Columnist Rob Pasbani also previews this week’s wrestling on TV, what’s happening at the Raw 30th anniversary next week, Royal Rumble news and more.
News behind the scenes in WWE has slowed down this week after a busy few weeks of Vince McMahon reinstating himself as executive chairman and Stephanie McMahon resigning last week. McMahon is hoping to sell the company, and possibly take it private, with many insiders speculating he will ultimately return to power when all is said and done.
Triple H made sure that WWE talent knew still firmly in control of WWE creative and storylines! He held a talent meeting at Smackdown last Friday and Raw yesterday, to reassure superstars things will be business as usual for now. Triple H said that he has the final say for creative. He admitted that he does talk to Vince McMahon from time to time, but Triple H was firm in saying he had the final say in creative. Triple H said McMahon is only spearheading efforts to get the company sold, and the new media rights.
Meanwhile, McMahon has started coming into the office and hiring staffers. There are rumors he may appear on next week’s Raw 30th-anniversary show.
Meanwhile, two Vice Presidents have announced they are leaving the company. WWE vice president of public relations Adam Hopkins is gone after 25 years with the company. Vice President of Communications Stefanie Fiondella also departed last week, initially joining WWE from 2014 through 2019 before returning in April 2021.
Meanwhile, a new SEC filing today showed McMahon repealed some of the bylaw amendments, the main one being that shareholders needed to approve any big transaction or media rights decision. “No further approval of the stockholders of the Company is required to approve any of the actions taken by Mr. McMahon pursuant to the January 16th Consent,” the filing states.
Sportico reported that the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System has attempted to file a class action lawsuit to get McMahon stripped of his powers. The suit claims McMahon acted wrongfully in trying to “impose his personal will on WWE and its (Board) by purporting to adopt a package of invalid and inequitable bylaw amendments that would hamstring the Board from making critical business decisions.” They also claim he controls too much of the voting power. McMahon has 81% voting power while owning 35% of the shares.
The Rock was asked about the potential sale on CNBC today and said “Well, I can tell you this, I can tell you that it’s an exciting brand. It’s a brand that I’ve been very fortunate enough to have tremendous success [in] over the decades. And also, for your viewers here in the business world who may not know, the lineage goes way back, multi-generational with the WWE. My grandfather wrestled for Vince McMahon Sr. in the 70s. My dad wrestled for Vince McMahon in the 80s. And then I came along with my bad haircut and fanny pack and I continued to wrestle for Vince too as well. So we’ve seen tremendous success over the years. I think it’s a very attractive company. And I’m excited and I wish Vince and that company all the best.”
When one of the hosts added that WWE would be difficult to sell unless the buyer wants Vince in charge, Rock responded “I would [agree] and that’s a great note. I think with the world of professional wrestling and the world of WWE, it’s so unique. The fan base is very large and very passionate and there’s nothing like the WWE. So I think with the new owners, if there are new owners, and acquirers who are gonna come in, I think that they have to share that same passion that Vince has for the company and for the world of pro wrestling, which isn’t always easy to do. As you guys know, with a company like this, it’s been so incredibly successful over the years, a sale and acquisition could be very complicated, but there’s that unique added anchor to this I believe that Vince feels where you gotta find the right buyer who still has that passion and the love for this very unique world.”
I’ll keep you posted on more business developments as they happen.
NXT is live tonight at 8pm on USA Network:
AEW has a fun Dynamite scheduled for tomorrow at 8pm eastern on TNT:
Impact on Thursday on AXS TV has:
Smackdown on Friday announced:
While last night’s RAW wasn’t super eventful, next week is the big 30th anniversary show and they have a great lineup already with Becky Lynch vs. Bayley in a steel cage match, The Usos defend the RAW tag team championship against The Judgment Day (Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio), Austin Theory defends the US title against Bobby Lashley and there will be a Bloodline Acknowledgement Ceremony, with all generations of the Bloodline in attendance (will The Rock be in attendance?). The following WWE legends have also been announced:
Fightful Select reports that John Cena filmed a backstage segment with Austin Theory when he appeared on Smackdown a few weeks ago. The speculation is that it is a set up for a match at WrestleMania. There were rumblings that Cena might be penciled in for Logan Paul, but it seems the program is going to be Cena vs. Theory at WrestleMania.
Jade Kargill spoke to Bootleg Kev about what her trainer, Bryan Danielson does to hype her up. “He’s like, ‘If you want to get comfortable with doing promos, do karaoke. You should definitely do karaoke and you’ll be fine.’ Working with someone like that, I’m getting very comfortable in the ring. He’s like ‘You need to just breathe in the audience. You’ll have so much fun if you just live in the moment and like with the hits and all this kind of stuff. Just breathe and take it in and listen. You’re gonna be fine.” Now I’m getting more comfortable.”
Cody Rhodes has announced he’s back at the Royal Rumble. Omos, Rey Mysterio and Gunther will also be entered into the match next Saturday. Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw women’s championship has been added to the show.
Jay White vs. Eddie Kingston has been added to NJPW’s Battle in the Valley PPV next month in San Jose. Mercedes Moné is challenging for the IWPG women’s title on the show against KAIRI, and Okada is scheduled to defend his world championship.
Just AEW Women’s Champ Jamie Hayter hanging out with Tony Hawk:
Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.