In a recent edition of his 83 Weeks podcast, Eric Bischoff took some time to talk about whether he feels Vince McMahon is out of touch.
According to the former Raw General Manager, it’s more a case of McMahon’s (and the company’s) hands being tied by advertising than refusing to change his product.
There are things I’m sure WWE would love to do creatively that they just can’t because they know the blowback they’ll get from advertisers. It’s a little bit like producing an action movie for Disney. You’ve got to be really careful how you do that.
That’s probably the best analogy that I could give. And does that mean that he’s out of touch or does that mean that he’s catering his business to his customer? The real customer being the advertiser because without the advertisers there are no viewers folks.
Bischoff continues by saying that if a sponsor says ‘no, I know that there’s a lot of people watching your show but we just can’t have our product associated with it’, then a wrestling company has more to lose than just fans.
He also gives credit for the business model McMahon has managed to build over the years, and tries to look at both sides of the coin when it comes to how the WWE could change.
There isn’t anybody that can look at what the WWE has accomplished in terms of its global significance in the world of entertainment and not recognise that the formulas Vince McMahon relied upon to achieve those levels of success were unquestionably amazing success stories and the formulas worked.
Now, do I think there may be some reluctance to adopt new formulas in light of the ever-changing nature of entertainment? Yes, I do, I do. Do I understand why people are reluctant to change those formulas? Of course, I do… But there’s a difference between resisting change and being out of touch. To me, out of touch suggests you just don’t understand the psychology of storytelling, you don’t understand the product as it should be presented in today’s environment.
Whilst many would be pleased with changes to the WWE product, this is a glimpse behind the curtain at some of the many factors which can affect the choices a company on such a global scale can make.