Dave Meltzer was watching a UFC event recently and during some downtime in the show, decided to throw these comments out on Twitter:
This begs the question: Does he have a point?
Should professional wrestling (and WWE, in particular) begin handing out bonuses for performers who deliver the best matches on a card?
Let’s forget about RAW and Smackdown, too. Let’s just talk about “PPV” shows. It’s rarely been the case over the past few years that the “main event” on a card was the best match on the show. If you’re in the main event, you’re probably paid for that. If you’re on the undercard and deliver a kick-ass match of the night, should you not be compensated somehow for that?
Would wrestlers find that as extra motivation to perform in their matches? Perhaps. My concern would be wrestlers pulling out extra dangerous spots in an effort to earn that bonus. But having said that, WWE’s style is not about spots or gimmicks. Some of the best matches come from simply telling a fantastic back-and-forth story.
But it’s also unfair to ask a couple of guys who have been given 5 minutes to compete for “match of the night” against other guys who were given 10 to 20 minutes. So even in that respect, it’s unfair.
CM Punk vs Undertaker was the best match at WrestleMania. Did they deserve a bonus for their performance?
I’d dare say the “Wee-LC” match between Hornswoggle and El Torito was the most entertaining of the night at Extreme Rules, but was it the “best” match?
How does one rate the “best match”? Do you let the fans decide? Are there guidelines involved? And would the bonus be the same for main eventers as it is for the PPV pre-show wrestlers? Do you pay everybody involved with the match (i.e. managers, referees, outside interference, etc) or just the wrestlers themselves?
There just seems to be too much ambiguity when it comes to sports entertainment. I don’t think you can come up with a legitimate system to pay bonuses for “best match” because you’ll end up alienating the rest of the locker room. In UFC, everybody has the opportunity to have the best match of the night. You don’t get that same opportunity in WWE. For that reason alone, it’s a moot point.
What do YOU think? Could a bonus system work?