WWE is going through a massively transformative period, and it’s one the likes of which has never happened before for them. Vince McMahon had to step down as the company’s CEO, and eventually announced his retirement from WWE altogether.
Triple H came in to fill his shoes as the head of WWE Creative, while Stephanie McMahon took the position of CEO alongside Nick Khan. WWE SummerSlam 2022 was the first PPV after Vince McMahon’s absence, and it received a lot of praise from fans. Triple H certainly made his creative splash with it, and Dave Meltzer thinks that it ushered in the beginning of a new era in WWE.
Dave Meltzer wrote a piece on the topic via Sports Illustrated. He pointed out the key differences between WWE programming from before and after Vince McMahon’s leadership.
It was noted that Becky Lynch’s babyface turn was one of those choices that made sense, given how Lynch would always get the cheers until she would resort to insulting them. The heel stable of Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Io Shirai came in as a replacement for the heel void left by Lynch.
He also discussed the return of Max Dupri, saying that it felt to be more miss than hit so far. However, he did point out that it’ll take time for the new WWE personality to fully unfold. Meltzer also talked about how AEW took the direction that Triple H wanted to push in WWE, but could not. He also pointed out how WWE is taking a more competitive approach to handling AEW.
When Levesque lost power, and the company fired Regal, who now works for rival AEW, the company went heavily in a new direction. The focus has been on recruiting college athletes who are good looking, and preferably, already had strong social media followings. The idea was getting men and women who look like stars and train them to be pro wrestlers.
But in fact, the marathon has just gotten started. The belief is Levesque will have a wider view on who can be a star than his mentor Vince. But that remains to be seen, since what he did for a smaller brand doesn’t necessarily mean he will adopt the same strategy for a bigger brand aimed at a wider audience. Many feel the logical extension of this is that key talent will leave AEW when their contracts expire, but we will see how this plays out over the next few years.
The SummerSlam PPV was an exciting opportunity for Triple H to signal that WWE is not on shaky terrain. He seized it and proved that just because the company is on new terrain, doesn’t mean they’re going to lose their grip. With two huge tryouts in the last three months, the company is acquiring more talent. This is as good a time as any to have faith in the future of WWE.
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