POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE responds to Firefighters’ Pension suit

WWE has responded to a recent lawsuit involving its deal with Saudi Arabia, NXT UK call set for Tuesday, WWE EVP speaks, Jarrett vs. Anthem, UFC details.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight for Rewind-A-Raw discussing today’s news, reviewing Raw, and we will take your questions & feedback. We will also be going through some of the POST Wrestling Café shows coming up in July.

**The mailbag thread for our monthly ASK-A-WAI show is on the POST Wrestling Forum. Our July edition of the show will be released Tuesday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Andrew Thompson will have an interview with Stu Bennett on the site on Tuesday to discuss his upcoming film “I Am Vengeance: Retaliation”, a proposed run in Lucha Underground, working with the NWA and more.

**Dr. Alex Patel will be back this Thursday for an update on everything he’s been working on during the pandemic and his observations of how the wrestling industry is handling COVID-19.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI mailbag show with John & Wai (Patreon)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: POST Interview – Dr. Alex Patel
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for all Patrons)
Saturday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & guest Scrump (Misawa & Akiyama vs. Hayabusa & Shinzaki, Nov. 1997)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of WWE Raw was taped this past Saturday at the Performance Center and advertised around two separate contract signings. In an era of electronic signatures, WWE has gotten its fill out of papers and pens with several more added to the list tonight. The signings will feature Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, along with Asuka and Sasha Banks prior to their respective matches at Extreme Rules next month. Here are the matches announced for tonight’s show:
*Viking Raiders vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
*Apollo Crews vs. MVP in a non-title match
*Appearances by Big Show and Ric Flair

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,174,000 viewers on Fox, which was identical to the overnight number. The show did 0.5 in the 18-49 demographic, which was tied for first on the night with ABC’s replays of Shark Tank and 20/20. SmackDown did 0.3 in the 18-34 demo, which was tops for the night among the other networks. It was SmackDown’s highest number since April 17th with a show promoted around the tribute for The Undertaker.

**The Wrestling Observer site is reporting that NXT UK talent has been alerted of a mandatory conference call Tuesday regarding its future. It is unknown what will be addressed.

**WWE has issued a lengthy response to the consolidated amendment case that was filed by the lead plaintiffs of the Firefighters’ Pension System of the City of Kansas City, Missouri. WWE is issuing for an order to dismiss the lawsuit that also lists Vince McMahon, and former company co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson as defendants. This is the case that featured two confidential witnesses with one listing themselves as a former employee at MBC regarding WWE’s television rights deal in the MENA region and another witness that worked for WWE until this past April alleging of problems during the Crown Jewel event last year and the hold-up regarding talent and staff getting back to the United States from Saudi Arabia.

Regarding the MENA rights deal and CW-1 (confidential witness #1) asserting that the disclosures were either insufficient or materially false or misleading, the statements say that the lawsuit is “devoid of reference to any source to support these speculative and conclusory assertions.” They state the confidential witness never interacted with the defendants or participated in the negotiations over the MENA rights deal, or worked at WWE’s corporate offices. They added that the language in their releases covers risks associated with deals.

Furthermore, WWE’s side argues that the plaintiff doesn’t satisfy the requirements to display that the defendants made false or misleading statements.

CW-1 does not claim to have been directly involved in any negotiations with WWE, to have exchanged a single message with WWE, or to have been present for a single meeting or telephone call with anyone at WWE. He had a very short stint at MBC: he joined in the fall of 2019—months after the start of the Class Period—and he left at some unknown point less than a year later.13 He therefore cannot support any allegations as to the July 2019 agreements-in-principle.14 The allegations also reveal that, even for the short period when he was at MBC, he had a limited and apparently junior role with respect to WWE, focused only on an internal-to-MBC study used to estimate the potential deal value for MBC. All of his assertions as to the actual discussions with WWE are based on second- or thirdhand information he purportedly heard from unidentified persons (some of whom he does not even recall).

Otherwise he offers his personal opinions about what he viewed as “optimistic” or whether he “thinks” negotiations are still ongoing as of June 2020.

Regarding payments from Saudi Arabia being late are allegations that “centers on innuendo” and labeled as “specious and defective”. They dismiss any stress in the relationship between WWE and Saudi Arabia by the fact that days after Crown Jewel 2019 they announced an expanded partnership confirming two events per year.

Certain reimbursable costs were outstanding after each of the events, which have all since been paid (but for approximately $2.4 million not yet paid for Crown Jewel 2019). Plaintiff tries to emphasize the significance of $60 million that was owed for the June 7, 2019 event, but Plaintiff’s only criticism is that the payment was made within 30 days after Defendants said that they expected it would be. Defendants never guaranteed the date of payment and Plaintiff does not allege that the payment missed a contractual deadline.

On the problems coming back from Saudi Arabia last year after the Crown Jewel event, the statement stands by WWE’s response that it was due to mechanical issues on their charter flight. They stated the plaintiff is relying on “speculative so-called ‘news outlets’ and Twitter accounts, as well as a former wrestler”.

This was their response to CW-2 (confidential witness #2) sharing a conversation they alleged to have had with Marc Carrano regarding problems between Vince McMahon and the Crown Prince and the live feed being cut during Crown Jewel:

The most specific item CW-2 provides—the hearsay that a WWE Senior Director of Talent Relations informed him that Defendant McMahon cut the live feed and got into an argument with the Crown Prince as to late payments—is directly contradicted by Plaintiff’s own allegations and items Plaintiff relied upon. KSA made the $60 million payment before the Crown Jewel event began, as was publicly disclosed earlier that day on the earnings call. It thus does not make sense, logically, that this payment (even accepting the conclusory allegation that it was “late”) would have prompted Defendant McMahon to temporarily “cut” and then shortly thereafter resume a live broadcast feed.

Further, none of the allegations related to Crown Jewel creates a plausible inference that any of the Defendants committed securities fraud. By the time of this event (October 31, 2019), WWE had already lowered its year-end guidance to assume a MENA media rights deal would not be completed, explaining that although “the Company continues to work toward the completion of a MENA agreement, no assurances can be given in this regard.” The ultimate yearend financials were consistent with that adjusted guidance. And, days after the event, WWE announced that it expanded its partnership with GEA to include a second live event every year through 2027. Thus, even were the Court to credit Plaintiff’s third-hand allegations from CW-2, they do not support that anything related to the Crown Jewel event rendered any of the Company’s forward-looking opinion statements false or misleading.

The last allegation addressed in the response was regarding stock sales by the defendants that they argue the plaintiffs have not proven to be “unusual” or “suspicious” and the onus in on the plaintiffs to prove that. Specific to Vince McMahon’s big stock sale, they noted the launch of the XFL as a reason for a larger than usual stock sale. They added that McMahon’s sale was for approximately 11% of his overall holdings and they didn’t classify as a significant amount with McMahon remaining its largest shareholder.

**The four-way match on this Wednesday’s Great American Bash special has been announced as an elimination match involving Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, and Mia Yim for a future NXT women’s title shot.

**TJ Wilson addressed his own testing results stating he took two COVID-19 tests in the past week and was negative for the virus. It had been reported that Wilson was sent home with a fever and did not work the recent tapings over the weekend.

**In an interview with Seth Everett, WWE’s EVP, Global Head of Sales and Partnerships John Brody addressed the company continuing to hold events during the pandemic:

First thing’s first, the health and safety of our superstars like Charlotte (who was also part of the interview), our legends like Ric (Flair), all of our frontline workers because we have frontline workers, also, is first and foremost of paramount importance to us. But it comes down to leadership in many ways Seth (the host). Our leader, our founder, our chairman, our CEO believes that we have a social responsibility to put fans first and to help fans get a little break from what was, then, coming and now in the midst of, and we have a responsibility to try and take them away for a few hours and let them watch Charlotte do the amazing things that she and her colleagues do in the ring and give them a smile, give them a chance to feel something other than what they’re watching – which is also important, on the news.

We leaned in, not because we knew an exactly straight path ahead but to say “we are going to put fans first”, we are going to do everything we can working with state, local, and federal officials to make sure it’s safe first for our most important resource – Charlotte Flair and the WWE superstars but we are going to do whatever we can to deliver content for our partners Fox, NBCU, all of our partners, Sony, all of our partners around the world, but our fans. We did it with a closed set, we immediately went into the WWE Performance Center. I was saying to Charlotte before, most people think “Well, WWE did it because they had a studio ready to roll”, ask Charlotte if that’s a studio – it’s a gym. It’s a really nice gym but it’s a gym that we have transformed into a set. And, the way we have done it is first, make sure we only have essential personnel, we have a closed set, no fans, we’re testing all the superstars to make sure they’re healthy.

But, we have a responsibility to our fans and we wanted to continue to deliver for them to help them in the small little way we could.

**All Japan has a card Tuesday morning inside an empty venue including a Triple Crown title match in the main event. Below is the full card that will stream on AJPW.tv:
*Suwama vs. Shotaro Ashino for the Triple Crown
*Jake Lee vs. Kuma Arashi
*Koji Iwamoto vs. Yusuke Kodama for the AJPW junior heavyweight title
*Kento Miyahara, Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio & Francesco Akira vs. Shuji Ishikawa, Yusuke Okada & Hikaru Sato
*Yoshitatsu & Seigo Tachibana vs. Yuma Aoyagi & Tajiri
*Zeus & Utamaro vs. Takao Omori & Black Menso-re
*Rising Hayato vs. Hokuto Omori
*Dan Tamura vs. Atsuki Aoyagi

**Impact Wrestling has added a Knockouts Gauntlet Match for the Slammiversary pay-per-view on Saturday, July 18th. The match will include Taya Valkyrie, Rosemary, Su Yung, Kiera Hogan, Tasha Steelz, Kylie Rae, Havok, Kimber Lee, Alisha Edwards, and Navaeh. The winner will be the #1 contender for the Knockouts title, which will be defended by Jordynne Grace against Deonna Purrazzo on the pay-per-view.

**The WWE stock increased by more than 5% on Monday closing at $43.59.

**Jon West, who is a Nebraska-based wrestler has launched an event later this summer called “Black Wrestlers Matter” that will take place on Saturday, August 22nd at the Franklin Jr. High Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. The proceeds of the event will go to the group Knowledge is Power that is raising funds for 33,000 students in the Des Moines public school system. Tickets for this event are available at this link.

**Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com has been covering the suit involving Anthem Sports and Jeff Jarrett regarding the Global Force Wrestling content. The case is set to go to trial on Tuesday where they hope to resolve who had the rights to the GFW content. Jarrett has argued that once he was terminated by the company, Impact no longer had the rights. The master tapes have said to be deleted from Anthem’s servers.

**Becky Lynch will be part of Team Gronk on CBS’ Game On this Wednesday at 8 pm Eastern.

**MLW CEO Court Bauer spoke with Justin Barrasso at SI.com reiterating the company’s stance that they won’t return to live events until it is safe. Following the DAZN deal, they have announced, Bauer hinted at another domestic rights deal he expects to close over the next week. In the interview, he also discussed Tom Lawlor representing the company in New Japan’s new Lion’s Break Collision series that debuts this Friday on New Japan World.

**Former WWE writer Andrea Listenberger spoke with the Ring the Belle show on her time on the SmackDown writing staff. She was a former comedy writer and worked in reality television prior to WWE. She said she could not speak directly about certain aspects of her time there due to “confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements”. She pointed out she was not the only female on the writing team and that females were represented. Listenberger stated she worked closely with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, who she said was great to work with. One of her frustrations was working with so much talent but limited with a two-hour show regarding who can be showcased.

**A biography on Sid Eudy has been held up due to threats of legal action by Eudy according to a story on SLAM Wrestling. The project began with Eudy working with author and close friend Barry R. Norman with the book titled “Poetry in the Sand”. The book was completed and set for release until Eudy’s legal team reached out to Norman as well as Amazon to halt sales. Eudy’s side claims the author didn’t have the book copyrighted, which Norman disputes. Amazon informed Norman earlier this month they were pulling the book to avoid any involvement in a legal dispute.

**Back Body Drop in the UK reports that the June 15th episode of WWE Raw did 58,900 viewers (an increase of 14,800 from the previous week) on BT Sport and the June 19th episode of SmackDown averaged on 36,100. With AEW, the June 17th episode of Dynamite (airing on June 19th in the UK) did 120,000 on ITV4 and was down 13,000 from the week prior.

**Impact Wrestling’s channel on Pluto TV has been expanded into Latin American regions including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

**Renee Young has stated she will have an announcement coming on Wednesday.

**The latest edition of Being the Elite.

**Stephanie McMahon-Levesque and Charlotte Flair were guests on the premiere episode of “Top of Her Game” on Sportsnet that is hosted by Tara Slone.

**As always, a thoughtful message from Kevin Steen regarding wearing masks and also noting that his wife’s grandfather recent died due to COVID-19 with the family having to watch his funeral on Zoom:

**The following statement was issued by the Smash Wrestling promotion based in Toronto, Ontario:

TO OUR LOYAL FANS:

Smash Wrestling would like to acknowledge all of the women and men for their bravery in sharing their stories as a part of the #SpeakingOut movement.

It is through your bravery that we as a wrestling community can begin to make significant changes for the better, both in and out of the ring.

During the course of the past week, Smash Wrestling has conducted personal interviews with many of our female performers and staff, both past and present in an effort to learn how we can create the safest environment possible at our shows for everyone.

We recognize that a number of names involved in horrible and inexcusable displays of bullying, harassment and sexual assault have been involved in our events in the past. We’d like to assure all of our fans that none will ever be involved in one of our events in the future.

While Smash Wrestling is currently drafting a new Code of Conduct that is to be strictly enforced at all of our events, the truth is, it will take more and we recognize that.

The reality is, there is a pattern of toxic masculinity that exists globally within the world of professional wrestling and it is going to take a collaborative effort on the part of all promoters, trainers, performers, staff and fans to eliminate the people who are stripping professional wrestling of its purity. We pledge to be a part of the solution. The world of wrestling is listening. The world of wrestling is learning. The culture of wrestling is changing. We are changing with it.

MMA NEWS

**MMA Junkie has revealed new details regarding the protocol in place for the upcoming UFC cards on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Below are some of the notes from their reporting:
*Ahead of UFC 251 on July 11th, fighters will register on Tuesday, July 7th with weigh-ins on Friday between 5-7 pm local time
*The card will take place from 2-8 am local time early Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi and air in its regular time in North America
*Athletes will have private workout areas and a portable sauna, no access to rooms until they passed their COVID-19 tests
*Three meals per day are provided with a $150 credit each day for other items
*There are two restaurants that will operate at 30% capacity along with in-room dining
*Mandatory facemasks and gloves to be worn outside of their rooms and workout areas
*Recommended distance of two meters apart when possible
*Hotel rooms will be cleaned every 48 hours
*Maximum number of people in a hotel gym at once is 21 with gyms cleaned every two hours while pool and spa areas are closed
*There is a golf course for the fighters and other attractions in the “safe zone”

**After his decision victory over Kyle Daukaus, UFC middleweight Brendan Allen revealed several injuries. Through his manager Brian Butler-Au, it was revealed the fighter suffered three facial fractures in his nose and orbital floor and will likely miss the rest of 2020. Butler-Au added that Allen is considering a return to the light heavyweight division. The 24-year old won on Dana White’s Contender Series last July and has gone 3-0 in the UFC defeating Kevin Holland, Tom Breese, and Daukaus.

**ONE Championship is returning on Friday, July 31st with a closed-door event in Bangkok, Thailand. The promotion has announced two Muay Thai fights and one kickboxing fight for the show with the following fights:
*Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Petchdam Petchyindee Academy for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship
*Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy vs. Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex for the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship
*Superbon Banchamek vs Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong in a 70.3kg Super Series Kickboxing fight

ON THIS DATE

 

 

*****
THE ROCKY MAIVIA PICTURE SHOW #18: G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

This month on The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Nate Milton welcomes the Associate Producer & Social Media Manager of upNXT, John Siino into the theater to review 2013’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/27/the-rocky-maivia-picture-show-18-g-i-joe-retaliation-2013-w-john-siino/
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https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/27/rewind-a-smackdown-6-26-20-wwe-covid-19-taping-chaos/
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https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/26/british-wrestling-experience-speakingout/
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https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/25/rewind-a-dynamite-6-24-20-wwe-covid-19-positives-aew-talent-off-dynamite/
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upNXT 6/24/20: “Are You Afraid of the Trunk?”

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the June 24th edition of WWE NXT featuring a Triple Threat Match for the NXT North American Championship between Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, and Keith Lee.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/25/upnxt-6-24-20-are-you-afraid-of-the-trunk/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #64: WWF Ground Zero 1997

John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF Ground Zero: In Your House from September 7, 1997, featuring the first-ever televised singles match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. This show was originally reviewed on the debut edition of Review-A-Wai back in September 2009.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/24/rewind-a-wai-64-wwf-ground-zero-in-your-house-1997/
*****

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About John Pollock 1886 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.