It was announced on tonight's WWE RAW that Daniel Bryan will face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX. If Bryan wins the match, he gets added to the WWE World Heavyweight Title match, making it Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton in the main event of WrestleMania XXX.
March 10, 2014
As announced by WrestleMania 30 host Hulk Hogan, the first-ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take place at the "Showcase of the Immortals", featuring 30 Superstars vying to win the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy!
FULL STORY: http://wwe.me/urQMP
The Ultimate Warrior posted the following on Twitter this morning:
Fortunetelling pundits lack the integrity it takes to figure me out. I'm honored @Linda_McMahon accepts my request to introduce #wwehof2014. For all the Medicinal Marijuana users & ADD crowd w/ half-ass functioning brains: Introduce=Induct. One more time. Induct=Introduce. Got it?
According to PWInsider.com, while the announcement of Linda McMahon inducting Ultimate Warrior into the Hall of Fame might have come as a surprise to some, it shouldn't, as back in the day Warrior was very close to the McMahon family on a personal level, which is why his falling out with WWE was so difficult.
A week after Chris Nowinski said kids in the UK aren't taught enough about head injuries, Fandango talked to The BBC about suffering a concussion and how well WWE treated him. Fandango said Nowinski's concussion work is ""really beneficial." He said:
"A lot more research is going into them [concussions] now, where they're impact testing. Ten years ago people didn't know a lot about concussions. Chris [Nowinski]'s organisation is really diving in to that and really figuring out the impacts of these concussions and what they're doing to these athletes and performers."
"Knowledge is power and the more power you have, you're going to live a better life. With Chris spearheading a big campaign into research on concussions, it's really beneficial, not only to professional wrestlers but hockey players, NFL, rugby [and] football. The more we know about concussion and the more we can do to prevent coming back too early from a concussion, it's vital for the future of our performers and athletes."
When Triple H addressed the NXT roster before the last set of NXT TV tapings, he informed the talent that they would be getting a lot more exposure with NXT airing on the WWE Network now. He also informed the developmental talent that the NXT product will be pushed hard as its own wrestling entity in the WWE, and call-ups to the main roster will likely be less frequent as a result. He told them not to worry about this because they will all be bigger stars due to NXT having a new home on the WWE Network.
Basically, the mindset WWE is trying to establish is that with the Network, the stars of NXT will be getting plenty of added exposure without having to be called up and featured on the main roster.
WWE posted a new investor presentation for March 2014 on their corporate website. In it, there is some interesting data in regards to the WWE Network.
The presentation highlights three scenarios of WWE Network subscribers, net revenue and incremental OIBDA in the United States. Here’s a look:
1 Million Subscribers – $115,000,000 – Break-even
2 Million Subscribers – $225,000,000 – $50,000,000
3 Million Subscribers – $350,000,000 – $150,000,000
The same scenarios are broken down for phase 1 of the Network’s international launch in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordic countries:
250,000 Subscribers – $25,000,000 – Break-even
750,000 Subscribers – $75,000,000 – $70,000,000
1,500,000 Subscribers – $140,000,000 – $85,000,000
CM Punk (advertised under his real name of Phil Brooks) is being advertised to appear on next week's "Talking Dead" on AMC (3/16) following the latest episode of "The Walking Dead" at 10:00 p.m. Eastern (9:00 CT). Punk will join Melissa McBride and Yvette Nicole Brown. This will be his first public appearance since leaving WWE in late January.
March 9, 2014
WWE sent John Cena, Michael Cole, Perkins Miller and Stephanie McMahon to SXSW on Sunday for a presentation on the WWE App (See also – Crushing Second Screen: The Ultimate TV Companion).
They were there to discuss how the company has used their social media landscape of more than 260 million followers to launch the WWE Network. The hashtag #WWESXSW actually trended Twitter during the discussion.
"We have 270 million fans engaging - only 20K fit into a stadium so MultiScreen is what we build for" - Perkins Miller, WWE EVP Digital Media
March 8, 2014
Davey Richards Explains Why WWE Did Not Hire The Wolves, Says WWE Gives Him the Creeps, Trashes ROH, Owner Joe Koff & Booker Hunter Johnson
One half of The Wolves, Davey Richards, recently did an interview with Newsday.com, and Richards explained that him and Eddie Edwards were informed, via email, that they were not being offered WWE contracts because although Triple H felt their wrestling ability was TV ready, WWE "already had a lot of Daveys and Eddies." Richards went on to say the following:
"That place is so weird, man. It gave me the creeps. Everyone's just walking around on eggshells. It's just bubble. Personally, I wanted to go to TNA anyway. I was trying to convince Eddie the entire time. After [WWE] told us they were not going ahead with the rest of the tryout, we had a deal signed with [TNA] within 20 minutes."
Additionally, Brian Frtiz also conducted an interview with Davey Richards for The Orlando Sentinel, and he had the following to say regarding his current relationship with Ring of Honor:
"We're not talking. We're not on good terms. I have no respect for them whatsoever. I strongly dislike management there like with the exception of Jeff Jones who is a great guy. But the booker [Hunter Johnson] is completely inadequate at his job and he got his job more for being spineless than being talented. And the owner [Joe Koff] is even worse, he could care less about wrestling. He just wants to do television. To me, it's just not something I agree with but I'm not there anymore and they do their own thing. And for the talent and the fans I wish them nothing but the best of luck.
That company is in business not because of stellar booking and stellar management. They're in business still because they'they're spineless. The talent there is phenomenal. They're top notch and great. But the management from the booker to the owner it's definitely shut up and do what you're told and drink the Kool-aid. I made a joke when I was there I called it Jim Jones wrestling. Just shut up and drink the Kool-aid and do your job. In private, people are going this sucks this sucks this sucks and I'm the one who came out and said this is terrible. I worked for that company and gave them everything I had for seven years. I think I earned my right to an opinion. Once that got out, it was like you're going against the stream? You're not here to have an opinion, just shut up and do your job and get your paycheck. I'm sure you can find someone else to do that for a lot less money than what you're paying me so I'm just going to go about my way. Best decision I ever made and I have no desire to go back, ever."
March 7, 2014
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE:US) may find a new cable-TV home for its popular “Raw” and “Smackdown” programs by the end of next month, Chief Financial Officer George Barrios said.
“We think we’ll be able to announce a new domestic rights partner at the end of April or beginning of May,” Barrios, who is also WWE’s chief strategy officer, said yesterday in a telephone interview. He said the company is in talks with “multiple parties,” while declining to name any.
Shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE have gained almost 30 percent this week on prospects for a new online video network and a richer deal for the popular cable shows, according to Barrios. The company, controlled by founder and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon through Class B shares with added voting rights, isn’t in merger talks, he said.
WWE has held talks on future domestic TV distribution of its shows with AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX:US), Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US), Time Warner Inc. (TWX:US)’s Turner Networks and 21st Century Fox Inc., said people with knowledge of the situation. A renewal with NBCUniversal is also possible, they said.
WWE fell less than 1 percent to $29.64 at the close in New York after setting a record yesterday. The shares have more than tripled (WWE:US) in the past 12 months.
The WWE App has been downloaded almost 11 million times in 220 countries, a company spokesman said today. Fans can use the app to watch the WWE Network, a digital channel in the U.S. that costs $9.99 a month.
“Those are significant economics,” Barrios said. “Investors are looking at those and figuring out how they will contribute.”
An exclusive negotiating period with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s NBCUniversal for cable rights ended last month. WWE’s shows run on NBCUniversal’s USA and SyFy networks.
“Raw” and “Smackdown” routinely rate among the most-watched shows on cable television each week, with “Raw” usually in the top 10 behind programs such as “The Walking Dead,” “Duck Dynasty” and “Pawn Stars,” according to Nielsen data.
“When you boil down the numbers we have larger live, same-day viewers than anything on cable,” Barrios said. “We have a passionate fanbase that follows us wherever we are.”
source: bloomberg businessweek
March 5, 2014
With the WWE Stock now worth $27.03 each (The highest its been in 15 years), the company have now broken another barrier by hitting the $2 Billion mark for a company's market capitalization.
Market Capitalization is the total value of the issued shares of a publicly traded company, with the caps at the following classifications;
Mega-cap: Over $200 billion
Large-cap: Over $10 billion
Mid-cap: $2 billion–$10 billion
Small-cap: $250 million–$2 billion
Micro-cap: Below $250 million
Nano-cap: Below $50 million
The latest sit down interview with Triple H and Michael Cole has been released, and the following are highlights from the interview, which you can watch below:
Cole brings up the many reasons why HHH would not accept Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania challenge, and Cole asks HHH what the real reason is.
HHH says he's the COO of the company, and doesn't have the time for a B+ player. Cole noted HHH has had numerous matches since he has been COO of WWE, and HHH says Cole can't compare guys like The Undertaker to Daniel Bryan. He says it's gonna take a lot more than a challenge to get HHH to lace up his boots against a B+ player like Bryan.
HHH says Bryan would be embarrassed by him at WrestleMania, thus ending the "Yes" movement, and that's not good for business. It's better for Bryan to do his "little B+ thing" and let the "immortals" handle WrestleMania.
HHH calls Bryan a "185 pound sawed-off midget," and when asked if he's scared of Daniel Bryan, HHH said "You want to know if I'm afraid of him? The answer to your question is the exact same answer to Daniel Bryan's question: No."
March 4, 2014
WWE's deal with Ion will be expiring in April and as of right now their deal is not expected to be renewed. Look for WWE Main Event to become another WWE Network exclusive.
Also, there is talk of airing Main Event live every Tuesday night at 7:00 on the WWE Network at least until WrestleMania.
source: wrestling observer
There was a lot of speculation as to whether or not C.M. Punk would make his return to WWE on last night's episode of Monday Night Raw from his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com/The Wrestling Observer Newsletter said before last night's Raw that he wasn't 100% convinced that Punk would show up, although a top source claimed 100% that Punk would be there. After Punk did not show up last night, Meltzer revealed that he was "lied to" by this source.
March 3, 2014
Forbes has listed Vince McMahon on their 2014 list of billionaires, listing his personal wealth at $1.2 billion. Vince received a mention in the "notable newcomers" part of the list.
Vince's personal wealth has been over $1 billion before but this is the first time Forbes has recognized him. Here's what they wrote:
"A third generation wrestling promoter, McMahon grew up in a trailer park in North Carolina and joined his father's small wrestling company in 1972. Purchased the business 10 years later, then transformed the World Wrestling Federation from a regional operation into an international phenomenon. WWE went public in 1999 and today its programs are broadcast in nearly 150 countries and more than 30 languages."
March 2, 2014
WWE.com has an interview with Hulk Hogan at this link. Here are his comments on Hunter & Stephanie:
WWE.COM: What has it been like for you to watch Stephanie McMahon go from being a young kid to the most powerful woman in WWE?
HOGAN: She gets it, you know? She gets the art form. It’s more than just robotics — she gets the storytelling, she gets the business from A to Z. When I was here before, I was pretty stubborn. Still in my mindset with the barbaric thinking of, “Oh, these are wrestlers, and you got big bellies and big arms.” So, when Stephanie was trying to tell me how to be Hulk Hogan, back then, I was like, “Oh wow. I got this girl in my face.” I didn’t get it back then. I used the stuff she gave me and it helped a lot, but I didn’t really get that she had it locked in. But I get it now, because she’s getting so darned good at it. It’s amazing to see her and Hunter. They are totally dedicated. It’s in their blood. And that was cool to see, because you don’t see that a lot.
McMahon stopped by General Mills yesterday to talk about the WWE, as part of the partnership the company has with Totino’s (which was featured inside the Target Center in Minneapolis at the WWE’s “Elimination Chamber” event Sunday, where fans in the arena saw Totino’s and General Mills signage, and Totino’s promotional messages in-between matches).
Today the daughter of Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO, is one of the principal executives of WWE and the chief brand officer, responsible for leading WWE’s efforts to further enhance its brand reputation among advertisers, media, business partners and investors.
In an event over lunch at our headquarters yesterday, McMahon talked to the Totino’s team – as well employees with some of our other brands – about the WWE’s approach to marketing, growing its audience and community outreach.
She began her remarks by talking about the impressive popularity of the WWE’s events and its superstars. More than half of all U.S. television households “have an affinity for the WWE,” she said, with 15 million television viewers each week.
McMahon said WWE holds more than 300 live events around the world each year, most in the U.S., with two million people watching them live and millions more watching on TV, mobile or the web.
“When we do something, we can make it successful because we have the audience to serve,” said McMahon. ”But WWE is not just all about wrestling, it’s not all about action in the ring. It’s about storylines. Because in order to get that casual fan, in order to bring in those who are not just there to see the action you have to make them care to want to see who wins or loses. And the way that you do that is through storylines … We’re entertaining, we’re pop culture, we’re unpredictable, big personalities, passionate, action-packed, intense, and most of all fun. Because when you walk away from WWE we want you to have a memory that when you’re telling your friend, you smile.”
In terms of social media, she said WWE has an astounding 260 million combined fans and followers across their main channels, and the social accounts of its characters.
“WWE is all about our fans,” she said. “Without our fans, we don’t have a product. Our strategy is content first. It’s gotta be great compelling content. It’s gotta be something they want to see. But then, if you ever come to a WWE live event or you watch it on television you’ll see everyone in the audience with a sign, you’ll hear them cheer, you’ll hear them boo and you’ll hear them having a great time because they’re engaging with our product. Social media allows them the opportunity to engage with our product without even being in the arena.”
As part of her responsibilities with WWE, McMahon serves as the company’s brand ambassador and is the primary spokesperson for its CSR initiatives, including “Be a STAR,” WWE’s anti-bullying program.
And as wrestling fans know, she’s also an integral part of the current WWE storyline at its events. Last year, she began appearing on WWE programming with her husband – Paul “Triple H” Levesque - as “The Authority.”
You’ll have to tune in to the next WWE event – including WrestleMania 30 on April 6, in New Orleans – to see what she does next.
Thursday's episode of TNA Impact Wrestling, which went up against the WWE NXT Arrival show on the WWE Network, did not rank in the top 100 cable TV shows for adults 25-54 for the entire day.
March 1, 2014
Some TNA wrestlers are being asked to take less money once their existing contracts expire. In other cases, there are wrestlers with have time left on their deals who have been approached about restructuring their contracts for less pay.
One wrestler noted that former TNA head of talent relations Bruce Prichard approached several wrestlers about restructuring for less pay (roughly half as much in some cases) before their contracts were up, and the same thing is happening now. "Before you know it, they'll be charging wrestlers to perform," a veteran performer cracked.
February 28, 2014
Forbes has a new article on the WWE Network at this link. They point out that WWE spent $75 million over the past two years to make the Network happen. WWE estimates it will eventually reach 2 to 4 million subscribers but Robert Routh, director of equity research at National Alliance Capital Markets, believes that number is low. He said, "I think the company is smartly being conservative. It has large global fan base, and it's continuing to grow. In the long term I think the network could attract millions more, perhaps up to 6 to 8 million subscribers."
February 27, 2014
Below are some highlights from Triple H's Twitter Q&A this afternoon to promote WWE NXT Arrival:
Would you consider Arrival the WrestleMania of NXT? everyone here has been saying it feels just like a WrestleMania. So, I would say yes.
If you could face anyone from NXT, who would it be? good question. I would have to say Neville and Zayn. Both awesome. Future of #WWE.
Can we expect to see some talent move up to the main roster soon after tonight? it's all about timing and making sure it's the right moment to succeed.
What do you think of Tyler Breeze? always had the talent. Finally found the formula. I see big things in his future.
Would you encourage your daughters to go into the wrestling business? I would support anything they wanted to do. If it's WWE, then absolutely!
Do you train any of the rookies or have any favorites? work with them as much as I can when I'm here. No favorites. Want them all the succeed.
Why isn't Adrian Neville on RAW? when he has the most chance to succeed, he will be.
What is the most innovating and compelling aspect of the WWE Performance Center? from a learning and safety stance, the crash pad ring will add years to careers!
What do you think is most important to have first - the look, the mic skills or in-ring ability? I would take charisma over anything. It is the one thing you can't teach.
Can we get a Best of NXT DVD? once we have enough to fill one. BTW it's called @WWENetwork
Is NXT the only platform WWE will look at talent or will you still keep an eye on the indies? we look for talent any place, any time, any where!
February 26, 2014
After partnering with Warner Bros. on the French production “Les Reines Du Ring,” which was released theatrically in the country last summer, WWE Studios has acquired U.S. distribution and worldwide remake rights to the comedy.
Jean-Marc Rudnicki directed the film about a mother attempting to reconnect with her estranged son who is a passionate WWE fan. To grab her son’s attention, she embarks on a rigorous training program to become a WWE Diva and enlists her colleagues at a supermarket to join her journey to become the “Queens of the Ring.”
Fabrice Goldstein, Antoine Rein and Thomas Langmann (“The Artist”), produced the comedy, that starred Marilou Berry, Nathalie Baye, Andre Dussollier, Audrey Fleurot, and featured WWE stars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Eve Torres.
“We are excited to acquire distribution and remake rights to a wonderfully entertaining comedy like ‘Queens of the Ring,’” said Michael Luisi, president of WWE Studios. “This film gives WWE Studios the opportunity to introduce a feel good story to a broad audience, while serving up a film we know our core fans will also enjoy.”
Bradley Buchanan, senior VP of business affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of WWE Studios.
Warner Bros. and WWE Studios are also behind “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery,” out on homevideo on March 25, followed by an animated “Flintstones” film.
Upcoming projects for WWE Studios also include a big screen adaptation of the TV show “The Fall Guy” set to star Dwayne Johnson, with Hyde Park Entertainment; the Aaron Eckhart horror thriller “Incarnate,” with Blumhouse Prods.; sequels to “Jingle All the Way” and “The Marine” with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment; abd “Leprechaun: Origins,” starring WWE’s Hornswoggle, which Lionsgate will release in August, and the Soska Sisters’ “See No Evil 2″ in October.
Roderick Strong & Kevin Steen are reportedly confirmed to attend the WWE NXT tryout camp according to The Wrestling Observer. They are penciled in to attend from March 24th to March 26th. If they impress enough, obviously they will then be offered a contract with the WWE.