Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tuesday Notes

Since I was asked, I did indeed watch the Matt and Jeff Hardy DVD. I thought it was another solid effort from WWE. They do such a good job with their DVDs that I pick up the personality pieces basically every time. A note for people thinking about buying: the premise of the DVDs is to track each brother separately. One disc is for Matt and the other for Jeff. They obviously talk about the tag team stuff, but the matches on the discs are more singles matches than tag team matches. Matt comes across as basically a regular guy and very likeable. Jeff to me comes off as wannabe. He's a very good wrestler, but seems to fancy himself some sort of all encompassing artist and creative personality. I think he's been able to maintain it because a fan base of girls finds him hot, but I don't buy it. The DVD has a music video of his, and it's just awful. Almost painful to listen to. But whatever. Guy does very well for himself as a wrestler so if he pursues the other stuff as hobbies, no harm in that. The coolest feature on the DVD is an old match from Omega with Matt and Jeff vs. Shane Helms and someone else in Helms' high school. Not only is it a very fun match, but the wrestlers do commentary which is hilarious. They do something that is rarely done on WWE DVDs, where they just assume everyone is a hardcore internet fan, so they make a bunch of insider references and bullshit about the match. That is definitely worth checking out.

Also, Mania buy rate is in. 1,058,000. It's nice to have vindication on that one, because I got a lot of shit over predicting it would do a disappointing number. That's obviously still a solid number, but under last year, under projections by WWE, under projections by Floyd, under projections by Dave and Bryan, and generally not as good as they were hoping. It shows that 1) the Mania name is extremely strong 2) they could have done a lot better job building Mania this year.


Anonymous Phil said...

For anyone interested, I will write a couple of paragraphs on the Mania buyrate in my ECW report later tonight. In short, I agree with Todd and predicted a low buyrate in print beforehand.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

That's at




in case anyone doesn't know.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Phil DiLiegro said...

Thanks for the plug, Todd. I don't when it will be posted, so here it is verbatim. I appreciate anyone here who has their own thoughts.

"The WrestleMania buyrate came in well below expectation today, at approximately 1.055 million worldwide buys. That’s approximately a 12% drop from last year, even though the international pay-per-view market has expanded. It also comes on the heels of what were ambitious (and as it turns out erroneous) predictions of record or near-record business from the most respected wrestling writers, WWE itself, and the not very reputable Floyd Mayweather camp. It’s also worth noting that the buyrate is also artificially high as WWE paid a large premium for the services of Floyd Mayweather. When you consider his salary, it likely equals a whopping loss of 120,000 buys (assuming WWE received $25 per buy and Mayweather earned $3 million). I’d comfortably wager that WWE could have done 935,000 buys easily without him, so using Mayweather has to go down as an enormous mistake. As one of the few writers to predict a low buyrate (proving even a broken clock is right twice a day), I would like to revisit my rationale at the time for that prediction.
First, had the Big Show-Floyd Mayweather match drawn very well, it would have been the first time the Big Show has ever drawn an appreciably above average buyrate since he left WCW. Many correctly pointed out that Big Show was the wrong opponent for Mayweather because the size difference disrupted Mayweather’s natural role as a heel. However, I would argue that Big Show’s lack of significant drawing power despite repeated major efforts to push him should have been an even more overriding concern. Imagine WWE booking Mr. T with John Studd or Nikolai Volkoff at WrestleMania 1. Or imagine using Mike Tyson at WrestleMania 14 as the guest referee for the Triple H – Owen Hart match. Both of those enormously successful ideas would have been wasted had WWE not placed the celebs in there with their biggest draws. Mayweather’s commercial appeal was not enough to draw money, combining it with John Cena’s (for example) may have been a different story.
Secondly, the most underreported story in wrestling this year was the fact that WrestleMania was nowhere near sold out days before the event. I identified blocks of eight tickets available five days before the event. Comparatively, the last few dome WrestleManias sold out well in advance. The value of this fact as predictive tool should not be understated. As an analogy, when you want to best predict an election, you poll only high-propensity voters not merely registered voters of whom a majority do not vote. Likewise, when you want to predict WWE’s business, only the behavior of habitual buyers of WWE product matter. And there was and is no better gauge of their interest in the event than looking at ticket sales. Consider that the only other WrestleManias in history that have not sold out or barely made it because of late papering all did disappointing numbers (II, VII, VIII and IX).
The combination of these two observations plus my own subjective evaluation that the build up to the Raw main event was underwhelming (almost everyone agreed with that) led me to my prediction of a low number. The good news for WWE is that over a quarter-century they have built up a significant amount of market value in the WrestleMania brand such that even the most poorly built show will do at least 550,000 and 900,000 buys domestic and worldwide respectively. With that being said, there was the potential here for another marginal 400,000 buys and $10 million in profit had they done everything right. And that opportunity went for naught."

9:08 PM  
Anonymous The masterbater said...

So I assume there are no kayfabe's in the Hardy's DVD??

7:33 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

No, the Hardy DVD set is not kayfabed in any way, at least as far as I can remember.

11:38 AM  

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