It took until 2009 for anybody to notice that the modern-day 'Show Of Shows' had actually become everything the company had purported it to be, and that was only because WrestleMania 25 was a crushing disappointment.
A crushing disappointment that housed what many consider the greatest match in company history - and, in doing so, set the trend for the new modern-day 'Show Of Shows' going forward. The permanent move back to stadiums in 2007 wasn't just Vince McMahon's final necessary flex as his organisation comfortably dominated the North American wrestling landscape he reshaped, but an instant visual clue that his 'Grandest Stage' was for everybody.
Mammoth (yet still artificially inflated) crowds filled the venues. Folk bought in their hundreds of thousands on pay-per-view. Talk shows took wrestlers as safe bet guests instead of host-injuring wild cards. Celebrities made themselves available to a show that once carried stigmas worse than the fallen stars themselves.
Fitting it all in forced the figuring in of longer runtimes. More pre-show patter. More PPV performances. More monetised WWE Network minutes. For better, and worse...
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash).
Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.