WWE’s New Era

 World Wrestling Entertainment  has seen several key eras in its long history. The so-called ‘Golden Age’ of what was then the World Wrestling Federation saw the company’s reach expand as it gobbled up other promotions, dealing a death blow to the territory system. With its broadening television audience, WWF made household names out of stars like Sgt. Slaughter, Andre the Giant, and Hulk Hogan. The ‘New Generation’ era saw the rise of a new crop of talent like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. The 1990s ‘Attitude Era’ with its emphasis on shock value,  soap opera drama, and hardcore violence gave WWE, and pro wrestling sum total, more mainstream success than ever seen before. John Cena spearheaded the 2010s, as WWE refocused on family friendly entertainment and dabbled in reality television. With recent developments, WWE now seems to be on the cusp of a new era.

The Age of the Bloodline

May 20th’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown saw the Usos victorious against RK-Bro in the highly anticipated Winner Takes All tag team title unification match. Jey and Jimmy Uso are now the sole holders of a unified WWE tag team championship. With this move, the Bloodline faction now hold ‘all the gold’ amongst WWE’s male main roster competitors. At WrestleMania 38, Roman Reigns divested Brock Lesnar of the WWE Championship, unifying it with the Universal title to become the WWE Undisputed Universal Champion. WWE’s current era could be called the Age of the Bloodline. Since 2020, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, and Roman Reigns have dominated the SmackDown roster, branched out to appearances on Monday Night Raw, and featured prominently on WWE’s pay per views. With the Bloodline undisputedly on top, competitors in both the singles and tag team divisions will have to go through the Bloodline to seek glory, and it doesn’t seem their dominance of the card will end any time soon. 

An Uncertain Future for the Women’s Division

In a shocking development that is still unfolding, WWE’s most recent women’s tag team champions, Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of May 16’s live broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Norfolk, Virginia following creative issues. Amongst other concerns about the pair’s futures with WWE, the move has also had rapidly transpiring consequences for WWE’s women’s division. A tournament has been declared to pick new women’s tag team champions, but the walk out has started a broader conversation about flaws in the title’s recent booking

WWE’s overhaul of its women’s division is not the distant past, but recent history. Beginning in 2015, WWE sought to overhaul its women’s division, granting its competitors more athletic credibility, more airtime, and more championship opportunities. 2015 up to the present has seen massive  achievements like the first all women’s ppv, the creation of the Raw and SmackDown women’s championships, the creation of the women’s tag team championships, and the first women’s match to main event WrestleMania. However, issues still linger and one is the credibility of the women’s tag team championship. The women’s division is still writing its history at WWE, and the fall out of Naomi’s and Sasha’s decision may just bring about another wind of sweeping change.

Stephanie McMahon’s Leave of Absence

The figure at the forefront of the women’s revolution in WWE was chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon. McMahon, daughter of chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon,  has been a backstage and on-screen presence at WWE for decades but recently announced a leave of absence from her family’s company. Many have tied the news back to her husband Triple H’s health scare, and reports have surfaced that prior to taking leave she’s spent less time at WWE. The company’s president Nick Khan will be absorbing McMahon’s responsibilities while she is away

Conclusion

Oncreen, the dominance of the Bloodline has given WWE a new defining era. If the momentum of Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso continues, they will be the defining figures of WWE in the 2020s. Behind the scenes, longtime power player Stephanie McMahon is taking time off for family. One of her key accomplishments, the overhauling of WWE’s women’s division, is beginning a new chapter in the wake of Sasha Banks’s and Naomi’s recent controversy. 

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