Wrestling-Online Newsletter #2253
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Sunday June 4th 2006 Issue #2253
Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com
//->> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
Colin Vassallo -[editor@...]-
Dammit all my favorite shows are over. 24, Prison Break, Lost, The Unit.
What am I going to do?
We have a new writer starting today, so check his column out under the news.
Slow weekend as far as news go. Back tomorrow.
Order the 3-disc WrestleMania 22 on DVD. Available now!
//->> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-
> WRESTLEMANIA 22 DVD SHIPS BIG- WWE is reporting that the WrestleMania 22 DVD debuted in the 4th place on
the best-selling DVDs chart on Nielsen Videoscan. WWE shipped more than
212,000 unites of the DVD since it was released and already surpassed
WrestleMania 21 DVD as far as units shipped go in the first week when
comparing the two. WM22 sold around twice as many units in the first week as
WM21 did in its first week last year. WrestleMania 21 is currently the best
selling WWE PPV DVD ever.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2794]
> TAZZ VS LAWLER AT ONE NIGHT STAND?- Tazz has issued a challenge to Jerry 'The King' Lawler for a match on One
Night Stand this coming Sunday on pay-per-view. 'The Human Wrecking Machine'
hasn't wrestled in a match since 2002 after retiring due to neck problems.
So far four matches have been announced for ECW's PPV which are Cena vs RVD;
Sabu vs Rey Mysterio; Tommy Dreamer & Terry Funk vs Edge & Mick Foley; and
Kurt Angle's open challenge to anyone from a four-sided, six-sided and an
eight-sided ring. So that goes to TNA and UFC! There was a rumor that Benoit
would be facing Dean Malenko as a tribute to Eddie Guerrero but with Benoit
out this is almost confirmed that it's not going to happen.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2795]
> MORE KANE 'SEE NO EVIL' NUMBERS- Up until Friday, Kane's 'See No Evil' had a total of $10,969,000 in box
office receipts, doing in the $300,000 range on Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday and then going to $605,000 on Friday. We don't have the numbers for
the weekend but it should be able to hit - or come close - to the $12
million mark after adding the weekend revenue.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2763]
//->> OPINIONS FROM A BIG BLACK CHAIR
By Alan H. Zatkow -[alzatkow@...]-
I've been a member of the W-O Newsletter for awhile and have finally decided
to voice my opinions in this column. It seems popular these days to give WWE
a lot of heat for its general creative direction, perhaps because their
matches outside of the main events are about as long as it takes you to read
this sentence and the stuff that used to be filler, what Jim Ross refers to
as the Sizzle, seems to be overtaking the Steak on the shows. But I still
like WWE programming, by and large. It puts a smile on my face and what else
are television shows supposed to do? What alarms me is that I seem to be
able to predict everything that's going to happen so accurately that some of
my friends think I work for them. Predictability is bad, and it's happening
on Friday nights more than Mondays. A huge problem for Smackdown!
Still, I feel that WWE is about to do something that I feel should help
them, if not through 2006, which will be experimentation, then definitely in
2007 when they've got the proper formula to make it work on all levels.
That's right. They are opening a second brand.
What's that you say? Alan, you're an idiot. They've had two brands for years
now. Don't you watch the product? Hello! RAW and Smackdown. Two brands!
Right? Okay. If you have exactly the same amount of titles with exactly the
same purposes, the same format, the same theme of Sports Entertainment, the
same creative feel and look, the same rules in the matches, and simply split
your roster in half you don't have two brands. You have ONE brand being done
twice. You have two touring companies. WCW died for a lot of reasons. In my
opinion the primary one was both before and after the N.W.O. storyline, WCW
was also using the same Sports Entertainment format as the people who
invented it, WWE only they weren't doing it nearly as well except during the
one N.W.O. storyline stretch which created intrigue, originality, and
interest. Otherwise, they were doing the same thing with different people.
And you can't fool the fans. They do call us Smart Marks for a reason,
Smackdown's ratings have decreased over time, and why? I just told you why.
They are the new version of WCW, only WWE has to pay for the cost of
producing it so they are worse off then when they were competing against WCW
and using all of their talent together for the best shows possible. If you
think I'm wrong, they were getting 7's and 8's for ratings back then.
Nowadays a 6 is cause for huge celebration. And Smackdown hasn't pulled a 6
in a long, long time. Think about it like this:
Its like if Kellogg's came out with a new brand of cereal, called Gooblies.
You buy a box. You pour it into a bowl. The Gooblies are small and white.
They make sounds like snap, crackle, and pop. Kellogg's can call em'
Gooblies if they want to, but you are still eating the same old Rice
Krispies you always did. After you realize this, why would you buy another
box of Gooblies? You're not gonna, cause the Krispies are the original, and
have fun mascots you like, while the Gooblies are.uh.goobly. Actually,
goobly is a good word to describe how I felt when The Boogie Man pinned
Booker T clean at WrestleMania, but I digress.
We've been eating the same brand of Sports Entertainment whether its Monday
night or Friday, and for some reason, WWE keeps telling us they've got two
different shows going on. They don't. They have Sports Entertainment. That's
their brand. They do it on RAW. They do it on Smackdown. They seem to be
doing it better on RAW these days, and that's why Smackdown's ratings are
sinking at what seems to be a rapid rate.
The good news is they may have found the right formula to save themselves. I
predict ECW will succeed. While of course the McMahon family will have a lot
of influence over the product, it is going to be a derivation of Paul
Heyman's creativity, which should create something different than anything
seen before. The age old question of: What if ECW had been properly financed
and had a television spot where they wouldn't be undermined will finally be
answered. With a lot of young talent from Deep South and Ohio Valley forming
the bulk of their roster, some ECW faithful favorites from the days of yore,
an interesting necessity to also appeal to Sci-Fi fans somehow, and guys
like Kurt Angle involved, ECW should have a versatile and well rounded
roster and a creative slant that creates a lot of interest. A lot of people
probably feel that this is a serious threat to NWA: TNA. Actually, I don't
think so. TNA has its own style, its own feel, its own brand. Its financing
is solid and its roster committed. It's acted as both a decent alternative
to those turned off completely by Sports Entertainment while also simply
supplementing the industry and giving loyal WWE fans something else to watch
that has, for the most part, been enjoyable. TNA is going to grow, and ECW
is probably going to help TNA more than hurt it, unless all the TNA roster
jumps ship. I don't see that happening. No, there is a brand that's going to
go. Its called Smackdown. Not the show, mind you. Just the "brand". This is
a good thing.
If ECW is successful then WWE will finally have two legitimate brands, and
can fold in the umbrella, bringing the entire WWE roster back into place and
performing on both shows. This is the logical thing for the company to do.
It would be costly and difficult for a company to properly and successfully
market three brands and have three different touring rosters. Logically, it
also means splitting your marketing and creative departments in three as
well. My prediction: Six to twelve months of the "Three brand experiment"
followed by a consolidation as all of the WWE brand wrestlers end up back
together full time appearing on both RAW and Smackdown, followed by some
"defections" of WWE wrestlers to ECW to either fill out the ECW roster or
help a talent get more air-time. This would allow for them to help ECW by
providing them with even more of their roster members, it will help
Smackdown's ratings, re-consolidate their marketing and creative efforts and
in the long run, gain the most profit with the least amount of effort. They
only split the roster initially because they wanted to make double the money
by having two touring companies. There is no logical reason for them to want
or need to do three.
While I haven't got any inside knowledge that this is what is going to
happen, I am predicting it here first. There won't be three brands in WWE
for long. Of course, WWE doesn't have three brands now anyway. They just
think they do.
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