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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2021 03:37 pm
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srossi
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Vince did his usual earnings call where WWE painted a very rosy picture even as they hammered by some tougher-than-usual questions about ratings.  Of note is that WWE is thrilled with Peacock as viewership is up across the board on PPVs, singling out Money in the Bank at +46% and Backlash at +20% over last year on WWE Network.

But when it came to the AEW question, Vince really made the most backhanded threat I've ever heard.  He was asked on his thoughts about AEW's ratings climbing past the 1 million mark and how much they're investing in former WWE talents.  Vince at first shrugged off the question, instead choosing to relive the Monday Night Wars and talk about how WCW was a much bigger threat and they beat them.  He said he doesn't consider AEW a threat in the same way WCW was.  Same old shit.  But then about talents jumping ship, he said, "perhaps we can give them some more."  I think this was a dig at AEW signing discarded talent (although the implication was clearly more about Danielson and Punk than guys like Aleister Black), but it sure comes across as a statement that his own roster should be more fearful of than anyone else. 



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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2021 04:09 pm
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I've read reports that people couldn't make out what was said at the end of the sentence "perhaps we can give...", and to some it just sounded like he was handing over to Nick Khan.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2021 06:58 pm
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Maria Kanellis has replied to the supposed quote: “Wow. To think of human beings as pawns on a chessboard. That must be one of the most elitist things I’ve heard in a while. I could never think of mothers, children, fathers, people in that way. People are people. Playing with peoples lives is cruel.”



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 Posted: Sat Jul 31st, 2021 05:52 pm
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Well I’m light of Wyatt’s release today, you have to wonder if that’s what Vince was thinking when he said it.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 08:16 am
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It's being reported that Adam Cole's contract expired in early July, coming as a surprise to management. How in the fuck does that happen? Cole agreed to an extension to the end of August to get through SummerSlam weekend, but he could be a free agent, without a no compete, at the start of September.

In slightly related news, more pertinent to this thread... On one of the recent Observer audios, Meltzer was talking about the Vince quote, and what it could mean. He wasn't advocating for this position, but some people have been interpreting this as Vince releasing top talent that he doesn't think he needs so that AEW will sign them and over-reach financially (and possibly creatively, but I doubt Vince thinks that way). The Khans are absurdly rich, though, to a level that most people, Vince included, can't comprehend. Something in the nature of 8 billion dollars, so AEW ain't disappearing because they run out of money because they signed a few too many wrestlers.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 12:19 pm
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Imagine, when AEW gets their 2md show in a couple weeks, they run an invasion angle, AND do it successfully? That'd be the ultimate f.u. to Vince. The Khans have pockets deep enough to do it.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 12:39 pm
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Kriss wrote: It's being reported that Adam Cole's contract expired in early July, coming as a surprise to management. How in the fuck does that happen? Cole agreed to an extension to the end of August to get through SummerSlam weekend, but he could be a free agent, without a no compete, at the start of September.

In slightly related news, more pertinent to this thread... On one of the recent Observer audios, Meltzer was talking about the Vince quote, and what it could mean. He wasn't advocating for this position, but some people have been interpreting this as Vince releasing top talent that he doesn't think he needs so that AEW will sign them and over-reach financially (and possibly creatively, but I doubt Vince thinks that way). The Khans are absurdly rich, though, to a level that most people, Vince included, can't comprehend. Something in the nature of 8 billion dollars, so AEW ain't disappearing because they run out of money because they signed a few too many wrestlers.

Shahid Khan is the one who told his son, “You might as well blow my money while I’m alive than after I’m dead.”  He expected a complete financial disaster (and didn’t care) and they’re not that much in the red considering 80% of the company’s history existed during Covid with no fans. This better not really be Vince’s strategy.  AEW will probably turn a profit for 2022. 



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 02:28 pm
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The situation reminds me of a section of Jody Hamilton/The Assassin's book from around 1976 or so when Hamilton was doing the booking in Florida.  He had worked with manager Rock Hunter previously and had gotten Hunter and his stable, which included the Assassin, into prominent spots leading to good business.  But Eddie Graham had a personal dislike for Hunter and wanted Hamilton to cut off the direction they were going in, saying Hunter "doesn't deserve his spot" which seemed to be spiteful at the expense of any monetary gain they had made.    It sounds like much the same dynamic to me, and all the territorial warlords met the same fate in the end because they were stuck in their short-sighted ways.  I guess for Vince the question is whether he has a buyer in mind and knows that buyer prefers cost over content.   The chess board analogy has value, but only if you treat it as if someone is playing with the opponent's pieces.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 03:50 pm
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Vince worked hard to get Matt Hardy to re-sign, offering him seven figures and the creative control to pretty much be broken in NXT and then just work with them, with the idea that letting him go to AEW would be bad. Then Matt Hardy turned him down and went to AEW and couldn't get over because there were no crowds. When they finally were bringing people into Daily's Place, Matt Hardy was just a guy with a shitty gimmick (Big Money Matt) and didn't really mesh with anybody until Christian showed up. Sammy Guevara looked so much better than Hardy in their feud and he wasn't supposed to. So maybe Vince is seeing that other than Moxley, nobody that's left WWE has really been huge for their business and hasn't helped AEW. You can't count Cody or Jericho, too many years ago and of course they were going to draw.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 04:23 pm
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Superstar wrote: Vince worked hard to get Matt Hardy to re-sign, offering him seven figures and the creative control to pretty much be broken in NXT and then just work with them, with the idea that letting him go to AEW would be bad. Then Matt Hardy turned him down and went to AEW and couldn't get over because there were no crowds. When they finally were bringing people into Daily's Place, Matt Hardy was just a guy with a shitty gimmick (Big Money Matt) and didn't really mesh with anybody until Christian showed up. Sammy Guevara looked so much better than Hardy in their feud and he wasn't supposed to. So maybe Vince is seeing that other than Moxley, nobody that's left WWE has really been huge for their business and hasn't helped AEW. You can't count Cody or Jericho, too many years ago and of course they were going to draw.
I can't tell you what he's thinking, but if he's using Matt Hardy as the measuring stick, he's about to get a rude awakening.  Hardy is at the end of his career and is transitioning into a backstage role, a role where I think he will help some young talents immensely and be a benefit for years to come.  But his shelf-life as a talent was expiring and he knew it, which is why he didn't want to waste any more time in WWE.  But Wyatt, Strowman, Black, etc. are a different story.  Not to mention all the indy guys who WWE will want over the next 2 years who now see AEW as a more attractive opportunity.  WWE already had trouble recruiting/retaining talent before AEW and were in shock that they were no longer considered the end-all, be-all of pro wrestling.  That's been an issue going back almost a decade now.  Imagine in another few years.  And being so public about budget cuts at a time when the company is making money hand over fist, in conjunction with releasing some really big names for being too expensive, is just about as bad as it gets when it comes to recruitment optics.  You're basically saying, "Sign with us, we'll hold onto you for a bit as long as you're cheap job guys but if you ever start to be valuable and make money, we're just going to release you."  Sign me up!  I can never remember WWE ever saying they couldn't afford someone before, except Bret Hart with that 20-year contract they reneged on.  Now, it's like every 3 months.    



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 05:10 pm
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srossi wrote: Superstar wrote: Vince worked hard to get Matt Hardy to re-sign, offering him seven figures and the creative control to pretty much be broken in NXT and then just work with them, with the idea that letting him go to AEW would be bad. Then Matt Hardy turned him down and went to AEW and couldn't get over because there were no crowds. When they finally were bringing people into Daily's Place, Matt Hardy was just a guy with a shitty gimmick (Big Money Matt) and didn't really mesh with anybody until Christian showed up. Sammy Guevara looked so much better than Hardy in their feud and he wasn't supposed to. So maybe Vince is seeing that other than Moxley, nobody that's left WWE has really been huge for their business and hasn't helped AEW. You can't count Cody or Jericho, too many years ago and of course they were going to draw.
I can't tell you what he's thinking, but if he's using Matt Hardy as the measuring stick, he's about to get a rude awakening.  Hardy is at the end of his career and is transitioning into a backstage role, a role where I think he will help some young talents immensely and be a benefit for years to come.  But his shelf-life as a talent was expiring and he knew it, which is why he didn't want to waste any more time in WWE.  But Wyatt, Strowman, Black, etc. are a different story.  Not to mention all the indy guys who WWE will want over the next 2 years who now see AEW as a more attractive opportunity.  WWE already had trouble recruiting/retaining talent before AEW and were in shock that they were no longer considered the end-all, be-all of pro wrestling.  That's been an issue going back almost a decade now.  Imagine in another few years.  And being so public about budget cuts at a time when the company is making money hand over fist, in conjunction with releasing some really big names for being too expensive, is just about as bad as it gets when it comes to recruitment optics.  You're basically saying, "Sign with us, we'll hold onto you for a bit as long as you're cheap job guys but if you ever start to be valuable and make money, we're just going to release you."  Sign me up!  I can never remember WWE ever saying they couldn't afford someone before, except Bret Hart with that 20-year contract they reneged on.  Now, it's like every 3 months.    
He doesn't realize that the reason why so and so isn't a good draw is because he won't allow them to be.  In fifteen years, who has he really truly pushed?  Cena and Reigns.  The other guys like Taker and HHH don't need to be pushed, they are draws just by showing up.  Cena and Reigns too, but Vince doesn't realize that his booking is the reason why others don't become special to him.  Wyatt, Strowman, Black, Moxley (who I know left on his own) and others will move the needle and that is important.  I think he is looking at the NXT Talent Roster, all of whom are cheap, and thinking he can make a go of it with them.  I don't think it's a coincidence that he makes these cuts and brings up the only somewhat proven draw from NXT, that being Finn Balor.   I can see him dumping anybody of a certain salary and replacing them with the NXT guys that he will pay a quarter of the guys that got cut.  Also, WWF could have afforded to pay Bret Hart.  They not only didn't want to, they thought that the money that he was going to get from WCW would eventually help WWF by bloating the WCW payroll even more, and he was right.  He thinks he can do this again but the difference is, TNT/TBS has no ownership in AEW, and thus the only person that can bitch about payroll has a last name of Khan.  And let's be honest here, to start a company with a $100M bankroll AND a national cable network deal that would have already been expanded if not for COVID, but instead will happen in January is something that no other company has accomplished in this post-expansion era.  Crockett was well established and sold to Ted Turner, who already owned the TV deals.  TNA went through three or four iterations before finally getting a TV deal, and that deal was with Fox Sports 2 which at the time had almost no clearances other than DirecTV/Dish.  Who else has moved like AEW in 20, 30, even 40 years?  Only Vince.  And he doesn't realize that the freight train is rolling in and his car is stalled on the tracks.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 05:19 pm
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Superstar wrote: srossi wrote: Superstar wrote: Vince worked hard to get Matt Hardy to re-sign, offering him seven figures and the creative control to pretty much be broken in NXT and then just work with them, with the idea that letting him go to AEW would be bad. Then Matt Hardy turned him down and went to AEW and couldn't get over because there were no crowds. When they finally were bringing people into Daily's Place, Matt Hardy was just a guy with a shitty gimmick (Big Money Matt) and didn't really mesh with anybody until Christian showed up. Sammy Guevara looked so much better than Hardy in their feud and he wasn't supposed to. So maybe Vince is seeing that other than Moxley, nobody that's left WWE has really been huge for their business and hasn't helped AEW. You can't count Cody or Jericho, too many years ago and of course they were going to draw.
I can't tell you what he's thinking, but if he's using Matt Hardy as the measuring stick, he's about to get a rude awakening.  Hardy is at the end of his career and is transitioning into a backstage role, a role where I think he will help some young talents immensely and be a benefit for years to come.  But his shelf-life as a talent was expiring and he knew it, which is why he didn't want to waste any more time in WWE.  But Wyatt, Strowman, Black, etc. are a different story.  Not to mention all the indy guys who WWE will want over the next 2 years who now see AEW as a more attractive opportunity.  WWE already had trouble recruiting/retaining talent before AEW and were in shock that they were no longer considered the end-all, be-all of pro wrestling.  That's been an issue going back almost a decade now.  Imagine in another few years.  And being so public about budget cuts at a time when the company is making money hand over fist, in conjunction with releasing some really big names for being too expensive, is just about as bad as it gets when it comes to recruitment optics.  You're basically saying, "Sign with us, we'll hold onto you for a bit as long as you're cheap job guys but if you ever start to be valuable and make money, we're just going to release you."  Sign me up!  I can never remember WWE ever saying they couldn't afford someone before, except Bret Hart with that 20-year contract they reneged on.  Now, it's like every 3 months.    
He doesn't realize that the reason why so and so isn't a good draw is because he won't allow them to be.  In fifteen years, who has he really truly pushed?  Cena and Reigns.  The other guys like Taker and HHH don't need to be pushed, they are draws just by showing up.  Cena and Reigns too, but Vince doesn't realize that his booking is the reason why others don't become special to him.  Wyatt, Strowman, Black, Moxley (who I know left on his own) and others will move the needle and that is important.  I think he is looking at the NXT Talent Roster, all of whom are cheap, and thinking he can make a go of it with them.  I don't think it's a coincidence that he makes these cuts and brings up the only somewhat proven draw from NXT, that being Finn Balor.   I can see him dumping anybody of a certain salary and replacing them with the NXT guys that he will pay a quarter of the guys that got cut.  Also, WWF could have afforded to pay Bret Hart.  They not only didn't want to, they thought that the money that he was going to get from WCW would eventually help WWF by bloating the WCW payroll even more, and he was right.  He thinks he can do this again but the difference is, TNT/TBS has no ownership in AEW, and thus the only person that can bitch about payroll has a last name of Khan.  And let's be honest here, to start a company with a $100M bankroll AND a national cable network deal that would have already been expanded if not for COVID, but instead will happen in January is something that no other company has accomplished in this post-expansion era.  Crockett was well established and sold to Ted Turner, who already owned the TV deals.  TNA went through three or four iterations before finally getting a TV deal, and that deal was with Fox Sports 2 which at the time had almost no clearances other than DirecTV/Dish.  Who else has moved like AEW in 20, 30, even 40 years?  Only Vince.  And he doesn't realize that the freight train is rolling in and his car is stalled on the tracks.

Not to rehash the WCW thing for the millionth time, but at the end of the day a bloated payroll had nothing to do with them dying. They were the red-headed stepchild of a conglomerate that wanted no part of the wrestling business and didn’t even understand what they had in 1996-1998 at it’s peak. Their creative was a disaster but in the end Vince really just lucked out. If an independent wealthy person had remained in charge (like Turner or Khan), WCW would still be around today and would’ve been able to eventually take advantage of Vince’s age and apathy. Vince got a 20-year reprieve. 



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 05:29 pm
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Flair released now. Given that AEW already has three Horsemen and one son-of...



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 05:34 pm
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kargol wrote: Flair released now. Given that AEW already has three Horsemen and one son-of...

The story is he requested his release, and I don't think Nick Khan needs to be asked twice. 100% we see Flair in AEW soon.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 2nd, 2021 05:37 pm
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Kriss wrote: kargol wrote: Flair released now. Given that AEW already has three Horsemen and one son-of...

The story is he requested his release, and I don't think Nick Khan needs to be asked twice. 100% we see Flair in AEW soon.

I can't even believe WWE is allowing this to happen.  This would've been unthinkable even 2 years ago.  And they're going to lose Charlotte given that her husband and father will be in AEW, so they better prepare for that.  She will be a game-changer for their women's division.  But again, by the time her contract is up I suspect Vince will no longer be in the rasslin business.



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