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Do you believe the ex-wrestlers that have been listed as plaintiffs in these class action lawsuits against WWE will get any money?
It’s impossible to say. WWE views these lawsuits — specifically mentioning the one led by Jimmy Snuka and the one led by Big Vito — as a frivolous attempt to capitalize on the class action concussion lawsuit brought against the National Football League, which could cost the NFL about $1 billion over 65 years. I don’t really agree with the smug statements that WWE releases in response to the litigation but it will ultimately depend on the judicial system as to whether or not these plaintiffs are awarded any money.
What was WWE’s revenue and profit in 2015?
WWE reported revenue at $658.8 million in 2015 with an operating income of $38.8 million. Profit for the year came in at $24.1 million. We routinely follow WWE’s earnings as they are required by the SEC as a publicly traded company to disclose them every quarter. You can read years of WWE financial data right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
With the WWE Draft upon us, what are the metrics for success for Smackdown Live? Ratings? Money? Talent development? At one point the Smackdown show rivaled Monday Night Raw. What do you think?
WWE will hope to embrace competition between their brands and will be just fine with it as long as both are doing well. It didn’t really work out that well before, especially when they did single-branded pay-per-views, but that isn’t stopping WWE from trying it again. I don’t know if it’s realistic to expect legitimate competition between Raw and Smackdown as Vince McMahon is still the final decision maker when it comes to creative for both brands. For this to get over, WWE is going to have to make a strong effort to promote the brands as to having two distinct identities but that’s much easier said than done. Vince is always going to view Raw as the No. 1 show because it’s the flagship show with the larger audience. I do not expect that to change, regardless of who is working where.
Does having Daniel Bryan, the proverbial underdog, as Smackdown’s General Manager solidify Smackdown as the lesser brand?
I believe no matter what Smackdown is always going to be the B-brand for the reason I just mentioned. Raw is the flagship show and has the largest audience. WWE knows that Raw has more exposure than Smackdown and I don’t see that changing. You make an interesting point with Daniel Bryan but I’m high up on the choices of both Bryan and Mick Foley. However, it will still be up to the creative team [and ultimately Vince McMahon] to produce engaging storylines that develop talent. Without those two key aspects, nothing else matters. WWE has a roster full of talent but they must develop it.
If this wasn’t your paying gig, would you still following WWE based on its current product? I’ve tapped out.
I’ve had this question before and my answer hasn’t changed; yes, I would still follow WWE, even if I did so more casually than I do now. Professional wrestling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I don’t think there is really anything that could cause me to give up completely, as I truly appreciate the business, even at its lowest points. Now, that doesn’t mean a promotion couldn’t win my attention over another. I began a WWF fan but transitioned to WCW when the New World Order was formed, only to return [to WWF] for the Attitude Era. So there’s always a chance I could follow another promotion other than WWE but right now, they have no viable competition in the US. And when I say that, it’s not a knock on any of the indies; they just aren’t competition to WWE.
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