World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Paul "Triple H" Levesque, recently discussed the evolving landscape of the pro wrestling (sports entertainment) industry on the WWE-created "After the Bell" podcast.
Levesque spoke about the company's model of working with independent promotions in the U.S. and U.K., often through WWE's NXT and NXT UK promotions.
Levesque touched on how the company's feeder system model works by supporting prominent independent promotions. Promotions include the U.S.-based Evolve and the U.K.'s Progress, who the EVP said is "cultivating talent."
Why It Matters
The main event sports entertainer turned executive elaborated on the promotions WWE seeks to partner with.
"The ones that were encouraging them to become better, working with them on their promos or giving them guidance, right or wrong on their matches," he said. Levesque pointed out other factors, including the status of equipment and the medical care of talent.
WWE's stance has upset many in the traditional wrestling fan base, with scores of Internet commentators alleging the sports entertainment brand of choking out the competition. This was a point brought up by Levesque during the interview.
The company's EVP pointed towards improper acting organizations as those facing closure.
"The ones that are going to go away are the ones who are paying [talent] 25 bucks when they promised you 75," said Levesque. He went on, "The ones that didn't care about you, they were just booking you because they were hoping to sell some tickets, and you might have a bit of buzz."
Despite his statement, online detractors, which included fans and independent professionals in the space, weren't sure. Allegations have ranged from WWE aiming to "kill" the independent scene to the company working with promotions that fail to pay talent.