wrestling / Columns

The Hamilton Ave Journal 02.26.09: Volume 2 – Issue 75

February 26, 2009 | Posted by JP Prag

By JP Prag

Volume 2 – Issue 75


The Hamilton Ave Journal is the only wrestling news report focused solely on the business of wrestling. Here in the Journal we not only look at the stories that are important to the investor and business-minded person, but also delve deeper into stories that most fans of wrestling would overlook. That is because the Journal is about getting the heart of the matters that affect the companies and outlooks of the wrestling world.

And where is Hamilton Ave? That is the location of the WWE Production Studio in Stamford, CT, and thus the most powerful place in the wrestling world. Besides, The East Main Street Journal just does not have the right ring to it.

Who am I? I am JP Prag: consultant, entrepreneur, businessman, journalist, and wrestling fan.

Now, ring the bell because the market is open.

The Hamilton Ave Journal


The Journal’s front page area known as What’s News isn’t just about telling you what has happened. The stories in this section are about what will have an effect on the wrestling industry, individual federations, and the wallets of the fans.

LEAD STORY: WWE released 2008 year-end results – Part 1

Late in the day on Tuesday February 24, 2009, the WWE released the long awaited Q4 and total year 2008 numbers. The Journal has been pouring through the influx of information—from the WWE’s press releases, the investor reports, the conference calls, and many other sources. Needless to say, there is a lot of information to go over and the Journal is committed to providing the most detailed and pertinent analysis out there. That said, this week we will review some high level key numbers and figures. Next week, the Journal will delve deeper into specifics and areas in order to have time to fully dissect the data.

To begin with, let’s start at the top and work our way down the P&L statement:

  • Revenue dropped in a single quarter year-over-year for the first time (excluding WrestleMania when it moved from Q1 to Q2) by 9.5% from $132.5 million to $125.4 million. The WWE claimed that part of the reason for the drop was the fact that foreign exchange rates were not in their favor and resulted in a $4 million impairment in Live and Televised Events alone. All divisions within the WWE saw a decline except for WWE Studios 61% from $3.1 million to $5.0 million.
  • Among live events, there were only two fewer domestic events this quarter than last year and the same number of international events, but factors were not in favor of the WWE. Domestic attendance dropped 3% to 6,900 per event, though non-domestic attendance rose 5% to 8,300 per event. Despite this, both domestic and international events saw a decrease in ticket prices and less spending per head. Also, the WWE accepted a number of “buy-out” deals for international events where they just accepted a straight revenue amount for the events and did not get the ticket prices, similar to how they structure television programming fees.
  • PPV revenue dropped 20% to $15.9 million with a drop of 12% in PPV buys to 1.012 million. The rest of the loss was associated with unfavorable exchange rates.
  • In two rare bright spots, television rights fees increased 16% to $27.6 million. This is mostly due to the new agreement with MyNetworkTV where SmackDown receives a higher programming fee than when they were on the CW. So although ratings may be down and SmackDown is the only original programming on the station, the WWE is still doing financially better by being there. The other bright spot in television was WWE 24/7 which saw revenues increase 45% to $1.6 million.
  • Consumer products surprisingly took a hit dropping 25% from $19.8 million to $15.0 million. This was mostly due to the WWE shipping only 7 new titles this quarter compared to 12 new titles in the prior year. In a dollars per new title basis, consumer products increased 30% to $2.14 million compared to $1.65. A number of new titles have been released in Q1 2009, so much of those dollars could be made up then.
  • On paper, licensing revenues looked to have increased 56% to $14.7 million. But this number was because the WWE received a $6.3 million in advance for book publishing. What this means is that the WWE not record these revenues in the future so there is an expected lower licensing revenue amount then. Without this additional $6.3 million, licensing revenue decreased 11%.
  • One of the WWE bright spots finally took a hit as magazine publishing dropped 42% to $3.5 million. The WWE has been able to outpace the market in this field for a long time, but it looks like they have finally caught up to the rest of the industry.
  • Further down in expenses, SG&A was not surprisingly up again, rising 2% to $29.4 million. This is a far less increase than had been seen earlier in the year, so the WWE was starting to pull back expenses. Still, it is an increase and not a decrease, meaning they had not trimmed enough at that point.
  • Where it is interesting most is looking at the profit margins to see which areas also had higher cost with lower revenues:

    2008 2009 Change
    Live Events / Venue Merchandise 30.3% 31.5% (1.2)%
    Pay-Per-View 62.3% 64.8% (2.6)%
    Television 34.1% 28.2% 5.9%
    Digital media 25.7% 36.1% (10.4)%
    Licensing 86.4% 74.5% 11.9%
    Home Video 58.0% 57.1% 0.9%
    Magazine (8.6)% 45.0% (53.6)%
    WWE Studios 52.0% N/A N/A
    Other 44.7% (6.5)% 51.2%
    Total Revenue 44.9% 42.2% 2.7%

    So the WWE this quarter has been successful in cutting costs in some divisions and enough overall that the profit margin actually increased. Then again, if the $6.3 million in publishing advances is taken out, then the total is actually a 0.2% drop to 42%. So although costs were not as much of a growth this quarter compared to the last three, there was still a rise in cost that is now coupled with a decrease in revenue.

  • With these factors, Net Income dropped 37% to $13.6 million, or $0.19 per share (well below the $0.36 and $0.26 per share the WWE is paying out to investors).
  • The total year numbers pull together everything that has happened over the past 12 months. Total revenue had a big jump of 8.4% to $526.5 million. Net income, though, dropped 13% to $45.4 million. In other words, the WWE made less money off more revenue, the same things the Journal has been covering all year. Now that Revenues are dropping as well, even the $20 million in savings will not cover the difference.

    Despite all this, the WWE is still a profitable company. Although cash on hand dropped $119.7 million, that is still money in the bank that is only leaving when they send it to investors or pay down debt (which is fairly limited). Investors have finally caught on to the issues and were not taking it easy on the WWE. During the investors’ conference call, Bobby Melnick of Terrier Partners asked a pertinent question about how the WWE is supporting their dividend considering operations do not:

    I have a question for the CFO I wondered if you would please address the capital structure on the dividend, yes sure you do close for the year with about $209 million in cash and equivalents but what you don’t really say is it that is down from – it’s not clear whether it’s $266 million or $286 million, but somewhere between $65 million and $90 million in cash went out the door last year and it seems to me that a good portion of that is represented in the fact that your dividend is 180% of your earnings, specifically, you pay $1.11 in dividends and in the last two years you’ve earned $0.72 and $0.62

    So I’m puzzled as to why it is that you retained $200 million in cash and equivalents earning, something between 2.5% per pre-tax which I’m hoping is substantially below your hurdle rates, and wondering if you could explain to me why this is the optimal capital structure for the company and the optimal dividend for the company which strikes me as quite gimmicky and the shareholders have seen through this.

    I mean, obviously, with the current yield at 15% in the market place, not only do investors recognize that the dividend is not sustainable in perpetuity, but there’s a significant negative arbitrage if you’re earning 2.5% pre-tax on your cash and paying out 15% after tax on your equity. So I wondered if you could give us some thoughtful analysis as to why this is optimal, thanks.

    This is the point the Journal has been making and why the WWE stock remained relatively unmoved after these results came out. Investors have already priced in the fact that the WWE is overpaying a dividend that they cannot support through operations, costs are rising at a faster rate than revenue, and the company does have true transparency in their finances and operations.

    Despite being a valid point by an investment firm, the WWE’s CFO George Barrios was not welcoming to the insight. The two continued back and forth with Mr. Barrios finishing the conversation with:

    Well it doesn’t make sense to you, but I just gave you what our rationale is; our rationale is to manage the company in such a way that over the long-term, we’re going to continue to increase the cash flow of the company and the next level of decisions we have to make is how much do we need to invest in the business and how much to return to shareholders. And our dividend policy currently reflects our best judgment on how to do that.

    At this point, WWE Vice President of Investor Relations and Financial Planning Michael Weitz abruptly ended the call. Per usual, the question was avoided. A complete transcript of this moment and others related in this piece can be read at SeekingAlpha.com.

    In such a large report, there is too much to cover in one week. The Journal will continue this analysis next week, including year total results, balance sheet numbers, and comments from WWE officially during the conference call.

    TNA tries to bury the world with good news

    The WWE may have been covering up their troubles, but TNA has been very public with some major accomplishments. Last week, the company posted its highest rating ever with a 1.33 and 1.9 million viewers. TNA President released a rare public statement to commemorate the moment:

    I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all of you for making last Thursday’s edition of TNA “iMPACT!” the most-watched broadcast in our company’s history.

    Last October, we invited wrestling fans around the world to “Cross The Line” and sample our product, whether it was watching “iMPACT!”, ordering a Pay-Per-View, experiencing a live show or even visiting our website. We asked that if you enjoyed it, you would tell a friend about us. Well, you have responded and we are so grateful.

    Since that time, TNA has also accomplished several major milestones including our debut in Hi-Def on SpikeTV, our first live television special from Las Vegas, our biggest event of the year with Bound For Glory and our hugely successful tour of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

    In 2009, we will celebrate seven years in business. The little company who no one gave a chance has grown by leaps and bounds because of you, our fans. We will continue to work hard to earn your support. Several big things are already being planned including April’s brutal, all-steel cage pay-per-view, Lockdown, in Philadelphia, new superstars, new programming, a reinvigorated focus on the X Division, expansion of our online digital world and so much more.

    Once again, all thanks to you. You are loyal and passionate and we don’t take this opportunity you have given us for granted.

    Other media outlets—including Multichannel News—have picked up on this big event and moved the story further into mainstream media consciousness.

    Amidst this high profile news, a few items seemed to get lost in the shuffle. As Ms. Carter noted, the company just came off a successful tour of the United Kingdom. Due to that success, the company will now be returning to Ireland in October 2009 where they had back-to-back sell outs at the same venue. This is in edition to dates already planned in Germany and Switzerland. TNA may have slow domestic growth, but internationally they have been skyrocketing.

    That has not stopped TNA from trying to grow in other ways. This past week they also opened an iTunes store where people can download current episodes of TNA iMPACT or get a season pass. TNA Chief Marketing Officer Steve Allison says:

    “We’re thrilled to be launching this wide range of TNA content on iTunes… We are very committed to digital distribution. Our long term goal is to have TNA fans able to access our catalog of products on every possible media device available today. With iTunes, our fans can now get TNA content on Apple branded devices and PCs, allowing people to view our television programming and home video releases whenever they want, completely unshackled from their living rooms.”

    Additionally, select TNA home video products, tracks from the two TNA albums, a free downloadable version of Spin Cycle, and future web only matches will all be available through the iTunes store.

    TNA has been much quicker to embrace digital technologies than the WWE, and that may help them in future growth—especially as demographics continue to partially shift away from TV to internet streaming and other technology.

    In the physical world, though, TNA has been given more space around their sound stage in Orlando, FL. With that space, they have been able to construct permanent structures for “the hallway”, the Main Event Mafia locker room, Booker T’s locker room, Jeff Jarrett’s office, and others. Prior to this, only a few sets could exist at a time and were actually in the hallway where fans existed the iMPACT Zone.

    TNA has many issues they still need to work through, but for now they are in a positive upswing despite everything that is happening in the world around them.


    Some items of note in the rest of the wrestling business world:

  • After 55 years on Japanese Nippon Television Network (NTV), Pro Wrestling Noah will be ending its run and move to cable station Nittele G+ (also owned by Nippon). At it’s peak, Pro Wrestling Noah had a rating equal to 64% of the Japanese market. Currently, the show hovers at 2% of the market. As can be seen here, it is not just the US market that has seen a decline in wrestling audience, but a major stronghold like Japan as well.
  • Former WWE development territory OVW has actually run into financial trouble as of late. Most were surprised that after the WWE removed their support that not only did the organization stay afloat, but it actually thrived and was profitable. But they recently lost both their TV contract and their contract to run shows at Six Flags, two of their major revenue streams. Without these, OVW will have a hard time staying solvent.
  • With ROH getting a TV deal and also procuring some mainstream media attention for it, ROH contracted talent is reportedly getting restless with the current pay structure. There is also concern that their health insurance plan may be discontinued and that more dollars will be going to veteran talent like Ric Flair than to their own paychecks.
  • WWE SmackDown creative team member Freddie Prinze Jr. has officially left the company. He has not been at the past two months of tapings and looks to have either burnt out on the road or not meshed with the creative team or process. No word on who will be replacing Mr. Prinze on the team. He lasted less than seven months.
  • The WWE held a press conference this week announcing that WrestleMania 26 will take place at the University of Phoenix Online Arena in Glendale, AZ. The move was expected as the mayor of Glendale put together a large package last year to entice the WWE to bring their mega-event there for WrestleMania 25. While the WWE eventually decided on Houston, TX, Arizona remained a distinct possibility and was chosen for the next year’s event. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs hopes that the event will bring between $30 to $50 million to the local economy. This reporter will be on hand to contribute.


    In the Marketplace we look at the trends in television ratings. This section is less for critical analysis by the Journal but more for the reader to see what is really going on and to draw their own conclusions.

    As with stocks, here in the Journal we track the progress of television ratings. If ratings are the barometer by which we judge the product, then over the course of 52 weeks we should be able to see patterns, trends, and anomalies.

    For the week ending Wednesday February 25, 2009, here are the current standings of our shows:


    Close (This Week’s Rating): 4.1
    Open (Last Week’s Rating): 4.1
    Percentage Change: UNCH
    52-Week High: 4.1
    52-Week Low: 2.6
    All Time High: 8.1
    All Time Low: 1.8

    Close (This Week’s Rating): 2.2
    Open (Last Week’s Rating): 2.2
    Percentage Change: UNCH
    52-Week High: 2.7
    52-Week Low: 1.6
    All Time High: 5.8
    All Time Low: 1.0

    * SmackDown! ratings may include fast overnight if final ratings are not posted. Also, SmackDown! ratings are for the prior week as overnights are not available before this article goes to print.

    Close (This Week’s Rating): UNAV
    Open (Last Week’s Rating): 1.2
    Percentage Change: N/A
    52-Week High: 1.5
    52-Week Low: 1.0
    All Time High: 2.3
    All Time Low: 0.6

    TNA iMPACT**
    Close (This Week’s Rating): 1.3
    Open (Last Week’s Rating): 1.2
    Percentage Change: ▲ 10.8%
    52-Week High: 1.3
    52-Week Low: 0.9
    All Time High: 1.3
    All Time Low: 0.6

    ** TNA iMPACT’s are for the prior week as ratings may not be available at the time of the Journal’s posting


    It is a shame that ratings were delayed last week because there have been such significant gains seen in RAW and iMPACT. First off, RAW scored a 4.1 for not just last week, but this week as well. The last time RAW scored a 4.1 rating was on December 10, 2007 on a special 3-hour edition. Before that it was a 4.2 on Jun 18, 2007 for a regular edition of RAW. Even more interesting, the last time RAW scored a 4.1 or above two or more weeks in a row was on February 26 to March 12, 2007.

    Of course, the even bigger story was TNA iMPACT breaking their all timer ratings record with a 1.33. That has been covered completely above, so need to go in to further detail here.


    We all know that wrestling is a business, but we don’t often pay attention to what sells and makes money. Money and Investing looks into the top selling items in the world of wrestling and any interesting figures that may have come out this week.

    What are the top ten selling items for the WWE? From WWEShopZone.com:

    1. Jeff Hardy 3 Armband Package ($60, on sale $20)
    2. Triple H Eversoris T-Shirt ($28)
    3. Randy Orton Gas Mask T-Shirt ($25)
    4. WWE Ultimate Rivals Trading Cards ($2)
    5. Hardys Green Pendant ($10)
    6. John Cena HLR Academy T-Shirt ($25)
    7. Hardys Purple Logo Pendant ($10)
    8. WWE Heritage IV Trading Cards ($2)
    9. WWE The Best of Saturday Night Main Event DVD ($34.95, on sale $23.49, on double sale $18.79)
    10. WWE: The Music Vol 9 CD ($13.47, on sale $9.99)

    The strong mix of John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, and Triple H continued this week. So for those who asked if Triple H’s appearance in the top ten was a one shot deal, the answer is a surprising no.

    TNA sometimes releases a list of top selling items on ShopTNA.com. According to the site the top selling items were:

    1. Christian Cage: The Instant Classic DVD ($19.99, on sale $10)
    2. TNA Logo T-Shirt Special ($24.99)
    3. Main Event Mafia – Black T-Shirt ($19.99)
    4. Autographed Sting Baseball Bat ($149, on sale $126.65)
    5. Frontline T-Shirt ($19.99)
    6. Cross The Line Triple Pack DVD Set ($24.99)

    The reign of Christian as TNA’s top selling person continues for week 3.


    Wrestling isn’t just about watching and reading. The best way to be a wrestling fan is to experience it live. Where is wrestling coming to in the next 2 weeks? The Personal Journal answers that question.

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    1 (Mar)

  • ROH TV (Philadelphia, PA)
  • RAW / ECW Live (Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • SmackDown Live (Glenn Falls, NY)
  • 2

  • RAW / ECW (Boston, MA)
  • 3

  • SmackDown (Mohegan Sun, CT)
  • 4 5 6

  • RAW / ECW Live (Albany, GA)
  • 7

  • NWA Showcase (Hollywood, CA)
  • RAW / ECW Live (Tallahassee, FL)
  • SmackDown Live (Augusta, GA)
  • 8

  • NWA Showcase (Hollywood, CA)
  • RAW / ECW Live (Savannah, GA)
  • SmackDown Live (Columbia, SC)
  • 9

  • RAW / ECW (Jacksonville, FL)
  • 10 11 12 13

  • RAW / ECW Live (Odessa, TX)
  • SmackDown Live (College Station, TX)
  • TNA Live (Shepherdsville, KY)
  • ROH Live (St. Louis, MO)
  • 14

  • RAW / ECW Live (Lubbock, TX)
  • SmackDown Live (Beaumont, TX)
  • TNA Live (Cincinnati, OH)
  • ROH Live (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Do you know a wrestling event coming up? Send one in to The Hamilton Ave Journal and we’ll be sure to add it to the list.


    The Editorials section is designed for you, the readers, to respond to the views presented in the Journal, send an important news item, or talk about another overlooked business related item in wrestling. Just beware: the Journal reserves the right to respond back.

    From the commentary section last week, JF wanted to know:

    So… whatever happened to “IN DEFENSE OF…”?

    The author of the piece had to spend 8-15 hours preparing and writing each issue. Unfortunately, his time schedule made it impossible to keep up. Originally, the idea was to take a hiatus to see is the article could fit into a different schedule, but that hiatus has been going on for over two years. Perhaps it will return some day? There is no lack of material available!

    Moving back to pertinent topics, Brett wanted to comment:

    On WWE picking up the ultimatebets.com sponsorship, I don’t think that necessarily goes against there new philosophy. While they do have the kidz initiative, I think they are trying to simply create a family friendly product, one that allows parents to watch with their kids (which now thinking about it makes sense, considering that those that watched in the attitude era are old enough to have kids now, most anyway).

    I don’t think they are 100% for children because we don’t see Doink the Clowns, and the various other possible gimmicks of that ilk on WWE TV. While IMO they could better attract various demos by having the brands differentiate more, It appears that they have decided to water down the product a bit, and up the children’s’ interaction in some ways, allowing for, essentially, a product that is meant not to turn anyone away, but at the same time doesn’t necessarily embrace a particular segment of the audience.

    So, while they could make better sponsor choices, It’s not like dad has never placed a bet (of course, dad has also probably drank beer, so maybe that isn’t the soundest argument).

    Two thoughts on this: First, the if the WWE were catering to different demographics simultaneously or using the brands to target different audiences, than your point would be stronger. But the WWE is instead focusing on kids as the core demographic and everyone else is secondary, so it makes it a different products overall.

    As far as sponsors, there is a bit about how the WWE is trying to create their image. Take for instance WWE CEO Linda McMahon trying to get on the Connecticut State Board of Education. With that move, the WWE wants to show they are the family and kid friendly product. The arguments against her were all around the sensationalism of the product, the violence, and the association with other less reputable organizations and activities. Though in reality you are correct that dear old dad has most likely placed a few bets, but if you look at the sponsor in conjunction with the image and the arguments against Linda McMahon and the WWE become more focused. This is actually a step backwards for what they are trying to brand themselves as. It does not matter whether you or this reporter find gambling to be morally questionable, there is a group that does (or claims to), and that is all that matters.

    The image they are creating, though, could work against the WWE as Brad B points out:

    F/X Network would have been a great fit. It’s too bad the network developed a strong reputation for its edgy, adult-themed programming (The Shield, Nip|Tuck, Rescue Me, It’s Always Sunny, etc.) and the WWE PG FOR KIDZ~!~ initiative no longer has a logical place.

    Smackdown could end up on the Fox Kids channel – and that’s not even a joke. With Vince’s latest priority focused on returning to the cartoonish era WWF circa 1996, this would probably be very good for business.

    That channel would make sense, but again NBC/Universal would have to agree since they have first right of refusal for WWE programming on any cable network. MyNetworkTV will still exist for at least the next year, though, so this conversation is premature. The WWE is not getting out of that contract.

    Jumping over to ratings, Rob H wants to know:

    Is a 4.1 rating the same now as it was, say, 10 years ago?

    With population growth – and more importantly, cable penetration – you’d have to think that a 4.1 now means a hell of a lot more viewers than it did 10 years ago.

    Any ideas on this?

    It depends on what you mean. For straight number of people, a 4.1 rating means more today than it did 10 years ago. The rating represents a percentage of the potential audience that was watching (on average) over a given period. The number is adjusted every few years to take into account the total number of people who have cable.

    Penetration rates have not increased that much in the past ten years (just a couple of percentage points). From 1985 to 1995 there would be a major case to talk about penetration rates versus ratings, but form 1999 to 2009 the difference is negligible.

    The Journal looks at ratings this way: since they represent a percentage of the audience in total, over time a 4.1 ten years ago, a 4.1 today, and a 4.1 in the future represent the same percentage of the audience and therefore are comparable. If population increases, the amount of viewers should increase by the same percentage amount otherwise there is an overall loss.

    Sticking with ratings, W. Axl Rose wants to talk about TNA’s recent ratings success:

    I don’t think the issue with TNA is old wrestlers. I think guys like Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Rhino, Mick Foley; and especially Sting, Kurt Angle, and the Dudley Boys are the ones bringing in the viewers. People on the internet can say that the old guys are killing TNA, but it seems to me that TNA has only gotten more and more successful since Kurt Angle took over as the focal point of the show.

    Sure, it’d be nice to see the more exciting workers (in my opinion) like Styles, Daniels, and Shelley become more of a focal point, but as far as business goes, they seem to be doing fine.

    The question is if TNA can balance it and grow from where they are, or have they gotten all they can from the older generation. Still, TNA is profitable now and growing, so there is a lot more stability and story than in the past. MacDollarz sums it up best:

    At the end of the day TNA is the only national promotion that is gaining fans.. so fuck what the internet thinks the numbers don’t lie.

    That’s what we are here for: reviewing the numbers. Though some may not agree (and try to troll responses with obvious nonsense). And others get lost in the oddest things. T takes the cake for this one:

    Hamilton Ave Journal is a really corny title for this column. Hamilton Avenue is just a generic road where the WWE office building happens to be located. The WWE office building itself is not exactly a remarkable architectural landmark either. There is nothing else that’s notable about the street either. No other notable businesses or landmarks are on that street. There is no retail, tourism or anything else noteworthy on that street. Park Avenue in Manhattan or Champs Elyssee in Paris on the other hand are prestigious, well known boulevards. I strongly urge you to change the name of this column.

    C&C Twix was quick to respond:

    What the hell T? It’s the most important street in the world of professional wrestling, which, in case you haven’t noticed, is what this article is about. If it was located on some other random street, then this column would probably take that name, no matter how “corny”. I don’t want to be a jerk and call you names, but that was a profoundly stupid comment. Besides, Hamilton Ave. has a certain ring to it.

    Especially better than the East Main St. Journal! T, if you bothered to read the intro you would know that East Main St. is where the WWE’s corporate offices are. Hamilton Ave is where their production studio. In case you also do not know, this article takes homage from the Wall St. Journal. Wall St. is the capital of the financial world, but when that Journal was founded was a relatively “unremarkably architectural” area as well.

    By the way, where have you been for 74 weeks?

    Thankfully, most questions that come in are logical and interesting, like this one from dAVE!!!:

    I have an internal communication question for you!

    The release of Scotty Goldman got me thinking about two things. The (rumoured) reasons behind this seems strange to me.

    First, Kevin Dunn, and Vince McMahon didn’t like his look. He hasn’t changed a lot in the last two years, so surely this should have been brought up earlier, before he was signed.

    Second, the “nothing for him” reason. If creative had no plans for him, then why was he brought up from FCW?

    Both reasons, to me, illustrate a complete lack of communication internally within WWE. Does any of this sound right to you?

    Not just communication, but controls in their processes. It would appear that those in charge of development look for one set of criteria, creative looks for another, and Vince McMahon has his own. Mr. McMahon and creative have often disagreed on a wrestler (DH Smith and Sim Snuka come to mind) and these conflicting ideologies lead to problems on TV and with development. One would hope the WWE has some true set of criteria that is supposed to be followed from entrance to the company through television premier, but it would seem that nothing like that exists.

    Plenty more was written, so be sure to take a look. And of course, a week would not be complete without a good dose of JP Prag’s own HIDDEN HIGHLIGHTS!!


    This concludes Issue #75 (Volume 2) of THE HAMILTON AVE JOURNAL. Join us next week as we get ready to ring the bell again.

    Till then!

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