In Episode 8 of The Daily Wrest Podcast Aatif and Armaan make a case for WWE staging Summerslam 2015 in the UK. This comes on the back of the news that the scheduled venue – The IZod Centre in New Jersey – is scheduled for closure, forcing WWE to secure an alternative venue for their biggest event of the summer. Also discussed are Vince McMahon’s role within the WWE and whether he should retire, and also The Undertaker’s role (if any) at this year’s Wrestlemania.
Summerslam 1992 was the first WWE pay-per-view to be held outside of North America. The event was held at the iconic Wembley Stadium in London. Drawing near-unanimous critical and commercial success, the event left a lasting legacy in the country which is currently it’s second most lucrative market. A case could be made that the loyalty and passion of these fans should be rewarded with a pay-per-view.
‘We deserve a PPV. And I’m not talking about One Night Only. I’m not talking about No Mercy. I’m not talking about Insurrection. We want Summerslam back” – AK
Aatif agreed that this year presents the ideal opportunity for WWE to ‘take a risk’ and stage the event at the renovated Wembley Stadium. In the Network era, time-differences are less of a factor as the vent would be available both live and on demand. Being broadcast live from the UK at what would likely be early afternoon in North America, is unlikely to affect Network subscriptions. Additionally, there are several neighbouring venues that could host the following evening’s Raw, including (but not limited to) Wembley Arena, The O2 Arena (which already hosts a live Raw once a year) and several venues within the Olympic village.
If WWE would take the plunge and hold Summerslam at Wembley Stadium, the upside, financially, would be huge. A virtually guaranteed sell-out crowd of 90,000 would represent an astronomical live gate, not to mention revenue from merchandise and celebrity appearances. With fans from across Europe and around the world likely to descend upon one of the World’s most famous venues, the visual spectacle and live atmosphere would be truly one of a kind.
The man who ultimately makes the decision is Vince McMahon. His contribution to the current product is also evaluated, with Aatif suggesting HHH’s success with NXT merits a chance to manage the creative set-up of the main product. It emerged that Roman Reign’s nursery rhyme promo which was unanimously panned by observers was scripted specially by Vince McMahon. Armaan’s counterpoint that Vince McMahon is iconic within the WWE was supported by his many achievements, most notably building the Wrestlemania brand and overcoming the WCW onslaught.
Aatif & Armaan also discussed the value of The Undertaker appearing at this year’s Wrestlemania. The latter advocated for a match between ‘Taker and Bray Wyatt while Aatif questioned what such a match would achieve as neither outcome would necessarily make either grappler look stronger.
As always, the duo present today’s Dean Douglas Award and name their Match of The Day.
Join the campaign to bring Summerslam back the the UK using the hashtag #SummerslamToWembley.