Below is the letter penned by WWE’s legend “in-law” blasting the current state of WWE and he expressed his frustration with the current product.
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My name is Frank Mustari. I’ve been a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING fan since I was six years old. I am now 25. For as long as I can remember, I would watch wrestling on Monday nights with the upmost anticipation. It was a religion of sorts to me. School and wrestling were what my adolescent life revolved around.
As I grew up, wrestling remained a vital facet of my life, but I began to explore other forms of entertainment that appealed to me. With the current day and age, you can find new content that you never knew existed, and become easily captivated by it. Despite all of my new ventures in entertainment, PRO WRESTLING always held the #1 spot in my heart despite its common shortcomings. I always blindly stayed loyal because it’s been ingrained within me.
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I’ve devoted much of my life to this form of art known simply as pro wrestling. I regularly attend your live events & have been for many, many years. On average, I attend about 30-40 live events per year across the country. I’ve attended 10 consecutive Wrestlemania’s, numerous Royal Rumbles, Summerslams, RAWs, Smackdown’s, NXT’s, and other specials you have ran. When I attend these events, I always try to sit ringside. I currently have 50+ ringside collectible chairs from PPV’s that I have attended. I love the feeling of being within the action. I’m on the pulse of your product. It’s a feeling you can’t get at any other sporting event. I’ve paid premium prices for said tickets, as well. Prices that have inflated drastically over the years. To put it in perspective, my Wrestlemania 27 ringside ticket was $900 face value. The face value price on my Wrestlemania 31 ringside seat was $2400 including all the fees & taxes. That’s nearly a 300% mark-up in four years. I understand inflation, but in an economy that’s been getting better, but still struggling nonetheless, a mark-up of such drastic proportions screams greed. Your live events, better known as house shows used to be a HUGE draw for me. I loved the interactions & the lack of time constraints on the matches and performers. They have free will to Test the waters & try new things. The best part of those house shows back in the day were the affordable prices. A ringside seat for a show of that nature was on average, roughly $65 for a ringside seat. Present day? About $120 for a ringside seat. Again, nearly double the price. So if a family of 4 wants to sit ringside and see their heroes, they are shelling out nearly $500 for three hours of entertainment, not including any other expenses at the show like parking, food/drinks & merchandise. It’s sad. But hey, you have sheep like me who’ll pay it, so why not make the money to spite yourselves?
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I have seen it all with my own two eyes in person. And despite all of that, I’ve had some of the best experiences & memories of my life from your product. I am forever grateful for it. I’ve not ashamed I’ve been brought to tears while watching your product because I was EMOTIONALLY INVESTED in it. Your product has been an escape for me, where during your live shows, nothing outside of those arena walls matter. If I’m going through a rough patch in my life, I know that WWE can help me to forget that, even if it is just for three hours. I don’t regret a any of the money I have spent on your product (and I have spent MANY dollars), because I have always supported your product. When you enjoy or love something, you support it. I have even gone as far to have done NUMEROUS unpaid media opportunities in support of YOUR company. I can safely say I have spent five figure sums of money on your product. I have defended your company and the stigma attached to it my entire life. I’m just one singular person, meaningless in the grand eyes of your company, but I’m surely not the only one who can vouch for all these things. That’s how much I want to believe in your company.
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That’s how much WE want to believe in your company.
As I said earlier, as I was growing up, I couldn’t be any more excited to watch wrestling on Monday nights.Recently, however, I’m struggling to find the same child-like desire that I felt for many years.
The ignorance of who your fan-base is, is alarming. The blatant mishandling of popular talent is frightening. The ineptitude to put together three hours of exciting programming is disappointing. I get it. It’s an extremely tough gig to produce as much content as you do on a weekly basis, but as your FLAGSHIP show, you should be putting more of an emphasis on what your viewer wants, rather than what YOU want. I’m sure you’ve written off the TV ratings dip with some sort of excuse. “It’s football season.” Well, for your information, it’s just that, it’s an excuse. I was one of those people who decided not to watch the show. It was the first time I willingly did not watch your show in my life as a fan of your product. The following week, I DVRed your flagship show. I began to watch, and turned it off halfway through because it was more a chore to watch than anything. There was nothing for me to emotionally invest in. Nothing that captivated me. Nothing that made me want to see what happens next. I had an opportunity to go see your next pay-per-view, TLC, and I respectfully turned it down because honestly, I just don’t care about it currently and and it saddens me to say that because I know how unbelievably amped I used to get for your live events. Didn’t matter what city, what show, or who was performing, I knew I was getting the best bang for my buck.
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Now? I don’t feel that way anymore.
I must stress that I do not blame this on your talent, I blame it on the people behind the scenes who are too ignorant to see that they are alienating their fan-base one week at a time. I understand this is a business, and the main goal of a business is to make money. However, making money shouldn’t be your ONLY goal. You have your major sponsors like Mattel, Toys R Us, Coca-Cola, Burger King, etc. The money is there & will always be there, however, at this rate, the fans may not be.
I’m speaking not only for myself, but for a frustrated fan-base in pleading, PLEASE, please give us something to sink our teeth into. Something interesting, something we haven’t seen before, something for us to get behind & to invest ourselves and suspend our disbeliefs again. Stop force-feeding content we don’t want. We like when things develop organically. Don’t continue to try to fit a square into a circle because you’re afraid to admit you’re wrong. We’ll forgive you eventually, as long as you provide with the entertainment that we yearn for.
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But for now, you’re driving your fans away in droves. Not just any fans, the fans, like myself, who have spent many hard earned dollars on your product. The fans who have spent countless number of hours watching your product. The fans who genuinely care about the state of your company, despite is not truly having a stake in it. Your fan base is devoted, but we’ve had it. Enough is enough. Don’t expect us to watch because we are ingrained to watch. The signs are there, the viewership is down. Live events sales are dropping. Interest in the product is at an ALL-TIME low & mainstream interest is virtually non-existent. Soon, the stockholders will take note, and that’s the last thing you want to have happen.
I attended your most recent PPV event, Survivor Series. I’ve never seen such indifference leaving a building for one of your shows. It wasn’t that it was a bad show, it was just the realization was setting in to your loyal fans that change isn’t anywhere near. We aren’t happy. I can assure you your talent is unhappy. I can also assume your other employees are unhappy. Make it a fun environment for everyone involved again. Recapture that magic.
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Hire people who are passionate for the product. I’ve heard too many instances of people in powerful positions within your company, that don’t love the business the way they should. Inject your company with new blood. Get people working for your company that want to be there. People that won’t consider it a job. People that won’t just clock in and clock out. Hire people who care, and probably care TOO much for their own good. You’re making enough money to bring some new people on board. I’m not speaking for myself, I’m speaking for TALENTED people that I know would bust their ass & give everything they have to better your company. Everyone can learn from each other. The new and the old. Your current staff & potential new employees. Maybe some fresh brains, eyes & ears are what your company needs to breathe new life into the company. The little people have ideas, too, you know. Some good, some bad, but at the end of the day, we just want to make this a better place & product as we grow older and for our kids, and our kid’s kids, and so on and so forth.
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I understand I can’t speak for everyone, but I have a decent understanding of where the general consensus opinion of your current product stands. I also understand you’ve had some unforeseen injuries, departures, & other misfortunes occur along the way. However, the product was long stale before those events occurred. Perhaps I’m emotionally rambling. Perhaps, I’m not. No matter what, I’ve never seen so many people speak out against the current state of your product whether it’s die-hard fans, people within the business, journalists, or the casual viewer.
I also understand this may fall onto empty eyes & ears, but I sincerely hope I am heard.
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Pro wrestling is meant to be fun. Lately, it’s been everything but that.
It’s not hard to do wrestling right. You’ve done it before and you can do it again. Just don’t wait to pull the trigger. Don’t expect our blind loyalty to always shine through. And DON’T insult our intelligence.
Do NOT take US for granted. Without us, there’s no YOU.
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