Monday, 12 November 2012

Twenty Years Later

It was reported last week that WWE officials had met representatives from several British stadiums during the company’s recent tour of the company. London’s Wembley Stadium, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and Manchester’s Old Trafford are the known venues. It’s entirely possible they met with others too.

This series of meetings has stirred up that long-standing rumour slash wish of WWE returning to the UK to promote a large scale pay-per-view. I’ve always been of the opinion that WWE would never return to Britain for anything other than RAW and SmackDown recordings. The time difference between the two countries is pronounced enough that WWE would have to air the proposed pay-per-view on a delay.

Even a few hours is enough for spoilers to become a serious issue, which could potentially harm buy rates. They’re not going to care if people find out that Kofi Kingston beat The Miz on RAW a few hours before the show airs, but a world title changing hands on PPV is a different situation entirely. I’ve always felt it’s a big enough reason that WWE would not do anything major over here.

If a pay-per-view were to be held here it would be the first large scale WWE event since SummerSlam 1992 to be held outside of North America. That event was headlined by the heated confrontation between brothers-in-law Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith. That WWE has not ventured overseas for a big show in decades tells us that it isn’t an idea they’re keen on.
The home of SummerSlam '13?
This recent talks have begun to make me think that management (mainly Vince McMahon) may have had a change of heart of the issue. Britain almost always provides WWE with hot crowds, desirable for a big show. The atmosphere would be incredible and it would allow WWE to present themselves as the globally dominant colossus they love making themselves out to be. The issues of internet spoilers arising could easily be worked around by WWE broadcasting the event live or streaming it on their website in addition to a taped show kicking off at the usual time of a PPV.

There are two questions I feel this subject raises. The first is which location should WWE pick? The second is which event would they hold here?

A pay-per-view could be held at pretty much any stadium in the country. Wembley would seem the most logical to me though. It was overhauled a few years ago and is in the capital of the country. Plus there’s the link back to SummerSlam ’92 being held there. There’s even a great hashtag they could push on Twitter: #WWEmbley could be trending worldwide!

Speaking of which I think SummerSlam is the most logical choice of event to hold in Britain. August is a good time of year to put on such an event in this country. Not only are schools off but nights are longer and there’s as slim a chance of rain as you’re ever likely to get.

Even without those reasons SummerSlam still seems the best option because the alternatives seem so unlikely. Survivor Series is not really treated as a particularly special show anymore and wouldn’t feel like such an event. The Royal Rumble is generally considered the kick-off to WrestleMania season and I can’t see WWE going outside of the US for that, or for a show that relies so heavily on surprises and spoilers.

WrestleMania seems unlikely simply because of the time difference. It being WWE’s biggest show of the year means they’d almost certainly be against it airing on delay or in the middle of the afternoon. Live streaming doesn’t seem a realistic option either: WWE wouldn’t want their greatest card of the year watched across North America on laptops. The rest of the calendar is made up of B shows. They, like Survivor Series, would not feel special enough to warrant going overseas for a broadcast.

So, SummerSlam 2013 in Britain? If so WWE better serious about that Wade Barrett push.

No comments:

Post a Comment