Wrestling News Report 22/03/2013
WWE Releases 2012 Annual Report
WWE has released their 2012 Annual Report ahead of the shareholders meeting on April 26th. Vince McMahon has a letter in the report where he reviewed the past year and looks ahead to this year, saying that the company is moving ahead with the WWE Network because there is “desire for more WWE content…With respect to a potential domestic WWENetwork, given the size and passion of our fan base and given extensive fan research, we view the premium subscription model, whether through traditional or ‘over-the-top’ distribution, as the best approach to capitalize on our fans’s commitment to our brands.”
McMahon predicts that earnings in 2013 will be flat compared to 2012 due to additional expense to prep the WWE Netowrk launch, but noted that the company believes they are “working to take advantage of signi?cant opportunities, which we believe outweigh our near-term challenges.” He also notes “several important areas” that the company will be investing in, including:
* Building production capacity and creative capabilities
* Enhancing digital and social media platforms such as the WWE App
* Building upon “the range of our talent”
* Strenghtening brand perception, such as John Cena’s partnership with the Susan G. Komen organization
He concluded, “The anticipated expiration of key commercial agreements over the next few years, particularly programming agreements, across the U.S. and major markets, provides a compelling opportunity to optimize the value of our content and products. Based on the tremendous strength of our brands and the rising value of content, we believe we are extremely well positioned to turn these opportunities into a reality. Additionally, we expect our growth will be enhanced by our product innovation, including the launch of new digital, mobile and video game products, as well as the cultivation of emerging markets, continued use of social media and creative marketing to engage our fans, and by our continued focus on the development of our Superstar talent.”
You can see it in full here.
Eric Bischoff Rips Bret Hart
Eric Bischoff appeared on Inside the Ropes Thursday night and discussedBret Hart’s criticism of him and more. Check out the highlights:
On Bret’s WCW run: ”I had spoken to and met Bret several times before he made the jump. I was obviously excited to have him but clearly Bret Hart was a very broken….and in my opinion still is, from the interviews I hear him do, a very sad, broken and bitter person. That was pretty evident when he first came over. He was a shadow or a shell of his former self. Wherever Bret was, the high point of his character, what I got was a kind of broken, sad shell of that and quite honestly I don’t think he’s ever come out of it.”
On Bret’s saying Bischoff “knows nothing about wrestling: ”It’s not unusual for guys like Bret Hart, from that era….the only way they know how to get over is to get over at the expense of someone else. Bret Hart’s trying very hard to stay relevant. Unfortunately, he’s no longer relevant. He was a big star, he had a big name at one point, he was an important character in the history of the business but he’s not any longer and I’m sure that’s hard on him. I know myself how it feels to realize that your biggest and best days as a performer are behind you. I’m very comfortable with that, I’ve embraced it but it’s hard for a lot of guys who’ve never been anything other than performers. They have a hard time with that. It’s not easy getting older in the wrestling business, believe me, when you’re surrounded by younger and younger people who in many ways aren’t as over or as skilled or as popular as you may have been or still are now. But this business is a business that’s served by youth and change. And for someone like Bret, that manifests itself in his personality, lashing out at others. It’s funny, when he came to me he hated Vince McMahon, he hated everyone in the WWE from the office to half the roster. He didn’t have a good thing to say about any of the McMahons. Then when he got the opportunity to go back and work for them, he had to shift that. Then his hatred was for someone else like Bill Goldberg for giving him a concussion and now it’s for me and for Hulk, there’s no rhyme or reason for it and as far as his opinion of my value and what I’ve achieved in the wrestling business, I’ll let my body of work and success speak for itself.”
On his TNA future: ”I really don’t plan on being in the wrestling business too much longer and I say that in a very grateful and positive way. This business has been great for me and my family. It’s been almost 30 years. I’m still shocked to this day. My goal now isn’t to accomplish anything professionally, because I’ve kind of been there, done that. My goal now and this is gonna sound kinda corny, I really like teaching. I like watching guys like Matt Connaway and Dave Lagana, watching them grow into new areas that they haven’t been able to get into before. Someday, hopefully, in the near future, I’m going to be able to walk away from this business and when I do, I want to be able to know that I was able to shape, in one way shape or form, guys who will carry on and be the future of the business.”
New TNA X-Division Changes Announced
During Thursday night’s iMPACT! Wrestling, TNA announced the following changes to the X-Division:
* All matches will now be three-way bouts.
* The division will now have a weight limit of 230 lbs.
Going back to the beginning of TNA in 2002, the X-Division was previously founded with the tagline of, “it’s not about weight limits. It’s about no limits.”
Stephanie McMahon Shows Off Her Boxing Skills
WWE’s New Head Writer
Partial Source: Pwinsider
David Kreizman was a writer on All My Children and has beenWWE for about four or five months; he has been well-received thus far. There is further talk of hiring writers with soap backgrounds due to their strength in writing weekly episodic television.
In addition, Brian Gewirtz has been more involved in creative, but that is specifically in regard to the Rock heading into WrestleMania as opposed to him returning to a head writer position. At this time, Paul Heyman’s contract is only as a performer and there have been no moves to make him a part of creative, though he gives input to talent who ask for help.
Rock goes WWE-less on Leno
WWE champion “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson made a two-segment appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Thursday night. WWE was not brought up during the interview, nor did Rock bring the WWE Title belt with him. The appearance was strictly to promote “G.I. Joe 2,” which comes out in theaters next weekend.
Bully Ray issues second apology on Thursday
This afternoon TNA World Hvt. Champion Bully Ray addressed the second time his anti-gay slurs (“f—t” and “f-g” and “queer”) aimed at a fan as he walked to the back during last week’s TNA Impact taping in Chicago.
“Had a very positive talk with the man I got into a verbal altercation with in Chicago,” Ray tweeted. “I personally apologized for my careless choice of words and my ignorance with regard to certain slurs I used. I take full responsibility and once again I apologize to all.”
TNA President Dixie Carter also apologized earlier in the week, noting that epithets such as those would not be tolerated in TNA.