In addition to covering the “salted nut of the day” and their web exclusive section of “What’s Up in the Hubs“, Continental Airlines Magazine has an article about the female executives at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in their January 2010 issue. How I even came across this, I’m not sure.
One of the biggest problems with the wrestling in the WWE can be summed up with one quote (the emphasis is mine):
There are two things WWE wants you to know. First, the operative word is “entertainment,” not “wrestling.” Second, watch how you refer to the talent. They’re not wrestlers; the men are “superstars” and the women “divas.”
The WWE has spent at least the last several years, maybe the last decade, telling anyone who would listen that they are an entertainment company and not a wrasslin‘ company. Wrestling is apparently a dirty word.
Here are a couple more choice quotes from the same article:
As Wilson points out, there’s a certain logic inherent in having women at the top of WWE. “We’re an entertainment company,” she notes.
Goldsmith, who moonlights as an extra in TV soap operas, says her biggest challenge is dispelling misconceptions about WWE. “One of those,” she states, “is us constantly being called professional wrestling. That term just doesn’t give us the credibility we deserve.”
Nice. What is that supposed to mean? You have wrestling in the name of your company! Other than putting out some crappy movies using their WWE roster as “talent” (See No Evil, The Marine, 12 Rounds, The Condemned), what do they do besides wrestling? The article talks about TV, Pay-Per-View, and merchandise, but it’s all wrestling related.
I’m not sure when all this distancing started, but it may have been around the time they went public with some of their stock. Or when they started putting out crappy movies (although No Holds Barred came out way back in 1989). There was definitely a shift when they decided to enter the talk show circuit and go with the weekly guest hosts on WWE Monday Night Raw.
I doubt they would ever drop the second ‘W’ from their name (so as not to be confused with that women’s channel on cable), but how long before they change what the acronym stands for?
Remember The Nashville Network (TNN)? When they started to change their format from redneck to a “the first network for men” (which is what I thought ESPN was), they kept the logo and abbreviation but put out a press release that they now wanted to be called “The National Network“. Prince and P-Diddy would be proud. Eventually they would change to “SpikeTV” and get sued by Spike Lee, but that’s a whole other story. Now I guess they’re just called “Spike”
How about World Wide Entertainment? After all it used to be the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) until they dropped the ‘W’ in 1979.
My advice for the WWE– don’t forget what brung ya to the dance. The more you distance yourself from the wrestling, the more you will distance your fans.
I’ve already gone on about how some of us “want our wrestling back“, so I won’t go into detail again. If they think they can generate their $530 million in annual revenue off of producing direct-to-DVD action movies (The Marine 2), they haven’t looked at DVD sales charts lately.
Say what you want about TNA (and most people do), they go out of their way to proudly state they are a wrestling company.
Unfortunately, it’s right before they bring out Lacey Von Eric, the worst third generation wrestler of all time.
Sounds like “change for change’s sake”. Often, the results of this change are detrimental to an organization. This also holds true for countries.