Former WWE wrestler Zeda Zhang reveals why WWE's expansion into the Chinese market did not do well.
In an interview on the Pro And Bro Wrestling Podcast, Zhang talked about her time in WWE and said she was headed for training at the WWE Performance Center earlier than perhaps expected because they wanted to get a head start on expanding into the Chinese market. However, WWE's attempt to push the Chinese wrestlers it had on its roster stopped when a live event tour in the country did not go over so well.
"Talking to staff there who handled the behind the scenes stuff, they always say that at the end of the day it's a business. If they can't use you for something, the timing, the market stuff, you can't even control. They have to release you. The reason why they pulled me so early, like six months early, was because the Chinese were coming and because I'm Chinese, they wanted to push me. They were trying to get into China and it didn't work so well. The first six months were amazing, we had our own camera crew, they filmed us for promos all the time. We were the only people that had our camera crew filming us for content to push in China. They went on tour over there and it didn't go over so well [and because of that], our camera crew was gone. No one's paying attention to us now," Zhang said.
Zhang then spoke about why she believes WWE's expansion into the Chinese market did not go over as well as the company had hoped. Zhang said WWE tried to mimic the NBA's massive success in China, but that WWE's wrestling didn't quite fit well with the people over there and that they did not have a firm grasp or understanding of Chinese culture to succeed.
"WWE is trying to get into China because they wanted to copy the NBA and their success. But the problem is, they don't know the culture very well and you got to think about Chinese history with their kung fu and they're watching wrestling. The style doesn't fit with what they like. They think that it's too fake and when they had their show out there, I guess since it was TVs, some people might not have tried so hard and some fans were just saying, 'This sh*t is so fake' and it's embarrassing for the Chinese talent that got to go over there. It's that and also China is very prideful of their culture and so they want to show something that has more than just a Chinese face," Zhang said.
Zhang, who wrestled in the first-ever Mae Young Classic tournament, was released from WWE in 2018 and signed a contract with MLW last year.
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