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"WWF/WCW/WWE/TNA Wrestling History"

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Q: Can you break down the percentages of how WWE makes its revenue? Can you list WWF/E?s profits from different years? How much profit do WWE make on overseas tours?

Here are the profit/loss figures from the WWF/WWE for the last 15 financial years:

May 1 1994 ?April 30 1995 WWF makes a loss of $4.431 million
May 1 1995 ?April 30 1996 WWF makes a profit of $3.319 million
May 1 1996- April 30 1997 WWF makes a loss of $6.505 million
May 1 1997- April 30 1998 WWF makes a profit of $8.466 million
May 1 1998? April 30 1999 WWF makes a profit of $56.03 million
May 1 1999-April 30 2000 WWF makes a profit of $68.937 million
May 1 2000-April 30 2001 WWF makes a profit of $15.937 million
May 1 2001-April 30 2002 WWF makes a profit of $42.233 million
May 1 2002- April 30 2003 WWE makes a loss of $19.455 million ****
*** It should be noted, however, that these losses were entirely from the failure of The World restaurant and not from the wrestling promotion itself. The WWE used its profits from the wrestling business to offset the gigantic losses caused by the colossal flop of The World ****
May 1 2003-April 30 2004 WWE makes a profit of $48.192 million
May 1 2004-April 30 2005 WWE makes a profit of $39.00 million
May 1 2005-April 30 2006 WWE makes a profit of $47.10 million
May 1 2006-December 31 2006 WWE makes a profit of $31.6 million
***Note the the WWE restructed its fiscal year to be in line with the calender year from 2007 onwards ****
January 1 2007 ? December 31 2007 WWE makes a profit of $52.1 million

Results from 2008 so far are as follows:
1ST QUARTER (January 1 2008 ? March 31 2008 ? profit of $19.52 million)
2nd QUARTER (April1 2008 ? June 30 2008 ? profit of $7.0 million)

When it comes to revenue and the percentages, we will break down the year 2007 for you.
For 2007:
TOTAL REVENUE: $4857.7 million
a) LIVE & TELEVISED ENTERTAINMENT $316.8 million (65%)
(of which 25% is from international markets)
i) Live Events $99.3 million (20%). (of which $24.82 million is international)
ii) Venue Merchandise $19.1 million (4%)
iii) Television Rights $92.4 million (19%)
iv) Advertising & Sponsorship $5.9 million (1%)
v) Pay-per-view $94.3 million (19%)
vi) WWE 24-7 VOD $4.9 million (1%)
b) MERCHANDISE / CONSUMER PRODUCTS: $118.1 million (24%)
i) Licensing $47.1 million (10%)
ii) Home Video/DVD $53.7 million (11%)
iii) Magazines $16.5 million (3%)
c) DIGITAL MEDIA $34.8 million (7%)
i) wwe.com $16.2 million (3%)
ii) wwe.shop $18.6 million (4%)
d) WWE STUDIO (Films) $16.0 million (4%)

International revenue from live events totals $24.83 million. 70% of this ($17.38 million) is from European countries.

We hope we have made this straightforward enough for everyone to follow, but if they are any questions, ask away ?

Q: Which is better WWE or TNA?

A: As we commented earlier, largely this is a matter for individual preference rather than for us to definitely decide. That said we have never be ones not to engage in a lively debate: this is our current impartial review of the US grap scene.

World-wide, the WWE is the current leader in all aspects of TV production, lighting, marketing, promotion and presentation. The rest of the pack is so far behind that it is difficult to envision any current promotion causing a threat to the WWE?s dominance. Look at the first-rate presentation of their pay-per-views: The Big Shows really feel like important events. Their video packages are top-notch and credit should go to whoever puts these promotional reels together. They play a very important part in hyping the pay-per-views and matches. They have become SO skilled at this aspect of the business that all competitors look like tenth rate imitations.

When it comes to in-ring performances and the booking, it is a different issue.

TNA was on fire throughout 2006 and its pay-per-views were consistently first class in the ring. Unfortunately as 2007 beckoned, it all started to fall apart and the once promising promotion is now an utter shambles. The creative team is booking the league a one way trip to the funeral home. Vince Russo simply does not have a clue how to book pro-wrestling, his ideas are so utterly terrible and unworkable that its difficult to understand why he has lasted this long. After WCW perished, he returned to the WWE and lasted just one day on the creative squad before being unceremoniously booted off for his wacky & ludicrous suggestions (one of which was that The Rock turn into a wrestling character with homosexual tendencies ? similar to Goldust). TNA has a talented roster of wrestlers, but their matches are too frequently marred by a blur of pointless stipulations, swerves, run-ins and outside interference that it consistently fails to leave any sort of lasting impression on the viewer. To grow numbers, it is all up to the booking team. The boys can takes as many impressive bumps in the ring as they like, but until it is backed up by logical & meaningful storylines their efforts will be in vain.

ECW grew a cult following and achieved critical acclaim because it was different and fresh from the other mainstream promotions. You might state that it was never a threat to the WWF/WWE and that much is true. But it began as a small-time independent promotion with practically no resources and no support. That is impressive. ECW?s major problem was that it had a revolving door of talent. It was consistently raided by Eric Bischoff & Kevin Sullivan and to a lesser extent, The McMahons. The groups roster for its final year in business was significantly weaker then it had been for the previous years. TNA does not have the same problem.

WCW despite having the financial backing (as TNA does) only overtook the WWF by creating the explosive WCW vs NWO story-line (inspired by the New Japan vs UWFI feud). An invention that was so damn good, it left the WWF drowning in a sea of red-ink. It was only because of this angle that the WCW took over as North America?s number one promotion, and it was directly because WCW had nothing to replace it with when it ran its course, that the WWF was able to reclaim its dominance. Storylines sell the shows. The talent can only do so much, as Time Warner discovered in 1999.

Back in McMahonland, one cannot knock their performance on pay-per-view all year. The supercards have been consistently entertaining (although Summerslam & Unforgiven were mildly disappointing) and their top-line performers: Edge, The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista (save for the WM24 sulking episode), Rey Mysterio & Jeff Hardy have really delivered when it really counts: i.e when people are paying to watch. Truth be known for all the barbs that we throw at the WWE, it has been a great year for in-ring WWE action on the upper tiers. What the creative team has not done, however, is worked to the same standard. A failure to elevate new players to the VIP lounge has led to some repetitive and stale line-ups. Simply put, the WWE must start to push new wrestlers from the mid card to the upper levels. The problem is that so many have been squashed beyond repair (usually by Triple H) that it will take a miracle for some of these names to gain credibility as main eventers.
CM Punk is on the verge of attaining superstar status and as the promotions sole succesful elevation of 2008, his push must continue. Elsewhere, Jeff Hardy MUST defeat Triple H for the WWE title or his momentum and potential might be destroyed for good this time. JBL needs to return to the commentary desk, where he was a superb announcer, and quit boring everyone senseless with his predictable in-ring efforts. On the mid-card, regrettably Umaga has probably tasted defeat on too many occasions to be accepted by the masses as a bona fide headliner. Which brings us to the obvious question: who should be promoted to tangle with the established crew? A quick scan over the roster gives immediate cause for concern. Gifted athletes like Matt Hardy, Finlay & Chavo Guerrero lack the necessary all-round package to ever be headliners. The charismatic likes of Mr Kennedy, MVP & Santino Marella need to improve their in-ring skills before being accepted at the top level. Lower talent like Ted Dibiase Jr, Cody Rhodes, The Miz & Kofi Kingston are far too inexperienced but have bundles of potential that need to be developed first. So in conclusion, good all-rounders like Carlito, John Morrisson & Shelton Benjamin seem to be the most sensible candidates for consideration.

The third recognised group is Ring of Honour. ROH uses a ring style that is so dissimilar to what you see in WWE, that it will never appeal to the casual wrestling audience that watch the WWE. It will probably always be small time. It doesn?t help that the group?s shows have been relatively disappointing so far in 2008 as well. This is largely due to its weakened talent roster. Some of its most talented players have left for new horizons and if its current key players: Nigel McGuiness, Bryan Danielson & The Briscoes leave for pastures new (as will probably happen soon), a very challenging time could lie ahead.

In conclusion, THIS year, the WWE has been the better promotion by far. It?s a long way from being perfect, but the pack has fallen so far behind, it no longer qualifies as competition.

In December 2006, the WWE promoted ECW December to Dismember PPV attracted scores of complaints. Drawing a rubbish 55,000 domestic buys, Vince McMahon was smart enough to realise that these buys and complaints were coming from the loyal, dedicated & hardcore audience. He knew he had to act: and act he did. All three brands were re-united on every PPV as a direct result of the D2D disaster. The McMahons themselves feuded with ECW Champion Bobby Lashley in an attempt to improve the importance of the show and the brand extension was relaxed to allow Smackdown stars to appear regularly on ECW. Was it a success: yes and no. The PPVs are of a higher quality artistically, but star development has been abandoned. But he listened and he acted (in his own way). Dixie Carter & Jeff Jarrett had better start listening to TNA fans and fire Russo before its fiercly loyal and supportive fan base start to switch off. Total Nonstop Action Wrestling will be doomed otherwise.
 posted by Piledriver Wrestling on FACEBOOK 


Jay Ken Hunter said...9/15/08
Great read. It annoys me that WWE make such huge profits despite their show being pretty stale for the last 5 years. Judging by the numbers it's the international market that's the driving force, i.e. kids that haven't been exposed to the product before/en masse. Things are down stateside but up everywhere else.
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Jay Ken Hunter said...9/15/08
I really hope HHH puts Jeff over for the title (at the right time, of course), and not squashing him for 15 mins before a fluke win just like December 07's Armageddon. HHH has been driving me crazy lately with burying all his scramble opponents in the ring, backstage and on the mic. I flipped out (the bad kind) when he kept breaking kayfabe in his obviously-penned-for-Cena promo on smackdown before Unforgiven.
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The Takeover said...9/15/08
Great review of wwe n tna. The revenue stuff was really interesting. U guys knw everyting!! The may 2000 to apr 2001 profit seems a little lw. Whys dat? I taut d wwe had a great 2000?
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Piledriver Wrestling said...9/15/08
Thats well spotted! 3 letters for you: x, f and l. The mcmahons launched a football league to run during the nfl's off season. It was a joint venture with us channel NBC. And cost d wwf and nbc $30 million each to start up (this came off the pro wrestling profit). It started in feb 2001 and was an unmitigated disaster. Like the other mcmahon bomb: the wbf, we are meant to pretend that it never existed. Now lets never speak those 3 letters again :-)
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Jay Ken Hunter said...9/15/08
I saw an XFL t-shirt when i was in America, I had to buy it...so they lost 30 million minus 15 dollars ;)
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Stephen Roe said...9/15/08
Good writing guys, i really enjoyed that.

I've gotta agree with you for the most part. WWE has been very stale for a number of years now & on the rare occasions that they elevated some of the mid card they've rarely really let them run with the ball, e.g. Edge had 2 short runs as champion on Raw only to lose to Cena quickly (and feud with no one else).
CM Punk was never booked like a real champion & was portrayed as poor imo by playing second fiddle to cena v batista & Jericho Michaels. I personally believe the world title should always be the centrepiece of the brand no matter who is champion.
Rey Mysterio, Ortons first run, Kennedy & Jeff Hardy are other examples of the wwe's reluctance to create new stars.

What saves the wwe i think, is their production values. They've got astounding promo & video package guys. I mean, they can make a non-important feud or match seem unmissable. Plus the set, the high quality cameras & just brand power in general...
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Stephen Roe said...9/15/08
...all play a part in keeping the numbers of fans so high (in comparison to TNA that is, im sure Vinces nearly has a stroke when he seen Raw float around the 3.0 mark)

Where do you start with TNA?
Probable with the root of all evil, creative. How many time can they say in interviews that the next thing we're gonna work on is taking a change in creative direction. That we're gonna stop using stupid gimmick matches to get a feud over, we're gonna simplify everything & focus on storyline driven feuds instead of boooking nothing more than a series of old & cliched spots, that have no purpose but to swerve the fans for the sake of it (rather than build slowly and make the fans actually get into it)
Dutch, Russo & Jarrett are simply not working out (remember the good ol days of tenay & d'amore doing the majority of booking) & russo needs to go for the sake of the company.

At least they get it right in the ring... and thats why i prefer watching TNA to WWE.
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Stephen Roe said...9/15/08
I usually look forward to TNA ppvs a lot more than WWE show because i know that im gonna see 5-6 good matches everytime.
Its pretty rare to have a WWE ppv where i could say that i enjoyed 5matches on the card, mania is probably the last time that happened, although summerslam was pretty good.

and as good as their promo guys are, they generally only have a storyline for the main events and the mid cards are poor so as to not outshine the big boys in the main event.

anyway, pardon my rant.... i can get caried away sometimes
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Jay Ken Hunter said...11/7/08
The 2002-03 fiscal year WWE posted a loss of over $19 Million. What would their profit be if you didn't take The World's losses into account? And why didn't Vince throw a few million at the World Wildlife Fund to keep the initials WWF? Or does vince desperately want to get the 2nd "W" out, i.e. wrestling (they're "entertainers" now)
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Piledriver Wrestling said...11/7/08
The World's losses were just under $36 million. Which means that the wrestling company itself made a profit of just under $16 million in this period.

We believe that the World Wildlife Fund rejected any offers at a cash settlement (or at least the amount that the WWF/WWE was offering). But we are not entirely sure, because its just a rumour. What was negotiated out-of-court happened behind closed doors, so its slightly shrouded in mystery. Sorry, we can't be more specific guys.
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