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AEW to stop using blood(well blading) and some swears in the future?

From Meltzer

“One very important thing in the future of AEW come 2023 when negotiations are going on for a new deal is that it looks like Kathleen Finch, the former Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery, will be the person put in charge at TBS as part of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger. So the station will have her vision.

“Dynamite is doing very well, and its actually the highest rated thing on the station other than the NBA or other major sports, but wrestling has a stigma. The other would be her view of programming in regard to things like blood and swearing.”

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14 minutes ago, Hagan said:

All that said, can’t Tweet that. Leak the report to a friendly journalist if you must. Get a lawyer involved if you have strong proof. Call Elon Musk if need be. But popping off on Twitter is just exacerbating the issue you’re trying to combat.

And that's granting that there's any merit to his claims and he's not just talking shit. In the latter case, making wild claims that could get people harassed and failing to provide sufficient proof of your premise is conduct that's unacceptable when it's Alex Jones using it to sell supplements. Tony doing that silly shit in an attempt to push his 10pm Friday show that's not going to benefit in any real way from this mess? That's quite a choice...

At best, this gets people who are already fans of his to go "LOL, Tony's at it again." At worst, he's being a lot shittier than I think he realizes.

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Oh I have zero doubt his claims are true. I mean, a lot of the outrage ginned up on Twitter is manufactured. Whether WWE is funding is a little harder to prove but just click on the usual Twitter ‘reply guy’ on anything. Clearly fake or just a total Zodiac Killer.

This is a much larger issue than wrestling and, as always, the rule is to GET OFF TWITTER.

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7 minutes ago, Blue Dragon said:

AEW to stop using blood(well blading) and some swears in the future?

From Meltzer

“One very important thing in the future of AEW come 2023 when negotiations are going on for a new deal is that it looks like Kathleen Finch, the former Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery, will be the person put in charge at TBS as part of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger. So the station will have her vision.

“Dynamite is doing very well, and its actually the highest rated thing on the station other than the NBA or other major sports, but wrestling has a stigma. The other would be her view of programming in regard to things like blood and swearing.”

Jon Moxley would like to announce his retirement from professional wrestling effective 2023.

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Just to further clarify - a study came out in 2020 that 45 percent of accounts tweeting about Covid were bots.

Take that number and extrapolate it for EVERYTHING else on Twitter, from Will Smith, to the war in Ukraine, to Adam Cole’s height, to Live Morgan’s booking.

 

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Seriously, that is why I prefer good old message boards or Discord. Communities are better when they are curated. Twitter is poorly curated. 

Elon Musk buying up shares to drive Twitter toward less curation is only going to make it a worse tool than it already is for discussion of, well, anything. 

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2 minutes ago, Hagan said:

Just to further clarify - a study came out in 2020 that 45 percent of accounts tweeting about Covid were bots.

Take that number and extrapolate it for EVERYTHING else on Twitter, from Will Smith, to the war in Ukraine, to Adam Cole’s height, to Live Morgan’s booking.

I grant you that and I'm not denying the existence of substantial bot activity. But the end result of Tony saying straight up that much of the people who disagree with his fans aren't real likely isn't helpful. I maintain that if Tony's going to make such claims, he has an obligation provide specifics. I expect nothing less from such an ardent "numbers guy."

And as you said, he should get off Twitter. 

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TK gonna need a thicker skin as this war heats. To quote Logan Roy ‘you’re playing tin fucking soldiers.’

You wanna fight back on Twitter. Hire your own troll farm. Under every RKO post spam the accusations against Riddle and Orton’s history. Have bots spam Saudi articles and just constantly tag sponsors. Get a thousand accounts to do crying face emojis and post Wrestletix reports for Raw.

Wrestling wars are ugly and a zero sum game. It’s not gonna get nicer. TK needs to think the long-term. He’ll outlive Vince and whatever the WWE becomes post-Vince presumably will be nothing wrestling fans want. Stay your course.

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I don't think WWE is even really Tony's concern post-Vince.

What his concern should be is that he can't grow his audience because pro wrestling is dying in the United States and is becoming a true niche. 

The wrestling war is against a shift in American culture that wrestling isn't able to contend with.

That doesn't mean that I expect companies to do MNW numbers because the media environment is so fragmented, but I do think that RAW only getting 2M viewers or whatever post-WM and AEW struggling to crack a million most weeks is an awful sign even considering the environment. 

Where is AEW's growth coming from? They seem to have stalled almost entirely. I know that people will disagree, but they have been on TV for awhile and should be doing better than the 850K-975K range by now, ideally. 

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hey now, Tony said that Bunny/Storm got over a million viewers, it's just that the commercial breaks drag the ratings

(it's almost a cliche by this point that AEW is gonna have like 8 different times where a match is PIP during a commercial break)

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Speaking of tribalism, the idea that some people like/support TK just because he used to post here is funny. 

I'm sure everyone has people on here they can't stand for whatever reason (and I'd certainly be near the top of the board Most Hated PWI style rankings), but you wouldn't support their projects just because they've been here for 5/10/20 years. 

(If they did, I'd have a lot more podcasts followers and have sold more copies of the magazine over the years). 🙂

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19 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

I don't think WWE is even really Tony's concern post-Vince.

What his concern should be is that he can't grow his audience because pro wrestling is dying in the United States and is becoming a true niche. 

The wrestling war is against a shift in American culture that wrestling isn't able to contend with.

That doesn't mean that I expect companies to do MNW numbers because the media environment is so fragmented, but I do think that RAW only getting 2M viewers or whatever post-WM and AEW struggling to crack a million most weeks is an awful sign even considering the environment. 

Where is AEW's growth coming from? They seem to have stalled almost entirely. I know that people will disagree, but they have been on TV for awhile and should be doing better than the 850K-975K range by now, ideally. 

AEW is up like 45 percent year over year. Raw is generally the number 1 show for its night and sometimes. Dynamite is a hit show in the demo. As is Smackdown. Professional wrestling, all over TV at a rate we haven't seen since 2001

Saying pro wrestling is dying is just showing a lack of awareness of the TV industry and the markerplace. For the first time in two decades the United States is supporting two successful wrestling promotion.

The ‘AEW isn’t growing their audience’ argument is the biggest bad faith take going.  By every measure they are WILDLY up and pro wrestling is doing better overall that it has since WCW went down.

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Just this week: ‘This week’s Dynamite viewership was up 35.52% from the same week in 2021. The key demo rating was up 43.75% from the previous year.’

Not to be a gate-keeper but this is where if you’re not following and reading Brandon Thurston and Wrestlenomics or John Pollock’s analysis or, yes, Dave you gotta sit out the business talk. 
 

Like, for these people, what on Earth is the metric for success in wrestling anymore? The WWE off years of declining popularity got the money from Peacock and USA and Fox to solidify them for decades. Presuming  Cody doesn’t cut TK’s brakes like Dusty dif to Magnum they could triple their rights fees and be in a similar state of solvency. How is wrestling dying? 

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4 minutes ago, Hagan said:

AEW is up like 45 percent year over year. Raw is generally the number 1 show for its night and sometimes. Dynamite is a hit show in the demo. As is Smackdown. Professional wrestling, all over TV at a rate we haven't seen since 2001

Saying pro wrestling is dying is just showing a lack of awareness of the TV industry and the markerplace. For the first time in two decades the United States is supporting two successful wrestling promotion.

The ‘AEW isn’t growing their audience’ argument is the biggest bad faith take going.  By every measure they are WILDLY up and pro wrestling is doing better overall that it has since WCW went down.

I'd appreciate not being accused of making bad faith arguments. I'm fine with you countering any arguments I make, but I don't think that I've ever given a reason to think that I'm deliberately making a bad faith argument. 

Anyway, I think RAW generally being the number one show for their night on cable is not new. The issue is that being the number one show in 2022 doesn't deliver the same amount of viewers. Now, I do understand why wrestling is all over television right now; there is still a fairly hardcore niche audience and they will watch live, which is meaningful to any network trying to sell advertising. In fact, IIRC, ad money for wrestling is up, right? That, I'd argue, is only because advertisers don't really have any choice now but to target any pro wrestling company with live television and a reasonable audience. 

(The other thing that AEW has in its favor is very good cable demo numbers in the 18-49M category since I believe that group is believed to be most likely to try new products.)

However, and I'd need to go back through the numbers to be sure, this is a company that hasn't hit the TV highs of the CM Punk debut since then. I don't even think TNT is in the top ten of cable networks this past quarter re: ratings.

Forgive me if I'm incorrect about any of this, but what does this do to prove that wrestling is healthy in the United States? Pro wrestling being all over TV is, I would argue, not a sign of its health, but a sign of a bunch of networks trying to sell ads.

I would kill to see if all the money that FOX spent on Smackdown is worth it for them based on ad buys straight up, on another note. I'd also love to see if the one billion dollars that NBC spent on WWE in what I would argue is a panic buy to bolster Peacock is worth as much as a comparable deal, like the PL deal at 2.7B (which is now drawing 1M+ viewers on cable in the mornings, not even prime time, for some of the better PL matchups). 

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As a general rule in life, I will feel more kinship towards someone I can have an intelligent conversation with about Ken the Box than someone that I cannot have such a conversation with. That's not to say I like all of my kin, certainly.

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7 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

I'd appreciate not being accused of making bad faith arguments. I'm fine with you countering any arguments I make, but I don't think that I've ever given a reason to think that I'm deliberately making a bad faith argument. 

Anyway, I think RAW generally being the number one show for their night on cable is not new. The issue is that being the number one show in 2022 doesn't deliver the same amount of viewers. Now, I do understand why wrestling is all over television right now; there is still a fairly hardcore niche audience and they will watch live, which is meaningful to any network trying to sell advertising. In fact, IIRC, ad money for wrestling is up, right? That, I'd argue, is only because advertisers don't really have any choice now but to target any pro wrestling company with live television and a reasonable audience. 

(The other thing that AEW has in its favor is very good cable demo numbers in the 18-49M category since I believe that group is believed to be most likely to try new products.)

However, and I'd need to go back through the numbers to be sure, this is a company that hasn't hit the TV highs of the CM Punk debut since then. I don't even think TNT is in the top ten of cable networks this past quarter re: ratings.

Forgive me if I'm incorrect about any of this, but what does this do to prove that wrestling is healthy in the United States? Pro wrestling being all over TV is, I would argue, not a sign of its health, but a sign of a bunch of networks trying to sell ads.

I would kill to see if all the money that FOX spent on Smackdown is worth it for them based on ad buys straight up, on another note. I'd also love to see if the one billion dollars that NBC spent on WWE in what I would argue is a panic buy to bolster Peacock is worth as much as a comparable deal, like the PL deal at 2.7B (which is now drawing 1M+ viewers on cable in the mornings, not even prime time, for some of the better PL matchups). 

Apologies for the bad faith charge. Not appropriate on my part but anyone saying "AEW isn't growing their audience" is showing a lack of awareness of the facts. They're showing year-to-year growth in ratings and PPV buy rates. By any metric, they're up. The week-to-week dunking or slagging on ratings is a ridiculous by-product of social media but when you look at the macro I believe Dynamite has been the only wrestling show to show year over year growth every month (though with the recent hot streak of Raw and SD you'd expect them to be up). I'd advise listening to Voices of Wrestling's TV review on their Patreon that uses Thurston's data to detail these facts. You had mentioned in a previous that "ideally they should be doing better" than they are now. That's just a weird arbitrary goalpost. What's the number then? .40 in the demo? .50? The arbitrary 1 million viewer (even though total Turner and most TV networks and advertisers don't care about the total number). 

I have to confess I don't really follow your argument. What's the measurement of success? If it's making money, both companies are in far better position to do so. You're basically arguing that TV networks "don't have a choice" to put wrestling on TV because of the the fight for eyeballs but how is that an indictment of the popularity of wrestling. Clearly these media outlets see wrestling as valuable enough to throw money at. Is there any indication at all that Universal is upset with WWE or Fox is? There's WWE programming and branding all over their properties. Unless Khan is blowing smoke he sounds like he may be able to talk Turner into giving airtime to fucking RING OF HONOR. 

Also, "they haven't hit the highs of the CM Punk debut on Rampage" is silly. That's an outlier. Rampage has been struggling lately but for most of its run has been over-achieving for its timeslot. Lemme pop into the UFC thread and say that UFC is dying because tomorrow's PPV won't sell as many PPVs as a Conor McGregor fight because that's the exact same argument you're making with the Punk comparison. 

Pro wrestling is healthy in the United States because you have two promotions with multiple hit shows on TV, both drawing crowds that may not be Attitude Era gates but are a far cry from the doldrums of the mid 90s or even the soft 2000s period after the boom. AEW JUST crossed a million dollar gate for their Vegas show, only the second show since WCW to do that with the exception of the New Japan MSG show. You have TV networks willing to throw giants bags of cash at these companies.   

If the argument is simply "there are less fans of wrestling now than they were [insert however many years ago] than sure but that's like me saying the terrible shows on CBS aren't popular because they get less viewers than MASH. It's a misleading metric. Dying implies something is going away. Is there any indication in this year of all years that wrestling is going away? 

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@Hagan I think, with all due respect, "there are less fans of wrestling" is actually a pretty important argument! Your M*A*S*H argument doesn't hold up; there are still the same number of people who enjoy sitcoms as there were in 1968. Sitcom numbers are spread out across a billion shows on a billion streamers, cable networks, and broadcast networks. 

Further, we know that wrestling fans are pretty old, demographically, particularly with WWE viewers. They are not passing down their fandom to younger generations very efficiently. Look, if baseball can be worried about dying when it's in a far better position of popularity than pro wrestling, I don't think it's crazy to make the argument that pro wrestling is dying. Maybe it's in the early stages of ultimate decline (and maybe not), but the argument isn't crazy. 

The argument that I am making is simply that wrestling is not necessarily healthy because there are many wrestling shows on TV. Wrestling is on TV so much because right now, there is a desire on the parts of networks/streamers for two things: 

  • Live programming that they can sell to advertisers
  • In the specific case of Comcast/NBCU, anything that will draw paying customers to Peacock

My response to your argument that "there are many wrestling shows available on TV/streaming, so wrestling is healthy/not dying" is that wrestling is precious live programming and is being valued highly despite its increasingly niche position as a form of entertainment in the country.

Re: AEW, your comparison is again poor. We're not comparing one UFC show to the next, and in fact, a draw like Conor McGregor was garnering sustained buys as a headliner for the company that he is a part of whenever he was on the card. Is Punk doing that for AEW? Look, I am glad to be wrong - if overall viewing across shows is up post-Punk or he's a segment king who helps the shows sustain viewers after his segments are over, great. 

But your argument is all over here outside of the "up 44%" point. It's great that a big show in the southwest is doing such a great gate, but to point to that show (which I believe is the first in the region for AEW and is therefore a special occurrence) and then to also say, "don't judge Rampage or AEW by a special occurrence like Punk's debut" is a bit strange. 

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree about what it means that networks are buying wrestling programming right now. I don't see a way that we'll convince one another. Suffice it to say that I disagree with your read on what that means for pro wrestling and its sustained popularity here. 

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
Readability fixes, added @
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1 hour ago, Hagan said:

TK gonna need a thicker skin as this war heats. To quote Logan Roy ‘you’re playing tin fucking soldiers.’

You wanna fight back on Twitter. Hire your own troll farm. Under every RKO post spam the accusations against Riddle and Orton’s history. Have bots spam Saudi articles and just constantly tag sponsors. Get a thousand accounts to do crying face emojis and post Wrestletix reports for Raw.

Wrestling wars are ugly and a zero sum game. It’s not gonna get nicer. TK needs to think the long-term. He’ll outlive Vince and whatever the WWE becomes post-Vince presumably will be nothing wrestling fans want. Stay your course.

That's the Chicago Way!

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