Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Thought

What I found interesting in this week's readings of the wrestlers in Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time we can see a pattern beginning for the strangle hold (pun intended) that McMahon began on the industry. This can be exemplified with my previous post of Andre and McMahon using Andre exclusively, not allowing him to fight for other promoters (except for Japan).

Then in the Dusty Rhodes section, during the promotional wars between Jim Crockett (mid-Atlantic territory) and McMahon Jr. (Northeast territory). It was Rhodes who was the main figure with Crockett, including the use of Starrcade, a TV production by Crockett. When Crockett’s business started to suffer, McMahon went behind the scenes to strong-arm the cable industry to not carry Starrcade, otherwise McMahon would not allow them to carry any WWF shows, which by now had tremendous success with WrestleMania. So, McMahon basically forced Crockett and Rhodes out. Ironically, Crockett sold out to Turner.

In another section, Jack Brisco, it is mentioned that Jack and his brother, Jerry, changed wrestling history in 1984 when they sold Georgia Championship Wrestling to McMahon. So what I am seeing here is McMahon using leverage to force people out, while both growing and consolidating his power base.


Timothy S. Rich said...

I think there's a lot of business lessons to be learned from wrestling, especially as cable and pay-per-view became key income streams. Television shows that appeared too "bush league" were going to lose their audience. I also had the impression that many of McMahon's competitors simply did not know how to respond to such changes, in large part because many weren't used to competition at all under the territory system.

Sam Ford said...

Indeed, part of the power of NWA as a sort of enforced regional monopoly was that you had all sorts of national back-up if ever you did have someone to challenge you at home. With Vince, though, the strategy was no longer successful--and not only did people not know how to compete, there was a lack of solidarity on a truly collaborative level among the regional promoters--since each region had been able to handle things their own respective ways.