Editor's note: Sebastian Perez-Navarro is currently a senior at Eastwood High School and hopes to study journalism and broadcasting in college this fall. He intends to spend his first two years at UTEP for his basics before transferring to another school to study broadcast journalism. He has served as the athletics play-by-play broadcaster for Eastwood's Film and Broadcast program over his high school tenure. As he prepares for his fall internship with 600 ESPN El Paso, Sebastian wrote an opinion article on wrestling. 

By: Sebastian Perez-Navarro

The WWE goes back to the international stage after their show of the year. However, has the pivot towards an international audience been successful? 


At the beginning of the decade, World Wrestling Entertainment had to pivot the show that put the company on the map in 1985. As “Wrestlemania,” the WWE’s equivalent to the Super Bowl, had to move from a stadium that could fit 75,000 screaming and passionate fans of the product to a warehouse with barely enough room to fit a large sign.

In attempts to not let Covid 19’s mental grapple spread to the product, the WWE adapted a model where the show of the immortals would take place through two straight nights, a change yearned for by the wrestling audience. The alteration saw the business bring in slogans to highlight why they deserved the world's attention, as the following years saw catchphrases such as “Two Big For One Night” and “Stupendous" take over Wrestlemania advertising. While last year's edition of the show went untouched,  Wrestlemania 40 saw a different treatment, being unofficially labeled as “the biggest Wrestlemania of all time”. 

Five weeks later, it’d be hard to disagree. 

But now, the WWE and the newly heralded Paul Levesque “Era” has an even bigger task ahead: keeping its momentum alive. Whilst impossible to recapture magic, the wrestling powerhouse wasn’t shy to build upon the message that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson put forth in the build to the companies previous show. Because what “The Rock Says” is Wrestling is “cool” again. And, one of its main strategies coming back into the spotlight was done by putting a larger emphasis on the “World” aspect of the promotion. 

Why the change in era? 

WWE’s Renaissance is largely attributed to Paul Levesque, or as you might know him, the "Cerebral Assassin" Triple H. In 2012 Levesque was handed the keys to the promotions developmental show NXT and booked it up until 2021. The now retired wrestler's decisions won over thousands of wrestling fans, and many wished he could take over the main promotion. Let's face it, the end of the McMahon era was not up to par compared to the rest of the industry. 

While companies like All Elite Wrestling (AEW) were changing the game on how the product was being delivered to the masses, WWE was too busy booking Heels to pour dog food over their top name in Roman Reigns. 

The decisions were simply irrational and it was clear WWE needed a change. It’d be kind to describe the reasoning for the change in era as noble from the former chairmen, however the company entered this new chapter due to Vince McMahon stepping down as a reaction from misconduct allegations in 2022, but it wasn't until 2024 that he would give up his full control in the company. 

The Assassins Gameplan

We first got to see modification to the promotion’s presentation in late 2022, when the promotion decided to take on the global stage and present a Premium Live Event from Cardiff Wales. 

At first, the decision was seared in doubt. For the average American wrestling fan, an international pay per view meant the start time would be difficult to mesh with the schedule. Yet, even if the early wake up was tough for fans like me, the event was a hit. It was the first time in many years that all who felt detached from the product were given a reason to care, as Cardiff’s adrenaline filled atmosphere was contagious to our TV screens. 

Two years later, the wrestling promotion sent its post Wrestlemania Premium Live Event “Backlash” to the global scene. With 2024 being all the more special, marking the company’s first ever Premium Live Event in the country of France.

The promotion at this point knew that interest would diffuse globally, but would fan reactions still make headlines back at home? If you were to ask someone who’s been watching for over five years, they’d have been optimistic about the response. 

Bon Travail, France. 

The WWE took over Lyon for two straight days, hosting weekly Friday Night Smackdown, and Premium Live Event Backlash on Saturday with both events taking place in the LDLC arena. 

Once again, domestic fans put their attention on the euphoric crowd as France came in with an energy comparable to Wrestlemania 18’s audience who witnessed Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock.

As an 18 year old with three WWE live events at the back of his hand, I can easily conclude that France schooled wrestling fans on how to behave at a wrestling show. 

The French audience brought forth 12 differentiating chants and songs that added a whole new dynamic reaction. While we back at home are fixated on chanting “what”?!. France was busy singing their National Anthem and Seven Nation Army by the White Striped. 

Most impressively, the audience knew every word to both Randy Orton and WWE Champion Cody Rhodes' respective theme songs. The ability to sing along is not something to bypass because let’s be honest, we all mumble our way to the chorus of "Kingdom."

The Hype is real

Just because the WWE has Wrestlemania in the rear view mirror, it doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of anticipation, and the promotion got it right in providing live entertainment to fans all over the globe. 

With 11,628 in attendance, France’s edition of Smackdown ended up becoming the highest grossing turn out in blue brand history, while Backlash became the largest gate of all time in regards to WWE arena shows. 

It’d be reasonable to say the only negative backlash from the company’s most recent PLE is the extra maintenance check the LDLC arena will have to conduct after Lyon shook it to its core. 

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