Despite a number of recent changes to the company’s programming and the hiring of industry veterans Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff for key backstage roles, WWE continues to struggle with low television ratings and live event attendance figures. Amid reports that WWE canceled multiple SmackDown Live house shows over the weekend, the latest rumors behind the scenes suggest that WWE hopes to solve its live attendance problem by reviving the old joint-branded “SuperShow” concept.
Citing the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WrestlingNews.co wrote on Friday that there have been some internal discussions about possibly reducing the number of scheduled live events and focusing more on joint-branded shows that feature wrestlers from both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live. This is reportedly similar to the WWE “SuperShows” that were held in the early 2010s as the company closed the book on its first brand extension.
As noted on WWE‘s website, the first-ever Raw SuperShow took place on August 29, 2011, as Triple H announced at the start of the show that going forward, Monday Night Raw would feature superstars from both main roster brands, as opposed to having them almost exclusively appear on their respective brand’s programming.
It’s not clear whether WWE’s apparent plan to bring back the SuperShow concept on the live event circuit would also mark the official end of WWE’s current brand extension. However, The Inquisitr reported late last month that there have been rumors hinting that the company will soon be returning to a strict brand split and doing away with its controversial Wild Card Rule, which has greatly blurred the lines between both main roster brands since its introduction earlier this year.
— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) August 9, 2019
Should WWE start organizing more live events as SuperShows, the move could theoretically help the company sell more tickets for these non-televised shows through the presence of more top-level superstars, WrestlingNews.co speculated.
Furthermore, the outlet pointed out that these joint-branded events could drive attendance figures on WWE’s quarterly financial reports. This was brought up in a separate piece from 411Mania, which also cited the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and noted that WWE had allegedly failed to mention the decrease in average house show attendance during its most recent quarterly conference call with investors.
As of this writing, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s rumors on the return of the SuperShow concept have yet to be corroborated by a second source. However, WrestlingNews.co pointed out that poor attendance is indeed one of the urgent issues WWE has to deal with as it prepares for SmackDown Live‘s move to Fox in October.