By Anthony Savonarota
There is a lot I could say about this year’s Summerslam, from new title reigns happening to funny crowd chants, but there was something that stuck out in particular to me this year. The show felt like nothing new because of the same old stage.
While some longtime performers were deemed triumphant, there were also many other newer talents that showed their craft. Sasha Banks took Bliss’s title away from her. Finn Balor was surprisingly victorious when he proved to be more powerful ‘demonic’ figure than Bray Wyatt. Yet because of the same arena year in and year out the show started to lose its unique edge.
Having the same stage made sense a few years ago, without a brand extension WWE often travelled with the same group of wrestlers and did Raw and Smackdown back to back in the same or a nearby city. However, today there is no excuse for it. The company clearly wants fans to view the brands as distinct, this is why both shows are now live, yet it appears there is no creative effort on their part.
WWE often tries to promote the network as the wrestling version of Netflix. Yet it appears that what they don't realize is a huge aspect of Netflix’s appeal is not just the cheap price it is offered, but the diversity in content that can be accessed. While the network grants users tons of WWE footage new and old, the more modern material quickly feels diluted when it looks the same all the time.
You can hire the best wrestlers from all parts of the globe, but if you keep everything in the company so ‘cookie cutter’, do you really expect fans to differentiate who they like seeing better?