POLLOCK’S UPDATE: TKO executive compensation figures released, Review of Sensational Sherri episode

Photo Courtesy: @arielhelwani on X

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10:10 p.m. ET tonight following AEW Dynamite with Wai Ting & John Pollock. We will go through the show and discuss all the latest news from the past 24 hours.

**On Thursday, we are covering HUSTLE-3 from May 2004 on Rewind-A-Wai #155 as selected by Espresso Executive Producer Alex from Quebec. You can leave feedback on the POST Wrestling Forum and the show will be released for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**The Long & Winding Royal Road returns on Saturday with WH Park being joined by Neal Flanagan as they look at the 2020 documentary series on the AJPW Dojo.

**Andrew Thompson will be the guest on this month’s edition of POSTmarks with David Meyers & Bruce Lord which will be released on Sunday.

SENSATIONAL SHERRI

Sensational Sherri (Sherry Russell) was profiled on Dark Side of the Ring and painted a sad depiction of her story and what was sacrificed to make it as a professional wrestler.

Those interviewed included her son Jarred, who is battling health problems believed to be cancer-related and had a speech problem due to a portion of his tongue removed from his health ailment. Sherri opted to leave her husband and three-month-old child to pursue her dream of becoming a pro wrestler and obviously, weighed on her later in life as she would profusely apologize to Jarrod. Her son did not have ill will against the choice she made but was brutally honest about the drug use he observed when he was around her, failing to recall a time she was sober in his presence, which magnified how significant her drug issues became. From the wrestling side, Jim Cornette was an excellent resource to contextualize the era and what Sherri brought to the table along with the personal tie-in of being the first person Cornette managed in 1982 in Memphis. Jake Roberts was very strong in the episode sharing that he had an “on and off” relationship with Sherri for years and first met when Jake was a referee for Mid-South and Sherri was a fan. While Sherri is remembered for being such a great bump taker as a manager, it more than took its toll with the stories over the years of her immense back pain and need for surgery later in life, which she could never afford. This sent her down a road of drug dependency and a quote from Sherri in the piece that she believed the pills made her perform better. I thought her female contemporaries Debrah “Madusa” and Miceli “Rockin” Robin Smith gave a great account of the struggle of being a woman during this era as Sherri tried to keep pace with the men when it came to partying on the road and being seen as her equal. When her drug use led to her WCW dismissal in 1997, Madusa noted the hypocrisy when that standard was not being applied to male counterparts, who had the same drug problems and would be impossible to argue given the state of that locker room in that era.

Like many, Sherri seemed to have the elusive hope for “one more run” and believed that her WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2006 would open that door. When Mike Lano wrote about Sherri’s passing in 2007, he mentioned that Sherri had moved near Louisville, Kentucky, with the belief through Jim Cornette that she would be hired as a trainer but seemed resigned that it wasn’t going to happen.

When Sherri died in June 2007, it was days after the WWE shot the angle where Vince McMahon’s limo exploded, and on the day of Sherri’s death, WWE held a “tribute” show for McMahon on SmackDown complete with a ten-bell salute and wrestler testimonials in the same format they utilized when Owen Hart and Eddy Guerrero died. It drew a lot of criticism to use that format and then, a significant death did occur with Sherri, not to mention the heinous murder-suicide involving Chris Benoit the next weekend.

Overall, this was another impactful episode of Dark Side of the Ring and I’ve come away very impressed with the storytelling and interview subjects this season. These are not shows that have the “happy ending” but rather, at best, you hope these stories serve as guideposts for the current industry and learning from the past and hopeful that modern talents see these pitfalls and we don’t see a generation of parents without strong relationships with their kids, deaths at a young age, and rampant drug abuse that was ignored for far too long.

WRESTLING NEWS

**TKO released a proxy statement in advance of its meeting of shareholders, which will be held virtually on June 12 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The company will be holding a vote for its shareholders to elect its board of directors, ratify the appointment of Deloitte & Touche as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm, and approve executive compensation among the items listed. The proxy statement includes amounts the top executives earned in 2023 as a result of the WWE sale and merger with UFC to form TKO between salaries and stock options. Leading the way is CEO and executive chairman Ari Emanuel, who earned almost $65 million between his salary of $911,538 from September 12, 2023 (the completion of the sale) until the end of the year, a $24 million bonus, and $40 million in stock awards. TKO president and COO Mark Shapiro earned $16.1 million in various rewards and salaries, CFO Andrew Schleimer made $8.8. million, and WWE president Nick Khan had a package worth $32 million. Vince McMahon is listed as making $376,323 for his work as an employee but not his role as a director. McMahon is listed as holding 8,021,405 shares of Class A common stock, which is 9.9 percent of TKO stock and 4.7 percent voting power. (THR)

**The first week of NXT’s Spring Breakin’ averaged 661,000 viewers and 263,000 (0.20) in the 18-49 demographic. The audience was up by six percent this week and its highest number since January 16, while the 18-49 increased by eighteen percent to its highest since January 9. Due to the NHL playoffs, NXT only streamed in Canada on SN Now and we do not have any viewership data. In the U.S, the show peaked during the eight-minute overrun for Trick Williams’ title win against Ilja Dragunov with 741,000 viewers and 300,000 in the demo. (Wrestlenomics)

**AEW returns to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida for the first of two shows this week. Tony Khan is stationed in the city all week for the NFL Draft with NFL Films following him this week as he handles both roles. WrestleTix reports 2,134 tickets distributed for tonight’s show and includes Jon Moxley’s first IWGP title defense. AEW returns to Daily’s Place on Saturday for live editions of Collision and Rampage. Below are the announced segments and matches for tonight:
*IWGP World Championship: Jon Moxley © vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
*AEW World Title – Eliminator Match: Swerve Strickland © vs. Kyle Fletcher
*Mina Shirakawa vs. Anna Jay
*Willow Nightingale’s Championship Celebration
*Chris Jericho appears
*Chuck Taylor chooses between Trent Beretta and Orange Cassidy

**TNA issued a press release to note that Mike Santana has signed with promotion following his return at Rebellion this past Saturday. Santana previously wrestled for the company as part of LAX from 2017-2019 before signing with AEW.

**I thought Tuesday’s episode of NXT was so well structured around the coronation of Trick Williams as NXT Champion. The entire episode had one consistent thread of Williams having his back against the wall after three losses to Ilja Dragunov and utilizing multiple main roster cameos to add to the gravity of the match and a “changing of the guard” moment for the brand. The pop for Williams’ win was huge inside of the Performance Center and came off as strong of a moment as I can recall in recent memory on NXT. It signals the departure of Dragunov before he is drafted and is the right role for Williams to grow as a performer, who will be placed as the key star on NXT for the foreseeable future.

**Next week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring covers The Sandman (Jim Fullington) and the season finale airs on May 7 and focuses on Black Saturday from July 1984.

**United Japan Pro Wrestling has added an eight-man junior heavyweight tag match to its All Together 2024 card on May 6. Hiromu Takahashi teams with Tetsuya Endo, Alpha Wolf, YAMATO, and Dragon Bane against El Desperado, HAYATA, MAO, Kota Minoura & Ninja Mack. The card is a conjunction of nine promotions with NJPW, NOAH, DDT, AJPW, Dragon Gate, Big Japan, Stardom, Tokyo Joshi Pro, and Ganbare collaborating.

**Prestige Wrestling has added a first-time match between Athena and Masha Slamovich for its card on July 12 in Portland, Oregon. The Combat Clash event will include Roderick Strong, Shelton, Benjamin, Wardlow, Alex Shelley, and Danhausen.

MMA NEWS

**UFC finally confirmed its return to Manchester, England for the UFC 304 pay-per-view on July 27 at the new Co-op Live. Like UFC 204 in 2016, the start time will be 11 p.m. BST, and the main card at 3 a.m. BST to accommodate the North American pay-per-view start time. It is a different mentality than WWE where they have the flexibility to stream its PLEs live at any point during the day as opposed to the pressure of drawing on pay-per-view where the lion’s share of buys come from North America and a prime-time airing is beneficial. Co-op Live is listed as the largest indoor arena in the U.K. and just opened this week. Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 7 with UFC Fight Club members having access to tickets two days prior.

**A women’s bantamweight fight between Macy Chiasson (9-3) and Marya Bueno Silva (10-3-1, 1 NC) has been added to UFC 303 on June 29. Chiasson returned to the weight class in her last fight and beat Pannie Kianzad by submission while Bueno Silva lost to Raquel Pennington by unanimous decision at UFC 297 for the vacant title. UFC 303 will be headlined by the long-awaited fight between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler in a five-round welterweight contest.

**The UFC Fight Night card at the Apex this Saturday is headlined by Alex Perez vs. Matheus Nicolau in a flyweight contest. The main card airs on ESPN & ESPN+ and includes Ryan Spann vs. Bogdan Guskov, Karine Silva vs. Ariane Lipski, Austen Lane vs. Jhonata Diniz, Jonathan Pearce vs. David Onama, and Tim Means vs. Uroš Medić.

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About John Pollock 5573 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.