Foley Returning, Morrison’s WWE Contract, SummerSlam Buys, Could The WWE Network Jeopardize The Company?

Is there any particular reason why WWE decided to have Mick Foley return at a house show rather than Monday Night Raw?

Mick Foley said in his promo he could return to play whenever he wanted too and there was no better place for him to play than in Dublin, Ireland. WWE obviously wanted to give the international fans something to be excited about and a surprise to set the tone for their 21-show European tour. Foley’s return had already leaked online (he was advertised for the 11/14 Raw Supershow) so the company probably felt they couldn’t pull off the surprise on TV so they did it at the house show. I have full details on the return of Mick Foley available at this link.

Why is John Morrison getting buried on WWE television?

The good news for John Morrison is he has been tagging with John Cena, going over at recent overseas house shows. The reason of Morrison’s de-push is his WWE contract is coming up soon and he has shown “little interest” in re-signing. I have much more available to Premium Members at this link.

What do you make of the reduced buyrate for this year’s Summerslam compared to last year? The CM Punk angle at Money in the Bank seemed to have so much hype initially. Do you think WWE mishandled the storyline afterwards?

For those who haven’t seen the official numbers, this year’s SummerSlam did 296,000 buys compared to 350,000 buys in 2010. While the show was down from the year prior it still did more buys than Money in the Bank which did 195,000 buys which was up from 165,000 buys in 2010. As for why the SummerSlam buy rate fell, there are several factors to consider. The economy is still tough and it’s also worth noting there was a free UFC special that night on the Versus network that garnered 766,000 viewers. A caller in yesterday’s WWE conference call asked about the creative side of things with basically your same question and Vince McMahon side-stepped him. I think everyone would have like to have seen CM Punk gone for longer than he was to sell the storyline, however, WWE felt he was too hot to not headline the pay-per-view. So back to your question, the buyrate probably had more to do with outside factors (such as a bad economy and competition) rather than poor booking.

Do you feel that if the WWE Network was to turn out to be a miserable failure that this might impact the financial viability of the WWE as a whole? Do you believe we would see changes in the WWE as we know it?

Some people I’ve spoken with in the company feel if the network fails it could be the project to put Vince McMahon in financial trouble. McMahon seemed convinced in yesterday’s conference call it was going to be a success but offered very little in terms of encouragement. While I completely see the need and reasoning for the WWE Network, it’s not going to be easy to get clearance and I want to see the company’s model before passing judgment. With that being said, there have been some “interesting” ideas for non-wrestling programming.

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