How are we all doing folks? Not going stir crazy being stuck inside are you? I’m back with another Blake’s Take to help alleviate that boredom and get you thinking…maybe? Today’s subject is WWE House Shows. Now I know you’re thinking “What are you on about dude?” but bare with me on this…
I don’t know if you’ve seen the news, but WWE held an Investor’s conference call this past Thursday. A usual occurrence in the stock market world. But a call in these Covid-19 times? Where people are very cautious about everything, let alone their stock? It led to a call that drop some very telling tidbits of information –
I’ll start with a biggy (according to my son): There will be no WWE2K21 console game this year. I know, shocker huh! After the absolute dumpster fire of ’20, this was pretty much a no-brainer.
There may not be a Saudi WWE show this year due to the pandemic that’s swept the globe. And in this author’s honest opinion….no great loss. I can quite easily do without seeing Goldberg, HBK, Kane, et al take a golden handshake of a payday.
There were many other points mentioned in the call, but the one that literally made me sit back and say “whoa” was this: An investor asked Uncle Vince what the plan was if Florida state goes back to shutting down the Performance Center. Vince said that the company has a number of back-up plans if that were to happen. But he also said that he thinks WWE will not be in the live event business going forward and after the pandemic.
His reasonings were that he thinks (like many others) consumers would wait a long time before they sit in a 10,000 seat arena with other fans, or at a stadium for WrestleMania with an excess of 70,000 people. And he’s got a point. None of us know what the new normal will be after the pandemic is over. But in my mind, stopping live events – aka WWE house shows – could be a huge mistake.
House shows have been used to “fine-tune” matches for future big events. Wrestlers scheduled for huge money matches at PPV’s would test the waters at house shows. The two people involved would use house shows to work on their in-ring chemistry, which spots work and which spots don’t, how the crowd reacts to it all. It is a major tool used by all touring companies. Lose house shows, you lose this valuable asset.
Here’s another point – how difficult is it to get to a RAW or SmackDown or PPV? I live in the UK so I know how hard it is for us, let alone over in the States. If you take away the house shows, many of us lose the ability to see our favorite wrestlers live. We can’t all get to the TV tapings, or PPV’s.
My final point is that over the past few years, some WWE house shows have been rebranded with event names. Case in point, Starrcade has been held as a special house show over the past three years with a SuperCard kinda feel. Titles have been defended in steel cages, famous guests have appeared, and the last two have been aired on the WWE Network. I personally thought that it could be something to boost the ailing house show business going forward. But alas, I was wrong.
I mentioned above about the ailing house shows. For some time now WWE hasn’t been earning from their house shows. In actual fact, they’ve been losing money by putting on house shows. People attending have been dropping, merch isn’t selling so well, it’s just been bad for quite some time. Maybe canceling the whole live events side of the business is a good idea? Got to keep the investors happy after all.
If this is the death knell of WWE Live Events, it’s a shame that it’s going out on a whimper. I always imagined one last blow out of a show. Like a mini-Mania. Put on your biggest stars, create some amazing matches and memories, send the fans home happy. Remind the fans what house shows were, not how they became.