Vince McMahon Comments On TNA, WWE’s Future, More

Ryan Clark

WWE held their 2007 shareholders meeting Friday in Connecticut. Vince McMahon addressed many questions from the audience. Highlights are below.

– Said that WWE had a good year but that he wasn’t satisfied and never will be. He said that some things they tried didn’t work but that happens and that their goal is always to look to the long term.

– Talked about WWE Films. He really blasted Lionsgate for how they marketed The Condemned, basically blaming them for the film’s lack of success. He went as far as to say that they “sabatoged” the film. He said that they never promoted Steve Austin as the star, never properly explained what the story was about in the poster and trailers, and said that nobody outside of the WWE fanbase knew about the film. He put over 20th Century Fox for the job they did on The Marine. He said that WWE is close to reaching a new deal with Fox which will see two theatrical releases and several DVD releases. He said that he doesn’t want to do anymore R rated films. He also said that with their current financial model for films, it is very hard for them to lose money on any of them.

– He talked about WWE expanding into MMA, saying that they considered it but have decided against it. He said that MMA is everywhere it can be right now and that it will burn out soon. He said that MMA has no major stars and that it is difficult to invest in a fighter because all that investment can be undone if he loses or gets knocked out. He said the upside isn’t there for MMA or boxing in terms of WWE going in those directions.

– He talked about the XFL, saying that the failure has not humbled him. He once again said that if NBC had not of backed out, the league would have been a success. He said that NBC backing out made all their other TV partners nervous and caused the demise of the league.

– Said the brand extension will continue despite the tri-branded PPVs. Said that injuries forced them to adapt.

– Said that he doesn’t think having so many titles dilutes them. He said that having as many title matches on a PPV as possible gives the consumer a good value and that is needed with the increased PPV prices.

– Said that the ECW brand has not met his expectations. He did add that it takes time to build a brand and that ECW has a bright future.

– He put over WWE’s international plans, saying they want to get more involved in South America and China, and that Linda McMahon is going to China in July.

– Said that WWE has tested high definition and will be going to it within the next year.

– Said there will be an upcoming WWE event called “Night of Champions” where every match will be a title match.

– Said that PPV is headed in a direction where everyone will eventually watch them online or through other digital means and that the middle man of PPV providers will be eliminated.

– Said that the cable companies are happy with WWE 24/7 but that WWE hasn’t put enough energy behind it yet.

– He said that there is an effort going on in the company right now to delegate more of his duties to other people because it isn’t wise to have so much responsibility fall completely on him. He said that if your last name is McMahon or Levesque, you have a good chance at succeeding him.

– Said he doesn’t have time to do a book on his life.

– Said that WWE is trying to get back to the fundamentals inside the ring and that the in-ring product will be a place of big improvement over the next year.

– Put over WWE’s production and said they will continue to get better in that department.

– Said that TNA can succeed as a “niche product” but added that their biggest mistake would be to try and compete with WWE. He said he doesn’t have time to watch their product. Said that TNA needs to produce a different product to succeed.

– Said that using celebrities has its place but only sometimes, since promoting celebrities takes away from promoting regular wrestlers. He mentioned how WCW never had success using celebrities.

– Said that he “doubts” WWE will ever follow the route of other major American companies and work with companies in terrorist states.

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