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Everything posted by Greggulator

  1. For Blood and Guts I wanted to see a bunch of blade freaks bleed, a bunch of insane stuff and The Mad King get his revenge. They gave me all of that but ended with an awesome new plot point to get us an awesome feud between two of the best to ever do it. Incredibly fun match. One thing I love about AEW is that you know the “serious” guys are huge marks for the comedy acts. I could just see Dax and Cash asking Tony to set up a way for them to work with Danhausen and The Ass Boys. The Max Caster line about Flint’s water… A+ night of wrestling.
  2. I passed on the show because we had a long flight back with a toddler in the afternoon and I don't know who too many of the NJPW dudes are. But Sting no-selling a Superkick Partayyy and beating his chest right after is pro wrestling at its core. One of the problems at times with AEW overall is that it's just too much all at once and a bunch of people on the roster need an editor. But there are also a lot of people on the roster who understand the importance of having little moments and allowing things to breath. When that happens, we get all sorts of greatness like the above or the thing Britt did a few weeks ago with the headbutts into the turnbuckle or Britt winking at the camera or Best Friends winning the big one as Where Is My Mind plays or Moxley telling Yuta "NOW IS WHEN THE HARD WORK BEGINS!!!"
  3. Christian needs to use the 90210 theme song as his theme music.
  4. The administrative leave thing feels pretty par for the course. They can't fire John without showing cause or else he'll be able to file a big lawsuit. So the board needs to just cross all of the t's and dot all of the i's on that first. He'll still probably be able to file a big lawsuit if he wants. But they might also just pay him pretty quickly to go away. But one thing that's a huge risk for the WWE is if women made complaints to HR about John before. I know we've all heard stories and rumors but who the hell knows what's true or not. But if it comes out there have been a whole bunch made against him over the years and the company took no action then there's going to be a ton of stuff coming out.
  5. That's not enough company money directly to make anyone like the SEC or DOJ or anyone really upset. And a sketchy salary bump and promotion is something that a company can easily explain away even with everyone understanding the real reasons -- "She was a top performer, she exceeded expectations, etc." as long as HR has it in writing. You could even make a case that if the $3 million came from the WWE's checking account it's not that big a deal in terms of overall finance considering how much revenue they make. But it's salacious enough if it comes from the WWE directly and not Vince that regulators are going to come around and asking questions about "how is this showing a fiduciary responsibility to investors?" and there's no answer to that. I hope that I'm not coming off like I'm defending the WWE or Vince. But this doesn't happen at most companies. At all. There's no way at all that, say, the CEO of Exxon would survive this. They'd be asked to resign immediately.
  6. And unfortunately they weren't able to get the details of the NDAs yet or else they'd print them. That's why this story has legs. If the WSJ or someone else gets proof of the NDAs and settlements and etc., then those will come out. The board supposedly learned of their discovery in the initial investigation. My hunch is that the WSJ most likely has at least some of that information and it's working on a Part 2 once it gets some more reporting done. They might be working on getting someone who signed a NDA to speak without printing a name, confirming that a NDA was signed with a performer, some people to go on the record about Vince or Luarinitis's behavior, etc. Meanwhile, at the same time, Vince and his lawyer and whatever crisis communications PR firm they hired are putting together a defense dossier or whatever to prepare for the spin efforts. And I would also assume his lawyer is going through the NDAs to see how airtight they actually are. In a normal circumstance, everything would be framed with a canned quote (Vince gave one of those in the WSJ article -- I doubt he actually said that, but it was more attributed to him). But since Vince is fucking crazy, he might even be interested in doing an interview thinking he'll be able to outspin a Pulitzer Prize winning Wall Street Journal reporter. I had to do some crisis communications when I was still working in public relations. My client at the time did things involving subprime mortgages and securitizing them -- stuff from The Big Short. (Vomit.) They had someone on the junior end of their executive team get in trouble for something and Bloomberg or someone of the like was going to write an article about it. One of the senior executives kept screaming about how unfair it was for the media to report on them and it was some reporter looking to make a name for himself at the expense of their firm. Really hard for me to tell him "Your firm is bragging about being a leader in a sector of finance that ruined the global economy. I'd hope reporters are going to ask you questions. Also, your firm is not Goldman Sachs and nobody is making a career writing an article about your company." PR is a fucking nightmare. It has to be so fucking bad to do that for Vince McMahon right now.
  7. One other pro-tip: Wait to see what reporting on this gets done but places like the Wall Street Journal or NY Times or Bloomberg or even some of the Hollywood trade press like Variety or Hollywood Reporter. Those are places with legitimate journalism. They are doing follow-ups on this. But if it's something on TV like CNBC or Fox Business -- I worked in public relations for a few years before just moving back into journalism a few months ago. A bunch of my clients were wealth managers/stock pickers who go on TV and ask questions from reporters about the news of the day and whether Disney should be a buy or not and etc. I would literally write the questions for my clients the anchors would eventually ask. I'd write a bunch of questions, go over the answers with the client, and then fire them off to a producer. And they'd then do an interview with my client probably an hour or so later. An anchor might ask a question we didn't prep for on occasion but 90 percent of the time the questions were exactly what me and/or my team would write. I never did anything for CNN, but it's still the same exact same for a lot of what they do. The questions are heavily prepped ahead of time. That's why you very rarely see anyone actually challenged on those shows even though they should be.
  8. A one night bump in TV ratings is not improved business. It's a lot of people tuning into a car wreck. In terms of the business side of things: The WWE locks in money for a long time from its broadcast partners, Mattel, etc. There are always a lot of out clauses for different sorts of things that can break up a partnership. Vince paying $3 million in hush money to a mistress from his own checkbook is not likely one of those things. As of now: It's not criminal. It's not an allegation of sexual harassment. It's not multiple allegations of sexual harassment. It's not sexual assault. The woman signed a NDA and we have no idea what she would disclose with the NDA in place. Now, if we get to a place where it turns out there are 10 other NDAs in place, or if some of the hush money at some point came from a WWE check and not a Vince McMahon check, it's a different story entirely. Because that shows a history of someone abusing their power as the CEO of a corporation and/or using shareholder money to cover up an abuse of power. Then there are usually morals clauses and that sort of thing that means a partner can get out of a partnership. But a breakup of that sort would not go down without a fight. There would be lawsuits -- and I mean actual lawsuits, not a law firm paying $250 or so to issue a press release on BusinessWire -- over this level of fighting.
  9. Just wait. There are usually a few waves to these kinds of stories. Arguably the best reporters from the most important business news outlet in the country is on the story. He is not someone who writes a “one-and-done” story. If there are more NDAs to come, he’ll write about them.
  10. The Vince segment tonight felt like he had something completely batshit planned and people (wisely for the WWE, not wisely for those of us who want a car wreck) convinced him to not say or do anything that could get him in trouble but still make an appearance.
  11. The Darby/Fish match from start-to-finish was glorious professional wrestling. Great goofball "Oh you're so GOTH!" mockery in the pre-match interview, followed by a really good match, KOR coming out and playing guitar on the chair, the Sting run-in that made sense (he knew KOR would come out no matter what), the great sell from KOR's nutshot, Sting kicking the bat after he just nutted KOR, Fish's begging off, etc. That is exactly why I watch fake fighting.
  12. Danny Noonan would have pissed all of that money away on drugs and drinking. He had a perfectly fine role model in Judge Smails and college all lined up. Turned his back on an adult who cared.
  13. Well, there are a few issues at hand here: 1) Hush money that came from the company itself is something that's almost always going to result in a criminal charge. And a lot of civil suits. That's an insane can of worms whenever something opens like that. So Vince (allegedly) writing a check of his own at least protects the WWE from that. That's all it is: Protection. 2) But the power dynamics of the CEO of a company having a relationship with an employee, and the allegation that he gave her "like a toy" to someone in a management position, is horrifying. It shows absolutely awful judgment on the part of the head of a publicly traded company. It shows a lack of character. There are very likely shareholders who are considering that, no matter what the stock price does.
  14. Vince stepped down as CEO on at least an interim basis. That is a huge deal.
  15. The article and the quote from Vince’s lawyer reads as if Vince wrote the check himself. It would be a whole other thing if it came from the WWE. But giving a paralegal a raise because she was in a relationship with Vince? That is something to be worried about. And there are also other NDAs being investigated.
  16. I'm completely flabbergasted that they're letting Vince anywhere near a live TV tonight. It does not matter if he's in character or not. The entire company is opening themselves up to an absolute insane amount of liability.
  17. I mentioned this in another thread. These types of lawsuits are a dime a dozen. This actually isn't even a lawsuit. This is a law firm hoping to get people to eventually pay them to go after the WWE.
  18. It might be. It might not be. You don't need to be on the board of directors to be accused of insider trading. You just need to be at a high enough level on the corporate ladder where you can get wind of information ahead of time that may or may not be detrimental to the company. This also means good news. EXAMPLE: Someone in the executive team knows that the WWE is about to get a lot of money from Kuwait for a bunch of shows there, and he buys a bunch of shares expecting the price to pop. Dunn could have just wanted to get $1 million to buy a new vacation home. But he also could have caught wind of the investigation and decided to sell just in case. It might be something someone looks into. I posted that because people saying there's increased volume just a few hours before the WSJ posted its article indicated insider trading is just dumb. It's almost impossible to do so since if you're at a high enough level to find out that news you have a lot of disclosures and hoops to jump through. You have to notify the WWE's audit committee and also the SEC. You can't just do that right away. If you're going to do something like that, you'll want to get out before word breaks that this could happen. My hunch is that it's most likely nothing exactly because Kevin Dunn has to disclose those shares he sold. I'm flattered though that some website I've never heard of is reading the board and my posts especially.
  19. These types of lawsuits are a dime a dozen. They're called shareholder suits. Most of the time they don't lead to anything. This law firm is trying to get people who own shares to call them up and join a class action lawsuit alleging that the board and executives didn't do what they should have done when managing the financial stakes of the company. There are probably a bunch of other law firms looking to do the same thing right now. They happen for any company that gets hit with some kind of bad news. I used to write about the energy industry. We never wrote about shareholder suits being filed because they were so common.
  20. There are a lot of good women’s wrestlers in AEW but Sasha is so much better than everyone else. She would be everyone’s best match pretty quickly. She works as her character better than anyone except for maybe Britt, but she’s also the most talented in-ring, too. That is not to besmirch anyone they already have. I love Jade, Britt, Ruby, Stat and Rosa. Deeb is a great technician. But Sasha is IMO in the absolutely top-tier all-around workers we’ve seen.
  21. The stock has barely moved on the news. It's actually up a little bit for the week. It's down 2.5% today, but that's not a big deal at all. It'd be major news if it was down something like 10% but a 2.5% drop in a stock price is just a blip on the radar. Every stock has a drop like that pretty regularly. This says to me that big investors are saying: 1) The "Vince McMahon is the most important person to the success of the company" thing is no longer true. 2) The WWE already locked up its revenue and Peacock/Fox/etc. aren't going to try to get out of anything now. 3) They think the company's sale is inevitable.
  22. And that doesn't mean insider trading from people on the board of directors within the WWE. That likely means a big investor or two caught wind of the WSJ article coming out before it got published. That happens. If it comes out that a bunch of the WWE Board of Directors sold off their shares three hours before the WSJ published this article, then there would be an insane SEC investigation. That's not how this works.
  23. The heavy trading on the day the news broke doesn't surprise me at all. It also doesn't mean anything. It's a lot of people either thinking it's time to dump the stock because it's a horrible look or it's a lot of people thinking it's time to buy the stock because it's now on the cheap and/or it might pressure an acquisition for the company, which would mean whoever is going to make the purchase is going to pay a premium on the outstanding shares to make that happen. An example of this is Elon Musk buying Twitter. He had to pay more for the shares to make the deal happen then what Twitter's share price was selling for on a stock exchange. If NBC or whoever is going to buy the WWE, to make it happen they'll have to may more for the shares then they trade for. So if you buy a share at $60, to make the deal happen NBC might have to buy the shares for $67. And, BTW, Vince with all of the voting power will singlehandedly make that decision since that's a shareholder's vote. If you're an insider and you want to buy or sell shares, you have to disclose that to the SEC, along with getting approval from the board of directors to do so. That takes a lot of time. There's no point if you're an insider of making a transaction the day the news breaks. First, it's an awful look. And, second, the news event triggers the activity. You'll want to make your insider deal ahead of the news breaking and the general public finding out. Like Kevin Dunn, who sold off $1 million of his shares at the end of May. https://otp.tools.investis.com/clients/us/wwe/SEC/sec-show.aspx?Type=html&FilingId=15863121&CIK=0001091907&Index=10000
  24. One thing from a finance standpoint I'm really interested in (and might have to research) is how ESG investing might come into play with this. If you need a primer: ESG stands for "Environment, Social, Governance." This has gotten an insane amount of attention the past few years. The general concept is that big investment funds that specialize in this space want to only invest in companies that do good for the environment, have a social benefit (having diverse representation, etc.) and are well-governed and away from conflicts-of-interest (Enron). But ESG is a completely nebulous term. There have been instances where cigarette companies or even Exxon have appeared in an ESG fund. A company like Goldman Sachs might get into an ESG fund because they don't emit carbon since it's an investment bank (but one that invests in plenty of horrible project.) The "E" part of it has gotten all of the attention. The "S" has become a focus post-George Floyd and #MeToo, but it's still just such a vague term. The SEC is working on definitions for what ESG actually means. European regulators have done that work already but (shockingly) the US is far behind. It's probably very likely that the WWE is in some ESG funds because it's carbon-neutral and/or they've convinced people they promote diversity. But "CEO gives hush money to mistress who was also allegedly gifted to a senior executive and this probably isn't a singular incident" absolutely does not meet the "S" or "G" components.
  25. I don't think it needs to be said here but Sasha Banks is an incredible worker and historically important. I think she was the first of The Four Horsewomen to really break out in-ring and make everyone realize something very special was happening. They had started to nail the character part of the equation with Summer Rae and the BFFs and Bayley. Paige and Emma were both really good. But Sasha's in-ring work was just a next level beyond what Paige and Emma were doing, along with having an awesome character as The Boss. I think a lot of us forgot just how good the match with Becky Lynch was at whatever big NXT event that was. That was the first time Becky stood out personality wise although her ring work was solid. I'll also gladly take (and even make) the argument that Sasha's two classics with Bayley were the best matches in NXT history. On top of the work being stellar, they were historically important. You don't get to women main eventing WM without those two matches happening first. There was just so much great work she's done on the main roster. I can't even remember it all. There was the iconic moment when she Eddie Guerrero'd Dana Brooks out of a match with Charlotte, beating Charlotte in a classic Last Woman Standing match via a Banks Statement through the railing, all her recent stuff with Bianca (a made woman because of Sasha), etc. And Sasha and Bayley straight-up carried the promotion during the pandemic with their awesome two-woman power trip and then eventual breakup. No matter if her getting released or still being buried is true -- Sasha Banks is a Legit Boss and on the short list of most important wrestlers of the century. That's not hyperbole.
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