Jim Cornette has responded to Stephanie McMahon’s interview, where she said WWE has up to sixty data analysts working at the company.
In conversation with the Wall Street Journal, McMahon divulged that the analysts are constantly scrutinizing data from the company.
“We currently have close to 60 data scientists working at WWE, constantly analyzing our data and synthesizing it. The team can, for example, track the impact a performer or story line has on viewership and social media activity and tie increases in engagement to content that was airing at specific times during one of our TV programs.”
Speaking on his Cornette’s Drive-Thru podcast, Cornette in typically frank style gave his thoughts on the subject.
“I’m just saying it’s bullsh*t. When I worked there, there was a sum total of zero data scientists and I know that was quite a while back. Does NASA have sixty data scientists? Is this some hyperbole on her part? Did they hire Howie the mail-room guy, did he go through a night class, and now they’ve hired him to be a data scientist?”
Cornette’s co-host Brian Last then read the rest of McMahon’s response to the Wall Street Journal, in which she said:
“Merchandise sales are also a key indicator of how popular our stars are and whether they’re resonating. There’s a whole “cosplay” side to our business, where people want to dress the part of their favorite performer, so merchandise sales are an important metric. WWE Network, our streaming content platform, also provides data points that are helpful. Like many brands, we’re getting great at data collection. Where we can improve is in the analysis piece – determining which data is most meaningful and pulling out themes to apply across our business.”
Jim Cornette then responded:
“What the f*ck did she just say?! Did any part of that say ‘well our analysis tells us our sh*t looks fake and that nobody cares about anybody on the show because they all act like idiots’?
Last then read another excerpt from the interview where McMahon detailed the approach WWE takes to analysing their data:
“The audience has a tremendous impact on what we do; it’s one of the advantages of being live. We listen to the live audience and gather feedback through digital and social media to determine which storylines and performers are resonating, and why. We’re constantly looking at data across our content distribution ecosystem, which includes linear TV for our weekly shows and reality programming, our streaming WWE Network, and our digital and social channels. We have separate teams developing the content for those various platforms, and they’re all telling stories and amplifying them in the most effective ways for each channel. Even within social media, our content can’t be one-size-fits-all.”
Cornette reacted, incredulously:
“You can’t tell what the product is from the way she speaks. Are they selling Van Camp’s Pork and Beans? Maybe some f*cking canned sweetcorn? That right there is what happened to wrestling. People got involved that went to business school and learned a lot of them big words, Jethro. But they have no idea of how to apply them to what the f*ck they’re supposed to be doing because it’s wrestling and they don’t get it.”
People are gonna [say] ‘aw Stephanie grew up around the business’. I’ve said this before, if you think Stephanie grew up around the wrestling business you’re out of your f*cking mind. And if you pump gas at a f*cking Exxon station. When the Chairman of Exxon pulls up with his daughter in the car do you bother to share with her all the ways that her father’s f*cking up the company from a working man’s standpoint or do you say ‘boy you’re daddy runs a hell of an oil company’?”
Jim Cornette then added:
“In all seriousness without just trying to brow-beat them. It’s cock-eye, it’s garbage – it’s big business, there’s no passion, there’s no emotion. Wrestling at the root of it is about stirring up people’s emotions to watch somebody fight. And if the heel offends them and does things in bad taste that’s even a plus. And if the babyface triumphs over all at the end then everybody got their money’s worth.”
“They have rung and pasteurised and homogenised all the spontaneity and the personality out of it. [As well as] the legitimacy, the realism, the aura of violence. It’s marketed and packaged and cleaned up and polished off. They do have fans that like what they do because it’s been long enough now and these people are young enough that they don’t care. They either haven’t seen how it was supposed to be done or they just like what they’re doing here. […] So they interact with those people and get their information and sell them more sh*t.”
“Wrestling has devolved to the point where fewer people watch it than ever before but those people spend more money per head. So these massive companies like WWE are trying to figure out a way to squeeze every last dollar from these remaining people that they haven’t run off by making this whole business and this whole enterprise look like a bunch of fake, stupid sh*t.”
Jim Cornette also recently gave his thoughts on the new graphically enhanced addition to Riddle’s entrance.