WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley posted the following on Facebook Monday night:
A SERIOUS QUESTION FOR WWE
I swear, I’m not posting this right after WWE Monday Night Raw to be a smart alec, a trouble-maker or to create drama. But, could it be – following the precipitous tumble of WWE stock, that having real life WWE Chief Operating Officer Paul Levesque and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon performing simultaneous duties as the on-air “Autohority” is simply not best for business.
No matter where I might go, what I might say, and what type of home appliance WWE decisions may occasionally cause me to break, World Wrestling Entertainment is a GREAT company – a company that manged to post record profits during the worst economic downturn in a generation. I just bought stock myself – som I’m putting money where my mouth is here. I’ve heard from reliable sources that the WWE Network hasn’t yet met its initial goals, and that the recent TV deal signed with USA Network wasn’t as lucrative as investors had hoped. But there has to be something more – probably alot of little things. Might one of those things be the blurred line between the real life McMahon-Levesques and the charachters of Triple H – WWE Universe and Stephanie McMahon – WWE they portray?
I vividly recall Vince McMahon looking at me like I was legitimitely insane in 2007 when I told him I didn’t think the WWE Universe (I actually called them “fans”) made the distinction between Vince McMahon, the face of WWE, and “Mr McMahon” who, at the time, as a TV personality, has presumably been blown to smithereens in a televised exploding limousine incident.
Likewise, I’m not sure that everyone “gets” that Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon are definitely seasoned and intelligent business people who simultaneously portray horrible bosses as on-air authority figures. The lines are awfully blurry – and while most fans seem to understand that the real life Stephanie is that legitimitely kind, caring soul we see on “Raw” as the face of the “Be a Star” campaign, and other positive endeavors that the company is involved in – she can be awfully convincing when she has that mic in her hand, and is dressing down, maligning…and occasionally slapping the dogpoop out of WWE talent. Personally, I think Steph has been simply sensational as a character this year – but I’m not sure everyone “gets” that she’s essentially a really nice person, doing a really good job of being really, really bad.
Look, I don’t have all the answers, and there are probably far more factors at play than I am capable of uderstanding. But maybe, just maybe, having investors watch the Chief Operating Officer of a billion dollar company (past tense) kick the dogpoop out of a hand-cuffed employee (or Independent contractor) is not best for business as far as Wall Street is concerned.