PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE

 
 

WWE HANDLED THE LARS SULLIVAN SITUATION ALL WRONG, WHY TNT CHOSE AEW, COMBINING TITLES AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2019-05-22 10:00:00

You can send us questions for the PWInsider.com Q and A at pwinsider@gmail.com.

I'm curious.  Have you heard exactly what it was that impressed TNT enough to get back into the wrestling biz with upstart AEW?  I mean they could have well before now with ROH or TNA/Impact.  Was the news a shock for the latter two promotions?  Someone had to have a that could have been us moment.

AEW made sense to TNT for a lot of reasons.  For one, they can cross promote them in their sports platform.  That is appealing to them.  Two, they are coming in, to be completely honest, at a great price for TNT.  Three, they are backed by a billionaire with the desire to make this thing succeed, which is a good thing.  It’s a low risk, potentially high reward deal for them.  Sure, they could have gone to Impact but that is a brand that has consecutively gone backward in their TV networks.  They are on Pursuit TV now for a reason, so TNT didn’t want to deal with a company that had the reputation of going backward.  In the case of Ring Of Honor, their product is part of Sinclair’s synergy and they weren’t going to come cheaply as any airing on TNT would take away from the numbers that ROH does on the Sinclair affiliates around the country.

I've never liked the fact that WWE has 2 "World Champions". Now that they have the wild card rule and they can move talents between brands at will, do you think it is time to unify the 2 titles again. To me 2 champions lessens the prestige of being champion.

With the move to FOX coming in less than five months, I don’t see that happening.

I listened to your audio, specifically the segment about Lars Sullivan, and couldn’t agree with your view more.  You are correct, this is a big slippery slope that doesn’t seem like the best solution.  Hulk Hogan was not fined as far as any of us know, nor do we know if he was given sensitivity training in order to repair his relationship with WWE.  Also, given the comments Lars Sullivan made were in 2003-2007, those were years where A.J. Styles would cut promos with the word “f*****t”, and John Layfield’s JBL character was racist and even did a heil salute in Germany.  I don’t see WWE retroactively punishing them upon fan discovery.  So why is it appropriate to fine someone for their 12 year old transgressions, when it’s not even substantially current? Twelve years is a long time and people grow and mature.  For the record if he said those things within the past year or two, I’d agree with the move to fine him considering the Be A STAR stuff and their goodwill.  But the Be A STAR campaign began in 2011, and Sullivan made those vile statements before WWE even cared.   I hope we are on the same page, by the way, as I don’t wish to rise the wrath of Dave on these sort of topics.

You heard the audio so I agree with you (and me).  I think WWE handled this very, very badly, for a few reasons.  Obviously there is what you (and I) said about.  It was an old transgression, when he didn’t even work for them.  Others have said and done things that didn’t incur this kind of wrath, like Hulk Hogan.  From their perspective, they also made it really hard to push the guy.  Now what people will see is “he was fined so he was wrong”.  What they should have done was been proactive and said Lars said these heinous things when he was younger and feels terribly for how wrong he was.  He has vowed to donate to fill-in-recipient and will be a focal point of our Be A Star campaign.  That turns a negative into a positive.  They instead turned a negative into a more negative.  

I just read about WWE fining Lars Sullivan $100k for social media comments he made even before he worked for them.  How on Earth can they do that?  BEFORE he worked for them!  Plus he is an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR!  So as such, how can they make him go to sensitivity training or whatever?  I can’t imagine ANY of that is even legal, is it?

Until someone wants to challenge the contract in court, yes it is legal.  They can basically impose whatever they want to impose on the talents.  It’s not a great relationship from the wrestler’s perspective.

Like a lot of professional wrestling fans who're completely over the WWE product as booked by VKM, I'm really hoping AEW succeeds.  Obviously they aren't going to be true competition for WWE out of the gate if ever from a financial standpoint.  My questions are as follows.  With Raw and SmackDown ratings tanking, it's completely in the realm of possibility that their numbers will drop further once AEW debuts.  Although AEW may not be able to match their ratings or surpass them, do you think they could affect them enough for VKM to make changes? Or for USA & Fox to request a better product.  How much lower can they drop before someone is demanding change?

I think that they can help implement change.  Even if WWE stays where it is now, if AEW comes in and does well over a million viewers, WWE will look bad in comparison.  The real change will probably have to come from demands by the TV partners.  They are where the money is made for WWE and they are the only people that they really have to keep happy.

You can send us questions for the PWInsider.com Q and A at pwinsider@gmail.com.

If you enjoy PWInsider.com you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more, right now for THREE DAYS free by clicking here!