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September 25, 2020

Vince McMahon And Triple H Take Major Fire In New Animated Series

The Good Brothers have a lot of irons in the fire right now. They are getting their own comedy variety special on AXS TV, and an animated series also seems to be in development. The Gimmicks is coming, but we haven’t been told much about it yet. We do know Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and more will be a part of the show. The trailer for the new series also took some major shots at Vince McMahon and Triple H. This trailer not only features Triple H seeming like a sniveling kiss-up to McMahon, but he also plays the role of a literal footstool. Vince McMahon was furious about a bunch of “losers” and “nobodies” trying to do their own thing as well. NZO is also a part of The Gimmicks. His character is named “Esteban Apples” which keeps his “EA” initials. It seems like The Gimmicks is going to take some serious shots at the pro wrestling business and Vince McMahon is not excluded. If this trailer is any indication of things The Gimmicks will make the shots that Being The Elite takes at WWE look like nothing. You really need to see this for yourself.

WWE Issues Statement On Latest COVID-19 Outbreak, Virus Reportedly Spreads After Talent Throws Party

There has been a recent COVID-19 outbreak in WWE NXT and at the WWE Performance Center, which led to changes on Wednesday's TV show. It's been reported that the outbreak may have started with a WWE Performance Center Coach, but that was not confirmed. In an update, PWInsider now reports that there was no training in Florida on Thursday, and there's no word yet on when training will resume. It's believed among several sources that this coronavirus outbreak started after a NXT wrestler threw a party that other trainees attended. There have been a number of positive tests this week, among trainees and staff members. It was noted that talents have been advised to sequester themselves. WWE issued the following statement on this latest COVID-19 outbreak in NXT: "As part of ongoing testing protocols, WWE completed its second round of weekly COVID-19 testing on Tuesday. Individuals that tested positive will quarantine for 14 days, receive medical care, and then will only be cleared when they are symptom-free and test negative. Additionally, extensive contact tracing has taken place and other individuals have been placed in 14-day quarantine, and will then only be cleared after they test negative." Next week's Takeover go-home edition of NXT TV is taped on Wednesday, so the next live NXT event will be the Takeover event on Sunday, October 4. This gives the company 9 days from today to see if talents who missed this week's tapings will be free & clear to return to work. It was reported earlier this week, via Wrestling Observer Radio, that some main roster workers had gotten sick due to this latest outbreak in NXT, and that RAW and SmackDown plans could be impacted. PWInsider reports that as a safeguard to prevent further spread of the virus, talents and staff working at the Performance Center or on NXT tapings will not be allowed to work RAW or SmackDown tapings at the Amway Center in Orlando until further notice.

September 22, 2020

WWE wins at prestigious Cablefax FAXIES

WWE captured several honors at the prestigious Cablefax FAXIES 2020.

WWE Advanced Media EVP Jayar Donlan won for Digital Executive of the Year, while WWE's Social Media team also claimed the victory for Overall Social Presence. In the Overall Social Presence category, WWE bested MTV's "Wild 'N Out" and Crown Media Family Networks' "When Calls the Heart Facebook Live."

Additionally, WWE's partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society came in second place for Social Good Campaign, while WWE Network's WWE 24 took third place for Use of Video/Moving Image.

September 15, 2020

Jerry McDevitt Alleges Recent CTE Lawsuit Was "Plagiarized" NFL Suit, Reveals Amount WWE Is Owed

On Tuesday's episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with longtime WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt after WWE's recent victory in the CTE lawsuits brought against them. McDevitt went through the history of the lawsuits brought to WWE by attorney Konstantine Kyros.

"Well in the beginning, we noticed prior to October of 2014, this Kyros fellow was advertising on the internet and soliciting former wrestlers to contact him to bring lawsuits that would be patterned after the cases that had been brought against the NFL, which if you remember, resulted in the NFL agreeing to pay a billion dollars plus end up settling," McDevitt recalled. "And when they did that, they kind of emboldened a lot of the plaintiffs, class action lawyers and what not to sue anybody that had any kind of history with head trauma, concussions or things of that nature. And so they did.

"They brought lawsuits against college football teams in the NCAA and high school teams, water polo. You name it, and Kyros' solicitations suggested in his website suggested, incorrectly we believe, that he had somehow been involved in obtaining the settlement for the NFL players and would be able to replicate that if only these wrestlers would agree to hire him so he could sue the WWE to get the same amount of money and the same thing for the former wrestlers. So he was basically soliciting them with promises of there's nothing to lose.

"You can get money out of this, and I'll take a contingent fee of what I get, but it won't cost you anything, and he actually went out on radio shows and stuff and podcasts and was making statements to the effect that well, the more people that sign up, the more pressure we can bring on WWE to settle these cases and pay us a lot of money. And we know he had told these people that he would be able to use this litigation to renegotiate contracts that were expired long ago and get them better royalties and a bunch of nonsense frankly."

McDevitt continued discussing the other lawsuits brought against WWE by multiple individuals. All concussion-related lawsuits were dismissed by the courts in 2018.

"And I feel bad that he misled so many people because he did,

September 11, 2020

AEW Draws Over 1 Million Viewers With PPV Fallout

While the two shows did not go head-to-head once again this week, Week 48 of the Wednesday Night War went to AEW Dynamite over WWE NXT.

The numbers have just been released for last night's post-All Out edition of AEW Dynamite on TNT. Dynamite aired on its normal timeslot this week but NXT aired on Tuesday due to the NHL Playoffs on the USA Network.

Wednesday's Dynamite episode drew 1.016 million viewers (+9.5% from last week) on TNT, topping the 838,000 viewers garnered by Tuesday's NXT Super Tuesday II by 21%, according to Showbuzz Daily.

AEW ranked #7 in the Cable Top 150 for the 18-49 demo and #55 in viewership.

Last week's Dynamite episode drew 928,000 viewers and ranked #8 in the Cable Top 150, and #61 in viewership.

This is the best AEW viewership of 2020 and the third-best viewership of all-time. Their TNT premiere on October 2 drew 1.409 million viewers while the October 9 episode drew 1.018 million viewers. Their third episode drew 1.014 million viewers, but this is the first time the show has hit 1 million viewers since then.

September 9, 2020

WWE Issues Statement Over Concussion Lawsuit Being Dismissed

"For nearly six years, WWE was subjected to stale and frivolous claims brought by Konstantine Kyros, whose misconduct triggered countless judicial opinions along the way. Today, the Second Circuit put an end to his pattern of baseless litigation, leaving open only the question of how much he must now pay to WWE as a sanction for his misconduct. We are grateful for the attention paid to these cases by the numerous federal judges who oversaw the litigation, and to the Second Circuit for its decision."

This appeal arises from seven cases consolidated in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against the company by former WWE wrestlers, starting with a putative class action suit filed in October of 2014 by William Albert Haynes III, a.k.a Billy Jack Haynes. Two of the seven cases were not appealed. Kyros represented the plaintiffs / appellants in each of the cases.

The appeals of the cases brought by Haynes, Russ McCullough, Cassandra Frazier and Evan Singleton (Vito LoGrasso) were dismissed on the grounds that Kyros' appeal of those cases was not on time. Regarding the fifth case, brought by Joseph M. Laurinaitis (Road Warrior Animal), which involved dozens of former performers, the court decided on the merits and ruled that all those claims were either time barred or defective for the reasons cited by the trial judge.

Major Update On Concussion Related Lawsuits Filed Against WWE

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of all the CTE cases filed against WWE by Konstantine Kyros.

This appeal arises from seven cases consolidated in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against the company by former WWE wrestlers, starting with a putative class action suit filed in October of 2014 by William Albert Haynes III, a.k.a Billy Jack Haynes. Two of the seven cases were not appealed.

The former WWE talent claimed that they suffered CTE as well as other physical and mental health impairments due to the physical trauma they experienced while performing for the company. Kyros represented the plaintiffs / appellants in each of the cases.

The appeals of the cases brought by Haynes, Russ McCullough, Cassandra Frazier and Evan Singleton (Vito LoGrasso) were dismissed on the grounds that Kyros' appeal of those cases was not on time. Regarding the fifth case, brought by Joseph M. Laurinaitis (Road Warrior Animal), which involved dozens of former performers, the court decided on the merits and ruled that all those claims were either time barred or defective for the reasons cited by the trial judge.

It was noted to Wrestling Inc. that the amount of money that Kyros will have to pay WWE as a sanction is all that remains now to be decided.

September 5, 2020

WWE Releases Statement On Talent Ending Third Party Deals

WWE has just released a statement on WWE talent ceasing third party deals by October 2:

"Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved."

Vince McMahon, WWE give talents 30 days to end third party deals

It would appear that the era of WWE talent using Twitch, Cameo, YouTube, and other third parties to make extra income and build names for themselves outside WWE is coming to an end.

First reported by Wrestling Inc. and confirmed by our Bryan Alvarez, Vince McMahon sent a letter to talents on Thursday, saying they have 30 days to stop engaging with third parties or else face fines, suspensions and even termination at WWE's discretion.

It's unclear what "third parties" means, however. Several wrestlers operate successful Twitch and YouTube channels where they interact with fans while playing video games or other activities.
The letter comes following a Sunday meeting with talent about the "reinvention of the product" where it came up that WWE owns the real names of talent in addition to their character names.

WWE wrestlers are independent contractors, so there is a legal question of what WWE can mandate and what they can/do own.

From the letter: "Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE's discretion.

Wrestling Inc. also said McMahon wrote that these actions are necessary as part of WWE's rebuilding process as they "enter the next phase of growth at WWE."

source: wrestling observer

September 3, 2020

Rumor Mill - WWE Is Reportedly Considering Cutting Back On Live Events Permanently

In the wake of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, many things abruptly changed within WWE earlier this year. This includes the company's demanding touring schedule that typically takes WWE superstars around the globe all year round.

It looks as though the changes to WWE's live event schedule may remain the same even after COVID-19 is a less prominent issue. There have been talks within WWE as of late to permanently cut back on the number of live shows produced, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.

It was noted that this will most likely affect house shows more than the major network shows like RAW, SmackDown, or NXT.

WWE stars of the past and present have been vocal about how demanding the yearly WWE schedule is on them.

WWE NXT Super Tuesday Episode Draws Strong Numbers With No Competition From AEW Dynamite

For the third week in a row, WWE NXT aired with no head-to-head competition from AEW Dynamite last night. This was the first of two NXT Super Tuesday episodes due to the NHL playoffs airing on the USA Network.

NXT drew 849,000 viewers on the USA Network last night, according to Showbuzz Daily. This is up 3% from last week's 824,000 viewers.

This is the third-best NXT viewership of 2020, and the eighth-best of all-time.

NXT drew a 0.26 rating in the 18-49 demographic this week. Last week's show drew a 0.24 in the same demo.

The 0.26 rating in the key demo is the best of 2020, and the best since the December 18 episode, which drew a 0.27 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

This week's show ranked #60 in viewership and #10 on the Cable Top 150. Last week's show ranked #24 on the Cable Top 150 and #83 in viewership.

This is a rare top 10 finish for NXT on the Cable Top 150.

August 31, 2020

Mauro Ranallo Gone From WWE

Mauro Ranallo is gone from WWE.

Ranallo confirmed the departure on his Facebook page, as seen below. He wrote, "I appreciate the opportunity I had to realize my childhood dream of working in sports entertainment, and I wish WWE well in the future. Now I want to direct my focus and devote my time to my other projects and to my mental health charitable activities and the well-being of my mother and myself."

Ranallo reportedly finished with WWE at some point over the last few weeks, according to PWInsider. One source believes the departure happened shortly after the "Takeover: XXX" event during SummerSlam Weekend. There has been talk within WWE over the last week or so that Ranallo was leaving and/or was done, but details were hard to come by.

Mauro missed that NXT Takeover event earlier this month and it was reported that he missed the show because he had to return home to Canada for a family emergency.

There's no word yet on what will happen to the NXT commentary team, which currently consists of Vic Joseph and WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Wade Barrett did guest commentary last week, and will return for more guest commentary on this week's NXT Super Tuesday special. It was revealed today that Barrett is negotiating a full-time contract with WWE to do NXT commentary, and some NXT UK commentary.

It was recently announced that Ranallo will be doing commentary in the 2K WWE Battlegrounds video game with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler.

Ranallo first signed with WWE in 2015 but parted ways with the company in 2017 for some time off. He returned in June 2017 to lead the NXT announce team, reportedly signing a multi-year deal at that time.

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