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September 24, 2022

Happy Birthday Stephanie

Stephanie McMahon Levesque
September 24, 1976

September 23, 2022

Triple H Brings Back Another Name He Worked Closely With In WWE NXT

Triple H, since taking over WWE creative, has been in the process of bringing back those who were part of his team when he was in charge of NXT.

According to PWInsider, the latest name to be brought back to the company is Gabe Sapolsky and he will be part of the creative team, although it current remains unclear if he will be working for the main roster or returning to NXT.

Sapolsky was released from WWE this past January along with Ryan Katz and Road Dogg, who have also been recently brought back.

DX 25th Anniversary Episode of WWE RAW Announced

D-Generation X are set to reunite on the October 10 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to celebrate their 25th anniversary since forming. The episode will also be the USA Network season premiere.

The video released by the arena promoting the event features Triple H and Shawn Michaels, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, and "Road Dogg" Brian James. During the video Triple H asked if there were more of them. AEW star Billy Gunn was not shown and is not expected to be involved.

It will be interesting if they honor Chyna who was also part of the group and passed away in 2016.

Triple H and Shawn Michaels are involved in running creative for the company while Road Dogg recently returned to the company as the Senior Vice President of Live Events.

Triple H Describes His Vision For WWE NXT

WWE Head of Talent Relations and Chief Content Officer Triple H discussed his vision of the "NXT" brand moving forward.

"NXT, for us, is that academy model or sort of that collegiate athletics for us," Triple H said. "If "Raw" and "SmackDown" are the NFL ... "NXT" is collegiate athletics and we had a small brand here called "NXT UK." We were headed down this road prior to the pandemic, pandemic kind of like, put a hold on it. But, we shut that brand down because we're going to relaunch it in 2023 as "NXT Europe" and try to blow it out bigger."

Triple H revealed what major sporting event he likened the future of "NXT" to be similar to. "The intent will be to take "NXT Europe" and take that around the world, so, "NXT Europe," I'll just throw names out; "NXT Australia," "NXT South Africa," South America, Mexico," Triple H continued. "Eventually build that into a global system that will lead to almost a World Cup.

credit "SPORTbible Stories" Wrestling Inc

September 20, 2022

Kurt Angle Suffering Memory Loss Issues

During the latest episode of his podcast, Kurt Angle revealed that he's been suffering memory loss issues following his wrestling career.

"I would say I probably had four concussions that I know of. Major. One was a slight concussion that wasn't too bad. The other three were pretty bad. But, you know, even to this day, I'm starting to not remember things, you know, and I'm only in my early 50s. But, I've gotten a little damage to my brain, there's no doubt about it. You know, my memory is not that great anymore. I really have to think hard about remembering the past."

During the latest episode of his podcast, Kurt Angle revealed that he's been suffering memory loss issues following his wrestling career.

"I would say I probably had four concussions that I know of. Major. One was a slight concussion that wasn't too bad. The other three were pretty bad. But, you know, even to this day, I'm starting to not remember things, you know, and I'm only in my early 50s. But, I've gotten a little damage to my brain, there's no doubt about it. You know, my memory is not that great anymore. I really have to think hard about remembering the past."

Mick Foley once described something similar, telling a story in a radio interview about driving around his neighborhood trying to remember which house he lived in.

September 14, 2022

WWE NXT Hints At Big Change To Brand

"NXT" had humble beginnings as a game show in 2010. It then became a developmental brand two years later and for most of its life since then, the brand has grown immensely, with Paul "Triple H" Levesque at the helm.

Vince McMahon became more involved with the brand in 2021, focusing on big-picture matters. WWE announced a rebrand. On September 14, "NXT 2.0" debuted with a new look and a new logo. However, now that McMahon has retired it appears Levesque has made the decision to go back to the brand's roots.

Tuesday's edition of "NXT" celebrated one year of the "2.0" brand and closed with a shocking ending, as Solo Sikoa made his return and managed to capture the North American Championship from Carmelo Hayes. 

However, the show did not end there. A short video narrated by Shawn Michaels then played as a montage of highlights from the brand over the past 12 months was shown.

"'NXT' has been and always will be about developing the superstars of tomorrow, but we will always reflect and acknowledge the past," Michaels said in the video. "'NXT' is constantly evolving and focused on the future. Superstars develop and move on, but our message to our passionate fans will never change. We are 'NXT.'"

The final shot of the video featured the current multi-colored logo. The "2.0" part of the log disappeared and the letters faded into silver letters outlined in gold over a black background. Many fans interpreted this as a sign that the brand will be reverting back to its "black and gold" roots before it switched over to the "2.0" era. Shortly after the show ended, "NXT's" Twitter account posted the shot with the caption "loading."

September 8, 2022

WWE rises as Wolfe Research upgrades, citing increased importance of Paul 'Triple H' Levesque

WWE shares rose on Thursday as investment firm Wolfe Research upgraded the sports entertainment company, citing the increased role of Paul "Triple H" Levesque to the company's creative direction.

Analyst Peter Supino raised the firm's rating on WWE to outperform from peer perform, noting that Vince McMahon's "sudden departure" resulted in a "cloud of uncertainty," touching corporate and creative leadership and whether he would sell the company. Now, the stock does not reflect any acquisition premium, the C-suite seems "aligned" and with Levesque as the company's newly named chief content officer, WWE's creative direction "is in the hands of the best person to turn around ratings & morale," Supino wrote.

WWE shares rose 2% to $67.85 in premarket trading.

In addition, the analyst noted there is a "tangible organic growth opportunity" as WWE's TV rights deal expires in 2025. "Relative to WWE's last distribution rights renewals, we see greater demand from native streamers for sports, and more bidders," the analyst explained.

There is also the possibility that WWE is acquired, with next year seen as the most likely time frame for a deal, Supino added.

Earlier this month, WWE raised the pay for Levesque and its new C-suite leadership in the wake of former chief Vince McMahon's exit.

Analysts have been mixed on WWE. It had an average rating of HOLD from Seeking Alpha authors, while Wall Street analysts rate it a BUY. Conversely, Seeking Alpha's quant system, which consistently beats the market, rates WWE a HOLD.

source: seeking alpha

September 7, 2022

Shawn Michaels Promoted To WWE Senior Vice President Of Talent Development Creative

CBSSports.com reports that Shawn Michaels is the latest member of WWE to receive promotion, officially being given the title Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative.

In his role, it is said that Shawn Michaels "will continue to oversee creative in NXT, as well as being in charge of the development of talent in WWE's developmental brand" and he will also "oversee the expansion of the NXT brand, including the expansion of NXT UK into NXT Europe, which is planned to launch in 2023."

This new title comes after an August press release announcing the launch of NXT Europe had him listed as "vice president of talent development creative."

September 6, 2022

Paul Levesque's Updated Corporate Bio

Paul “Triple H” Levesque is the Chief Content Officer of WWE, a publicly traded (NYSE: WWE) global media company. 

As Chief Content Officer, Levesque oversees the Company’s Creative Writing, Talent Relations, Live Events, Talent Development and Creative Services departments. 

Prior to his current role, Levesque was WWE’s Executive Vice President, Talent Relations where he was responsible for WWE’s Talent Relations and Talent Development departments and served as a senior advisor on talent strategy. Throughout his tenure, Levesque has revolutionized the business with his global recruiting strategy and developmental training processes. In order to create a platform for future success, he architected the company’s NIL recruitment program and established the Company’s state-of-the-art training facility, the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. In addition to strength, conditioning, in-ring training and character development, recruits participate in development programs focusing on life skills, continuing education, health and wellness and career planning. Building off this success, Levesque remains focused on the development and implementation of WWE’s Performance Center/Global Localization strategy. 

Levesque debuted as a WWE Superstar, “Triple H,” in 1995 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019. He has held the WWE Heavyweight Championship title 14 times, captured every major championship, headlined thousands of WWE events and entertained millions around the world. Levesque is married to Stephanie McMahon and together in 2014 they established Connor’s Cure, a fund dedicated to furthering pediatric cancer research. He was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame in 2017 and is a board member for the Concussion Legacy Foundation. He has served on both WWE’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors since 2015. 

He is a father of three daughters ages 16, 14 and 12.

September 2, 2022

WWE promotes Levesque and Riddick, boosts pay for post-Vince McMahon leaders

WWE is making further tweaks to its leadership group in the wake of former chief Vince McMahon's exit.

In an SEC filing, the company notes that following McMahon's resignation of all company positions on July 22, his roles have been spread among four executives: Chairwoman/co-CEO Stephanie McMahon;  Co-CEO Nick Khan; Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer Frank Riddick III; and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque.

In further changes, Friday the company elevated Riddick to president of the company (though he'll retain his role as chief financial officer).

WWE also decided to enhance compensation of the four due to the additional duties. Base salaries are increasing: Stephanie McMahon to $1.35M from $730,000; Khan to $1.35M from $1.2M; Riddik to $950,000 from $850,000; and Levesque to $900,000 from $730,000.

Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon and Levesque will continue to receive guaranteed minimums under their booking agreements, of $750,000 and $1M respectively.

The foursome also saw expectations set for annual target bonuses, future annual equity grants, and special equity grants. They also received severance protection in the event of a change in control of WWE.

Triple H Shares The Advice Vince McMahon Gave Him For Running WWE Upon His Retirement

Triple H gets to pick the flavor of ice cream now.

Ariel Helwani sat down with Triple H for BT Sport ahead of WWE Clash At The Castle and the pair discussed Vince McMahon’s retirement signaling a changing of the guard. Helwani asked if Vince wrote a note like an outgoing President would, or if he did anything else to pass the baton, and Triple H shared some of the advice Vince gave him upon his departure.

“He did. Look, I think in some manner for both of us, it’s a tough situation for him. In some manner — it’s even hard for me to picture now that he’s not in the equation. And he’s not, in any way, shape or form, but it’s hard to think about that he’s not there. And I think in that moment, hard for him to think about somebody coming in and doing what he’s done for 50 years or whatever, successfully, better than anybody in the world. So yeah, there was definitely that moment of giving me advice, but I think also in some manner,” he explained, “most of that advice was centered around ‘this is what you’ve been sitting next to me learning how to do for 25 years’ or whatever that [time] is… ‘You got this.’ [He said] just be confident in your decision-making, listen to people, be open to ideas and collaborate with other people, things like that that were just wonderful advice.

“And the truth is he’s my father-in-law. He’s not involved in the day-to-day business, but if I had to say to him, ‘Man, I find this difficult to deal with,’ he would give me some overall advice of just ‘listen to people, work with the team, do these things.’ He’s just a wealth of knowledge and the thing is in our positions now — myself, Stephanie, Nick Khan, and there’s so many other people that are such an integral part of WWE — he built such an amazing team for all of us that you have such a support system around you,” Triple H noted, “I couldn’t imagine trying to do this if you were sort of by yourself having to do it. But having that support system, having that team around you, having it all be there, it’s such a wonderful team. It’s a lot of work, but it makes the work fun and easy.”

Helwani followed up by commenting on the speculation that Vince would still be involved in WWE business despite his retirement, and Triple H said that’s not the case. Triple H also said that in so many words, Vince told him to run things the way that he thought would be best for business.

“One of the things that he, I don’t want to say outright said, but he alluded to me, [Vince] said ‘You’re going to do things. You cannot think about how I would do things. You have to think about things you want to do and how you feel like it’s best for the product. I might not like it, but I understand why you’re going to do the things you’re going to do. You have to do what you feel is right.’ But it’s a tough thing to get to,” he explained. “No one works together for that period of time — everybody would go, ‘I would have done that slightly differently.’

“It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, we use the term in the business ‘chocolate and vanilla.’ I want chocolate, you want vanilla. One of us has to pick a flavor, he would always pick the flavor. Now it’s my turn to pick the flavor,” Triple H stated. “It’s all good, it’s all ice cream, but it’s my time to pick the flavor and I have to be confident in those decisions and I can’t look back and say, ‘well what would Vince want to have for a flavor?’ Because it just wouldn’t be authentic then.”

credit: WrestleZone

August 26, 2022

Update on the Vince McMahon Netflix Docuseries

This week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that while the Netflix docuseries on McMahon was originally said to be canceled, the project is still green-lit. Filmmaker Chris Smith is attached as the director and executive producer with WWE apparently cooperating with production.

It was reported last month that the docuseries had been removed from Netflix's programming spreadsheet. WWE announced the project in 2020. It was said to spotlight a different side of McMahon that had previously been unseen by fans. There is at least one other documentary on McMahon that is also in the works right now and a book is set to be released next year.

The report that Netflix had pulled the docuseries came after news broke in mid-June that McMahon was being investigated by the company's Board of Directors for hush payments to former staff.

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