POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Details of 2013 fighter pay study commissioned by UFC

Originally published at POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Details of 2013 fighter pay study commissioned by UFC

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10:05 p.m. ET tonight on the POST YouTube channel.

**Michael McCann, who is the Senior Sports Legal Expert at Sportico joined us on Pollock & Thurston to give us a legal perspective on the lawsuit filed by Janel Grant and the next steps in the proceedings.

**On Thursday, Rewind-A-Wai #149 will cover the September 3, 2001, edition of Raw is War from Toronto during the Invasion storyline. Wai Ting & I will discuss the first of back-to-back shows in Toronto that week, the announcement of the following year’s WrestleMania in Toronto, the state of the invasion coming out of the summer, Kurt Angle’s role as a babyface against Steve Austin, the return of The Rock, and all the headlines from that week in 2001. This show will be out for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The 2024 MMA Prediction Show is out with Ariel Helwani joining me to go through his predictions from last year and playing “Likely or Unlikely” for the year ahead.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: Rewind-A-Wai #149 – WWF Raw is War – Sept. 3, 2001 (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: POST Puroresu with WH Park & Karen Peterson
Friday: MCU L8R – Echo Finale with WH Park & Rich Fann (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: Collision Course with John Siino & Kate from Montreal (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday: NXT Vengeance Day with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tuesday’s edition of NXT was in its normal range with 648,000 viewers and 237,000 (0.18) in the 18-49 demographic, per Wrestlenomics. They were up 1% in viewers and dropped 7% in the demo from last week for this week’s go-home show before Vengeance Day. The show did see a big drop in Canada with 97,600 viewers and 28,700 in the 25-54 demographic, which was down 31% in viewers and dropped 55% in the demo from last week’s all-time viewership high for the program in Canada. This week’s show still ranked fourth among sports programs on Tuesday behind two NBA games and an episode of PTI.

**Jesse Weber’s program Sidebar on The Law & Crime Network has a deep look at the lawsuit filed against Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and WWE. The host covers the legal arguments being made, the issues being argued against the enforceability of the non-disclosure agreement by Grant in January 2022, and the fallout since last Thursday’s revelations contained in the suit.

**The TKO stock closed at $83.69 on Wednesday, which fell 1.5% from its opening mark today. It did see a small decline on Monday by approximately 4% but essentially bounced back on Tuesday. Overall, the stock has seen minimal impact from the lawsuit and that’s significant regarding shareholders having evidence that keeping McMahon within the company after the merger was damaging.

**MJF recently completed the filming of a role in “Floaters”, which is being directed by Rachel Israel and stars Aya Cash, Rabbi Rachel, and Judah Lewis.

From Deadline:

Written by Brent Hoff and Andra Gordon and Amelia Brain, the movie follows struggling musician Nomi (Tohn) who accepts a last-resort job from her overachiever best friend Mara (Podemski): mentoring misfit campers, the “Floaters,” at their childhood Jewish summer camp. As the camp struggles to survive amidst competition with a longtime rival, Nomi, the Floaters, and Mara must overcome their differences to bring the community together and save the camp.

Director Rachel Israel:

We are very proud to say that The Floaters boasts Jewish actors cast in virtually every role – allowing for an authentic portrayal and celebration of the diversity within modern Jewish communities. The Floaters resists tired cliches often attributed in the media to embrace a rich culture and explore multidimensional Jewish characters.

**AEW Dynamite is at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans tonight with WrestleTix’s latest update stating 1,800 tickets have been distributed, which is a very low number for this market and what Dynamite is drawing. On paper, it’s a fine lineup but doesn’t have any matches that jump off the page or have made any significant difference in ticket sales once they were announced over the past week. Sometimes AEW draws a smaller crowd but they make up for it with energy in the building last week’s crowd in Savannah was both low in numbers and crowd reaction. There are certainly areas to address regarding the live event malaise as Savannah and New Orleans are not isolated markets that are drawing disappointing figures. There should be a huge level of engagement for Sting’s farewell in all these markets and the advance for Revolution is evidence of how big his retirement has connected.

Here are the announced matches for Dynamite:
*Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Hardy
*Swerve Strickland vs. TBA (they’ve all but stated it’s Rob Van Dam)
*Hangman Page vs. Toa Liona
*Chris Jericho vs. Kyle Fletcher
*Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taya Valkyrie

**Monday’s episode of Raw averaged 1,909,000 viewers and 0.61 in the 18-49 demographic and was the most-watched episode of the program since June. This was assisted by the commercial-free opening hour averaging 2,090,000 viewers and 884,000 in the second. The second hour averaged 1,950,000 viewers and 841,000 in the demo. The final hour fell to 1,690,000 and 709,000 in the demo. The peak quarter was the segment involving Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins with 2.2 million viewers and 957,000 in the demo. (Wrestlenomics)

**New Japan resumes its Road to New Beginning tour on Thursday in Nagano. The card is headlined by a ten-man tag as Tetsuya Naito teams with Shingo Takagi, Yota Tsuji, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI against SANADA, Taichi, Yuya Uemura, DOUKI & Taka Michinoku. On Saturday, they run in Saitama and return to Korakuen Hall on Sunday & Monday with those two shows streaming on New Japan World. Monday’s card at Korakuen Hall is being offered for free. The tour leads to February 11 in Osaka with a loaded show including the 5-on-5 steel cage match involving Will Ospreay’s final match in New Japan, Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Bryan Danielson.

**Multiple books are coming out over the next few months concerning professional wrestling that coincide with WrestleMania:
*Becky Lynch: The Man: Not Your Average Girl by Rebecca Quin (March 26)
*Business Is About to Pick Up! 50 Years of Wrestling in 50 Unforgettable Calls by Jim Ross & Paul O’Brien (March 26)
*The Six Pack: On the Open Road in Search of WrestleMania by Brad Balukjian (April 2)
*Macho Man: The Untamed Unbelievable Life of Randy Savage by Jon Finkel (April 2)
*Our Fight: A Memoir by Ronda Rousey & Maria Burns Ortiz (April 2)

**Marc Raimondi at ESPN has completed his book on the history of the New World Order and its impact on popular culture. The book is finished but has a lengthy process to go through and is expected to be released in 2025. Brian Solomon is working on a both on Robert Marella a.k.a. Gorilla Monsoon and noted he recently spoke with Marella’s widow. Solomon’s book on Ed Farhat was an incredible book and the research will be top-notch in the Marella one. Pat Laprade & Bertrand Herbert are writing a true crime novel on the Dino Bravo murder from 1993, which came into greater focus when his murder was profiled on Dark Side of the Ring.

**WWE has added a ton of dates for May, June & July. Television tapings include SmackDown on May 10 in Wilkes-Barre, Raw on May 13 in Greenville, SmackDown on May 17 in Jacksonville, Raw on May 20 in Greensboro (same as Revolution on March 3), NXT Battleground in Savannah on May 26, and Raw the following night in the same arena, SmackDown on May 31 in Albany, Raw on June 3 in Hershey, SmackDown on June 7 in Louisville, Raw on June 10 in Toledo, SmackDown on June 14 in Tulsa, Raw on June 17 in Corpus Christi, Raw on June 24 in Indianapolis, Raw on July 1 in Boston, and Raw on July 8 in Ottawa (following Money in the Bank in Toronto). There is no SmackDown currently listed on May 24, so it’s possible that could be a taped show if the next Saudi Arabia card is scheduled for that weekend, although WWE has not announced that.

**Ricky Starks spoke with the Fox affiliate in New Orleans to promote tonight’s edition of Dynamite and spoke of his history in the city, who he hangs out with backstage, and Jungle Boy’s ritual before all of his matches.

**The updated card for Sunday’s NXT Vengeance Day in Clarksville, Tennessee features Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Championship, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the Women’s Championship, Oba Femi vs. Dragon Lee for the North American title, Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin vs. Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and The Family vs. OTM & Jaida Parker in a six-person tag.  

**Game Changer Wrestling promoter Brett Lauderdale will be announcing a location on Thursday that the promotion has never run before. Lauderdale has said it’s a place he’s always wanted to go and will announce it on Thursday, although added he might reveal the location tonight. Joey Janela said they would be revealing a big match for Spring Break tonight.

MMA NEWS

**In 2013, the UFC commissioned a study on fighter pay, according to recently unsealed documents in the antitrust case. Steven Marrocco at MMA Fighting has gone through the unsealed documents and what was discovered regarding the percentage of revenue paid to fighters. The year prior, Lorenzo Fertitta had spoken to ESPN and stated that the amount of revenue going to fighters, was “not far off what the other sports leagues pay as a percentage of revenue.” Athletes in the major sports leagues are paid roughly half of the league’s revenues but also have players’ associations representing their interests, which UFC/MMA fighters do not. The 2013 study revealed that the UFC paid 18.6 percent of its revenue to the fighters. John Nash at Bloody Elbow has other percentage figures throughout the UFC’s history and projections they made between 2016-20 where UFC fighter revenue appeared to be capped at 20%. The MMA Fighting article includes Lorenzo Fertitta’s explanation during a 2017 deposition for the antitrust case and belief that the UFC should not be compared with other sports leagues due to the wide variance in revenue being generated between a league like the NFL and the UFC with the UFC having to bear more costs for the event. Of course, the statistical breakdown is not setting the threshold at a dollar amount but rather a percentage of revenue, so the comparisons are in better alignment regardless of the disparity of gross revenues between the UFC and other leagues.

**Pablo Torre had Ariel Helwani on as a guest to discuss the UFC’s pivot to becoming the home of “freedom of speech”. It’s a really good discussion on how this philosophy contradicts past reactions by Dana White and what kind of business enhancement this new doctrine provides for the company. With Helwani speaking of his own experiences with White, it analyzes `the contradiction of White advocating for freedom of speech while also attempting to stifle and limit the reporting of Helwani over the years.

**Brittney Palmer spoke with MMA Junkie Radio on her decision to retire as a ring card girl. Palmer announced her departure at the World MMA Awards last month and didn’t have a chance to tell Dana White in advance as she couldn’t get a hold of him. Palmer has been involved with WEC/UFC going back to 2006 and will continue to work with the promotion through her artwork and assisting with the designs of shirts and other items.

**ESPN’s Dan Hajducky reports that UFC is leaving Panini to join Fanatics as its exclusive distributor of trading cards. Fanatics sub-brand Topps previously had the UFC trading license from 2009 to 2020 before moving to Panini the following year. UFC’s Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products stated:

We appreciated [Panini’s] passion for the sport and the athletes. We started a new wide-ranging licensing partnership with Fanatics that also includes event and e-commerce merchandise. Fanatics has become a leader in the merchandise industry by being innovative and pushing the envelope. We’re confident they can help us take our trading card business to the next level.

**The UFC returns to the Apex on Saturday with an ESPN+ card beginning at 4 p.m. ET with the prelims at 7. The middleweight main event features Roman Dolidze (12-2) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (12-4) with the rest of the card including Renato Moicano (17-4-1) vs. Drew Dober (18-5), Randy Brown (17-5) vs. Muslim Salikhov (19-4), Natalia Silva (16-5-1) vs. Viviane Araujo (12-5), Aliaskhab Khizriev (14-0) vs. Makmud Muradov (26-8), and Charlie Radtke (6-3) vs. Gilbert Urbina (7-2). The prelims feature Molly McCann (13-6) vs. Diana Belbita (15-8), Charles Johnson (13-6) vs. Azat Maksum (14-0), Pete Rodriguez (5-1) vs. Themba Gorimbo (11-4), Blake Bilder (8-1-1) vs. Jung Gyeong Lee (0-2), Julija Stoliarenko (11-7-1) vs. Luana Carolina (9-4), Marqued Mederos (8-1) vs. Landon Quinones (5-2-1), and Jamal Pogues (10-4) vs. Thomas Petersen (6-1).

*****  
POLLOCK & THURSTON
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston continue to discuss the lawsuit filed against Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis & WWE.
*****
upNXT
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the Vengeance Day “Go-Home” edition of WWE NXT.
****
THE 2024 MMA PREDICTION SHOW
John Pollock is joined by Ariel Helwani for The 2024 MMA Prediction Show.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with the latest on CM Punk’s injury, Royal Rumble fallout & more.
*****
COLLISION COURSE
John Siino and Kate From MTL discuss the Vince McMahon lawsuit and AEW Collision featuring an Elimination Cage Match between FTGarcia and House of Black.
*****
WWE Royal Rumble 2024
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Royal Rumble 2024 and are joined by Brandon Thurston to discuss Paul Levesque’s Press Conference responses to the McMahon lawsuit.
*****

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