WWE vs The Investors

WWE Stock has been on a downward spiral.  WWE’s Stock went down by 40% this week.  It was also reported that Vince McMahon was no longer in billionaire status after losing $340 million in one day.   That’s about a third of his own fortune that is now up in smoke.  This is all following the announcement of WWE’s new deal with NBC Universal.  Bottom line is that the WWE’s investors are not happy.  In fact, it may be a safe bet to go as far as to say that the WWE’s investors are pissed.

Lemelson Capital is calling for the removal of WWE’s Executive Team or even the selling of the WWE itself and it all ties in with the Network.  Lemelson has asked the board of directors for the removal of their executive team following what they called a period of consistent losses as well as WWE’s inability of explaining or promoting of the WWE network and the feeling that the company can lose between $45 to $52 million this year. Lemelson has gone as far as to refer to what’s been going on with WWE as ““material misrepresentations by the company about both performance and operating profit model of its WWE Network, which the company has wrongly labeled a ‘home run.’”

In other words, the WWE lied to the investors.  Vince McMahon lied to the investors or at the very least, tip-toed around telling the investors the complete truth.  I’m not going to be one of those people that are saying this is the downfall of the WWE or the demise of the WWE because it isn’t.  It does go without saying that this is a very bad situation.  Vince McMahon may see himself as invincible after beating  the steroid allegations and even toppling WCW, but the fact is that this is not scripted wrestling and this is not some storyline he cooked up.  It’s the financial world, it’s Wall Street and that is a world that is “Kill or be killed” and “Survival of the Fittest” and it will eat you alive if you’re not careful.  In that world, no matter how rich or poor you are, all are accountable in it and that includes somebody like Vince McMahon.

WWE is trying to think of the long term for the WWE Network and they have a set plan in mind for the long term but only if the set number of subscribers are met.  The key word being “If” because right now, the WWE Network’s subscribers has not even surpassed a million.  It hasn’t even broken 700,000 and it needs that number and 700,000 more because WWE is without PPV revenue now and that’s a good amount of cash that WWE has relied on for some time and they no longer have the ability to rely on.

So, to sum it all up with the WWE’s situation right now.  They promised to have a million subscribers after the launch of the WWE Network, they don’t have it.   They promised to have a new and bigger TV deal, they don’t because their new deal is just the same old song and dance they had before.  What they do have is empty promises that they couldn’t fulfill and goals that they failed to meet.  It’s no wonder why the investors feel lied to and are pissed off.  It would be one thing if this was just Vince McMahon’s money alone, but now you have investors involved in this and it’s their money that is being gambled with here.

A lot of people said that the WWE was in over their heads with the WWE Network and I was one of those people and what’s going on right now is exactly one of those reasons why.  The Network is designed for the hardcore fans and die-hard fans, but with wrestling the way it is these days and facing an uncertain future, who knows how many of those are really left anymore.  The future of pro wrestling is hard to predict right now.  Extreme Rising pulled the plug and TNA with Dixie Carter’s bad decisions, stiffing her staff of their paycheck, and an continuously shrinking roster, are just delaying the inevitable.  Ring Of Honor is on stable ground due to the amount of baby steps that they take and their new deal with New Japan which seems to be working out for them.

WWE and even Vince McMahon himself have simply bitten off more than they can chew.  It’s hard to imagine that they took into consideration the costs of the network and what it would take for it to be successful.  I’m not calling the WWE Network a failure, but it’s definitely failing.   Vince may have been able to overcome a lot over the years, but at age 68 and investors that are pissed off because they feel he’s treating their money as if it were Monopoly money, there is a lot of damage control to be done come the meeting with the investors.  When the smoke clears, it’s gonna come down to how this is gonna effect the current product itself, much like we all pondered the when the network was announced.

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Dixie Carter: Spoiled Rich Brat of Wrestling

This past week, we saw AJ Styles pipe bomb on TNA and especially towards Dixie Carter. Then we saw Dixie Carter show her true colors as a spoiled rich brat mooching off of daddy and trying to act as though she actually knows what she’s doing when the truth is Dixie that you don’t know shit about pro wrestling. Jerry Jarrett in an interview had some interesting things to say about the state of TNA. Here’s what he had to say regarding Dixie “background” on Inside The Ropes “Let’s Get Creative” show:

“You’ve got to have an unabiding respect for the business or it’s impossible to be successful. When I was in the wrestling business, me and the wrestling business were intertwined. I ate it, slept it, dreamt it. The wrestling business was my mistress. Dixie saw her first match after she had ownership, I think and I know for a fact she has little regard for the tradition or the history of the business. So, if you don’t know what brought you to the dance, how are you supposed to learn from it and build on it. After all this years, it’s pretty obvious that I’m right. TNA today is as closed to being a non factor in the business as you can get.”

And regarding TNA’s future:

“I am amazed, because when I was there, Bob Carter called me at least two to three times a week and said “I can’t lose any more money, Jerry” and I said, “You’re needing to talk to your daughter, not to me. She’s running the place.” So I’m amazed that they are in business. I think at this point, it’safe to say that TNA will continue to be subsidized by Bob Carter until he dies. Then I think TNA will go the way of ECW and the territory days.”

Now what does what Jarrett and what AJ said on Impact have in common? Not one bit of what they said wasn’t true. When I watched TNA the first time I got to bear witness to the likes of Low Ki, Amazing Red, Petey Williams, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Samoa Joe, Alex Shelley, in short I witnessed the future. I witnessed the X-Division. I witnessed what TNA banked on as their crown jewel. The X-Division, Ultimate X, The Six Sided Ring, the Six Sides of Steel, the King of the Mountain match. I witnessed TNA when it wasn’t trying to be everybody else. I witnessed TNA when it was trying to be something different. But no, Dixie Carter couldn’t have that. She couldn’t stand that. She didn’t want to stand out. She wanted to be amongst the boys. And instead, she brings in Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Ken Anderson, Scott Steiner, Matt Hardy, Sting, all the guys that either left WWE, never went to WWE after WCW went under, or that WWE threw away. And that wasn’t enough. You brought in Bruce Pritchard. Vince Russo and finally you brought in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. You brought them in hoping they knew what to do. And yet everything you had them try failed.

Went head to head with WWE on Monday Night: Failed

Taking Impact on the Road: Failed.

Making Jeff Hardy the face of the company: Failed.

One Night Only PPVs: Failed

Having a ramp way like old WCW: Failed

The “spend money to make money” approach: Failed

Making sure the talent was paid on time and that contracts were being kept track of: Failed, Failed, oh god almighty Epic Freaking Failed!!!!!

And what did it cost you? What was sacrificed?

The six sided ring, Six sides of Steel, King of The Mountain, Jeff Jarrett, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Amazing Red, the old impact stage, the Impact Zone, the X-Division, the tag team division, the knockouts.

And for who? For what? For Bischoff? For Hogan? Your stupid Twitter account? Or maybe you just thought Dixie “it’s okay, daddy will fix it?”

Truth is Dixie is that without the X-Division, TNA dies. Without guys like AJ Styles, TNA dies. And I know some people disagree with me but I don’t give a rats ass because I’m still gonna say that. And can’t remember the last time that AJ Styles had a 5 star match? You obviously didn’t watch when he took on Austin Aries last week. And marketing gimmick you created? Horseshit. You know why he’s the Phenomenal AJ Styles? Because he claimed to be and when we questioned why, he backed it up. He showed exactly why he is and he earned it every damn time. And since you were so apologetic Dixie, I’m sorry too. I’m sorry that I ever complained about Jeff Jarrett because that company was in way better hands with him, his father and Dutch Mantel. Yeah I said it. I would have much rather Jeff Jarrett stayed as the top heel and was always getting the belt cause at least he knew what the fuck he was doing. Yeah Eric Bischoff created the NWO but what has he done lately? When was the last time he came up with a good idea? He hasn’t come up with shit in almost 20 years. Hulk Hogan contributes absolutely dick and can barely walk to the ring much less wrestle and the only one who did less and contributed less than him was his daughter Brooke.

And now you’re so in over your head you can’t afford to pay the people you have on the roster on time. You got everybody worried from the wrestlers to the referees to the production crew all the way to the guys that put the cheese on the nachos worried about if they’re gonna their paycheck a month or two late. Ric Flair on Stone Cold’s podcast believed the end is near. Jerry Jarrett believes that as well. It’s to the the point Dixie where all can see it but you. You’re no innovator or aviator or any of those things. You’re just the spoiled brat that got everything she wanted from her daddy. You didn’t even care what it was or what it did. You just pointed your finger and said “Daddy I want that. Buy it for me. Now. And I want another pony too.” It’s being reported that the segment with Dixie and AJ was a sign of creative change for TNA. I call it more like a last resort. Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan are known and will be known for crippling WCW to the point of oblivion. The blood of WCW is on their hands. The end comes for TNA, the blood of that company will be on the hands of Dixie Carter and no amount of Poppa Bob Carter’s money is going wash that away.

Hulk Hogan: How Exactly Has He Helped TNA?

The more things change, the more they seem to stay exactly the same.  In this case, I’m talking about Hulk Hogan and his inability to not give himself a filter when it comes to running his mouth.  So according to an interview that Hogan did with a newspaper in the United Kingdom, he said about Dixie Carter the following:

“Is Dixie Carter really in the wrestling business, or is this just a hobby? You either run with the big dogs….Or stay on the porch.”

Now, here’s where the hypothetical comes in.  If this was WWE and not TNA and it was Vince in charge and not Dixie Carter, then anybody that said this would be fired faster than you can say Bruno Sammartino.  However, reality setting back in here, we have to remember that one difference between Vince and Dixie is that Vince is not afraid of being a bastard, or of being cold-blooded. It’s unfortunately the one thing that Dixie Carter has yet to learn or embrace in the wrestling business in that sometimes you have to be cold-blooded and vindictive because when you don’t, you’re just a doormat and you’re letting the inmates run the asylum.  In this case, it’s not so much the inmates that are running the asylum in TNA.  It’s only one inmate in particular and that unfortunately is Hogan.  Not just Hogan himself but his entourage as well.  Where Hogan goes, his groupies follow and by groupies I mean Eric Bischoff, Bubba the Love Sponge at one point, The Nasty Boys, Bischoff’s talentless schlub of a son, and more recently Brooke Hogan. Hell, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they add in Brutus Beefcake and Hogan’s spoiled snot of a son onto Impact.

Here’s a recap for you Dixie.  Since Hogan has come in, the following has happened with TNA:  The ring that separated your product from the others was taken away, the cage match that went so perfectly well with that ring is gone, matches that were made for TNA such Ultimate X, Elevation X and King of the Mountain have pretty much become extinct. Guys have been in the company and proven they can be stars in AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, James Storm, Samoa Joe and others are pushed to the way side for WWE Table-Scraps with the blind hope of making them something bigger, something that never happened (Bobby Lashley, Mr Anderson, The Pope) and the X-Division has become nothing more than a memory as well as the Tag Team division.  In other words Dixie, You let desecrate and pillage your own product. And for who? For what? Kevin Nash said when criticizing Aces & Eights that history repeats itself.  Looking at TNA, history has already been repeating itself because right now, you’re looking at Hogan & Bischoff bleeding another company dry.  And no, WCW wasn’t killed by the AOL/Time Warner deal, all that deal did was put WCW out of its misery.  So the million dollar question here is will Dixie Carter do as the Briscoes say and “Man Up” or is she simply waiting for something to put TNA out of its misery? All for the mistake she could’ve avoided by bringing in the guy responsible for making TNA and the very meaning of the word “Impact” disappear.

 

Has Randy Orton Signed His Own Death Warrant with the WWE?

Those of you that caught my first show heard what I had to say about Randy Orton.  Even though I talked about it on there, chances are that we’re going to be talking about it for a while.  Word is spreading all over the IWC that Randy Orton is in hot water with the WWE.  Top that off with many officials are not even willing to give the guy another chance and are all set to just fire him right here and now.

If the WWE actually does drop the hammer on Randy Orton, it will be the biggest firing they’ve ever done involving the Wellness Policy.  This isn’t anything like if they for whatever reason fired Triple H or John Cena, but this is the closest thing to it and it certainly has the magnitude of it.  For a long while, John Cena and Triple H have been considered untouchable to the point of being bulletproof and the reason I bring that up is because a lot of people thought that Randy Orton was on that same boat.  Orton has had his share of trouble even without this Wellness Policy violation. The guy had been suspended twice for “unprofessional conduct” backstage twice in one year back in 2006.   Top that off with the two violations of the Wellness Policy, the guy has had four suspensions under his belt.  Now, I’m not a booker, a General Manager, CEO, COO, or a Vice President (executive or otherwise), but I’m pretty sure that if you’ve been suspended four times in a job, that gives plenty of ground for the employer to fire the person.

Of course, you have all the forum boys and numerous other people that are saying that Orton should go to TNA.  First off,  the guy hasn’t even been fired yet so put that pipe dream to rest already.  Second, Orton to TNA, what the hell for?   Why the hell should Randy Orton go to TNA? Why would they even want to sign him apart from the obvious reputation that TNA has as of late which is to pick off WWE’s table scraps? Would he be a game changer if TNA picked him up? No, he wouldn’t because all that will happen is that he’ll spark some buzz for maybe a few weeks but from then on, nothing.  It’ll be no different from when Booker T went to TNA.  He sparked some buzz for a few weeks but then fizzled out just as quickly.  If Jim Ross went to TNA or Paul Heyman went to TNA and had full control to run the product his way, THAT would be a game changer.  Randy Orton going to TNA won’t change a thing with it even if he did go there. Besides, even if the WWE fired Randy Orton, it rests on whether or not TNA would even want to sign him.  The way things are shaping up with the whole WWE/Randy Orton situation, it’s looking like Orton may have the talent that he does, but he’s a tremendous pain in the ass to put up with in the workplace.

There has also been word going around that even if he is brought back after the suspension is up, that he doesn’t set foot in the main event spot again. Furthermore, there has been talk that he will be stuck in the mid-card spot, which would mean that there is no chance that we’d ever see a major title run for Randy Orton ever again.  Considering the contract that he signed which has him with the WWE until 2019, I can’t say that I blame the WWE for being pissed off at the guy.  Many were believing that the guy had reformed, and yet he pulls this and shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The guy is a talent and it’d be a shame to let it go to waste, but sometimes you have to send a message that this kind of crap won’t be tolerated.  We’ve heard on screen how no one man is bigger than the WWE.  This would be one way to prove that to be true if they actually do fire Orton.  I’m not saying that they should or that they shouldn’t, but like everybody else, we recognize that this guy is in hot water with the company and has really dug himself into a hole.  The only problem is that this time around, it will take a miracle to get himself out of this hole.

Raw To Become 3 Hours, Like That Worked for WCW

The buzz is all around about Monday Night Raw is going to go 3 hours on a regular basis.  Back then, I might have been excited about this. Back then, you had stories that people enjoyed and that weren’t insult to everybody else’s intelligence.   Sadly, this is unfortunately going to be 3 hours of the same crap that we’ve been getting from Raw for the last couple of years.  And by that, I mean that it’ll be 3 hours of too much talking, not enough matches, the matches we do see for the most part serve little to no purpose, and the same mind numbing stories that has left many of us wanting to punch a hole through our TVs.  The last time that we saw a wrestling company try to add an extra hour to a 2 hour wrestling show, it ended up going under.

WCW tried to make Nitro 3 hours, and that did more damage than good.  The talent was there for sure, but come on. You had Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo running things.  They could’ve been up to their necks in talent and they would still be too stupid to know how to use any of that talent. The second that you saw Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero all jump ship in one cluster, you knew that there was nowhere for that company to go other than straight down.  So what exactly does WWE have that will make people want to watch all three hours of Raw?  A better question is if Raw is gonna be 3 hours, what do they need Smackdown for?  What can Smackdown  give the fans that will make them still tune in after watching 3 hours of Raw? How will doing this move not over-saturate the product more than it already is?  What do they have that will attract fans to watch all 3 hours of Raw? More of John Laryngitis or Michael Cole’s oh so brilliant, and unbiased commentary?  Pardon me while I heave.

That third hour that Nitro added to itself might as well have been the final nail in the coffin for WCW.  Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t think this way with the WWE, considering the crap that they’ve been giving us lately? Their PPV’s keep losing money yearly and that same money seems to be going towards UFC & MMA.  WWE should try and find a way to freshen up the product and compete against UFC, but the problem is the fact that all these years after WCW went under, they forgot how to compete. They’ve forgotten how to actually put an effort into their product.  Why else would we get the same stories that we’ve seen time and time again? TNA and ROH are nowhere close to being a competitor and WWE is seemingly focused on the little kid demographic, and yet ignoring the demographic that has been the core of their popularity.  Eddie Mac on “We Want Wrestling” said it best that the little kids aren’t the ones that are buying the PPVs or the merchandise. They have to go through their parents or whomever to get those things and in most cases, it’s people that have been fans longer than the little kids.

What reason is there to be excited for a 3 hour Raw on a weekly basis?  The last couple times that we’ve seen a 3 hour Raw, it sucked and you always had one or two hours that were worse than the other.  Other scenarios are to have the first hour start strong and then decline the rest of the way.  Back then when Raw was something to watch, you had stories that excited people and made them want to tune in every week.  Now, you just have lazy booking which is one of the only explanations that anyone could probably think of as to why an off-camera suit is now getting pushed above everybody else that actually contributes something in the ring.  It’s bad enough that you’re going to have your franchise guy in John Cena possibly put over a guy who was so bad as a wrestler that to be called “mediocre” would’ve been a step-up.

John Laryngitis is not a strong enough character to carry a 3 hour show. He’s not even acceptable to carry a 2 hour one.  People are bored to tears and annoyed whenever he talks.  The whole concept of “People Power” is stupid as hell and nobody’s buying into it.  He’s your typical heel authority figure and that’s the problem.  The WWE has milked that type of character for all it’s worth and it’s to the point where there is nothing they can give us that we haven’t already seen or heard before with that character.  John Laryngitis is a one note character and that’s all he’s going to be.   He can’t give us anything we haven’t seen before and the heat he gets is not a good thing.  Even the good heels found a way to get the crowd to hate them, but still attract the crowd and not repel them.  WWE’s going to make Raw a 3 hour show, than give us something that will actually make it worth watching.  Otherwise, I’d suggest to start shopping for a burial plot, maybe right next to WCW.

 

“Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce vs Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana ONE MORE TIME

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PJJuX1254Uw 

It was just about two weeks ago where Colt Cabana won the NWA world title from the Four Time NWA World Champ and a personal favorite of The Shark in Adam Pearce.  This is also the second time that Pearce has lost the belt in his four title reigns to Cabana and going by the promo he cut and the challenge that he laid out, this is the breaking point for Scrap Iron himself. He’s laid out the challenge for a best of seven series that was aptly titled “7 Levels of Hate.”

Pearce made it clear that just one rematch against Cabana was going to cut it nor would beating him 2 times.  The sole mission that he has is to prove that he’s the best and that he’s better than Colt Cabana.  He’s even made it clear that while Cabana may have nothing to prove, Pearce has EVERYTHING to prove. He’s doing it to the point where he’s laying it ALL on the line or as he put it, giving Cabana his one and only chance to shut Pearce up and most of all, the chance to take Adam Pearce out of pro wrestling because he has  said that he will walk away if he can’t beat Cabana.

Some of the best moments in wrestling and the most entertaining have been a best of five or best of seven series.  TNA demonstrated that with the Motor City Machine Guns vs Beer Money in a best of five series.  Chris Benoit and Booker T had a best of seven series for the U.S. Title in WCW.  I think it’s a safe bet to say that this will be no different for Pearce and Cabana as in promos like that and given the history between the two, there is plenty of emotion involved in this and you just don’t get enough of that in wrestling these days.

As for who do I think will come out on top, I would like to see Pearce take the bar in his career and raise it up another notch and become a Five Time NWA World Heavyweight Champion.  You can feel the determination, the emotion and the mindset that he’s in with his promo.  The guy is looking at this like he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain and history has shown that in some cases, the most ferocious fighter is the one that backed up against the wall. Pearce has the mindset of a caged animal and sometimes if they’re hungry enough or just pissed off enough, a caged animal can be as deadly as they come.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the smoke clears with these two.

What Does the Title of “Icon” Even Mean Anymore?

There has been a lot of talk about where or not Sting is an icon.  Wrestlezone’s own and also member of the bleacher report Justin LaBar has gone as far as to say that Sting is not an icon and that somehow indicates that the fact that Sting has not been part of the WWE is what is keeping him from truly being one.  You know before WCW went under, there was a point where WCW was good and was watchable.  There was a time when a 3 Hour WCW show wasn’t called Monday Nitro, it was called Clash of the Champions and it was done once a month except on the months when a PPV was taking place. At the time, that was the closest thing to WCW having monthly PPVs and they were doing it before WWE/WWF did.  And long before Hulk Hogan showed up in WCW, there were two things that were always at the top of the mountain top in WCW and that was Ric Flair and Sting.

Sting was the top baby face in WCW and was the considered by many to be franchise and the flagship of WCW.  The difference between Sting and Hogan was that Hogan had his spot in WCW handed to him on a silver platter while Sting worked his way up to earn it and had no problems holding the title belts that were below the World Title picture such as the tag team titles, TV Title and the U.S. Title. When did you ever see Hogan where either of those belts during his time in WCW? Sting didn’t have a problem with that because he was about doing what was best for that company.  Sting carried that company on his back to the end and when WCW was bought out,  the WWE acquired a lot of the names from WCW but the only one that they couldn’t acquire no matter how much money they tossed to him was Sting. Yeah, Sting ended up going to TNA eventually, but prior to that, the guy was happy with having a life outside of wrestling.

Last year there was all the talk about whether Sting would go to the WWE and be the one to take on The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.  Sting didn’t do that and ended up re-joining TNA.  Now, here’s the big question. Since WHEN does going to the WWE have to the deciding factor of whether or not a certain wrestler is an icon? Jerry Lawler is still hailed as the icon and pretty much a god in Memphis for his contributions to the sport.  Bret Hart is still considered an icon for his contributions to technical wrestling as many compare technical wrestlers to him. So why is Sting not worthy of being called an icon?  Much like Tommy Dreamer was called the Heart and Soul of ECW or Bryan Danielson was called the Heart and Soul of Ring of Honor, Sting was the Heart and Soul and everything else that there was for WCW.

You’re not called an icon in wrestling just because of where you were. You’re called that because of what you’ve contributed to the name of pro wrestling.  In WCW, you had 3 names that came to mind when it was in it’s purest state. Those three names were Ric Flair, The Four Horsemen and Sting.  Hulk Hogan for better or worse is called an icon but people remember most when he was WWE/WWF and not WCW. For the most part, a lot of people have and myself included linked Hogan’s stint in WCW being one of the things that lead to its downfall. Bottom line is, Sting did more for that one company all the way until the end than anyone else did.  That alone is what makes him an icon.  Is he THE icon as in the one that is at the top of the mountain? Probably not, but his contributions to wrestling are more than enough to make him an icon.

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