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Thread: The Ask Jim Thread

  1. #2621
    Big Papa's Avatar

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    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Jim, am I the only 80s WWF fan with fond memories of the The Machines gimmick back in '86-87? In my memory, it was this big storyline and an awesome thing. Reading back on it, I don't think it was. I remember Hulk Machine and a few others, but I don't know if those matches where Hulk joined in were actually televised or not.

    Thoughts on the Machines?

  2. #2622

    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    Hey Jim what are your thoughts on the Raven and Bagwell lawsuit about royalties as it pertains to the Network?

    Do you think that it's even plausible to set an amount of royalties based on a streaming service?

    Do you think it's fair that, if WWE goes the route of no more dvds/ blurays ( old wrestlers get royalties from this), to just streaming if it cuts out royalties checks for these guys?
    The short cop-out answer:

    It all depends on what the contracts state and more importantly, how those contracts are interpreted by a court. If a court rules that the likes of Bagwell and Raven deserves royalties from the WWE Network, then they deserve royalties from the Network.

    The more complicated personal opinion:

    I can see it from both perspectives. On one hand, if you're the WWE, you're going to claim that the WWE Network is not a piece of merchandise. When you pay for a subscription to the WWE Network, you're not technically buying anything. What you are doing is paying the WWE $9.99 to have access to their Network for one month's time. That's it - access. On the other hand, when you go on iTunes and you spend $13.99 to buy the digital version of the Royal Rumble 2015, you're actually buying an item of merchandise. Whether you have access to the actual digital file or if it remains up there in the cloud, that's yours. To compare it to something - home video rentals. Years ago, I can remember renting Royal Rumble 1991 Coliseum Home Video. I can't imagine someone like Dusty Rhodes received any sort of payment from my rental. At the same time, around 1998, I believe, I bought the VHS tape of Wrestlemania 6 when the WWE re-released it after WM 14. In that situation, I presume Rhodes received some sort of payment for that in his next royalties check.

    On the other hand, if I was Raven or Bagwell, I would point out that the WWE is essentially killing off their physical media division. It's 2017 and merchandise and media is entirely different compared to when those two talents signed their contracts. By not forcing the WWE to pay out royalties, the system would be allowing the WWE to skirt around the fact of the matter is that they merely found a way to release "Merchandise" that doesn't technically count as merchandise, thus finding a way to avoid paying out royalties. The problem with this stance is that it's basically just claiming "It's not fair!" and ultimately this is a business. What does being fair have to do with anything?

    Truthfully, I don't think the likes of Raven and Bagwell matter too much. Prior to the launch of the Network, how high were their royalties checks? In the case of Bagwell, he hasn't had anything the WWE has had access to release as part of merchandise since 2001. To give you a rough idea, using a May 2013 list form WWEDVDNews of every WCW match released on DVD up to that point, I counted up four Bagwell matches. Obviously, that number is now higher due to DVDs released since then and if any matches happened to be missing from the list, but I think we can agree that the present day number is going to be much higher than four. So based on that, it makes total sense why someone like Bagwell is trying to cash in on these WWE Network royalties. On one side is 4+ matches released on DVD and on the other side is 45 pages of results when you search "Bagwell" on the Network. At 10 results per page, even if you immediately throw out the majority of the pages due to duplicates (Match results chapters and full shows) just 10 pages of actual matches alone, you're looking at 100 matches. Quite the difference.

    Why I say Raven and Bagwell don't matter much is because what matters more to me is how today's wrestlers are treated. Take a guy like Braun Strowman for example. He's only been a part of the roster in this Network era. Right away, that means far less opportunities for DVD sales to influence his royalty checks. DVDs are barely selling anymore and few people are buying PPVs. Is the WWE taking care of guys like Braun to compensate them accordingly in this new era? Legally, if it's not in their contracts, I suppose the WWE can get away with not paying them a single thing from the Network. The "Right" thing to do in my eyes is to pay out bonus-like checks for every time you reach X amount of hours of content on the Network. For example, Strowman receives his first WWE Network bonus check the first time his matches and segments on the Network reaches...500 hours. Then he gets another check when he reaches 1,000 hours. I would think that by now, anyone that signed in this Network era (The Bobby Roodes of the WWE), should in their contracts state what all they should expect with payout in relation to the Network just so that it's 100% clear by all involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papa View Post
    Jim, am I the only 80s WWF fan with fond memories of the The Machines gimmick back in '86-87? In my memory, it was this big storyline and an awesome thing. Reading back on it, I don't think it was. I remember Hulk Machine and a few others, but I don't know if those matches where Hulk joined in were actually televised or not.

    Thoughts on the Machines?
    Probably?

    The biggest problem with the Machines is that while it was a vehicle for Andre to add heat to his feud with Bobby Heenan, it seemed as if he was barely even teaming with the Machines. The majority of the time, it was just Big and Super Machine and who could possibly care about that? A couple of the Machines matches with Hulk Machine and Piper Machine were released on Coliseum Home Video (Including one Hulk Machine on the recent Unreleased 1985-1995 DVD), but they were extremely rare. The entire act lasted about six months in the second half of 1986. That's it. Once 1987 began, they started the angle with Andre turning heel, Big Machine started working as Blackjack Mulligan again, and Super Machine started the Demolition act.

    Where the gimmick really suffered is that Big and Super Machine weren't supposed to be identifiable like Giant Machine. They were just two guys. Despite the fact that it was a big angle at the start, it quickly became irrelevant to the point where there wasn't a proper conclusion to the Machines. Ideally, if the Machines were going to work out, it needed to be comprised of two guys who everyone knew who they were, but the heels weren't able to prove it. For example, had the British Bulldogs lost a WWE Tag Titles vs Careers match against the Hart Foundation at WM 3 and suddenly the British Machines debuted a couple of weeks later. From there, there also needed to be an end game with the identities of the British Machines being revealed, but not before The British Machines help get their buddies, the British Bulldogs re-instated.

    I kind of like the idea of The Machines/Yellow Dog/Mr. America/Ect, but it seems like it's rarely done well enough.
    Last edited by Jim; 11-02-2017 at 02:22 PM.

  3. #2623
    Sweet Meat

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    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    I think there are important things to remember too when it comes to the lawsuit:

    If anything happened from it (it won't), tons of content would be taken down and you'd rarely get a sniff of classic content. Additionally, while most people recognize this, guys like Raven and Buff are much more relevant thanks to the digital era and being seen by new audiences than they would be without the network, essentially giving them more value for appearances, bookings, signings, and merchandising. They're going to lose, and in some ways I do wish everyone could receive royalties, but they wouldn't, fans would just lose out.

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  4. #2624

    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dook Gulak View Post
    I think there are important things to remember too when it comes to the lawsuit:

    If anything happened from it (it won't), tons of content would be taken down and you'd rarely get a sniff of classic content. Additionally, while most people recognize this, guys like Raven and Buff are much more relevant thanks to the digital era and being seen by new audiences than they would be without the network, essentially giving them more value for appearances, bookings, signings, and merchandising. They're going to lose, and in some ways I do wish everyone could receive royalties, but they wouldn't, fans would just lose out.
    Yeah, for sure. From a selfish perspective, I don't want Raven/Bagwell to be successful since we're talking about a huge amount of money that would have to be given out to everyone on the Network. It's a very safe bet that it would drastically effect how much older content is on the Network. It really goes beyond that though. If Bagwell and Raven are success, it could really hurt the business as a whole because if a precedent is set, what's going to stop indie talent from going after other streaming services? The rise of streaming has seemed to play a significant part in indie wrestling recovering after the recession nearly crippled it.

  5. #2625
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    strange brew's Avatar

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    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Funniest piece of wrestlecrap that you have ever laughed at.

  6. #2626

    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by strange brew View Post
    Funniest piece of wrestlecrap that you have ever laughed at.
    I feel like the most obvious answer to that is The Shockmaster's debut at Clash of the Champions 24. It's a legendary botch on live TV featuring a talent that was supposed to be some major deal. It only got funnier once Shockmaster stood up and you realized that even without the botch, it's still a big guy wearing a storm trooper helmet with sparkles and wearing jeans and a jacket without sleeves. It's classic.

  7. #2627
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    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    What are your thoughts on Nick Bockwinkel? Do you think he is a big influence at all or just another big name for the time?


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  8. #2628

    Re: The Ask Jim Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim View Post
    What are your thoughts on Nick Bockwinkel? Do you think he is a big influence at all or just another big name for the time?
    The AWA isn't my expertise, especially when peak Bock was well before the majority of the main AWA footage we have access to watch. I've liked everything I've seen of Bockwinkel, but I can't talk about what sort of influence he truly was.

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