Vince McMahon reminded the world of WWE’s sophistication, and Steve Cook used the word’s definition to see exactly how “sophisticated” applies to WWE!
Thursday saw WWE present its long-awaited second quarter financial report. Vince McMahon did his quarterly earnings call, answering questions from stockholders concerning WWE’s recent performance and future plans. Some of you really enjoy this stuff. You like poring over graphs & PPV buyrate numbers and merchandise sales & stock prices and all that stuff. It makes you guys feel like Jim Cramer.
Me? I care even less about WWE Financials Day than I do about a Congressional Hearing not involving baseball players using steroids or a prospective Supreme Court Justice sexually assaulting somebody. At least they don’t put Vince on all the TV channels, I suppose.
Some interesting stuff tends to pop up during the earnings call, though. It’s one of the few times where Vince has to answer questions from people, and occasionally the people have interesting things on their minds. All Elite Wrestling was a topic of conversation, and a pretty relevant one considering they have an official start date for their weekly TNT broadcast. Vince had some interesting opinions, but there was one thing he said that made me take notice.
Vince: new Executive Directors can give them more depth on storylines and talent development. They will be edgier, but remain PG; no blood and guts like our potential new competitor, we have graduated to a more sophisticated product.
— Larry T. Csonka (@LarryCsonka411) July 25, 2019
“Sophisticated”? I gotta tell you, I can think of plenty of words to describe WWE programming. Sophisticated is not one I would have thought of in a million years. Then I looked up sophisticated in the dictionary.
Y’all, I should have known Vince was right. He always is! I don’t know why we keep doubting him. Let’s look at the definition of sophisticated according to the Bing search engine & see how it applies to WWE. Because if there’s one important conversation we need to have regarding pro wrestling this week…it’s this one.
“…having, revealing, or proceeding from a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture.”
OK, I can see how “sophisticated” might apply to WWE under this definition. Vince McMahon has been telling stories via the artform of pro wrestling longer than any of his competitors. None of AEW’s Executive Vice Presidents were even alive when Vince bought the WWF from his father on June 6, 1982. Tony Khan was born a few months later, the Elite guys came along in the ensuing years. There isn’t a man alive that can compete with Vince when it comes to experience in promoting wrestling.
Fashion & culture? Oh, I think there’s no doubt that Vin-Man is with it. The man knows about Pat McAfee’s tuxedo shorts & how trendy they are. If that’s not evidence of knowledge of fashion & culture, I don’t know what is!
“…appealing to people with worldly knowledge or experience.”
Tough to argue with this one too. I think most people would agree that if there’s one thing I’m known for, it’s my worldly knowledge & experience. You fair readers arrived here at The Chairshot due to your worldly knowledge & experience. Sure, if you go to a show you’ll see plenty of the stereotypical wrestling fan with five working teeth that can burp the alphabet on command. That is a portion of the fanbase.
But there’s a lot of us out there that use our head. (Get it? Oh I’m so darn witty & good at branding.)
“…(of a machine, system, or technique) developed to a high degree of complexity.”
Well, if any word could describe WWE’s creative process, it would be complexity. I think we would agree it’s a complicated process or situation. You’ve got scores of writers on staff trying to come up with ideas for people. Vince McMahon is the person they report to, and the person who makes all the final decisions. Now we have Executive Directors who do…well, we don’t know what they do. Eric Bischoff insists they won’t do what we thought they were going to do.
To me, this is an instance where sophistication isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think wrestling creative needs to be as simple as possible. The process should be simple. The storylines should be easy to understand and make a tiny bit of sense. Making things overly complicated just makes things harder on everybody. Writers, wrestlers & fans all benefit when things are simple. It doesn’t have to be rocket science.
So far, AEW’s stories have been fairly simple. Wrestlers getting worked up over things like championships, wins & losses, old partnerships. The classics. It hasn’t all been perfect, but it’s mostly tried to make sense. Once they get on TV and have to be all things to all people, things will surely get more complicated.
“…(of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding) aware of and able to interpret complex issues; subtle.”
OK, this one’s silly. The last thing anybody would ever accuse WWE of is subtlety. But hey, three out of four ain’t bad.
I think the main thing I learned here today is that I don’t know what words mean. Oh, and WWE is super sophisticated. The Sophisticated Era has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?