Welcome to yet another edition of the Phat Daily Column. RAW ratings, for some reason, just aren't in yet, so what are we to discuss? I've got an idea often discussed by wrestling fans, in comparison to professional sports. The idea is this: why doesn't professional wrestling have an off-season like professional sports? We'll dig deep into that topic.

And yes, I did see the 2 blown conchairto spots on Monday Night. Yikes! I'm sure the Undertaker will go in the back, use his veteran status, and yell about working with Christian and Storm in the ring. I think that Storm and Christian just didn't want to badly hurt the "locker room leader", so they tried to protect him as much as possible. Simple as that.

The Torch reported that some wrestlers, in the NWA-TNA, are complaining about Low Ki's extremely stiff style. Hell, it's about time. If you've ever seen him wrestle, he just lays into wrestlers with extremely stiff kicks that make Tajiri's look weak. Sure, it's fun to watch, as I really enjoyed the 4-way match for the X title, but I agree, those kicks are insanely dangerous to any opponent. All it takes is one insanely stiff kick to end a career, ask Bret Hart.

Before you laugh at Diamond Dallas Page trying to become an actor, just note that he did star in 2 movies. First, he was a vicious hitman in the TBS movie "First Daughter", and he was the main heel in the WCW movie "Ready to Rumble". Believe it or not, that's some acting credits to his name. And just remember this: nobody told DDP he could make it in professional wrestling, and look what happened. He's the type that puts his mind to something, and then does it beyond anybody's expectations.

On to the PDC.

Off-Season in Professional Wrestling?

This question has been asked many, many times. Why can't professional wrestling have an off-season, like many professional sports? For example, the NFL has a long off-season from February through August. Both the NBA and NHL end sometime in June and begin sometime in October. Major League Baseball, despite its long schedule, has an offseason from November until March. So why can't professional wrestling have an off-season, namely the WWE? There are many, many reasons.

  • There is only ONE owner in the WWE. Forget the IPO, as the McMahons are still the ones owning the company as majority owners. In professional sports, you have many owners, as each team has some millionaire or billionaire putting money into the league. With the WWE, it's just one owner, so they don't have the luxury of having 30 other millionaires contributing to their company. That's a big difference.
  • WWE is an indoor show. There aren't too many demands on an arena when the WWE comes to town. You don't have to lay ice onto the ground, like you'd do for an NHL game for the summertime (even though technology for laying down ice has greatly improved lately). The NFL is generally played in the Fall and early months of Winter so that they don't kill their players in extremely hot conditions. MLB never plays in the Winter, for the sake of their pitchers' arms and their players' hamstrings. The NBA and NHL are enjoyed in the Winter, mostly, with some time in the Fall and Spring. The WWE can go all year, through any condition.
  • Weaker television contract. The NFL has a television contract worth $17.6 billion of guaranteed money to their networks. NBA, NHL, and now the NBA have very nice deals with ABC/ESPN right now. The WWE makes ROUGHLY $90,000 per RAW on TNN, with no guaranteed money unless they actually have a show. For the WWE to make their money, with the addition of advertising revenues, they can't stop.
  • Ticket revenue. The WWE lives and dies by this, too. For a big show, such as RAW, Smackdown, or a Pay Per View, they are making roughly $200,000 or more from each show. That's money they have to make every week to cover costs, because again, nobody is feeding them guaranteed money. The NHL, NBA, and MLB are somewhat pressured to have good attendance, which is why they play more games than say, the very rich NFL. Of course, NBA, NHL, and the MLB have some guaranteed money coming their way, where as the WWE must put out a show every week.
  • Very weak advertising. For years, professional wrestling has never been given any respect from advertisers. Despite the high ratings the shows carry on cable, they have never cashed in on it, as professional wrestling carries that negative stigma to it and always will. In recent times, the advent of the PTC (Parents Television Council), a mean parental group, the advertising dollars have actually gone down. Add to that the fact that many big name advertisers no longer have ads on WWE shows, in which many video game companies can buy up some ad time for some very reasonable prices. The professional sports organizations have very proud sponsors, insomuch that they'll have stuff like "The Official blah blah blah of this Sports Organization" on their products. Aside from a few very loyal products, pimping out on the Pay Per Views, the WWE has yet to make a mint, lately, on advertising.
  • Those are 5 good reasons, in my opinion, why the WWE can't have an off-season. They live and die by the week, technically, making money through each show, event, and getting a big payday from their Pay Per Views. An off-season would be DEVASTATING to the WWE, as they would no longer have the weekly revenues made from each television show, event, or the Pay Per Views. They've got talent to pay, with a much larger roster now than a few years ago (with the split rosters, the roster is clearly bigger), and as the WWE expanded in 2000, they've got plenty more business expenses to pay now than ever before.

    Plus, look at the WWE's audience. Sure, many are loyal wrestling fans, who are forever hooked, like myself, but a good bulk of the audience consists of teenagers. How long would their attention spans last if the WWE had an off-season? It runs out quickly, even when the WWE pumps out show after show, so how could it be there when the WWE is gone for a few months?

    And how long would the WWE take off? The NHL and NBA usually have about 3 or 4 months off. Historically, the WWE usually slumps in the summer, especially in the past few years. After Wrestlemania, fans are interested in the WWE for one more month, and then go outside to enjoy the great weather in May or June. Maybe take an off-season from May until August? June until August?

    But an off-season is wishful thinking. Again, the WWE lives and dies by the week. The only thing I would think of for the WWE is to take 1 or 2 weeks off to reorganize itself, much like WCW did when Russo and Bischoff came back in 2000. The couple weeks could be used to let the wrestlers heal from their injuries, allow them some time off to spend it with their families, and to end any possibilities for burn-out on an all year tour. Then, the WWE, themselves, could have some meetings about what they could work on or improve.

    With those weeks off, you could run highlight shows of maybe the best shows in the past year. I believe the Viacom contracts call for the WWE to put on shows during that timeslot, no matter what they are. So they'd still make money from having a show on, and the same goes for advertising revenues. The WWE production teams are great enough to make those highlight shows watchable for the time off.

    But to take several months off would be suicide for the WWE. An off-season would see the WWE losing LOTS of money, through not having Pay Per Views, shows, or events, not to mention the reaction those 3 would cause in their IPO or stock. They can't afford it, unlike any professional sports leagues, so you'll just have to live with the WWE providing us entertainment all year round, while professional sports can only bring it for several months at a time.

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