It’s easy to be cynical about WWE. More often than not, fans doing get what they want, and that’s when the knives come out, viewers switch-off, and the television ratings plummet. From pushing the “wrong guy” and undermining fan favourites to repetitive booking and bland storylines, there’s always something to complain about, and while us wrestling fans have a tendency to exaggerate, the issues are genuine.
WWE haven’t always done the best job when it comes to listening to their fanbase, and their product has been stuck in a holding pattern of tired tropes and formulas for years. By WrestleMania 32, the “PG Era” had long since ran its course. Fan apathy was at a high, ratings were struggling, and Raw and SmackDown had become arduous slogs.
Something had to be done, and WWE knew it. The “New Era” came to fruition shortly after ‘Mania, and the adjustments began. It was the company’s first conscious effort to evolve since going PG back in 2008, and a real attempt to reconnect with their fans and recover lost viewers.
Things slowed-down into the lead-up to the 2016 Brand Split, but for the most part, WWE have put their best foot forward in trying to refresh their product. They haven’t succeeded in every department, but this past week’s programming demonstrated a number of big steps forward, and after months of talk, the New Era finally means something.
Here are 10 improvements WWE have already made in the New Era.
WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.