Storylines on WWE TV change each month, however the story of the corporate has been the identical for the final three years: Can Roman Reigns lead professional wrestling into a brand new period?
Reigns scored a decisive win over John Cena on the No Mercy occasion in one of many largest matches streamed on the WWE Community this 12 months.
Cena, regardless of working part-time because of his flourishing Hollywood profession, remains to be arguably the largest star in professional wrestling. WWE needs Reigns to fill these sneakers.
Cena handed the torch to Reigns on Sunday. Reigns now has torches from Cena, Triple H and The Undertaker. However is it sufficient?
Not the whole lot is properly at WWE.
The largest query going into Sunday’s occasion: Why now? John Cena vs Roman Reigns has “WrestleMania essential occasion” written throughout it. It is Cena, the face of the WWE for the final decade, towards Reigns, the inheritor obvious. It is an vital story.
However the actuality is the corporate is in want of big-match buzz. The newest WWE Community numbers, launched in July, mentioned that there have been 1,568,000 paid subscribers as of June 30. That is down from the 1,661,000 followers that have been paying for the Community in April.
It isn’t so simple as 100,000 individuals leaving. As an alternative, between April and July, there have been 598,000 new subscribers however 604,000 who cancelled their membership, in line with the Wrestling Observer.
In different phrases, there are extra individuals dropping curiosity within the product than gaining curiosity. This is not uncommon for the time of 12 months. April’s WrestleMania is the largest present of the 12 months, and there is usually one thing of a hunch within the months that observe.
Irrespective of the rationale, the WWE is a method off the Three-Four million subscribers it is lengthy envisioned for the Community.
It isn’t simply the corporate’s digital enterprise that is lagging, as attendance numbers are down as properly, experiences the Wrestling Observer. It isn’t been unusual previously few months for images to flow into by way of Twitter of Uncooked and SmackDown going down in entrance of half a crowd.
However amid all of this, one sample has been clear: John Cena makes a distinction. SmackDown scores went up after Cena’s Four July return and promptly dropped after he moved to Uncooked in August.
Sadly for the corporate, although, Cena has different enterprise to take care of. His match with Reigns seems to be to be his final for a couple of months, as he’ll now be busy taking pictures a Transformers flick.
So, what now?
Sunny with an opportunity of Reigns
WWE, because it has for years, seems to be to Roman Reigns to steer the corporate into its subsequent period. That period for all intents and functions has already begun, with Reigns headlining the final three WrestleManias and arguably being probably the most constantly featured character on WWE TV since 2015.
However followers have but to really purchase in. Reigns, forged as the highest protagonist of the present, continues to be booed when he enters arenas across the US. Extra worrying are these WWE Community numbers, reside attendance and TV scores — all of that are dropping.
It would not be honest in charge Reigns for these drops. However it’s clear that the corporate’s viewers, en masse, is not completely invested.
Reigns’ star standing is already strong following his beating, and apparently retiring, The Undertaker at WrestleMania earlier this 12 months. WWE on Sunday doubled down: Reigns kicked out of all of Cena’s largest strikes — together with a top-rope Perspective Adjustment — and downed the 16-time world champion with a spear. Message despatched.
Later that night time, present WWE Common Champion Brock Lesnar prevailed over Braun Strowman, halting the newcomer’s monstrous momentum. The items for 2018’s WrestleMania puzzle are forming.
The WWE’s rumoured authentic plan for 2015’s WrestleMania was for the unstoppable champion Brock Lesnar to fall to Roman Reigns. The storyline, because of fan rejection, was modified. Now, Lesnar is as soon as once more the unstoppable champion and Reigns has crushed everybody there’s to beat besides the previous UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Would a renewed rivalry between Reigns and Lesnar spark sufficient curiosity to convey followers again to the Community, enviornment or TV display? Appears to be like like we’ll discover out subsequent April.
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