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Rich

Wrestling

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1 minute ago, Goalie said:

It used to be called putting people over on the way out. They all used to do that.. Razor Diesel.. They all did. List is long.. Its not a burial.. Its Ambrose sticking with tradition. 

Technically it's both.  Although in the past they'd sometimes do competitive matches/angles on your way out.  Squashing a guy doesnt gain you much and especially if you you're down the list of guys doing the squashing.

But I agree, its the obvious thing, though if its me I'd probably just keep him off TV if he's leaving without a non-compete.  But either way, it doesnt really matter.  Everyone is born again when they go somewhere else.  The way they had Ambrose sell it as a shock, they probably intend to keep using him, at least on the house shows which need the star power.

One attempted burial I remember fondly was Sid Vicious leaving WCW for WWE the first time.  He was feuding with El Gigante and they climaxed it with a Stretcher Match.  Great stuff...except Sid refused to do the stretcher job (didnt want to look weak going into WWE) so they did a quick flash pin and One Man Gang ran in to take the stretcher spot.  Absurd.  lol

Jake Roberts leaving WWE was done well.  Super hot angle with Savage, transitioned to Undertaker and his face turn, solid match at WM with a decisive win for Taker.  

And ofcourse, Bret was leaving WWE for WCW and the original plan was a competitive angle and loss on his way out.

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3 hours ago, Goalie said:

It used to be called putting people over on the way out. They all used to do that.. Razor Diesel.. They all did. List is long.. Its not a burial.. Its Ambrose sticking with tradition. 

Yeah, I'm sure Brett Hart would agree with that. Getting screwed by the McMahons is a long & great tradition.

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Interesting report that The Undertaker has removed mentions of WWE from his social media and listed a website where he can be contacted for bookings.    He was not scheduled for a WrestleMania match this year so perhaps he's unhappy (that one shot a year was a big payday).  

Also reports that AEW made an offer to a significant top WWE star that is being considered.   Timing would suggest Styles but rumours are Orton of all people.

And WWE is "searching for answers" in regards to their declining ratings and house show attendance.   The fact they dont immediately know their booking sucks should be worrisome.  And Im not sure Road Dogg and Jeff Jarrett in 2019 is the answer lol

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2 minutes ago, The Unknown Poster said:

And WWE is "searching for answers" in regards to their declining ratings and house show attendance.   The fact they dont immediately know their booking sucks should be worrisome.  And Im not sure Road Dogg and Jeff Jarrett in 2019 is the answer lol

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17 hours ago, The Unknown Poster said:

One attempted burial I remember fondly was Sid Vicious leaving WCW for WWE the first time.  He was feuding with El Gigante and they climaxed it with a Stretcher Match.  Great stuff...except Sid refused to do the stretcher job (didnt want to look weak going into WWE) so they did a quick flash pin and One Man Gang ran in to take the stretcher spot.  Absurd. 

I think it was either a shoot with Eric Bischoff or One Man Gang himself,  but for that match they said that El Gigante facked up the finish and that's why they had to rush the weird finish.  

El Gigante also screwed up a different match where he walked over the top rope and eliminated himself screwing up the finish. 

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1 minute ago, Brandon said:

I think it was either a shoot with Eric Bischoff or One Man Gang himself,  but for that match they said that El Gigante facked up the finish and that's why they had to rush the weird finish.  

El Gigante also screwed up a different match where he walked over the top rope and eliminated himself screwing up the finish. 

Thats very possible, though it was Sid's last match and there was no way he was going out on that stretcher.  lol  I believe it was Superbrawl 1.  I fondly remember that PPV and might still have it on VHS somewhere.  I loved Bobby Eaton and he beat Arn Anderson (another favourite) for the TV title.  Flair vs Fujinami in the main.  

I liked WCW but maybe just because it was so different from WWE.  Southern 'rasslin!

Speaking of Sid,  man, he had the IT factor like almost no one.  Funny he was also involved in a screw up on his way out of WWE when Papa Shango ran in late at WM VIII and Sid had to kick out of Hogan's leg drop.  The guy almost stabbed Anderson to death and still ended up a top guy.

El Gigante was flat awful.  But props to Turner for his creative thinking in trying to salvage his investment in him as an NBA player lol

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Sid has a few shoot interviews on Hannibal TV where he goes into detail about why he left and the stabbing incident.   He definitely doesn't seem as *dumb* as he did on tv despite only having half the brain of Kevin Nash lol.     The guy simply made bad decisions on when to take breaks and to not going along with his pushes... Vince wanted him to be the next Hogan but he didn't want to go face.   

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13 hours ago, iHeart said:

So apparently WWE Smackdown is going to move from USA network to FOX in the fall

https://tvline.com/2019/02/06/last-man-standing-season-8-new-time-slot/

They signed that deal awhile ago.  Both RAW and SD tv deals expire this year.  WWE made out like bandits by de-coupling the two shows and selling them separately.  FOX is paying $1 billion over 5 years for SD.  It will be live on Friday nights on the main network.

Interestingly, when they signed the deal it was meant to provide consistent good ratings in that slot but since then, FOX friday night ratings are up and SD's are down.  FOX draws about twice as many viewers than SD right now.  They wont be happy if thats the case when SD moves there.

SD will fall under the FOX Sports umbrella and get a lot of cross-promotion among their sports properties.  Rumor has it FOX wants a more sports orientated production from WWE.

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Meltzer et al news round up:

- WWE are pushing talent with expiring deals to sign multi-year.  I know that even over the past year, thats been the case with 5 year contracts offered (I believe Owens has a 5 year deal and Banks might as well).  They've promised a greater focus on tag team wrestling and are upping money in all new deals.

- Regarding Smackdown on FOX, they havent announced a decision on whether it will air live on the west coast (5pm) or delayed to air in prime time.  Talk of making SD three hours with the third hour airing on FS1 since the cost to create the third hour would be almost nothing.  

- Pentagon & Fenix, who are much sought after by everyone, lost the MLW Tag Team Championship to The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart & Davey Boy Jr).  Some have speculated WWE might bring the new Hart Foundation in as part of the original Hart Foundation HOF induction but Teddy is 39 and nuts.

- Penta & Fenix will be doing some dates with AEW but, like many, they have Lucha Underground contracts which reportedly pay $4000 a year to hold them from signing anywhere.  Lucha Underground has not announced if they are filming a new season and there is now a couple of law suits (one includes Joey Ryan) against them for the restrictive contracts.  Guys want out from under them so they can sign with WWE, AEW, ROH etc.

- Jerry Lawler is investigating the death of his son Brian Christopher.  He doesnt believe it was suicide.

- Lars Sullivan was meant to be a made man on RAW, with a huge push and a WM match against Cena.  Reportedly he backed out of his debut last minute with issues of anxiety.  He was supposed to return last week but didnt.  

- Starrcast, the convention/podcast deal that was held in conjunction with All In, is back for Double or Nothing and has announced Sting and Bret Hart as appearing.  WWE tried to stop certain guys from doing the original so they wont be thrilled with those announcements.  Hints of big names being asked to be there....I sort of wonder if Undertaker is one of them.  Want to bring him to Winnipeg?  $25,000 per hour is his asking rate...

- WWE returns to Saudi Arabia in May.

- Dany Garcia (The ex-wife of The Rock and head of his production company) noted that they could find no one in Hollywood interested in buying the film "Fighting with My Family", based on Paige.  Which is telling considering The Rock is in it.  They produced it as an independent film and Dany said she was told the issues were "the subject matter" ie. wrestling.

- Talk of Steph vs Becky at Summerslam which makes sense, especially if Ronda is taking time off after WM (transferring her heat to Steph).

 

So, who's going to Double or Nothing?

 

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WWE's investors call is today discussing business for the year 2018.

Call will commences shortly (sometimes there are interesting things said by Vince or others), but key data:

- Revenue for year set a record at $930 million

- Operating income rose 51% to set a record at $114.5 million

- International revenue rose 58% to set a record at $317.8 million (you see where their increases are coming...international growth)

They reported profit on house shows for the year but noted a decline in attendance was made up by an increase in ticket prices which I dont think bodes well.

The Network subs are aprox 1.59 million which I believe shows rather stagnant growth.

Declining attendance, declining ratings but record revenue and record profits.  Its why Vince didnt care if the Saudi prince murdered half the Times editorial staff, he was going to keep that deal.

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On the investors conference call, Vince pointed out their record revenue and profits and remarked "in other words, we know what we're doing."  Which seems like a reply directly to people critical of their declining ratings and live event attendance.

They danced around those things with Vince blaming injuries.  He listed a bunch of key injuries as the reason.  Which ofcourse flies in the face of them going on RAW and admitting things needed to change...and then changed nothing.  And pointed out their chief revenue is derived from TV rights fees, Network Subs and over-seas deals (like the nearly $100 million/year Saudi deal).

They announced they will no longer be updating Network Subscription numbers after WM which tells me they realize it's plateaued so any announcements would be disappointing.  They teased a major announcement about the Network which will be tiered services. So the plan will be to accept that subs have plateaued but to squeeze more revenue out of the loyal fans who have remained.  This is what they are trying with house shows by raising prices rather then trying to increase attendance.  

They are likely to air more house shows on the Network so even money-losing house shows can be spun as having value to the Network.

They're also going to do a stock buy back, which I guess is designed to strengthen the stock price.  

In terms of today, they are flush with cash and only getting flusher.  But the way they ignore the declines in TV and attendance....if something every changed with TV rights fees and they lost that revenue, it might be an existential crises.

EDIT: A key point: they dropped 280,000 network subs between WM last year and the end of 2018, which is record decline.  Another metric showing their creative is driving viewers away.

Injuries dont impact house shows as much because they often advertise the talent anyway.

And there has been a marked decline in female viewers which actually corresponds with the increased push of the women's division.  Ofcourse correlation does not always equal causation but it's interesting. To me, it would say that the way they portray women doesnt resonate with young women viewers.  Men have also declined but not as much.  The other point is, we can't know if the womens division being pushed kept the declines from being worse or contributed to it.

Edited by The Unknown Poster

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Are they sitting on cash? If I'm an investor and, unless there is an actual plan to re-invest those dollars, I want dividend (or a bigger one) paid. Not sure if they could force Vince to pay one out though. 

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34 minutes ago, JCon said:

Are they sitting on cash? If I'm an investor and, unless there is an actual plan to re-invest those dollars, I want dividend (or a bigger one) paid. Not sure if they could force Vince to pay one out though. 

I cant remember how much cash they have on hand but they did have several hundred million and do pay a regular consistent dividend.  In fact, for years, their profits were enough to cover the dividend and they'd reach into their cash reserves.  Historically, WWE never carried debt but did take out a large line of credit a few years ago to finance projects, though they maintained their large cash reserves (they bought a new corporate Jet etc).

Its why WWE was generally a decent stock buy.  You were guaranteed a dividend even if they didnt do that well.  The dividend was good for the family too since the McMahons are the largest holders of stock.  Vince got a big fat cheque every quarter.  When he says he's willing to invest over $100 million into the XFL, he can afford it (plus the $50 million or so they put into Linda's failed runs for Senate, but it resulted in her joining trump's cabinet).

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6 hours ago, The Unknown Poster said:

They signed that deal awhile ago.  Both RAW and SD tv deals expire this year.  WWE made out like bandits by de-coupling the two shows and selling them separately.  FOX is paying $1 billion over 5 years for SD.  It will be live on Friday nights on the main network.

Interestingly, when they signed the deal it was meant to provide consistent good ratings in that slot but since then, FOX friday night ratings are up and SD's are down.  FOX draws about twice as many viewers than SD right now.  They wont be happy if thats the case when SD moves there.

SD will fall under the FOX Sports umbrella and get a lot of cross-promotion among their sports properties.  Rumor has it FOX wants a more sports orientated production from WWE.

How would you describe "sports oriented" product? 

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3 minutes ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

How would you describe "sports oriented" product? 

Treated more like a sport, where wins and losses matter.  A newer, fresher look.  Commentary that calls the action likes it real.  There was talk FOX wanted Brock and Ronda on their show.  That sort of things.

Just now, SpeedFlex27 said:

Was it wise to turn Daniel Bryan heel? He was over with his Yes Movement. Making him a heel by being an ecological  saviour of the planet is just bizarre. I get the impression that the fans are just not engaged with it. Especially now with Rowan as his sidekick. 

Bryan was starting to tread water and they kind of cut him off a bit.  The heel gimmick is great.  Dont judge him by the reaction he got on SD this week as it was in his home state.  But he's going to get some people supporting him because his gimmick is something generally worth supporting.  Plus its Bryan.  Its actually a good idea in that he wont feel as compelled to have the big hot matches and that likely preserves his body.

Rumor has it, it might be Bryan vs Cena at WM so the heel turn makes sense there too.  I think they wanted opponents for Styles also.

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18 minutes ago, The Unknown Poster said:

It’s official. Kenny Omega signs with AEW and is an executive Vice President 

Fantastic!

and Chris Jericho cuts him off. Looks to be Omega/Jericho 2 at Double or Nothing 

Did you know? 

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AEW signed a trans wrestler too, Nyla.  Good for them and good for her.

So, I guess I can tell a little story, nothing that great, about what I knew.  Which isnt much.  Back...two years ago I guess, when Kenny's New Japan deal expired and everyone was going nuts about him maybe going to WWE.  He actually told me that he was either going to get a raise to stay in New Japan or go to WWE.  So I knew he was totally open to WWE even though some said he wasnt.  And I had people tell me they thought he was crazy to not go to WWE then and I predicted two years...two more years in Japan and then he makes his big move.

And Hunter loves him.  Regal and Kenny had an open line of communication.  So fast forward to this past October when Kenny was in town working our show (the Don Callis angle).  We talked for awhile after the show and he said he had offers...but no decision made.  And I suggested a scenario whereby he'd be interested in WWE if he could still work other places or a short term deal and he smiled and said I was "warmer than most".  

I was then told by a media source I know that there was talk of Kenny vs Cena at WM if Kenny went to WWE.  I had also said to Kenny that my impression was winning the IWGP title was not the goal, carrying New Japan and growing it was...but that it didnt seem like New Japan would go all in (no pun intended) with an "American".  So I had a feeling he was done with New Japan.  

I figured he was WWE-bound...until AEW really began making noise and then it became a no-brainer that he would stay.  When the story about WWE offering $3.5 million surfaced and he didnt take it, it was pretty clear he was doing what he said he'd do along - stick with his friends.  Which, if you think about him as a person, he's always done.

If he'd stick by me for 17 years, he was going to stick by then.

Being a VP with AEW is great and not a surprise since he developed the Elite name and concept.  But it also gives him health benefits, a regular salary, decision making power etc.  So really, unless WWE offered something on par with more money, why wouldn't he have stuck with AEW?

To me, the rally last night was fine (very cold in Vegas though haha) but Kenny looked head and shoulders above everyone as far as coming across like a big star,

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