Thursday, May 17, 2018

WWE About to Get Paid, So It Should Pay Its Workers

McMahon will make a lot more money that he'll hoard for himself and not give to the wrestlers
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WWE will not have to worry about where RAW is going to be broadcast for the next few years, and it will be shopping Smackdown potentially to a new network. The Hollywood Reporter has a report saying WWE is close to a new deal to broadcast RAW with NBC Universal, i.e. to remain on USA Network, for up to three times the amount the current deal pays out. It will not renew the option on Smackdown, which will go out to bid. Depending on who bids for the second WWE program, WWE could be raking in substantially more money for its cable broadcasting over the next few years. That is, any fantasy booking of WWE going Network-only is just that, fantasy booking. It's staying on cable, at least for the near future.

Outside of remaining at home on television and getting gobs more money, the implications involved here are numerous and massive. Firstly, it once again shoots holes in most dirtsheets and their mode of reporting ratings like it's 1998. The raw numbers have been in decline, and sites still report it as if the sky's falling. Meanwhile, WWE is about to increase its cashflow drastically, so once again, it proves that the people that receive payment in exchange for their reporting and analysis really are making their subscribers waste money on bogus material.

These purveyors of news would be far better off reporting and concentrating on the other implications here, the increase in money that will more than likely not result in a proportional increase in monies paid to labor, specifically the wrestlers. With this new television deal and the potential windfall taken in when someone, whether it be NBCU, Fox, or whomever, ponies up for Smackdown, wrestlers should not only be seeing an increase in total contract value, but they, in a perfect world, should finally be getting the benefits that they SHOULD have been receiving all along, i.e. health insurance and fully-paid travel expenses. It should not be a question that the talent should receive benefits commensurate to the worth they provide to the company, which is far more than what they receive currently.

However, it doesn't take a brain genius to figure out that the increase in funds will just mean more payouts to the board and to the McMahon family, who will undoubtedly try to use the money it receives from this deal to buy their own Congressman after failing to secure a Senate seat for Linda earlier this decade. I will be shocked if payrates increase by any more than just weak adjustments "for inflation," and if anything, the big bucks for talent get shelled out for guest stars like, just spitballing here, Conor McGregor or some other part-time star to come in on a Ronda Rousey deal.

Any media worth a damn would be pressing that button instead of going back to reporting on declining RAW ratings like it fucking mattered anymore. Of course, the recurring theme is that wrestlers and promoters alike share such a disdain for the dirtsheet writers that they won't listen to their exhortations. That being said, how do the sheets operate nowadays anyway? It's all reporting on spoilers and plans or analyzing with an ear on trying to fit in with the boys instead of trying to find a truth. I mean, look at the way Dave Meltzer, who thinks "mark" and the n-word are equal and that Junkyard Dog was only pushed because of "reverse racism," reports. He gives kid gloves to Michael Elgin, who treats him like one of the boys, and constantly rags on Miz, whom he still sees as an outsider and who rebukes him because he's such an office guy.

Imagine if Meltzer, who along with Jim Ross laughed off domestic violence accusations against Tomoaki Honma, reported intensely on things that mattered? Imagine if instead of charging subscription fees to peddle ratings news and analysis of shows that happened 20 years ago, these journalists started doing their jobs and started peering into why the biggest wrestling company in the world has such inequality between revenue and payroll for starters. Wrestling media is only adversarial inasmuch as it allows Wade Keller to bitch about how kayfabe just isn't the same as it was in 1988 or for Bryan Alvarez to opine about whatever bullshit he may have watched for 20 seconds before shutting off and turning on an episode of Thunder from November 1999. They may touch on important issues, but the focus is always on the dumb shit.

But hey, the McMahon family will have more stacks of hundreds to throw at each other during their weekly money fight. Oh, and WWE will keep both NBCU and most likely Fox Sports happy with content. Maybe this move will mean the company will actually try harder to keep Smackdown relevant for more than a week. Either way, it's huge news that should have far-reaching implications, but the only thing that the increased revenue will really affect is how much chest-puffing people who care about corporate profits will engage in.