A documentation of the aggressive arts. Written by Sawyer Paul.

The greater narrative.


If WWE is truly about story and character, as Triple H had to explain to investors recently, it now needs to sell its fans - casual, hardcore, every other loose definition in between - on the greater story of professional wrestling. Discount pay-per-views should probably be a unique enough selling point for the Network, but perhaps the greater appeal could be this - if you want to get the full story, dig into the archives.


Money in the Bank

Dan O’Sullivan:

This — the notion that pro wrestling is a fixed, low-rent travesty, undeserving of serious mainstream scrutiny — is the single greatest angle ever sold by the wrestling industry.

Just about any great article on wrestling is pretty sobering. It’s a difficult history to portray in any sort of positive light, and it’s just as difficult for the present day.

Wrestlers, writers, fans all do this because we love it, even when we know it will destroy us.

Alberto Del Rio released

WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.

All that sentence does is make us ask more questions. And I don’t just mean about what Del Rio did. I mean just what the hell is in the water in WWE in 2014.

WWE in 2015 is going to look nothing like WWE in 2013. When was the last time that happened? 1995?

$9.99 the villain

The problem is that you’re giving the Network’s low price point heat. I signed up for WWE Network on day one and think it’s the greatest thing in the world, and you’ve got me mad about how it’s ten dollars a month. When you inevitably hike the price up to $12.99 or $19.99 — still both great values for the amount of content you get — it’s gonna create heel heat. You’re basically telling me as a fan that by paying for the Network, I’m singing along with all the wrestlers I’m supposed to hate. What the f*ck?
If WWE were actually cool, they’d never once mention money, and none of the wrestlers would ever wear their own shirt. Money is always, *always* evil. Never bring it up.

What if WWE isn’t pushing Raw and Nitro from the 90s on Network subscribers yet because they know there’s just no way the episodes will match up to our memories?

What if they are literally leaving the memories alone?

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Discuss Creative at Needham Fireside Chat

Chris Harrington:

The CFO defended the “slow roll-out” that WWE has adopted with adding video-on-demand content to the WWE Network. He insisted that they need to “promote it as it comes alive.”

They know that Raw’s and Nitro’s from the attitude era is the content everyone wants, so they’re going to roll those out slowly. PPVs? Who cares. Total Divas? Have them all. Saturday Night’s Main Event? All you can eat. A 1998 episode of Nitro, though? Patience, young padawan.

That, or they fear that releasing episodes of shock tv from the late 90s just won’t play as well in 2014, and the illusion of the attitude era as something great will totally fizzle.

A Short Note about Wanting to Ditch the Divas Division


Court Bauer, who is an employee of Ring of Honor in its creative department, suggested on the August 1 episode of his call-in show, that WWE should ditch the Divas and women’s wrestling in order to save on its budgetary concerns right now. He said that the wrestlers don’t sell any merch or push ratings, so the collective should be scrapped.

Can someone point me to one opine quote from Ring of Honor that doesn’t make that company seem like a piece of shit operation?

WWE Confirms It's Shutting Down Magazine Division

Chris Harrington:

WWE isn’t alone in its battle to keep a viable magazine division. Print publishers have been struggling for years with falling advertising revenue…. Now, WWE’s WWEShop.com website provides fans with easier access to order products directly.

WWE Magazine probably should have died ten years ago. Now that the website (and the shop) legitimately rocks, there’s simply zero need for it to exist.

Can Simpsons World learn from WWE Network’s mistakes?

What does a comprehensive collection look like if it just isn’t comprehensive? It looks like WWE Network.

It’s true. The Network has two things that cripple it: Not enough content, and not enough context. Watching PPVs without the lead-up television shows remove much of the context, but it’s not just that. Just because we can watch any supercard from the past doesn’t provide people with a reason why. What’s the point in delivering history if it doesn’t inform the present?

Undertaker to male rare public appearance

The Undertaker, who to protect his character, does very little media or public appearances, will be appearing at the Wizard World Convention on 10/3 in Austin, TX from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Austin Convention Center.

So much for “not one sighting.”

WWE Network isn't yet the streaming champion Vince McMahon wants it to be

It seemed like an absolute bargain for fans, and set WWE on a new trajectory that will ultimately abandon the old, $60 Sunday night pay-per-view formula that’s lined McMahon’s pockets for decades. (WWE Network lets subscribers stream those monthly events live at no extra cost, a generous inclusion that angered many cable providers.) The company still performs well on cable every week with Raw and Smackdown, but pay-per-view revenues are expected to vanish within a year. The network is WWE’s daring bet on its own future. Only there’s a problem. Right now, Vince McMahon is learning that you can give wrestling fans everything they want, but there’s no guarantee they’ll pay for it.

  1. There’s no way Vince McMahon and WWE didn’t know that it can be difficult to get wrestling fans to pony up money. Coming to a live show every now and then and ordering Wrestlemania doesn’t necessarily translate to “let’s give this company money every single month.”

  2. I think the 600,000+ number is roughly accurate to the number of people in the US that want wrestling on their TV and computer on a regular basis. As much as it is a “popular” thing, it’s far more a “niche” thing in reality.

  3. Why isn’t the very first priority of WWE to make people like pro wrestling more? WWE should make the show (and by proxy, the network) even easier to understand by non-fans. Catering to us (the 600,000, if you will) is a waste of time. We’re already on board.

  4. That doesn’t mean comedy skits and poor acting. That means explaining (over and over) that this is a fun thing to be a part of. Also perhaps have the announcers explain why wrestlers do what they do, from time to time.