Posts Tagged ‘Sports Entertainment’

Triple H might’ve just killed the longstanding “sports entertainment” mantra spewed by WWE.

The company’s official Twitter account joined a bandwagon trend doing the rounds that sees organisations describe themselves in just one word. That might’ve stumped ex-boss Vince McMahon, because which word would he choose? “Sports” or “Entertainment”?

Hunter didn’t need any of that: ‘The Game’ picked “wrestling“.

It didn’t take long for comments to come pouring in from fans overjoyed to see WWE embrace professional wrestling after decades of kinda/sorta pretending that they do something different to everyone else in the industry. This, if you believe the fanbase, is a giant leap forwards from Trips.

It’s certainly eye-catching, because WWE previously shied away from using terms like “wrestling”, “pro wrestling” and even “wrestler” to describe its own product. Triple H, a man often viewed as a traditionalist who adores the medium, apparently wants those days to end.

This tweet piggybacks on workers calling themselves wrestlers and commentators using the word “wrestling” on major programming like Raw and SmackDown recently. So, it seems Vinnie Mac’s staunch refusal to embrace wrestling in favour of “sports entertainment” has ended.

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has come through with a significant critique on his current talent roster.

According to a new report from Fightful Select, when asked about the controversial Hell In A Cell pay-per-view main event and how Vince feels about his product, the big man insinuated that “some on the roster are ‘too pro wrestling.'”

McMahon has always been quick to emphasise that he promotes a Sports Entertainment product, not a traditional professional wrestling show, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Either way though, he’s the one responsible for building, development, and sculpting those on his modern roster, so this is probably his own fault, right?

If Seth Rollins is “too pro wrestling” and not “Sports Entertainment” enough, doesn’t the blame lie with the man on top? It’d actually be a valid criticism coming from anyone else but in this case, the buck stops with the Chairman.

Fightful’s source also called the much-maligned Fiend/Rollins clash “an embarrassment,” saying “this might be the worst WWE have ever insulted the fans’ intelligence.” Other sources believe that the finish to said match was nothing short of a “disaster.”

Over the past 30 years, WWE has transferred a territorial promotion into a global enterprise. Over WrestleMania 34 Week, Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon spoke at the yearly Business Partner Summit to discuss the evolution of WWE from then to now. McMahon commented on how the company is able to touch every part of the world via digital and social media, and how the company has become a media powerhouse.

Stephanie explained how her father, Vince McMahon, started with a brand, and took that vision to transform shows inside a smoke-filled armory into a stadium with smoke from the pyrotechnic display at WrestleMania.

Although eight out of 10 adults recognize the term WrestleMania and nine out of 10 adults recognize the term “WWE,” it was not as popular in the 1980s. As a result, Vince McMahon made the decision to rebrand the company to a more expansive term than “pro wrestling.”

“Advertisers either had an adverse reaction to the words ‘professional wrestling,’ or they simply didn’t understand what it was,” said Stephanie. “So, how could we create a term or a label that potential partners could understand? How could we describe the WWE was based on larger-than-life characters enthralled in relatable storylines? That was when we coined the term ‘sports entertainment’.”

Now, television audiences can see the ripple effect when viewing other companies such as ESPN, as well as performances at the Super Bowl, World Cup, and news sites coining the term “infotainment.” Stephanie adds that the greatest asset of the WWE is the company’s “ability to reimagine storytelling… whether it was capturing the all-American fervor of the 80s, the spirit of the antihero in the 90s, or the rise of the underdog in the 2000s.” WWE’s storytelling, according to Thom Loverro of The Washington Times, birthed the “entire reality television industry – scripted dramatic conflict posing as reality.”

Stephanie went on to explain the advent of the PG era, which started in 2008.

“10 years ago, WWE once again reimagined our content and made the strategic decision to become more family-friendly, to grow our multi-generational audience and attract more blue-chip partners,” said Stephanie. “Looking around the room here today, it’s easy to see that this strategy worked.”

Now, according to Stephanie, WWE’s goal is to position the company alongside fortune 500 companies, be a part of pop culture, and enhance and expand their partnerships.