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Home arrow Blog arrow Editorial arrow Editorial arrow Editorial: Season's Greetings
Editorial: Season's Greetings
Written by David Dunn   
Nov 23, 2011 at 09:57 PM

I was unlucky enough to get involved in a conversation about the NBA on Twitter not too long ago. As I understand it, there’s some sort of lock-out that prevents the basketball league’s season from going ahead, and I mocked KPW’s Alex “Danger” Donahue about it accordingly. It was silly to follow a sport with seasons, I said, when you could invest your time in the year-round entertainment of WWE instead.

As such, I had the question put to me: Should WWE operate on a seasonal basis?

Debates about whether pro-wrestling is a sport aside, you will not find any athletes worked harder than the WWE Superstars. And they do it without any breaks in their schedules.

WWE Superstars are either in the ring or on the road around 300 days a year, with perhaps the only real time off they get coming between Christmas and the New Year if Raw and SmackDown air “best of” highlight shows instead of their usual broadcasts.

If Raw or SmackDown are taped in advance at any other time of the year, it’s only so the superstars can embark on a lengthy tour of Australia or Europe, for example, wrestling night-in, night-out for the week.

But could the reason for the popularity of these tours – the scarcity of WWE – hold the key to WWE’s success? Could there be grounds for an off-season?

Selfishly, the idea of WWE shutting down for any given period doesn’t appeal to me – I want to watch wrestling all day, every day. But changing to a seasonal model wouldn’t make sense from a business perspective either. By touring internationally and constantly moving around North America, WWE can continue to draw in live crowds who are genuinely excited by the product, regardless of how a television audience might feel.

So going on hiatus once a year just to keep things fresh for armchair critics isn’t a sensible option, but I think there is an argument to be made for some sort of time off.

Take a look at The Rock. So much as mention him, or beam his image in via satellite, and people go crazy. Survivor Series – which he headlined – sold out in 90 minutes. Why? Because the man’s been gone for seven years. I know The Rock’s one of the biggest names in pro-wrestling history, but the level of hype around him wouldn’t be nearly the same if he had been an active member of the roster (which he pretty much promised he would be earlier this year, by the way) for months beforehand.

Comebacks always excite people. Each year The Undertaker disappears as a battered and beaten old man, but returns as one of the most feared and awe-inspiring wrestlers on the roster. I can’t have been alone in hearing the Madison Square Garden crowd begging for his return during Big Show and Mark Henry’s match at Survivor Series. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Even Rey Mysterio is side-lined at the moment. But, let’s be honest, is anyone missing him? No. The current WWE roster is more than large enough to make up for Rey Rey’s absence, but you know the moment he’s ready to return to the ring there will be a place for him and the WWE Universe will be happy to see Mysterio back in action.

The WWE Superstars shouldn’t only get to take a break from the road, with the possibility of a surprise return to start something fresh and exciting because they’ve suffered an injury, or are serving a wellness policy suspension though.

While a company-wide off-season isn’t an option, the idea of giving individual roster members a break is something that could have more benefits than not. Presumably more rest time means less injury time, and probably higher job satisfaction for those with partners and families waiting for them at home.

Say you divide the roster into six random groups, and give each two months off throughout the year. By my count that leaves WWE with at least 68 superstars on the road at any one time, down from the current 82, but definitely a workable roster.

Not only would rotating certain superstars on and off the road be good for their personal lives, but it could serve to help the careers of those left on the road too. With a main event player like a John Cena or a Randy Orton on vacation, guys like Jack Swagger, Sheamus or Wade Barrett – who’ve all had a taste at the main event but since been relegated back down the card – would have a chance to step up and be the face of Raw or SmackDown, at least for a little while.

Logistically I don’t know how you’d go about getting rid of 14 performers at a time. Perhaps Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain would have to balloon in size every two months? R-Truth could take to WWE.com to talk about a conspiracy against him? In the case a Tyson Kidd or a Tyler Reks, I doubt any explanation is needed, and they could be pulled from cards with minimal fuss.

However, when the time comes for them to return, the opportunities for each superstar are pretty much endless. Whether it’s a Kevin Nash-style run-in, a surprise return in the Royal Rumble, interrupting a main event star’s promo like Chris Jericho’s debut, or anything else, having spent two months away should let everyone return with a clean slate ready to make an impact in any way they see fit, and hook the WWE Universe again in an instant.

A company-wide WWE season? No. But this holiday season, perhaps the best gift WWE could give its superstars would be the opportunity to take more than a week off at a time, and keep things fresh and exciting year-round by rotating the roster.

What do you think? Could you cope with an off-season for WWE? E-mail me your thoughts at or let me know with a comment below.

Saturday, April 19
- WWE Raw (10.15am, the BOX)

Sunday, April 20
- WWE Raw (3.45pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (6.15pm, the BOX)

- WWE SmackDown (7.05pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (11.50pm, the BOX)

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