Asuka to defend NXT Women’s title at Takeover: Chicago in a fatal 4-way

The NXT Women’s title will be defended at NXT Takeover: Chicago once again in a fatal four-way match. The announcement came yesterday by NXT General Manager William Regal at the end of the NXT television show on the WWE Network.

The reigning champion, Asuka, will be taking on Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot, and Ember Moon after the number one contender’s match ended when the champion interfered and destroyed the three other women.

This is the second time this year that the NXT Women’s title will be defended in a fatal 4-way match. At NXT Takeover: San Antonio back in January, Asuka successfully defeated Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, and Nikki Cross to retain her title and at the last Takeover show in Orlando, Asuka defeated Ember Moon to retain.

NXT Takeover: Chicago takes place from the Allstate Arena on May 20.

WWE revenues by business segment for Q1 2017

Out of the nine main WWE business segments, six of them registered an increase compared to the prior year quarter while three of them registered a decrease, with Home Entertainment (DVD/Blu-Ray sales) taking the biggest hit this quarter.

Network revenues, which include revenue generated by WWE Network and pay-per-view, increased 15% to $46.5 million. WWE Network subscription revenue increased 14% to $43.7 million from $38.2 million in the prior year quarter; Television revenues increased 5% to $64.0 million from $60.7 million in the prior year quarter; Live Event revenues increased 27% to $32.1 million; Venue Merchandise revenues increased 29% to $7.1 million from $5.5 million in the prior year quarter; WWE Shop revenues increased 16% to $7.9 million; Digital Media increased to $5.7 million from $5.4 million in the prior year quarter.

Those who did not perform so well include Licensing, which went down to $20.1 million from $21 million, WWE Studios, down to $1.3 million from $2.0 million of the prior year quarter; and Home Entertainment, down $2.4 million from the $3.3 million of Q1 2016.

Of the $188.4 million in Net revenues registered, North America contributed to $146.2 million of it. Europe, Middle East, and Africa accounted for $26.6 million, Asia Pacific did  $13 million, and Latin America did $2.6 million. Only EMEA registered a drop compared to the prior year quarter, going down $1 million.

Nude photos of Charlotte Flair leaked online

Former Raw Women’s champion Charlotte Flair is the latest WWE Superstar who ended up victim of private nude photos being leaked on the Internet.

Charlotte confirmed that the photos were authentic in a post on Twitter. “Private photos of mine were stolen and shared publicly without my consent. These images must be removed from the Internet immediately,” she wrote.

The photos are taken from in front of a mirror with a phone featuring the WWE logo on its cover.

Flair’s nude photos follow the leaked photos of Paige, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Celeste “Kaitlyn” Bonin, and others which were released in March. Paige ended up with the biggest nightmare, with tons of pictures and videos, including former WWE Superstar Brad Maddox and New Day member Xavier Woods in on the action.

UPDATE: Charlotte Flair’s private photos include 17 in total, 10 of them naked.

WWE ends Q1 2017 with 1.57 million paying subscribers to the Network

WWE ended the first quarter of 2017 with a total of 1,697,000 subscribers to the WWE Network, a 16% increase over the same period last year. The number does not include WrestleMania, since that fell in the second quarter of 2017.

Out of the 1.69 million total subscribers, 1.57 million of them are paying subscribers. That translates to 123,000 subscribers on a free trial account by the end of the quarter.

1,165,000 paying subscribers are from the United States, while 409,000 subscribers are from the rest of the world. Compared to Q4 2016, that’s an increase of 132,000 subscribers in the United States and an increase of 39,000 subscribers internationally.

During the quarter, WWE added more than 75 hours of original content to WWE Network’s featured programming and more than 500 hours of archival content, which resulted in an on-demand library of over 7,500 hours at quarter-end.

WWE announces its Q1 2017 financial results

WWE today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017. For the quarter, the Company reported Net income of $0.9 million, or $0.01 per share, as compared to $13.9 million, or $0.18 per share, in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $4.0 million as compared to $22.0 million in the prior year quarter.

“We are pleased with the continued growth of WWE Network, which is a critical building block of our content strategy,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “The recent production of WrestleMania set records for network viewership as well as digital and social engagement. As we leverage continuing innovation to extend our reach in India, China and around the world, we are confident that the enduring and increasing global power of our brands will provide a solid foundation for long-term growth.”

George Barrios, Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, added, “During the first quarter, increases in key operating metrics, including event attendance, network subscribers and global content consumption, supported strong 10% growth in revenue. As anticipated, our earnings reflected the timing of certain expenses, a significant portion of which are expected to reverse over the coming months. As we continue to focus on producing engaging content across all platforms, we remain on track to achieve our 2017 financial objectives with record revenue, record Adjusted OIBDA results, and record subscriber levels.”

You can read the full press release at http://corporate.wwe.com/news/company-news/2017/05-04-2017.

Smackdown rating for 05/02/2017

It was a horrendous week for WWE in terms of ratings as Smackdown pulled in 2,300,000 viewers last night, down 193,000 viewers from last week’s show and the worst number since September 20, 2016.

The NBA Playoffs scored nearly 5 million viewers on TNT when going head-to-head with Smackdown. The show was #4 on the top 50 cable chart in the 18-49 demographic. (Ratings credit: Showbuzzdaily.com)

X-Pac believes lab tests will prove he was not carrying meth

Sean Waltman told TMZ that the capsules he was carrying with him at LAX trying to go through customs for a flight to the United Kingdom were not meth but medicine to treat a yeast infection.

A sniffer dog was called in when Waltman was flagged in the CBP computer system for his past drug problems. The dog eventually led his handlers to find several drugs, which LAX police said were 3 cannabis chocolate bars, two THC liquid cigarettes and 38 meth capsules.

The man better known as X-Pac added that he’s 100% confident that once lab tests will be back, he will be cleared of the charge brought against him which is possession of narcotics with intent to sell.

“I was one of the worst meth heads ever,” Waltman told TMZ. But now he says he’s way past that. “I know the truth will come out.”

Kevin Owens regains U.S. title as Jericho is written off television

Kevin Owens quickly regained the United States title from Chris Jericho on Smackdown, just two days after he lost it at the Raw-only Payback pay-per-view.

After the match was over, Jericho was written off television thanks to a vicious attack by Owens, who smashed Jericho’s head – which was wrapped around a chair – into the ring post. Yesterday’s angle wrapped up the long Jericho/Owens program, at least for the next couple of months.

Jericho is having some time off from WWE to resume his touring duties with his band Fozzy so the title loss came to no surprise. Fozzy’s tour starts in the beginning of this month and ends in mid June, with shows scattered around the United States as well as the Download Festival in the United Kingdom.

Total Divas episode preview for tonight: Swimming with Pigs

Episode 15 of season 6 of Total Divas airs tonight on E! with an episode titled Swimming with Pigs.

The synopsis for tonight’s show reads, “Forced to retire her signature move, the Rack Attack, Nikki struggles to find her new identity as a WWE Superstar. Maryse and Eva take their hubbies on a joint, sexy honeymoon trip to Exuma, but end up swimming with pigs. Nattie crashes a meeting with the Bellas’ pet agency, sparking a full-fledged Divas pet war.”

This is the penultimate episode of season 6 of Total Divas, with the season finale airing next week.