The year 2007 was a year WWE employees and fans would like to forget, a year riddled with injuries and scandal. Vince McMahon's vision for 2008 is a new level of big budget promoting. His move to HD is going to take a while to perfect, but it is necessary for the vision McMahon has for a big match atmosphere. With all the injuries to top talent in '07, main event rivalries would often go on for 3 or more PPV's just to keep the card full. But now that all the big name talent is healthy, Vince has decided to stop drawing storylines out in a big way.
I have to give him credit for keeping a big secret from the internet with a media smokescreen about former champion John Cena's earlier than expected return from injury. But with this new luxury for Wrestlemania, Vince decided to break from tradition. Normally the winner of the Royal Rumble waits the full 2 months to be the #1 contender at Wrestlemania, but since Cena never lost the championship in the first place Vince will almost certainly have him go over Orton at NWO and enter Wrestlemania as the champion instead of the challenger. As far as Vince's other main event at NWO, I think after all the guys he has put over since Cena got hurt, HHH will finally win the other spot in the main event. It will be HHH-Cena II, 2 years later, Cena still champion and HHH still never having defeated him. This would be the biggest face v. face match in WWE since 2001 with Rock-Austin II at Wrestlemania. That night was best remembered for Austin turning heel and aligning with Vince McMahon. Could it all be happening again? If that was HHH's plan all along, I'm really impressed.
As far as the year to come, I think the WWE might hit some creative highs for the decade in 2008. If talent stays injury free, I expect huge PPV buyrates. If there's another audience boom, or even something close to that, I think revenue from advertising will increase. While most WWE sponsors sell things like candy bars and video games, a new target market of HDTV owners might attract some sponsors that sell some more expensive products like cars. WWE, Inc. will disclose its 2007 annual financial reports to the SEC in a few weeks, along with forward looking statements to investors analyzing risks of things like contracts, litigation and international production. 2007 definitely brought new risks to the stock, but WWE has always been tied up in litigation with someone or other and has historically had success with progressive innovation. There's a lot of upside to '08, even though numbers from '07 will likely not live up to initial annual projections.
I didn't think Vince still had it in him to impress me of all people. I've studied him for years, every big move he's made, and I thought he had gotten complacent and grown content with the status quo. He proved me wrong with two nights of really shocking television. All of his meal ticket wrestlers are healthy now, and word is he's even got more returning big names in his pocket for Wrestlemania who haven't appeared on tv yet. At last he's back in a position to top previous excellence at his biggest show of the year. Way to go Vince; you've still got it gramps.