Raj Giri of WrestlingINC.com recently interviewed former WWE creative writer Court Bauer. A portion of the interview was conducted in March, while the rest was conducted last week. In part one of our three part interview below, Bauer discussed his time here at WrestlingINC.com in the '90s, getting his break in the business, starting MLW, how he got his job with WWE, how Brock Lesnar's return has been handled and more.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for our second part of our interview, where Bauer discusses his problems with Stephanie McMahon, if Vince McMahon should step down, the future of the company under Triple H and much more.
WrestlingINC: You were an early part of WrestlingINC.com back in the '90's.
Court Bauer: Yeah. Maybe even the pre-WrestlingINC.com (days) with The Wrestling Gazette newsletter I think is what you had out there. Everyone signed up for this newsletter chain and everyone would read it. You'd see a zillion e-mail addresses on there and then you'd get your news right before the Monday night shows started. It was great.
Then, you'd get all the fall-out and all the gossip. I remember it was like '95-'96 and you had The Wrestling Observer and a few other newsletters but this was like instant information before websites were really a big thing, this was a great thing to get all your wrestling fix in terms of news and what's going to happen, who's jumping (sides) -- which was like constantly -- the news cycle was never-ending back in the '90's. WWF or WCW -- it was a really intriguing time.
So, for someone at that point that was really interested in getting into the wrestling business that was absorbing everything like a sponge; to have that newsletter that became WrestlingINC.com was a great thing. I remember hitting my Inbox when I was in college and maybe even high school and just -- you've got to read everything from the top to the bottom of that newsletter.
Eventually, I ended up e-mailing you and saying, "I'd love to contribute." Now, I didn't have any sources. [Laughs.] I just wanted to write. I didn't know what the hell to do other than try to cobble together some leads on a few things and that's kind of what happened. You and WrestlingINC became my entry into wrestling and I used that as a way to then hook up with wrestlers and ask them for interviews. I did a lot of op-ed things and put out a few stories.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. You did a great job on the site.
Bauer: I remember I convinced King Kong Bundy and guys like Gary Albright from Japan to do columns and stuff. [Laughs] Guys were doing columns and stuff and that's a novel thing today. We actually got them to do them on a -- I won't say weekly basis -- on fairly regular basis.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. You did a great job. I think you were with the site until -- what -- '99-2000?
Bauer: '99 sounds about right. '98-'99 was when I was doing a lot -- I was getting really hands on with wrestling, doing stuff with The Samoans. I had contacted them, setting up a part where I was working and trying to just get in the business. So, by '99, I was pretty much balancing college and the Samoan stuff up in Pennsylvania. That's probably when I was spinning so many plates that I stepped back.
Plus, there was always paranoia about the conflict of interest with the Samoans. Especially Afa, who's a WWE Hall Of Famer. So, he's very old school. So, getting involved with dirt sheets or anything; it was a major taboo then. It still is today. It's not like you could work for Vince (McMahon) and do anything with wrestling. That's when I probably when I also realized I had to keep that as my primary goal.
I think one of the last things I did was work on promoting. I want to say it was the memorial show for Yokozuna. I remember doing a lot of publicity, working with you at WrestlingINC, getting the word out. I was very helpful. I remember guys like Eddie Guerrero were on the show. I think Eddie was on the show. But it was like WCW and WWE, who were battling it out on the Monday night wars, both lent talent to be a part of the Yoko memorial. That might have been in 2000. Point is, it was one of the things I remember doing with you -- one of the last things.
It's really cool to see you guys are still chugging along. God; you were there in the '90's, you were there in the 2000's and you're here in the teens. So, you've kind of been covering it all from parts of three decades. I can't really think of any other site that's done that.
WrestlingINC: Right. We're kind of like the Mae Young of wrestling sites.
Bauer: Yeah. But, hopefully, you don't give birth to anything. That could be kind of scandalous. [Laughs.] Yeah, it's a cool thing. Your sites have always been, like -- in terms of the layout and aesthetically -- it's just been incredible. You've always been, like, blowing everybody out of the water… from the start to now.
I remember -- just so you know -- I wasn't the only one that was reading WrestlingINC.com when I was at WWE, either. There was a lot of other laptops open and we were all reading stuff from WrestlingINC within the office. So, know that there are people at WWE, then and now probably, still reading it. So, that tells you a lot.
WrestlingINC: Well, thanks for the kind words. I do appreciate it. You talked about working with the Samoans. Was the idea when you started MLW (Major League Wrestling) -- did it start then when you were working with the Samoans or was that something that came a little bit later?
Bauer: Actually, it was something that was being developed. In the late '90's, I was working with Gary Albright who was a big star for All-Japan Pro Wrestling and son-in-law of Afa. He married one of Afa's daughters. He was a powerhouse collegiate wrestler from Nebraska and became a pro and wrestled in Stampede (Wrestling). He wrestled a few times in ECW. But his career was primarily a big star in Japan for UWFi (Union of Wrestling Forces International) which was like a semi-shoot wrestling group and then All-Japan later on.
All-Japan was a very hot promotion in the '90's. It's so hard to equate it to anything now. It was incredible. I mean, the quality of the wrestlers coming out of there were second to none. The matches to this day, if you watch a Youtube match of (Mitsuharu) Misawa vs. (Kenta) Kobashi or all those guys battling it out. They just hold up. You can see so many of the guys today, through the years, have emulated those guys and their spots. They really were pioneers and just, incredible, incredible talents.
So, we were looking at ways to extend what they were doing over there to the States and (find) a way to cultivate new American talent for them. Also, give their guys another platform to not just wrestle, but really monetize the underground tape-trading that was going on. So, it really needed to have a presence and it was so hard to really battle that piracy then and it's probably even harder now. But, we thought it would be an intriguing concept, started developing it. I came up with the name: Major League Wrestling because All-Japan is a very sports-centric product or it was then. It really felt like it got as close to a sports version of wrestling as you could possibly do given it's a simulated, action-oriented concept.
So, I started to lay out the parameters of what this would be and ideas of where this would be most successful. And I was doing that and unfortunately, Gary Albright passed away. He actually passed away wrestling off of the Wild Samoans show up in Pennsylvania. It was a tragic thing. It was a heart attack. He had a lot of problems. He was a diabetic. He had stopped taking his medicine and I think that if you stop taking medicines as certain times, that your heart goes into shock unless you get off of it appropriately. So, that really paralyzed this endeavor and at that point I was working for All-Japan. I was, like, 20.
I stayed with All-Japan for a few years, always thinking it was be kind of interesting to continue pursuing this Major League thing, but realizing I needed some more experience, I needed some capital and I needed the right opportunity to do so. I also had other goals. But wanting to be a booker or a promoter in wrestling is very difficult. It's easier now to be a promoter -- not that you're going to be successful. Back then, there really was no road map to being a booker. From point A to point B to point C all the way up to WWE. How did you do it? There really is no blueprint.
Today, it's even scarier. Because there really isn't. You're more likely to get a job at WWE if you were to start in L.A. and then send your resume in through Monster.com. Whereas the way I did it even a few years ago is radically different.
So, Major League Wrestling started in 2002. Again, we really started developing in 2001. We had our first show in June of 2002 in Philadelphia and went on to New York City at the Manhattan Center/Hammerstein Ballroom for our second show. Then down to Florida and the Old Famous War Memorial Auditorium and quickly I negotiated a TV deal and we ended up on Sunshine Network which is now Sun Sports. We ended up on DirecTV, Fox Sports and their affiliates and several international affiliates from Japan to India to the U.K. to Canada, Puerto Rico and so on.
So, by 22 or 23 (years old), I was spinning a lot of plates and negotiating a lot of things. Building a brand, producing a TV show, negotiating with talent, booking the talent, designing t-shirts. Negotiating arenas -- you name it; I was doing it and it was like a one-man show. I was micro-managing this thing and probably getting my first gray hairs before I was even 23.
WrestlingINC: That sounds crazy. You did that for two years, right? Technically for three years but MLW was around through 2004...
Bauer: Yeah. Until 2004. We had come close to bringing in some new investors in 2004. We were looking for some new partners. We had a few "close-but-no-cigar" situations involving Rockstar Entertainment. They've done games like Grand Theft Auto and several other titles. We also were in talks with Billy Corgan and that was a curious experience but it wasn't for real.
Ultimately, we weren't in a situation that we could continue. I never was a guy that wanted to sell wrestlers on dreams. It's so easy to sell wrestlers on dreams. Whether they're just starting out and you own a school and you're saying they can be in WWE. "Just sign the dotted line and we'll get you going." Or being a promoter, selling people on, like, "Just a few more shows and I can pay you, finally." I've never been a guy that wanted to sell people on dreams and take advantage of them. I've never bounced a check. I never wanted to be one of those guys. I never wanted to be a guy that had a reputation for putting talent in a situation where they couldn't feed their families.
So, I realized that -- I was real -- I wasn't going to go down that road. I was responsible for over forty families. Forty wrestlers and production members and office people and their families. I wasn't going to put them in that position. It's going to hurt me more than anyone else if I pull the plug. It's going to hurt them, too, but my reputation is going to be taking a hit if I had to do it. So, we did it in 2004. I sold the tape library to a group out of Asia...
WrestlingINC: How did you get that WWE position? Did you simply send your resume in or did someone contact you?
Bauer: It's an interesting story because I had a relationship with WWE that dates back to 1999 when we were doing those memorial shows and I acted as liaison for the Samoan family. Getting the guys like Eddie Guerrero, Grand Master Sexay and all those guys that were involved with the Yoko memorial, the Gary Albright memorial. I worked with their talent relations office on making sure that it was a smooth sailing thing. So, that kind of started me off with networking with WWE.
Then, Umaga -- who was a part of "3 Minute Warning" along with Rosie, who was the superhero in training -- further helped me get linked up and introduced me to Vince around 2002-2004. I don't know if I was doing MLW at the time. It's all a blur now. So, that kind of further cemented be being on the radar with WWE and things started falling into place. In 2005, they were looking to bulk up the writing team with people that had a background in film, TV, and wrestling would just be the cherry on the sundae. So, I was able to give them that.
I spoke at length with Stephanie (McMahon) and worked out a deal that was a very, very good deal for me. I'm not a big fan of Stephanie but I will say that I was very well taken care of by WWE. If you talk to about ten creative members, they'll all tell you they were paid a different thing but I was very fortunate. They were very good to me on that end. I started in 2005 and I saw a lot of interesting things in my time there.
WrestlingINC: So, walk us through your first day. What was that like? A lot of people think of being a member of the creative team as a dream job but it seems like everyone that's worked there was happy to leave.
Bauer: They're very charming when it comes to that. I've been around wrestling. I've seen it. I'd been my own boss for a lot of that and I think that was one of my biggest issues there. I got along great from jump street to finish with Vince but Stephanie and I were constantly butting heads. Michael Hayes and I were constantly butting heads. Brian Gewirtz and I were just constantly butting heads for various reasons with all three of them. Some of it was just personalities; some of it was just professional issues. Some of it was just crazy s--t.
The first day on the job, people are kind of just sizing you up. There are a lot of alpha-males there so you're kind of sizing everyone up. Everyone's looking at you and everything. I was very laid back. For me -- it was a little bit of vindication and a little bit of validation because of how things went with MLW. I had hoped -- MLW was really -- I would say -- arguably, the number three biggest company during it's run. With the TV penetration and its crowd size and what we were doing and the impact we were making. Especially with our international television.
So, that was something that I felt -- to me, people talk about pressure and everyone warned that this is a high pressure job. I was, like, "Dude, my money is not on the line. All I'm being told is to produce talent, create stars with Vince and Stephanie and the WWE machine, write to the best of my abilities and be a matchmaker/suggester and angle-suggester. To me, this is easy. it's like auto-pilot. I love it, I'm going to bring my A-game. But pressure? Nah. No. Not really."
So, people are warning me from day-one. I thought that the rest of the writers for the most part were very quiet and detached and not to outgoing. At the time, the only wrestler on the team was Michael Hayes. I think like a week a two after I got that, the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase started. I worked a lot with Ted and to this day, we're close friends. He's a great guy. I'm talking about Ted DiBiase, Sr. of course. Along the way, we had a ton of wrestlers come in, trying to contribute to the writing team. Really, none of them stuck. Dusty Rhodes and Ted were there for a few years. Dusty was terrific to work with. Dusty was fun, especially after hours. Ted was terrific.
Michael [Hayes] was a challenge in a lot of ways. He has a lot of interesting ideas and doesn't like to hear your ideas. He has his other issues and demons and things that if you look online, you can find out. It is what it is. We had a lot of wrestlers go through there and a lot of them had an issue trying to contribute to that kind of process. The creative department is a toxic environment, very passive-aggressive environment. Dysfunctional. If you look at the ratings and just the business in general, you'll see a decline over the 12 year period since they started that department. There's never really been a real revamping of the division and there's nothing been done to address these issues. So, you can see these drops in everything… creative out-put, television content, character development… They go from a playbook of plays and pick out one and you've seen it a few dozen times beforehand.
It's a tough thing to deal with because you want to bring new concepts to the table and produce the best product. But, a lot of the times -- it's such a hyper-political division -- it becomes very tough to navigate those waters. I've seen masters of that try to navigate those waters and ultimately drown. Everyone remembers how it went for [Paul] Heyman at the end of his run there. The only way to really navigate those waters and have any varying degree of success is (based on) how you define success. Is it that you're getting a paycheck, just chugging along and toeing the company line? Or, is it trying to bring the best ideas, push them forward and if it doesn't work out, sometimes you might hang yourself because of that. And that happens. There's other people that can't take the travel. There's other people that can't deal with Vince. There's other people that are their own worst enemy when it comes to how they present things.
There's so much turnover for a multitude of reasons, but the creative division as a whole -- they don't really set anyone up for success. It's almost like they want to watch you fail. So, it's a very intriguing thing being in an environment like that and also try to contribute and create positive change. It's really tough. I saw a lot of guys that could have been really good contributors and could have helped the company. We could have seen really great stuff but you had so many people that just wanted to hold on to their position (and would) pretty much sabotage them and wouldn't give them a heads-up about something and ultimately they failed. It's unfortunate because there's a lot of successful people that went through there. A lot of wrestlers, a lot of wrestling fans. A lot of people that weren't wrestling fans but didn't necessarily have to be for their particular position within the creative team. They had been executive producers for top-rated network shows and ultimately they were shown the door.
So, it's an unfortunate thing. Because they are the number one company. They are the only game and the only show in town. The central-nervous system is the creative division and it's a very, very dysfunctional system.
WrestlingINC: You started right after Brock Lesnar left, right? It was like a year later?
Bauer: Yeah. I was actually at WrestleMania 20, backstage, which was my first event. That was March 2004 and I had just been out of the business for about 90 days. MLW's last show was in January of 2004. So, where looking at March of 2004 and I was backstage for that show. Really, I was looking to network but also, it's in New York, my backyard, and I was invited to it.
It was a fun show to be at just in terms of the unique atmosphere of running Madison Square Garden and it being the 20th anniversary and I was there at WrestleMania X. Seeing Brock Lesnar in his final match against Goldberg. His final match -- it was fascinating to see that live and then go backstage and see what the aftermath of that was. Also, seeing Eddie Guerrero on his big night, defending the title and the great finish with Kurt. Then, you had the Benoit match, and again, you look at that now in a different way.
I remember, after WrestleMania, there's an after party. This year it was at the Hilton in mid-town. Every one's in there and it was a very unique environment. Brock Lesnar didn't come -- at least when I was there, he didn't show up to the after party. The office wasn't happy with him, he was obviously not happy with WWE at that point in his life and career. Goldberg comes out and there's this huge buffet and it's such a weird thing, it was like he was a pariah of some sort. No one was really talking to him, no one was saying, 'Good luck, let's stay in touch. Here's my number.' It was just that he showed up, he didn't really have anyone to hang with, he ate some food and kind of just bailed.
It wasn't like he was trying to be cold, it's just that no one wanted to engage him. I don't know if there were any problems or drama there.
WrestlingINC: I wonder if people thought there might be heat on them if they're hanging out with Goldberg.
Bauer: Maybe, I mean, you're always going to have that with the young bucks in the company. But, when you're a veteran of any stature, there shouldn't be any of that blow-back or you shouldn't be sweating it. When you're a young guy, you're either the guy that's really out-going and aloof to it or you're really paranoid about those kinds of circumstances.
I also remember when Eddie [Guerrero] came out. He came out with the title with Vickie and his family and he comes out into the main room at the Hilton. He just looked so proud and you could really tell that this guy -- this was that moment that he was really going to celebrate and enjoy that moment. All the hard work and all the incredible hurdles overcome and to climb back up the ladder to get to that level... especially somebody his size. There was really never anyone before him that small and an American wrestler being a champion. Pedro [Morales] was in the '70's, but it was very long and it was considered by a lot of people to be that successful. Here he was, being told by the old man -- who wasn't very old then in Vince McMahon -- that you're headlining WrestleMania 20 in New York City and you're going to be left with the belt.
It was a great night for him and I think he was just so proud. He was with his family and it was very touching. Then, you saw Chris Benoit and Nancy in toe with his family and they were mingling. You look at it very differently now, in a less romantic way. In a tragic way because of what happened to Eddie just a year later and tragically what happened to Benoit's family. Little did we know the monster that was lurking.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. That's still, to this day, hard to put your arms around.
Bauer: It's a very heavy thing and I don't think anyone can ever really peg precisely what transpired and why and how. But, I think WWE responded in a way -- the only way they could, looking at it now. They have access to a therapist, they have advanced concussion treatment and analysis and that didn't exist then. I don't buy into the idea that Benoit was like an 85-year-old dude with Alzheimer's. I don't think you can accurately do diagnostic testing. Neurologically, on someone that has been dead for three days and exposed to the elements of the Southern heat, which probably was 100 degrees and humidity. There's no way you're getting accurate readings. I don't care. I know a lot about this area and there's just no way that's happening.
So, I don't know what happened. You look at cases, like what happened to Nicole Simpson in the '90's and the allegations there with OJ. They say, 'Well, crimes of passion are violent acts.' This was obviously a very violent act. So, it's a crazy, crazy thing, but I think WWE has done a good job of putting their best foot forward on this in being as proactive as they are. I think other companies, like TNA, should be a little more proactive when it comes to drug testing and concussions. I've heard a lot about the environment and the drug culture down there and it doesn't sound very good.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. Also, about Lesnar, I guess you never worked with him...
Bauer: No, actually, that's not true. He came back in '05. There were talks for him to come back and a deal was, I guess, pretty much in place but not executed. He came, we met with him. The first impression of Brock was that he was a very happy, easy-going guy. He was not as big as he projected on TV. He's 6'2" but he projects on TV like he's 6'6", unstoppable force -- just a huge guy. He really wasn't the biggest dude by a long shot. You think he'd blend in a bit but on TV, he's one of those guys that just projects big.
But, he was excited to get back into the mix and we started working on different concepts to re-introduce him. The leading plan we had in place was to have him return to Smackdown!, which was kind of his home turf. Ultimately, we were to build towards something with Dave Batista. [Alex] Greenfield, myself and Dusty Rhodes, we had kind of cobbled together at that point. Then, of course, within a week or two, we build this whole thing up and we pitch it to Vince and Vince says, 'Brock Lesnar will not be in our future plans so don't consider him available.'
We're like, 'What happened?' We find out that they hit a few bumps in the road. There were some issues; I think it was money and travel. But, I don't want to speak as an attorney because I honestly might be wrong on that. I don't remember. Ultimately, he wouldn't return to the company until 2012. Which was seven years later, which was so crazy. But, in that seven years, it was a crazy ride for Brock.
WrestlingINC: Did you hear horror stories when you came in of Brock Lesnar and WWE? Him being difficult to deal with or things like that?
Bauer: Nope. No negative remarks about that. I think, if anything, the thing with Brock was that they really hope they win the lotto, kind of thing. Vince never brought him up in the creative circle. He was someone that we had hoped to have access to.
WrestlingINC: As a fan, watching how his return has been handled, what do you think so far?
Bauer: I'm disappointed. I think they did everything right up to a point that night that they brought him back for Extreme Rules. Then, they made a few very Big Errors. They left a lot of money on the table. I think there's a time and a place to beat Brock Lesnar, but that's not one of them. I don't think that's any brilliant analysis on that, that's really textbook, 101 booking with how you present talent. Especially a guy that's dangerous and positioned as a monster and an outsider.
Let's look at WCW: if you have brought in Scott Hall and Kevin Nash and at that Bash At the Beach pay-per-view and beat them? [Laughs.] What would have happened to the NWO? No one would have ever cared. The thing I've realized since looking at this since I was a kid, and I grew up in New York. I was a WWF fan as a boy, knowing the rich history of the company. You look at Vince McMahon and he's an incredible, prolific, promoter, branding guru and hands down, the best promoter that there's ever been. But, he always chokes with the sure thing. Whether it's Ric Flair coming in as the real world's champion, Legion of Doom vs. Demolition or doing Brock Lesnar and his re-introduction. Or [Eric] Bischoff coming in. The ECW re-boot, the WCW invasion. He always chokes on the obvious, big thing. I don't know if it's that he decides everyone expects him to take a right turn, so he feels he has to take a left turn or if it's just the pressure of trying to handle something so unique because he didn't build it. Whatever it is, if you look at the one commentary on his career where he failed, obviously outside of doing the non-wrestling ventures, it really is the sure thing. The sure thing. If you look at the ratio of success to failures on those creative concepts -- whether it's Bill Goldberg coming in or the various versions of that -- there's obviously a fundamental flaw in what he does as a booker.
It's not conventional booking and sometimes, giving people something predictable is not the worst thing in the world. If you do it all the time, then, obviously, it is. But, I think that sometimes getting to clever for your own good is getting too clever for your own good. It doesn't work.
If you look at UFC and their success, so much of their success is building anticipation and building to something that is pretty relative to a sure thing. Either GSP wins or Nick Diaz wins. Either Chuck Liddell wins or Randy Couture wins. But, you're setting the stage, you're setting the table and then they feast on it. But Vince kind of leaves off the utensils. It's very strange but it seems to be some kind of pattern that he's followed for most of his career.
WrestlingINC: The 1,000th episode of Raw is [tonight] and with that, the show will then be moving to three hours. What are your thoughts on that?
Bauer: Can't wait. Well, I once had a conversation with Vince McMahon and he told me that the ideal show would be 90 minutes in length, once a week. I whole-heartedly agreed with that. [Laughs.] 90 minutes is just right. When I was doing MLW and producing, 60 was too short and 2 hours is too long. That sweet spot, it really is 90 minutes to me, in a perfect world. But, the problem is: what network is going to want a 90 minute show and then you have to fill that 30 minute gap? Vince doesn't want the Best Of Raw in that 30 minute gap. He wants new, original programming because it gets confusing if you tune in hypothetically at 10:45 and you see Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat. It's like, 'What's this?' You don't want brand confusion.
It's just not natural in network or cable television programming to do 90 minute programming with a 30 minute slot to just pop something in there. It's very, very hard. That never worked. But, three hours, I think, goes in the complete other direction. It's a quantity over quality thing and I don't think they're going to see great returns with that in terms of quality programming. I think they were struggling with two hours with the brands being separate, so they kind of caved in on that. But, still, I think they're going to have a very hard time because they don't have talent rich with experience or depth with the roster to be able to fill that.
They don't have a guy like Fit Finley who can take a green kid and get a two segment match out of him, going 15-19 minutes with him. They don't have those kind of guys because, really in a perfect world, you want to keep your main event talent from doing those matches because we're burning through so many of those matches, instead of buying pay-per-views to see them wrestle.
So, it's going to be very hard. If we look at lessons learned in the past from doing three hours of television every week, it hasn't been very good. So, it's going to be a very hard task. I think they have to really consider this an investment in their future with that extra hour, in terms of TV licensing rights money from USA. They need to take that money and put it back into the company instead of just taking it out. Put it towards acquiring talent that you're familiar with, expanding their developmental to get talent from MMA and collegiate wrestling. They should also bring back talent that are familiar enough but aren't huge stars that you can beat. Stars that have an entrance that you can remember or a gimmick that you remember, so you react to them. But, you have no problem seeing them get beat. There are tons and tons and tons of those guys.
Those aren't the guys that you want beating Cody Rhodes every week because you just need the babyface getting a win going into the pay-per-view. You can't just say, 'USA is just going to give us dollar X and weren't not going to put that money back into the company. We're just going to take that money and we're going to put that money into our cash reserves.' It doesn't work that way.
WrestlingINC: With having three hours, do you see that hurting pay-per-view buys? They will be getting that extra money in rights fees but will that be offset by the pay-per-view buys?
Bauer: I don't think it will affect pay-per-view. I think pay-per-view's going in a direction that it's going in. They still run too many pay-per-views, there's nothing really special about the pay-per-views. Most of the shows have lost any of the cache they once had. It speaks to the lack of depth because they can't keep matches off TV and they don't have enough talent to get over. Other talent just isn't as over as it should be because of the overall booking and creative decisions being made.
So, they have so many different structural issues with this thing and three hours is just going to add another burden to this. It's already a burden-plagued operation. They have to do a lot of house cleaning and I don't think they really see that. And if they do, it only takes one man and only one man to see that and do something about that. It does not seem like he sees the need to.
He just doesn't seem to feel the need to change anything or address any of these issues. He just seems to generate new revenue streams, be it a network or another hour of Raw or whatever it is. Making WrestleMania $64.99 in HD. You should, you should look for ways to broaden your revenue streams. But you can't just take the money out, you've got to put the money back into the product. I would say to you that he has not demonstrated that -- other than with Brock Lesnar, which is -- you buy a Ferrari and then you crash it the first night. It doesn't do you any good. [Laughs.]
You can follow Bauer on Twitter at @CourtBauer. Make sure to check back tomorrow for our second part of our interview, where Bauer discusses his problems with Stephanie McMahon, if Vince McMahon should step down, the future of the company under Triple H and much more.