Hello everyone, I hope your week is going well. For those who celebrated Easter this past Sunday, my best wishes to you. Spring is known for new beginnings and it definitely seems that way with the wrestling world right now. Ring of Honor with their live traditional pay-per-views beginning with June’s Best In the World are changing the status quo. TNA is doing all they can to get over younger talent and trying to rebrand themselves and watch their pennies. Not to forget Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling and the possibility of a new number two in the professional wrestling category. But the biggest change in the last two months to the industry has to be the WWE Network.
Now, there’s no question that just on a technological standpoint that WWE’s over-the-top network has revolutionized. However, there is another point that needs to be made here. For the last few years, the booking of the company’s bigger shows were really just an extension of their television. That made sense of course due to the fact that a bulk of the revenue came from television. And while that is still the case in a lot of ways, WWE is really concerned with Network subscriber numbers and a lot of that is drawn off the live pay-per-views.
WWE now has the unique challenge of really building up the special events in order to entice fans on pursuing The Network. I think this new model has really forced them to go back and re-examine how they make every card special. From babyfaces being put in peril with John Cena and Daniel Bryan to the showdown between The Shield and Evolution. All these little touches help make the fan want to see what comes next. These techniques were used in the Hogan era, the Austin era and they can work today if used correctly draw fans in paying the $9.99.
In working on building these events, WWE seemingly is trying to rebuild the women’s and mid-card division on television. Paige is being established with the audience showing that the fairer sex of WWE actually can go for longer than three minutes at a time. Not to mention, the rise of characters such as Bad News Barrett and the reestablishing of the importance of the Intercontinental title on television. All these things play a role in making everything matter again. Sure, they still need to do that with the US title but one step at a time.
Every era in WWE is given a name. We have the red and yellow of Hulkamania, then the New Generation, the glass shattering Attitude Era, followed by the Ruthless Aggression era and the PG WWE Universe era. But now, seems to be on a new precipice. Triple H has dubbed this the Reality Era on television. I don’t know if I agree with that moniker. I prefer to think of it as more of the “Gratitude” era. In the last few weeks, you have heard WWE publicly acknowledge the fan base more on television, and actually make changes due to reaction. They even made a thank you video a few weeks ago. Remember when Vince said, I know what you like better than you. Well, we haven’t heard that in quite a while since the launch of The Network. Your patronage is more important than ever to WWE with their TV deal unknown. And with that the product has become fun again. There’s a lot to like in WWE right now. And that’s something that we can all find some gratitude for.