A bit of a ramble here....
Been a huge jerico fan since his heel turn in WCW....inside and outside of the ring, just seems like a genuine dood and very intelligent. I love that his involvement in AEW has to be swaying a lot of these moves.
I don't doubt for a minute that Vince equates stock success with general success...when he went public, he took on a whole new set of challenges.
WWE going public is such a monumental milestone in the business that it's impact is probably understated. WWE stock has been nothing short of phenomenal....but that has so much more to do than the current product in the ring. Once the stock performance stagnates, or when AEW debuts it will be interesting what types of questions analysts give at quarterly meetings with respect to growth, competition and whatnot.
I read through the 2019 Q1 transcripts and there's zero reference to competition at all...very focused on the move to Fox, the Saudi event and other general financials. There was one very pointed question re: talent and WWE's view on strategy with talent:
So then my other question is for Vince about talent development. So I mean, one of the potential interpretations of the rating softness could be maybe some of our talent is aging or audiences are getting tired of it and I'm interested, since you've been doing this a long time, Vince, what are the metrics you look at to determine when you need to bring in a new winner, a new superstar to reinvigorate the start of the story lines, and do you feel that a lot of these international people, my recollection is it takes like 5 years to bring in somebody from the beginning to where they can really be at the top of the ledger, of the main roster. But can you remind us also how long it takes to build one of these John Cena, Roman Reigns, kinds of characters?
I'll let Paul Levesque handle some of that color please.
Sure. So, it's interesting and obviously, there is no exact timing on what it takes and first of all, we don't bring in superstars, we create them. So there is no timing on how long that takes, some it's immediate, some it takes longer. We're constantly bringing in talent. So it's not a matter of how many leave now as we -- Vince mentioned earlier, when we have absences, new talent step in, an example of that would be Kofi Kingston stepping into a role and becoming WWE Champion. As those things happen, those performers rise to another level, when the other performers come back from that absence, they -- now, it's a higher tide.
In 2018, we brought up over 15 talent, a lot of them have succeeded. We've already brought up 10 in 2019 through the system, through the talent development system. So it's working very effectively and when you look at the roster of superstars, 80% of the main roster of Raw and SmackDown right now have come through that system, have come through our talent development system. So the main event players that you see came through that. So it works very well. It's very successful, and as was mentioned earlier too, there is a 35 year track record of generation after generation of creating new superstars that are icons in last generation and we have a very good track record of doing that. So we are very confident in that.
To look at all of the past transcripts: https://seekingalpha.com/symbol/WWE/earnings/transcripts