The Future of WrestleMania - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

The Future of WrestleMania - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, March 26, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Ben Guest and Bodeen Green will be discussing the future of WrestleMania.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to WrestleMania 36 not only moving from Tampa Bay to the WWE Performance Center, but has also resulted in the event being split over 2 nights. This is obviously a direct response to the virus, however, could this arrangement have an impact on the future of WrestleMania as a whole?

Question 1: WrestleMania 36 will now take place over 2 nights. Do you think this will become the standard, or is it just a one off to accommodate the COVID-19 emergency?

ALLSOPP: I feel this will become a standard set up, as New Japan Pro Wrestling successfully hosted Wrestle Kingdom 14 over 2 nights, which was an overwhelming triumph. A 2 day format is easier on fans, and WWE should be able to exploit it to ensure they make even more money. I truly believe it is fans that would benefit the most from this change, as we wouldn't be subjected to 8 hours of wrestling in one go.

GUEST: I would assume that this is a one off, but if they're serious about making NXT a part of the main roster, then I'd be more than happy to see NXT: TakeOver fully integrated into WrestleMania, and have a 2 night special every year. It means they can have longer shows without taking up an entire day, which gives more credence to the idea of multiple main events, ensuring it is easier to have more huge moments without losing any impact. Imagine The Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar ending night 1, leaving fans wondering what can possibly top that as a moment the next night.

GREEN: Whilst I wouldn't mind seeing a 2 night WrestleMania, I ultimately feel this will be a one off due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The fact it is rumoured that some matches will take place in the Performance Center with other matches in different locations would make for some very awkward programming, if it was to take place on one night. The 2 night programming also allows for easier viewing for the fans, as more then six hours of WWE programming with no crowd would be hard to watch.

Question 2: With rumours circulating about WWE selling the rights to their pay-per-views, do you feel WrestleMania 37 will be available on the WWE Network, or will it be exclusive to a new pay-per-view broadcaster such as ESPN?

GUEST: To ignore the WWE Network for their biggest show seems a bit pointless to me. You can't say you have the ultimate wrestling archive with all the latest shows and live special events, only to have to go somewhere else for the events you truly want to see. It just doesn't make sense to me, but if you wave enough money in Vince McMahon's face, who knows? Get ready to sign up to Saudi Sports Network for $15 a month to watch WrestleMania 37, live from the beautiful city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

GREEN: Honestly, I can see either happening. As much as the WWE Network is an amazing business strategy, a large part of the WWE fanbase will only renew their subscriptions for upcoming pay-per-views, with many fans deciding to watch pirated streams of pay-per-views. Whilst the WWE Network does provide a continuous stream of revenue, I can definitely see WWE accepting an upfront offer to broadcast WrestleMania 37 from a large broadcaster such as ESPN, especially with WWE's recent financial problems. However, I do feel that standard monthly pay-per-views such as Backlash, TLC and Money In The Bank will always be a part of the WWE Network.

ALLSOPP: WWE shouldn't move from their current model, as it will alienate fans who have become accustomed to receiving each and every pay-per-view as part of the standard WWE Network package. Unless the option they come up with is around $5/10 a month, many fans will be unable to justify the expense, especially in the uncertain times brought about by COVID-19. Ultimately, I envision WWE teaming up with ESPN to stream WrestleMania 37 exclusively.

Question 3: Rob Gronkowski will serve as the host of WrestleMania 36. Will the role of host be relevant in years to come?

GREEN: I feel like the host as a role to present and build hype for WrestleMania has lost all meaning, however I can definitely see the host role changing so it can be relevant in a new way. Rob Gronkowski is an example of this new host role. It's not new from WWE to bring celebrities to WrestleMania, be it athletes, actors or music stars. With the wrestler host role dying, I can definitely see these celebrities taking over the role as host to bring new fans into watching WrestleMania.

ALLSOPP: The role itself has never been relevant, not even when The Rock hosted WrestleMania 27. The idea of one person hosting such a monumental wrestling event is stupid, and the fact it is The Gronk who is hosting this year is cringeworthy. His SmackDown debut last week was an unmitigated disaster in terms of establishing his credibility, but fans and non wrestling fans were eager to see what the former NFL player could do. Extra eyes may be on the product this year a as result of Rob Gronkowski hosting, which means this awful role may continue.

GUEST: I've never really understood the role of a host for WrestleMania, but with a 2 hour pre-show telling you everything, then a 5 minute video package before each match, it's even more pointless. We get it, it's WrestleMania. There's loads of great matches and they're all really important and exciting, but can we just get to them please. I think if you asked anyone whether they'd rather hear someone talk about how great WrestleMania is for 5 minutes, or add 5 minutes to a match, they'd happily have a longer match. That being said, the role of host is going nowhere, especially when they can get someone else on the show or a celebrity appearance out of it.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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