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The W - Pro Wrestling - Vince on Mania, TNA, Hitman...
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Packman V2
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
from Acorn Online http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/arts/features/53533-after-26-years-wrestlemania-is-still-special-to-wwe-owner.html

-----------------------------------------------------------
Written by Ken Borsuk
Thursday, 25 March 2010 13:39

One of the biggest days on the sports entertainment calendar arrives Sunday, March 28, when Wrestlemania XXVI takes place before a packed University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be watched by millions more on pay-per-view.

And when the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) invades Glendale, Ariz., the biggest feuds of the year will culminate on the grandest stage of them all. Not only is John Cena challenging Batista for the WWE Championship and Chris Jericho is putting his World Championship on the line against Edge, but the Undertaker is betting his legendary Wrestlemania undefeated streak against Shawn Michaels’ career in a rematch of last year’s classic match, and those are just some of the highlights of a star-studded card.

The excitement around this special event doesn’t end with the fan, it extends all the way up to the company’s owner, Greenwich resident Vince McMahon.

“There’s an extra amount of excitement,” Mr. McMahon said. “It’s the culmination to a year of buildup for us. ...Wrestlemania was the first pay-per-view we did on a national basis and to be able to do it, we literally risked everything we owned. So every Wrestlemania is special. To us it’s like the Oscars or the Grammys or the World Series or the Super Bowl.”

The story surrounding the first Wrestlemania, March 31, 1985 at Madison Square Garden, is nearly as legendary as the event itself. At a time when wrestling companies still held fast to the idea of regional territories, the McMahons were pushing their company toward a national presence. It was a risky venture and Mr. McMahon and his wife Linda literally staked ownership of the company on its success.

Ultimately, the marriage of pop culture to professional wrestling changed the industry’s landscape, allowing Wrestlemania to become a globally recognized event. Today you don’t even have to be a sports entertainment fan to know what Wrestlemania is.

“It has grown into everything I ever wanted it to be, but we’re still not there yet,” Mr. McMahon said. “There’s more that can be done, but it’s grown every year into something that people can’t miss.”

WWE has changed in the last few years and embraced a more family-friendly style for its weekly television shows. According to Mr. McMahon, the shift has allowed the company to grow and appeal to a more diverse audience, including women, who he says now make up 40% of the company’s audience, as well as the children who will make up the next generation of fans.

“At heart I think we’ve always been a bit of a family affair,” Mr. McMahon said. “If you look at the audience for our live events you will see fathers and sons and mothers and sons and brothers and sisters. This is something an entire family can go out and enjoy together. It’s a lot like baseball in that respect.”

The wrestling landscape itself has also changed in the last six months. For years WWE battled rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in what fans remember as the “Monday Night Wars” because both companies had programs going head to head Monday night. WWE decisively won the war in 2001 with the end of WCW, but this month Total Nonstop Action (TNA) moved its wrestling program to Monday nights directly against WWE’s flagship program RAW.

WWE isn’t sweating it though and the ratings have so far backed that confidence up, with millions more preferring WWE programming. Mr. McMahon even goes as far at to say TNA is “not competition.”

“We’re in different businesses,” Mr. McMahon said. “We’re in the entertainment business and they’re in the ‘pro wrasslin’ business. It’s different markets. When they moved to Monday nights they threw the kitchen sink at us and only did a fraction of our audience. It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action. I don’t think that’s what the culture wants these days.”

With the company producing movies, books, DVDs, monthly pay-per-views and hours of weekly television without any reruns, Mr. McMahon said WWE is more comparable to a company like Disney than to TNA.

“We’re woven into the fabric of Americana,” Mr. McMahon said.

But Mr. McMahon’s focus isn’t just on his company’s performance, since at this year’s Wrestlemania, he will be facing off against the legendary Bret “The Hitman” Hart in a match that has been building for nearly 13 years around real personal animosity Hart felt for his former boss. It’s not the first time Mr. McMahon has competed at Wrestlemania, but he is hoping it will be the last.

“It makes things more difficult,” Mr. McMahon admitted. “I really much more prefer working behind the scenes as a director and a producer than being part of the action. I do hope this will be my last time in the ring, but I say that after every match I’m in. I’m 64 years old and while I’m in great physical condition and I never want to say never, I really don’t want to do this again.”

However, he knows how long fans have been waiting to see The Hitman get his hands on the diabolical Mr. McMahon and he said his goal is to give the audience what it wants. Plus as one of his company’s biggest villains, Mr. McMahon loves the reaction he gets from the crowd.

“It’s an exciting feeling,” Mr. McMahon said. “When you get an audience to react to you the way the audience always does to the Mr. McMahon character, it’s one of the greatest feelings you can get as a performer and it’s a real shot of adrenaline. Whether it’s good or bad, you want that reaction. The only thing you don’t want is for the audience to just sit there and do nothing. That’s the death knell.”

Next year’s Wrestlemania is already set for Atlanta and Mr. McMahon admits that as soon as this year’s is over, people will begin looking ahead on the calendar.

“After a Wrestlemania someone always says, ‘Gee, that was great. How can you top it?’” Mr. McMahon said. “And the answer always is, ‘I don’t know how we can. But I do know that we will.’”
-----------------------------------------------------------

He finally mentions "the competition", gloating with the kitchen sink comment, but mostly just keeps on point about Mania and his match with Bret...which he hopes is his last match...I think in all honesty, it should be, I at least hope it is.




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Since: 20.6.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.27
    Originally posted by Packman V2
    WWE isn’t sweating it though and the ratings have so far backed that confidence up, with millions more preferring WWE programming. Mr. McMahon even goes as far at to say TNA is “not competition.”

    “We’re in different businesses,” Mr. McMahon said. “We’re in the entertainment business and they’re in the ‘pro wrasslin’ business. It’s different markets. When they moved to Monday nights they threw the kitchen sink at us and only did a fraction of our audience. It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action. I don’t think that’s what the culture wants these days.”


Interesting comment. I find it hard to dispute, as a lot of us liked the ECW hardcore style and (later) the WWE/WCW hardcore style of garbage matches, but they eventually got old. And the more it got rehashed, the more it looked like wrestling was desperately trying to cling to the "edgy" banner. No matter how hard they tried, it wasn't cool to the old Attitude-era audience anymore. The solution? Hit the reset button and try to grow up with a whole new audience.

But if there's anything I like about the new direction, it's that it's forced the writers to get more creative. Without shock value and adult situations to fall back on as a crutch, the writers have been able to come up with great storylines. Compare the Katie Vick fiasco from seven years ago to Shawn Michaels' obsession with UT's streak. The latter is a much higher-quality storyline and it doesn't have to rely on shock value twists. Give the devil his due. Vince has a point. He contradicts himself with every Divas pillow fight, of course, but he's got a point nonetheless.

I can imagine this comment eating away at Eric Bischoff, who practically has Vince's picture on a dartboard. Bischoff's desperately trying to wage a war and Vince doesn't even think a war is being waged.




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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00

    It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action. I don’t think that’s what the culture wants these days.


Hmmm.

Top 10 shows last week, 18-49, from here, and excluding the basketball.

NameTawdry?Bloodsoaked?
American IdolNahNo
Undercover BossNoNo
HouseYesYes
Cold CaseYes?Occasionally?
LostYesYes!
The Amazing Racenono
The OfficeNahNo
60 MinutesNoNo
Desperate HousewivesYes!No?
Family GuyYes!No


Kind of a mix there. I'm afraid Vince McMahon might not be telling just the truth, but instead is presenting an opinion that presents himself in a better light. I'm shocked!



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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52

    “We’re in the entertainment business and they’re in the ‘pro wrasslin’ business. It’s different markets. It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action.


OMG. Greatest hits record here. Vince isn't just going back to 1997. He's in 1989.
Shadowhendrix
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Since: 27.6.08

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.88
I know a lot of people think Vince is full of it, but WWE really has evolved past the idea of pro wrestling. It is a media empire and the Disney comparison is very applicable with the addition of movies and comics in addition to wrestling. People should check out his in-depth Larry King appearance prior to WM24 that is up on youtube where he really puts over this idea.

(Aside: The King show with Vince, Cena, HHH, Jericho, is pretty entertaining. There is a hillarious exchange between the Jericho/HHH where King asks "So Vince basically tells you the two of you are fighting and HHH is gonna win this one after 20:00?" And Hunter is all like..."Yeah, that's pretty much how it usually goes." Which gets a nice snicker from Jericho.)

What gets people angry is that they WANT WWE to be a Pro-Wrestling Program, but frankly, it makes no sense for WWE to be a pro-wrestling program. They do REALLY well as an "entertainment" program that has pro-wrestling matches and a combination of hit and miss "entertainment" segments during a live television broadcast.

Contrast this with TNA who keeps claiming "WE ARE WRESTLING," and desperately wants to be an actual pro-wrestling program, but STILL manages to come off as WWE-lite on its best nights, STILL does skits like the BP playing strip poker, STILL rehashes the NWO, etc. It can't decide if it wants car crash attitude era "shoots" and talking about "the FORMAT," or if it wants to do super 80s-90s kayfabe angles about Hulk Hogan's hall of fame ring giving Abyss magical powers.



(edited by Shadowhendrix on 25.3.10 1839)
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.23
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro

      “We’re in the entertainment business and they’re in the ‘pro wrasslin’ business. It’s different markets. It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action.


    OMG. Greatest hits record here. Vince isn't just going back to 1997. He's in 1989.


Vince must not Get It™.



Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

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Since: 25.6.03
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.50

    “It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action.”


Well then, I take back the answer that I gave when WWE sent a poll out asking fans what type of match they wanted to see. If you're gonna do a bloodless War Games, I don't want any part of it, thanks very much.
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.89
That seems like exactly the answer that should be given by the husband of a political candidate.

Interestingly, the WWE said through multiple quotes that their competition is MMA, which is regularly blood-soaked. TNA wisely differentiates itself from the WWE by doing what the WWE no longer chooses to AND TNA does it on a channel with the most UFC exposure and 'Blue Mountain State,' a show pushing the basic-cable envelope.

It's a little sad that the WWE and ECW left TNN/Spike before its male-oriented programming became so interesting (no more monster trucks and trampoline basketball).



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.68
    Originally posted by thecubsfan

      It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action. I don’t think that’s what the culture wants these days.


    Hmmm.

    Top 10 shows last week, 18-49, from here, and excluding the basketball.

    NameTawdry?Bloodsoaked?
    American IdolNahNo
    Undercover BossNoNo
    HouseYesYes
    Cold CaseYes?Occasionally?
    LostYesYes!
    The Amazing Racenono
    The OfficeNahNo
    60 MinutesNoNo
    Desperate HousewivesYes!No?
    Family GuyYes!No


    Kind of a mix there. I'm afraid Vince McMahon might not be telling just the truth, but instead is presenting an opinion that presents himself in a better light. I'm shocked!

In fairness, I guess he was talking about what (he believes) people want from a wrestling show in 2010.

That aside I'm not sure I'd see House or Lost as "tawdry", and what blood there is tends to be brief and not overly gratuitous*.

    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    Interestingly, the WWE said through multiple quotes that their competition is MMA, which is regularly blood-soaked.

The statements aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Ultimately they're in competition to some extent with all things entertainment, but when MMA started to take off it became (more or less) a direct competitor. WWE decided that long-term they'd get their asses handed to them if they went head-to-head with MMA with their old product, so they decided to differentiate themselves by going down the family route. TNA, in turn, decided to fill what they saw as a gap in the market for a more "grown-up" wrestling show, similar to that which WWE just abandoned.

When he says they're not in competition with TNA he means that both companies could happily co-exist with relatively little overlap in their fan-base.

*Disclaimer - I gave up on Lost a couple years back, so if it now falls into tawdry/bloodsoaked territory then fair dos.
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Since: 10.12.01
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
re: Lost. A guy was running thru other people with a sword, then had the blood from a corpse dripping on his head. It was all quite something.

(edited by thecubsfan on 26.3.10 1136)


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rv581
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Since: 2.12.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.38

With the company producing movies, books, DVDs, monthly pay-per-views and hours of weekly television without any reruns, Mr. McMahon said WWE is more comparable to a company like Disney than to TNA.



Which is sorta ironic, since TNA films in Orlando. Mouse Country, USA! The capital city of the entire Disney Empire!

You know what would be an interesting poll? To see if today's wrestling fans online, at the arena, watching the TV shows, etc., consider themselves to be "wrestling fans" or "sports entertainment fans."

Vince might be surprised at the results.

Or maybe not, since he's trying to define his company not just to wrestling fans, but largely to mainstream America, to investors, to his wife's electorate, etc.... and "sports entertainment" probably sounds a lot better to 'em.



"Who ate my sandwich???"
Broncolanche
Sujuk








Since: 2.6.03
From: Littleton, CO

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.08
    Originally posted by rv581
    Or maybe not, since he's trying to define his company not just to wrestling fans, but largely to mainstream America, to investors, to his wife's electorate, etc.... and "sports entertainment" probably sounds a lot better to 'em.
Yeah, unfortunately the phrase "pro wrestling" has somewhat of a negative connotation with the general public.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.68
    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    re: Lost. A guy was running thru other people with a sword, then had the blood from a corpse dripping on his head. It was all quite something.

    (edited by thecubsfan on 26.3.10 1136)

Ah.

Your point on the bloodsoaked is indeed well made then. Also, this almost makes me regret giving up on the show

    Originally posted by rv581
    You know what would be an interesting poll? To see if today's wrestling fans online, at the arena, watching the TV shows, etc., consider themselves to be "wrestling fans" or "sports entertainment fans."

    Vince might be surprised at the results.

Most might well see themselves as both, or at least need you to explain what the difference was for the purposes of the question. I'm sure plenty of people who like what you would call sports entertainment would class themselves as wrestling fans.

Debating the results of hypothetical polls is a fruitless endeavour though. Over time, the ratings on Mondays should go some way to answer the question, albeit WWE has somewhat unfair advantages both in terms of being an established brand and also having a seemingly much lower "bonkers" coefficient amongst the decision makers in their company.

(edited by dMr on 26.3.10 1731)
rv581
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Since: 2.12.02

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.38
    Originally posted by Broncolanche
      Originally posted by rv581
      Or maybe not, since he's trying to define his company not just to wrestling fans, but largely to mainstream America, to investors, to his wife's electorate, etc.... and "sports entertainment" probably sounds a lot better to 'em.
    Yeah, unfortunately the phrase "pro wrestling" has somewhat of a negative connotation with the general public.

And this negative connotation is, at least partially, given greater credence when the #1 wrestling-affiliated company in America runs away from the term "pro wrestling" like it's akin to the plague.



"Who ate my sandwich???"
SchippeWreck
Banger








Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, CA

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.72
    Originally posted by thecubsfan
    Top 10 shows last week, 18-49, from here, and excluding the basketball.

    NameTawdry?Bloodsoaked?
    American IdolNahNo
    Undercover BossNoNo
    HouseYesYes
    Cold CaseYes?Occasionally?
    LostYesYes!
    The Amazing Racenono
    The OfficeNahNo
    60 MinutesNoNo
    Desperate HousewivesYes!No?
    Family GuyYes!No


    Kind of a mix there. I'm afraid Vince McMahon might not be telling just the truth, but instead is presenting an opinion that presents himself in a better light. I'm shocked!

Tiny nitpick, but I'd put a Yes under "Bloodsoaked?" for Family Guy. In the last couple of seasons, the violence has been ratcheted way up, even if it is just cartoon blood.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.13
I would watch American Idol if there were a few bloodsoaked shows.
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.40
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro

      “We’re in the entertainment business and they’re in the ‘pro wrasslin’ business. It’s different markets. It doesn’t speak well for the type of product they’re trying to present with the tawdry, blood-soaked action.


    OMG. Greatest hits record here. Vince isn't just going back to 1997. He's in 1989.


I actually got into wrestling when it was just 'Pro Wrasslin' so maybe that's the problem me and Vince have been having the last couple of years.

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