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Hardcore Casual
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Discussion Starter #1
Most are probably familiar with the circumstances surrounding the WWE's attempt to put on its first true super card, WrestleMania, and how much of a financial risk it was for Vince. But in the end it paid off and put WWF on the map at that moment in time. Fast forward to today, and we see the same event barely bump WWE Network subscriptions by 250,000 and most of them end up never becoming paying customers. Is it time for WWE to take another risk with its flagship event to garner more casual attention? Possible options:
  • Simulcasting on network television and alternative media. The first Super Bowl was simultaneously broadcast on CBS and NBC. If WWE could leverage its relationship with FOX or NBC, as well as other alternative IP-based platforms (e.g. YouTube, Facebook Watch, Twitch), it should get them a great deal more exposure. It would obviously also be aired live on the WWE Network without commercials, with exclusive content and contests for those already subscribed.
  • Halftime Show. I know most wrestling fans cringe at the idea, and the last thing WrestleMania needs to be is longer, but if done right (i.e. not by Vince), it's one of the best methods of "eventification." This doesn't necessarily need to be a permanent thing, but wrestling parlayed into the mainstream in the 80s by leveraging celebrity and mainstream exposure (e.g. MTV), and the Super Bowl really became a cultural force when it started to include iconic halftime performances (19 of the top-20 most watched telecasts in the USA are the Super Bowl, and only one of the them (1986) is from prior to 1993 when MJ performed and NFL started to seriously invest in the halftime show).
  • Exponentially lower the cost of a commercial license to broadcast content. Currently the WWE can charge over $5000.00 (through Joe Hand Productions) for a commercial license to broadcast a single PPV (far more than UFC), depending on establishment fire code occupancy. Vince is so haughty he assumes that a WWE event will fill out a sports bar and thus charges an astronomical price, which ends up being counterproductive to grassroots/groundswell marketing. WWE is basically in a place right now where it should be begging for any casual exposure it can get, not making access to its content cost-prohibitive. Lower the price, include complimentary promotional material etc.
Thoughts?
 

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1980s Vince was a much different man to 2020 Vince, unfortunately.

When Vince took out shady loans to buy out his old man, and agreed to give it all back if he missed one payment he felt like he had to take huge risk. The same applied in the 90s when he faced bankruptcy. Clearly this is when McMahon is at his brilliant best, when it was a matter of life or death.

2020 Vince has no need to even think of taking these risks. The company is too big, and he's too rich. One thing we can safely say is without pressure he works on auto-pilot.

I without doubt agree the product should have a radical shift, and WrestleMania needs refreshing itself, but even with ratings sinking the bastard still keeps making more money! People are different, some entrepreneurs are innovators always taking risks to change the world, others it's all about money. For Vince it's clearly about dollar signs only, which is a huge shame as we can't deny his brilliance when he was forced to be.
 

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Cutting a Shoot Promo To Get Over
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Keep in mind the calibre of guests WWE could potentially draw for a halftime show. You don't have to like them, but would Beyonce, U2, Coldplay or Chilli Peppers do Wrestlemania? Would WWE pay them what they wanted? I can get along with the novelty of a guest like this but even if they did do it they will outshine the WWE superstars. Even die-hard fans of the artist are not paying for Wrestlemania or even watching the show on a simulcast as you suggest.

Pound for pound, getting a big name from UFC or Boxing (Mayweather) or paying for a band to perform the theme (Motorhead & Living Color) or even a special entrance song (See Wrestlemania 28) for a match is a much better choice for everyone.
 

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Hardcore Casual
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Discussion Starter #7
Keep in mind the calibre of guests WWE could potentially draw for a halftime show. You don't have to like them, but would Beyonce, U2, Coldplay or Chilli Peppers do Wrestlemania? Would WWE pay them what they wanted? I can get along with the novelty of a guest like this but even if they did do it they will outshine the WWE superstars. Even die-hard fans of the artist are not paying for WrestleMania or even watching the show on a simulcast as you suggest.
Why wouldn't they if it's on free-to-air TV like FOX, and on free IP-based platforms? I do completely understand what you're saying in terms of the calibre of stars they could attract, but that's part of the risk I'm talking about. Ponying up a few million dollars for, say, 3 years as a trial, and focusing on more affordable but highly-regarded artists/bands could potentially pay off big time, albeit with its risks.

And I'm not sure upstaging is really a big deal because the types of entertainment are so different. How do you go about comparing a music artist to a wrestler in any qualitative way? Obviously the former appeals to a wider demographic, but that's the aim of this type of advertising strategy: bring in the masses and hopefully a fraction of them will also find wrestling entertaining and stick around.

or paying for a band to perform the theme (Motorhead & Living Color) or even a special entrance song (See Wrestlemania 28) for a match is a much better choice for everyone.
Well this is kind of what I'm saying. What would be the issue with Motorhead playing a 15-minute set, and the last song was Triple H's entrance? It doesn't necessarily have to be formatted as a halftime show like the Super Bowl. It could be sporadic appearances throughout the night in different capacities (think Lauper in the 80s), entrance music etc.
 

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1. Take your PPV's overseas. Have 12 throughout the year, in Australia, Canada, England, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, India and promote, promote, promote! Have your stars set up camp in India for two weeks meeting the fans. New markets that WWE barely bother with. It's World Wrestling Entertainment, not American Wrestling Entertainment.

2. Speaking of which, I love the half time show idea. Unfortunately again, the WWE don't get guests that anyone outside of the US give a shit about. I think 15 minutes at Mania for someone to sing and entertain the crowd could work if they get the right people.

3. Speaking of the crowd, get them involved. AEW looks amazing when they get the crowd into it. I had the idea of Killer Kross debuting by pulling a fire alarm or making a threat, making everyone need to physically leave the arena. It might piss them off but it would love great for television. I'm not sure if it happens during ads, but I've seen Justin Roberts hyping the crowd up.

4. No more cool heels. Make them hated. Bring in Bully Ray or JBL or someone to train them on how to be a proper heel.

5. Wrestling isn't cool. Let them get on Youtube or tv and live their gimmicks. Bring Kayfabe back and be larger than life. Create something like the Screwjob and fake fights backstage. And for the love of god, stop listening to Meltzer or any other bullshit guesser.

6. Make things matter. Their titles look like shit and that's the major prize. If the fans don't care about the titles then it makes the show worthless. Have their wrestlers showing up on TV with their belts. Have someone put on Instagram videos waiting outside of The Rocks house. Push yourself into mainstream media. Whether it is by being rebellious or just good, must see tv.

I know a lot of this isn't just about Wrestlemania but this company needs to sort it's shit out
 

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Yes, they should. It`s actually a better plan than WWE selling its other PPVs to other companies to host like UFC. At least by putting WM on FOX, the Network can still be a draw, as you have to still sign up to watch the other PPVs. It also help to promote their stars on free tv to an audience that might not watch wrestling, but might watch a spectacle like WM, much like how many tune in to the Superbowl. Its probably the nudge needed to finally make Rollins, Reigns, Bryan, Styles, Nakamura, Charlotte, Sasha & Becky household names, since they're almost there anyways.

Selling those other PPVs to other providers like UFC does not seem like a good idea though. I feel doing so a) negates a key selling point of the Network, and b) no one is going to buy PPVs priced more than what it costs to sign up for the Network. IDC if the UFC also does it. Outside of Conor McGregor, Khabib, Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes, they don’t really have anyone notable right now. They are dependent on star power just like WWE, and they won’t draw anyone to their PPVs if they don’t have any stars.
 

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3. Speaking of the crowd, get them involved. AEW looks amazing when they get the crowd into it. I had the idea of Killer Kross debuting by pulling a fire alarm or making a threat, making everyone need to physically leave the arena. It might piss them off but it would love great for television. I'm not sure if it happens during ads, but I've seen Justin Roberts hyping the crowd up.
That's the most stupid thing I've ever read on this forum, since I joined in 2006. Well done.
 

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That's the most stupid thing I've ever read on this forum, since I joined in 2006. Well done.
It would work with NXT with a smaller crowd. You must not have read much on here over the past 14 years. But I don't know what I expected from a Bronie who obviously just learned how to read. I'd like to read your ideas
 

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It seems like a decent idea, I guess, although are any of those really all that risky? I personally don't think so.


Now it looks like it's over although you want risky have a violent no DQ tornado tag match between Lana and Lashley and Liv and Rusev, I think that could be good.


Although why not have a wild multi women's no DQ falls count anywhere match at Wrestlemania? I think that could be good as well.
 
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