With every great company comes some rather dark secrets; some things that they just simply don’t want you to know about. The same goes with the wrestling business. For the WWE, there is a lot of things they do not want their fans to know in order to keep the show rolling, whether it’s something with the production of the show, or how well the show really does. There are just certain matters that the WWE doesn’t want their fans knowing about. This particular list features a variety of topics (hitting a lot of subjects) that the WWE often shy’s away from speaking about. Some topics are controversial, while others are crucial to keeping the company in check. They do all have one thing in common: most of the topics are not in the WWE’s best interest to speak publicly about. Let us now begin. Here are 11 things that the WWE doesn’t want you to know about. Enjoy.
11) Declining House Show Attendance Numbers
House shows (or as the WWE likes to refer to them as, “Live events”) have taken quite a hit in recent years. Many factors contribute to the poor attendance, such as not enough advertising and little star power attending the event. The hype for the WWE’s upcoming live event in my hometown of Montreal has been quite poor. Asides from some advertising during Raw or Smackdown, there really hasn’t been any other form of buzz getting people to attend this show. These factors were apparent in 2014, when the WWE drew some crowds of 2,000 fans in places like Glens Falls and Kalamazoo. In 2014, it was said that the average number of attendance during live events in the US and Canada was a little over 4,800 per show. This is extremely problematic due to the fact that more than half of WWE’s live events per year are house show-type events. Advertising and star power need to get better in order for the WWE to improve this situation.
10) Hall of Fame Credentials
The WWE continues to be very quiet when it comes to their Hall of Fame inductees. Why so many great wrestlers still haven’t been inducted remains a massive question mark. It is so puzzling that people like Drew Carey are in the Hall of Fame and wrestlers like Koko.B Ware and The Bushwackers are also in, as opposed to so many brilliant names that are still not. Names such as the Honky Tonk Man, Vader, Owen Hart, The Fabulous Free Birds, Paul Heyman, the Hart Foundation, Chyna, Miss Elizabeth and Sting. The Hall of Fame continues to be a huge mystery amongst the WWE officials.
9) Surprise Returns
In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to shock the WWE universe with a surprise return. With this being said, the WWE still tries their very best to surprise the WWE universe and more times than not, are still able to shock wrestling fans. It is said in the past the WWE has tried different ways to surprise the crowds by going even further and not telling most of the talent. In the past, they’ve either kept the returning wrestler in a private room alone, or had the wrestler come to the building just minutes before his return. This remains one of the WWE’s biggest obstacles in creating a buzz through a shocking return that no one knows about. It just seems to get harder and harder through the years, due to the constant uprising of social media which has ruined many returns in the past.
8) Decline In The Ratings
WWE officials love telling the public that the state of the WWE is better than ever, though this couldn’t be further from the truth. A prime example of how false this is, is the steady decline in the ratings over the years. In July of this year, Raw’s ratings plummeted to a 2.5 rating. What’s even more staggering is comparing this to last year. The WWE product lost over half a million viewers. To add even more insult to injury, since WrestleMania, the company has lost almost 2 million viewers. Many feel that bringing back Sting was a desperate attempt to get back on track. At the end of the day (even with Sting), those days of drawing in 6-8 million viewers per week are long gone. The ratings may in fact indicate that WWE’s product is in desperate need of a change fast, whether those within the company want to admit it or not. The state of wrestling is clearly not good right now ratings wise. The fans know what they want, and this certainly isn’t it at the moment.
7) Favorite Certain Talent
It’s no secret; the WWE definitely favors certain talent, whether they want to admit it or not. For years we’ve seen the same wrestlers somehow stay in spot light. Wrestlers like The Big Show, Kane, Randy Orton, John Cena and Sheamus are always shinning, while other great talents like Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, Rusev, Neville, Bad News Barrett and Natalya continue to be misused. It’s quite apparent that your status with the company backstage will go a long way in dictating how your career will go. Hopefully this will change and the WWE’s true talents can show what they really have if they are finally slotted properly in the card. This revolution desperately needs to take place in the WWE’s male division and not just in the Divas Division. A male revolution is desperately needed in order to turn the company around.
6) Talent Relationships
The WWE remains very cautious with talent relationships. Although they cannot ban it, they are very much not into the idea of having real life couples together in the WWE, because as seen in the past, these relationships have not worked out very well. Officials in the company strongly discourage this from happening and want to keep the workplace as business-like and as professional as possible. Over the years, the WWE has developed a no non sense type of ruling, comparable to the NFL. The WWE simply does not want any controversy surrounding it, therefore they are very strict when it comes to any personal issues leaking out into the public, whether it pertains to a relationship or anything else controversial (as we saw with Hulk Hogan just this past month). The WWE continues to downplay real life relationships as best they can.
5) Travelling Schedule
As glamorous as the WWE makes their superstars look, the business simply isn’t all that easy. What WWE doesn’t tell you is how it is a 24/7 business for everybody involved. There simply isn’t much time to take it all in, and before you know it, you’re off to the next town. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to spend a day or two at home during the week before you’re off to another show. Wrestlers are working all around the world, 3-4 days a week. It is estimated that some wrestlers work almost 200 shows a year. In other words, the schedule is quite brutal. Perhaps minimizing their schedules can go a long way. At one point, TNA was seen as quite a hot spot for this exact reason. They were shooting in the same location once or twice a week, and eliminating the stress of travelling. Despite the lack of rest, it is highly unlikely that the WWE will cut down from its current schedule, though. The WWE still remains very quiet on how many days some superstars work per year, as this is something they don’t want to reveal to fans.
4) Wrestler Salaries
For years the WWE has had a very strict policy when it comes to giving out details on exactly how much wrestlers earn. Since the early 90s, Vince McMahon has kept his salaries on the down low in order to not create any sort of tension between his wrestlers. According to Forbes, wrestler salaries are dependent on your spot on the card. According to Forbes, Randy Orton has made $3.5 million in base salary, along with $1.5 million in bonuses, coming to a total of approximately $5 million. Generally wrestler salaries are dependent on card popularity, which determines the base salary, events worked per year, merchandise sales and video sales. A wrestler can make between $500,000 to as high as $5 million per year on a base contract. Despite these numbers though, the WWE continues to be very quiet when it comes to their contracts.
3) Reasons For Releases
Many wrestlers left the WWE feeling very bitter about their time spent with the company. A big reason for this is due to the fact that the WWE is very indirect when giving out their reasons for releasing a superstar. They are not only indirect to the wrestler themselves, but to the public as well. Chyna was a prime example of this. She got released for no apparent reason. She received a fax from the company one day after she was given time off, telling her she was released from the company. That sounds like a pretty good reason to stay bitter. Many wrestlers don’t like the way the WWE handles their talent. This is a big reason why former released wrestlers such as Punk, Del Rio and others have no desire to ever return to the WWE. Managing talent has been very problematic for the company.
2) Backstage News
Plaguing the WWE for years now, there are some things you simply can’t stop. In this case, it’s the constant backstage news and rumors provided by a numerous amount of social media sites online, giving away so much that goes on backstage. For years now, the WWE has been trying to crack down on this issue. Despite their many attempts though, it seems to be quite impossible, as information just seems to leak out on the internet no matter what. The WWE has tried to overcome this by keeping major storylines or returns amongst a select few. They’ve gone as far as making newly returned wrestlers show up just minutes before they hit the ring, leaving their returns as a surprise to not only the fans but to wrestlers as well.
No matter how hard the WWE tries, backstage news will likely continue to be leaked through social media.
1) Drug Use In Pro Wrestling
One thing that has plagued the wrestling business over the years is the correlation between drug abuse and wrestler deaths. It seems like all our favorites from the 80’s and early 90’s are dropping at a staggering rate. Despite all these deaths, the WWE still remains very quiet on the situation. Although they have taken some positive steps by setting up a new Wellness Policy, which gives random drug tests to wrestlers, how legitimate and often the system is, that, we simply still do not know. Many lives were cut short in the wrestling business because of drug use, but despite all the deaths and claims the WWE still remains silent on the matter. Instead, they pay homage without really trying to fix this problem. This issue remains a dark cloud hovering on top of the WWE.