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By Dave Scherer on 2023-10-02 10:00:00

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I’ve been reading a lot about the “stigma” around pro wrestling diminishing and I have even noticed that in my personal life, where I casually mention going to wrestling events - and friends don’t make derisive comments anymore - like they did in the past. They even seem a little supportive now, like when I went WM39. What do you attribute to the pro wrestling stigma apparently dwindling? Is it because of the mainstream business headlines of billion dollar TV deals and multi-billion dollar corporate mergers? Lastly, what can be done to fully erase the pro wrestling stigma?

Honestly, I think the stigma has been gone for a while now, at least for the most part.  Back in the day, there were so few entertainment options so some people looked down on wrestling.  Now?  There are so many goofy reality shows and other things that wrestling is just another option.  Plus, getting big money TV deals helped a lot too.

With Smackdown regularly winning it’s time slot and often Friday nights in terms of ratings, why would Fox let Smackdown go? Is it true Fox expected 5 million viewers from WWE, as has been rumored? Ultimately, was Fox happy with WWE - where they could brought back in 5 years?

I am guessing you are not an Elite subscriber because we have covered this a lot.  In a nutshell, FOX has said that has not been able to make back in ad revenue what they are paying for Smackdown.  They have said that they are generating about half of what they are paying.  I can’t say definitely how many viewers they were expecting.

In spite of WWE earning approximately 40% more revenue for moving Smackdown to USA, isn’t Smackdown still better off on Fox? WWE is always begging for mainstream relevance, cachet, and acceptance. Doesn’t Fox provide that essential mainstream TV network credibility WWE craves to legitimize its product among casual fans, media, and advertisers? Next, isn’t it easier to attract new fans from a big four network like Fox than a cable network like USA? 

In a word, no.  First off, linear TV is now less than half of TV viewing so over the air networks don’t matter as much as they used to.  Secondly, as stated above FOX was losing money on Smackdown so they were not going to pay more to lose more.  Most importantly, TKO is a publicly traded company and has a duty to deliver maximum value to to their shareholders.  That means that they have to take the best deal that they can get.

I know it’s official, I know WWE and UFC are part of a new company called TKO, but is WWE not owned by Vince McMahon in NAME ONLY?  If WWE remains unchanged, and Vince gets to be the Executive chairman of TKO, it seems like the only thing Ari bought from Vince is Vince’s overhead costs.  I think when it’s all said and done, Vince just got another Money Mark to fund his promotion, but what to you think?

You couldn’t be more wrong.  TKO can get rid of Vince McMahon at any time if they choose to do so.  Right now, they want him running the company, just as they wanted Dana White to stay in charge of UFC when they bought that.  In the future, who knows.

Wrestlemania 30 we had Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, and The Rock have a gathering in the ring.  10 years at Wrestlemania 40, should there be a similar gathering?  Austin, Rock and Cena if the latter two aren’t Wrestling?

I wouldn’t have an issue with that but I don’t think it’s needed either.

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