WrestleMania 40 Reveals WWE’s Struggle With Fan Influence


The internet has given a certain kind of entitled, contrarian, perma-sour ‘wrestling fan’ the mistaken impression that their deliberately antagonistic opinion actually matters.


WWE’s Historical Disconnection with Fans

Between the years of 2002 and 2022, the world’s largest and only real mainstream wrestling company couldn’t do anything right, highlighting WWE’s historical disconnection with its fan base.

A Shift in WWE’s Approach

WrestleMania 40 underscores WWE's challenge with fan demands. Explore the delicate balance between catering to fans and maintaining creative control.

With Vince McMahon’s exit and the promotion of Paul “Triple H” Levesque to head of creative, WWE is finally doing all the things that random YouTubers and Reddit commenters have been telling them to do for years – and, surprisingly, it’s made the product better than ever.


Wrestling Fans: A Fickle Audience

Nobody hates wrestling more than wrestling fans. We’re a fickle lot, unable to decide on our preferences, and constantly demanding change.

The Flaws in Fan Influence

While fan input can sometimes improve the product, giving fans too much power can lead to dissatisfaction and unrealistic expectations.


WWE’s WrestleMania 40 Dilemma

The build-up to WrestleMania 40 witnessed fan demands for specific matchups, highlighting the dilemma of catering to fan desires versus maintaining creative control.

The Case of All Elite Wrestling (AEW)

Despite some early success, AEW’s business has recently declined, challenging the notion that catering solely to fan demands guarantees success in the wrestling industry.

Lessons from AEW’s Experience

The decline in AEW’s viewership and live attendance serves as a cautionary tale against blindly following fan demands.

Finding Balance: Listening to Fans without Surrendering Control

While it’s essential for entertainment companies to listen to their fans, there’s a need for a balance between accommodating fan preferences and maintaining creative integrity.

Navigating the Complexities of Fan Engagement

The rise of entitled, contrarian wrestling fans poses challenges for entertainment companies like WWE, emphasizing the importance of strategic decision-making and maintaining creative control.

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