For the WWE, the post-WrestleMania season is most definitely a period of change.
The record-breaking revenues that the iconic show brings are naturally followed by a cyclical decline, and thus the company must act fast in order to limit the damage.
Dubbed the “WrestleMania Hangover” in The Masked Man’s highly entertaining piece for Grantland, these post-‘Mania blues were in danger of striking again this year after the sizeable exodus of part-timers who had featured so prominently in the pay-per-view’s build.
So what tactic have the WWE resorted to in a bid to soften the blow and ease this WrestleMania hangover?
Character turns, and plenty of them.
Since the Showcase of the Immortals, we have witnessed at least five noteworthy gimmick tweaks—many of which have involved some of the company’s biggest stars.
The likes of CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and, of course, Curtis Axel have all seen their personas altered to varying degrees and have each found themselves thrust into Championship or main-event scenes.
But how successful have these character changes been thus far? And furthermore, what kind of potential do they hold as we move forward into the summer months and beyond?
Over the coming days, this series of articles will take a closer look at this recent trend and attempt to answer these questions. We'll be identifying and analyzing only the most notable character changes instigated by WWE over the past few weeks, starting with the recently returning CM Punk.