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Vince McMahon Returns to WWE


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1 hour ago, JLowe said:

So, was the whole Saudi rumor a test balloon floated by Vince or someone else in WWE to see what the public reaction would be?

My theory is that the guy who posts accurate spoilers on Reddit posted that and the dopes who "confirmed" it used a guy from Reddit as their source. Why the guy on Reddit posted it I can't say. But I don't think it was some nefarious rumor but instead just people who don't know what they're doing posting something and everyone going crazy with it. 

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WWE’s Vince McMahon Settles With Ex-Wrestling Referee Who Accused Him of Rape
Multimillion-dollar settlement averts a public legal fight as executive chairman pursues possible WWE sale

By Joe Palazzolo and Ted Mann
Jan. 19, 2023

Vince McMahon, the executive chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., has agreed to a multimillion-dollar legal settlement with a former wrestling referee who accused him of raping her in 1986, according to people familiar with the agreement.


Mr. McMahon’s settlement with Rita Chatterton, completed last month, averts a public legal fight over her allegations as Mr. McMahon pursues a possible sale of the company.


Ms. Chatterton, the first female referee of what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation, demanded $11.75 million in damages for the alleged rape in a November letter to Mr. McMahon’s attorney reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. 

Ms. Chatterton agreed to a lesser amount in the millions of dollars, one of the people familiar with the matter said, but the Journal couldn’t determine the exact figure. 


“Mr. McMahon denies and always has denied raping Ms. Chatterton. And he settled the case solely to avoid the cost of litigation,” said Jerry McDevitt, a lawyer for Mr. McMahon.


Ms. Chatterton referred the Journal to her lawyer, John Clune, who declined to comment. WWE didn’t respond to requests for comment.


The deal follows a $7.5 million settlement Mr. McMahon reached in 2018 with a former wrestler who alleged that he coerced her into giving him oral sex, as well as a 2022 agreement in which he agreed to pay $3 million to a former WWE employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, the Journal previously reported citing people familiar with those agreements. Mr. McMahon has declined to publicly address the settlements.


WWE has declined to discuss the allegations against Mr. McMahon. The company previously said it was cooperating with a board inquiry into the payments and taking the claims seriously.


Mr. McMahon contended in a 1993 lawsuit that Ms. Chatterton was induced to make a false rape charge against him by a wrestler with an ax to grind. Mr. McMahon withdrew the lawsuit the following year, he said, to focus on defending against criminal steroid-related charges. He was acquitted of those charges in 1994.

A New York law recently opened a one-year window that allows victims of sex crimes to file lawsuits that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Chatterton’s attorney sought $11.75 million damages in a legal demand letter sent to Mr. McMahon’s attorney in November, weeks before the window opened.


The settlement provides Ms. Chatterton with a lump sum up front and annual installments, similar to Mr. McMahon’s previous agreements with women, the person familiar with the deal said.


Mr. McMahon stepped down as chairman and chief executive of WWE in July, after the Journal reported four secret settlement payments he made to women who accused him of sexual misconduct.


Mr. McMahon, the company’s controlling shareholder, returned as WWE’s executive chairman this month and changed the company’s bylaws to give him greater authority over its operations and pursue a possible sale. 


WWE’s board had resisted his return, saying in a December letter that continuing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department into the secret payments by Mr. McMahon counseled against it. 


In the letter, the board said Mr. McMahon’s return “would not be prudent from a shareholder value perspective.”


“This determination is based on a variety of factors, including non-public information the Board has become aware of and the risks to the Company and its shareholders of placing a greater spotlight on these issues,” the letter said.

Mr. McMahon replaced three independent board members to make room for himself and two former WWE executives. Two other independent directors have since resigned, along with his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, who had been co-chief executive with Nick Khan. Mr. Khan is now the company’s chief executive officer. 


The Journal reported in December that Mr. McMahon was in talks with attorneys for Ms. Chatterton and a former spa manager who alleged Mr. McMahon assaulted her at a California resort in 2011, according to an email her lawyer sent to Mr. McMahon’s lawyer. The Journal couldn’t determine the status of the negotiations with the ex-spa manager.


Ms. Chatterton alleged in televised interviews in 1992 that Mr. McMahon had told her she needed to satisfy him to obtain a $500,000 contract with his company and raped her in the back of a limousine in New York. 


Mr. Clune, Ms. Chatterton’s lawyer, said in the November demand letter that Ms. Chatterton had passed a polygraph and that multiple sources corroborated her account, two of whom confirmed to the Journal that Ms. Chatterton contemporaneously told them about the alleged rape.


An attorney for the former spa manager didn’t respond to a request for comment.


In the Nov. 3 legal demand, Mr. Clune wrote that the damage Ms. Chatterton had suffered from the alleged rape was “hard to overstate.” Ms. Chatterton “has suffered years of ongoing depression, substance abuse, disordered eating, lost income, and overall a decreased quality of life,” Mr. Clune wrote.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/wwes-vince-mcmahon-settles-with-ex-wrestling-referee-who-accused-him-of-rape-11674149751?mod=e2tw

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A few things that pop out to me:

1) It seems likely that this was what the board referenced about non-public information. But who knows at this point.

"A New York law recently opened a one-year window that allows victims of sex crimes to file lawsuits that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Chatterton’s attorney sought $11.75 million damages in a legal demand letter sent to Mr. McMahon’s attorney in November, weeks before the window opened."

Basically, the state of New York passed a law that allows for one year that any adult who believes they were victimized in a sexual assault to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator no matter when it occurred. The start date for this one year time period isn't in effect for a few more weeks. This feels like to me that Vince wanted to settle this to make it go away before Rita could file a lawsuit and that could open up many cans of worms. 

In like 99% of American corporations, Vince would be long gone. He'd especially be gone after paying off someone who says they were raped. That would happen within minutes. It explains why a whole bunch of independent board members stepped down, too. Why ruin your reputation over something like this?

Interesting board fact:

The WWE pays its independent board members $200K a year to be on the board, plus bonuses for being part of different sub-committees or being the lead independent director. Board members also get compensated for the time they spent working on company affairs/travel costs/etc. Out of the original $200K, $90K gets paid in cash and the rest is in shares of the company. None of this is unusual. 

The general thinking why board members get shares of a company as part of the compensation is that it incentivizes them to a better job for all shareholders. It's also potentially pretty lucrative.

Board members for companies like WWE all have high-ranking positions (or are possibly even the CEO) of other big companies. I forget exactly which ones. But it's all people who make a good amount of money already. The pay is nice, but it's not life-or-death money for your typical board member. 

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20 hours ago, Dog said:

I'm honestly shocked that Nick basically said, "If you thought Vince wasn't coming back, you're a dummy." All but admitted he just bowed out to temporarily take the heat off himself, while saying not that many people actually care about the horrible shit Vince has done. Talk about saying the quiet part loud.

And in phrasing this, was basically like "he goes away for five months, comes back, the audience loves that" like it's someone returning at the Rumble or something. Bananas. 

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21 hours ago, John from Cincinnati said:

The deal follows a $7.5 million settlement Mr. McMahon reached in 2018 with a former wrestler who alleged that he coerced her into giving him oral sex, as well as a 2022 agreement in which he agreed to pay $3 million to a former WWE employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, the Journal previously reported citing people familiar with those agreements. Mr. McMahon has declined to publicly address the settlements.


WWE has declined to discuss the allegations against Mr. McMahon.

Paragraph worth of settlements. And only the ones we know about. WWE can't comment on character issues. Remember. 

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5 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Easy. She's not a man.

A woman wants to have control over how her sexuality is used? She has to go. If we want to exploit her sexuality, we'll put her in our hall of fame and/or pay her millions of dollars. 

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2 hours ago, supremebve said:

Mandy Rose has to be looking at this shit wondering how she got fired. 

The next time they get rid of a performer due to character issues or whatever puts them in a bad light, I can't wait to see PR jargon if they actually comment on the release. Especially if it's in the, " World Wrestling Entertainment employees/individuals to high standards" tone. See: the statement they released after they fired Hogan in 2015.

Parody.

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Regarding potential buyers, Shaw noted on Twitter that "sources have expressed skepticism that many traditional media companies will buy the WWE." He would continue to say that Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. and The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund were both "definitely" interested parties. 

I think at $5-$7 billion (which is right around WWE's valuation), buying WWE was out of reach for any of the major media conglomerates. $9 billion is a non starter.  I think the "skepticism" part is an understatement.

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My ill advised, uninformed theory:

1) They (or he, pronouns pal...Vince) have (or has) no real interest in selling.

OR

2) He only wants the investment fund to bid against themselves cause that is essentially what's happening. Endeavor is only worth $10 billion IIRC and they needed some help to buy UFC for 4 billion. How in the hell would they buy WWE at 9 billion without a ton of help?

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3 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

My ill advised, uninformed theory:

1) They (or he, pronouns pal...Vince) have (or has) no real interest in selling.

OR

2) He only wants the investment fund to bid against themselves cause that is essentially what's happening. Endeavor is only worth $10 billion IIRC and they needed some help to buy UFC for 4 billion. How in the hell would they buy WWE at 9 billion without a ton of help?

Bingo. He has two scenarios he's okay with. Pricing it out of the market (on purpose) so no one will buy it and he keeps inching closer to regaining all the power he had before. Or Saudi buys it and gives him all that power he had before. Either scenario gives him what he wants. But floating the 9 billion number also pumps up the stock and makes everyone excited about what he's wanting, without understanding the underlying reasons for that number.

He's a ruthless and savvy businessman, I'll give him that.

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A couple weeks ago Brandon Thurston said WWE's market cap is around $6.5 billion, and any buyer is expected to offer a certain higher value for each share of stock. So $9 billion actually sounds like a fair price. Whether he can get it or not is another story.

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1 hour ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Bingo. He has two scenarios he's okay with. Pricing it out of the market (on purpose) so no one will buy it and he keeps inching closer to regaining all the power he had before. Or Saudi buys it and gives him all that power he had before. Either scenario gives him what he wants. But floating the 9 billion number also pumps up the stock and makes everyone excited about what he's wanting, without understanding the underlying reasons for that number.

He's a ruthless and savvy businessman, I'll give him that.

First part, yes. Second part...I dunno if it's savvy to show your hand at this point when the summer is still 4 or 5 months away. Add in the fact, that Disney is clearly out of the running and I doubt they were in it to begin with. NBCUniversal, which has to most to gain, appears to be out on it. There wasn't a big name stateside that looked to have any interest and it's been up for sale for months now. There has been nothing percolating that make anyone be excited. They need a new development that doesn't make it seem like Vince is halfway desperate to unload it or find suitors.

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1 hour ago, zendragon said:

the streaming bubble seems to be bursting, no matter how much content you have there are still only hours in the day and you can't watch everything 

More importantly, everyone is waiting for that whole U.S. economy thing to burst. Everyone (including the media conglomerates) is gearing up for a tough year. I mean I work for one of if not one of the two or three logistic companies in North America and we were told explicitly multiple times at the beginning of the year we're expecting a tough one and need all hands on deck.

I dunno why you want to price everyone out immediately when at this point you want make it seem like a bunch of people are interested. You get people bidding and THEN you raise the price.

I wonder if they went too hard in the paint on the kill the Saudi purchase rumor and wrestling media is bad angle that no one is going to report anything but what Bloomberg, WSJ, etc. are putting out which has been mostly from WWE as a direct source. That's good in one area, but bad for galvanizing interest in who could be buying this. It's been a whole bunch of nothing since then.

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