Vince McMahon Forces Way Back into WWE, New Japan WrestleKingdom Highlights & More Wrestling News - Knotfest
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Vince McMahon Forces Way Back into WWE, New Japan WrestleKingdom Highlights & More Wrestling News

Posted by Rob Pasbani in Culture on January 6, 2023

Columnist Rob Pasbani catches you up on how Vince reclaimed power in WWE, the best of New Japan’s biggest show of the year, what’s happening on TV this weekend, plus news on Ronda Rousey, new wrestling Biography episodes on A&E and more.

Vince McMahon Regains Power in WWE

As first reported yesterday by the Wall Street Journal, Vince McMahon has officially forced his way back into WWE today. A press release was sent out confirming that McMahon was now Executive Chairman of WWE, and placed on the board of directors of WWE along with former co-Presidents Michelle Wilson and George Barrios. Wilson and Barrios were fired a few years ago by McMahon over a disagreement in where to take the WWE Network.

Vince resigned early this year after the Wall Street Journal dropped an explosive report that Vince McMahon was under investigation by the WWE board of directors and was revealed to have paid nearly $20 million to four women in hush money, some of which were on-screen talent. This led to Vince resigning a few weeks later, for the company’s betterment with Triple H put in charge of creative, and Stephanie McMahon being named co-CEO with Nick Khan. 

McMahon remained the largest shareholder in WWE, and told the company he would not approve any sale or TV rights negotiations without being put in charge of such negotiations. In his letter to the board of directors in WWE, he noted that he did not plan to change the management team of Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan and Paul Levesque – only work behind the scenes to negotiate the best possible deal for WWE shareholders.

As a result of McMahon’s return, two members of the board of the directors, Ignace Lahoud and Man Jit Singh, announced their resignation. Singh was the board member leading the investigation into the sexual assault allegations against McMahon.

Will WWE get sold? The most likely bidder for the rights would be Comcast (NBC Universal), as they already pay out millions in rights fees for WWE RAW, WWE NXT and the WWE Network on Peacock. It would be cheaper in the long-run to buy the company out altogether and own the rights, including next-day streaming rights to all the shows.

WWE’s stock rose as high as 20% on the news. It will be a very interesting few weeks behind the scenes at WWE.

For now, here is a recap of the corporate letters Vince McMahon and the board of directors sent each other over the last few weeks.


New Japan Pro Wrestling WrestleKingdom 17 Highlights

Did you stay up late to watch the big annual New Japan show, WrestleKingdom? No?! You didn’t?! Well, there are two moments, in particular, I want to mention that you should check out.

The first is the long-anticipated debut of the former Sasha Banks, now Mercedes Moné. Mercedes, who dubbed herself the CEO of New Japan and STARDOM (the all-women’s league)

The other amazing moment was the return of Kenny Omega to Japan, and it was a version of Omega we hadn’t seen in years. He had an incredible match with Will Ospreay, already in the running for match of the year. Go out of your way to see this match. Perhaps even more exciting is the idea that this is not the last time we’ve seen Kenny Omega in a New Japan ring, and he will likely be back for more of the big shows.


What’s on TV tonight?

WWE Smackdown is on Fox tonight at 8pm, I doubt they will mention Vince McMahon but they have this announced so far.

  • Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus
  • Royal Rumble qualifying match: Ricochet vs. Top Dolla
  • Charlotte Flair will appear, discussing her shocking win last week.

AEW Rampage is on at 10pm on TNT

  • Top Flight vs. Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson
  • Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker vs. The Renegade Twins
  • TNT Champion Darby Allin defends against Mike Bennett
  • Perro Peligroso in action
  • The House of Black will speak

Immediately following Rampage, AEW has another hour of wrestling with Battle of the Belts V also on TNT at 11pm eastern:

  • AEW Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed defend against Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal in a no holds barred match
  • TBS Champion Jade Cargill defends against Skye Blue
  • AEW All-Atlantic Champion Orange Cassidy defends against Kip Sabian

More Wrestling News from Around the Internet

WWE has announced the next round of episodes of Biography on the A&E channel will include Dusty Rhodes, Jake Roberts, the NWO, Chyna, The Iron Sheik, and Kane. Here’s a teaser:

While Sasha Banks is no longer with WWE, the expectation is that her tag team partner, Naomi, will be resigning with WWE.

Dominick Mysterio announced he was engaged to his girlfriend.

There are conflicting reports about Mercedes Moné’s status with AEW. She is currently not interested in signing a long-term deal which may hinder her chances at appearing for AEW. Things should be clearer after Wednesday’s big Dynamite in Los Angeles.

Dave Bautista revealed recently he had a tattoo of Manny Pacquiao’s team logo removed after his homophobic statements in 2016: “I had a huge issue with it. It’s a personal issue with me, my mom’s a lesbian. And I just could no longer call him a friend”.

Tony Khan couldn’t help but comment on the current situation:

Impact Wrestling aired this touching tribute to former announcer Don West, who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Fightful reports that even people in WWE don’t know who is under the Uncle Howdy mask. According to the report, Howdy hadn’t been seen backstage without the mask. Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt’s real-life brother was spotted backstage recently, but not in the Howdy mask.

Ronda Rousey is teasing going after the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

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.


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