Stephanie McMahon On WWE Dropping Term Pro Wrestling, Switching To PG

Stephanie McMahon spoke at the yearly Business Partner Summit to talk about the business. Here are the highlights (transcript courtesy of Wrestling Inc).

Dropping Pro Wrestling label in favor of Sports Entertainment:

“Advertisers either had an adverse reaction to the words ‘professional wrestling,’ or they simply didn’t understand what it was,” said Stephanie. “So, how could we create a term or a label that potential partners could understand? How could we describe the WWE was based on larger-than-life characters enthralled in relatable storylines? That was when we coined the term ‘sports entertainment’.”

“The ability to reimagine storytelling… whether it was capturing the all-American fervor of the 80s, the spirit of the antihero in the 90s, or the rise of the underdog in the 2000s.” WWE’s storytelling, according to Thom Loverro of The Washington Times, birthed the “entire reality television industry – scripted dramatic conflict posing as reality.”

Switching to PG:

“10 years ago, WWE once again reimagined our content and made the strategic decision to become more family-friendly, to grow our multi-generational audience and attract more blue-chip partners,” said Stephanie. “Looking around the room here today, it’s easy to see that this strategy worked.”