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May 3, 2024

John Laurinaitis Joins Vince McMahon Arbitration Effort, Denies Janel Grant Accusations

Recently, attorneys representing Vince McMahon motioned to have former assistant Janel Grant's lawsuit against him, John Laurinaitis, WWE, and numerous unnamed corporate officers for sex trafficking, abuse, and harassment, brought to private arbitration, as per the stipulations of the disputed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) between McMahon and Grant.

According to Wrestlenomics's Brandon Thurston, former WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who was also named in Grant's suit, has joined McMahon's motion to move the case into private arbitration, which would keep any further developments and discoveries out of the public record.

"John Laurinaitis has filed a Motion today fully joining in and adopting Vince McMahon's motion to compel arbitration," Edward Brennan, attorney for Laurinaitis, wrote in a statement. "Mr. Laurinaitis corroborates Mr. McMahon in publicly declaring that Ms. Grant's allegations of sexual abuse and coercion in her Complaint are completely unfounded. My client will fight these false allegations together with Mr. McMahon in the proper forum, arbitration."

The motion is a pivot from Laurinaitis's initial position, as his attorneys' original stance was "Like the plaintiff, Mr. Laurinaitis is a victim in this case, not a predator," which seemingly corroborated some of Grant's accusations, albeit while still denying Grant's accusations against Laurinaitis himself. 

Attorneys for McMahon responded to Laurinaitis's motion, writing "In January 2024, Ms. Grant, a 43-year-old with a law degree, who was in love with Mr. McMahon and devastated by their break-up, filed an outrageous and false lawsuit to ruin Mr. McMahon's career and reputation. Now, her false allegations are slowly unraveling. Today, Mr. Laurinaitis' attorney confirmed his client will corroborate Mr. McMahon's account and expose the lies within the Complaint. Despite their intense efforts, Ms. Grant's attorneys won't be able to suppress the truth from coming out."

McMahon resigned from his responsibilities at WWE and TKO Group Holdings in January of this year, as a result of the lawsuit. Federal investigators are also looking into the sex trafficking accusations against McMahon. McMahon recently sold off nearly $300 million worth of his stock in TKO and its parent company Endeavor. He now currently owns less than 5% of TKO Group Holdings, which he helped found in 2023.

April 27, 2024

Vince McMahon Sells Final TKO Shares for $776M+ to End WWE Ties After 50+ Years

The Vince McMahon era has come to an end as he sold his remaining shares of stock in his former company, 42 years after buying it from his father. 

Rumors are circulating that Vince could use his billions to startup another company; he is said to be angry that he was “forced out” by the hierarchy of TKO after news of his sex scandal broke. Nick Khan has also filed to sell all of his shares in the company as well. 

Many call McMahon a genius, he was able to build a billion dollar empire before we all watched his stubborn ideology begin to affect the overall legacy of the company. The news of the NDA agreements and “hush money” to Janel Grant led to his initial retirement last year, and after forcing his way back in at TKO, the final attempt was the end of his tenure and apparent censure from the company he is synonymous with. 

It’s a new day. The Paul Levesque era is finally here, WrestleMania 40 was the most profitable and critically acclaimed event in recent history, and it’s a great time to be a professional wrestling fan. The “sports entertainment” era is finally over, and the once respected Vinnie Mac is now persona non grata in the business. Insiders say that McMahon’s office is as he left it, and he has not been and will not be back in the building, calling the infamous room “creepy” and saying the atmosphere overall at the company is much better in his absence.

April 25, 2024

Janel Grant Challenges Vince McMahon's Arbitration

April 22, 2024

UFC Apex to host first WWE event on June 9

WWE, in partnership with the UFC, has announced that NXT Battleground will take place at the UFC Apex on Sunday, June 9 in Las Vegas.

This will mark the first-ever WWE event that will be hosted at the 130,000-square foot production facility, home of UFC Fight Night events, Dana White's Contender Series and more.

"We are always exploring new frontiers to showcase NXT and we are excited to bring Battleground to this world-class production facility in partnership with UFC," said WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels in a statement to ESPN.

Last September, UFC's parent company Endeavor and the WWE announced the closing of a merger between the mixed martial arts and professional wrestling promotions to create TKO. To date, there has been some crossover between the two brands, but this will be the most significant where a UFC venue will host a WWE event.

NXT Battleground was originally penciled in for May 26 at the Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Georgia but will now relocate to Las Vegas, the home of the UFC. The reasons behind the move were not made readily available. Still, the original date was during Memorial Day weekend and running up against rival promotion AEW's Double or Nothing pay-per-view event.

NXT Battleground is set to feature some of the biggest NXT superstars including NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov, NXT Women's Champion Roxanne Perez NXT North American Champion Oba Femi, NXT Tag Team Champions Axiom and Nathan Frazer, Trick Williams, Carmelo Hayes, Lyra Valkyria and more.

However, the talent featured at Battleground could change as the WWE Draft will take place starting on WWE SmackDown on April 26 and NXT talent could be moved to either Raw or SmackDown.

The UFC Apex typically hosts smaller crowds of under 500 people for Dana White's Contender Series and UFC Fight Night events. It is unknown how many tickets will be made available for Battleground but a 2022 article by the Las Vegas Review Journal cited that the UFC applied with the Clark County Zoning Commission to add the ability to host up to 1,000 people for events along with food and alcohol service, ticket sales and a souvenir shop.

source: espn.com

April 17, 2024

Vince McMahon's life after WWE: Kittens, vacations and staying in touch with Trump

As he faces a mountain of legal woes, former WWE leader Vince McMahon is traveling, eating out and keeping in touch with friends and associates — including former President Donald Trump.

McMahon resigned as executive chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment’s parent company almost three months ago after a former employee, Janel Grant, accused him in a bombshell lawsuit of sexual abuse and trafficking. He denied the allegations. McMahon, 78, is also facing a federal criminal investigation, although he hasn’t been charged.

NBC News and CNBC talked to 11 people familiar with McMahon and WWE about how he’s been spending his time — and how the global brand he built over more than four decades is moving on without him. These people, including close personal associates and company insiders, declined to be named, citing ongoing legal cases and the confidential nature of internal corporate communications.

Multiple WWE insiders said he hasn’t had any contact with company leaders and figureheads since he resigned. Mark Shapiro, the operating chief of WWE parent company TKO Group Holdings, said in March that McMahon “doesn’t work for the company, doesn’t come into the office, and he’s not coming back to the company.”

That also means McMahon hasn’t talked to his son-in-law, WWE creative chief and former superstar Paul “Triple H” Levesque, or daughter, Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, regarding company matters, sources said. While she introduced WWE’s WrestleMania event earlier this month, McMahon-Levesque, who worked beside her father for more than 20 years and played roles in storylines, currently has no involvement with the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Levesque and McMahon-Levesque declined to comment through a spokesperson, as did a WWE representative.

McMahon is nonetheless indelibly linked with the wrestling outfit, which he bought from his father 42 years ago. Still, he seems to have moved on, according to multiple sources. McMahon has kept up his other routines, and it’s as if he’s unfazed by his legal fights, two sources said...More?

source: nbcnews.com

April 14, 2024

Vince McMahon Puts Remaining TKO Stock Up For Sale in Major Financial Move

Vince McMahon is actively offloading his holdings in TKO stock, placing all his remaining shares on the market. According to a recent SEC filing, McMahon, alongside stockholders Nick Khan and Steven Koonin, listed their shares for sale but have not yet completed any transactions. McMahon has made available 8,021,405 shares, his entire remaining stake, following a sale earlier in the week of nearly 3.5 million shares, which brought him over $300 million.

Listing shares for sale does not guarantee their immediate purchase, but it does open the possibility for McMahon to potentially earn more. If sold at current market prices, his 8 million-plus shares could yield over $786 million. Amidst ongoing legal issues, McMahon has been converting his stock into cash rapidly, amassing approximately $1.5 billion from these sales. This aggressive divestment suggests that McMahon is distancing himself significantly from TKO and WWE, likely marking a permanent departure.

April 12, 2024

WWE Makes Behind-The-Scenes Changes In Talent Relations

Days after Paul "Triple H" Levesque was promoted to Chief Content Officer in September 2022, WWE announced the hiring of Dan Ventrelle, who was positioned to serve as the new Executive Vice President of Talent. In this role, Ventrelle oversaw WWE's talent department while reporting directly to Levesque. After nearly two years, Ventrelle has now reportedly left WWE, causing the company to make a few changes in the talent relations department.

Days after Paul "Triple H" Levesque was promoted to Chief Content Officer in September 2022, WWE announced the hiring of Dan Ventrelle, who was positioned to serve as the new Executive Vice President of Talent. In this role, Ventrelle oversaw WWE's talent department while reporting directly to Levesque. After nearly two years, Ventrelle has now reportedly left WWE, causing the company to make a few changes in the talent relations department.

News of Ventrelle's exit first emerged via SEScoops' writer Aaron Varble, who stated that Ventrelle departed from WWE earlier today. Fightful Select has since corroborated this report, adding that WWE President Nick Khan sent out an internal memo to inform staff of the subsequent backstage shakeups.

"WWE has begun the process of reorganizing its Talent Relations group," Khan wrote. "Moving forward, Chris Legentil, in addition to his role in Comms, will help us in leading this new group. Matt Altman, in addition to his role in marketing, will be working closely with Chris to help this endeavor. Talent Development and Recruiting will now report to Shawn Michaels. All of Talent, which includes Talent Relations, Development and Recruiting will continue to ultimately report into Paul Levesque. As of today, Dan Ventrelle will be moving on from WWE. We thank Dan for his tremendous contributions."

April 10, 2024

Triple H: I Told Ari Emanuel When TKO Formed, ‘I Just Want To Have Fun. If It’s Fun, I’ll Stay’

Triple H just wanted to have fun.

WWE and UFC officially merged in September 2023 to form TKO under the Endeavor banner. Triple H was already appointed as the Chief Content Officer, but Vince McMahon would often make remote changes throughout 2023.

With the merger, Vince started to become less involved until he eventually resigned as TKO Executive Chairman in January following a lawsuit against him where he was accused of sex trafficking and sexual assault.

With Vince fully out of the picture, Triple H has ushered in a new era.

"I’m loving what I do, that’s the biggest thing for me. When TKO went down and Ari Emanuel talked to me about this, I said, ‘I just want to have fun. If it’s fun, I stay. If It’s not, we’ll figure out something else.’ We’re having fun. I want everyone to have fun. When the signature was playing, I picked up the headset and said, ‘Biggest thing we want to remember tonight, everybody, have fun. Enjoy this.’ If this is fun, everybody loves it. If we have fun making it, you’re going to enjoy watching it. That’s what I believe," Triple H said at the WrestleMania XL press conference.

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

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