Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present
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Before I jump into this article we need to define another term, this term being "insider trading." As defined by moneycrashers.com "Insider trading is the practice of using information that has not been made public to execute trading decisions. It gives traders an unfair advantage over others and most forms of insider trading are illegal. Another definition of the term as SEC outlines insider trading as “buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include ‘tipping’ such information, securities trading by the person ‘tipped,’ and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.”
I have been a wrestling fan for the last twenty-three years and this has been by far an unpresented time to be a fan of wrestling. According to various news sites (first reported by Brandon Thurston or Wrestlenomics) $2.1 million shares of WWE stock were sold just hours before the WSJ report was published. Though the amount might not seem like a lot it is actually 1.5 million more than on an average day. Though it is unknown the executive/s that could've sold this amount it was likely a high ranking official due to the amount that was sold. This situation could make the report of the investigation to Vince's allegations all the more worse, because it doesn't look good. Also this could make even more of a case for S+S Attorneys at Law to prove a violation of fiduciary duty.
Though as I mentioned it isn't proven the information is clearly out there that someone may have had knowledge of the incoming report and chose to make the best of a bad situation. As of this writing WWE stock has only taken a slight hit down small percentage at $62.91 as of June 17.
The following was taken from a forbes.com article: To view the full article click here
WWE’s Prohibition Against Insider Trading
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Before we get into this article I would like to explain what the term fiduciary duty means in terms of the upcoming article. The term fiduciary duty simply means trust and is something that a company has a legal obligation to maintain to their shareholders. For example, a case could be made that high ranking officials within a company have the fiduciary duty to disclose certain information to shareholders even if it could affect the company negatively. This week has been rough for WWE, the day after the announcement that Vince had paid off a former employee it was announced that another investigation had been launched by nationally known law firm Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law specializing in cases involving consumer rights and securities litigation.
Once I saw this I had assumed I knew what it was about and according to the reports from both business wire and fightful.com I might've been right. Follow the provided links for the full stories!
"NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP (“Scott+Scott”), a national securities and consumer rights litigation firm, is investigating whether certain directors and officers of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE”) (NYSE: WWE) breached their fiduciary duties to WWE and its shareholders. If you are a WWE shareholder, you are encouraged to contact attorney Joe Pettigrew for additional information at (844) 818-6982, or email@example.com."
"Scott+Scott is investigating whether members of WWE’s board of directors or senior management failed to manage WWE in an acceptable manner, in breach of their fiduciary duties to WWE, and whether WWE and its shareholders have suffered damages as a result."
(from Business Wire)
"On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published a report saying the WWE board of directors is investigating McMahon on a secret $3 million hush pact regarding an alleged affair. (From Fightful.com)
Once I heard about the investigation I had a feeling that I knew the reason Scott+Scott took it upon themselves to launch an investigation, because once you read that the Board of Directors had privately launched an investigation two months ago you knew. The fact that this privately known information for two months time without the public or more importantly without shareholders likely being looped in is borderline a violation of fiduciary duties in my opinion. "Scott+Scott has significant experience in prosecuting major securities, antitrust, and consumer rights actions throughout the United States. The firm represents pension funds, foundations, individuals, and other entities worldwide with offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Connecticut, California, and Ohio." (From Business Wire)
Again I don't classify Wrestling Express as a news reporting website which is why I normally don't jump on stories when they are first reported. I classify this site as an opinion based website mostly due to my unwillingness to comment on big stories until everything or more information made aware to us on some stories like this one for example.
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Since the very beginning of this website I've thought of this site as an opinion based website and not a news site. That is why it normally takes me a little bit to write articles about anything big that has been reported on. The other reason it takes me a while to write about anything that is reported in the news world is because I will not write about anything until everything is known and more information about any situation is made aware to us. By far the biggest news story in our world has been the news about Vince McMahon.
I will try to keep this as clear as possible. Earlier this week it was reported that WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon had engaged in an affair with a former WWE paralegal in the spring of 2021. According to a Wall Street Journal article Vince used personal funds to pay off the former female employee to keep quiet about the affair. Somewhere along the timeline Vince passed the female employee to Johnny Ace "like a toy." I also found an interesting excerpt from AJ Lee's book which was published back in 2017 and was tweeted by David Bixenspan:
I've been a wrestling fan for the better part of the last twenty-three years and there have always been rumors and innuendo about the dark side of Vince McMahon, but I never expected this to actually happen. Honestly, this is inexcusable in any profession!! It is inexcusable no matter the position that you have to view women in such a light. I understand that the affair was reported to be "consensual" and that's fine, but the fact that AJ couldn't go to a higher up in that situation kinda insinuates something which is inexcusable. In my opinion, that alone is grounds for that employee to be fired, because nobody deserves to be told that or have the workplace be made uncomfortable.
The accepted philosophy before today was that Johnny Ace or current Head of Talent Relations John Laurenitis would be the "fall guy" for this ongoing investigation. This isn't the only investigation taking place by the way which we will get to!! This was accepted before today because as of earlier this morning Vince McMahon will be stepping aside for the time being as the Head of WWE.
Early on we had been made aware of the fact that this investigation had been taking place since April led by the WWE Board of Directors. Ironically enough Stephanie McMahon took a leave of absence from the promotion the following month and I for one didn't bat an eye after the last few months. As far as her leave of absence it is no longer place as Stephanie has taken over for her father for the time being as the Interim Chairman & CEO of WWE. This is something fans have spoken about for years at this point, but honestly I didn't expect someone to take Vince's spot even on an interim basis until Vince died. To those who expected Nick Khan to take control or that it would fit a dumb narrative that he has taken out every member of the McMahon family give me a break!! Stephanie & Hunter were still on the Board of Directors and all three still have shares in WWE. The McMahon Family will ALWAYS run WWE!!
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At points every sports team reaches a point where it's time to rebuild, oftentimes leading to established star players being moved out in favor of younger unproven players. Back in around 2009, WWE went through a period of transition seeing a number of talent fazed out and new stars coming in. However, the WWE never fully got behind the new superstars and fully pushed them to the top like they did with stars in the past. Sheamus was one of the only stars to break through and he didn't even get past the glass ceiling with Randy Orton, Triple H, and John Cena always being a level above.
Though the average age of most of the talent roster is above 35 years old most of the talent is more than capable of still holding their own in the ring. However, Roman Reigns is the only name that has reached another level. During his run over the last few years Roman reached a level that fans haven't seen since Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin. The problem is that Roman is on a level all there own with names like McIntyre, Rollins, Owens, and others sharing the step below Roman.
The fascinating aspect of the situation surrounding Roman is that fans seem to be upset that Roman could be stepping back as an active wrestler. In my opinion, if Roman is stepping back schedule wise and going more part time this should bring fans to ask the question why wouldn't WWE take this opportunity to rebuild their other divisions. Current Intercontinental champion Ricochet hasn't been super active as champion, especially compared to his US Championship counterpart. The Women's, Tag Team and mid-card need to be invested in and rebuilt. Think about this the 24/7 championship has more direction and receives a bit more attention then the titles that aren't looked at as a joke by fans.
In my opinion, the first step in rebuilding WWE would be setting up a few weeks of meetings with creative, veterans, producers, trainers, and other employees to come up with a plan. The reason I would sit down with veterans like Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rollins, Cody, and others is at this point they would know who they could put together their best match with at this point. I would meet with Paul Heyman, Bruce Pritchard, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Matt Bloom and others to again try and plan ahead as a way to situate a long term plan. Following the meetings I would make sure we had a year of plans in place.
The plan would start with champions and work outward from there keeping those who are championship material front and center. One rule would be in place though that delegation would key with weekly meetings happening to allow everyone to be up to date onto goings on within the business. I remember that Cornette & Heyman both had to make lists when they ran development to keep track of who is closet to be ready for promotion and who still needs work. WWE isn't poorly managed they just aren't as ahead of the game planning wise that they had been twenty or thirty years ago. Rebuilding this company and programming is a process that would take a few years, but can be done step by step if the company actually chose to invest in the process.
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If WWE wanted to take anything from AEW then they should pay attention to the passion and intensity that is included in some promos that the talent do. I'm not talking about the MJF shoot from Dynamite last week more or less I'm talking about how AEW promos often seem more genuine. WWE promos do have one line that can get a reaction from time to time, but a good promo can raise the intensity of a rivalry if done right. In my opinion, promos don't need crazy intensity all the time, but a promo should sound like it's the real person speaking and not the talent trying to remember a speech.
For example, looking back to the dark days when the unneeded releases took place two years in a row. I remember watching a video following the announcement of specifically Tyler Breeze's release and seeing how Xavier Woods reacted. Allow Xavier alongside Kofi to have time to speak even doing a sit down style interview with Michael Cole. The New Day could speak about how losing friends & Big E has changed them making it impossible to become accustomed to the world after the Thunderdome. Honestly, can even have Woods sit down with Michael Cole alone one week to make a more personal discussion about losing one of his best friends, because the company wanted to make more money.
Back in the early 1990's around the time when Dino Bravo was let go from WWE his long time friend Rick Martel went to management with the idea of the two becoming a tag team. However, management passed on the idea my point imagine if they didn't. Now full circle imagine if The New Day went to management to defend those talent on the chopping block we don't hear the ideas, but the New Day defend names like Tyler Breeze, Tegan Nox, William Regal, Tony Nese, and variety of others.
Wrestling now is about controversy even though controversy still sells it's about being different and showing the fans that you can still build programing worth investing in. Earlier this year, Kevin Owens showed what he could do with a microphone leading into Wrestlemania. Names like Sami Zayn, Edge, AJ Styles, and a number of others if given the chance to actually speak can get fans attention. Asking WWE to grant talent the ability to add a more emotional/intense flavor to promos often is next to impossible or improbable as WWE is more known for lazy booking and mirco-management then being aware of talent with potential.