The deal which has seen WWE climb into bed with FOX to the tune of around $1 billion has certainly caused a bit of a stir within mainstream media, as well as within pro wrestling as a whole.
It's obviously a phenomenal deal that is going to bode well for the company, but instead of endlessly praising it, we want to try and pick out the points that we consider to be a little bit questionable about it all. Calling it 'questionable' may, in itself, be an odd thing to say, but you can't have a contract with that sort of money involved that doesn't feature some scrutiny.
10 Rupert Murdoch Association
While you could make the argument that he isn’t quite as involved in it all as he once was, FOX as a whole is the brainchild and baby of Rupert Murdoch and that much is just a fact.
The guy is the leading force behind so many corporations and sources of evil in this world, and supporting him in any way, shape or form just seems and feels a little bit wrong. People don’t really point towards him when referencing the relationship between the two parties, but we just think it’s an anecdote that needs to be appreciated.
9 Corporate Decisions
Sometimes in life, business and all that fun stuff, word comes down from the top that things need to change. Most of the time we don’t actually like or appreciate that change which, in more ways than one, is understandable.
Alas, we have to swallow our pride and deal with it – which is the sort of position WWE finds themselves in at this moment in time. They are well and truly at the mercy of FOX in every single way imaginable, and that’s not the sort of ‘freedom’ they’ll want to be operating with.
8 Pressure From The Money
FOX paid a lot of money to acquire WWE’s services and everything that comes with that, which is fair enough. They’ve made an investment that they believe will pay off, and in the early stages of their relationship, it doesn’t appear as if the world is falling down around them quite as much as many would’ve anticipated.
With that being said, though, you’d have to think WWE will feel a certain pressure to perform under the bright lights as a direct result of that investment. Vince certainly seems to be softening in his old age, and the idea that he isn’t the alpha in this situation isn’t something he’ll be comfortable with.
7 Damages RAW
With Michael Cole and Corey Graves being moved to SmackDown, and with the blue brand coming second at Survivor Series ahead of RAW who finished in last place, it’s pretty clear to see that there has been a shift regarding what the top show really is in WWE nowadays.
As a direct result, RAW seems to have lost some of its shine. You could argue that there are still plenty of top stars who compete over there, and you’d be right, but there still appears to be something lacking and that sort of divide can’t be great for the future of the ‘flagship’ show.
6 FS1 Switches
We’ve actually already seen SmackDown get switched over to FS1, leading to a big tank in viewership. While it’s understandable to see them pull this every so often if there’s some sort of clash, it’s an absolute disaster for WWE’s overall product.
They want to get SmackDown out there to the viewing public, and they don’t want to be forced into a corner courtesy of FOX’s poor scheduling. Again, it just seems as if there’s no real communication going on between the two, and that’s something we should all be worried about.
5 FOX Getting Bored?
FOX likes to play with a toy for a while and then move on to something else every so often, especially when the results aren’t being produced that they want to see.
Even if they are, it’s more about whatever is in their line of vision at any given time. The ‘spotlight’ is an important thing in any walk of life and especially with a high profile network, so what happens when FOX signs a new deal with another major company?
After all, with their UFC deal, it really did seem like they stopped trying.
4 The WrestleMania Query
There has been some rumblings as of late that WWE would consider airing WrestleMania weekend events, potentially even including WrestleMania itself, on the FOX Network.
That completely goes against what we’ve come to know or expect in the last few years, which is the WWE Network hosting the show or potentially a pay per view provider.
It would feel more like a power play than anything else, and it wouldn’t give Mania the sort of special shine that it tends to receive on the Network year in and year out.
3 WWE Backstage Blurring The Lines
WWE Backstage delves into the behind the scenes nature of both WWE and professional wrestling, and it’s a pretty fun show. It isn’t great, but it’s passable, and that’s not a bad position to be in at this early stage of its run.
However, given that it’s on the same network and the WWE on FOX Twitter account tweets about it an awful lot, we can’t help but feel like the lines are being blurred ever so slightly.
It’s an important show, but when do we know what to believe and what not to believe?
2 The CM Punk Dispute
CM Punk and WWE are not the best of friends and nor should they be. After all, they’ve both done things to the other that hasn’t been particularly pleasant, and they’ve never really shown all too many regrets for that.
As such, Punk’s presence on WWE Backstage as a FOX employee serves as a stumbling block. Punk is going to do and say what he wants on the show and that’s absolutely fine, even if it does feel a little bit odd to go against WWE in such a manner.
How will it be resolved? We literally have no idea.
1 Ratings Emphasis
These days it’s pretty standard to see RAW and SmackDown drawing around the two million mark, with the latter attempting to build up an even greater audience courtesy of the FOX move.
While those figures may be great right now, there’s a threat in play that could see things become a little bit more stagnant as the months and even years go on. FOX will, inevitably, re-evaluate the situation at that stage, which could lead to a big shape up as well as many big decisions being made within the company.