It was a busy 24 hours in the Foley household today. Not only did Mick make the monumental fashion decision to start rocking the fanny pack again, surely the biggest announcement in wrestling history since WCW's Great American Bash 2000, but he also found time to come up with a remarkably crazy theory for WWE's recent stock plunge.
According to Foley, overpromising and under delivering on WWE Network subscriptions and their new TV deal with NBCUniversal was only partially to blame. He contends that another important, overlooked factor is that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are such great heels on WWE programming that stockholders sold their WWE shares in disgust due to their inability to distinguish fact from fiction:
"I swear, I'm not posting this right after WWE Monday Night Raw to be a smart alec, a troublemaker or to create drama. But, could it be - following the precipitous tumble of WWE stock, that having real life WWE Chief Operating Officer Paul Levesque and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon performing simultaneous duties as the on-air "Authority" is simply not best for business.
No matter where I might go, what I might say, and what type of home appliance WWE decisions may occasionally cause me to break, World Wrestling Entertainment is a GREAT company - a company that managed to post record profits during the worst economic downturn in a generation. I just bought stock myself - so I'm putting money where my mouth is here. I've heard from reliable sources that the WWE Network hasn't yet met its initial goals, and that the recent TV deal signed with USA Network wasn't as lucrative as investors had hoped. But there has to be something more - probably a lot of little things. Might one of those things be the blurred line between the real life McMahon-Levesques and the characters of Triple H - WWE Universe and Stephanie McMahon - WWE they portray?
I vividly recall Vince McMahon looking at me like I was legitimately insane in 2007 when I told him I didn't think the WWE Universe (I actually called them "fans") made the distinction between Vince McMahon, the face of WWE, and "Mr McMahon" who, at the time, as a TV personality, has presumably been blown to smithereens in a televised exploding limousine incident.
Likewise, I'm not sure that everyone "gets" that Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon are definitely seasoned and intelligent business people who simultaneously portray horrible bosses as on-air authority figures. The lines are awfully blurry - and while most fans seem to understand that the real life Stephanie is that legitimately kind, caring soul we see on "Raw" as the face of the "Be a Star" campaign, and other positive endeavors that the company is involved in - she can be awfully convincing when she has that mic in her hand, and is dressing down, maligning...and occasionally slapping the dog poop out of WWE talent. Personally, I think Steph has been simply sensational as a character this year - but I'm not sure everyone "gets" that she's essentially a really nice person, doing a really good job of being really, really bad.
Look, I don't have all the answers, and there are probably far more factors at play than I am capable of understanding. But maybe, just maybe, having investors watch the Chief Operating Officer of a billion dollar company (past tense) kick the dog poop out of a handcuffed employee (or independent contractor) is not best for business as far as Wall Street is concerned."
The insanity of Foley's Facebook post should really speak for itself, but I still feel the need to point a few things out:
- Paul Levesque is not WWE's Chief Operating Officer, he's their Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative. The former was the title he was given on television when he returned as an on-air authority figure in the summer of 2011, but it's not a position he's ever held in real life. Mick Foley might be the only stockholder not to know this.
- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been pushed as the top heels in WWE for nine months now, so why did it only start having a negative effect on the stock price over the past week?
- WWE didn't post "record profits" during the recent economic downturn. Although company profits remained very high from 2008-2010, they were still over $15 million short of the profits they made in the 1999-2000 fiscal year (and over $30 million short of the profits they would have made in the 2000-2001 fiscal year if it wasn't for the XFL).
- Mick should listen to the investor conference calls. The complete dearth of questions regarding talent and storylines show that most stockholders would be hard pushed to point out Daniel Bryan or CM Punk in a lineup. They could care less about what Paul and Stephanie get up to on TV.
- What on earth happened to Mick being pissed off about his video game royalties? So much for fighting the good fight, now he's back to being a corporate shill.