10 Lessons You Can Learn From Vince McMahon To Become A Billionaire
8. Fiscal Responsibility Is A Must
When WWE purchased WCW in 2001, one of three things could have happened. WWE could have a) brought over the entire roster and owned two separate companies that ran shows, b) purchased the contracts of WCW's ten stars perceived as their best draws and terminated the contracts of all other contracted talent, or c) brought over a mix of top, mid-card and lower card talents and alongside wrestlers from the similarly closed ECW merge all three company's rosters into a company eventually split into two brands with a multi-tiered developmental system. Well, given that hindsight is 20/20, we all chose c), and in why the era between 2001-2008 occurred, it speaks significantly to WWE's ability to be fiscally responsible and able to re-ascend to bit's once (and yet again) held status as a billion-dollar company. Had WWE run split-branded shows between WWE and WCW in 2001, it's arguable that the company would have ever rebounded to being valued at well over $1 billion. WCW was a damaged brand, and clearly second fiddle to WWE. Even if WWE would have moved talent between companies, the letters WCW were tainted in the eyes of traditional wrestling and new found mainstream fans, alike. Diverting WWE capital to the WCW brand could have likely become akin to throwing millions of dollars into a garbage disposal. Concurrently, if WWE had purchased the contracts of WCW's ten top drawing talents in 2001, that could have easily been a financial outlay of well into the range of $20 million. Without significant knowledge of how these talents would excel in WWE, the decision to not bring these wrestlers in wholesale was ultimately the smartest solution. The perception of loss on return of investment was likely entirely too high to consider. So while Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Ric Flair and Scott Steiner would have all been ideal, they don't necessarily aid the company's bottom line. Waiting for their high-priced WCW contracts to expire (and then signing them at a reduced rate) certainly made better fiscal sense. The eventual solution of WWE accepting new talents, splitting the live event brand into Raw and Smackdown groups, and developing talent in smaller territories like Louisville's Ohio Valley Wrestling, Memphis' Power Pro Wrestling, Cincinnati's Heartland Wrestling Association and Atlanta's Deep South Wrestling allowed for a broader spread of talents to be signed. WWE creating developmental territories at the cost of say, signing Ric Flair, is a better reasoned expenditure than just signing the dirtiest player in the game.
Besides having been an independent professional wrestling manager for a decade, Marcus Dowling is a Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers writing about music and popular culture over the past 15 years.