It feels like the stars are aligning for something WWE will never do in any of our lifetimes.
For the sake of themselves and their employees, WWE should think about implementing a self imposed offseason for their product.
At one time, in the distant past, pro wrestling needed to be a year long enterprise to compete with other forms of sports and entertainment. In the year 2019, WWE’s style of working a 365-days-a-year schedule is showing more cracks than ever before.
Right now many of the major WWE headlines revolve around wrestler injuries, declining TV ratings, disgruntled employees, and an overall product that is more off than on creatively. Like any other sports league or entertainment franchise, WWE has ebbs and flows with their product.
Maybe its just the post-WrestleMania 35 hangover, but right now WWE seems to trending in the wrong direction.
Would a WWE offseason have given Dean Ambrose a reason to stick around? If WWE had an offseason, would the Sasha Banks situation still exist? Are Luke Harper and Lio Rush in different places if WWE had other policies in place?
How about TV ratings? Year after year, Raw and SmackDown have been losing a hold on viewers, does a WWE offseason fix any of that? Does it solve any attendance issues the promotion may be having for both television tapings and house shows?
A few months ago, the Cageside offices asked a similar question in regards to changing WWE’s momentum on TV. It was hard to pin down a single answer, but at the end of the day can any live sport or TV show deal with the 52 week grind of producing new material for their audience? From a scheduling point alone, WWE has booked themselves behind the eight ball here.
52 straight weeks of NBA basketball? 52 straight weeks of new episodes of Game of Thrones? Outside of the pro wrestling bubble, the idea of producing new sports/entertainment content 52 weeks in a row sounds insane.
Imagine a world, where the last WWE memory you have is Becky Lynch holding up both the Raw and SmackDown titles as WrestleMania 35 fades to black. No Raw or SmackDown after WrestleMania, just WWE rolling into their offseason until it ends on let’s say July 1. Could even make it June 1 so Vince McMahon doesn’t go stir crazy.
WWE picks back up after a two to three months pause with a true Superstar Shake-Up or Draft, then begins the build to Money in the Bank in four weeks.
Does this fix all of WWE’s current issues? Not at all. After doing it the same way for going on multiple decades, could a drastic change like this help WWE out in more than a few ways? I think so.
When WWE became one of the first big sports or entertainment properties to start their streaming service, it was seen as a bold move back in 2014. Maybe the next step in WWE’s evolution is to dial it back, and treat their content as valuable as the NFL treats theirs or how any major TV network treats one of their hit seasonal programs.
Even in pro wrestling, less is sometimes more.