Thursday, July 25, 2019

Vince McMahon On WWE Staying PG But Getting Edgier, Why Eric Bischoff & Paul Heyman Were Hired

Vince McMahon On WWE Staying PG But Getting Edgier, Why Eric Bischoff & Paul Heyman Were Hired
Vince McMahon discussed Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff being hired as the new Executive Directors for RAW and SmackDown during today's WWE Q2 Earnings call.

While Vince discussed the new hires more than once, he did not mention Heyman and Bischoff by name.

Vince first referenced the new Executive Director roles during his opening statement to investors. He noted twice during the call how the hires will prevent him from "getting in the weeds" as he has in the past.

"One the things that we've done is hire 2 Executive Directors, one for Raw and 1 for SmackDown and in doing so, it allows me to look at a longer-range story – our standpoint and also spend more time on talent development and not get into the weeds as much as I had to do in the past. That is a really, really good thing for a long-term as well as short-term. Actually, we've seen a big result already," Vince said in his opening statement. (H/T to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.)

Vince was later asked by an investor about why WWE chose to hire Executive Directors at this time, and how much latitude Heyman and Bischoff will have.

"Why now question is a logical one," Vince said. "I can't personally be in the weeds any longer and we have these 2 individuals who have a longer range of point of view and a developmental point the of view. Both of these individuals have extensive backgrounds in the business from various aspects and with the organizational aspects that they have and the depth of talent, executive talent we now attract is going to be really good for our business. And how much latitude they will have, that's again it allows me to have a broader overview of things and escape from just getting on the weeds. So they'll have a lot of latitude."

The Q&A portion of the call continued as another investor asked about negative press coverage on the state of the product, and creative. Vince said they have definitely turned the corner when it comes to improving the creative content and storylines, and he sees it as a "re-launch" of content for the company.

"As far as the content is concerned, I'll address that. We have definitely turned the corner and again as I've mentioned, we have Executive Directors with each brand now. They're going to grow in a more in-depth I think notwithstanding that, we spent more time on storylines, good ones, and also talent development. It's a combination of a lot of things on the things as far as coming together and what I guess, I'll call it relaunch in terms of our content," Vince said.

Vince was asked again about the intended direction of the content going forward, and how partners like Fox might feel about edgier content. This is where Vince made a reference to AEW and the "blood and guts" content that he says they have. Vince said WWE will remain in the PG environment and they are not going back to the Attitude Era, but they will get a bit edgier.

"We're going to be a bit edgier but still remain in the PG environment," Vince revealed. "We've just come anywhere close actually to go into another level. So that will be something will do in terms of direction of content, more controversy, better storylines, etc. But at the same time, we're not going to go back to the bold Attitude Era and we're not going to do blood and guts and things of that nature such as being done on perhaps a new potential competitor. We're just not going to go back to that gory that we graduated from. And again, a more sophisticated product. Again attracting much better writers and attracting better management things of that nature. So again, I feel really good about it."

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