GlobalMedia-China’s shouts of “You suck!” music to executives’ ears

November 30, 2010

Big splashy action movies from the U.S. usually play well abroad. It should come then as no surprise that World Wrestling Entertainment, known for hulky dudes and toned ladies who act out soap opera scenarios both in and out of the ring,  manages to find fans well beyond these borders.

So, naturally, international expansion is something on the mind of Donna Goldsmith, the chief operating officer of WWE, who ticked off countries including Russia, India and Brazil where it’s seeking to introduce characters like Sheamus, Triple H and John Cena.

As a way to illustrate the global appeal of wrestling, Goldsmith relayed how talent is perceived in China, a country where WWE is available in 90 million households.

The worst thing that could happen in wrestling-vile, according to Goldsmith during Reuters Global Media Summit, is stone cold silence. Thus she knew things were going well for WWE when wrestlers showed up in Shanghai and the audience yelled “You suck!”

“It was great!” Goldsmith said. “They knew the bad guys from the good guys.”

Talent is what the WWE is all about, according to Goldsmith, who also worked for the National Basketball Association.

“Our talent is so wonderful and so articulate, to bring them to a Wal-Mart managers meeting is something we do often. They understand the business side of things, which is so different to any NBA player, I wouldn’t bring the twelfth guy on the bench with me to Wal-Mart because I wouldn’t know what would come out of that.”

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see