WWE 4Q2019 & FY2019 Earnings Call (2/6/2020) - Discussion Thread

John Cena
Brock Lesner
The Rock

That is it. IMO. Those are the only 5 guys that if they are having a big match at this point people are going to pay to see it. And for Cena it is only because he’s been gone over a year.

Yes but how much money is the question. Could they lower the price point (other streaming services are cheaper than $10. Amazon is $8.99, Hulu is 7.99 as is Disney+. CBS all access is like $6.99. YOu cannot tell me WWE needs more bandwidth than these services especially if they removed PPVs which would be their biggest need for bandwidth. They could add advertisers as well to reduce the price if they wanted to. I mean these are services with a ton more subscribers so maybe WWE cannot generate the revenue off fewer people and need to charge more but they also need less bandwidth in that case.

If the remove PPVS and Specials, does WWE go the YouTube route and basically have all its archived footage for free and rely on Ad revenue. It would be a small amount but its something.

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I would add

Omega (if he’s built up a bit)

Rose is off the bloom with Omega. He’s been exposed in America and the rare-ness of his matches doesn’t exist. Ronda can be added to my list. I’ll give you that.

Ok should have specified the US/Canada

Cena/Rock aren’t even in wrestling anymore.

Jericho is great but book him in WWE as good as AEW books him and the ratings still suck.

Lesnar doesn’t move the needle much.

Okada’s reach in US/Canada is good for live attendance but wouldn’t push TV that much.

There is no Cena, let alone a Hogan and let alone a Rock or Austin

Mainstream wrestling is absolutely fucked.

I mean Okada isn’t really on that list at least not internationally. If WWE booked Okada vs Orton, no one would care in the grand Scheme.

I would put Punk in there over him, or other guys unlikely to have a match like Stone Cold who would be the #1 draw if he actually booked a match at this point.

Omega will never let himself be booked like the star he should be

And I think even Ronda isn’t that big, Her total divas appearance tanked the show for example.

I wrote this on twitter…It’s amazing that analysts miss the mark with digging into merchandise sales. This was obvious a year ago when I called in to the Cafe and said - look at what PWTees is doing and how The Elite and New Japan were getting into Hot Topic. Where were analysts on asking the question quarters ago about how WWE combats the rise of independent merchendise as it canabalizes its own sales. Wrestling merch has never been hotter and yet WWE shows downward trends. Was obvious a year ago. More obvious today.

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And that’s the real ticket. With a lot more subs, you have a lot of cache-able shared data that can be passed around cheaper. The tech problems passing around large files isn’t as simple and as cheap as a lot of people suspect is all. Judging by the amount of crashing I get with the Network I don’t think its their top priority.

It’d help if they didn’t make terrible merch 99% of the time

Really smart for AEW to not handle merch. Let a wrestling company handle wrestling and a clothing company handle merch.


It was like optimus prime at the start of transformers the movie to save the day. Vince turned the tide yesterday and had them not talking about the negatives but rather focusing on the WWE selling PPVs. Brilliant.

That’s pretty generous to both Jericho and Okada to be honest. Both are big names within the wrestling bubble but they’re not much of a name outside of it compared to the other three.

But the other 3 are not active talent. (One match every 4 months hardly qualifies as work)

@RTH75 I think Brock is absolutely an active talent. Cena/Rock not so much.

@AuthorOfPosts I was in MSG for Okada’s match last year. It was as electric as I’ve ever seen the Garden and I’ve been to NBA Finals games in that building. That said, his G1 Match with Tanahashi in Dallas didn’t exactly fill an American arena though it can be argued the lack of advertising matches hurt sales and travel. Maybe he doesn’t belong on the list, although I think any properly advertised big show with him featured in a main event is drawing more than just about anyone in Wrestling.

Jericho is main stream. He crosses worlds - wrestling, rock, pop culture. When a guy is showing up on Pardon My Take, getting hosting gigs on TV shows, and has his songs played in NFL stadiums, it’s hard to say he is not big time. May not be A-List like Cena and Rock but he’s definitely upper B+. Maybe it’s a bias opinion, but he definitely seems to have transcended just Wrestling.

The point wasn’t about how often they work. The point was about how much attention they can draw when/if they work.

I get that, but, I thought it is interesting. Does that mean the template for building stars is broken? Does it mean that wrestling, as a whole, is less popular? Does it mean that most wrestlers are overexposed now? I’m asking why.


  • Oversaturation
  • Insulting Fan Intelligence
  • Characters that don’t sound real
  • Not funny
  • Affraid to be controversial
  • Lack of long-term PR strategy

Paul form NJ made an awesome point about Lacey Evans on the Cafe Call yesterday: how the WWE had this talent signed with the background she has and did not have a thoughtful, curated plan for pushing her via PR and story-line correctly is a shame. Forget her in-ring skill, because you can cover that up. As a pure babyface who looks and speaks well, she could have been pitched to outlets like The View, The Today Show, on and on. Instead they debuted her calling people Nasties, beat her up, and turned her with no thought and then asked fans to get behind her. That is never making stars.

Compare the Undertaker to the Fiend: both are super natural characters but whereas the Undertaker was positoined as a powerful leader on the rise spreading darkness, the Fiend was positioned not as a villain in a comic, but rather a two-faced psycho who was invincible in a sport everyone knows to be fake. The Undertaker had backstory; the Fiend has none.

The scripted promos kill big stars. Roman, Seth, even Becky now, none of them feel genuine. All scripted.

I’ll give AEW credit, Cody is absolutely a star and to me is a big factor the company has done so well. The story of Dusty Rhodes kid trying to build a wrestling company his father would be proud of while also constantly fighting uphill battles as a guy with a chip on his shoulder is way closer to the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin battline his boss in the 90s than Roman Reigns saying suckering-suckatash. Does that mean Cody will reach Austin levels, of course not. But you can see how it is so easy to get behind real figures vs. Superstars.