A major complaint in the WWE these days is the fact the Superstars have scripted promos. Many fans get frustrated that their favorite stars who were known for their great promos before the WWE are made to read from a script, and even the scripted promos are heavily criticized.
While Paul Heyman is someone who seems to get freedom to cut promos how he wishes, he spoke with the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast and gave his thoughts on the matter. Heyman feels that considering the several billion dollar contracts and deals the company has, in addition to sponsorships and promotions, Vince McMahon needs to be cautious and not let one promo ruin all those deals.
“As for other performers, that, again, is something without a perfect answer. Vince McMahon owns a content creation conglomerate that now has on the table and in application, three separate billion-dollar deals, and I’m sure he’s working on more. Knowing Vince, he is probably trying to envision the first trillion-dollar content output deal. There is a billion-dollar deal for Fox television for SmackDown. There is a billion-dollar deal with NBCU for Monday Night Raw and there is now a billion-dollar deal with Peacock for the domestic streaming rights to WWE Network. When you have such deals, you have to protect those deals from someone else screwing them up.”
“So, if Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. X goes out to the ring and on live television or a livestream says something that is egregiously wrong and it gets through or it said in front of all these witnesses and it causes a major scandal, and cancel culture or not, deservedly gets WWE thrown off of fox or NBCU or Peacock and blows a billion-dollar deal, who is to blame besides Vince McMahon for not saying, ‘I want to know what this person is going to say before they say it?’ Peaky Blinders is not streamed live no. It’s filmed. You know what these characters are going to say. Better Call Saul is not streamed live. It’s not a Broadway play that then goes live to the universe where someone can say something so controversial, whether it is QAnon or a left-wing conspiracy, it doesn’t matter. We don’t leave ourselves open to someone screwing multi-generation lifetimes of work to get to where we are.”
“Therefore, if someone walks out to the ring, Vince McMahon has the right to know exactly what that person is going to say. Otherwise, he is jeopardizing the shareholders’ right to a return on their investment hoping and counting on the chairman to maintain control in a creative environment which can always go wrong. Look at the trouble the NBA is having with the controversies that are arising out of the social views of some of their top stars. Whether their top stars are right or wrong, the NBA is suffering the backlash of what some people and what some top stars are feeling in their hearts. Look at the trouble the NFL has had in dealing with the social ramifications, political viewpoints, and social viewpoints I’ve some of their teams’ top players and even some of their teams’ secondary players, whether they’re right or wrong is not what I’m discussing. What I am discussing is, there are ramifications of all things that are said and done, and WWE, as a scripted performance that allows some improv, tries to keep control of that environment.”
People may not like WWE being compared to a scripted series, but considering how many deals and endorsements have been rescinded over controversial moments on television or social media, Vince McMahon certainly doesn’t want to see those dollars leave. Fans often forget to consider that the company is now publicly traded and have more than the fans to answer to, but shareholders as well.
thanks to Fightful for the quote
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