Investment research firm Lightshed Partners released an analysis on WWE stock entitled “WWE Media Rights Will Decline Unless Ratings Improve” and here is an excerpt regarding issues with the current television product:
COVID or no COVID, creative appears to be at the center of the issues. Vince McMahon has acknowledged things need to change multiple times. However, while there have been short lived experiments, the content appears to continuously return to a similar formula under his absolute control. McMahon went so far as to hire creative heads for Raw and SmackDown a year ago, with Paul Heyman heading Raw and Eric Bischoffheading SmackDown. Neither are in their roles a year later. Bischoff was fired after four months on the job and Heyman was relieved last month. The role is now consolidated under Bruce Prichard.
One of the largest problems we have identified is an inability to create new Superstars. Every era of WWE wrestling has been defined by some key stars at the top. Recent years have been bereft of that star power, with Roman Reigns the closest but never on that same level. More broadly, there really has been very little younger talent that have broken through at all on their way to replenishing even the middle level of stars in the men’s division. This has made the company more susceptible to injuries / absentees of major stars. Much of the talent with drawing power is aging. And, the big draws for major events have been in bringing back even older wrestlers such as Goldberg and The Undertaker. That is a band-aid, not a long-term strategy.