POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Lars Sullivan fined $100,000 over offensive remarks

WWE fines Lars Sullivan over his past comments, Variety interviews Vince McMahon, ESPN comments on their talks regarding SmackDown, Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar & more.

POST IT NOTES

**This week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is available on the site with Wai Ting and I chatting the following:
-A full review of Raw from London, England
-Recap of the first night of the Best of the Super Juniors
-News of the Day: The death of Silver King, matches announced for the WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia, Fox Upfronts, Double or Nothing match announcements, Conor McGregor’s charges dropped, and Max Holloway’s next fight
-A preview of our next POST Profile covering Owen Hart’s passing
-Your feedback and questions

**We are back with Rewind-A-SmackDown late tonight chatting a busy day of news, the second night of the Best of the Super Juniors, and a review of SmackDown going into Money in the Bank.

**Wai Ting and I will have a new edition of the Double Shot up Wednesday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will be reviewing the final episode of Dark Side of the Ring covering the Fabulous Moolah, a review of the Bret Hart vs. Tom Magee match and documentary, Being the Elite, and more.

**On Wednesday, the British Wrestling Experience is back with Martin Bushby and Benno joined by Will Cooling for a packed show.

**Here is the trailer for our upcoming special “Owen Hart’s Final Day: A POST Profile”, which will be released for everyone next Monday:

WRESTLING NEWS

**WWE has slapped Lars Sullivan (Dylan Miley) with a six-figure fine over comments the performer made several years back. Forbes contributor Alfred Konuwa reported first that the company has issued a fine of $100,000 to Sullivan and will be sending him for sensitivity training over the egregious remarks made. A Reddit thread compiled the comments made by Sullivan, some of which were racist, homophobic, and generally offensive to a wide scope of people. After performers Big E. and Kalisto referenced the comments online, Sullivan issued the following apology last Friday:

There is no excuse for the inappropriate remarks that I made years ago. They do not reflect my personal beliefs nor who I am today, and I apologize to anyone I offended.

On Tuesday, WWE issued this statement to the media:

WWE supports a culture of inclusion regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, and we are committed to embracing all individuals as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.

Dylan Miley (aka Lars Sullivan) will be fined $100,000 and required to complete sensitivity training for offensive commentary uncovered from his past. WWE will also facilitate meetings for Dylan with community organizations to foster further discussion around the power of social media and the impact of your words.

**We were informed that at the Roundhouse venue, where Saturday’s Lucha Libre London card took place, the venue does provide a medical practitioner on site as part of the rental. This is the venue where Silver King collapsed at and later died this past weekend. It was said there was no ambulance on site. The premises’ license also makes it clear that certain staff members must be trained in first aid. (Thanks to Will Cooling for these notes. Will was in attendance for the afternoon show at the Roundhouse but was not at the evening show)

According to the Associated Press, the London Ambulance Service arrived five minutes after they were called but Silver King was pronounced dead at the scene.

There is no dispute that it was not handled properly in the ring when it became clear there was a problem. Precious time was lost and there is no guarantee anything could have altered the outcome, but it’s a major wake up call regarding having appropriate measures in place and a clear plan for such an emergency. The referee, Black Terry, and Juventud Guerrera did not appear equipped to handle the situation and may not have even realized how severe it was. That issue should not be left in the hands of untrained performers and certainly, the match should have been stopped immediately. There is a lot that can be learned from this tragedy.

**Variety has a major cover story on Vince McMahon and the WWE with a look at their enormous stock price increase over the past year, the new television deals taking effect this year, and where their growth potential lies. A significant portion of the article looks at the WWE’s decision to tame their product in 2008 by reverting to a PG-format to attract stronger advertising given the television audience they attract. The real transformation occurred after their last set of television rights renewals in 2014 where they promised big and underdelivered to stockholders. As noted in the piece, NBC Universal was the only serious bidders in 2014 with the company angering partners with the launch of the network just a few months prior. Their image was greatly enhanced in the ensuing years and timing was on their side in 2018 allowing the company to land two huge deals that will pay $265 million and $205 million annually for Raw and SmackDown respectively. The tone of the piece from Vince McMahon and analysts is one of great optimism that the move to Fox this October is going to greatly increase WWE’s popularity through a larger platform and cross-promotion, with McMahon adding that NBC Universal is going to step up and match what Fox is doing.

The quote receiving a lot of attention is from McMahon about talent burnout from the year-round schedule they maintain. McMahon said:

Anybody who wants time off can get time off. That’s easy. In addition to that, it’s easy to weave a talent in and out of a storyline. If they get injured, you’re not expecting that. Or if they have a family matter. Our characters are real people with real problems. It’s a revolving situation where this talent will work these dates, that talent will work those dates.

Nothing about that subject is “easy”. Talent is rarely going to push for time off given the natural concern of losing their spot. While an extreme example, CM Punk outlined the pressure after having surgery to come back so soon and do a TLC match on television in January 2013. We have also seen examples of talent having their contracts frozen and time tacked onto the deals, which brings up the question of whether a talent taking two months off would be expected to make up for that time at the expiration of their deal. With the emergence of AEW and other viable options outside WWE, talent seems more willing to rock the boat in public and voice their unhappiness or make public their intentions to leave. However, the pushback is someone like Luke Harper, who appears to have had his requests rebuffed and is in professional purgatory.

McMahon and other company officials interviewed were not asked about the deal with Saudi Arabia, although the criticism of the shows was acknowledged in the piece.

One area of potential growth that analysts see for WWE is sponsorship dollars where they are greatly overshadowed by UFC. Analyst Curry Baker estimated that UFC brings in approximately $60 million a year in sponsorship dollars compared to WWE’s $25 million. Media buyer David Campanelli added that the hesitation of advertisers to spend money on WWE is not what it once was, and their image has been greatly enhanced over the past few years.

**ESPN’s head of programming Burke Magnus spoke to Tony Maglio at The Wrap regarding the network’s interest in WWE last year. Magnus confirmed they had talks with WWE regarding SmackDown coming to ESPN but could not fit it into the schedule with their 52-week format. Magnus added that this was not an alternative to UFC stating that deal was done, and SmackDown would be in addition to the UFC package. He ended the discussion stating they did not have any talks with All Elite Wrestling.

**SmackDown Live airs tonight at 8 pm Eastern on the USA Network with their second night at the O2 Arena in London followed by 205 Live on the WWE Network. They have advertised the following matches in advance:
*Finn Balor vs. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Randy Orton
*Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose vs. Asuka & Kairi Sane
*Kofi Kingston appearing on The Kevin Owens Show
*Tony Nese vs. Ligero on 205 Live
*Humberto Carrillo vs. Jack Gallagher vs. James Drake vs. Mark Andrews on 205 Live

**The Best of the Super Juniors tournament continues Wednesday at 5:30 am Eastern from Aomori with the following tournament matches:
*Jonathan Gresham (0-1) vs. Taka Michinoku (0-1)
*Tiger Mask (1-0) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-1)
*Titan (1-0) vs. Shingo Takagi (1-0)
*Marty Scurll (1-0) vs. Taiji Ishimori (1-0)
*Dragon Lee (0-1) vs. SHO (0-1)

**Sean Radican at PW Torch is reporting that veteran referee Paul Turner and ROH front office employee Christina Meyers have left the company and are going to All Elite Wrestling. Turner has been working with Ring of Honor since their fifth event in July 2002 and along with Todd Sinclair are the two referees synonymous with the promotion. AEW has confirmed the signing of Turner.

**WWE has announced that DJ Z (Michael Paris) has reported to the WWE Performance Center. His signing was first reported back in March by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com.

**AEW president Tony Khan spoke with ITV about their recent announcement that Double or Nothing would air on ITV Box Office.

**Marshall and Ross Von Erich will be making their MLW debut at the June 1st television tapings in Milwaukee at the Waukesha County Expo Center. The sons of Kevin Von Erich will be teaming with MLW champion Tom Lawlor against Jacob Fatu, Josef Samael, and Simon Gotch in a Tornado tag match.

**A new edition of WWE 24 profiling Becky Lynch will air Sunday on the WWE Network immediately following Money in the Bank.

**The WWE stock closed at $79.99 on Tuesday.

MMA NEWS

**ESPN is reporting that UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar are expected to fight at UFC 240 on July 27th in Edmonton, Alberta. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that the UFC is close to finalizing the fight, which would see Edgar leapfrog Alexander Volkanovski for the next championship fight at 145 pounds. Volkanovski is coming off a unanimous decision over Jose Aldo this past Saturday, which was his 17th consecutive win and improved his record inside the UFC to 7-0.

This is the third attempt to put together a fight between Holloway and Edgar, who scheduled to fight in December 2017 and March 2018 with injuries preventing the fight from happening. After being stopped by Brian Ortega, Edgar rebounded with a victory over Cub Swanson last April while Holloway moved up to lightweight last month and was defeated by Dustin Poirier. Holloway has not lost at featherweight since his fight with Conor McGregor in August 2013.

**Neil Magny is out of this Saturday’s fight with Vicente Luque that was scheduled for Rochester, New York. MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn reported the news Monday night with Magny off the card due to an undisclosed reason. UFC officials are seeking a replacement opponent for Luque, who has won his last four fights. Saturday’s card at the Blue Cross Arena will be headlined by a welterweight fight between former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Kevin Lee.

**Saturday night’s UFC 237 preliminary card did 813,000 viewers on ESPN featuring Ryan Spann’s knockout of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the featured fight. They also replayed the prelims at 1 am Eastern on ESPN 2 and averaged 154,000 viewers from 1-3 am, which I consider very good for that timeslot. The prelims were down slightly from the UFC 236 prelims in April, which averaged 893,000.

*****
RAR 5/13/19: WWE Raw in London, BOSJ Day 1, Super Showdown notes
John Pollock is back with Wai Ting to review WWE Raw from London, England featuring a match between Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn for a spot in the MITB Ladder match and closing promos from Seth Rollins and AJ Styles before MITB.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/05/14/rar-5-13-19-wwe-raw-in-london-bosj-day-1-super-showdown-notes/
*****
UFC 237 POST SHOW: Namajunas vs. Andrade, Bellator 221, The Passing of Silver King
John Pollock is solo to review the UFC 237 and Bellator 221 cards, plus the details on Silver King’s passing after collapsing during a match in London on Saturday.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/05/12/post-show-ufc-237-bellator-221-the-passing-of-silver-king/
*****
POST PURORESU: BOSJ Preview, Champion Carnival, Stardom’s Cinderella Tournament
John Pollock & WH Park preview Best of the Super Juniors, reviews of Champion Carnival and Stardom’s Cinderella, Chris Jericho returns at Dominion & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/05/11/post-puroresu-bosj-preview-champion-carnival-cinderella-tournament/
*****
CAFÉ HANGOUT: The MCU with Wai Ting & Brent Chittenden
On a special edition of the Café Hangout, Wai Ting welcomes Brent Chittenden (True North Nerds) for a look back at the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/05/10/marvel-cinematic-universe-special-cafe-hangout-5-10-19/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: May 2019 (Patreon)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the May 2019 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/26749728
*****
upNXT 5/9/19: Everything is Fine
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review this week’s edition of WWE NXT featuring Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle, Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair, War Raiders are attacked, and the continued dissension of The Undisputed Era.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/05/09/upnxt-5-9-19-everything-is-fine/
*****
THE DOUBLE SHOT
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Viceland’s “The Mysterious Death of Gorgeous Gino”, WWE Business Partner Summit, Greg Hamilton: A WWE Mockumentary, and this week’s Road to Double or Nothing and Being The Elite.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/26724769
*****

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About John Pollock 1124 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.