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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org."
"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.
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!!
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.
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.
At this point Sasha Banks has a reputation of walking out when the company and the "Boss" have disagreements creatively. Sasha is by far one of the most gifted female performers in the Women's division and a gift for WWE. However, Sasha hasn't actually been handle properly creatively in recent years being thrusted into the women's tag team division instead of being a top singles star. Other then her main event program with Bianca Belair at Wrestlemania last year she hasn't been a featured performer.
In defense of Banks the Women's Tag titles aren't exactly one of the championships that the company care much about booking wise. The champions haven't had a clear direction or have been looked at as having much meaning to them which in my opinion they shouldn't exist. If the company perceives the women's tag titles as unimportant then the fans will do the same thing. Every championship should have meaning or be perceived as important otherwise the title shouldn't exist. For example, even if the point of the title was to keep the champions on television and busy as oppose to forcing the same talent to be featured in the women's championship picture.
If WWE would put together a long term plan there is no reason why they wouldn't have a plan in place for one of the companies champions. The fact that there were no plans in place for the women's tag team champions for two months is questionable in my opinion. I don't agree with the decision that Naomi and Sasha made, but at the same time I understand the months of frustration mounting and them making the decision to force the companies hand. Creatively WWE does seem a bit lost at the moment, but the idea that you would be willing to sacrifice the Women's tag champions to get the Women's champions over is a joke and proves another reason why the titles are unneeded. Again the point of this article isn't to defend the actions of Banks or Naomi or being critical of their choices it's more to point out how unimportant the championships are perceived to be based on WWE's booking of the champions.
I saw this questioned posed on Twitter if you had complete control of WWE what would yo do first? Well that isn't as simple of question as some might think because it should require at least some thought and understanding. In my opinion, the biggest thing missing from WWE nowadays is the lazy booking strategy that the company has in place now. Flashback to previous eras of WWE where they would inform some wrestlers months or a year in advance that they will become champion and not just World Title changes but plans for the Tag Team or Intercontinental as well.
One of the many stories I've heard about Vince McMahon is that at one point when discussing Wrestlemania, Vince would think about plans for the following years Wrestlemania. Specifically after the success of Hogan vs Andre that was something that Vince always wanted to duplicate the success of that match. However, it's clear in recent years that Vince does think about Wrestlemania a year ahead of time like he did at one point.
The biggest thing missing from WWE nowadays is that they don't plan ahead or if they do they are to scared to stick with the plan. For whatever reason Vince seems to prefer to book programs week to week instead of planning things out months in advance. Long term booking helps keep talent on the fans minds, allows for emotional investment in the stars, and keeps wrestlers out of catering. This philosophy has been something I've been saying needs to change for a long time and I doubt it will anytime soon. Wrestling is better when you keep it simple the more complicated it gets the harder it is to follow and suspend your disbelief.
It doesn't always happen that WWE keep track on an actual year to year basis, but it is also a rare sight to see someone hit twenty years within WWE. On April 25, 2002 we saw the debut of Randy Orton against Hardcore Holly which he scored a surprise victory. Orton was the second third generation wrestler under the WWE banner and is still one of only a handful of third generation stars. It took a few years for Randy to live up to his potential, but Evolution gave him a foundation and though the end was a little bumpy once he found his footing he hit the ground running.
Orton really found his footing as a top star in the 2008-2010 range when he had that feud with Triple H and spent a few months taking out each McMahon family member. Though it didn't take the entire time it in my opinion, was the highlight of the time period for the "Viper." It was until a few years later when Orton would become a given good match and a stable presence on the card. There is a reason that Drew McIntyre was given a longer feud with Orton during his title reign then he had with anyone else he had feuded with at the time.
At one point, I wasn't a fan of Orton and preferred just about anyone else on the card and was pretty well just tired of Orton. It would become obvious though that Randy would always find a moment to catch our interest again it didn't matter if it is was the memes, a feud with Brock, or RK-Bro. Since his team with Riddle started taking off Orton has seemed fresh for the first time in a long time as he has never been in the tag team division for this long. I would like to offer congratulations to Randy Orton on a very rare accomplishment something that nobody normally gets nowadays twenty years in WWE.
Thus far the biggest story of 2022 has by far been the departure of one of AEW's founders leaving the company. Cody Rhodes departed AEW earlier this year for unclear reasons, but what we do know is that soon after Cody left AEW he resigned with WWE. Before leaving the promotion in 2016 the WWE was home Cody for the better part of ten years. I think everyone knew that at some point someone would jump ship from AEW back to WWE and nobody expected that the first person to jump would be Cody. Back in 2019, Cody was at the forefront of the announcement of All Elite Wrestling alongside the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
In my opinion, the best thing that WWE could do is allow Cody to do a few weeks of sit down interviews with either Michael Cole or Jimmy Smith to explain why he came back to WWE and where he's been for the last few years. Cody could start his return in WWE by having a similar run to CM Punk's in AEW where Cody competes against those stars who either weren't in WWE when he last was with the company.
It would be fair to compare the return of Cody Rhodes to the return of Drew McIntyre who departed the company only to return a few years later with his name value a lot higher then was when he left. I still think it will be a few weeks before fans will allow the reality to set in that Cody is actually back in WWE. Especially if WWE persists to present Cody in the exact way he was presented in AEW that will be just as surprising, because in a way it would be admitting that they did something right. If Night one was any indication then the future is bright, but it is still way to early to pass judgement or push expectations forward for what we will see from Cody in WWE. For now we will just have to wait and see what happens as right now we are at a bit of a Cross Rhodes.
Late last year, Triple H had a health scare after a cardiac episode which led to him taking an extended vacation from WWE. The end of his tenure aside Triple H had been a member of the company since 1995 and became one of the longest tenured members of the roster. At the start of his run it wasn't expected that Hunter Hearst Helmsley would become a legend or have the career that he was fortunate to have. For twenty seven years, he called WWE home before he made the move to the company in Connecticut he would spend around a year in WCW before being let go due to roster cuts.
A reign of terror and nearly catching Ric Flair's record being a member of two legendary factions just reads as a few of the accomplishments that Triple H has on career achievement list. A friendship with Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall helped propel Triple H up the card to start with and D-Generation X made that happen. To be fair I don't need to retrace the career history of Triple H as most fans are aware of the career history of Triple H.
Triple H brought NXT to the forefront of the wrestling world and really put his wrestling mind on display and how exactly he would run the show when Vince did retire. Triple H gave the fans of WWE something completely different with NXT. Though NXT isn't what Triple H built anymore the legacy of what he built always lives on, because for years it gave fans something we never thought we'd see from WWE. It is odd seeing people I grew up watching retire, but thank you Triple H for the legacy you created and memories you leave behind. Triple H will unquestionably go down as a legend and a future Hall of Famer. Thank you for the Memories!!
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present