POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE proxy statement, COVID-19 case from Florida shows

WWE releases proxy statement, a fan says he's tested positive after attending shows in Florida, FITE TV comment regarding purchase & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I are LIVE with Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight at 10:15 pm ET for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**On Thursday, The Wellness Policy returns with Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman going live at 3 pm ET for POST Wrestling Café members. This month’s book review covers “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson.

**The British Wrestling Experience has a big show coming out Thursday as they discuss the recent report issued by The APPG regarding the UK wrestling scene and addressing the Speaking Out Movement and problems surrounding the industry. Host Martin Bushby will be joined by MP Alex Davies-Jones, child abuse litigator Alan Collins, and PW Torch’s Will Cooling.

**upNXT will now be released on Tuesday nights with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington going LIVE weekly after NXT wraps up. This week’s show features a review of the first episode on a new night, the unannounced appearances on the program, WrestleMania fallout, and this Thursday’s upNXT Mania event.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (10:15 pm ET for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman (LIVE at 3 pm ET)
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby and guests: MP Alex Davies-Jones, Alan Collins & Will Cooling
Friday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: MCU L8R with Wai Ting, WH Park & Nate Milton (Patreon)

WWE ISSUES PROXY STATEMENT

**WWE issued a notice for its annual meeting of stockholders along with a proxy statement that contained a lot of information regarding its executive team including compensation plans.

The annual shareholders’ meeting will occur Thursday, May 27th at 11 am ET in a virtual-only format. The agenda includes electing thirteen directors to serve until the next annual meeting, ratifying the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as its independent registered accounting firm through the end of 2021, and approving executive compensation packages.

The thirteen directors up for nomination include company executives Vince McMahon, Nick Khan, Stephanie McMahon, and Paul Levesque. The others are independent directors Steve Koonin (CEO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena), Erika Nardini (CEO at Barstool Sports), Laureen Ong, Steve Pamon, Frank Riddick III (who served as interim CFO last year after the departure of George Barrios), Connor Schell (former EVP of Content at ESPN), Man Jit Singh, Jeffrey Speed, and Alan Wexler.

Vince McMahon’s employment agreement ends on December 31, 2021, but automatically extends each year until either side provides notice by at least 180 days in advance that the agreement would not continue. His base salary is $1,400,000 but is entitled to the company’s management incentive plan that includes stock awards, non-equity incentive plan compensation, and other compensation, which totaled $3,905,792 for McMahon in 2020.

If Mr. McMahon dies or becomes disabled (as defined in the agreement) during the term of his agreement, or if we terminate Mr. McMahon’s employment for cause or if he resigns other than for good reason following a change in control, we are obligated to pay him (or his estate, as applicable) compensation and benefits accrued but unpaid as of the date of termination.

WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan signed a five-year employment agreement last year with a base salary of $1,200,000 and eligible for the management incentive plan (his listed compensation for the year is nearly $13 million when adding stock awards and other compensation).

Khan also received a signing bonus of $5 million, which he would have to repay in full if he left the company voluntarily or terminated for cause within the first year of the agreement. If he left under the same circumstances between 12-24 months, he would re-pay $3.1 million, and re-pay $1.2 million if he left between 24-36 months after the agreement began.

In addition, Mr. Khan became eligible to receive a sign-on grant of performance stock units (the “Special Grants”) of the Company’s Class A common stock valued at $15,000,000 over two years which, subject to satisfaction of certain performance metrics, will vest in September 2022 and in September 2025. Tranche 1 of the Special Grants, valued at $6 million, was made when he joined the Company. He is also eligible to participate in the Company’s performance/restricted stock program with an initial target equity award of $1,900,000 (prorated for calendar 2020). If Mr. Khan is terminated by the Company without cause prior the fifth anniversary of his employment start date, he will be entitled to receive his then-current base salary for the remainder of the agreement’s five-year term and as prorated portion of his incentive bonus for the year in which the termination occurs. Mr. Khan also received certain relocation expense benefits that are repayable if he voluntarily terminates his employment without good reason or is terminated for cause within the first 12 months. The Special Grants, to the extent not vested, are forfeited on any termination of Mr. Khan’s employment. Mr. Khan also receives retirement, health and welfare and other benefits and participates in plans generally available to other executive officers of the Company.

Paul Levesque has a booking agreement with the company that ends on March 30, 2022 but renews for one-year periods unless either party gives notice at least 90 days prior to its expiration. The booking agreement is for $1 million per year and overall compensation for 2020 was $2,318,280.

Stephanie McMahon’s booking agreement runs until October 6, 2021, with the same provisions of one-year successive extensions unless notified by either side with a guaranteed annual payment of $750,000 with her 2020 compensation listed at $2,187,266.

Shane McMahon is listed as a performer and earned $820,369 in 2020.

Ownership of Class B stock is limited to Vince McMahon (92.3 percent or 28,716,498 shares), Linda McMahon (1.8 percent or 566,770 shares), and Stephanie McMahon (6.1 percent or 1,912,409 shares). All Class B shares are fully convertible to Class A shares.

The largest owner of Class A shares is Lindsell Train Limited with 10,416,238 shares or 23 percent of Class A stock followed by The Vanguard Group (9.4 percent), BlackRock Inc. (9.3 percent), Cadian Capital Management (7.6 percent), Independent Franchise Partners (5.3 percent), with other executive directors at WWE having stock that amounts to less than 1 percent per person.

WRESTLING NEWS

**A fan that attended shows over the last week in Florida sent a tweet that they have tested positive for COVID-19. POST Wrestling reached out to the person in question, who tells us he received his positive COVID-19 test result on Tuesday night and allowed us to share this information. The person tells us he attended Jimmy Lloyd’s D-Generation F, Bloodsport 6, Spring Break, and both nights of WrestleMania 37.

Sean Curtis conducted an interview with a fan that attended several of the GCW events and was critical of some of the lack of protocols in effect. POST Wrestling has reached out to GCW regarding these issues and will update if we receive a response.

**FITE TV’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Weber issued the following statement to POST Wrestling following the news that the streaming platform has been purchased by TrillerNet:

Yes I’m staying (in) place.  No major changes to the FITE brand.  We just have some deeper resources behind us now that will help us grow the business.

**Variety is reporting that WrestleMania 37 led to a large influx of new subscribers to Peacock but did not receive a comment from company president Nick Khan. In their story, Variety noted that on-site merchandise sales were the highest per capita in company history and set a digital record with 1.1. billion video views on their social and video channels, which is up 14 percent from last year’s engagement. Khan spoke to Variety about plans for future shows in front of live fans:

Any plans? Yes. Any plans we can share? Stay tuned. But just know that once we’re back on the road, we’re on the road full time. We’re not looking to do other one offs. Again, this was WrestleMania. And we felt it needed to be done for the fans. So look for news coming soon.

**AEW Dynamite runs unopposed tonight with a taped edition of the program from Daily’s Place. Last year, when NXT ran twice on Tuesday, it resulted in AEW seeing a 17 percent increase in viewership and 12 percent jump in the 18-49 demographic against the four previous head-to-head figures. It will be interesting to see if the lack of NXT creates a new night for 50+ fans to dedicate to another wrestling program, or if AEW does not appeal to that demo, which NXT controlled throughout the entire battle. If AEW can attract a portion of that demo, it would be their bridge towards one million live viewers each week (they typically do hit that number when DVR figures are accounted for). It would also suggest that the audience isn’t opposed to AEW’s style of wrestling, they just aren’t going to watch it over NXT forced to choose. The same can be said for the younger audiences and what NXT can attract on their own night.

**Here are the announced matches and segments for AEW Dynamite at 8 pm ET on TNT:
*TNT Championship, Falls Count Anywhere: Darby Allin (champion) vs. Matt Hardy
*AEW Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (champions) vs. Rey Fenix & PAC (this could be one of the best TV matches of the year)
*Chris Jericho vs. Dax Harwood with Mike Tyson as the Special Enforcer
*Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet
*Kris Statlander vs. Amber Nova (Statlander’s first match since last June when she tore her ACL)
*In-ring debut of Anthony Ogogo

**Below are the matches scheduled for MLW Fusion tonight at 7 pm ET on Fubo Sports and the MLW YouTube channel:
*National Openweight Championship: Alex Hammerstone (champion) vs. Mil Muertes
*Caribbean Championship: Richard Holliday (champion) vs. Gino Medina
*World Tag Team Championship: Los Parks (champions) vs. The Dirty Blonds
*Mads Krugger speaks

**Chris Jericho appeared on Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca & Bully Ray to speak about his recent interview on the Broken Skull Sessions. Jericho noted the need for the show to acknowledge and cover AEW and was asked a follow-up by Bully Ray about any concerns after the interview regarding the final edit that would appear on the WWE Network:

I wouldn’t have done the show if it wasn’t to talk about my whole career including AEW. There would be no benefits for me to go on and just talk about old things that I’d done in WWE and Steve wouldn’t have had me on either. So, we were both adamant about if we`re going to do this let’s do it right.

We were both pretty adamant about how we wanted the show to be done but if a certain 73-year old wakes up one day and goes, ‘What? I never said that’, the whole thing could be changed, wiped off the face of the earth, or whatever. But I also think there was a lot of trust both from Vince (McMahon) and from Tony Khan towards both Steve (Austin) and myself knowing that we wouldn’t go that way. There was no reason to kind of talk about things that are going to bury either side, it was a very positive interview as you guys saw. So, there was a lot of trust afforded to us and I think the moment that Vince said, ‘do it’, he knew what we’d be talking about and Tony even said it too. He had trust in both Steve and I to take care of both parties and we did that. If it was anybody else I don’t know if we’d be afforded the trust and there might have a bit more “snakey snakey” but I had Steve’s word and Steve had my word that we were going to do our best to have a great show and there was no reason to tear anybody down or talk any bad things and I think it’s one of the reasons why it pretty much aired exactly as we spoke. The thing was over two hours long, I don’t think there was much edited out, a couple of lines here and there but probably only ten minutes out of the two hours plus that we talked about was edited out and that was more for time purposes.

**Jericho also spoke with Alfred Konuwa of Forbes.com and shared his feelings on the volume of people appearing weekly on AEW and the expansion of groups within the promotion:

I would never demean anybody for being on TV, and if factions are the way to go then that’s fine. Obviously, [AEW President Tony Khan] enjoys factions and it gets a lot of people with purpose and a role and I think that’s one of the things in wrestling that you need that. You need to have a little bit of direction of what you’re doing and that’s Tony’s idea.

**The Young Bucks spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider about their recent heel turn and aligning with Kenny Omega with Matt Jackson explaining their thought process of going in this direction:

We’re committing to this. We haven’t been true heels for many, many years. Being a bad guy is what helped get us over in wrestling. I don’t think people realize what we’re capable of doing as bad guys. We’re going to bring back a lot of stuff that is tried and true. A lot of stuff we did in Japan or the independents. But we also want to bring in a new version of the Young Bucks. On Wednesday, we’re going to have a new look. The other thing making us different is having Don Callis with us. Talk about a heatseeker. In AEW, you’ve seen the happy-go-lucky, Disney version of The Young Bucks. We smile and pose. You’re not going to see that anymore.

**Brian Gewirtz of Seven Bucks Productions spoke with Dave Hillhouse at SLAM Wrestling about his fifteen years working for WWE. Gewirtz noted that in 2012 he reached an agreement with WWE allowing him to work part-time as a consultant while also beginning to work with Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions as it was getting off the ground. In 2015, he shifted his work to full-time with Seven Bucks and stated that Stephanie McMahon-Levesque was extremely accommodating with the transition. Gewirtz also compared the more structured nature of the writing staff compared to his early days on the team:

Now, it is very structured and segmented. There’s a home team and there’s an away team, and there’s people who write specifically the day of the show, and people who write the first version of it, et cetera. But when I started it was me and the McMahons and a writer named Tommy Blacha, who had just come over from Conan. We would get to (Monday Night Raw), and then drive with the McMahons to the next town, get up at 7 a.m. the next day, and start from scratch and write SmackDown.

**Natalya praised the producing work of husband TJ Wilson for his contributions to the women’s matches at WrestleMania 37:

I don’t want to put @tjwilson711 on the spot— i just want to thank him for the most incredible work he did this weekend with every single women’s match at WrestleMania 37. Over 25 hours of practice (on top of many hours in our ring), I’m really so proud of the dedication that TJ has to helping others.

When TJ had to retire in 2015, it was challenging for him to picture his life outside of competing in the ring. For many athletes, we dedicate so much of our life to perfecting our craft, it often becomes our identity. It’s so inspiring to see how TJ is able to impact wrestling now more than ever before through his 25 years in the industry. He’s making the biggest impact of his career right now in the way he’s elevating others. The greatest thing we can do is give back! Those who do that— they are CHAMPIONS in every sense of the word.

Thanks for everything, @tjwilson711. Here’s to many more magical WrestleMania moments to come.

**Major League Baseball has hired Brian Stedman as its new executive vice-president of strategy and development. Stedman worked at WWE from 2013-20 where he eventually became the company’s EVP of global strategy.

**Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley appeared on the Sunrise Breakfast television show in Adelaide, Australia to discuss her championship win at WrestleMania and how she got into wrestling.

**Konosuke Takeshita had a very good match with Danny Limelight on this past Monday’s episode of AEW Dark: Elevation. Later in the show, they set up a six-man tag for next week’s episode of Elevation with Kenny Omega, Takeshita & Michael Nakazawa against Matt and Mike Sydal & Limelight.

**Stephanie Chase interviewed Chris Jericho to promote tonight’s match on Dynamite with Dax Harwood involving Mike Tyson as the special enforcer.

**Jericho appears on KTLA to promote tonight’s episode of Dynamite.

**NJPW’s Road to Wrestling Dontaku tour continues Thursday at Korakuen Hall with a show streaming at 5:30 am ET on New Japan World:
*Will Ospreay & Aaron Henare vs. Shingo Takagi & SANADA
*Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs. Jeff Cobb & The Great O-Khan
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano vs. EVIL, KENTA, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro & Gedo
*Guerrillas of Destiny & Jado vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI
*Roppongi 3K & Tomoaki Honma vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki

**Here are the matches and segments advertised for Thursday’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling at 8 pm ET on AXS TV:
*Press conference featuring Kenny Omega and Rich Swann to promote Rebellion on 4/25
*Jazz’s retirement ceremony
*Matt Cardona vs. TBA
*Brian Myers vs. TBA
*TJP vs. Josh Alexander

**GLEAT has released information for a card they will run on May 26th at Shinjuku Face headlined by Kaz Hayashi, CIMA & Minoru Tanaka against T-Hawk, Lindaman & Soma Watanabe.

**The New York Times covers what exactly an NFT or nonfungible token is.

MMA NEWS

**The rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor was officially announced for UFC 264 on July 10th. The fight is scheduled to take place in front of a full capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with tickets on sale later this week. This news comes after Tuesday’s announcement by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak with the state’s intended goal of reopening at 100 percent capacity by June 1st and dropping the mandate for social distancing by May 1st.

**A sexual assault allegation has been made against YouTube star and boxer Jake Paul with the celebrity fighter denying the allegation. Justine Paradise, who runs a successful TikTok channel, posted a video last week (that is labeled with a trigger warning describing sexual assault) accusing Paul of forcing her to perform an unwanted sex act in July 2019 at a mansion in Los Angeles. Paradise stated she made it clear she didn’t want to do anything beyond kissing and Paul didn’t ask for consent. Paul has issued a lengthy statement stating the claim is “100 percent false” and claims he never had a sexual relationship with this person and calls it a “manufactured accusation and a blatant attempt for attention during a highly visible fight week.” Paul added he will be seeking legal action for defamation of character. Paul is set to fight Ben Askren in a boxing exhibition this Saturday night for the Triller Fight Club.

**Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will make her PFL debut on Thursday, June 10th against Brittney Elkin (3-6) in a lightweight fight. Shields intends to compete for the PFL during the 2022 season. Shields signed a deal with the PFL last year and has been training at JacksonWink in New Mexico. The June 10th card will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN3 in Spanish.

**ONE Championship presents its second live card on TNT tonight at 10 pm ET immediately following AEW Dynamite. Tonight’s card features Christian Lee vs. Timofey Nastyukhin for the ONE Lightweight Championship. Last week’s card drew 196,000 viewers and a 0.08 in the 18-49 demographic but that had the promotion’s two biggest stars in Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez.

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About John Pollock 3366 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.