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April 9, 2024

WrestleMania 40 Shatters Multiple WWE Records to Become Highest-Grossing Event in Company History

WrestleMania 40 broke multiple WWE records and has become the most successful live event in the company’s history.

WrestleMania 40 took place over two nights at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Per WWE, the gate for the event was up 78% compared to the previous record set during WrestleMania 39, with 145,298 in attendance across both nights this year. The company also says viewership was up 41% versus last year, while merchandise sales — in partnership with Fanatics — was up more than 20% over last year.

But the live events on Saturday and Sunday nights are just one part of the story. WWE set up a massive presence in Philadelphia from Thursday-Monday. The company, along with Fanatics Events, hosted the WWE World experience at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where fans could pay to get up close with authentic WWE memorabilia from their archives as well as take part in immersive experiences. This was coupled with the WWE Superstore, which featured a wide range of branded merchandise from apparel to toys and beyond.

The April 5 episode of “SmackDown” originated from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, drawing the largest gate in “SmackDown” history. Likewise, the April 8 episode of “Monday Night Raw” drew the largest gate in “Raw” history. WWE also put on the NXT live event “Stand and Deliver” on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, which drew a record breaking crowd of 16,545, the most ever for an NXT event.

On social media, over 660 million views were generated across WWE’s social channels, while the WWE YouTube channel had its biggest day ever on Sunday with 67 million views in 24 hours.

WrestleMania 40 featured a number of smash hit matches, most notably the WWE Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes on Night 2. On Night 1, the two squared off with the aid of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seth Rollins, respectively, in a tag team match that marked Johnson’s first match for WWE since 2016.

source: variety.com

April 8, 2024

Triple H Says He’s Happy To Have Stephanie McMahon Back Home, She Belongs Here

WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H says he’s happy that Stephanie McMahon was “back” at WrestleMania 40 Night Two.

Former WWE Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon appeared at WWE WrestleMania 40 Night Two and hyped up the crowd. This marked her first official appearance since she left the company in January 2023.

During the WrestleMania 40 Post-Show Press Conference, Triple H commented on Stephanie McMahon’s appearance on Sunday

“My wife looked good right? She hasn’t lost a step,” Triple H said. “So great to have her back home, right. I get her home all the time. But to have her back here, to see the doubt leave her by being here for the last few days, to see her confidence come back and to know that this is her home…all of you, all of us, all this business, it’s her home.

“As much as anybody on the planet, she belongs here. Hopefully she knows that now. So happy to have her back.”

April 7, 2024


Stephanie McMahon rings in the Paul “Triple H” Levesque era

The Rock comments on the job Triple H has done and how this WrestleMania felt knowing Vince McMahon is no longer involved

“I think that Triple H has done a tremendous job as our chief creative officer, I think that’s his title, he has a few, earned every single one of them. I like ushering in new things and new times and new eras and it feels like in our world here, professional wrestling, it is a new era that we’re ushering in. I talked to Triple H earlier as we were kicking off and kicking off the show tonight and without giving detail on what we talked about, it was a special night for him. This was the beginning of something and marking the beginning of something new for him, under his creative, and I think from a company standpoint, this is an exciting time for the company, for WWE, an exciting time for TKO. You felt the convergence towards the end of the year when the acquisition happened, you felt the convergence in the first quarter of the year as I was fortunate enough to come back and kind of traversed our way to what these storylines could look like, so it’s an exciting time and I think we capped off day one of WrestleMania that we had stated was gonna be the biggest of all time, which is really saying a lot given how many great WrestleManias there has been in the past, so I thought collectively as a company and a team, [it was] a really great show tonight.”

credit 411mania.com for the transcription

April 6, 2024

Paul Heyman: For The Rest Of My Life, I Will Forever Be A Paul Levesque Guy

Paul Heyman delivered an emotional speech as he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Paul Heyman was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 5. Undisputed WWE Universal Roman Reigns inducted Heyman at the ceremony, which was held in Philadelphia, and the crowd showered Heyman with “ECW” chants.

Heyman delivered a passionate speech as he discussed his career. Among other highlights, he praised WWE Chief Content Officier Triple H and said that he would be a “Paul Levesque Guy” for the rest of his life.

April 2, 2024

Lia Maivia to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024

As first announced by her grandson Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lia Maivia will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

A matriarch of the legendary Anoa'i family, Maivia shattered glass ceilings as one of the first women to become a powerful sports-entertainment promoter and laid the foundation for one of the most decorated bloodlines in wrestling history.

Maivia joins her late husband, WWE Hall of Famer “High Chief” Peter Maivia, in the WWE Hall of Fame, as the two key figures in the rich wrestling history of Hawaii.

After The High Chief’s passing in 1982, Maivia took over control of the National Wrestling Alliance territory in Hawaii known as Polynesian Pro Wrestling where she became one of wrestling’s first-ever woman promoters.

In 1985, Maivia was in charge of promoting A Hot Summer Night, which was an event that featured several WWE Hall of Famers including Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson (Maivia’s son-in-law), Dusty Rhodes, Antonio Inoki, and many other notable Superstars that drew a crowd of more than 20,000.

With Lia Maivia’s strength and influence, the Anoa'i family grew into one of the industry’s defining families as WWE Superstars such as The Rock, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and many more developed into some of the most globally renowned sports-entertainers of their respective eras.

Maivia passed away in 2008 at the age of 77, but her strong-willed business sense coupled with her love of sports-entertainment left a lasting and profound impact on the industry and the many people she influenced and impacted in her amazing life.

April 1, 2024

CM Punk On WWE Return, Reconciling With Triple H, Nick Khan As The 'Difference Maker'

It took a walkout, a decade, and a controversial two-year run in AEW, but CM Punk finds himself back in WWE once again, having returned in his hometown of Chicago at Survivor Series 2023. While plenty has been made about Punk's return or what came before it, the story of just how he and WWE came to terms on a reunion had remained a mystery, until today. Appearing on "The MMA Hour," Punk spoke about his talks with WWE on a return, confirming that the process began only a few days before his Survivor Series return. He also revealed that it was WWE who reached out to him.

"The action of it started the week of, I think, Thanksgiving...," Punk said. "I'd have to look at a calendar to figure out dates exactly. I remember times and places of where I was when I would get phone calls and such. And I had a CFFC show coming up, I think. So I got a call from Nick Khan, and he was just like 'Hey, we want to talk to you.' And I was like 'Cool. [I'm] on my way to the gym, and I have this coming up. CFFC, I'll be back.' 'Cool, you want to talk Monday?' 'Great.'

"So it was the week of Thanksgiving. I spoke to him Monday...The call, I'm always so nervous about pulling the curtain back on stuff, but I think the call was more about 'Hey, we want to talk about you coming back. We'd love you for Royal Rumble.' Cause they assumed that I probably had some sort of noncompete or something like that, and were kind of floored when I was like 'No man, I'm ready to go. Let's do it."

While Khan and Punk continued to talk frequently during the next several days, things took a turn when Punk asked Khan if he could put him in contact with Paul "Triple H" Levesque, whom Punk had a tumultuous relationship with during his first WWE run.

"It's funny because everyone calls him Paul [now]...I always call him Triple H or Hunter," Punk said. "When I spoke to him, that's when the ball really got rolling, you know? Cause it was a very...I asked him if he wanted to talk on the phone, and he said 'No. I would actually rather kind of like to face-time you, so I can see you.' And I was like 'Oh, that's interesting.'  

"We just talked about a whole lot of stuff, and about stuff that was at one point serious to probably both of us...that is silly now. And we just kind of laughed and buried the hatchet. And then we started talking business."

Among the more shocking revelations was that Punk confirmed there had been talks of him returning to WWE before, even before his stint on "WWE Backstage" in 2019, but that things only seriously moved forward during the recent talks. As good as his conversation with Triple H went, Punk ultimately believes that it was Khan who helped steer things towards a WWE return, something that host Ariel Helwani, Khan's former client, seemed to agree with.

"He was the difference maker," Helwani said.

"I think so," Punk said.

source: "The MMA Hour" with Ariel Helwani

March 31, 2024

WWE: Next Gen debuts April 1 on Roku

March 23, 2024

AJ Styles reveals why WWE 'isn't the same' under Triple H

AJ Styles has revealed that WWE is incredibly different under Triple H compared to Vince McMahon.

McMahon reigned in the company since its formation a number of decades ago, until his retirement in 2022 following allegations of sexual misconduct, though returned and began to lure control back.

That was until September last year, when WWE and UFC formed a merger under umbrella company TKO, which had McMahon as executive chairman until he resigned in January following allegations of sex trafficking, which he has denied.

Now, the show is run by former WWE star and McMahon's son-in-law, Triple H - real name Paul Levesque - and reports have generally suggested that the company is a much better place to work.

Those opinions were echoed by Styles The Battleground Podcast.

Ronda Rousey Details NXT Being Stolen From Triple H

Writing in her new book Our Fight – available for pre-order now – Ronda Rousey detailed that turbulent time in WWE history and thinks it was McMahon’s “cronies” that made the move to take NXT out of Triple H’s hands:brbr NXT, which had been Triple H’s domain, had been caught in the ongoing family dispute between him and Vince McMahon. Vince’s unwillingness to give up any control made progress on the main roster all but impossible. But operating out from under Vince’s thumb, Triple H had built NXT into a brand that was not only developing WWE’s next generation but producing some of the organization’s best and most innovative wrestling.

People were excited about NXT in a way that they weren’t about Raw and SmackDown’s constant reliance on rehashing the same formulaic story lines over and over. As NXT grew and it became apparent that there was the potential to expand and profit from it, suddenly it became attractive to Vince. In fall of 2019, WWE launched a weekly NXT show—slated to go head-to-head on-air with AEW.

Now, NXT was on the up-and-up, but so too was AEW. Then Triple H almost died, suffering from heart failure and requiring surgery. He stepped away to deal with his health, and in his absence, Vince’s cronies saw an opportunity. NXT was losing the ratings battle to AEW, they whispered to Vince.

Ronda Rousey then took aim at former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis who she claimed was running NXT in Triple H’s stead. It’s safe to say Rousey is no fan of Laurinaitis but says his failure running the brand was systematic of wider problems in the company:

Changes needed to be made. Which is how John Laurinaitis, a former wrestler turned WWE executive and all-around dirtbag, ended up running NXT. Laurinaitis had made a name for himself as an average but by no means outstanding wrestler before he moved into playing an in-ring authority figure type and then a producer. He looked and acted like an entitled sixty-year-old former frat boy. Tall, blondish, and with a cleft chin, he always appeared to be scowling, even when he smiled. His raspy voice earned him the nickname Johnny Laryngitis, which was one of the nicer things people called him.

Whereas Triple H looked for talent and potential in NXT prospects, it appeared John Laurinaitis looked for f*ckability. He further purged the NXT roster, firing it seemed like everyone over twenty-five and turning recruiting attention away from the indie circuits in favor of blonde sorority-types from places like the Universities of Florida and Tennessee.

Putting the blame for the decline on Laurinaitis—which Vince would basically try to do a few months later—would be easy but Laurinaitis was only a symptom of what was wrong within WWE. Honestly, the actual drama was so much better than anything WWE could ever script.

source: tjrwrestling.net

March 13, 2024

Thunderbolt Patterson to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024


As first reported by Andscape, Thunderbolt Patterson will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

A hugely influential, although often overlooked, figure in sports-entertainment history, Patterson’s captivating abilities on the microphone inspired a generation of talkers that followed in his footsteps.

Growing up in Iowa, Patterson moved to Texas and worked with legendary promoter Dory Funk Sr. (father of WWE Hall of Famers Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk) where he began performing incredible interviews using a delivery inspired by Black Southern pastors.

Patterson backed up his talents on the microphone in the ring as he captured titles across North America while defeating iconic opponents like Bruiser Brody and WWE Hall of Famer The Sheik. Thunderbolt was also a decorated tag team competitor, most famously teaming with Ole Anderson before their partnership erupted into a brutal rivalry, which helped launch the legendary Four Horsemen.

Patterson was also a contemporary of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and was often credited with inspiring The American Dream’s charismatic persona.

Patterson’s work as a captivating performer was self-evident, but he was also a fierce advocate for the health and welfare of competitors outside of the ring.

His legacy as a showman with his signature quick punches, his incredible blend of power and speed, and his compassion for his fellow man live on as his influence can still be seen in the ring today.

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