Vince McMahon Interview, Future of WWE on UPN, In Ring Wrestling Return, more

Under the Media Q & A in the Wall Street Journal today, there was an interview with Vince McMahon. Here are a few highlights.

Creating new characters and storylines:
"It's not easy. If it were easy, Ted Turner would still be in business. It's difficult, but something we've always been able to do, year after year. Beginning this "WrestleMania," we have two very strong characters: One is Batista on "Raw" and the other is John Cena on "Smackdown," both of whom we believe are going to carry those banners extremely well. It's their time."

Expecting to be on UPN:
"I am, and I'll tell you why. I'm not too sure UPN has an identity yet. We counter-program everything extremely well, we do well on Thursday nights and we make money for the network. I think our future is bright with UPN."

In ring return:
"Um, no. As a matter of fact, I have on knee braces as we speak. Seven weeks ago, I severed both of my quadriceps tendons doing a stunt in the ring. I wasn't warmed up, I didn't stretch and that unfortunately is major surgery. My character, his time has come and gone. I'll be 60 in August. I'm better utilized from a resource standpoint not being a performer. It was good while it lasted...but if I'm the chairman -- and I` am -- I'm better at doing other things."

Advertisers Vince would like to get for WWE, but can't or haven't:
"It's a matter of education. We don't have an automotive; we should. Our people drive cars. I'm not knocking the guys because our sales force is pretty strong, but they've always gone for the low-hanging fruit. They haven't taken the opportunity to really home in on an automotive. Why isn't General Motors buying? They could use the help right now."

Expand the current WWE fanbase:
"We're going to be spending substantial sums of money going forward promoting our performers in areas you'd think we logically should be in anyhow -- Nascar, places like that. We haven't done that in the past because we have such an efficient model to promote -- we have four hours of prime-time television every week. Beginning in June, we're going be going outside of our environment. We think that we're going to strike gold."

For the full interview, go to http://online.wsj.com/public/us (subscription required).

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