The Pro Wrestling Post: 10.29.2012 edition
October 29, 2012
Welcome to another edition of The Pro Wrestling Post. In this edition we look at a new show for the Miz, news on the WWE Network and a look at Linda McMahon’s political campaign
The Miz gets a role in ABC Family show
WWE Studios and ABC Family announced on Friday that an upcoming television movie, Christmas Bounty, will star Michael Mizanin (aka The Miz) in the main role.The movie is described as “an action-filled comedy about a former bounty hunter turned elementary schoolteacher looking for a normal life.” Its the latest of several movies that the former MTV Real World star has been in since turning his reality television persona into a pro wrestling star.
Payout Take: The latest partnership is an example of how the WWE is attempting to expand the “E” in Entertainment in its name. It also shows how the WWE can leverage its larger than life pro wrestling stars into movies and television roles.
WWE Network Launch still a mystery
In a leadup to its earnings call next week, the Hartford Courant interviewed WWE CFO George Barrios. The WWE promised more information at its Q3 earnings call on its WWE Network launch date which continues to be a moving target.
Barrios offered no new news on the network and it is still up in the air as to how it will be distributed.
Also in the article, the piece reports on the fact that the WWE has received nearly $37 million in state tax credits for TV production, digital media and infrastructure since 2007. It makes the WWE one of the largest beneficiaries of Connecticut’s economic aid. The state’s tax credit offers as much as 30% of the value of expenses incurred in Connecticut for media production firms. The speculation is that with the WWE Network, the company will hire more people. It has grown from 585 employees to 700 in the last 20 months according to Barrios in the article.
Payout Take: The tax credits have become political fodder for Linda McMahon’s senatorial campaign. The Hartford Courant did paint the WWE in a good light as a company that has used the state program correctly. Many opponents of the program point to carpetbagging Hollywood studios that would utilize the tax credits in state and then leave. As for the Network, the interview with Barrios offers nothing to look forward to with the earnings call this week.
Linda McMahon’s senate run tied to Trump
Earlier this week, the WWE and Linda McMahon’s senatorial campaign did some PR work after Donald Trump announced he was offering $5 million for the release of the President’s college transcripts and passport application. The issue was that $5 million was the amount that Vince and Linda McMahon’s Foundation gave to Trump’s Foundation in exchange for his appearances with the WWE several years ago. The problem is that Ms. McMahon is campaigning for senate in a race that has had its share of mudslinging. This issue could be perceived as advocating Trump and his extreme position on the President.
Payout Take: McMahon is serious about winning this race. She has spent $42.6 million to date and is nearing the $50 million she spent last go round. This includes a recent loan of $3.3 million of her own money. The Trump issue was an additional hurdle she had to address in a campaign where she has made attempts to parse out her association with the WWE to validate herself with voters. We shall see how she will do next week.