Saturday, May 2, 2009

Highlights - Vince McMahon chairing shareholders

Usually Linda McMahon does the task of addressing WWE shareholders every quarter, however this time around the Chairman of the Board himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, did so. some highlights of his discussion, and my thoughts on them:

  • Playboy is interested in continuing its working relationship with the WWE in terms of using Divas in its magazine; Vince McMahon however says WWE declined this year, and intends to for the foreseeable future, due to the new 'PG' rated product WWE has been working towards putting forward. I see where Vince is coming from here and what I disagree with is moreso the more family-friendly direction Vince purports to be going in; not only does it cost him potential cross-promotional deals like Playboy, with non-family friendly content such as Randy Orton's attack on Stephanie McMahon continuing to play out on WWE television, Vince isn't exactly reaping a whole lot of benefit from that gravy train either; as much as the Divas have become more wrestling-and-comedy focused than smut focused, and John Cena has toned down his act to the further disgust of the boo birds, wrestling is an industry which inherently pushes the envelope and especially with its seemy underbelly exposed to the world in recent years I can tell you as a fan and new mom both myself, I wouldn't let my young son watch wrestling for some years. So Vince might as well refocus himself on the adult audience and work more towards gearing the more kid-friendly characters (Cena, Rey Mysterio) either to a more family-friendly program (maybe Superstars, reminiscent of the more innocent, G-rated Hulk Hogan wrestling days), or spice them up a bit to appeal more to teens and adults.
  • Vince McMahon is currently working on a Wednesday night show, as it is the only night of the week on which there is no WWE programming. He feels WWE being on nightly is not overkill, but a good reminder to channel surfing fans that the product is out there to be watched, and will make it easier for more casual, fair-weather fans to keep up with storyline on a night of their choosing. Makes sense until one considers the brand split - unless the Wednesday nigth show is non-brand specific like Superstars, one still needs to watch Raw to know what's happening on Raw, and Smackdown to know what's happening on SD etc. I wouldn't watch Superstars if we did get it here in Ontario, and I wouldn't watch a Wednesday night program; as it is I only consistently watch Raw, and Smackdown when I think of it and there's nothing else to do.
  • Tying together those last two points, it was revealed Vince McMahon is also working on a potential reality show, although no time soon; the interest is in a Tough Enough type concept, but he feels the Divas would work better in a reality-type show. He says it's expensive to produce the kind of show he would want to and that's an obstacle right now. Good. Let's hope it stays that way! :D Although ... I suppose it would keep the Diva Search off my actual wrestling programming ... ;)
  • Vince spoke of two international issues; one is the likely cancellation of a Mexican tour later this month due to the Swine Flu, which is understandable under the circumstances, and the second is the concept of an overseas Wrestlemania. Vince pointed out, understandably, he has to cater to the North American audience, but would want a PPV such as Wrestlemania to be live, thus making it hard to have it on at any reasonable hour overseas without the risk of spoilers etc. He referred to the Summerslam at Wembley Stadium as an example of a great show, but poor business decision.
  • Vince also spoke of his current concept of ECW, saying he'se happy with the product, though not the ratings. He doesn't envision it as a farm team, but rather the farm team's first step on to the larger stage and into the spotlight. It is a younger, hungry brand with lots of talent and once they're seasoned they'll have more of an opportunity on Smackdown or Raw. All I can wonder is what Christian Cage was thinking about that. ;)
Happy weekend everyone.


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