Originally published at The complex history between Vince McMahon and Dana White
Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting (Tonight at 10:05 p.m. ET)
Thursday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show with John & Wai (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & Braden Herrington
Saturday: Collision Course with John Siino & Kate from Montreal (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday: NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed with Karen Peterson & Bruce Lord (Free)
Sunday: MCU L8R with WH Park & Rich Fann (POST Wrestling Café)
THE HISTORY BETWEEN VINCE McMAHON AND DANA WHITE
Dana White spoke with Justin Barrasso of SI.com on his relationship with Vince McMahon since the merger went down between the two companies:
My history with Vince isn’t a good one. He tried to f— me so many times for no reason whatsoever except just to f— me. But that’s in the past. Now that Vince and I are allies, no one’s been a better partner than Vince.
It’s a very interesting history with White always speaking respectfully of McMahon in public even when there were contentious issues. McMahon had the power to greatly affect the success of the company by allowing Ultimate Fighter to air immediately after Raw on Monday nights in 2005. It’s not a given that TUF would have failed without the lead-in from Raw but it was such an enormous boost and it was clear that it was the Raw audience that built the foundation of that show.
Months later, McMahon attempted a coup by attempting to sign Mike Goldberg and blindside White on the day of a live Ultimate Fight Night special airing against Raw’s Homecoming to the USA Network, but Goldberg stayed with the UFC and continued to work there for another eleven years.
In March 2010, UFC ran a big pay-per-view the night before WrestleMania 26 featuring Georges St-Pierre and Dan Hardy it was during the peak of crossover buys and many theorized that the buys for WrestleMania were hurt by such a big UFC card the night prior. This was during an era when WWE was constantly scrutinized for their lagging numbers on pay-per-view and being compared to the UFC, which was the new hot thing appealing to a similar audience. WWE always refuted that they were competition and separated the genres to avoid comparison. However, it didn’t stop WWE from making its own comparisons such as this post on their website after Brock Lesnar beat Randy Couture at UFC 91 in November 2008 (which WWE later deleted):
Critics have noted that many of the fights on the UFC pay-per-view ended in the first round, leaving UFC producers scrambling to fill the three-hour event with content. The dearth of hearty competition left many viewers to watch less prestigious under-card fights and only served to bolster claims that UFC pay-per-view events can often be a “crap shoot” in regards to filling the full three hours.
Vince McMahon to The Hollywood Reporter in July 2012:
We’re in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year’s WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then. So, we are looking pretty good.
As recently as WrestleMania 34 in 2018, White shared a story of flying to the show to see Ronda Rousey’s debut match with the company and being given terrible seats and took it as a clear message from those in the company while making light of it years after. It was brought up after the UFC provided tickets for McMahon at UFC 276 last year.
The two have their similarities and their differences and both find themselves close with former president Donald Trump and now under the same TKO umbrella. When McMahon was exploring talks with Endeavor, he met with White to get his read on working under Ari Emanuel and would suggest mutual respect existed even prior to the merger. Over the past year, each has shown their ability to stave off near-irreparable damage to their images and careers by coming out of their respective scandals with their power intact and a softened critique by their audiences.
In another scenario, the landscape could have been so different. If Vince McMahon had a sliver of passion for MMA that his son Shane exuded, he could have ended up buying the promotion in the early 2000s before it exploded. The green light for Ultimate Fighter was a major catalyst for the company’s success and conversely, the UFC’s secret sauce for nearly two decades was matchmaker Joe Silva who grew up on Jim Crockett Promotions and learned from pro wrestling and applied to real fight scenarios to draw money. Today, they all exist together including the two most contentious personalities of their respective industries.
**AEW Dynamite has loaded up tonight’s card from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia with several big matches including a tag match involving Kazuchika Okada and Bryan Danielson and teasing yet another surprise with Tony Khan presenting a gift to Sting. The latest update from WrestleTix has nearly 4,900 tickets distributed, so they should not have an issue passing the 5,000 mark. There is no MLB playoff game to contend with. The show will include the following on TBS:
*Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Orange Cassidy & Kazuchika Okada
*AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida © vs. Ruby Soho
*ROH Six-Man Tag Titles: The Young Bucks & Hangman Page © vs. The Hardys & Brother Zay
*MJF vs. Juice Robinson for the Dynamite Diamond Ring
*Rob Van Dam & Hook vs. John Silver & Alex Reynolds
*Renee Paquette interviews Chris Jericho
*Swerve Strickland addresses Hangman Page
*Tony Khan’s gift for Sting
*Mike Santana vs. Ortiz (taped for Rampage this Friday)
**The World Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks begins on Friday on Fox, which moves SmackDown to FS1 for at least one week. Game 2 will air against AEW Collision on Saturday, Game 3 will air on Monday against Raw, and Game 4 is on Tuesday against the second night of NXT Halloween Havoc. If the series goes to a fifth game, it will air against AEW Dynamite next week and a sixth game would bump SmackDown off Fox for a second week in a row.
**Scott D’Amore spoke about the rebranding of IMPACT Wrestling during an interview with Tom Hannifan. D’Amore confirmed new championships would be created with the TNA branding but the lineage will remain the same and the existing champions will just receive updated belts with no vacancies of the belts. D’Amore said the plans for the rebranding date back to the early part of the year and was amazed that it didn’t leak out beforehand and credited the staff and those in the circle for not divulging it. He said that Anthem is very aware of who Will Ospreay is that they would love to have him on their roster and that the performer will be the hottest free agent in wrestling once his New Japan contract ends in February 2024. There will be no return to the six-sided ring as the majority viewpoint of the roster is that the four-sided ring was safer, and they wouldn’t compromise the performer’s safety for anything. IMPACT reached a deal with PCO over the weekend to avoid the performer leaving at the end of the month as it had been reported that PCO was planning to wrap up until the company announced a new deal with the performer.
**WWE begins a seven-show tour of Europe today in Munich, Germany with shows in Cologne, Hamburg, and Berlin over the next three nights. The tour continues in England with a show in London on Sunday and Nottingham on Monday before wrapping in Glasgow, Scotland next Tuesday. The first four shows in Germany feature Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Gunther, Rhea Ripley, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn among the top talent working the shows and switches once the Raw crew flies back for next Monday’s episode of Raw. The England & Scotland shows are advertising LA Knight, Charlotte Flair, and Bobby Lashley.
**IMPACT Wrestling kicks off its own European tour on Thursday with the first of four events overseas in Scotland and England. The card on Thursday in Glasgow will now be a television taping for the group and are advertising the Motor City Machine Guns vs. Josh Alexander & Eric Young, Rhino vs. Eddie Edwards, Jordynne Grace vs. Gisele Shaw, Trey Miguel vs. Grado, and Deonna Purrazzo teaming with Moose & Brian Myers against Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster & Dani Luna. IMPACT tapes the Turning Point event on Friday in Newcastle (airing on November 3) and will include Will Ospreay vs. Eddie Edwards and a Knockouts Championship match between Trinity and Deonna Purrazzo. The tour wraps up with shows in Coventry, England on Saturday and Sunday.
**Brett Lauderdale appeared on The Business of The Business Podcast with John Poz and Lavie Margolin to discuss Game Changer Wrestling. Regarding AEW talent, Lauderdale is unsure what their policy is regarding talent working independents and notes some have to ask permission, some don’t, and others are supposed to ask but do them anyway and assumes it’s a case-by-case basis of who can work shows and when. Lauderdale seemed very satisfied one year into the FITE+ deal noting the subscribers they have added to the service and being the anchor among the wrestling promotions tied to the streamer. He added that it’s always interesting when talent cut from WWE hit the independents as they will next month when the last batch of cuts end their ninety-day non-competes. The blueprint is there through people like Matt Cardona, Drew McIntyre, and Steph De Lander of attacking the independents and thriving but there are countless examples of others that see it as a downgrade or price themselves out of regular bookings.
**New Japan’s Super Jr. Tag League tournament heads to Saitama on Thursday with a show that streams at 5:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following lineup:
*Super Jr. Tag League: El Desperado & Master Wato (4) vs. Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita (2)
*Super Jr. Tag League: Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney (4) vs. Titan & BUSHI (2)
*Super Jr. Tag League: SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4) vs. YOH & MUSASHI (4)
*Super Jr. Tag League: TJP & Francesco Akira (2) vs. Taka Michinoku & DOUKI (0)
*Super Jr. Tag League: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight (4) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & The DKC (4)
*EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo vs. Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano
*Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs. Great O-Khan & Callum Newman
*Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Yuto Nakashima & Oskar Leube
**The UFC 295 card was hit by a major blow with the loss of Jon Jones due to a torn pectoral muscle in training. The new main event sees Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira elevated to the top slot on the November 11 card while an interim heavyweight title fight has been added between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall. The UFC is attempting to set a new live gate record by pricing tickets through the roof on this card and Jones was easily the biggest star attached to the Madison Square Garden event. It remains to be seen what this means for Stipe Miocic, who was Jones’ scheduled opponent and many assumed this was going to be Miocic’s last fight after being inactive since March 2021.
**The UFC has announced a multi-year partnership with Anheuser-Busch for Bud Lite to return as the “Official Global Beer Part of UFC” beginning January 1, 2024. ESPN reports that the deal is the biggest sponsorship deal in UFC history. Included with the deal are branding of Bud Lite inside of the Octagon for all UFC pay-per-views, Fight Night cards, Dana White’s Contender Series, Ultimate Fighter, and Road to UFC shows. There will also be original content produced for the UFC’s digital and social channels and integration of Bud Lite branding during fight week events including press conferences and weigh-ins. UFC and Anheuser-Busch had previously been partners until 2017 when Modelo became the promotion’s beer partner. When UFC and Modelo renewed its deal in 2021, Sports Business Journal reported it to be a deal worth “low eight figures”.
**Invicta FC 54 takes place on Friday night and streams on YouTube at 8 p.m. ET from Boston as well as AXS TV in the U.S. and Fight Network in Canada. The card is headlined by Danni McCormack (7-2) defending the Invicta FC Strawweight Championship against Karolina Wójcik (11-3) with the rest of the card featuring Valesca Machado (12-4) vs. Kalindra Faria (19-9-1), Kristina Williams (6-4) vs. Dee Begley (4-2), Andrea Amaro (3-2) vs. Hilarie Rose (6-6), Julia Dorny (2-1) vs. Riley Marinez (2-0), and Fernanda Araujo (2-3) vs. Maria Djukic (2-1).
upNXT: Halloween Havoc – Night 1
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 1 featuring Becky Lynch vs Lyra Valkyria for the NXT Women’s Championship.
THE WELLNESS POLICY: Open Topics
Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman, and Neal Flanagan convene for another wide-open edition of The Wellness Policy. Our conversation touches on relationship dynamics, Scrabble, The Rainforest Café, and much more.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with Drew McIntyre taking on Sami Zayn, Becky Lynch vs. Indi Hartwell for the NXT Women’s title, and Logan Paul appearing.
MCU L8R: Loki Season 2 Ep. 3
WH Park and “Their Man” Neal Flanagan travel to Chicago of 1893 to discuss Loki Season 2 Episode 3. They follow Mobius and Loki as they track down Miss Minutes, Ravonna Renslayer… and who is Victor Timely???
UFC 294 REVIEW
Phil Chertok and Eric Marcotte are back to review UFC 294 from Abu Dhabi featuring the rematch between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC lightweight title.
IMPACT (TNA) BOUND FOR GLORY
John Pollock & John Siino review IMPACT’s Bound for Glory event featuring Alex Shelley vs. Josh Alexander and the return of “TNA”.
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