16
Hell In A Cell (SD), Nashville, TN – September 30
WWE TLC (Raw), Boston, MA – October 21
Survivor Series (Raw and SD), Los Angeles, CA – November 18
Clash Of Champions (SD), San Jose, CA – December 16
Some notes on this schedule:
— Money in the Bank will now be a co-branded show, which means there could be up to four MITB briefcases up for grabs if they do it for the men’s and women’s division. While that probably won’t be the case, they’ll probably have to do some restructuring with both brands involved No word yet on if Money in the Bank will be a four hour show like Royal Rumble, SummerSlam or Survivor Series. WrestleMania was five hours this year.
— Raw getting five PPVs compared to four for Smackdown shows the favoritism for Raw. It’s particularly bad when you see Raw has the brand-exclusive PPV before and after SummerSlam. That means Smackdown has to wait four months between their brand-exclusive PPVs of Payback in May and Hell in a Cell in September.
— The only two months with two PPVs are May and September. October used to be a month where WWE did two of them, but they probably realized there was less interest in those shows because they competed against the NFL season (like September) and also the MLB Playoffs.
— No Great Balls of Fire show. Leave the memories alone.
— All 14 PPVs take place in the United States. That’s no surprise because that’s how it usually goes, but sometimes there are PPVs in Canada. It also means nothing for the United Kingdom again. The U.K.’s last major PPV was SummerSlam 1992 and they are still waiting for another one.
Plans can always change, but in this case the 2018 PPV schedule appears to be set.