POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: WWE suitors, key events for stock over past year

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/01/09/pollocks-news-update-wwe-suitors-key-events-for-stock-over-past-year/


**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight on the POST YouTube channel. Wai Ting and I be chatting about the fallout of Friday’s news involving Vince McMahon and a potential sale of WWE, the passing of Johnny Powers, PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles, and a review of WWE Raw from Alabama.

**The annual MMA Prediction Show with Ariel Helwani is available on the site with Ariel joining me to recap last year’s predictions and play “Likely or Unlikely” for 2023. As always, the show goes in many directions covering numerous stories, and is always among the most popular shows of the year at POST Wrestling.

**Rewind-A-Wai will be released on Tuesday with Wai & I reviewing WrestleMania 8 from April 1992 involving Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice. In addition to the review, we will also look at the significant scandals when this show occurred, and other news from this week thirty-one years ago. This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Jake Simpson and we will also share the topic for the next Rewind-A-Wai. The show will be available for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**You can leave feedback, and thoughts on WrestleMania VIII on the POST Wrestling Forum thread.

**This Friday, it will be a special free edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal covering SmackDown & Rampage. That night, I’ll be doing an IMPACT Hard to Kill POST Show with John Siino, which will be available for POST Wrestling Café members.  


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai – WrestleMania VIII (Patreon)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Friday: IMPACT Hard to Kill with John Pollock & John Siino (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Free edition)
Saturday: The N.W.A. Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio


**The potential sale of WWE is going to dominate news headlines in and around professional wrestling for months following Friday’s shake-up that sees Vince McMahon reinstated to the board of directors for the purpose of guiding the company towards a sale. The story was covered on The Town podcast with host Matthew Belloni and guest Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg. The show was more of a recap of what’s gone down and the potential of various buyers of the company. The two agreed that Endeavor made a lot of sense given their success from purchasing the UFC in 2016 and similar business models. The UFC template also outlines a transfer of ownership where the key face of the company, Dana White, was left in a prominent role and would seem to be the protection Vince McMahon would be seeking in a newly owned WWE. From a purely strategic standpoint of leveraging its assets to inflate the scope of WWE and its stars, Endeavor and Disney stand out. Disney and WWE, despite McMahon’s past comparison, is an odd fit and you would question if WWE’s brand is too out of reach for the Disney brand. With Bob Iger returning to the company, he has leaned on acquiring IP and executed massive deals for the company with Marvel and Lucas Films that WWE would fall into that category. The company has also seen the success of UFC in helping to build ESPN+ but licensing rights and outright ownership are different levels of commitment. For the greatest amount of money on the table, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund is the one that could match and double any amount put out there and would likely be the least hands-on of any ownership group. This would also represent the ownership option that would come with the greatest scrutiny and potential backlash. All that is known is that JP Morgan has been hired by WWE to advise and get the ball rolling toward serious discussions. Ultimately, it will be McMahon’s directive as to who, and if, the company will be sold. In the interim, the stock should maintain a healthy level before there is unrest or the belief that the sale talk was a mirage for McMahon to leap back onto the board of directors while using the stock reaction as a shield against the toxicity his name has yielded. That last aspect is another major point of which companies are willing to get into business with WWE, which comes with McMahon as part of the package and negotiating with someone viewed in his light.

**Here is a look at the WWE stock over the past seven months throughout the Vince McMahon scandal, his removal, the new regime, and return:
*Jan. 10, 2022: $51.16 (One-year ago)
*Feb. 3: $47.81 (Lowest close of the year)
*June 3: $66.70 (Prior to the first Wall Street Journal report)
*June 17: $62.51 (Two days after the first WSJ report)
*July 8: $63.76 (Second WSJ report, hush money payments grow)
*July 22: $66.22 (McMahon resigns from WWE, hours before live SmackDown)
*Aug. 19: $70.89 (One month into the new regime)
*Nov. 2: $77.54 (Q3 earnings report is released)
*Nov. 28: $80.80 (Highest close of the year)
*Dec. 12: $75.74 (Day before McMahon report)
*Dec. 13: $73.73 (WSJ report that McMahon wants back into WWE)
*Dec. 30: $68.52 (Year-end)
*Jan. 5, 2023: $72.04 (Day before McMahon’s return is confirmed)
*Jan. 6: $84.27 (McMahon returns to the board for purposes of negotiating a sale)
*Jan. 9: $87.82 (Today’s close, +71.7% year-over-year)

**WWE Raw emanates from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama tonight. Raw does air against the college football national championship game tonight between Georgia and TCU. WWE has not announced much in advance beyond Alexa Bliss explaining her actions against Bianca Belair, and the next chapter of Austin Theory’s run as United States champion. Between the Royal Rumble and the 30th Anniversary edition of Raw, there is a lot they have to promote over the next few weeks.

**Dominik Mysterio has tweeted that he is ready to share his story on tonight’s episode.

**AEW is nearing 8,200 tickets distributed for their return to the Kia Forum this Wednesday. WrestleTix reported the latest figure for the Dynamite/Rampage taping in Inglewood that includes the final match of the best-of-seven series between Death Triangle and The Elite, and the grudge match between Jon Moxley and Hangman Page on Dynamite. The promotion’s debut at The Forum last June drew 13,900 and 15,471 in the building, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter with an $860,000 gate. That was the show where CM Punk fractured his foot and caused the creation of an interim championship.               

**Representatives from Fox, NBC Universal, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, and Televisa-Univision have signed a joint statement with OpenAP and the Video Advertising Bureau to pursue a measurement alternative to Nielsen metrics. The group is set to hold an update on 4/25 with the progress to develop the alternative with hopes to have it ready by the upfront presentations in spring 2024. Their outline includes third-party measurement of streaming data, which would be audited by an outside party. The joint statement was signed by Jeff Shell of NBC Universal, David Zaslav of WBD, Bob Bakish of Paramount, and Wade Davis of Televisa-Univision:

The sustainability of the premium video advertising model depends on an ecosystem for measurement that is transparent, independent, inclusive, and accurately reflects the way all people consume premium video content today – across multiple screens, connections, and devices. By coming together to establish this JIC, we can collaborate and accelerate the efforts to implement a new multi-currency future that fosters more competition, inclusivity and innovation and will ultimately better serve advertisers, agencies and consumers.

**WrestleTix reports that tickets are nearly gone for the New Japan Battle in the Valley card on 2/18. The set-up for the San Jose Civic is listed at 2,152 with 2,121 distributed at the last check. Tickets were around 1,400 when it was announced KAIRI and Mercedes Mone would be wrestling on the show, so they moved approximately 700 tickets because of the match, which is the only one listed right now. The show takes place on the same night as WWE’s Elimination Chamber event in Montreal.

**Mike Tenay was on Wrestling Observer Radio (a free show) to discuss the passing of his close friend Don West. The two met and drove to the first NWA TNA show in June 2002 and struck up an immediate friendship with Tenay guiding West as he navigated this new and different industry. If you missed it, IMPACT did a great tribute to West on last Thursday’s episode with comments from various talents that worked with him over the years.

**Kaito Kiyomiya will defend the GHC heavyweight title against Jack Morris on 2/12 in Osaka with the champion making his fourth title defense. Morris recently defeated Timothy Thatcher at Nippon Budokan and formed an alliance with the debuting Jake Lee after the match. The show will air live on Wrestle Universe that day and includes English commentary.

**Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. will defend the GHC National Championship against Manabu Soya on 2/5 at Korakuen Hall in his second title defense.

**The NXT New Year’s Evil special takes place on Tuesday with a live episode from the Performance Center. Last year’s special aired on January 4th and was headlined by Tomasso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker and averaged 685,000 viewers and 0.16 in the demo. The program has five matches announced for the show airing at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network and Sportsnet 360 in Canada:
*NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (champion) vs. Grayson Waller
*20-Woman Battle Royal (Announced: Cora Jade, Zoey Stark, Fallon Henley, Gigi Dolin, Jacy Jayne, Elektra Lopez, Indi Hartwell, Wendy Choo, Ivy Nile, Valentina Feroz, Lyra Valkyria, Thea Hail, Nikkita Lyons, Amari Miller, Lash Legend, Kiana James, Tatum Paxley, Sol Ruca, Jakara Jackson, and Dani Palmer)
*The Creed Brothers vs. Indus Sher
*Tony D’Angelo vs. Dikak
*Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank Walker


**Several institutions in Brazil were attacked and vandalized on Sunday by supporters of its outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro which led to at least 400 people being arrested. Bolsonaro lost the election to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was inaugurated on January 1st. Two days before the inauguration, Bolsonaro left the country and was reportedly staying in Kissimmee, Florida at a vacation home owned by former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo as the MMA tie-in to this story. The unrest in Brazil has been compared to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol over supporters refusing to accept the results of the recent election that led to Bolsonaro out of power. Several MMA luminaries including Anderson Silva, Paulo Costa, Royce Gracie, Wanderlei Silva, and Rafael dos Anjos have openly supported Bolsonaro. This news comes less than two weeks from the UFC 283 pay-per-view that is set for 1/21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

**On Sunday, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmgomedov indicated he will be taking time away from MMA. The fighter issued a post on Instagram with MMA Fighting citing sources close to Nurmagomedov that he is “taking some time off for his family” but doesn’t rule out a return to coaching in the future. Since retiring in 2020, Nurmagomedov has become one of the top coaches in the sport through his work with current champions Islam Makhachev and Usman Nurmagomedov among others. Nurmagomedov has also been involved on the promotional side through Eagle FC. The 34-year-old won the UFC lightweight title in April 2018 and made three defenses against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje before retiring with a 29-0 record. Nurmagomedov was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last year and holds the record for most pay-per-view buys in MMA history involving his fight with McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018.

**The UFC will attempt to change the public’s focus from Dana White to its first card of 2023 and it will be notable how visible White is this week and whether he is cage side at the event at the Apex, or avails himself to the media. Endeavor and UFC have not commented on last week’s incident involving White slapping his wife Anne at a nightclub in Cabo San Lucas with the footage appearing last Monday on TMZ in concert with an apology video from White. This Saturday’s card is an exclusive ESPN+ show headlined by Kelvin Gastelum (16-8, 1 NC) against Nassourdine Imavov (12-3) in a middleweight contest. Gastelum has his back to the wall having lost five of his last six fights and coming off decision losses to Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, who both fought for the title in 2022. Imavov, 27, has won three fights in a row including a TKO win against Edmen Shahbazyan in November 2021 and a decision win against Joaquin Buckley last September. The main card includes Dan Ige (15-6) vs. Damon Jackson (22-4-1, 1 NC), Roman Kopylov (9-2) vs. Punahele Soriano (9-2), Raquel Pennington (14-8) vs. Ketlen Vieira (13-2), and Raoni Barcelos (17-3) vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (15-0).


John Cena’s jorts are 20 years old:

Kenta Kobashi takes on Takao Omori in Fukuoka in 2000:

Big E. (Ettore Ewen) becomes the NXT champion by defeating Seth Rollins on the January 9, 2013, edition of NXT with the match taped the previous month. Big E. unseated the inaugural NXT champion and held the title until May when he lost to Bo Dallas.

The 2023 MMA Prediction Show with Ariel Helwani
John Pollock is joined by Ariel Helwani to revisit his MMA predictions from 2022 before making a new list for 2023 in “Likely or Unlikely”.
Brandon Thurston and Jesse Collings discuss the news of Vince McMahon’s return to WWE’s board of directors to explore a possible sale of the company. Plus, news about the business of New Japan’s biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom.
Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal take your calls about Vince McMahon’s return to the WWE before reviewing SmackDown and AEW’s Rampage/BOTB double-header.
BREAKING NEWS: Vince McMahon Returns
John Pollock is joined by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics to discuss Vince McMahon’s power play to return to WWE’s board of directors.
NJPW New Year Dash POST Show
John Pollock & WH Park review NJPW New Year Dash headlined by Kazuchika Okada & Kenny Omega teaming against Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Tokyo Dome headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White and Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay in a double main event.

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