News John Cena Business Research

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Roadster, Jul 8, 2014.

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  1. So I saw this on a late night British wrestling TV show and went to check it for myself a research/study of monthly revenue for the WWE while John Cena is champion, while Randy Orton is champion and while CM Punk is champion. (Explanation in Spoiler)

    Full Research By Forbes (open)
    When WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event went off the air Sunday night, it closed with a defiant John Cena brandishing his newly won WWE World Heavyweight Championship belts. It was, for many fans, a disappointing finish, but hardly a surprise. In fact, a Cena championship victory is usually as close as you can get to a foregone conclusion.

    There are two main, and very inter-related, reasons that it shouldn’t be very surprising that Cena won. First, in the ring Cena often plays the character of Guy Who Can’t Lose At Wrestling, which made him the odds-on favorite going into Sunday night. And secondly, he is a veritable goldmine for WWE, thanks to being the company’s biggest star among young fans, who in turn comprise a massive portion of WWE’s fan base. That latter reason would seem to explain why WWE slapped the championship on Cena just one month removed from a massive drop in share price, which cost head honcho Vince McMahon $750 million.

    Cena is obviously important for WWE’s popularity and subsequent income, but I thought it would be fun to see just what sort of impact his having a title belt might actually have on the company’s bottom line. My look back on past trends is far from conclusive evidence, but it suggests that maybe Cena isn’t what’s best for WWE’s business.

    I first pulled WWE’s quarterly revenue figures, but was quickly reminded that it’s difficult to locate meaningful trends for a business that often revolves around a single, annual event. More to the point, WrestleMania accounts for a massive portion of annual revenue, which creates revenue spikes in the second quarter of each year. This trend in recent years is clearly illustrated below; the general pattern is skewed a bit in 2010 because WrestleMania fell in Q1 that year.


    In order to adjust for the event’s impact on company financials, I averaged the three quarters prior to each Q2 WrestleMania and found that company revenue in the second quarters of 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 rose by an average 25% over the previous three quarters (these were relatively consistent increases, too, ranging from 22% to 33%). I then adjusted the numbers to diminish the perceived impact of WrestleMania on second-quarter revenues, which flattens out the sharp peaks seen above:


    The below graph plots out the numbers, which have bounced between $100 million and $125 million from 2009 through the end of last year, on a slightly truncated y-axis in order to better illustrate fluctuations in the adjusted quarterly revenue. I then just overlaid the championship reigns of Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk, the three biggest stars of the last five years, to see who lorded over the greatest gains:


    Note: Omitted from the graph are Cena’s brief concurrent championship run in the summer of 2011 and his even briefer moments-long reign at Elimination Chamber in 2010.

    As shown in the graph, over the last five years Cena has only been champion during one period of rising revenue, in late 2009. Since then he’s held the belt at length four different times, and during all of them WWE’s quarterly revenue has been on the decline. What’s more, the company’s income tends to rebound shortly after those title runs come to an end.

    And curiously enough, in-story COO Triple-H’s repetitive claims that Orton ought to be the face of the company appear to ring true. When Orton wears the championship belt, WWE’s revenues tend to climb. Then again, company performance was all over the place during CM Punk’s 434-day reign, and that may be the only proof we need that WWE’s in-ring champion doesn’t actually have much impact on the company’s revenue.

    To reiterate, this is obviously far from a scientific study. WWE’s total revenues include segments like DVD sales and WWE Studios, which have little to do with the ongoing in-ring action. Plus this study only looks at the revenue side; perhaps a further analysis would show that WWE’s profits surge under Cena’s title reigns. But a brief look at the numbers suggests that, popular as he is, Cena being the WWE champion isn’t necessarily the best thing for business. And who knows, maybe that means Cena’s latest title run has more to do with in-ring story telling than cashing in on young fans, and maybe, just maybe, that means he’ll do something interesting for once.

    So if you read through and read the quarterly revenue graphs then you'd know WWE actually suffers with John Cena as champion, while it grows with Randy Orton and it grew to the highest it has ever been since Q4 2010 in Q1 2012 with CM Punk as champion. Only two of John Cena's reigns have lifted the WWE's revenue since Q4 2009 none of his four other reigns brought up revenue. Randy Orton's reigns however have brought up revenue ever since the first report in Q1 2009. CM Punk brought in the highest and lowest revenue but dropped the belt just as revenue was getting higher and higher before it crashed in Q1 2013 at the hands of John Cena's title reign.

    Crazy shit.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. @Tgmiveld
    To be fair, Cena put over Punk massively in 2011.
    For the majority of the past five years, Cena has taken a bit of a back seat
  3. Yeah, the champ doesn't affect anything that much. It's not like back in the territory days when who your champ is determined how well you drew, now WWE is in itself the brand, not really about who the champ is, these days it's just a guy holding a belt.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. The champion is the main story that is featured and will be invested in. The main story (champion) determines whether that investment can make up for revenue and Cena can't.
  5. Wow people got sick of Punk really quick as champ :lol1:
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Lads I have been sayin on this forum for months that Orton is the man, and this proves it at the end of the day. The suits upstairs at WWE have fucked up with Orton, and this proves it.

    Lets hear how it is all his fault now lads. Give the lad a 2 year title reign and watch the sales go through the roof
  7. I actually have to agree that Randy is the safest and most profitable person to put the belt on. At least with today's main eventers (Cena, DB ETC)
  8. If this does not make WWE put the belt on Orton again, then they deserve to go out of business

    They are runing lives here
  9. Are you seeing an entirely different program than the rest of us?
  10. Yeah, I'm not completely buying this. I really want to know where stats of how much revenue WWE pulls in under each champion per year was pulled from. If Orton really was "better for business", the WWE would realize it and push him accordingly. Orton doesn't move the same merchandise that Cena does, nor has house shows/live events headlined by him generally drawn the same audience as ones that were headlined by Cena. The article even mentions how the 'evidence' in this study is far from conclusive.

    Also, people need to realize that being the world champion doesn't mean you're the main one responsible for increasing (or decreasing) business. Even when Orton or Punk was champion, Cena was still featured very heavily and was still booked in major programs on the show. For example, his rivalry with Wade Barrett and The Nexus in the Summer of 2010 most definitely was treated as more important than Orton's rivalry with Sheamus, as the latter was booked underneath the former.
  11. This stat hurts my brain, because Orton was a bad draw as the WHC on Smackdown.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. No lad, just watch wrestling with a clear mind
    show me the numbers lad

    at the end of the day,the graph speaks volume

    Orton = biggest draw in the buiness
  13. :adr:
  14. No. Biggest Draw among the 3 other main eventers. He never drew as much as Punk. As shown in the graph. Punk drew the most. Orton just draws better than Cena.
  15. His second reign drew well.
  16. But he still didn't consistently draw the way Henry, Edge, or Christian did during their reigns.
  17. lol Punk drew some pretty low-rated segments on Raw as champion and wasn't even booked in the main event for the bulk of his entire reign. Cena was still treated as the premier star in 2012.

    And again, looking at one simple graph and ignoring all the different determining factors in why the company was drawing revenue is a pretty short-sighted point of view.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Does this count all merchandise sales too, not just at the shows? Because I have seen the literal RACKS of John Cena clothing that lines the walls of the kids sections in K-Mart. I was quite surprised. The t-shirts, the button up collared shirts, jeans even! Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect everywhere. It made me sick lol
  19. If we look at 2009, Randy Orton was given a beautifully written storyline involving the entire McMahon family
    If we look at 2010, Randy Orton was experiencing his first babyface run after an extremely successful build
    If we look at 2013, Randy Orton was backed by a newly turned HHH and a better than ever version of Stephanie McMahon

    Take into consideration that John Cena has never been given storyline with a great deal of intrigue
    Most of Cena's storylines are dumbed down for children to understand

    CM Punk doesn't require heavy writing in his storylines either. Most of his feuds were very basic and to the point.
    In fact, during Punk's reign I can't recall him getting too personal with his opponent (in terms of insulting family)

    Orton has always received 'adult' storylines, because he has trouble relating to children as effectively as the other two
    It isn't wrong, just WWE doing their homework with the guy.

    In other words, with Orton as champ he receives support both backstage and on camera the other two never received
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