Prince Devitt, WWE Network, Long Raws and More from the 2nd-Quarter Mailbag

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Prince Devitt, WWE Network, Long Raws and More from the 2nd-Quarter Mailbag
Credit: WWE.com

Historical times are upon us for better or for worse. Women's wrestling is on the rise while the WWE Network may be in danger of falling, depending on today's highly anticipated earnings call. But what about Prince Devitt?

 It’s a safe bet that anything Prince Devitt did to establish himself on the independent circuit will be frowned upon in WWE unless it’s subtle. Last I checked, a full-body paint job is anything but subtle.

Devitt’s Irish background will work in his favor. The European market is a hotbed for WWE, and pro-European fans contribute to much of the historically strong post-WrestleMania crowds.

In fact, since WrestleMania XXX, Wade Barrett (from England), Paige (from England) and Sheamus (from Ireland) have all held WWE championships.

Much more optimism should be dedicated to Devitt than Kenta. Kenta’s inability to speak English makes him closer to Sin Cara than Rey Mysterio in terms of international stars who will translate to a WWE audience.

Devitt, on the other hand, will have a built-in (read: noisy) Internet following in addition to being an Irishman.

Expect Devitt and Kevin Steen, who has also reportedly signed with WWE, to replace Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville as the resident Internet darlings once they are called up from NXT. 

That number makes the released figure of 700,000 seem like success. But Thursday's second-quarter earnings call showed that WWE has gone about as far as it can in terms of domestic subscribers for the WWE Network.

The announced figure of 700,000, according to the WWE Corporate earnings report, is a minimal increase from the initial subscriber count of 667,000, meaning WWE will need to go international to continue building its on-demand empire.

This is most likely the reason WWE announced its 10-year carriage deal with Canadian media giant Rogers Communication.

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Despite another lukewarm subscriber figure, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com), independent researcher Bradley Safalow predicted the updated subscriber count would be anywhere from 750,000 to 850,000. While this is still a little high, he wasn't too far off.

Thankfully, that same researcher predicted that the Network would eventually reach four or five million subscriber, which would put WWE in the best financial position ever.

Raw did drag during the second and third hours, but there will be no return to the two-hour format anytime soon.

WWE gets increased television revenues from having an extra hour on USA (and let’s face it, it needs the money), plus pro wrestling fans have already become conditioned to tuning in to all three hours.

Following a season-high 3.15 rating, Raw once again achieved a rating above a 3.0 this past week, according to James Caldwell of PWTorch.com.

The three-hour era is here to stay, which really means clips of Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella slapping each other will soon be played more times than Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant.

What I have noticed lately is a consistency on showcasing more Divas wrestling. When it was first announced that Raw was going to three hours, many fans clamored for a specialty hour of Divas or cruiserweight wrestling. While that hasn’t happened, WWE is currently promoting three angles involving Divas, and that doesn’t include the McMahon-Bella angle.

Three hours? Girl power.  

 

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