Releases tomorrow?


Hi Scott,


If you had to cut 10% of the Superstar roster tomorrow as part of the rumoured major cuts company wide, who would you let go?

By rough count there are 91 Superstars listed on the WWE website, and this does not include the NXT roster from the looks it, so that would be 9 releases.

Cheers,
AZ 

​Cameron, Eva Marie, Adam Rose, Alex Riley, Jason Albert, Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga (doesn't need the gig anyway), Great Khali, Hunico, Rey Mysterio (like, come on, enough already), Rosa Mendes, Tom Phillips/Byron Saxton/Scott Stamford (basically the same person).  That's 14 and I guarantee no one will even notice any of them are gone.  For sure NXT doesn't need an announce team beyond Renee Young and William Regal and we sure as shit don't need to pay Alex Riley to give his "expert" opinion between PPV matches.  If you want to wittle it down to 9, then keep Rose and Del Rio around for the midcard and let two of the announcers stay on just in case.  Really, they keep a LOT of dead weight on the roster when they don't need to.  And it probably sounds harsh, but they could do with firing a whole bunch of the agents they have on staff as well.  Seriously, how many people do they need to book distraction finishes in every match?  Really, you can fire all the referees as well and use local indy guys for cheap if needed.  They only need two ring announcers at most as well.  There's still tons of payroll you can free up if you want.   

Southern States Wrestling Releases LT Falk

Good morning.

No doubt you were all as shocked as I was waking up this morning to this news from the official MySpace and Geocities sites of Southern States Wrestling:

Beau James Enterprises has come to terms on the release of Little Tony (LT) Falk.  We wish Mr. Falk the best in all of his future endeavors.

We have no further information at this time.  Brian Bayless is undergoing an investigation.  We here at the Blog of Doom can only offer their condolences to the extended family of LT Falk.  And the only other thing we can do at this moment, is today pay tribute to LT Falk.

We will offer you some of the most memorable moment’s in LT’s SSW career.  Like the time that he hit Joe Briggs with a bulldog.  And the time that he almost hit Joe Briggs with a Killswitch.  And you will hear from fellow Blog of Doomers, who admired LT and loved him so much.

So today will be an all day tribute…to one of…the greatest SSW superstars of all time.  Today will be a tribute to LT Falk.

Sub par DVD releases on purpose?

It has been said before that WWE doesn't try as hard on PPV like they used to because PPV is not the basket where they're putting all their eggs in anymore. Does the same hold true for their DVD releases? I can't say for sure they are intentionally tanking them but the match listings for the past few sets have been pretty weak, almost to the point that it looks like no effort was put into picking the matches. Thoughts?
Joe

I don't think they're intentionally tanking anything, but the problem is that the longer we go into the corporate era, the further we get from having the people in charge who actually care about wrestling history enough to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff with these things.  Yeah, you have people like Howard Finkel still kicking around, but for the most part it comes down to bean-counters dictating what costs the least in music rights and editing, and match quality and/or historical value seems to be a secondary consideration.  If they can save a buck by recycling Savage/Steamboat, Shawn/Razor and Bret/Davey Boy yet again, they will, because these things are almost all profit and that's what they're about now.  Frankly I'm shocked they haven't released Best of Previous DVD Releases yet, featuring:
Shawn v. Razor ladder match
Savage v. Steamboat WM3
Hogan v. Andre WM3
Bret v. Davey from Wembley
Bret v. Owen cage match
Cena v. Punk from MITB
Undertaker v. Shawn (pick one)
Undertaker v. Mankind HITC
I mean, yeah, you'd get a hell of a DVD, but GEEZ.  Enough already.  

The new WrestleMania DVDs and the future of WWE releases

Hey Scott – wanted to offer some commentary up on this really good piece at WWEDVDNews.com:

 
 
The WrestleMania re-releases are out now BUT 1-14 are the exact same discs that were in the WM Anthology from 2005.  This is a shame for 14 as it is the last WM that still has blurring (The Silvervision Tagged Classic set that had WM XIV remains the only unblurred DVD + had the DX band's opening number in it) but not surprising given how cheap these are ($10-$15 retail now – i'm sure they'll be $5 post Mania).
 
The real interesting DVD is WrestleMania XV – which is not the Anthology release and IS unblurred.  This is the only one they actually did anything with before re-releasing but there's a big downside as detailed in the link.  They went back and edited out the choking – and I'm not talking about Big Bossman's hanging.  They cut it out of the title match and in other places, replacing it with b-camera footage from the event.  Fortunately XV was released in '99 on DVD (their first) and that is still out there for collectors.
 
The big deal for me here is the PG editing of matches and how it will impact future releases.  I mean, the title match has been on other sets in the last couple years – without those edits. Is this a PG thing for only these Mania sets or will future liberties be taken with past Attitude Era matches?

More importantly, I can finally get DVD copies of 11-14 to complete my set without shelling out for the Anthology set?  SWEET.
This also raises the question of what happens to matches like Wargames or the bloody NWA brawls if the Network ever comes to pass (BWAAHAHAHAHAHHA!)  because obviously they're not gonna be airing that stuff for the kidz to watch on free TV, and otherwise we'll be left waiting for random DVD releases later.  The editing is really a troubling thing for me, even though I grew up in the era of Koko v. Martel at Wrestlemania VI getting cut down to a minute long in order to fit the show onto a 2:40 tape.  This is supposed to be the digital age now, where everything is preserved by the last company standing and history is somewhat respected, and now they're altering matches so that people aren't choking other people anymore.  Either do it all or nothing — if you don't want to release it with the matches and presentation intact, then don't release it at all.  

WWE Releases 2nd Quarter Financials

It’s a mixed bag for the company.  This is going to be text heavy as there were multiple articles:

Overall (Source):

– WWE announced the following today, regarding the 2012 second quarter financials…

WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its
second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Revenues totaled $141.6 million as
compared to $142.6 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income
was $19.6 million as compared to $21.0 million in the prior year
quarter. Net income was $11.9 million, or $0.16 per share, as compared
to $14.3 million, or $0.19 per share, in the prior year quarter. There
were several items that impacted comparability on a year-over-year
basis, including expenses incurred in conjunction with our potential
network in the current quarter and film impairments in the prior year
quarter. Excluding the impact of these items, Adjusted Operating income
declined 12% to $21.3 million from $24.3 million in the prior year
quarter. Adjusted Net income was $13.1 million, or $0.17 per share, as
compared to $16.5 million, or $0.22 per share, in the prior year
quarter.

“In the second quarter, we made important progress on our key strategic
initiatives, expanding our content and distribution and enhancing our
brand strength,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. “The production and licensing of a third hour of Raw and the
launch of a new program, WWE Main Event, for ION Television, as well as
our exploding social media presence which now reaches over 100 million
global fans, exemplify our achievement of these goals. In order to
cultivate further the unique passion of our global fans, we continued to
integrate social media in our program content and entered a strategic
investment agreement with Tout, which enables users to capture and share
15-second videos. Integrating our fans’ voice in our programming
enables us to escalate fan interaction, enhance our programming content,
and drive the value of our investment.”

“Our results were highlighted by the strong performance of our
pay-per-view business, which offset an anticipated decline in video game
sales,” added George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer. “Key audience
measures, including a 17% increase in pay-per-view buys and the
attraction of 6 million viewers to our 1,000th episode of Raw in July
demonstrate our staying power and our continuing ability to build
consumer interest. Based on our earnings growth in the first half of the
year and the recent positive trends in our pay-per-view business, we
are raising our financial forecast for the full year. We expect that our
2012 earnings, measured by either earnings per share, or EBITDA, will
be roughly 5% to 15% above our 2011 results on an “as reported” basis.”

Revenue by world regions (Source):

– According to WWE’s 2012 Second Quarter Results,
revenues from North America increased 2%. This was primarily driven by
the performance of WrestleMania. Revenues from outside North America
declined 8% due to a decrease in live events. Here is a breakdown of net
revenues by region….

* North America: $105.3 million in 2012, up from $103 million in 2011.
* Europe/Middle East/Africa: $24.2 million in 2012, down from $26 million in 2011
* Asia Pacific: $8.4 million in 212, slightly up from $8.3 million in 2011.
* Latin America: $3.7 million in 2012, down from $5.3 million in 2011.
* Total net revenues: $141.6 million, down from $142.6 million in 2011.

  

Live and Televised Entertainment (Source): 

– According to WWE’s 2012 Second Quarter Results,
Live and Televised Entertainment businesses increased 6% to $117.1
million driven by $6.4 million in incremental Pay-Per-View revenue from
events, including WrestleMania. Comparing it to the previous year,
WrestleMania XXVIII contributed $5.3 million in additional ticket,
merchandise and pay-per-view revenue. Overall, live and TV entertainment
is up from $110.5 million in 2011.

* Live Event revenues were $35.4 million as compared to $35.2 million in
the prior year quarter as the strong performance of WrestleMania was
offset by lower attendance and ticket sales from our events in
international markets.

* There were 87 total events, including 57 events in North America and
30 events in international markets, in both the current and prior year
quarters.
North American events generated revenues of $22.3 million as compared to
$20.6 million in the prior year quarter, representing revenue growth of
$1.7 million that was predominantly due to a 28% increase in the
average ticket price at WrestleMania and an 8% increase in the paid
attendance at that event. Overall, including the impact of WrestleMania,
average attendance at the events in North America declined 3% to
approximately 6,400 from 6,600 in the prior year quarter while the
average ticket price for these events increased 15% to $56.72 from
$49.26 in the prior year quarter. Excluding WrestleMania, average
attendance declined approximately 4% to 5,400 and the average ticket
price increased approximately 4% to about $41.

* International events generated revenues of $13.1 million as compared
to $14.6 million in the prior year quarter. The 10% decline in
international event revenue was driven by declines in both average
ticket price and average attendance. The average ticket price for our
international events fell 7% to $63.47 and average attendance declined
6% to 6,200 from 6,600 fans in the prior year quarter. These changes
were due to the weak attendance at our events in Mexico and to changes
in territory mix, as we held our first live event in Brazil, a market
with long-term strategic importance to WWE. Average attendance at our
events in Latin America declined approximately 60% to 4,200 fans while
the average ticket price for these events declined approximately 15% to
$45.03.

PPV Revenue (Source):

– According to WWE’s 2012 Second Quarter Results,
PPV revenues were $40.8 million as compared to $34.4 million in the
prior year quarter. Revenue increased 19% reflecting a 17% increase in
buys for the second quarter. WrestleMania XXVIII accounted for
approximately 60% of this revenue growth with a 15% increase in buys.
Revenue from the three other events in the quarter increased 28% based
on a combined 20% increase in buys and a 6% increase in the average
revenue per buy. The rise in revenue per buy was attributable to higher
retail prices charged for viewing our events in high definition.

* WrestleMania: 1,217,000 buys in 2012, up from 1,059,000 in 2011.
* Extreme Rules: 263,000 buys in 2012, up from 209,000 buys in 2011.
* Over the Limit: 167,000 buys in 2012, up from 140,000 buys in 2011.
* No Way Out (2012)-Capitol Punishment (2011): 194,000 buys in 2012, up from 170,000 buys in 2011.
* Prior Event Buys: 56,000 buys in 2012, up from 20,000 buys in 2011.
* Totals: 1,897,000 buys in 2012, up from 1,598,000 buys in 2011.

TV Rights Fees and Venue Merchandise (Source):

– According to WWE’s 2012 Second Quarter Results, WWE’s TV rights fees were up, while venue merchandise sales were down. Here is the breakdown…

* Television Rights Fees revenues were $32.4 million as compared to
$32.0 million in the prior year quarter. This increase was primarily due
to improved terms and contractual increases from our existing programs,
partially offset by the absence of rights fees for our WWE Superstars
program.

* Venue Merchandise revenues were $5.4 million as compared to $6.3
million in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the timing of our
Fan Axxess events, which are scheduled in conjunction with WrestleMania.
Based on the number of days within the quarter that preceded
WrestleMania, there were two Fan Axxess event sessions in the current
year quarter compared to six event sessions in the prior year quarter.
Total paid attendance and sales per capita at our North American events
were essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter.

Consumer Products (Source): 

– According to WWE’s 2012 Second Quarter Results,
revenue from Consumer Products businesses decreased 25% to $16.1
million from $21.6 million in the prior year quarter. This is due to a
big loss in licensing revenue. Here is the breakdown from the report…

* Licensing revenues were $6.6 million as compared to $12.0 million in
the prior year quarter. The 45% decline was primarily due to a $4.6
million reduction in video game sales with one fewer release, WWE All
Stars, in the period. WWE All Stars was released in March 2011 and will
not be refreshed in the current year. Additionally, royalties from the
sale of toys declined 12%, or $0.4 million, with lower associated
promotion and retail support. Although shipments of our franchise video
game, WWE ’12, increased 13% in the quarter to 221,000 units, shipments
have declined 23% year-to-date.

* Magazine publishing net revenues were $1.3 million as compared to $1.6
million in the prior year quarter, reflecting lower newsstand sales in
the current year quarter.

* Home Video net revenues were $7.8 million as compared to $7.5 million
in the prior year quarter. The 4% increase in revenue was primarily due
to the recognition of minimum guarantees from our international
licensing activities. Domestic home video revenue was essentially
unchanged from the prior year quarter. In the current year quarter, a 9%
decline in shipments to 837,200 units and a 3% decline in average price
per unit to $12.16 were offset by improved sell-through rates,
primarily from our prior period releases. Estimated home video returns
decreased to 39% of gross retail revenue as compared to 41% in the
second quarter last year.

There may be more information released later but that’s all I could find for right now.

DVD Releases

Hello Scott. Long-time reader etc.  I was wondering if you have any
idea why WWE releases so much cool old-school stuff on DVD overseas
and not here. I’m talking about stuff like old house shows, SMNE sets
with full episodes. All sorts of cool crap that you’d think would sell
like crazy to all the old-school fans who are fed up with the current
product. I mean I’ve liked their releases overall the past few years,
but it seems like their missing the boat on this stuff. Or maybe I’m
the only one who would buy something like this.. Any thoughts? Thanks
for your time.

Darn good question.  There’s a weird disparity in what gets released to foreign markets both in DVDs and stuff like the Vintage Collection show, and I’m not really sure why.  In the case of the DVDs, I’m just taking a shot in the dark and saying that companies like Silvervision just license the material and then release it how they want, whereas WWE exerts more direct control over the US market, but I have no direct insight on it.  I’d be interested in why WWE can’t just release stuff like Judgment Day 2000 on DVD themselves, for instance. 

DVD Releases

Hello Scott. Long-time reader etc.  I was wondering if you have any
idea why WWE releases so much cool old-school stuff on DVD overseas
and not here. I’m talking about stuff like old house shows, SMNE sets
with full episodes. All sorts of cool crap that you’d think would sell
like crazy to all the old-school fans who are fed up with the current
product. I mean I’ve liked their releases overall the past few years,
but it seems like their missing the boat on this stuff. Or maybe I’m
the only one who would buy something like this.. Any thoughts? Thanks
for your time.

Darn good question.  There’s a weird disparity in what gets released to foreign markets both in DVDs and stuff like the Vintage Collection show, and I’m not really sure why.  In the case of the DVDs, I’m just taking a shot in the dark and saying that companies like Silvervision just license the material and then release it how they want, whereas WWE exerts more direct control over the US market, but I have no direct insight on it.  I’d be interested in why WWE can’t just release stuff like Judgment Day 2000 on DVD themselves, for instance.