Jerod Harris/Getty Images
To suggest there will be a massive overhaul of WWE in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement from the company amid allegations of sexual improprieties would be to set one’s self up for disappointment.
Like most great empires, things do not suddenly change in the course of a day or week. Change comes about gradually and usually not without bumps along the way. Little changes give way to bigger ones before the incoming regime can make its presence truly felt in any real noticeable way.
The same will happen with WWE.
Fans paying close attention to Monday’s Raw may have noticed one of those small changes has already taken effect in the form of the pacing of the show, which was infinitely better than it had been in years.
A greater sense of urgency, with no time to grow bored of the broadcast and tune out, is hardly the only change to expect in the future.
Even if one has to wait a little while to get there.
The Immediate Changes:
Not only is pacing destined to change as part of the initial wave of alterations as part of EVP and Head of WWE Creative Triple H and Chairwoman Stephanie McMahon’s vision for the future of WWE programming, but a recent report from WrestleVotes: shone a light on just how the mentality within the creative process will change.
Too often, WWE programming has featured considerable surprises and unexpected turns simply to generate conversation and create buzz around a product that was otherwise ice cold. The Miz literally won the WWE title in February of 2021 without any real plans for him to actually do anything with it. It was evidenced in the way Bobby Lashley beat him a few short weeks later.
Characters change for no rhyme or reason, stories take sharp left turns just for the sake of swerving the audience and the product is no better off because of it. In some cases, it is put in a worse decision by those changes.
The idea that Triple H wants to make a splash, but only if it makes sense, is incredibly refreshing.
Also refreshing? the probability that there will be a greater emphasis on in-ring content and telling stories within the context of matches, rather than ridiculous backstage segments or the overproduction of promo pieces.
We saw as much in Triple H’s NXT, where talent was also encouraged to wrestle their style and have the match they wanted, without everything being so cookie-cutter, as has often been the case on Raw and SmackDown.
Those are instantaneous changes that can, and likely will, happen right away.
There are bigger things in store for the WWE product with Triple H and Stephanie at the helm that fans can look forward to, as well.
Premium live events will mean more.
Look at what Triple H did with those TakeOver events. He was able to create matches fans genuinely wanted to see by building to them and having a general understanding of what he wanted to do at each show long before the final broadcast before them.
He also turned the focus to the women’s division, allowing the talent under his guidance to have matches that rivaled those that the men were having. While WWE has done a fairly decent job of booking Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair and others, the creative has sometimes been lazy or ineffective, something Triple H will look to fix and enhance.
The aesthetic of the show will change, maybe not from a production standpoint, but most certainly in regards to what a star looks like.
Sure, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley and other impressive physical specimens will always have a place on the card, but stars like Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, Tommaso Ciampa and Mustafa Ali are likely to see more television time and opportunity based not on their size (or lack thereof) but the fact that they are great professional wrestlers who have earned that through their work and the trust their boss has in them.
Do not be surprised if Johnny Gargano, Bray Wyatt and others who either left the company willingly or were released from their contracts return as part of the new regime’s creative vision.
Those Superstars, some of them under-served and undervalued, will be more eager to return to the company knowing that the bane of their creative existence is no longer there.
Creative freedom, as big as character development and as minute as entrance music choice, will follow. The result will be characters that strike a chord with audiences and get them to invest emotionally rather than the one-note, undefined personae that dominate Monday and Friday nights now.
Triple H and Stephanie may not make massive changes that result in Raw going back to two hours (that’s a USA Network call), or roughing up the glossy feel of the shows, but there will be very obvious alterations on the tone, the in- ring action and who it is that gets the opportunities to showcase their talents moving forward.