On this morning's WWE Financial conference call, one of the analysts on the line asked WWE Chairman Vince McMahon about the fan backlash to this year's Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV).
As you'll recall, the live Philadelphia crowd and many fans on the internet were angry that Daniel Bryan was eliminated midway through the 30 man battle royal main event, and unloaded on eventual winner Roman Reigns, who became slotted to headline WrestleMania 31 with his victory.
McMahon laughed when asked the question, and basically said that the controversy was good for business (transcription via 411mania.com):
That's good for WWE. It created controversy. Really it was a gesture by some vocal minority because of the creative ... Santa Claus didn't come on that PPV.
Having released data showing that the streaming WWE Network service hit one million subscribers for the first timethe following day, Vince and his team got in front of the controversy. And there probably won't be any longtime repercussions because, as McMahon said on the call, those of us who were "outraged" were back watching the next week.
The booking since the Rumble indicates that WWE does see some issues with their Mania direction. Which makes you wonder if Vince's response is 100% legitimate or a little bit of the old Mr. McMahon character.
Or, this being the 'Reality' Era and all, a little of both.
Thoughts, Cagesiders? Is McMahon right? Even so, is his attitude toward hardcore fans part of the problem?
Let us know what you think!