What makes money in professional wrestling in 2018?
Is it nuanced characters, interwoven evocatively in the business of other nuanced characters for the benefit of a match that could feasibly considered a box office attraction? Is it the perception of stardom, the value of one wrestler’s name as a reason to invest financially emotionally, particularly if they’re paired with somebody of equal acclaim? Is it even just a shirt with their name on, rich in style and quality - itself a reflection of the talent in question?
For Bullet Club’s 'All In' supershow, it’s proven to be all three. A unique coming together of storylines from NJPW, ROH and even YouTube sensation ‘Being The Elite’, the show sold out without promise of a single match but the possibility of several. Virtually every major name involved were promoted ahead of time, and the 10,000 fans expressed their faith in the movement with their wallets. Branded t-shirts were chucked too - discerning credits will now literally wear their loyalties with pride.
But, what makes money in WWE in 2018?
Short answer? Television.
The jaw-dropping deal with Fox to air SmackDown Live! going forward has rendered their bang average output the ideal live time-filler on a network crying out for DVR-proof content. Treadmill maintenance has become the key creative driver over the need for tangible ticket-sellers and master marketeers. Perhaps by design, WWE has rendered the Stamford superstar superfluous - what even makes a 'money' talent within the tall tenement of Titan Tower anymore?