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WHY VINCE MCMAHON WON’T BE CHANGING HOW HE DOES BUSINESS ANY TIME SOON

By Dave Scherer on 2017-02-12 10:00:00

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I saw your tweet after WWE’s earnings about how Vince McMahon won’t change a thing after delivering those numbers.  I have a friend who read the tweet and saw it as an endorsement of what Vince is doing.  I am an Elite member (he isn’t) so I know better.  Could you please explain what your tweet meant, and also what you have said many times about leaving money on the table?

Sure, I’d be glad to.  This will be a bit long, obviously.

First and foremost, WWE’s numbers were strong, no doubt.  One can take issue with what Vince McMahon does from a booking standpoint, but they should also be fair and give Vince credit for the empire he created and the successes that he has had.  WWE is a massive, successful Global entity, and it’s getting bigger.  The WWE Network is a big success as well.  Wall Street was very happy with the report and for great reason, the business is strong.

Now, as for my tweet, here is how I see it.

Vince McMahon has always wanted to create a product geared to kids and young teens.  His vision of national expansion was centered around a superhero character in Hulk Hogan.  And he has molded others in that same likeness, Ultimate Warrior, John Cena, etc.  As we have seen over time, he prefers the formula of strong good guy fighting evil babyface.  It’s why he pushes Roman Reigns as he does, and the smart fans revolt.

Of course, he did have his down period.  WCW began to beat his company when his way of doing things got a bit long in the tooth and they took a fresh approach that appealed to the older viewer, the late teen and older male.  Because of this, Vince was forced to leave his comfort zone and the Attitude Era happened.  It wasn’t the product that he was always comfortable with, but he was at war and he was losing so, to his credit, he stepped outside of his comfort zone and did things he hadn’t in the past.

Over time, the war was won.  Once it was, he reverted to the basic premise that he was most comfortable with and that is where the product is today.  He even went a little further, and rightfully so from a business perspective, as it allowed the company to attract better advertising partners, and thus make more money.

Of course, that doesn’t sit well with many of the older fans.  They loved the more adult feel that the attitude era had.  They want it back and they are vocal about it when they go to shows and they see something that they don’t like.

As I have said many, MANY times, if I were in charge of WWE I would make some small tweaks to the product.  I liken it to Disney or Pixar movies.  Sure, they are meant for kids but their makes understand that if they make them interesting to adults too, Mom and Dad won’t mind taking the kids to see them because they enjoy them too.  Look at the Lego movie.  It was meant for kids and a lot of adults loved it.  It’s a win-win because it generates more money if more people want to see it.

Obviously, Vince knows the smart fans are there and paying their money for his product.  He hears them and at this point, as long as they are making noise and spending money, he is happy, because he is delivering the product that he wants to give the masses and he won’t change that for them.

I think a LOT more money could be generated for the company if Vince chose to make the storylines more fun for adults too.  I am not saying go back to the Attitude Era by any means, as that isn’t want they do now, but he could make the storylines more cohesive and entertaining.  He could also keep in mind that while he may be able to “get a wrestler hot whenever he wants” to the kids (and I doubt that as well), the older fans remember how a guy has been booked.  That is what leads to situations like Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam.  Everyone knew Dolph had no chance.  The previous booking told them that.

So if it were me, I would take a more HHH like approach to booking.  I would add elements that make the adults enjoy it as well and I feel the revenues would grow even more than they have.  I do think that there has been money left on the table by the company.  But at the end of the day, the numbers were still fantastic and because of that Vince won’t be doing anything to change the way that he does business because, quite simply, he doesn’t have to.

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