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flyonthewall2983

Is the empire crumbling before our eyes?

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The Saudi deal going sideways, the stock market woes, firings of top brass, cutting down on house shows, rumors of low morale among the talent, and now this. Between all of this and the XFL folding, Vince's head must be spinning. It's either that or he is delusional enough to think these are problems to be overcome. I naively thought that they would have become stung by the 2008 recession, but all those feelings I had then have resurfaced and there is actual tangible proof now that their luck might be up. 

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While I don't think they're "too big to fail" or anything like that, I think it will take more to take them down completely.   As far as I know, they still have their tv deals and, though it's not doing as well as they'd hope, they have the network.  

I think the biggest thing is, Vince won't let it die.  In my opinion, the only thing that would totally kill WWE is Vince pulling the plug and shutting it down.  He'll die chairman of that company.

I'm torn.  On the one hand, I would never wish anyone into unemployment (not totally true, I can be a petty motherfucker).  I especially wouldn't wish it on a bunch of people who have broken their bodies for years to provide me entertainment.  On the other hand, I'd love to see what a WWE-less pro wrestling landscape looks like.  It'd be uncharted territory for pretty much all of us to see in our lifetime.  That is a very fascinating concept to me.

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I don't see the company going away for those reasons you cited, my angle on the question is the McMahon empire itself more or less. The WWE is that family's legacy but surely if it came to such dire measures for someone it could be sold off to new people. 

So this question is more personal to Vince and the family, and his standing within the company and before his stockholders who cannot be happy with these turns of events, even before Covid-19 put things in such more jeopardy as it is now.

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I think Vince would run a scaled down operation if such a scenario was possible, before he sells or anything else. The only way I see the WWE finally crumble is when Vince dies.

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Considering the XFL went from "Vince is budgeting 3 years of losses" to dead in one year, I tend to think Vince is worried about potential cash flow issues. Even more so after the snap decision to start airing TV shows live instead of taped out of fear they'll lose TV money. The stock was taking a beating before everything went to shit,  so everything that happened since just screams the choices of a guy trying to save as much cash as possible.

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There is a major difference between budgeting for loss and getting exactly zero dollars. Once they suspended operations, I knew they weren't coming back, even though they were telling people they were. It is just way too difficult to come back from that. 

 

Vince is acting like a guy who is in trouble yes, but I think that once they open the doors to public again, they'll rebound back to normal. All this stuff is just Vince making sure he gets there from here without losing too much. Besides Vince isn't the type to allow any circumstances to change his plans. If he expects the money from USA and FOX, he's gonna do whatever he can to keep those deals intact, regardless of if he was in trouble financially or not. 

 

But he is old now, and they are in enough trouble that I don't think they survive his death. I don't see any business savvy wrestling guy/girl around to capably take the mantle from him.

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Even if there was someone savvy enough, to the outside world WWE = Vince, so when he's not around I could see the business/economic world having no faith in anyone else. 

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That's true. I know Vince has tried to portray his daughter as the next leader of the WWE in corporate environment, but I don't think she has the respect of anyone relevant. And that's not gonna change.

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Right now, nothing is filming. There are some things in the can (and schedules have been moved around; for instance Killing Eve starts a few weeks early tonight). Seasons are being shortened. MLB is looking for solutions, etc. I think we'll see the effects of this more in a month or two than even now as there'll be a gap where networks just don't have product. So long as Vince can keep producing it, I think there'll be some room for supplemental deals with them filling gaps. Ratings have to be down for almost everything, so it's all relative. 

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1 hour ago, sek69 said:

Even if there was someone savvy enough, to the outside world WWE = Vince, so when he's not around I could see the business/economic world having no faith in anyone else. 

Unless they sell up to a conglomerate with the proviso that the McMahon's have a seat at the table/HHH gets to run wrestling operations.

Although I agree that the perception you mentioned is how the outside world thinks, it seems increasingly clear that Vince is the biggest impediment to WWE nowadays. However, the structures that he has created around himself and the patterns they've gotten themselves into would take a long time to sweep away even if he was gone and someone else was put in charge.

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2 hours ago, FMKK said:

lthough I agree that the perception you mentioned is how the outside world thinks, it seems increasingly clear that Vince is the biggest impediment to WWE nowadays.

People who follow the business know that, but other companies who only deal with them on a B2B level just know Vince is the Wrestling Guy. I would wager folks at USA like Bonnie Hammer probably understand Vince better than that because they've worked with him so long and so closely they've had to have picked up on the Full Vince Experience by now. 

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And the fact they are still doing business together would indicate whatever quirks Vince might have is something they can manage. I think Vince is probably at his best in that sort of environment. Just look at the TV deals he managed to land in recent years. The only dude I'd be willing to say is on par with Vince in that area is Eric Bischoff who isn't going to come into power anytime soon.

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I don't know the answer to this yet because it seems to be unfolding in real time. My gut instinct is to say no, but I still think all of this is going to get worse before it gets better. A few years back, Vince expressed interest in selling the company with the understanding that they'd still have some degree of control over day to day operations. I still think that's a possibility eventually, although I don't see any of the potential buyers making offers anytime soon. The company has at times been both undervalued and overvalued in recent years, so I don't even know what would be a fair asking price at this point. $5 billion?

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I don't see Vince selling the company without giving up control, and I don't see anyone who would have the resources to do that want to spend billions and still have to put up with Vince doing Vince things in their ear. It would either be the buyer demanding a percentage ensuring they had control, or worse putting Vince in a figurehead position where he thinks he has control but they don't pay any attention to him which is something I don't think would end well for a ton of reasons. 

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I will say WWE seem to watching costs for the first time in a long time. I like most people online didn't like the Gargano/Ciampa match from NXT TV this week but internally it drew a lot of praise artistically and more crucially it filled an hour of Network TV with basically zero budget.  

But yeah this has been a death via a thousand cuts and a near 20 year slow erosion. 

However, I will say there's been a profound and observable decline in Vince's Pro Wrestling and overall decision making since the shoot headbutt he took from Kevin Owens (which he asked Kevin to lay in) in late 2017.

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I know a few of us have said that WWE/wrestling = Vince to outsiders in the corporate world but Dave has mentioned quite a few times recently that stockholders and analysts have been losing faith in him a lot over the last few months. It could take a while but I don't think the 'Vince is a genius' stuff is really going to last.

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I don't see WWE folding as a whole, but I could see, with the critical success of the Boneyard and Firefly Funhouse matches (maybe "critical success" is a better way to put it), the company truly moving away from a wrestling/sports entertainment presentation and becoming more like what WMAC Masters was in the mid 90s. This would require a structural overhaul of the business model, though, and one that would meet fierce resistance from certain executives (namely ones who-uh listen to Motörhead-uh), but I can see it as a possibility.

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Ok.  The XFL has losses of between $ 10 -50 million , Wrestlemania  without fans  bombed , their  is no income from live events and   NXT has lost $  millions over the past two years . HHH causes the NXT losses an investment. Hunter should have listen to Jon Moxley . Mox  pointed  out the the over harvesting of US  and UK indies was totally unnecessary  , he said that the WWE should just pull the top 2 or 3 talents out of the indies every year . Do the likes of Roderick Strong , Chris Hero  and Tommy End really need to be trained at  the Performance Center  ? 

The WWE will survive , but they are going to have to cut their  costs. They can no  longer pay talent to sit at home or stock pile talent at the PC . I wonder how many wrestlers are going to be released by the end of the year .  I don't know  maybe 25 to 40 releases  in the near future  The end result is that NJPW, AEW , ROH and even MLW or Impact  are going to be able  pick up some top  talent.  

McMahon should have sold to either Disney , Comcast  or Fox years ago. Now that the economy  has been hammered, I don't think anyone is in the position to pay a premium for the WWE.

 

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Now that WWE got the "essential" tag, Bob Arum and UFC asking to use the Performance Center to run shows is :lol: "Vince is a genius" gonna start right back up if he gets money from this.

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