WWE is a company that rarely shuts its doors, for this company, “The Show Must Go On” is always the mantra they live by and is embedded in their minds.
With most professional and collegiate sports shutting down and the UFC decreasing the number of events they are running, the pressure is on for the company to press on or bring production to a halt. Is it time for the WWE to take a break until it’s safe to run shows?
Recently, WWE and ESPN struck a deal to air WrestleMania on Sundays, until WrestleMania 36 on April 4th and 5th. The first replay was WrestleMania 30, which included John Cena versus Bray Wyatt, the end of the Undertaker’s undefeated streak and Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. This replay drew just under 850,000 viewers and was the highest-rated show on ESPN last week.
Should WWE look towards their older content to get them through the Pandemic?
The odds are USA Network and FOX want new content for Raw and Smackdown respectively. Smackdown, however, has had 2 of its highest ratings over the last couple of weeks. Raw did one of its better ratings with a replay of this year’s Royal Rumble.
Raw has the detriment of being 3 hours, which requires more content. It’s harder to fill 3 hours with just replays, while it’s a nice buffer on Smackdown.
Showcase of the Immorals?
This brings us to WrestleMania 36. WWE has taped WrestleMania, which is expected to air on April 4th and 5th. The show was taped without a crowd as the Corona-virus has stopped all large gatherings of people, at least in a sports/entertainment setting. This decision is controversial as this is WWE’s biggest show of the year.
There have been calls to push WrestleMania back. Some believe this was the right call as we don’t know when life will return to normal. An issue with taping WrestleMania in these circumstances is that some of the talents are unavailable. Roman Reigns has taken himself out of WrestleMania for safety reasons, in the past Reigns has dealt with Leukemia, which leaves his immune system vulnerable. Now Dana Brooke, Rey Mysterio, and others have presumably been taken off the card for precautionary reasons. Daniel Bryan is expected to enter self-quarantine after WWE is done taping as he has an autoimmune disease. The WWE also has older talent on the show, such as Goldberg and the Undertaker.
In my opinion, the WWE should have waited to have WrestleMania. WrestleMania is the WWE’s biggest show and would be worth the wait. Instead, the show is a shell of itself, with the show being split into 2 days. WWE is working with a limited roster and the risk is higher than the reward. It would be a shame for a wrestler to fall ill filming a show in-front of no one. People are craving content, especially sports-related, which has probably influenced the WWE’s decision to go forward with producing content. I do understand why people want new content, it’s a distraction from the real world and unknown future that awaits us. It’s hard to know when any of this will end and it’s unknown when people will be able to return to their normal lives en masse.
This is why WWE should look towards its past for the time being. One of the critiques of WWE is that they live in the past too much. I believe one of the solutions should be to use their past to get them by. WWE has so much content that re-airing old PPVs, matches, and past WrestleMania’s can get them by. This would be a great way to promote the WWE Network, which is a great resource to pass the time, with most people stuck in-doors. WWE should actively look to sell the rights to old PPVs and their older wrestling content to reach out to both new and old fans. There is more than enough content to fill Raw and Smackdown with “best of” content. As of right now, everyone is uncharted waters and is trying to make the best of a difficult situation.
Should WWE continue to produce new content?
Should WWE have waited to hold WrestleMania?
How do you feel about the company producing new content?
Tell us what you think.