WWE pays $39 million to settle lawsuit over alleged securities law violations

In its second filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, WWE revealed that it has agreed to settle a previously disclosed class action lawsuit brought forward by the City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System for $39 million.

The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged securities law violations by the WWE, its current Chief Executive Officer and its former Co-Presidents, related to certain disclosures concerning the business relationship in and with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. WWE was accused of inflating its stock with a promise of a TV deal in the Middle East when in reality negotiations had already failed and senior WWE executives sold nearly $300 millions worth of stock before news came out and the stock tanked. To this day, WWE remains without a television deal in the region.

The out-of-court settlement was reached between attorneys for both parties and WWE’s insurance. The settlement will include a full release of all defendants in connection with the allegations made in the lawsuit, and will not contain any admission of liability or admission as to the validity or truth of any or all allegations or claims by any of the defendants.

“The Company believes that resolving the matter is the right business decision and that it is prudent to end the protracted and uncertain class action process,” the filing said.

Posted in WWE

SAG-AFTRA President reaches out to Zelina Vega

SAG-AFTRA, a labor union representing over 160,000 performers, have tweeted their support to Zelina Vega after Vega got fired yesterday.

Vega, who knew she was about to be fired, upstaged WWE by tweeting “I support unionization” and 10 minutes later WWE tweeted about her release. Responding to Vega, the SAG-AFTRA account said, “So do we.”

SAG-AFTRA President, Gabrielle Carteris, also reached out to Vega, thanking her for standing strong for labor solidarity and told her that she supports her, even giving her e-mail address to reach out.

SAG-AFTRA, which represents the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is a union for announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals.

Vega was not fired for the tweet, but rather because she did not want to stop her Twitch, OnlyFans, and other third-party accounts which Vince McMahon mentioned in an e-mail last month.

“I want to say thank you all very much for the last 3-4 years @WWEUniverse, it was incredible,” Vega wrote in a tweet after getting the pink slip. “I would have never have been able to say ‘this is for you dad’ if certain people did not believe in me. I love you all and I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Posted in WWE

Chelsea Green undergoes surgery for broken wrist

Chelsea Green, who yesterday broke her wrist during her unfortunate Smackdown debut, underwent surgery today, just hours after the injury took place live on the show.

Green announced the surgery early in the morning in a post on social media, saying that while she’s beyond devastated for what happened, she’s also excited to be part of the Smackdown team when she comes back.

“Just like the rest of my career, I couldn’t have an easy debut! LOL, that just wouldn’t be fit for my wild journey,” Green wrote.

Typical recoveries for a broken wrist go from six weeks to up to four months, depending on how severe the break was.

Her boyfriend, the artist formerly known as Zack Ryder, uploaded a photo standing by her side at a medical facility. Green was still in her wrestling gear as she was getting her vitals checked. Ryder, who now goes by his real name of Matt Cardona, wrote that it was a bittersweet night as he’s seen Chelsea getting shot down multiple times by WWE throughout the years and now that she finally got her debut, she broke her wrist…again.

Green also broke her wrist in her first televised NXT match in March 2019 and required surgery. She eventually returned three months later.

Zelina Vega fired from WWE

WWE announced yesterday evening that Zelina Vega has been released from her contract, a surprise cut that has left many scratching their heads.

A statement on WWE.COM read, ”WWE has come to terms on the release of Zelina Vega. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Vega, real name Thea Trinidad, posted a tweet saying that she supports unionization and mere minutes later, WWE announced her release. It is unclear what led to her firing but Vega was very active on her Twitch and vocal about WWE’s ban on third party services.

WWE has threatened to terminate anyone who does not obey the new rules. The 29-year-old has been working with WWE since 2017, starting in NXT and then eventually moving to the main roster.

She is married to WWE Superstar Aleister Black.

Yet another coronavirus outbreak hits WWE Performance Center

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has reported that there was another coronavirus outbreak inside the WWE Performance Center last weekend and those who were in the building on Friday were ordered to quarantine for the next two weeks regardless if they tested positive or negative.

Meltzer adds that according to some rumors, a few individuals who are supposed to be part of tonight’s NXT Halloween Havoc broadcast are now under quarantine so certain parts of the show would have to be re-written. He also says that those who are on regular NXT television all tested negative.

NXT has switched to live shows ever since they moved to the Capitol Wrestling Center and around 100 fans are allowed inside the building. WWE tests fans 24 hours before each NXT show at a different location and if they show a negative result, they are allowed inside the building. Tonight will be no different and fans are still planned to be part of the show.

It has been a rough several weeks for the company as this is the second COVID-19 outbreak in two months.

Raw women’s 2020 Survivor Series team announced

The Raw Women’s Survivor Series team was announced last night on Raw, with four women hand picked to be part of the team while the last member had to wrestle in a fatal four-way match to earn her spot.

Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke were automatically chosen to form the team and then a match between Nikki Cross, Lana, Peyton Royce, and Lacey Evans was held to find out who will be the fifth and final member to join the team.

The match ended with Lana winning the encounter, joining the Raw’s team. However, her celebration did not last long as when she went to hug Nia Jax, Jax put her through the Raw announce table…again!

Champions vs champions at Survivor Series…but no NXT involvement

At this year’s Survivor Series, champions from Raw will take on champions from Smackdown in non-title matches, continuing the tradition of the past few years.

The four matches scheduled right now are WWE champ Randy Orton vs Universal champ Roman Reigns, Raw Women’s champion Asuka vs Smackdown Women’s champion Sasha Banks, United States champion Bobby Lashley vs Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn, and Raw Tag Team champions The New Day vs Smackdown Tag Team champions The Street Profits.

One thing that is certainly different from last year is the exclusion of NXT. NXT was heavily featured in the run-up to the Survivor Series as well as during the show but this year the black and gold brand is nowhere to be seen.

Meiko Satomura joining NXT UK as performer/coach

Meiko Satomura, the co-founder of Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling and one of the most highly-respected wrestlers in the world, will be joining the NXT UK brand according to a story by Tokyo Sports.

Satomura said that she would be limiting her appearances with Sendai Girls and wants to move to a new stage in her career and while she didn’t give a reason why her work with Sendai Girls will decrease, Tokyo Sports said that the 40-year-old will be traveling to the UK in November to be part of the next NXT UK television tapings and also be a coach.

During a press conference, Satomura did not confirm the NXT UK news but told reporters that she would be giving more information once everything is confirmed.

In 2018, she participated in the Mae Young Classic tournament, her first association with WWE during her illustrious career. She also served as a guest coach at the WWE Performance Center during the year.

Posted in WWE

WWE locations being investigated as potential COVID-19 hotspots in Orange County

ABC affiliate WFTV9 is reporting that the Orange County Strike Team is looking into bars and businesses where COVID-19 might be spreading and three of those buildings are WWE locations.

Full Sail University – which is no longer used by WWE for now – along with the WWE Performance Center, and The Amway Center are on the list along with the Jesus School, the Amazon distribution center, Plaza on University Apartments, two Crunch Fitness locations, and Starbound Performers. Several bars are also on the list being investigated.

Reacting to the news, WWE issued a statement to WFTV9 saying that the company is not open to the public and is operating on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance.

“As part of on-going weekly testing protocols, Aventus Labs have administered more than 10,000 PCR tests to WWE performers, employees, production staff and crew resulting in only 1.5 percent positive cases as compared to the current national average of more than 5%,” the statement read. “Additionally, extensive contact tracing takes place and impacted individuals are placed in 14-day quarantine and then only cleared after they test negative.”

WWE has suffered two known coronavirus outbreaks since the pandemic started, the latest one in September.

Stadiums and arenas in Florida can operate at 100% capacity again

Stadiums and arenas in the state of Florida have been given the green light to operate at full capacity after Governor Ron DeSantis moved the state to phase 3 of reopening.

This is certainly interesting news for both WWE and AEW who continue to run their respective shows live from Orlando and Jacksonville every week.

A spokesman for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told radio host Andy Slater that after the governor lifted restrictions, all Florida stadiums are free to go to full capacity for games and events. Another official told Jon Alba from Spectrum Sports 360 that “sports franchises can do as they please and they don’t need clearance from the state.”

WWE currently holds Raw and Smackdown television tapings from the Amway Center while NXT tapings are held at the Capitol Wrestling Center. Limited fans are allowed inside the CWC for NXT and that started this past Sunday and will continue with tonight’s live broadcast. WWE’s deal with the Amway prohibits them from having any fans but that deal runs out at the end of this month.

AEW runs Dynamite from the Daily’s Place in Jacksonville and the promotion has been allowing around a couple of hundred fans at every taping for the past several weeks.

There’s also rumors that WWE will be moving WrestleMania from Los Angeles to Tampa next year and with the news that stadiums can operate at 100% capacity, WWE will surely be looking at making up for this year’s show which was held inside the Performance Center.