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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Ten Count 2.26.14: Top 10 Ways WWE Network Will Change the Business
Posted by Evan Daniels on 02.26.2014

Welcome back to the Ten Count. As always, thank you for reading last week's (or month's) column. And here we go…

Where Have You Been?

Well, I have taken a couple of trips for work. The first was to Las Vegas for our annual convention followed by a trip to Virginia so it has been a crazy month or so.

Aside from that we have been dealing with a 2 year old who has been sleeping like a newborn. It has been brutal with him waking up about 4 times a night. We are also potty training him (probably too much information but there you have it) so that's exciting as well.

No excuse for not writing for my dozens and dozens of fans but life can get in the way.

CM Punk Taking His Ball and Going Home:

I think this has everything to do with his money and creative. The fact that no one from WWE reportedly has said anything about compensation around the WWE Network is a travesty. If I was one of those independent contractors whose money is tied into pay per view buys I would be pissed about this. CM Punk never got the answers he wanted and it turned him into a very bitter man.

If you go back to 2011 and his pipe bomb promos all he wanted to do was change the WWE. Get rid of the people like The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, and Randy Orton from the main event scene and give other people the opportunity to main event WrestleMania and other huge events. In the past 31 PPV events since then 1 of those 4 men was in the main event except for 3 events. 3 EVENTS, out of 31. Think about that for a minute. Now he sees another part timer (Batista) in the main event of WrestleMania for virtually no reason when you have at the very least Daniel Bryan in the background.

Now to the reality of this whole thing….I would not be surprised if this was just one big work. As in, Hulk Hogan or Vince McMahon walks out with CM Punk and somehow he ends up facing Triple H at Mania. Also, I have a feeling the main event is going to become a Triple Threat with Daniel Bryan involved maybe due to some screwjob ending at Elimination Chamber. I just can't see someone giving up the massive payday that is WrestleMania for no good reason.

Let's Count Cleveland Browns Management People:

  • Total Number of Head Coaches: 2
  • Total Number of General Managers: 2
  • Total Number of Presidents: 2
  • Total Number of Quarterbacks: 0

    What an absolute mess in Cleveland. I don't know what to think about all of this but if they find a way to win next year (like 7 or more) all this will be forgotten.

    You Never Talked About The Super Bowl:

    It was boring, the commercials were terrible, and now it's over. At least I made money betting the game.

    The WWE Network went live on Monday morning. I am probably the most excited about something the WWE has done since the beginning of WWE Classics on Demand. It is just going to be awesome to be able to watch so much of the library at any given time. It is going to bring a lot of changes to the industry and I will be talking about the Top Ten Changes in this list.

     photo TenCount_zps6b46e6e2.png

    Here are the Ground Rules
  • There really aren't any rules except it needs to have something to do with the WWE Network

    AND NOW *The Top 10 Ways the WWE Network Will Change the Business *

    #10. {More "Off Script" Stuff}

    Wrestlers have opinions about stuff and sometimes they don't need writers to write stuff for them. There are so many hours to fill with pre and post shows, roundtables, the talk show they are thinking of doing, and I'm sure many other things. Everyone is going to have the opportunity to show their "real" personalities and they need to take advantage of that. My hope is after the powers that be see all the "off script" ability of many of these superstars and allows them to try that on the shows as well.

    #9. {Positive Effect on Independents}

    I know this sounds a little counterintuitive but follow me on this one. Most of the people that follow the Indies and WWE are the ones that might spend a high amount of money on certain if not all PPVs the WWE has. That's a huge chunk of money that they are spending that they could be spending on the independents. Now, by only spending $9.99/month for basically everything leaves that disposable income for other stuff. Some of that stuff might be iPPVs or tickets to events or merchandise at indie events. Even if none of that stuff happens, the network itself shouldn't hurt anyone and it might even help.

    #8. {Blueprint for Other Companies}

    There are a ton of companies, both in sports and entertainment, looking at this network and saying…."I wonder if we can do this as well". Just like WWE is probably paying MLB Media a nice chunk of change to help them build the infrastructure for the network there might be other companies paying WWE in the future to help them. I'm thinking the biggest player in this might be the NFL. If they are partners with other companies that money might more than offset the expense of the network today. And if that happens, look out, as the WWE might become one of the pioneers of this new "over the top" media landscape yields huge profits.

    #7. {More Legends will Return}

    I am writing this the day that Hulk Hogan officially signed back with WWE so there's that. You also have "Legends House" which was filmed a while ago. The network is going to allow younger fans who may not have been alive to see 1970s and 1980s wrestling to understand and recognize the legends of the business. Once that happens, the value they have on television goes up and we'll see many of them make returns. Once they are on TV again, their value on the autograph circuit goes up and they are more in demand for seminars and independent appearances. All are really good things for those who need the extra payday.

    #6. {Several PPV Companies will Drop WWE PPVs}

    Remember how I was supposed to write this column about a month ago….well I came up with the 10 reasons back then as well. This was something all of us could see coming a mile away. DISH Network doesn't want the hassle of putting PPVs on their network if they are going to be somewhere else for "free". I think this is moronic as I can't imagine the overhead being that high for the actual showing of these PPVs on their network. I do know that companies love to make money so there must be something to this. It will be interesting to see how many "buys" the lesser PPVs have as I believe virtually all the people that buy those events will be network subscribers. PPV as we know it might be coming to an end.

    #5. {Superstars Get to Show Their Real Personalities}

    I mentioned earlier that superstars will get the chance to go "off script" more but more than that they will be able to show their real personalities. John Cena and his Make-A-Wish stuff, Daniel Bryan's nature living, Brie Bella's whatever she does but it will make these people even more real. This should be a good thing but could be a bad thing. My hope is that the superstars see this as an awesome opportunity for them to differentiate themselves from all the other people on the roster. The ones that do will bring that confidence and charisma to mainstream WWE TV, the others will just go away.

    #4. {NXT Will Become New ECW}

    I actually think this is a little bit of a problem as you might be showing people on "TV" that might not be ready. I like the fact that these soon-to-be superstars get the chance to hone their skills not under the hot lights of TV. Putting NXT on WWE Network while cool allows the diehard fans to form opinions of these superstars which might not be the best thing for them. It makes repackaging for the big show very tough and gives ammunition to everyone about their "crappy" performances. I completely understand the reason to put it on the network (live action is good, something different) but it seems like the wrong move. Keep in mind, 1 superstar emerged from the ashes of WWECW and that was CM Punk who by the way was already a star.

    #3. {More Wrestling, Less Other Stuff in WWE}

    They are putting on a wrestling network whether they like it or not so a refocusing on wrestling is going to be in order. The WWE is already starting this as we are heading much less about the movie studio and other areas of the company and more about the in ring stuff. John Cena was talking about this on the Steve Austin Show podcast (which is great by the way). He mentioned that WWE is trying to do more in ring stuff as that translates better to the international audience than a promo does. The minute he said that I thought….WOW, that's really insightful and smart. The action in the ring needs no translation while a translated promo might not have the same impact as the original English one. Also, the amount of time needed to do this network well makes it the #2 priority of the company which means no more really bad movies. I'm all for this move, do the long promos on the network and the action for TV.

    #2. {WWE Content 24/7/365}

    The Holy Grail for companies is that you think of them when you wake up, all day long, and when you go to sleep. There are millions of people who check their Facebook when they wake up, or Twitter, or CNN, or ESPN but for WWE even their biggest fans might only think about them 3 or 4 times a week. The WWE Network gives fans the opportunity to consume new content or forgotten content all day, every day. This gives the company more eyeballs on them at any given time which leads to more money in their bank accounts. It also allows WWE to capitalize on their massive library to provide that content. The libraries are probably the most valuable, non-people, asset in WWE today. You can now thank WWE for giving you everything you need to think about them 24/7/365.

    #1. {TV Shows are the Biggest Thing for WWE}

    That's right, PPVs will become just another TV show that is exclusive for WWE Network maybe with the exception of WrestleMania. All the other PPVs will just become another show. The biggest thing for WWE today, tomorrow, and for years to come are those weekly ratings for Monday Night Raw and SmackDown. That's why WWE Network will not be replaying those shows at all. Recaps, sure…Highlights, okay….Pre and Post Game Shows, you got it….but the shows themselves, absolutely not. Getting the huge payday for the TV rights is priority #1 in WWE right now, don't let them fool you. Sports leagues get billions of dollars for TV rights and most of them don't get the same ratings as WWE. The WWE deserves a huge TV rights deal but they aren't getting it because they are wrestling. It is why Stephanie McMahon is the CBO for the company, to get that deal. TV shows are now the biggest thing for the company and without the huge rights fees the network will have to go away since those PPV dollars are not coming in.

    So there you have it, the Top 10 Ways WWE Network Will Change the Business! What is your opinion?

    Tweet Me: @EvanDaniels411
    Email Me: evan.daniels411@gmail.com
    Make Fun of Me in the Comments Section: Keep Scrolling

    Next week, I will list my Top 10 WWE Pay-Per-Views.

    After that, there will be a number of special WrestleMania Top 10 Lists to commemorate the 30th edition.

    Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.


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