The WWE strategically plans just about every facet of the world they’ve created. Vince McMahon and company make sure to market the WWE through a very specific plan. They make sure to use specific marketing plans and set up a strict routine of guidelines for all employees to follow. Wrestlers, broadcasters, backstage personnel and office employees all have to adhere to the message WWE wants to get out there. This often consists of both sides of the spectrum with the company wanting to talk about certain topics as much as humanly possible, but completely ignoring other aspects of the business.
Most of the talking points WWE wants to get out there portray the company in a positive light. They want to compete with every sport and form of entertainment rather than just get hit with the label of pro wrestling. WWE wants to compete with the NFL, Marvel and Disney rather than TNA, ROH and New Japan. The topics and facts WWE wants to stray away from could paint them in a negative light or make them look foolish so they will pretend it doesn’t exist. We’ll look at both sides of the coin with seven things WWE loves to discuss and eight things they strongly avoid.
15 Strongly Avoid: The Old NXT
NXT is currently one of the most valuable assets in the WWE. The touring developmental brand has created many stars for the company while selling out major arenas. NXT has already sold out the Barclays Center for the second consecutive SummerSlam weekend. Triple H’s vision has helped showcase the new core of stars for the company. However, the letters NXT didn’t always signify such optimism and hope.
14 Love To Discuss: Monday Night Wars
Remember the 90s? WWE sure does. The Monday Night Wars were the hottest time in the wrestling industry with WWE and WCW competing head to head every week. Both promotions would battle over ratings, PPV buy rates, free agent talents and, quite frankly, ego. This was the closest WWE ever came to getting run off the road by a competitor. Things turned around for Vince McMahon with Steve Austin and The Rock leading The Attitude Era.
13 Strongly Avoid: Batista’s Acting Career
Wrestling fans enjoyed watching former WWE Superstar Batista become a massive star in the entertainment industry. His role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy made him a household name leading to many more impressive gigs. Batista holds a grudge against WWE for booking him poorly during his last run that caused fans to turn against him. The company then made a huge mistake in not recognizing his future success as an actor.
12 Love to Discuss: The Rock’s Acting Career
Unlike Batista, WWE is proud of The Rock becoming one of the biggest names in all of entertainment. The Rock has to be considered a top ten celebrity in the world right now and it doesn’t surprise wrestling fans as he entertained audiences for years during The Attitude Era. The charisma and personality of The Rock was extraordinarily special. Vince McMahon’s business acumen was on display when he partnered for a credit in many of Rock’s early projects.
11 Strongly Avoid: HOF Credentials
The process of WWE selecting additions to the Hall of Fame is awfully confusing. On one hand, the all-time greats get inducted and celebrated for their accomplishments in the world of professional wrestling. Credible championship reigns, the ability to draw fans into the building and years of excellent matches all seem like the ideal formula for choosing who enters. It seemed accurate until people like The Godfather, Koko B. Ware and Bob Armstrong got inducted.
10 Love To Discuss: Buzz Words
The annoying marketing strategy of WWE has led to various terms replacing common words in the lexicon of the company. Sadly, most of the terms are absolutely ridiculous. Instead of being referred to as wrestlers or the sport of wrestling, WWE demands the buzz words of Superstars and sports entertainment instead. The worst part is they go overboard, consistently using the terms as a way to condition the audience into accepting them.
9 Strongly Avoid: Terrible Creative Process
WWE doesn’t go in depth about their process of putting together on-screen product we watch every week. The company has gone from Vince McMahon and a writer or two booking the show to having a giant staff of writers. Every wrestler complains about having their words completely scripted with little to no input. Chris Jericho has bragged on his Talk is Jericho podcast about ripping up scripts and turning down ideas to get his way.
8 Love To Discuss: WWE Network
The WWE Network has become the most important aspect in the company. Vince McMahon took a huge risk in ditching the traditional PPV plan for a monthly streaming service available at a moderate price. The approach to market the future of the company has led to the company plugging it constantly on every single show. You can’t blame them and it gives us all the best value for our dollar as fans, but it can become too repetitive.
7 Strongly Avoid: TNA
WWE has changed their stance on discussing other promotions and have actually become quite progressive. Former stars getting signed have their past reputations discussed to help get them over. A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows get to have their Bullet Club days referenced every week on commentary with their New Japan accolades being named. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are having their long history in ROH and PWG used to put over their feud on WWE television.
6 Love To Discuss: John Cena’s Charity Work
The greatest accomplishment in John Cena’s spectacular career has to be all of his charitable work behind the scenes. Cena has a staggering record for granting the most wishes to children with terminal illnesses. It is an honor to Cena that these brave kids want to meet him out of everyone in the world as their biggest wish and he tries to make time for as many as possible. WWE loves Cena’s commitment to the company and doing the work on their behalf.
5 Strongly Avoid: Fans Hatred Towards Roman Reigns
Anyone with the ability to hear clearly knows just how much a large percentage of the WWE fan base despises Roman Reigns. The most popular reason for the disdain towards him is WWE putting all of their faith in Reigns at the expense of other fan favorites. The favoritism shown towards Reigns put him on the wrong side of the fan perception and it led to fans naturally rejecting him. Reigns responded back to the fans harshly and that created a negative relationship.
4 Love To Discuss: Global Reach
The big talking point for the WWE at various events is the company becoming a global brand. While always practicing patriotism, WWE has grown their positioning in various countries all over the planet. The international talent is rising in numbers on the roster of WWE and NXT. Money is money in every form of currency and WWE wants it coming from all angles. They put over the reach with television deals and Network access in many different languages and countries.
3 Strongly Avoid: Wrestler Deaths
One of the saddest truths about the professional wrestling business is the percentage of young deaths from the industry as compared to just about every other field. WWE will honor the memories of deceased wrestlers within the week of the news. You’ll see the tweets expressing condolences and a video tribute to the life of the talent to have passed away. Following that, the company will try to distance themselves from any discussions about the death toll in wrestling rising.
2 Love To Discuss: Social Media
The biggest change in the WWE over the past decade has been their reliance on social media. WWE does extremely well on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Most of the major WWE stars have more followers than the top stars in the NFL and MLB. Live WWE shows typically dominate the trending topics over any other show or news competing against them. With other metrics showing a decline in WWE’s product, they love to discuss their thriving success on social media.
1 Strongly Avoids: Television Ratings
The change in culture has led to the WWE relying on social media success but ignoring ratings failures. Television is in a weird place with many young adults cutting the cord on cable and watching their content through online means. This opens up the WWE Network as a more valued commodity to that crowd and WWE is hoping it’s truly the way of the future. Raw and SmackDown ratings have dropped dramatically in the past couple of years because of the growing trend.
WWE tries to talk their way out of the record low ratings for their weekly product. Triple H frequently answers questions about the rating loss by talking about the other ways people watch the product through Hulu and YouTube. The numbers look terrible when you see ratings at the lowest it has consistently been in decades, but the WWE is working hard to avoid referencing it. Vince McMahon is definitely reacting with the brand split, hopefully adding excitement to the television product but WWE will never publicly address the ratings troubles or anything of the sort.
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