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.

How Low Can Vince & The WWE Really Go?

Look, I get it, okay? The heel coming out to interrupt something  that is meaningful to somebody else is a common move. I get that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always needed. Last night was one of those times.  Two months. Two months that Jerry Lawler was gone for because of his heart attack and you do this to him? You make an angle out of his heart attack? You have Paul Heyman mock the heart attack? Are you freaking kidding me?

Jerry Lawler could’ve died that night in Montreal and for about 20 minutes give or take, he was.  Nobody made an angle out of Chris Benoit or Owen Hart when they died.  Now before any of you say what about Eddie Guerrero? There’s a difference.  Rey Mysterio was trying to pay homage to him, win the belt in honor of Eddie.  That was built more to honor Eddie Guerrero than to discredit him.  I get that Vince is capable of sinking that low as we’ve seen him stoop to lows before.  I just hoped that this was one that even a cold-hearted, soulless bastard like him wouldn’t sink to.  Okay, let’s be fair about that last statement.  He has no heart because even the cold-hearted have a filter.  Eric Bischoff was and is a scumbag, but at least he didn’t resort to necrophilia angles or mocking a guy that nearly died in front of a live crowd.

What made them think that all that transpired last night was a good idea? Was this their attempt at trying to be edgy and innovative at the risk of being controversial in light of Vinny Mac’s wife losing yet another election she had no chance in hell of winning or had any business taking part in to begin with? Or is this the WWE being what we already suspected with them trying to copy TNA’s storylines in them being quite simply Desperate?

You see Vince, THIS is what everyone is talking about when they’re saying that you’re out of touch. That you don’t have your finger on the pulse of what the fans like or want. Hell, you haven’t had your finger on that pulse for the last couple of years.  Face it, Vince, your creative skill that you’ve claimed to have had all this time is out of gas and you think that what you did to a guy that nearly died 2 months ago proved something, it did.  It proved that you really did inject the WWE with a dose of poison. It just wasn’t the NWO like in that angle years ago. No, that poison’s name is Vincent Kennedy McMahon.  I guarantee you that if you were the one that had the heart attack and died, nobody would be wanting an angle involving your death.  Well, I’m sure that there are probably a select few that would not only welcome it, they’d be ready to dance on your grave.  Of course, I’m pretty sure there are a lot of guys that would say that they would love to drive a stake through Vince’s heart but are convinced that nothing can kill him.  Than again, I’m sure if the day comes where Vince croaks, his death will be much like his life: No Shame.

Now I’m not really mad at CM Punk and Paul Heyman or at least as much as I am towards Vince. Heyman and Punk are just the dogs and Vince was the one that gave the okay and let them off the leash.  And I don’t give a damn if Jerry Lawler gave the okay for it.  It doesn’t mean that it’s not in bad taste.  The segment as well as Heyman’s mock heart attack was in bad taste and so is Punk’s twitter rants about it.  All his talk about being the best in the world and always putting down Vince. Congratulations to CM Punk and to Paul Heyman though because not only are you both no better than Vince, you’re to a degree worse. And as far as Best in the World goes Punk, you might as well scrap that now because as far as I’m concerned after Monday night, you’re just another tatted up asshole and Heyman pulled a low that’s even beneath Eric Bischoff.  It’s cheap heat and something that is above both of them or at least I thought they were.  Turns out that they’re much like the crap they pulled: cheap. That’s as much as I’ll say about Heyman and Punk.

As for Vince, you wanna know what cost your wife the election?  You wanna know who was responsible for her loss? All you need to do is look into a mirror.  Even Jerry Jarrett thinks this was low class and cheap.    As bad of shape as the WWE is in, I’ve been rooting for them to recover and to rise back up.  I’m not so sure if I’m really rooting for that anymore after last night.  You can take everything and I mean EVERYTHING that Michael Cole has ever said or done as his heel character along with everything involving Vickie “Pig-Vomit” Guerrero and John Laryngitis, combine all of those things and that wouldn’t measure to what they did to Jerry Lawler on Monday Night.  I don’t get offended by stuff on TV easily, but this was the one exception.  Vince McMahon is killing his own product. He once said during the Corporate Ministry bit when he was revealed as the higher power that there is no low he won’t sink to.  I’m starting to think that line wasn’t just script.  If this is the crap you’re gonna pull, Vince,  then not only am I saying that the WWE is going to fall and it’ll be Vince’s fault when it does, but I’m calling my shot out right now when I say that to you Vince McMahon, you deserve to have your company fail you repulsive, soulless, deplorable, absolute horror of a human being.

The State of WWE TV

I don’t know which I’m more sick of these days.  John Laryngitis being on TV and boring everybody to tears, how so many people are praising the guy for being able to “draw so much heat,” or that WWE keeps teasing the crowd like they’re gonna fire him.  Including the stipulation with Over The Limit, this is the third time that we’ve had the WWE tease the rest of us that they’re going to pull the plug on WWE’s Biggest Kidney Stone in John Laryngitis.  The first time was before Wrestlemania where Triple H showed up and was ready to fire him before Taker interrupted the whole thing. Triple H announced that he was going to fire him and then the Kidney Stone himself returned and said that the Board of Directors were going to make a decision that eventually lead to him keeping his job.

The second time was at Wrestlemania with that stupid match between Teddy Long’s team vs John Laryngitis’ team. We all saw how that one ended and we’ve been stuck with the jackass ever since.  Now we’re back to this again where he’s fighting John Cena and the Board of Directors have seemingly turned against him.  Exactly how long do we really expect this to go for? Johnny Ace is not Vince McMahon. Hell, he’s not even Eric Bischoff when he was actually worth a damn.  The problem as I’ve said with his character is that there is nothing longterm with this guy and that his character has no variation or room to expand.  His character is one note and as proven with Smackdown this past week, no matter what tirades or tantrums he throws, people don’t get past his voice. It’s no different from people who can’t look at Lord Tensai and still call him Albert because no matter what, people remember his pierced up face and hairy back.

Triple H doesn’t like the guy nor does John Cena or CM Punk and you have the alleged “board of directors” also not happy with this guy.  Vince set the standard on WWE TV for being the boss you’d love nothing more than to sucker punch.  Bischoff to an extent did the same thing and one thing that both  those guys had in common was that it didn’t draw enough heat to where people didn’t want to watch anymore.  Before any of you say that it’s not true, Raw this past week  the lowest that it’s had since the start of the year.  Believe me, if your product drops to below a 3.0, your product has a problem, especially when this rating is coming from your supposed “A” show and not your “B” show.  And this is the show that the WWE wants to expand to 3 hours?

If your ratings drop to a 2.9, it simply is showing that you’re not giving your audience, your consumers anything that is worth watching.  Top that off with the fact that you’re not giving people characters that they want to see.  Heels are supposed to draw heat from a crowd, that part is true but the heels have one small shred of their character that attracts the crowd.  It’s that small part that the people find themselves loving to hate, and not to be irritated to the point where it becomes painful. At least WWE has gotten smart to at least have Michael “Monkey” Cole tone it down a bit. Unfortunately, he hasn’t toned it down enough and the worst part is that no matter what he does or says even if its positive, the crowd is gonna hate him no matter what and when you have him on his own doing commentary, it further displays that they wasted too much time on his character and less time making him actually credible as an announcer.

Why does your product drop to below 3.0 in the rations WWE? Let me sum a couple things up for you.   Your broadcast team is crap because your announcers are no damn good since they spend time bickering at each other than calling the action.  Your championship belts hold no merit whatsoever because they’re seldom involved in any stories that you have, if any at all.  You don’t have the patience to make any stories or feuds go longterm (The Nexus) and some have no payoff in the end (The Anonymous GM) and the guys that you push to the top of the mountain are the guys contribute nothing in the ring.  The fact that you’re running on fumes in terms of star power was further displayed at the Royal Rumble, especially when you had all 3 guys from your announcer’s table get in the ring during the Royal Rumble match.  And last but sure as hell not least, you recycle stories that we have seen time in and time out and you’ve pretty much milked them for all their worth and it gives your consumers nothing new.  The end result has simply been that UFC seems to gain in popularity and PPV buys while your own seems to flounder about and diminish.

I know a lot of you are going to go about and say; “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”  It’s called being a critic and the reason I’m hard on the WWE is because I know they can be a lot better than this.  They can AND have been better than this and we all know this for a fact.  The only difference is that back then, the WWE actually put an effort into their product. They put in effort, passion and some heart into actually producing a product that gained the McMahons the money that they received from it.  Now, its like they’re bleeding out their own product and just letting it exist without putting in any kind of effort into making it better.  We already saw one guy bleed a company dry and use it as his own personal ATM machine and that company ended up six feet under.  The one difference was that man’s family didn’t own the company.  Back in the days with the NWO in the WWE, Vince called it killing his own company by injecting it with poison.  WWE’s infected with poison alright, but it’s not the NWO that’s doing it, that poison is a lot closer to home.

Memo to WWE: The Go Home Show for a PPV is for SELLING THE PPV!

Clearly the WWE forgot that tonight’s Monday Night Raw was supposed to be the “go home” show before the PPV.  To be honest, before they said the words “This Sunday,” I forgot that it was too.  That being said, last time I checked, the Raw before a PPV was supposed to be used to help sell the PPV the following Sunday.  Given, this is Over The Limit we’re talking about here and generally, that PPV has always tended to suck.  Last year’s PPV ranking as having one of the worst PPV buys of any WWE PPV.  Also another given is that the only match that really any self-respecting wrestling fan would give a damn about is CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan and yet we see little to nothing mentioned of that tonight. To be honest, the only things that stood out tonight were the Triple H/Paul Heyman confrontation, Big Show bawling his eyes out after John Laryngitis fired him and John Cena telling John Laryngitis that there will be no special referee, no outside interference and anyone that shows up at ringside is fired, and that it would just be a normal match where if John Laryngitis loses, he will be fired.

Believe me, nothing would give me great pleasure than to see John Lack of Personality get the pink slip from WWE TV. Well, maybe Vickie Guerrero gone and Michael Cole losing his voice permanently would bring that forth, but other than that, nothing would be better.  A lot of people don’t get why I don’t like John Laryngitis, and my reason is a simple one. My reason is the fact that his character is a one note character.  There’s no variation and no room for expansion with his character. The sad truth is that the character he does is at its peek already and that’s not a good thing because that just further proves that it’s not gonna work in the long term. Top that off with this match, having John Cena put this guy over is not going to help John Cena in the least.   Especially considering you’re putting him against a guy who couldn’t wrestle worth a damn when he was an active wrestler.

A lot of people are going as far as to say Big Show is going to interfere and screw Cena out of the match, and do a heel turn.  That’s not gonna help Big Show at all because whether he’s a face or a heel, very few people care what he does.  The ratings haven’t been that great for Raw the last couple years and I’m pretty sure that having an authority figure that nobody likes to see or hear isn’t helping the ratings.  There’s a difference between Vince McMahon and John Laryngitis and that difference is that people hated Vince simply for the fact that he was a dick. He represented everything that you envisioned in the corrupt boss.  John Laryngitis is simply a raspy voiced half-assed attempt at trying to be Vince, something that he’s never going to be, simply for the fact that people are always going to see him as nothing but a suit, flunky, and/or Vince McMahon’s bitch.

Back to the subject in the title,  even if the WWE knows that this PPV is going to suck, so what? That’s no excuse because the WWE should be always wanting to try and sell their product and if they get lazy with that, than it’s no wonder that UFC & MMA are always kicking their asses with the PPV buys, and maybe they deserve just that for their laziness.  It comes down to one of the simple analogies I said when I first started this and that is that if the WWE doesn’t give a damn about their own product, then why the hell should the rest of us?  If they don’t care how bad the PPV looks, why should I waste my own hard earned money for it?  I’ve got no desire to order the PPV, but if I want to know what it would feel like to order Over The Limit, I’m pretty sure all I’d need to do is flush $45 down the toilet and I’m pretty sure that it would be less painful than the PPV itself and watching one good match and one match featuring John Cena against a washed-up, never was anything in his whole damn life, hack like Johnny Ace.