It’s becoming increasingly difficult to assess and adjust expectations for WWE pay-per-views.
In the criminally crap planning, promotion and execution of its Seth Rollins/Baron Corbin main event, June’s Stomping Grounds could be graded one of the lousiest shows in company history. A three-sided arena bore the critique out. Yet, half of the card was objectively of a decent standard, and some would subjectively argue more fervently in its favour.
The history books won’t look fondly on the event because of the empty seats and wretched conclusion, but the company haven’t ever cared less about any of that. They were probably more p*ssed off that the show lacked buzz, and only received the worst kind as it went off the air. Perception is reality, but in actual reality, the had enough early on that it was nearly - whisper it - a great pay-per-view.
Whispering it was all anybody was willing to do before this show, too. On a weekend in which wrestling’s fertile marketplace offered a multitude of options - NJPW's two G1 Climax cards, AEW's Fight For The Fallen and Evolve's anniversary show broadcast on the Network - a July B-show was paradoxically elevated to becoming the last big show from a very big weekend.
A card was assembled that, on paper at least, appeared prepared enough to live up to the billing. As an exhilirating Extreme Rules concluded, it remained increasingly difficult to assess and adjust expectations for WWE pay-per-views...