It’s been reported that WWE spent approximately $5 million (U.S.) on the stage for WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. The ramp alone was reported to be 85 yards in length. While we still don’t know the company’s exact profit from it’s biggest event of the year, the stage setup will probably end up being the proverbial “drop in a bucket.”
Steve Austin was quick to squash rumors of existing heat between he and WWE. On the latest episode of his podcast, he said the following:
“I will always be apart of the WWE, the WWE will always be a part of my life, I’m in this thing for the rest of my life. That’s the relationship I have with the WWE. There has never been no heat, no this, no that, no whatever. I am in a great place with those guys and I am thankful for everything they have done for me, and I’m sure they are grateful for the things I have done for them. Again, I am a WWE member for life.”
Rumors of heat came about because Austin was not present at the Hall of Fame or WrestleMania 33 itself.
Perhaps the hottest topic of debate right now is the Jinder Mahal push. Many have been quick to link it to WWE expansion and there could very well be some truth to that. Or, SmackDown just needs a heel to feed to Randy Orton at Backlash. Mahal, who will be paired with the Bollywood Boyz during this push, won a Six Pack Challenge Tuesday night to earn the opportunity to challenge Orton for the WWE Title. Let’s relive that great moment, shall we?
SmackDown ratings were down big this week. Part of that is a natural drop from the heavily hyped “Superstar Shakeup.” There was also competition from the NBA Playoffs with two big markets facing off (Chicago and Boston). Some will want to attribute the drop to Mahal, but him winning would be a surprise to most. Another issue could be that people have figured out John Cena has left again.
Some potential good ratings news for WWE is that Bill O’Reilly is out at FOX News. The O’Reilly Factor runs opposite the first hour of RAW and is often the highest rated show on cable.
After SmackDown went off the air, Shinsuke Nakamura worked a dark match against Dolph Ziggler. Nakamura won clean with a Kinshasa. During the match, Ziggler reportedly got on the announce table and yelled “Shut up, marks!” (that’s pretty funny!). Sadly, even the lure of a Nakamura match could not stop the crowd from emptying en mass before 205 Live.
One thing that always confounds me with WWE is that many times promo work is better on platforms that aren’t TV. Here’s an example from Sami Zayn last night, a “WWE.com exclusive”:
The final indie date for Drew McIntyre (Galloway) will take place on the What Culture Pro Wrestling iPPV on April 29th. He will defend that promotion’s title in a 30-man championship rumble. Convenient way for him not to do a job on the way out!