BONUS SHOW: Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards

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John Pollock is joined by WH Park for a special bonus show as the two go through this year’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards for 2019. They will run through the top picks in each category with their own analysis of the various categories.

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Some of these categories are very flawed. Paul Levesque is not a promoter, so he cannot be in the Promoter of the Year award. He can be the best booker. Promoters to me, are only two people, Dana White and Vince McMahon. And it’s weird to me that WWE is worst promotion while it is also the second best promotion. Also, don’t know why there is a need for MVP awards for specific continents.


Yeah it’s got serious flaws

How is Becky Lynch the female MVP over Ronda? Makes no sense when you consider how much revenue and exposure Ronda brings in, including allowing them to headline Wrestlemania.

I think the WWE being worst and second best is stupid - clearly UFC was better than WWE this last year so how they end up below WWE makes no sense.


That’s arguable. The UFC had the biggest event with Conor/Khabib but I’m pretty sure the WWE did better TV numbers, and they ended up getting a better TV deal then the UFC (although both companies benefited). Having a combined 2 fights from Conor/Brock/GSP/JBJ/Diaz(s) has to be considered a (financial) disappointment. Plus all the main event cancellations and injuries that plagued them in the first half of the year.

I just dunno how NJPW wins over WWE for promotion of the year. I’m not saying I enjoy the WWE’s product more or less, but the goal of a promotion is to make money and WWE does that in spades… also NJ really saw some poor performance in the US in terms of ticket sales, right?

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People seem to have forgot what “promotion” is and use it as booking.

And UFC did it better with the but rate of Khabib/Connor.

But if we talking wall street numbers…

I wouldn’t have a problem if someone wanted to go UFC here. I probably wouldn’t because of the seeming lack of promotion/development of other draws – but I dunno if that’s necessarily their fault or just where PPV is heading.

The UFC just did their biggest PPV number of all-time last October and Jon Jones topped 1.2 million buys within nine weeks.

For the big fights, PPV is bigger than ever. At the end of the year, it will be an interesting study to look at their PPV business what correlation the added ESPN exposure provides.

The fact Silva-Adesanya did 175,000 buys is a mild sign towards the ESPN theory, but it’s early to make conclusions.

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I get they did tremendous numbers but who else aside from Conor and Jones is going to bring those draws for them these days? Khabib certainly could be getting there. I kind of hope his next one isn’t against Conor again just to see what kind of draw he may or may not be now.

But I guess I’m just looking at the promotion and curious to see if the UFC can build another star for PPV. I know it seems like I’m trying to go out of my way to not credit them. But it just seems like Jones (who didn’t exactly draw well by himself before the latest suspension) and Conor aside, they can’t seem to get a big number even with guys they promote to the hills like a Cormier.

yeah I think you and John are pretty much saying the same thing. It isn’t that “PPV is dead”, its just a lack of starpower and an over-saturation of fight cards (for most fans of course, I could watch a card a day and never get bored). And you’re right, aside from Conor, JBJ and Brock Lesnar, there isn’t anyone who’s likely to do over 500k PPV buys.

That all being said, I think it doesn’t get brought up enough that even the lowest selling PPV’s the UFC puts out are profitable. Demetrious Johnson is often cited as a fighter that was death on PPV, but he never headlined a card that didn’t make profit. So for now at least, the UFC shouldn’t have to worry too much about their lack of big name stars. Kind of like the WWE, the brands name carries alot of weight.

Huh. I did not realize that. Thanks for the info.

I completely forgot about the possibility of a Brock fight this year too. Which stands to be a monster buyrate.

Yeah I think its fair to say a Brock fight would probably do around a minimum of 800k. It should be noted though that from my understanding, that while PPV’s that do a really low buyrate (like under 150k) are profitable, they are not as profitable as a fight night under this new ESPN deal. I’m not a proponent of less cards, but I do think less PPV’s would be a benefit to the company.

I still laugh at the promoter one.

Harold May over Dana White??

This makes so little sense they should just scrap the catagory. It’s obvious people voting have no idea what the job of a promoter is

After te ESPN/UFC announcement today…safe to say that PPV is dead now.

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Lol R.I.P. PPV. This was all incredibly well timed.

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The 2018 Female MVP Race:

Ronda Rousey: Starting pitcher that won 20 games but went 2-5 down the stretch
Becky Lynch: Trade deadline acquisition that hit .350 with 9 HRs down the stretch

And didn’t increase fan attendance.

If Rousey went on a Smackdown watch the viewership increase.

Becky Lynch ain’t moving the needle no matter how hard they’re trying.

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Non-North American audience:


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NJPW had better storylines and matches so, creatively they were the best promotion of the year.