The first pay-per-view after WrestleMania will be Backlash and apparently, it will mark a return to all shows being dual branded.
2017 was a year packed with WWE pay-per-views. For a large chunk of the past 12 months there have been times where the company only gave themselves two weeks between pay per views. That has been common place since the latest manifestation of the draft with only four of the year’s shows being dual branded and the rest being exclusive to either Raw or SmackDown Live.
There have been rumors for a while now that 2018 will be different and that a few of WWE’s pay-per-views will be cut from their annual schedule altogether. Between now and WrestleMania, each brand has one pay-per-view each, Elimination Chamber for Raw and Fastlane for SmackDown Live, and it seems that they will be the last single-branded pay-per-views for a while.
The first pay-per-view following WrestleMania will be Backlash, and according to a tweet from Brad Shepard, the event will include Superstars from both Raw and SmackDown Live. Shepard posted a screenshot of an email sent to fans attending the event from Ticketmaster informing them of such. At around the same time, Wrestle Votes tweeted that all pay-per-views will be dual-branded going forward in an attempt to avoid repetitive match ups and boost ticket sales.
— Brad Shepard 🤘🏻 (@TheBradShepard) February 13, 2018
While none of this has yet been confirmed by WWE themselves, the news has also sparked rumors that Backlash could be the setting for the next draft. All of WWE’s Superstars will be under one roof and by that point it will have been almost two years since the last draft took place. Last year following WrestleMania, there was a Superstar Shakeup but that only saw a handful of wrestlers switching brands.
Even for the most avid of WWE fans the number of pay-per-views in 2017 was a little much. There’s only so many times you can watch Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton close a show before you say enough is enough. Vince McMahon very rarely takes the ‘less is more’ approach, but it’s encouraging to see that he may be doing exactly that once we get past WrestleMania 34. Every pay-per-view being dual branded will make every match on the card mean a lot more.
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