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“PPV is dead… except for this one last time”

Hi Keith,


When a boxing match, an industry declared dead 20 years ago, makes more PPV money with the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight than in the history of earth, how bad is it going to look to investors that were told the PPV market was dead anyway to justify crappy Network numbers? How long until looking bad becomes looking incompetent?

Someone needed to remind Vince you can't hardsell a subscription service, and the hardsell was his family's entire business model.

 Unrelated note, wasn't cowboy hat Macho King awesome? Him screwing over Warrior just to be a jerk at Rumble 91 was what hooked me on wrestling.

"Free month of May" sure feels like a hard sell to me.  As others have noted, if this is the route they're going they should just do the "first month is free for new subs" model like Netflix and be done with it.  Although WM did 250K buys this year, which is pretty much free money at this point.  All they have to do is fire another 10% of their workforce and they'll be profitable for years!  

People are talking about 4 million buys for the Pacquio/Mayweather fight, though, which sounds ludicrous.  Still, even 2 million at $100 a pop is crazy money and shows that the right attraction will still draw.  

Michael Cole is still dead

If rumors are true and "Michael Cole" shows up on Raw, would this have been the most ridiculous fake injury on-air talent have recovered from in a week?

As I recall, Triple H survived being dropped from his car when it was lifted up by 20-30 feet by Austin.  The Rock survived the nWo beat down followed by his ambulance being jacknifed by Hogan's semi.  Vince survived the explosion, but they dropped the storyline on that.

RIP Michael Cole. 

Well, plans change.  ​I was hoping to find a clip on Youtube of "Mr. Burns was pronounced dead at the hospital, before being moved to a better hospital where his condition was upgraded to alive."  
It also blows my mind that they have access to Jim Ross and Joey Styles as temporary commentary choices and still feel like they HAVE to rush Michael Cole back as if people somehow give a shit about him.  They spent an entire year building up an angle where he was a complete dickface to the fans and then just expected them to suddenly like him again because Lawler had a heart attack?   ​

Zanatopic: The Vince Is Dead Universe

It seems that my attempt to make a Friday column dedicated to the most spectacular injuries in wrestling didn’t take off like I hoped, so here’s another try.

Let’s take one aspect of the past, change it, and attempt to extrapolate what the future might have looked like in this alternate universe.  The bookworm term for this is “counterfactual”.  One insane person has spent an entire lifetime rebooking WWE history from the perspective of Vince McMahon having a hard on for Ricky Steamboat instead of Hulk Hogan:

http://whatifwrestling.blogspot.com

Let’s not be that insane, but let’s see if this is something that we could have fun with.

Zanatopic 1 (out of a likely total of 1): Imagine that somebody takes Daniel Bryan’s time machine, goes back to 1981, and assassinates Vince McMahon Jr.  What happens to the wrestling industry?

Vince McMahon Sr. was against national expansion from the start, and was not long for this world anyway.  Linda probably would have wanted nothing to do with running the World Wrestling Federation, and an 11 year old Shane McMahon wouldn’t be able to do so either.  So the industry would go on to be directed by other forces.

Does some other organization that gains national exposure through cable, such as Jim Crockett Promotions, World Class Championship Wrestling, or the American Wrestling Alliance, make a play to become the dominant force of wrestling?  Does Paul Heyman or Eric Bischoff come along in the 90’s to take over in a Vinceless world?  Does the territorial system live on to this day?  Does it morph with MMA to become some type of hybrid?

Or, as I believe, does professional wrestling just fade into obscurity like roller derby?

What say you, Blog of Doom?

HHH Says The Ultimate Warrior Is Dead.

I’m really hoping this is a story/character thing.  It’s his verified account too but there’s always a chance it’s been hacked.

https://twitter.com/TripleH/status/453739508266057728

Someone please find updates about this and tell me it’s not actually what’s going on.

Edit: WWE.com is running it too.

http://www.wwe.com/inside/ultimate-warrior-passes-away-26223975

Are “draws” dead?

Wanted to take a day off from “what if” to lead a discussion I find interesting.  Are the days of individual wrestlers being “draws” over?

If you read this blog regularly, you may have seen me state the opinion that “the WWE brand is the draw.”  By this I mean that the importance of individual wrestlers driving business is essentially negligble, and business is driven entirely by the WWE name.  No individual on earth can draw or move needle the way Austin or Hogan could back in the day.  The E has such a diversified revenue stream now as opposed to 15 years ago (advertising dollars, corporate partnerships, TV revenue, merchandise,  gates, ppv, etc.) that putting all your eggs in the basket of one superstar is just to risky for them.  It’s really fucking brilliant, eliminate as much possible risk (top guys leaving, injuries, etc) in your core product so all the other cash streams that feed off of it can constantly rack up revenue. This is why instead of promoting Rock and Brock as special outside attractions and special “draws” they did their best to ingratiate them back into the WWE universe.   Do you agree, and to what extent?

To ask it another way, if they build up Heath Slater, Ryback, and Curtis Axel for 6 months then give them Cena, Bryans, and Punks spots, how much does overall business drop?  If they take guys like Cena and Taker off WM, does it still do around 800k – 1 million?  I think it does.

– How much do individual wrestlers matter in today’s landscape?

– Are they just interchangeable parts with little bearing to the overall product?

– Will we ever see the days of a massive “draw” again?

This is just scratching the surface to the topic.  Go in any direction you like.

*If you haven’t read the Lydon Murtha piece on cnnsi.com, I highly suggest it.  First person account by a guy who played with Incognito and Martin on the situtation.  It completely paints Incognito in a different light then the media has.

MeekinOnMovies on…Dead Ahead

Dead Ahead
Publisher: Chillingo
Developer: Mobirate Games
Genre: Side-scrolling Vehicular Zombie Homicide Simulator
Platform: Mobile
 Cost: Free

Every now and then, when cruising the app store, pawing my way through game after game, I like to take survey of just how great ‘gamers’ really have it. At literally any moment of any day, I can hop on my iOS device and for a little less than the price of a Starbucks coffee, find a gaming experience tailored to whatever whim I want to indulge. Strategy, RPG, CCG, Platformer, Shooter, MMO, Flight Sim, Puzzle – not to mention all the subgenres and hybrids. Simply put, if you ask me, we are in the golden age of gaming accessibility. But ease of accessibility breeds entitlement, and with nearly limitless options, it’s difficult for one title to stand out. So it’s with much delight, and a dopey smile on my face, that I’ve chosen to describe Dead Ahead, the new side-scrolling vehicular zombie homicide simulator, with one word (and a punctuation mark): Wow!

If you combined the animation of Invader Zim, The gameplay of the NES Classic Excite Bike, a bit of homage to Akira and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, plus some classic side-scrolling beat em’ up tropes, and you have the core of Dead Ahead.

Following a fairly haunting cut-scene that plays on start-up, you’re presented with a motorcycle, a weapon, and an endless stretch of road. But Easy Rider this ain’t. That endless road is filled with debris, broken down cars, trucks, buses, potholes, the occasional jump, and, oh yeah, hundreds of sortadorable zombies eager to nom-nom on your face parts. 
And I mean sortadorable. Dead Ahead’s anime-influenced art style is an absolute treat, packed chock-full of numerous little details that add up into something closely resembling a soul. From the way your character’s shirt flaps in the wind, to the hilarious way in which the hordes of undead will waddle-run after you, flailing their arms in front of them like a toddler eagerly reaching for a bottle, to how each of the different kinds of zombies: Cops, nurses, bikers, construction workers, have different little animated nuances – it’s easy to get distracted admiring the game’s ability to mix the endearing and the disgusting with ease.

Which can be problematic since the actual game part of Dead Ahead is excellent in it’s own right. It’s a capital V, capital G, Video Game that would have been right at home in a 1990’s arcade cabinet, perfectly content to nom-nom-nom on quarter after quarter like the zombies on screen. The mechanics are tight, with your main controls being the ability to move vertically on a 2D plane by moving your finger up and down on the right hand side of your iOS device, and a shoot and boost button on the left. You’ll use these buttons quite frantically, shooting the zombies that come up behind you, then hammering the zoom button to plow through zombies ahead of you as your boomstick reloads, all the while navigating around road obstructions across 5 seemingly endless levels.   

These three elements: shooting zombies, plowing through them, and avoiding roadblocks would probably make for a decent free-to-play game, something to be played for twenty minutes and forgotten. But the beauty of Dead Ahead is in the way it combines these perfectly serviceable elements into an addicting sort of poetry, thanks in part to an objective system that ties directly into how you progress through the game. Being challenged to make it 1500 meters without using boost, or score 20 kills with a pistol before dying in order to go up a level extends the replay value exponentially. When you toss in boss zombies, a hefty selection of weapons, and a few upgradable bikes to try out, it’s easy to drink Dead Ahead’s Kool-Aid.

But, surely there must be a catch. Is this Kool-aid loaded with the empty calories of pay-to-win carbs and IAP sugary-substitute nonsense? No. It seems developer Mobirate has gone the noble route with Dead Ahead, literally providing the entire game free of charge, and hoping that the gaming community will choose to buy something as a show of support. I’ve put about five hours into Dead Ahead, and outside of a few advertisements, I’ve advanced in the game completely unabated. The game’s only currency is coins, and you’ll earn plenty just from playing – though you can buy some with real cash-money if you’d like. Similarly, a wicked cool looking Akira style bike, along with the two most powerful weapons in the game (who are actually additional riders on your bike), are only available via in-app purchase – which is perfectly fine considering the karma Dead Ahead earns in every other facet of the game. A guy’s gotta make a living, right?  

Ultimately, Dead Ahead scratches an increasingly elusive itch that arcadeish classics like NARC, Mega Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battletoads, and X-men used to pinpoint like the fingernails of a goddess. The addicting, I know I can do better nature of the difficulty, the power-ups, the style, and a certain simplicity of design that did a few things excellently, instead of many different things decently – created some truly exquisite games. But, for better or worse, gaming has evolved in complexity. Simple pinpoint back-scratches became antiquated in favor of more elaborate, but ultimately less satisfying massages. Even the re-releases of those arcade classics lost something in the translation, so it’s kinda of profound that Dead Ahead nails it so flawlessly. I’m tempted to use a cliche about how Dead Ahead is greater than the sum of its parts, but in truth, the parts are excellent on their own, and the fact they fit together so well is gravy.


Five Stars (out of five)
(Writers
note: I attempted to post this review on a popular IOS review outlet
that rhymes with Smuch Marcade, and they informed m
e my opinion was wrong. I ultimately quit that paid writing gig because they told me I liked the game too much.
Since the game is free, It’d be nice to see if I’m the only person on
the planet who thinks this game is awesome

Dead Wrestlemania Fun

Hi Scott, 


Couldn't find it anywhere else but as far as I can tell the first Mania without any dead performers (not counting announcers/interviewers, just wrestlers, valets, managers, special referees etc) is 25. I thought it was 18 but Crash Holly killed that idea. Also, all stupid research need GRAPHS!

Wow, that sure is…uh…a graph.  
Thanks, 
Adam. 
@adamninja

Fwd: @crankyvince dead :(

———- Forwarded message ——– Dearest Mr. Keith and Blog of Doomers, I regret to inform each and every one of you that @crankyvince on twitter is DEAD!   This is a sad, sad day for me.  I assume it is for all of y'all as well.  Life has no meaning.   DEPRESSION WOOD.  FUCK YOU.    May @Crankyvince live on in our hears forever.   RIP. PS.  At least we still have Puppet H. ————————- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  WHY must the good die young!?

Dead In Five Years!

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/118-daily-updates/25866-raw-rating

The perfect time to go to three hours.  Obviously it'll have to be John Cena in every segment, plus commercials for his movies, and video packages about him supporting the troops and healing sick children with his magic spinner belt.  
Seriously though, it's getting scary how pushing only one person as meaning anything results in no one caring about the show when he's not on it.  I know the gut reaction from WWE is going to be to re-push all the big names harder than ever, but they really need to do like 97 and go the opposite by pushing the Zigglers and new FCW geeks to hopefully create new stars without baggage and multiple drug violations.  

Dead Wrestler Society

Hello Scott,
Have you seen this website? I am almost tempted to buy the Macho Man print.
www.thedeadwrestlersociety.com/

Oh wow.  That Savage print is AMAZING.  I was also very moved by the Earthquake one, which looks like a PPV poster that WWF should have made in 1990 to make you think he was going to kill Hogan.  They’re a little pricey for me, but I’d absolutely hang that Savage one on my wall.

Dead Wrestler Society

Hello Scott,
Have you seen this website? I am almost tempted to buy the Macho Man print.
www.thedeadwrestlersociety.com/

Oh wow.  That Savage print is AMAZING.  I was also very moved by the Earthquake one, which looks like a PPV poster that WWF should have made in 1990 to make you think he was going to kill Hogan.  They’re a little pricey for me, but I’d absolutely hang that Savage one on my wall.

Dead Wrestler Society

Hello Scott,
Have you seen this website? I am almost tempted to buy the Macho Man print.
www.thedeadwrestlersociety.com/

Oh wow.  That Savage print is AMAZING.  I was also very moved by the Earthquake one, which looks like a PPV poster that WWF should have made in 1990 to make you think he was going to kill Hogan.  They’re a little pricey for me, but I’d absolutely hang that Savage one on my wall.