This is the third article in my ‘WWE WrestleMania Outside Of North America?’ series.
If you have been following the series, you may have noticed that I’ve received numerous comments, as well as private messages stating that, although this would be a good idea, the North American audience will likely be dissatisfied due to a number of issues.
In this article, I will address and where possible, offer solutions to these problems to show that a WrestleMania could be held outside of North America and could satisfy the North American audience.
Let’s get this show on the road!
WrestleMania is always held in a time slot so that, no matter where you are in North America, it will be part of your evening viewing schedule.
For the purposes of this issue, we will assume that WrestleMania is being held at Wembley Stadium in London, with a start time of 8 p.m. In North American start times would be:
Los Angeles – 12:00 p.m.
Chicago – 2 p.m.
New York City – 3 p.m.
To diehard WWE fans WrestleMania is a must watch, regardless of start time. The problem is the casual fan base, which includes fans only attracted to buy WrestleMania because Snooki—from Jersey Shore—is making an appearance.
With these midday to mid-afternoon start times, the casual fan is much more likely to bypass watching WrestleMania and opt to do chores or grocery shopping.
So, what is the solution to this…
Although I can already hear the International Fan saying, ‘Well, we don’t receive any incentives for the times we stay up/wake up to watch WrestleMania." But, hear me out.
WWE is a North American company, without it’s North American fan base, it would be nothing compared to the global powerhouse that it is now. Taking away WrestleMania may be seen as a stab in the back to some North American fans that consider it their show. Offering incentives to the North American fans would help to ease any tensions that may be created between the WWE and this fan base by holding WrestleMania overseas.
Here are some potential incentives:
- A discount on the purchase of either Survivor Series, Summer Slam or Royal Rumble (The other ‘Big’ PPV’s)
- Assorted WWE goodies (probably with an ‘age range’ selection, which decides whether you get your John Cena or CM Punk collectors cup)
- A discount on a ticket to a WWE Live Event (more likely a house show that a Raw or SmackDown broadcast)
One major drawback of offering incentives however, is that it reduces future profit for the company and with WWE being big business, profit will always be a top priority. Which offers the question, would WWE ever tell its North American fans to…
Well, maybe they wouldn’t word it exactly that way. Would WWE ever say, "Our international audience supports us whatever time our programming is shown in their location, just for once, it’s time for you guys to stay up or wake up at what might be an inconvenient time, so that others can enjoy WrestleMania the way you have been treated to it every year."
In my opinion, the chances of this are very slim. Although I think the majority of North American fans would be okay with it if, every five or so years, another country was given the pleasure of hosting WrestleMania.The last thing WWE wants to do is to alienate members of its fan base, so that’s why I believe that, despite it meaning they take an extremely small financial hit, incentives would be offered to its North American fan base.
In providing the WrestleMania experience to an international audience, WWE takes away the WrestleMania experience from its North American audience.
WrestleMania week takes over the city that the event is being hosted at so there is an overall feeling that sweeps North America when WrestleMania approaches. It is a feeling that unites wrestling fans, whether diehard or casual, of all ages and backgrounds. Taking WrestleMania away from North America makes it increasingly likely that this ‘WrestleMania feeling’ would not exist.
However, maybe a degree of ‘WrestleMania feeling’ could be provided if there was…
Usually WrestleMania offers a pattern of programming, including WrestleMania from the previous year, classic WrestleMania moments and plenty of video packages showcasing matchups.
However, I believe taking WrestleMania out of North America means that the programming shown prior to that years event needs to be more centered around what is going on in the city that has been chosen to host the grandest stage of them all. This would result in greater coverage of Superstar appearances, in addition to the hall of fame ceremony before the event even begins.
By providing this extra coverage, WWE ensures that the North American fan base will get the closest to a WrestleMania, without actually being there, than any fan base has before.
However, similar to offering incentives, increasing the TV coverage will reduce profit for WWE. The costs would increase due to extra film, staff payments and the payment to venues and TV channels for time slots.
Perhaps the correct solution is to…
Every year, without exception, we are given the same build up to WrestleMania. Sure, watching the previous year’s event and the classic WrestleMania moments remind everyone what a spectacle WrestleMania is, but there are plenty of venues that these can be watched at.
Instead, it would be more exciting to see the WWE takeover of the city it is in to get a sense of the atmosphere that WrestleMania week provides.
The live coverage of WrestleMania week, especially when WrestleMania is held outside of North America, fans will be able to feel as if they are part of the whole spectacle, even when it is located thousands of miles away.
I believe that this is a must do for WWE. It is also a change that would benefit international viewers, bringing them that one step closer to the WrestleMania experience they truly deserve.
I hope I have been able to address the issues which cause the greatest concern for North American fans over the prospect of a WrestleMania held outside of their continent. As I am sure you have by now gathered, I fully support the idea of a WrestleMania outside of North America and I hope, by reading these articles, that you are able to see the possibilities for this to be done and to make it a roaring success.