Capitalism, economics, and the wwe

Hear me out. I’ve definitely got leftist leanings, but I try to be fair to anyone arguing in good faith.

We know that any publically traded company’s goal is to increase market share and get more investors.

As such, I don’t see any changes to the WWE coming from fan disappointment. The marathon Wrestlemanas will continue and I can almost see the quality getting worse for more quantity to build attention for more investment.

Not only that, but since the rich in the US have gotten their tax cuts, quality has also gone down - as Vince and Co are more comfortable at the top.

I guess my point here is that giving everything to the rich hurts the wrestling fans who want a story they can believe in. The product is solely for more investors, and the more they’re catered to, the less we matter.


I would love to discuss this exact dilemma for hours. Blends my interests between business and wrestling. I’ll respond in short by just saying:

  • since the ratings slide post Mania the stock price has slid from near $100 to almost $70
  • during that time house show attendance, live attendance, and consumer engagement on social channels have dropped off considerably. This is not going unnoticed.
  • the stock is no longer reacting positive to big revenue items: Mania, Saudi shows, European Tour all take place in Q2 and would suggest a good quarter: in advance of the quarter end the stock is still sliding as attendance numbers came out for the latest swing of the Northwest
  • ability to monetize the engagement on the Network or social is a big question mark in the investor community for WWE. The floor of the stock has been raised by virtue of guaranteed revenue increases with the Tv deal. The difference between 70$ and 95$ price points in my view is now entirely attributable to whether the company is showing meaningful ways to monetize the position they are in heading to Fox and receiving main stream coverage. Right now, overwhelming feeling is “wait and see” because for the first time since this Stock Run the company is showing it may not be fool proof when it comes to consumer engagement.
  • think of revenue as fixed and variable: fixed is TV rights deals (locked in money), variable is consumer wallet share. While fixed revenue will provide the floor, the variable revenue is the upside and that’s startinf to reverse.

If the stock slides further, even with these TV deals in place it will eventually force the WWE to try and rebound. So while the common fan may feel helpless, the investor base is going to react to the overall common fan trend. So give it 2-3 quarters and see. There is usually a lag in reaction because it’ll take a bit longer for investors to recognize trends.

That’s why as a fan who follows the company froma product and business standpoint I’ve alwags been confident in my ability to anticipate where the stock will go. I will tell you, it’s reaced a point I’m deeming it a stay away because I didn’t think these trends would slide as hard as they have. Cancelled House shows, empty arenas, The flashy headlines of the Fox deal can mask those flaws for too long. But where’s the floor on consumer engagement? Great question and it seems we all don’t know as I think everyone could agree this is starting to be unprecedented.

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I really don’t think product quality is drastically impacted by capitalism. If it is fan disappointment demonstrated by dropping ratings and attendance, will at some point will cause change. Heck it already is, it just isn’t causing the right changes because WWE have a lack of understanding of what draws fans.

Now I will say that the impact that could be viewed as negative is that WWE focus on TV contracts, which revolve around advertising, advertisers need to approve of the content of the programs which they advertise on, so we have a more PG program than some might like.

The other area is that they are currently having financial success and to some extent that masks the impact of the fans. We see this in sports all the time, where governing bodies often don’t act on fans, but fans boycott and advertisers threaten to pull out, and then change happens.

I would actually argue that captialism is the only situation where fan “outrage” has a large chance of impacting product quality, because those at the top have some incentive to make more money. If that was somehow capped and Vince was already Maxed out on what he could possibly earn, or the returns were greatly diminished, what is his incentive to do better. As long as he maintained he would be comfortable.

Capitalism and democracy together I think with the masses can effect change. But you need a focused population. Not to go there, but we know there’s child migrant detention centres on the border. They’re run by private companies that get $750 per kid. There’s outrage, but no change.

There is not enough outrage, and those private companies are funded by the government. Which unfortunately means the people have far more limited power than they do in a consumer based industry.

In the case of the detention centers, the population has no direct ability to impact the money made by those companies, they can only do it by electing officials who campaign to shut down those facilities. So what it amounts to is that the population does not have enough outrage to make that their voting issue rather than a multitude of other issues. You as an individual cannot boycott the detention centers, you can only vote for people who promise to close them down. The issue is for many if it comes down to voting for closing those down, or voting for someone promising them a better job for example, many (if not most) vote in their own interest rather than in the interest of those on the border. Secondly the issue exists that you vote for the person saying they will shut them down, and then the private companies buy them off and they don’t do what they promised.

Comparing that to say WWE where they are almost entirely dependent on their consumers for their financial well being. They need to draw ratings for networks to want keep airing them and paying them, they need fans to show up to house shows to make those worth while, need fans to buy merch etc, if those things drop enough they will fail, unless they begin to work solely for the Saudi government. For WWE their can be outrage and no change if the outrage does not end in people tuning out. If people are pissed but still spend money on the product, or tune in, then their voices are meaningless.

So you are right you need a focused population, where the outrage is the most important thing, or at least one of the top things. But that is a problem with government, not capitalism, I would feel no better about those detention centers if they were run by the government than I do about them being privatized.

Fair enough. Informed voting is the best we have. It just is terrible to think that government funds direct exploitation of children in their own country and hides behind the private system. Private prisons are worse than pubic ones in almost every respect because they have an incentive to get more and more inmates with no sense of rehabilitation.

Very true, but also presumably cheaper than government ones because they are not dealing with government pensions for workers etc. Which is why they get used. There are a lot of “private” government industries where private companies bid out their services to the government to do jobs this is pseudo-capitalism as there is no customer other than the government, and unfortunately we the people have limited say on these things as in a 2 party system so many issues are tied to so many other issues that it is hard to make a choice of candidate that matches you on all or most issues. I cannot for example pick the candidate that is for say protecting the coal industry (if that is where my job is) and protecting the immigrants. I have 2 choices and they are generally binary choices. This turns many people into single issue voters, who supports my #1 priority, that is who I vote for.
Having only 2 choices also makes it easier for those private companies to lobby and bribe candidates and officials to support their own interests.

Unfortunately our representative style of government only really works well when you essentially have a free market of candidates to choose from rather than the 2 team system we have now.

On the private prison front, the issue is how contracts work with the incentive being more inmates because you get paid per inmate (which makes some sense because you need to support more inmates and need more money to do so), rather than having a system where you get paid a flat fee then a bit per inmate where this total amount includes no profit margin when a capacity, and get all your profit on the successful rehabilitation of said inmate based around say successful parole, and penalties for excessive people violating said parole upon release.

I cannot say as to whether any private companies would want to run such a prison, but placing the profit on the success of the interaction, rather than the quantity of interactions would be desirable. That way you have your flat fee, which turns to some profit if you are not near max capacity, and then you get additional profit for doing a good job.

It is a simple economics problem. Right now the incentive is to fill the cells, which creates lobbies to criminalize things, create prisoners, and keep them in prison. Rather than having the incentive be the successful rehabilitation of those inmates.