A LESSON IN "DRAWING MONEY"

This is a fan letter to Jim that touched on some snide comments made on Eric Bischoff's FB page and the responses.

Hey Jim had a question I thought I'd throw at you. This was prompted by a discussion that was happening on Eric Bischoff's facebook page today where he was asking "who are these alleged young guys that draw money?" and then went on to say that hardly any of the guys mentioned count because he thinks your only a draw if you sell out major arenas/set records on PPV/do millions in merchandise and crossover to mainstream culture. He also said that besides Rock/Goldberg nobody's done it without 8 years in the business, and its very clear he meant 8 years in a company the size of WWE.

Bischoff's response when people named ROH talent was to quote directly...

Bischoff: Interesting resonses.Clearly the majority of people here have NO IDEA what drawing money is. ROH is not making money on TV, PPV or arena shows. Its a backyard vanity project for marks. No disrespect to the talent who are working hard, but NUMBERS DONT LIE, THEY DONT HAVE OPINIONS AND THEY DON'T HAVE AGENDAS.

(Fan to Jim) Now personally I thought this was too narrow a definition and posted a few reasons I thought why and a few other things I thought should be considered such as talent that helps a regional company expand the number of cities they can work in and make money. He only responded to one of these comments and I thought I'd share it with you, though it has nothing to do with drawing, he ignored that:

Graham-So with nobody setting PPV records, only WWE selling out major arenas and only Cena having any mainstream media impact, does that make him the only draw in wrestling? and if your basing it only on major arenas and PPV does that mean you can only know if you draw or not if you main event in the WWE? This definition is just to narrow!

Bischoff-Controversy IMO social media has become the fly paper for the most vocal and the smallest percentage of fans. Most of the people who are the most active are losers/uneducated miscreants whose only validation of self comes from readng their own comments. 90% of the viewing audience have a completely differect pov (based on REAL research).

Graham-well as charming as it is for you to call me a loser I'm not posting to read myself, I'm posting in hopes of responses that will increase my understanding. I want to understand how this standard can be right, it seems counter-intuitive, I have no problem with the fact I might be wrong, but if I am I need someone else to explain to me why I am, and this is a venue I may learn that.

So my question to you is what I was trying to understand from him: How do you define a draw, and can you use a definition that only one company in the US can even achieve? And if you want to hurl a few insults at Eric while your at it thats fine by me

Thanks

Graham

 

A response from JC:

Graham,

Traditionally, a guy who "draws money" means a guy who, when you have put him in main events or important programs, sells more tickets (or PPV buys these days) than other people who have been in a same/similar spot, and has done this not just once or twice but on a consistent basis. There used to be dozens and dozens of top guys who "drew money" in the territory days. Now, there are a few, and they ARE all in WWE. The problem is, as Bischoff either doesn't want to admit or is too clueless to know, is that the way people like him have changed the business is the reason, not lack of talent on the young guy's parts. In the territory days, the promoters didn't care WHO drew as long as someone did, they would push anyone they thought could draw, all their businesses were reasonably healthy, and they hadn't exposed everything/given people such bad booking and silly shit so that when angles were shot, they actually increased business. Now, these young guys are seldom put in the spot to draw to begin with because the "stars" have guaranteed contracts, and if you're paying someone main event money you keep them in the main event, so few get the CHANCE to prove they can draw money (It happens some in WWE, and rarely in TNA)--it doesn't apply in TNA to begin with as some of the biggest draws of the past 20 years work/have worked there and still haven't sold tickets/PPV's/increased ratings, because the booking and company structure itself is incompetant. Does that mean those guys "can't draw" because the company they work for has lost tens of millions and still doesn't make a profit of any real size? Also, since it's been 10 years since anyone in pro wrestling drew BIG money, not because of the talent but because of the shitty booking and poorly run companies, as well as the fact that WWE and TNA have made angles/big matches mostly meaningless by doing them too often, badly, and telling people they're all phony to begin with, someone has to be blamed--are these companies going to blame themselves, or their children or families, or "writers"? No--they blame the talent. Companies like ROH struggle because WWE and TNA have made LESS people, not MORE, interested in wrestling.

He also shows his ignorance of his current residence in a glass house--if ROH is a "backyard vanity project for marks", what is TNA, since TNA has lost tens of millions MORE than ROH has lost in the exact same time in business, doesn't that mean that ROH is behind WWE but ahead of TNA? Do we grade by gross revenue or total profit? WWE has created an environment where WWE draws as a show, like the Harlem Globetrotters or Holiday on Ice, and the stars on a particular card mean less than they ever have. To truly have guys in the business who "draw money" again, we would have to pitch out the dreck like Bischoff and others who don't respect or understand wrestling, who think they are Emmy award winning "real" TV producers, ditch the comedy writers like Russo and Stephanie McMahon's comic reading college kids, and push wrestlers who win, lose and chase championships. People will watch what wrestling is now on TV for free, and a few hundred thousand might buy the PPV's, but ticket sales for wrestling will NEVER approach what they once were without taking those steps. That is why all the guys today who are actually draws, who sell live event tickets and PPV's in big numbers, almost all work for Dana White, the most successful pro wrestling promoter in the world. He just calls it UFC. Bischoff sees no similarity bewtween MMA/UFC and pro wrestling, which is why he is doomed to be a guy that was successful for 2 years out of a 20 year career. BTW, what other executive in any company actively dislikes, disagrees with, ignores and insults the 10% of people who are most dedicated to/spend the most money on their product or service? All of his "crossover to mainstream culture" bullshit is because people like him, Hogan, McMahon, Russo, etc are all embarassed to admit they are in the wrestling business (and the business hates to admit it has them) and they all want to be "real" stars--only the Rock has done that, but I wish all I named would leave our business to try!

This is just my offhand impression of this nitwit's comments, but I think you're wasting time trying to quiz Eric Bischoff on anything other than a good hair dye, a nice tanbed, a well-fitting set of dentures and the current price of a 3 way at the Gold Club. Feel free to repost any/all of this if you want.

Jim Cornette