WWE pays for flight costs and in the case of developmental talents, pays all the road expenses when they are sent on the road. Everything else the talent pays for and writes off as personal expenses on their taxes, so if they keep proper records, they get a lot of their expenses back when they file their taxes. The exception to that are some of the international tours, where WWE has the local promoters who buy the tours handle the expenses of the road for talents.
My question is regarding the WWE Network and how they've rolled it out. I think for all intents and purposes, they went about it the wrong way and have hurt a lot of the talent financially. I think they should have never gave out free pay-per-views to start with. Now, I get it was to hook the audience initially, but, I think they should have done it more gradually. Now ppv business has been declining, but, they still made tons of money from PPV. They should've rolled it out with the $9.99, and have everything on there they have now, without pay-per-views. I think they still would have gotten a great number, not as much as the 667,000 or whatever they have, but maybe 300,000-350,000. Eventually, smart business would be to provide PPVs on their network, but first establish the network. Provide other content, but don't touch your PPVs as of now. EVENTUALLY, maybe after about 2 or 3 years, start providing PPVs with an added $5 to the $9.99 that they're already doing. This would have kept the shareholders happy, and the talent happy as well, until they had the right footing and figured out what content attracts people to the WWE Network. Not only would they have been making money from PPVs, but also, money from they network. And there would have been TONS of ways to go about providing SPECIAL EVENTS on the network with fresh content. Every month or month and a half, provide a Saturday Night's Main Event with a few main event matches. Make it 2 hours long, that way people don't feel like it's a ppv, but it's still fresh content. What do you guys think? Was the WWE wrong in how they rolled out the Network, and is it too late to save it?
They specifically wanted to launch with Wrestlemania on the Network for a reason - it's their most marquee event and it was a symbolic move from the past into the future If they had launched the Network and only had 300,000, the stockholders would have lost their minds. I don't think the Network is beyond saving. When it launched, I said they were going to eventually change and evolve it as they figured out what worked and what didn't and I don't think that process is over after five months.
It's disappointing to see RVD used as little more than a jobber in WWE. I get that his role is to put over younger stars and build for the future, but if he hardly ever wins, do victories over him mean anything? He's one of the best in-ring performers of all-time and should be treated as such. I see he teamed with Ziggler in Japan and they beat the Wyatt Family. Any word on if they might team regularly? Could be a great pair and a way to stop the misuse of two great talents.
No word on them teaming regularly.
The buzz on the Battleground battle royal for the IC title seems to be that Sheamus will win and unify it with the US title. How do you feel about that? I know it's easy to say that the title doesn't mean anything any more, but look at the Intercontinental title tournament a couple of months ago, which very quickly put the focus onto the championship with very little effort, just a dedicated portion of each show to promote what the title stands for. Also, how much does it diminish the draw of the IC title when guys like Damien Sandow are in the battle royal? I find him entertaining in his role, but has he even won a match this year?
I don't think the IC title will go away if Sheamus wins it. I also don't have a problem with names like Sandow in it. It's a Battle Royal, so you need to fill it with talents in order for it to work.
I remember you writing WWE is coming to Malaysia, but when?
WWE is running The Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday 10/11 and Saturday 10/11.