You can tell when a business announcement from the world of wrestling isn’t meant for wrestling fans. Things like acquisition of new talent are announced with the fans in mind, but then you get stuff like this Triple H soundbite about mixed martial arts making the rounds. At a recent investors conference, he basically had to explain why the WWE brand of punch-face and the UFC brand of punch-face are super different.
They aren’t really a competitor to us and I explain this to our talent this way in the Performance Center and every time I say it people will say to me oh, that made it very clear for me: people like UFC, they like boxing, but it’s completely different from what we are.
We are like the movie Rocky. We’re a story. We’re a great story that just happens to take place sometimes in the wrestling ring…
The whole transcript (at least Triple H’s part) is over on BloodyElbow if you want to give it a look. This isn’t particularly new, but every now and then I have to remind myself that not everyone is so accustomed to the story-driven structure of pro wrestling that they begin to take it for granted. I guess I can see why an investor from the corporate world would need this explained to them. That’s not to say that there isn’t crossover appeal, though. Brock Lesnar probably has a lot of crossover fans going either to or from wrestling, and fighters like Ronda Rousey make no secret about their love of WWE. Still, if you had told me ten years ago that Triple H would be wearing a suit and explaining to investors that WWE is scripted, I would have laughed you out of the building. How many times do you think he mentioned that the WWE Network only costs $9.99 per month?