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PLE's (Premium Live Events) 2024

Confirmed at time of publication

WWE Royal Rumble
January 27.
Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, Florida

WWE Elimination Chamber: Perth
February 24.
Optus Stadium
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

WWE WrestleMania 40
April 6, April 7.
Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WWE Backlash: France
May 4.
LDLC Arena
Décines-Charpieu, Greater Lyon, France

WWE Money in the Bank
July 6.
Scotiabank Arena
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

WWE Bash in Berlin
August 31.
Mercedes-Benz Arena
Berlin, Germany

Media Man: WWE, part of the TKO Group is riding a wave of momentium. Strike while the iron is hot. Global domination of the professional wrestling landscape continues. Premium Live Events is the newer term what previously were called Pay-Per-View (PPV) events. Under leadership of Nick Khan and Triple H WWE is powering ahead in a very much global major event direction, as well as presenting amazing storytelling and in-ring action, while the marketing, merch and media arms keep powering ahead, frequently breaking and smashing records. Back in our Optus TV PPV and Main Event TV collaboration work at Optus we always saw the potential of massive WWE growth, but certainly never saw it getting this big. - Greg Tingle, Media Man Group

 

 

NETFLIX TO BECOME NEW HOME OF WWE RAW BEGINNING 2025


Long-Term Deal Brings Weekly Live Sports Entertainment to Netflix

 

STAMFORD, Conn., January 23, 2024 – WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program – Raw – to the world’s leading entertainment service. This marks a major programming shift as Raw leaves linear television for the first time since its inception 31 years ago

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will be the exclusive new home of Raw in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Latin America, among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time. Likewise, as part of the agreement, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S. as available, inclusive of Raw and WWE’s other weekly shows – SmackDown and NXT – as well as the company’s Premium Live Events, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. WWE’s award-winning documentaries, original series and forthcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025

“This deal is transformative,” said Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO. “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years. Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”

“We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members. Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

“In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling,” said Nick Khan, WWE President. “We believe Netflix, as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, is the ideal long-term home for Raw’s live, loyal, and ever-growing fan base."

With 1,600 episodes to date, Raw is the most iconic show in sports entertainment. Since its debut in 1993, Raw has delivered action, compelling drama and unmatched athleticism – 52 weeks a year. Blending the best of scripted content with unpredictable live entertainment, the three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair.

The show is currently the No. 1 show on USA Network, where it brings in 17.5 million unique viewers over the course of the year. One of television’s best performing shows in the 18-49 advertising demographic, Raw trends on X 52 weeks a year while each new episode is airing. On social media, WWE has more than one billion followers across its platforms.

###

About WWE
WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), is an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media, and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 25 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, TNT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in approximately 165 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. Additional information on WWE can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

About Netflix
Netflix is one of the world's leading entertainment services with over 247 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time.

About TKO
TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) is a premium sports and entertainment company that comprises UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. Together, our organizations reach more than 1 billion TV households in approximately 170 countries, and we organize more than 350 live events year-round, attracting over one million fans. TKO is majority owned by Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR), a global sports and entertainment company.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expected programming and viewer benefits under the multi-year domestic media rights partnership with and NBCUniversal. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from what is expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to the factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in TKO’s final prospectus on Form 424(b)(3) filed with the SEC on September 19, 2023, as any such factors may be updated from time to time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except as may be required under applicable law, neither TKO nor WWE undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

Investors and others should note that TKO announces material financial and operational information to its investors using press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts, as well as its Investor Relations site at investor.tkogrp.com. TKO may also use its website as a distribution channel of material information about the Company. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about TKO, UFC and WWE when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Investor Email Alerts” option under the Resources tab on investor.tkogrp.com.


Wrestling News

WWE

Cody Rhodes and Bayley win the Royal Rumble Matches to earn the right to headline WrestleMania

At the 2024 Royal Rumble, Cody Rhodes and Bayley both outlasted 29 other Superstars to win their respective Royal Rumble Matches and earn the right to challenge a World Champion at The Showcase of the Immortals. Plus, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns successfully defended his title against Randy Orton, AJ Styles and LA Knight in a Fatal 4-Way Match, and Kevin Owens accidently got himself disqualified in a United States Title Match against Logan Paul.


Wrestling News

Cody Rhodes Addresses Never Crossing Paths With CM Punk In AEW


Cody Rhodes is surprised he never crossed paths in any real way with CM Punk during their respective runs in AEW.

“The American Nightmare” spoke about this during the WWE Royal Rumble 2024 post-show press conference on Saturday night.

“It’s funny that we meet back here,” Cody said of himself and Punk. “Really. When we were at AEW, I thought we would encounter one another there. It didn’t happen. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen.”

He continued, “I think both him and I had different personal experiences. Don’t believe anything that Wade Keller put out about why I left or anything like that. The truth is, nobody knows. Personal thing. Probably a personal thing for Punk. That happens. People come. People go. It’s not a huge thing.”

Rhodes also spoke about reuniting with The Miz, Kofi Kingston and Punk and it feeling like his first run in WWE.

“To see [CM Punk] tonight. To see Miz. To see Kofi. Those were my guys,” he said. “First OVW show I walked into, Brent Albright vs. CM Punk was the main event and Punk was also running the whole show, maybe set up the ring. To see that, sometimes you want another person who you admire and respect to stop looking at you as the kid and look at you and see who you are now. I think he got to see who I am now. That means a lot to me. He’s amazing, could have gone either way, I look forward to what he does in WWE.”


Wrestling News and Streaming News

Netflix to become new home of WWE Raw beginning 2025

STAMFORD, Conn., January 23, 2024 – WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program – Raw – to the world’s leading entertainment service. This marks a major programming shift as Raw leaves linear television for the first time since its inception 31 years ago.

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will be the exclusive new home of Raw in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Latin America, among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time. Likewise, as part of the agreement, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S. as available, inclusive of Raw and WWE’s other weekly shows – SmackDown and NXT – as well as the company’s Premium Live Events, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. WWE’s award-winning documentaries, original series and forthcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025.

“This deal is transformative,” said Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO. “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years. Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”

“We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members. Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

“In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling,” said Nick Khan, WWE President. “We believe Netflix, as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, is the ideal long-term home for Raw’s live, loyal, and ever-growing fan base."

With 1,600 episodes to date, Raw is the most iconic show in sports entertainment. Since its debut in 1993, Raw has delivered action, compelling drama and unmatched athleticism – 52 weeks a year. Blending the best of scripted content with unpredictable live entertainment, the three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair.

The show is currently the No. 1 show on USA Network, where it brings in 17.5 million unique viewers over the course of the year. One of television’s best performing shows in the 18-49 advertising demographic, Raw trends on X 52 weeks a year while each new episode is airing. On social media, WWE has more than one billion followers across its platforms.

 

Netflix to Become New Home of WWE Raw Beginning 2025

01/23/2024

Long-Term Deal Brings Weekly Live Sports Entertainment to Netflix

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced a long-term partnership that will bring WWE’s flagship weekly program – Raw – to the world’s leading entertainment service. This marks a major programming shift as Raw leaves linear television for the first time since its inception 31 years ago.

Beginning in January 2025, Netflix will be the exclusive new home of Raw in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Latin America, among other territories, with additional countries and regions to be added over time. Likewise, as part of the agreement, Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S. as available, inclusive of Raw and WWE’s other weekly shows – SmackDown and NXT – as well as the company’s Premium Live Events, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. WWE’s award-winning documentaries, original series and forthcoming projects will also be available on Netflix internationally beginning in 2025.

“This deal is transformative,” said Mark Shapiro, TKO President and COO. “It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years. Our partnership fundamentally alters and strengthens the media landscape, dramatically expands the reach of WWE, and brings weekly live appointment viewing to Netflix.”

“We are excited to have WWE Raw, with its huge and passionate multigenerational fan base, on Netflix,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “By combining our reach, recommendations, and fandom with WWE, we’ll be able to deliver more joy and value for their audiences and our members. Raw is the best of sports entertainment, blending great characters and storytelling with live action 52 weeks a year and we’re thrilled to be in this long-term partnership with WWE.”

“In its relatively short history, Netflix has engineered a phenomenal track record for storytelling,” said Nick Khan, WWE President. “We believe Netflix, as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, is the ideal long-term home for Raw’s live, loyal, and ever-growing fan base."

With 1,600 episodes to date, Raw is the most iconic show in sports entertainment. Since its debut in 1993, Raw has delivered action, compelling drama and unmatched athleticism – 52 weeks a year. Blending the best of scripted content with unpredictable live entertainment, the three-hour show has helped launch the careers of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair.

The show is currently the No. 1 show on USA Network, where it brings in 17.5 million unique viewers over the course of the year. One of television’s best performing shows in the 18-49 advertising demographic, Raw trends on X 52 weeks a year while each new episode is airing. On social media, WWE has more than one billion followers across its platforms.

About WWE

WWE, part of TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), is an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media, and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 25 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, TNT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in approximately 165 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. Additional information on WWE can be found at http://wwe.com and http://corporate.wwe.com.

About Netflix

Netflix is one of the world's leading entertainment services with over 247 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time.

About TKO

TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) is a premium sports and entertainment company that comprises UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. Together, our organizations reach more than 1 billion TV households in approximately 170 countries, and we organize more than 350 live events year-round, attracting over one million fans. TKO is majority owned by Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR), a global sports and entertainment company.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expected programming and viewer benefits under the multi-year domestic media rights partnership with and NBCUniversal. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from what is expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to the factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in TKO’s final prospectus on Form 424(b)(3) filed with the SEC on September 19, 2023, as any such factors may be updated from time to time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except as may be required under applicable law, neither TKO nor WWE undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investors and others should note that TKO announces material financial and operational information to its investors using press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts, as well as its Investor Relations site at http://investor.tkogrp.com. TKO may also use its website as a distribution channel of material information about the Company. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about TKO, UFC and WWE when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Investor Email Alerts” option under the Resources tab on http://investor.tkogrp.com.

(Sources: Netflix, WWE/TKO Group and Business Wire)

 


Streaming News

Netflix to stream WWE’s Raw starting next year in its biggest jump into live entertainment - January 28, 2024

Netflix and TKO Group Holdings said Tuesday that the streaming platform will air the WWE’s flagship program Raw starting next year.

Netflix is trying to drive revenue by cutting down on subscription sharing and pushing viewers toward its ad-tier membership.

The streaming platform is making its first major foray into live sports, while WWE will get access to Netflix’s roughly 250 million global subscribers.

Netflix and TKO Group Holdings said Tuesday that the streaming platform will air WWE’s flagship program “Raw” starting next year, in Netflix’s first major foray into live sports.

The 10-year deal is valued at more than $5 billion, according to a company filing. Netflix will have the option to exit the deal after five years and to extend it for another decade. The streaming platform will be able to stream “Raw” globally, and will start the agreement with exclusive rights to it in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Latin America. Netflix will also become the home for all WWE shows and specials outside the U.S., including “SmackDown” and “NXT” as well as “WrestleMania,” “SummerSlam” and “Royal Rumble.”

TKO shares spiked more than 20% following the news and a separate announcement that actor and former wrestling superstar Dwayne Johnson would join its board of directors. Netflix shares rose less than 1%, hours before the company was set to report earnings after the bell Tuesday.

Netflix, which is trying to drive revenue by cutting down on subscription sharing and pushing viewers toward its ad-tier membership, has made few attempts at live programming in its history. Adding “Raw,” which currently airs on USA Network and produces three hours of live programming per week year-round, to its programming lineup will be a boon to the platform and a significant historical shift for Netflix.

“This is a super game changer,” said TKO President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Shapiro in an interview. “When you look back at the chapters of sports media history, new chapters are driven by extraordinary new paradigms. ESPN and Turner bringing NFL to cable in 1987. Rupert Murdoch bringing football to Fox in 1994. When new histories are written, Raw on Netflix will be such a chapter starter.”

Netflix has dabbled in sports recently with documentary-type series about Formula One and professional golf, tennis and football. This deal will allow Netflix to tap into WWE intellectual property for similar projects. With WWE permission, Netflix could even develop movies or series around WWE characters, a person familiar with the matter said.

For TKO, the parent company of WWE, striking a deal with Netflix brings WWE wrestling to about 250 million global subscribers. WWE President Nick Khan has had Netflix on his radar as a potential landing spot for “Raw” for several years.

He discussed the world’s largest streamer on a WWE earnings call in the first quarter of 2022, referencing how Netflix has showed openness to changing long-held stances, such as rejecting advertising and cracking down on password sharing. As recently as December 2022, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said at the UBS Global TMT Conference that Netflix had not “seen a profit path to renting big sports.”

“Netflix is willing to make adjustments and reverse positions when it identifies an issue,” Khan said back in 2022.

Choosing Netflix

TKO held discussions with other media companies but zeroed in on Netflix in December, according to people familiar with the matter.

Netflix’s global footprint, which outreaches every other streaming service, was a key draw for WWE, Shapiro said.

“This is one of the greatest entertainment platforms in the world,” Shapiro said of Netflix. “It has marketing you can’t even comprehend. It has positioning that’s unparalleled in terms of what they do on their front page.”

Netflix announced earlier this month it had 23 million monthly active users for its advertising tier, which the company launched in November 2022. Matches will be scripted around commercial breaks to satisfy ad-free customers, who will see continued action from live matches that aren’t important to the outcome, such as a wrestler in a sustained headlock, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“Raw” is the top program on the USA cable network, drawing 17.5 million unique viewers per year, the companies said. Shapiro said Amazon’s ability to stream “Thursday Night Football” this season without a glitch and Peacock’s recent success streaming a National Football League playoff game gave him confidence Netflix will be technologically sound streaming “Raw,” even if it hasn’t done anything like this on a consistent basis yet.

Disclosure: Comcast NBCUniversal, CNBC’s parent company, owns USA Network.

Clarification: This story was updated to reflect that Netflix said it had 23 million monthly active users for its advertising tier.


TKO APPOINTS DWAYNE JOHNSON TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Johnson Granted Full Ownership of Trademarked Name, “The Rock”

NEW YORK (January 23, 2024) – TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) (“TKO”), a premium sports and entertainment company, has appointed Dwayne Johnson to its Board of Directors, effective today.

Johnson, one of the most decorated WWE Superstars in company history and the most followed American man globally on social media platforms, brings decades of experience in live entertainment and sports to the Board. Through his expansive business portfolio, which includes Seven Bucks Productions, Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy, Project Rock, and the recently combined spring football league, the United Football League (UFL), Johnson has significant experience identifying and cultivating revenue generating media rights, live events, sponsorship, licensing, and social media opportunities. The appointment of Johnson reflects TKO’s commitment to delivering long-term value and strong performance for shareholders through strategic growth initiatives across both UFC and WWE.

Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman of the Board, TKO, said: “Very few people on the planet understand the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business like Rock. We are proud to have him join the TKO board to help take our company to new heights.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, said: “My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come. Which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build. Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock’, is not only unprecedented, but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle. At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and Ari is building something truly game changing. I’m very motivated to help continue to globally expand our TKO, WWE, and UFC businesses as the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment — while proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who show up every day putting in the hard work with their own two hands to make their dreams come true and deliver for our audiences. I’ve been there, I’m still there and this is for them.”

Ariel Emanuel, CEO, TKO, said: “I am thrilled to partner with Dwayne and welcome his immense talent to TKO’s Board. Dwayne brings an incredible track record of creating content and building globally recognized consumer brands, and he will play a key role in realizing our ambitions for TKO.”

WWE has also entered into a services and merchandising agreement with Johnson that provides for his promotional, licensing, and other services, and an intellectual property assignment agreement pursuant to which Johnson has secured ownership of the trademarked name, “The Rock”. The name is derived from his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who was the first Black champion in WWE history (alongside partner Tony Atlas). Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, a Samoan-American professional wrestler, was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.

The addition of Johnson, as well as today’s appointment of Brad Keywell to TKO’s Board of Directors, will increase TKO’s board from 11 to 13 members.

Dwayne Johnson Background

Dwayne Johnson is a global entertainer and entrepreneur who manages a diverse and ever-expanding media and business portfolio. Johnson serves as the co-founder and CEO of Seven Bucks Companies, a multi-platform global enterprise crossing all entertainment and creative verticals with an audience-first mentality. A third-generation performer, Johnson began his WWE career in 1996 and remains one of WWE’s preeminent WWE Superstars in the organization’s history.

Johnson develops, produces, and stars in all forms of entertainment content via his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, LLC, which he co-founded in 2012. In addition to Seven Bucks Productions, LLC, Johnson has founded multiple business ventures, including Teramana Tequila, the fastest-growing tequila brand in history, and co-founded ZOA Energy, LLC, an energy drink company in partnership with Molson Coors. In 2020, Johnson co-led a consortium to acquire the XFL, a professional American football league, which re-launched in 2023 before merging with the USFL to form the UFL. Johnson also maintains several prominent brand partnerships. Alongside Under Armour, Inc., Johnson founded and developed a line of fitness apparel under the “Project Rock” brand. In 2016 and 2019, Johnson was named by TIME as one of the world’s most influential people.

A dedicated philanthropist, Johnson serves as a National Celebrity Wish Ambassador for Make-A-Wish and has been granting wishes with the organization for over 20 years. In 2008, the United States Congress and the United States Joint Leadership Commission recognized Johnson with the prestigious Horizon Award, the U.S. Congressional Award given to an individual in the private sector who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and provided opportunities for youth nationwide. Johnson graduated from the University of Miami, where he earned a football scholarship and became NCAA National Football Champions.

Johnson has been a client of Endeavor’s WME agency for nearly 13 years.

About TKO

TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) is a premium sports and entertainment company that comprises UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment. Together, our organizations reach more than 1 billion TV households in approximately 170 countries, and we organize more than 350 live events year-round, attracting over one million fans. TKO is majority owned by Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR), a global sports and entertainment company.

 

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News

United States Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. LA Knight

 

SmackDown results, October 20, 2023: Bianca Belair returns and spoils Damage CTRL’s plans after IYO SKY retains her title over Charlotte Flair

SmackDown results: Oct. 20, 2023

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns to battle LA Knight - Don’t miss WWE Crown Jewel on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, streaming LIVE from in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

Roman Reigns and LA Knight set to sign contract for title fight at WWE Crown Jewel

WWE NXT, Oct. 17, 2023: Carmelo Hayes punches his ticket to Halloween Havoc for a championship match against Ilja Dragunov

WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves

 

WWE inks deal with new broadcasting partner for Japan

 

It has been announced that WWE and ABEMA have agreed to a media rights partnership. Starting this October, WWE programming will stream exclusively on ABEMA platforms in Japan. ABEMA platforms will carry Raw, SmackDown, and NXT, along with WWE premium live events.

Raw and SmackDown will both broadcast free-to-air in Japan every week with Japanese commentary immediately following first broadcast in the U.S., for the first time ever. Starting with Raw on Tuesday, October 3 (and every Tuesday night at 8pm local time) and SmackDown on Saturday, October 7 (and every Saturday night at 8pm local time), both weekly shows will also be available to watch on-demand. The new agreement will also see NXT available to watch on-demand in Japan via ABEMA Video.

Additionally, all WWE Premium Live Events (PLE's) will air exclusively live on ABEMA, with all past editions of WrestleMania available to view on-demand via ABEMA Video beginning October 1.

WWE broadcasts are returning to Japan for the first time since 2021. WWE's partnership with J Sports ended at the conclusion of that year.

WWE enjoys a long history with Japan. WWE wrestlers have performed in numerous Japanese rings over the decades, just as plenty of Japanese pro wrestling talents have performed in the WWE and other American based promotions over the years.

List (partial) of Japanese wrestlers who have performed in the WWE and/or NXT
@WWENXT
. WWE former names include WWF (World Wrestling Federation) and WWWF.

Shinsuke Nakamura
Jushin "Thunder" Liger
Tiger Mask
Antonio Inoki
Asuka
Iyo Sky
Kota Ibushi
Kenta Kobayashi
Taka Michinoku
Tajiri
Mr Saito
Mr Fuji
Tatsumi Fujinami
Jumping Bomb Angels
Aja Kong
Bull Nakano

Insider and litte known detail about the WWE - Japan connection:

Alongside Rikodozan, there is not a more prominent figure in Japanese wrestling history than Antonio Inoki. He is the gentleman and mastermind who created New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is now the leading wrestling promotion in Japan. He has held well over 20 titles from around the world, including the WWE world title! The WWE does not officially recognize his reign after defeating Bob Backlund on November 30, 1979.

NWF Heavyweight champion Antonio Inoki defeated Backlund in Tokushima, Japan to win the WWF title. Backlund then won a rematch on December 6. However, then WWF president Hisashi Shinma declared the re-match a no contest due to interference from Tiger Jeet Singh, and Inoki remained champion.

Inoki fought in the legendary boxer vs wrestler match with Muhammad Ali, a fight that ended up influencing the creation of mixed martial arts, and eventually, the UFC. In 1995, Inoki and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair headlined two shows in North Korea that had the highest attendance in wrestling history. In 2010, WWE inducted Inoki into the Hall of Fame.

 

UFC-WWE Merger Could Close As Early As September 12

 

The $21.4 billion merger of two behemoths of the MMA and professional wrestling industries – the UFC and WWE – could possibly close in less than 20 days.

Back in May, the WWE notified its shareholders that a vote to close the transaction wouldn’t be necessary. Vince McMahon, as the co-founder and executive chairman, represented 81.0% of the aggregate voting power in the company and he had already submitted his written approval for the merger on April 2.

Then in June, Endeavor, the owner of the UFC, filed a report with the SEC indicating that the merger review waiting period prescribed under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act had expired and “all foreign regulatory approvals have been obtained.” Executives noted the same at their most recent earnings call on August 8.

Back when the merger was first announced, I noted an interesting feature of this merger was that the WWE isn’t a direct horizontal competitor to the UFC, which should therefore “allow it to sail through the regulatory approval process,” and that’s exactly what happened. In relatively short order, the two biggest hurdles to closing one of the largest mergers in sports entertainment history were cleared – regulatory and WWE shareholder approvals.

While Endeavor executives said on the August earnings call that they expect the merger to close in “mid-to-late September,” one key hurdle seemed to still exist based on the terms of the transaction agreement. According to the closing conditions in that agreement, “The Information Statement shall have been mailed to the WWE stockholders and at least 20 calendar days shall have elapsed from the date of completion of such mailing.”

The “definitive” version of that statement was posted to the SEC website this past Tuesday. Based on that timeline, the UFC and WWE could officially become the new sports entertainment conglomerate TKO Group Holdings as early as September 12.

While the merger doesn’t have to close on that exact date, it seems we now know the earliest possible closing date, based on the transaction agreement.

So the TKO countdown is on.

An Endeavor representative didn’t previously comment on specifics of the merger timeline or immediately respond to a new request.

 

 

WWE and Slim Jim return to the ring with a record-breaking partnership ahead of SummerSlam

3rd August 2023

 

WWE and Slim Jim today announced a multi-layered partnership that will begin with Slim Jim serving as the Presenting Sponsor of a marquee match at SummerSlam on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Ford Field in Detroit. This partnership between the two iconic brands pays homage to their shared, savage past and marks the largest sponsorship deal in WWE history.

WWE and Slim Jim first crossed paths thirty years ago with a series of explosive, in-your-face Slim Jim commercials, featuring “Macho Man” Randy Savage debuting the famous tagline “Snap Into a Slim Jim!” that has remained a hallmark of the Slim Jim brand ever since. The two global brands will tap into that rich history with a reenergized, multi-platform campaign which begins with “The SummerSlam Battle Royal Presented by Slim Jim,” the first of several custom integrations at WWE’s Premium Live Events. As part of the pact, Slim Jim will also activate at Survivor Series in November, in addition to Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 40 in 2024.

“Alongside our partners at Slim Jim and Conagra Brands, WWE is excited to renew one of the most memorable collaborations in sports entertainment history and there’s no better way to kick off the partnership than a 20-man Battle Royal at SummerSlam,” said Craig Stimmel, WWE SVP, Head of Global Sales and Partnerships.

“Slim Jim has always been about crushing boredom and doing the unexpected, which is also the cornerstone of WWE and their memorable lineup of bold, in-your-face Superstars,” said Spencer Fivelson, VP & General Manager of Snacks at Conagra Brands. “We’re thrilled to be back in the ring with WWE to build on our shared history and celebrate the savage energy of today’s WWE Superstars.”

In addition to the live event integrations, the WWE and Slim Jim partnership will include custom content and social media executions with Superstar talent, online sweepstakes to drive fan engagement, in-store activations and more.

Learn more about “The SummerSlam Battle Royal Presented by Slim Jim” here.

 

 

WWE NXT results, June 13, 2023: Seth "Freakin" Rollins agrees to defend the World Heavyweight Title against Bron Breakker at NXT Gold Rush!

 

WWE Money in The Bank 2023

Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Finn Bálor (World Heavyweight Championship)

 

Rollins has had issues with The Judgment Day in recent weeks. In his first World Heavyweight Title defense since winning the title at WWE Night of Champions, The Visionary took on “The Archer of Infamy” Damian Priest.

Despite telling Priest that he would stay in the backstage area, Bálor went to ringside anyway, and Rollins defeated Priest to retain his title for the first time.

On the June 12 episode of Monday Night Raw, Bálor challenged Rollins to a title match, exploding on The Architect with pent-up aggression from their past.

Back in the summer of 2016, Rollins and Bálor went toe-to-toe at SummerSlam for the newly established Universal Championship. The Prince became the inaugural champion that night but not without a cost. Bálor had his shoulder injured during the match, and as such, he had to relinquish the title the very next night on Raw.

Since then, Bálor has not held a world title, making his animosity for Rollins grow ever deeper. In the ensuing years, Rollins and Bálor have gone back-and-forth in the win-loss column with each other. Most recently, Rollins defeated Bálor in the World Heavyweight Title Tournament Semifinals.

Can Bálor once again become world champion and evict the demons from his past, or will Rollins continue to be the World Heavyweight Champion?

Don't miss WWE Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1, at a special start time of 3 ET/12 PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else. (WWE.com)

 

 

WWE Money in the Bank 2023

Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio

 

 

The Judgment Day finally get their crack at Cody Rhodes as The American Nightmare faces Dominik Mysterio live at Money in the Bank in London, England.

After weeks of The Judgment Day’s failed recruitment of Rhodes, he and Mysterio came face to face on the latest edition of “Miz TV," and sparks flew when they traded vicious barbs that led to The American Nightmare slugging “Dom Dom” in the face with his casted arm.

Since returning to WWE at WrestleMania 38, Rhodes has been on a personal journey to honor his family legacy, whereas Mysterio has gone the opposite route, constantly trashing his surname and his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio.

Watch Rhodes take on Mysterio at WWE Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1, at a special start time of 3 ET/12 PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else. (WWE.com)

 

 

Raw preview, May 1, 2023: See all the results from the 2023 WWE Draft! (WWE.com)

SmackDown results, April 28, 2023: Find out who was drafted in Night One of the 2023 WWE Draft (WWE.com)


Video

Endeavor-UFC deal is the next evolution of WWE, says Vince McMahon (CNBC Television YouTube)

Tag team deal: WWE to merge with UFC (CNBC Television YouTube)

Endeavor to merge UFC with WWE in $21 billion deal (CNBC Television YouTube)

WWE in talks to sell to UFC parent Endeavor (CNBC Teleivion YouTube)

 

ENDEAVOR ANNOUNCES UFC AND WWE TO FORM A $21+ BILLION GLOBAL LIVE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY (UFC.com)

UFC in shock $13.5 billion takeover of WWE to create combat sport juggernaut (FOX Sports)

 

ENDEAVOR ANNOUNCES UFC® AND WWE® TO FORM A $21+ BILLION GLOBAL LIVE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY
April 3, 2023

 

New, Publicly Listed Company to be 51% Owned by Endeavor and 49% by Existing WWE Shareholders

Endeavor to Contribute UFC into Company at Enterprise Value of $12.1 Billion

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. and STAMFORD, Conn. (April 3, 2023) – Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to form a new, publicly listed company consisting of two iconic, complementary, global sports and entertainment brands: UFC and WWE. Upon close, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in the new company.

Together, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution. On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, UFC and WWE achieved revenue of $2.4 billion and a 10% annual revenue growth rate since 2019.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”

“Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Vincent K. McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE.

McMahon continued, “Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.”

The new company will be led by Emanuel (Chief Executive Officer), who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, McMahon (Executive Chairman of the Board) and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White will continue in his role as President of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE. The Board of Directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.

Together, UFC and WWE expect to deliver an estimated $50 million to $100 million in annualized run rate cost synergies by leveraging, among other things, Endeavor’s back office and robust infrastructure. Endeavor also expects significant growth across revenue areas including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and yield optimization, event operations, sponsorship, licensing and premium hospitality. Endeavor’s success at UFC, including increasing commercial opportunities that have driven more than 2x Adjusted EBITDA growth since its acquisition in late 2016, demonstrates the significant value creation opportunity and upside potential of having UFC and WWE under one roof.

Transaction Details and Approvals

The transaction values UFC at an enterprise value of $12.1 billion and WWE at an enterprise value of $9.3 billion. The transaction represents a contribution price of WWE of approximately $106 per share (before any post-closing dividend). Additionally, UFC and WWE will each contribute cash to the new company so that it holds approximately $150 million. At closing, Endeavor intends to sweep all excess cash at UFC, and shareholders of the new company (other than Endeavor) are expected to receive a post-closing dividend.

Under the terms of the transaction, existing WWE shareholders will roll all existing equity into the new entity that will be the parent company of UFC and WWE (“NewCo” until it is named at a later date) and intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TKO”. The listing of NewCo will expand the collective investor base to allow for broad market participation across Endeavor and NewCo.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Endeavor and by the Board of Directors of WWE. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023.

This marks the successful conclusion of WWE’s strategic alternatives review process. WWE embarked on this process to take advantage of the company’s unique position in the entertainment ecosystem as well as the inflection point coming with its media rights renewals, both of which were widely recognized in the marketplace through this process.

Advisors

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to Endeavor, and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Endeavor. The Raine Group is acting as lead financial advisor to WWE. J.P. Morgan and Moelis & Company LLC are also acting as financial advisors to WWE. The Raine Group, J.P. Morgan, and Moelis & Company LLC each rendered fairness opinions to the Board of Directors of WWE. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal advisor to WWE, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal advisor to WWE’s controlling stockholder, McMahon.

Webcast

Endeavor and WWE will make public a recorded audio webcast at 8:00 a.m. ET today discussing this transaction. The event and accompanying presentation materials can be accessed at investor.endeavorco.com or corporate.wwe.com/investors. The link to the webcast, as well as a recording, will also be available on those websites after the call concludes.

# # #

About Endeavor

Endeavor is a global sports and entertainment company, home to many of the world’s most dynamic and engaging storytellers, brands, live events and experiences. The company is comprised of industry leaders including entertainment agency WME; sports, fashion, events and media company IMG; and premier mixed martial arts organization UFC. The Endeavor network specializes in talent representation, sports operations & advisory, event & experiences management, media production & distribution, experiential marketing and brand licensing.

About UFC®

UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 700 million fans and 228 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to over 900 million TV households across more than 170 countries. UFC’s athlete roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 80 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC is owned by global sports and entertainment company Endeavor, and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok: @UFC.

About WWE®

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The Company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media, and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 25 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, BT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in more than 180 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. Additional information on WWE can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains, and oral statements made from time to time by our representatives may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements generally include statements regarding the potential transaction between Endeavor and WWE, including statements regarding the expected timetable for completing the potential transaction, the ability to complete the potential transaction, expected synergies, impacts and benefits of the potential transaction, projected financial information, future opportunities, expected cash distributions and other statements regarding NewCo’s and WWE’s future expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, or future events or performance. Statements that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the expected market opportunity, growth, financial performance, realizable synergies and closing of the transaction. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this communication may be forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “outlook,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this communication are only predictions. Endeavor and WWE management have based these forward-looking statements largely on their current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that management believes may affect its business, financial condition and results of operations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from what is expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: the transaction will not be consummated; there may be difficulties with the integration and in realizing the expected benefits of the transaction; Endeavor and WWE may need to use resources that are needed in other parts of its business to do so; there may be liabilities that are not known, probable or estimable at this time; the transaction may result in the diversion of management’s time and attention to issues relating to the transaction and integration; expected synergies and operating efficiencies attributable to the transaction may not be achieved within its expected time-frames or at all; there may be significant transaction costs and integration costs in connection with the transaction; the possibility that neither WWE nor Endeavor will have sufficient cash at close to distribute to shareholders (or that the amount of cash available for distribution will be less than what the parties expect); unfavorable outcome of legal proceedings that may be instituted against WWE and Endeavor following the announcement of the transaction; and risks inherent to the business may result in additional strategic and operational risks, which may impact Endeavor’s, NewCo’s and WWE’s risk profiles, which each company may not be able to mitigate effectively. In addition, a number of important factors could cause Endeavor’s or NewCo’s actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those important factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” in Endeavor’s or WWE’s respective Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as any such factors may be updated from time to time in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, Endeavor’s investor relations site at investor.endeavorco.com and WWE’s investor relations site at https://corporate.wwe.com/. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except as may be required under applicable law, neither Endeavor nor WWE undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Important Information For Investors And Stockholders

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to, and does not, constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any issuance or sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In connection with the transaction, NewCo expects to file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC, which will include an information statement of WWE and a preliminary prospectus of NewCo. After the registration statement is declared effective, WWE will mail to its stockholders a definitive information statement that will form part of the registration statement on Form S-4. This communication is not a substitute for the information statement/prospectus or registration statement or for any other document that WWE may file with the SEC and send to its stockholders in connection with the transaction. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF WWE ARE URGED TO READ THE INFORMATION STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the information statement/prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC by WWE through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by WWE will be available free of charge on WWE’s website at https://corporate.wwe.com/.

Non-GAAP Financial Information

In addition to the financials presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), this press release includes certain non-GAAP financial information. Non-GAAP metrics have limitations as analytical tools and you should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for or superior to the most directly comparable financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. There are a number of limitations related to the use of non-GAAP metrics versus their nearest GAAP equivalents. Other companies, including those in Endeavor’s and WWE’s industry, may calculate non-GAAP metrics differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of the non-GAAP metrics used in this press release as tools for comparison. Endeavor and WWE urge you to not rely on any single financial measure to evaluate the Company and its business. See the presentation available on Endeavor’s investor relations site at investor.endeavorco.com and WWE’s investor relations site at https://corporate.wwe.com for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures.

 

‘Powerhouse’: WWE, UFC merge to create $21b sporting giant

April 4, 2023

 

WWE is saying goodbye to existing as a family-run business as it joins with the company that runs Ultimate Fighting Championship to create a $US21.4 billion ($31 billion) sports entertainment company.

The deal announced between Endeavor and World Wrestling Entertainment, on the heels of its biggest event of the year, catapults WWE into a new era after spending decades under the control of the McMahon family.

Vince McMahon purchased Capitol Wrestling from his father in 1982, and took the regional wrestling business to a national audience with stars such as Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The company, which changed its name to World Wrestling Federation and later World Wrestling Entertainment, hosted its first WrestleMania in 1985.

McMahon, in an interview with CNBC, addressed doubts among some WWE fans and industry experts that he would ever make a deal for the business. “It’s the right time to do the right thing. And it’s the next evolution of WWE,” he said.

In a presentation after the deal was announced, the WWE and Endeavor said that they will cross-promote to drive brand awareness and deepen penetration of their overlapping fan base, more than 700 million UFC fans and 1.2 billion WWE fans worldwide.

Ties already exist talent-wise between WWE and UFC, with stars such as Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey crossing over between the two organisations.

A new publicly traded company will house the UFC and WWE brands, with Endeavor Group Holdings taking a 51 per cent controlling interest in the new company. Existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49 per cent stake.

The companies put the enterprise value of UFC at $US12.1 billion and WWE’s value at $US9.3 billion.

The new business, which does not yet have a name, will be led by Endeavor chief executive officer Ari Emanuel. McMahon, executive chairman at WWE, will serve in the same role at the new company. Dana White will continue as president of UFC and Nick Khan will be president at WWE.

“Together, we will be a $US21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity,” McMahon said in a prepared statement.

He also provided some idea of where the focus of the new company will be, saying that it will look to maximise the value of combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetisation, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster their brands.

Confirmation that WWE is being sold comes after McMahon, a majority shareholder of WWE, returned to the company in January and said that it could be on the block with viewership continuing to rise.

Rumours swirled about who would possibly be interested in buying WWE, with Endeavor, Disney, Fox, Comcast, Amazon and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund all in the mix.

McMahon said on CNBC that there were several buyers interested in WWE, but that combining with Endeavor is the right move.

“It makes all the sense in the world for all these synergies that we have to extract all of the value that we can out of the marketplace,” he explained.

Media industry analysts viewed WWE as an attractive target given its global reach and loyal fanbase.

The company held its marquee event, WrestleMania, over the weekend. The two-day spectacular, held at SoFi Stadium in California, topped the existing global viewership record by 28 per cent on the first night. On the second night, it beat the existing global viewership record by 33 per cent. Merchandise sales for WrestleMania 39 climbed 20 per cent from a year earlier. Last year, WWE booked revenue of $US1.3 billion.

The company is also a social media powerhouse. It surpassed 16 billion social video views in the final quarter of last year. It has nearly 94 million YouTube subscribers and more than 20 million followers on TikTok. Its female wrestlers comprise five out of the top 15 most followed female athletes in the world, across Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, led by Rousey with 36.1 million followers.

WWE had more than 7.5 billion digital and social media views in January and February of this year, up 15 per cent from the same time frame a year ago. And WrestleMania 39 had more than 500 million views and 11 million hours of video consumed over the two days of the event, a 42 per cent increase over last year.

The new company plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the “TKO” ticker symbol. Its board will have 11 members, with six being appointed by Endeavor and five being appointed by WWE.

“We like the assets of UFC and also WWE in a world where linear TV is losing market share to streaming, thus live sport content is in high demand,” wrote Jeffries analyst Randal Konik said in a note to clients.

The transaction, which was approved by the boards of Endeavor and WWE, is targeted to close in the second half of the year. It still needs regulatory approval.

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment, based in Stamford, Connecticut, are up 33 per cent this year, but fell nearly 4 per cent in Monday afternoon trading. Shares of Endeavor, based in Beverly Hills, California, slipped more than 7 per cent.

(AP)

 

Updates on the WWE Sale and Potential Buyers Going Into WrestleMania 39 Weekend

 

CNBC analyst David Faber reports that the WWE sale “is expected to conclude in the not too distant future,” which could mean the company is sold earlier than mid-summer as initially expected by some.

Faber noted today that the WWE sale process is “going quite well.”

“I am hearing from people close to the situation that it’s a pretty good sales process with some saying it’s hot and heavy,” he said.

Faber added that people he’s spoken with who were doubtful a deal would happen, are less so now. Part of the doubt has to do with concern that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon will be reluctant to step aside if a deal is made. Faber played a clip of WWE CEO Nick Khan previously stating that McMahon is willing to step aside.

It was also reiterated that Comcast (NBCU parent company, owners of USA Network and Peacock) is not in the running.

Faber said “we can all take our educated guesses” on potential buyers, mentioning Endeavor Group, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a private equity interest that could be in partnership with a well-known name in the sport, and perhaps Liberty Media, an investment firm based in Colorado. It was noted that Endeavor would do a reverse Morris trust, which would see them spin-off the UFC into a new company and merge that with WWE.

 

 

Raw results, Jan. 23, 2023: Brock Lesnar returns to send a message to Bobby Lashley!

 

Raw XXX delivers highest domestic gate in history of Monday Night Raw

 

Raw XXX was a defining night for the red brand and delivered the highest domestic gate in the history of Monday Night Raw.

A sell-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia witnessed Sami Zayn's Tribal Court, an iconic moment shared between Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker, a joining of DX and Kurt Angle, the return of The Beast Brock Lesnar and much more.

Thank you WWE Universe for an unforgettable Raw XXX!

(WWE.com)

 

 

 

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Vince McMahon Takes Actions in Support of Plan for WWE to Undertake a Review of Strategic Alternatives and Capture Unique Opportunity to Maximize Long-term Value for All Shareholders

 

Submits written consent to WWE Board electing himself and Company veterans George Barrios and Michelle Wilson as Directors

Actions are necessary to ensure McMahon's full participation in upcoming media rights negotiations and review of strategic alternatives

GREENWICH, Conn., Jan. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Vince McMahon, the founder and controlling shareholder of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ("WWE" or the "Company") (NYSE: WWE), announced today that he has taken necessary actions to position the Company to capitalize on a unique opportunity to maximize long-term value for all WWE shareholders. The actions, communicated to WWE's Board of Directors today via written consent, include the election to the Board of Mr. McMahon, as well as Michelle Wilson and George Barrios – former WWE Co-Presidents and Board members, and currently the Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Isos Capital Management – and the requisite removal from the Board of three directors. Mr. McMahon expects to assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board.

Mr. McMahon's new role will enable unified decision making through the Company's upcoming media rights negotiations and a parallel full review of the Company's strategic alternatives, which Mr. McMahon believes is the right course of action and in the best interests of WWE and WWE shareholders amidst the current dynamics in the media and entertainment industry. As Mr. McMahon has communicated to the Board, he believes there is a narrow window of opportunity to create significant value for all shareholders and that to do so, the strategic alternatives review must occur in tandem with the media rights negotiations. He also expressed to the Board that he believes these two initiatives require Mr. McMahon's direct participation, leadership, and support as controlling shareholder.

"WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms," said Mr. McMahon. "The only way for WWE to fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as Executive Chairman and support the management team in the negotiations for our media rights and to combine that with a review of strategic alternatives. My return will allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder."

Prior to delivering written consent, Mr. McMahon sent two separate letters to the Board in late December in which he expressed the urgency of his return to the Company as Executive Chairman and his desire to work collaboratively with the Board and management team. Following conversations with representatives of the Company both before and after Mr. McMahon's most recent letter on December 31, Mr. McMahon determined, consistent with his rights as controlling shareholder, that the steps announced today are necessary to maximize value for all WWE shareholders.

Mr. McMahon said, "Ms. Wilson and Mr. Barrios are highly qualified directors whose professional experience positions them well to help the Company achieve the best possible outcomes in both initiatives. As former WWE Co-Presidents and Board members, they are intimately familiar with industry dynamics and the organization's operations and have helped guide the Company through past successful media rights negotiations. I look forward to working closely again with Michelle and George – as well as the Company's remaining directors and management team, who have my full support and confidence. WWE has an exceptional management team in place, and I do not intend for my return to have any impact on their roles, duties, or responsibilities."

In conjunction with the changes to WWE's Board, Mr. McMahon's written consent also includes certain amendments to the Company's bylaws to ensure that WWE's corporate governance continues to properly enable and support shareholder rights. These changes will be detailed in a Schedule 13D amendment to be filed by Mr. McMahon and a Form 8-K to be filed by the Company in the coming days.

No assurances can be given regarding the outcome or timing of the review process. Mr. McMahon does not intend to comment further until the process has concluded or Mr. McMahon has otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or required.

Michelle Wilson Biography

Ms. Wilson is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Isos Capital Management. She is a leading sports and entertainment c-suite executive and, prior to founding Isos with Mr. Barrios, most recently served as Co-President and Board Member of WWE until January 2020. In 2018, Forbes named Ms. Wilson one of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports. She also was featured on the Adweek 50 list, which highlights the leading executives in Media, Marketing and Technology, and named one of Sports Illustrated's 10 Most Influential Women in Sports. She joined WWE in 2009 and prior to her appointment as Co-President, served as Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer.

Previously, Michelle served as the Chief Marketing Officer of the United States Tennis Association, oversaw all marketing efforts for the launch of the XFL, a partnership between WWE and NBC, and held consumer products and brand management positions at the NBA and Nabisco, respectively. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and currently serves on the Boards of Bowlero Corporation and Turtle Beach Corporation.

George Barrios Biography

Mr. Barrios serves as Isos Capital Management's Co-Founder and Co-CEO. He is an award-winning c-suite executive and most recently served as Co-President and Board Member of WWE until January 2020. In 2017, Institutional Investor ranked George among the Top 3 CFOs in the Media Industry as part of its All-America Executive team rankings. He joined WWE in 2008 as its Chief Strategy and Financial Officer.

Previously, he held leadership roles in finance, strategy and operations at the New York Times, Praxair, Time Warner and HBO. He received his MBA from the University of Connecticut School of Business and currently serves as the National Board Chair of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel to Mr. McMahon.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements include statements regarding Mr. McMahon's return to the Board as Executive Chairman, the impact of Mr. McMahon, Ms. Wilson and Mr. Barrios as members of the Board, the timing and success of the Company's media rights negotiations and the Company's review of strategic alternatives. In addition, the words "may," "will," "could," "anticipate," "plan," "continue," "project," "intend," "estimate," "believe," "expect," "outlook," "target," "goal," "guidance" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such words. These statements relate to future possible events, as well as plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and are not historical facts and accordingly involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties relating to, without limitation, the matters referred to in this release, the complexity of the Company's rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas and the Company's review of strategic alternatives. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements.

SOURCE Vince McMahon

 

 

News

Full Transcript from Today’s WWE Meeting Led By Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan and Frank Riddick - January 6th, 2023

 

As noted, WWE Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan, and President & CFO Frank A. Riddick III led a meeting via call earlier this afternoon to address the return of Vince McMahon to the WWE Board of Directors, and his plans to pursue a sale of the company, among other issues. The meeting was held at 3:45pm ET today, and was for all employees, but not talent. The meeting went for around 10 minutes.

Courtesy of Wrestlenomics, a full transcript of what was said by Stephanie, Riddick and Khan has been revealed. You can use the links below the transcript to read the absolute latest on Vince and WWE, the recent reports and press releases, backstage reactions, and more.

Below is the transcript and aforementioned links:

 

Stephanie McMahon (WWE Co-CEO): Vince McMahon is coming back to the board of directors. He has made it clear upon his return what he’s really most excited about is the media rights opportunity in front of us that we’ve all been discussing and tying that to a strategic alternative process. And we wanted to make sure we got with everyone as soon as possible so you were aware of this message and also so we can explain a little bit more about it. And hopefully, we can answer questions moving forward. This format doesn’t allow for it. But, Frank, I kick it to you. I’m not going to attempt to explain strategic alternatives. I’d do a very basic level. Frank has the details, so go ahead, Frank.

Frank Riddick (WWE President, Chief Financial Officer): Sure, so at a very high level, what Vince has proposed and the process that would be followed would be to engage with a banker and prepare some background information on the company and present that to various potential partners for the company to evaluate whether there are any strategic transactions that would enhance the value of the company to all constituencies, including shareholders. And the idea is, as Steph said, the timing of this is largely driven around the upcoming media rights renewal and to do something that could enhance, in addition, those renewal discussions. So that would include — when we say “strategic initiatives”, “strategic alternatives” for the company — could include a broad range of potential transactions, everything from a combination with another company, an acquisition of the company by someone, or a take-private transaction, taking the company private and/or just simply some sort of cooperation joint venture agreement. So it’s pretty broad and I just would add a couple of things to that. One is, of course, there’s no assurance that any transaction will actually happen or any transaction will be forthcoming that makes economic and strategic sense for the company. And, of course, Vince is the controlling shareholder and controls the vote of the stock of the company is the ultimate decider as to whether there’s a transaction that can happen. So just to close out, all this from Nick and Steph and my perspective is very positive for the company. It’s a great time to look at alternatives and make sure that the company is well-positioned for the future. I think as everybody is aware, there’s a lot of changes that have happened in the media landscape in the last couple of years, even in the last six months. And there’s probably from a value of content perspective never a better time in history for the company to look at something like this. So hopefully that gives you a better perception of what that means.

Stephanie McMahon: Thanks, Frank. And then, Nick, how does that work as it’s tied to media rights and why is that a great strategic opportunity for us?

Nick Khan (WWE Co-CEO): Thanks, Steph, so these things work hand-in-hand with one another. For example, since our U.S. media rights are up in October of ‘24, for any conglomerate — so think Disney, Comcast, Netflix, etcetera — any conglomerate that might be interested in WWE would be interested in purchasing the company outright. They very well may be interested in doing a media rights deal, but obviously, we couldn’t do a media rights deal, let’s say, with Comcast and then go sell to Disney. Those sort of companies would want to make some sort of acquisition prior to those media rights being up. So the timing is spot on for that. In terms of the day-to-day of the company, nothing is changing. Steph is in her role, I’m in my role, Frank’s in his role, Paul is in his role, Kevin Dunn is in his role. And we would ask everyone to stay focused on the business as hand [sic]. We’re going to engage in this process. We’re going to look at it with open eyes and open hearts. We’re going to ultimately see what’s out there. And Vince will make his decision, as Frank said, as the controlling shareholder, as to what he wants to do with the company. For now, let’s focus on business as hand, if we could.

Stephanie McMahon: Great, thanks, Nick. This feels so formal since none of us are in the same room. And I just wanted to add also, rejoining the board is Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, who for those of you who were here remember them as co-presidents. They have so many years of experience here in WWE. And they’ve now been off on their own creating their own business and have a lot to offer from a media standpoint, certainly from an M&A standpoint. So they will be — and they’re very familiar with the company — so they will be joining the board, not management, as Nick was spelling out. So again the management structure stays the same, but Vince has joined the board, and obviously, as the controlling shareholder. And again, I just wanted to wrap up with reinforcing, a) there may have been a lag on this video, so just to let you know it has been recorded and will be shared if you missed anything; b) when Frank talks about how well-positioned WWE is and our performance, the reason why we’re doing so well is, again, because of all of you, because of our employees, who bring everything that they have to table every single day. And we’re just, we’re grateful, we’re appreciative, and we want you to know that our employees are incredibly important to us, and we recognize all of your contributions, and you will be well-informed throughout this process. We don’t want there to be — obviously there’s going to be some animosity — or not animosity, angst, natural emotions that you might feel, and we want to make sure that we’re on top of this and we’re communicating with you and everyone has all the information that they need. So again thank you to all of you. This is an exciting time. It shouldn’t be a scary time. It’s an exciting time for WWE. Our founder is back on the board and is going to help lead this process. And thank you to all of you. It’s an exciting way to kick-off 2023.

 

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WWE PROVIDES UPDATE REGARDING COMPOSITION OF ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND EXPLORATION OF STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES

 

STAMFORD, Conn., January 6, 2023 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) is providing the following update regarding the composition of its Board of Directors and the exploration of strategic alternatives.

“Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. Together, we look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

As Vince McMahon stated yesterday, “WWE has an exceptional management team in place, and I do not intend for my return to have any impact on their roles, duties, or responsibilities."

In connection with the change in the composition of the Board of Directors and in cooperation with Vince McMahon as majority shareholder, the Company intends to undertake a review of its strategic alternatives with the goal being to maximize value for all WWE shareholders. There is no assurance that this process will result in a transaction.

Vince McMahon, in his capacity as controlling shareholder of the Company, has removed JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey R. Speed and Alan M. Wexler from the Board. Vince McMahon, George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have been added to the Board to fill the resulting vacancies.

The Board currently consists of:

Vince McMahon
Stephanie McMahon
Nick Khan
Paul Levesque
Steve Koonin
Michelle McKenna
Steve Pamon
George Barrios
Michelle Wilson

Ignace Lahoud and Man Jit Singh have resigned from the Board, effective today.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The Company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, premium live events, digital media, and publishing platforms. WWE’s TVPG programming can be seen in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 30 languages through world class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX, BT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all premium live events, scheduled programming and a massive video on-demand library and is currently available in more than 180 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network.

Additional information on WWE can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

 

Raw preview, Oct. 10, 2022: D-Generation X proudly present to you their 25th Anniversary Celebration

Don't miss all the action of a historic episode of the red brand on the season premiere of Monday Night Raw at 8/7 C on USA.

What’s streaming this week on Peacock and WWE Network

Matt Riddle def. Seth “Freakin” Rollins Inside the Fight Pit

Bray Wyatt makes a shocking return to WWE

 

 

 

Roman Reigns def. Logan Paul to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship

November 5, 2022

 

Logan Paul made a grand entrance, dropping down on a massive podium before heading to the ring.

The two started off tensely, with Roman Reigns taking his time in his beatdown of the maverick.

Paul fought back with a superb clothesline that left Reigns down for a close two-count. Reigns called out YouTube stars as he had a crossface locked on The Media Megastar before Paul rallied by delivering a gut-wrench suplex.

Paul had been training with Shawn Michaels ahead of the match and emulated the two-time WWE Hall of Famer by tuning up the band. The Sweet Chin Music attempt was not so sweet, however, as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion turned it around by planting Paul with a uranage.

Paul nearly shocked the world when he landed his one lucky punch followed by a Superman Punch, but Reigns was able to survive.

In shades of his win over The Miz at SummerSlam, Paul once again flew through the air, smashing Reigns with a frog splash through a table. This led to The Usos coming out to check on Reigns before pummeling Paul’s entourage with superkicks.

Logan’s brother Jake Paul came down to the ring, hitting both Usos with his powerful right hand. A huge frog splash from Logan Paul to Reigns couldn’t seal the deal, and Solo Sikoa hit the ringside area and started barking back and forth with Jake Paul.

During the commotion outside the ring between The Bloodline and the Paul brothers, Reigns recovered and nailed Logan Paul with a Superman Punch followed by a thunderous Spear to continue his legendary reign.

*click here for full article and multimedia

(WWE.com)

 

FORMER UFC CHAMP CORMIER CONSIDERS LEAP TO WWE, EYES LESNAR


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Daniel Cormier got physical as a guest WWE referee. He used a fist to the throat to pin Seth Rollins against the steel cage, and he issued a stern warning not to mess with the former MMA great.

After the match held inside a Fight Pit, Cormier chilled backstage with a replica championship belt and playfully declared he might not be done with WWE.

“I’m defending this thing on the way out,” Cormier said. “Bam! Right upside the head.”

Cormier laughed at the idea of knocking out a wrestler out with a belt. But the thought of the UFC Hall of Fame fighter following in the path of Ronda Rousey, Matt Riddle and others who crossed over from mixed martial arts to professional wrestler is a very real one for Cormier.

The lifelong fan — Randy Savage was his all-time favorite — wore a traditional referee’s uniform for his role in the match between Riddle and Rollins at the WWE “Extreme Rules” card Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Cormier got in Rollins’ face here and there but largely stayed out of the fray in a fight won by Riddle — who spent five years with UFC — by submission.

“Those guys are so talented,” Cormier said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They knew exactly what they were going to do and I was just trying to stay out of the way. I didn’t want to get in the way and mess something up.”

The 43-year-old Cormier retired from MMA following his 2020 loss to Stipe Miocic in a bout for the UFC heavyweight championship. While Cormier did break his own deadline of not fighting past his 40th birthday, he largely left the sport on his own terms. Cormier simultaneously held the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight championships, won championships in other MMA promotions, and built a reputation as one of the sport’s good guys. He’s a businessman and a burgeoning actor, and he stayed in the UFC game as a commentator with Joe Rogan for the biggest fight cards.

“I’m still a part of the show,” he said. “Then you do something like tonight and you get the crowd yelling for you, screaming.”

The reaction just tugs even more at his pro wrestling pull.

Like some of wrestling's greats, Cormier is pretty good on a microphone and tried for years to bait Brock Lesnar into a fight inside the UFC cage. Lesnar started in WWE before he jumped to UFC and won the heavyweight championship and then returned to WWE and became one of the company’s biggest stars. Cormier took the mic after he beat Miocic in July 2018 and issued a challenge to Lesnar.

“I never thought I would fight him, but Brock Lesnar, get your ass in here,” he said as the Las Vegas crowd roared.

Lesnar entered the cage and the fighters postured and pushed each other in some made-for-TV entertainment. Lesnar grabbed the mic and bellowed, “DC, I’m coming for you!” Cormier then ordered Lesnar to “get out of my octagon, I’ve got some pictures to take.”

Alas, the dream fight between the hulking heavyweights never happened in UFC.

But now, inside a WWE ring, where Lesnar is still a box office draw? Anything is possible.

Cormier said the matchup does intrigue him, but not right away.

“I’ve been retired for a couple of years and I look like it. But I’d have to get in shape if I ever want to do something like that," Cormier said. "The door is not closed on anything right now in my life.”

Cormier had UFC President Dana White’s blessing to dabble in WWE. WWE chief content officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted that Cormier “looks right at home inside the Fight Pit,” which was a fancy name for a steel cage match.

“You just hope that you did a good enough job that they ask you back,” Cormier said.

Cormier, who said he has no future commitments with WWE, is scheduled to soon start shooting his role in the “Warrior” TV series slated for the Paramount+ streaming service. But he’s ready to take the call to return to the squared circle and tangle with Lesnar, Rollins or any WWE star, if needed.

“I’m still at an age where there are some opportunities, but those opportunities need to start now if they’re going to be something I pursue,” he said.

 

 

News

WWE News: JBL on Shawn Michaels angle, Gagne tragedy, Working for his wife on Wall Street
(Credit: Pro Wrestling Torch)

Profiles

WWE Wrestling JBL


-- JBL said in his latest blog on WWE Universe that he won't be facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 after losing to Shawn Michaels on Raw, but he has other plans.

"I still believe I am destined to do something great at Mania so tune in Monday Night and you will see my plan start to unfold," JBL said.

-- On the tragic Verne Gagne story that is being investigated as a homicide, JBL said: Really sad to hear about the events regarding Mr. Gagne. I really wish him, the other family, and his family the best in the tragedy."

-- One of the big stories on Wall Street last week was his wife, renown investment analyst Meredith Whitney, starting her own firm specializing in Investment Banking. JBL is licensed to work in that area, so he will be helping Meredith advance her career in the financial industry.

Whitney made the decision following the government's recent intervention in the financial market and JBL believes they can compete against other Wall Street firms for business.

"I am now working for my wife-didn't think that would happen, but I am happy," he said.

Link: JBL blog on WWE Universe.

Greg Tingle comment...

JBL might just be the world's greatest active pro wrestler blogger! The way Layfield has diversified and has created numerous revenue streams and news worthy elements in the process is ultra impressive. If being a total package in the pro wresting industry is part of the key, like Hogan and The Rock were able to do so successfully, JBL is a champion all the way. I witnessed Layfield wrestling in Germany approximately 15 years ago and he worked his ass off. It goes not surprise me to see him going so well. His going on record regarding 'The Wrestler' were gutsy and showed insight that the wrestling business seldom sees. It appears that Layfield's goal to not end up broke like 'The Wrestler' and helping fuel his goals. I believe that Layfield is showing strong leadership in the professional wrestling business for taking on what he has, and it may inspire other wrestlers to diversify and think outside the square. Layfield's darn hard work and staying power, combined with his improved mic work has made him stand out from the pack which is part of the secret in the wrestling business. There may be a spot very close to the likes of Roddy Piper, Chris Jericho and The Funks. Layfield in a clique or tag team situation with Triple H might work, with them both being power players that WWE would be much worse off without, and I think the fans and WWE top brass know this. It appears he also has a great career ahead of him as a writer should Layfield do down that path, and in the current times I think one might do well to listen to his firms financial advise as apposed to some of the others on Wall Street. JBL used to be average, but these days he's a champion. The real deal and one major player for 2009, both in the WWE and in his other endeavours.

 

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Post and Courier - Wrestling

Wrestling INC

Wrestling Observer

Fightful

Pro Wrestling Torch

Pro Wrestling Sheet