HomeNewsWWE Lawsuit & COVID-19 Updates | Wrestling News Update, June 17 2020

WWE Lawsuit & COVID-19 Updates | Wrestling News Update, June 17 2020

WWE RESPONDS TO FORMER TALENT’S CLAIMS REGARDING SAUDI ARABIA

WWE have dismissed allegations stemming from recent claims made by an ex-WWE star regarding last year’s Crown Jewel event.

The claims were made in one of several recent lawsuits by WWE shareholders, who argue that WWE has made misleading statements regarding their business dealings with Saudi Arabia. This former talent,  identified as CW-2, was initially told that the flight had been delayed. When he spoke to a stewardess, they were quoted as saying that “it seems someone doesn’t want us to leave the country.”

CW-2 also recalled seeing guards wearing “black militia attire” staring at the wrestlers on board.

He also claimed that he was told by the Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Vince McMahon had gotten into an argument over payments regarding the last event held in Saudi Arabia, Super Showdown. As a result of this, McMahon cut the live feed for the Crown Jewel event, which had made the Crown Prince upset.

In a statement, Jerry McDevitt spoke to Forbes on behalf of WWE saying;

After the Court appointed a third law firm to be lead counsel, WWE provided all three law firms with specific detailed facts from the persons with actual knowledge of the situation, including the phony allegation about the plane. The first two law firms then dropped their lawsuits to avoid sanction motions, but the third firm chose to ignore the specific facts they had been provided, and instead cited an unnamed disgruntled former wrestler with no knowledge of the facts. WWE is preparing its response to the lawsuit and will be moving to have it dismissed.

MORE ON WWE LAWSUIT, DETAILS ON CANCELLED SAUDI TELEVISION DEAL

The statement made by a former WWE superstar has come during an amended class action complaint from Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri Trust. This lawsuit alleges that  WWE misled investors about their dealings with Saudi Arabia, in particular with their television deal in the Middle East & North Africa.

WrestleNomics recently released court documents from the suit which claims that WWE allegedly failed to disclose an early termination of their deal with Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) and led investors to believe that they were working on renewing a deal.

According to the amended complaint, OSN began to struggle financially, and, as early as 2018, they began to be “delinquent in the payments of rights fees to the WWE”.

In September 2018, WWE sent OSN a “Notice Of Material Breach” in regards to said delinquent payments. OSN decided to shut down its sports channels, and sought the early termination of its distribution deal with WWE in a cost savings measure, and by November 2018, general counsel for OSN informed WWE officials that OSN intended to close up its sports content business and sports coverage by early 2019.

On December 18, 2018, OSN and WWE came to terms on a settlement, which would allow OSN to terminate its deal with WWE early, as of March 31, 2019. WWE was trying to find a new MENA partner, and tried to negotiate a new deal with the Middle East Broadcasting Center.

An employee of MBC, identified as CW-1, stated that WWE had “wildly unreasonable expectations of the revenue it expected from a potential broadcast partner”, claiming that WWE proposed an $80 million annual licensing fee for its projection of over 100 million “OTT” subscribers, based on the large number of OSN subscribers who watched WWE. MBC reportedly only projected 6.5 million WWE subscribers at “most” based on their own research and analysis.

The two could not reach an agreement, and negotiations stopped there. WWE has yet to announce a new television deal in the region despite telling investors that they planned to have it completed at the end of 2019.

SMACKDOWN TAPING POSTPONED

WWE has been forced to cancel today’s SmackDown taping, moving it to next Friday as a result of ongoing COVID-19 testing. Click here for the full story.

MUSTAFA ALI MOVED TO RAW ROSTER

WWE has quietly moved Mustafa Ali from SmackDown over to the Raw roster.

As reported by PWInsider, Ali “has been quietly shifted to the Raw brand.” Ali has been kept off WWE television so far in 2020, and it’s been speculated that he would be revealed as the hacker who has been appearing on SmackDown. That now does not seem the case.

Ali moved from 205 Live and the cruiserweight division to SmackDown in December 2018.

‘THE R-TRUTH GAME SHOW’ DEBUTING ON WWE NETWORK NEXT MONTH

During his appearance on WWE’s The Bump this morning, R-Truth announced that “The R-Truth Game Show” will premiere on the WWE Network on Tuesday, July 14th.

They showed a clip that featured Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sheamus, and The Miz. He says it will involve trivia, scavenger hunts, and other kinds of games.

EVOLVE REPORTEDLY GOING ON HIATUS

According to Pro Wrestling Torch, EVOLVE is set to cease operations for the time being and will no longer run events.

EVOLVE’s Vice President of Talent Relations, Creative & Marketing Gabe Sapolsky sent a Facebook message to a private group used by those in the company today and said that he would be eliminating the private Facebook group because there are no plans for EVOLVE to run any events going forward.

However, PWTorch have noted that the rumors of WWE buying EVOLVE and parent company WWN Live ceasing operations are not true. WWN will reportedly continue to operate but EVOLVE is going on a hiatus.

The reason given was the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICW MOVE ALL SHOWS TO 2021

Scotland’s biggest wrestling promotion Insane Championship Wrestling have pretty much drawn their 2020 to a close by announcing that all planned shows will be moved to next year. This also includes their family brand, Wrestling Experience Scotland

However, ICW’s man in charge Mark Dallas has stated that there are plans to produce matches behind closed doors when it’s safe to do so.

Here is the revised schedule:

  • Fight Club at the Garage, Glasgow – moved from September 13th, 2020 to January 17th, 2021
  • Fight Club at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – moved from July 25th, 2020 to February 28th, 2021
  • Fight Club at the Garage, Glasgow – moved from September 27th, 2020 to March 28th, 2021
  • Shug’s Hoose Party 7 at the O2 Academy, Glasgow – moved from July 27th, 2020 to July 25th, 2021
  • Fear & Loathing XIII at the Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow – moved from November 14th & 15th, 2020 to November 20th & 21st, 2021
  • WXS at the Citadel Leisure Centre, Ayr – moved from March 21st, 2020 to a date TBC
  • WXS at the Reconnect Regal Theatre, Bathgate – moved from August 1st, 2020 to April 24th, 2021
  • WXS at the Rothes Halls, Glenrothes – moved from August 30th, 2020 to May 9th, 2021
  • WXS at the Beach Leisure Centre, Aberdeen – moved from August 22nd, 2020 to June 5th, 2021
  • WXS at the Community Central Halls, Maryhill – moved from October 17th, 2020 to a date TBC
  • WXS at the Ironworks Music Venue, Inverness – moved from September 26th, 2020 to a date TBC

‘YOUNG ROCK’ SERIES TO PREMIERE ON NBC

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has landed a series on NBC based on his life as kid.

‘Young Rock’ is slated for a midseason debut, as announced by NBC their new fall season plans according to TVLine.

There will be 11 episodes of this first season and The Rock will appear in every one. He is also an executive producer under his company, Seven Bucks Productions.

A FORMER WORLD CHAMPION TO RETURN AT SLAMMIVERSARY

Impact Wrestling have shed a little more light on former stars returning to the company, announcing that a former World Champion will return on July 18th.

In a video at the end of the show, they teased this appearance saying;

“We continue to follow the ongoing story of the 20-plus professional wrestling superstars released from their contracts two months ago,” the news anchor in the teaser said. “Reliable sources have just informed us that at least one former World Champion will make his return to Impact Wrestling on Saturday, July 18. More as this story develops.”

We saw glimpses of former World Champions in the segment also.

Another interesting note is that following Moose’s successful ‘defense’ of the TNA World Title, EC3’s music played instead of the music of Moose. EC3 is a former World champion, so take that for what you will.

JOHN SKYLER SUFFERS KNEE INJURY ON AEW DARK

John Skyler has revealed he suffered tears in his ACL, MCL, and PCL in his right knee during a tag match that aired on AEW Dark last night.

He was teaming with Brady Pierce against The Dark Order and he was injured in what he described on Facebook as a ‘freak accident’.

He thanked AEW for their “support, kindness, and unwavering generosity during this time.” saying;

12 years. 1,264 Matches.

They say “there is never a good time to get injured.”

Well after 12 years in the greatest sport in the world. And after 1,264 times of being lucky enough to go to the ring….healthy, to do what I love the most…entertaining fans (over 3 continents and over a dozen countries)….my luck has finally run out.

Last Wednesday, I suffered what I consider to be the first serious injury of my wrestling career…

My way of judging a serious injury has always been….”if ya can walk to the ring….you can wrestle.” Something I’ve always lived by, and a lot of times, against my better judgement, I have done when I shouldn’t have….but “What Would Harley Do?…Am I right?

Well….for the first time…..I can’t walk to the ring right now……I can’t really walk at all ….without crutches.

Last Wednesday, in what can only be described as an unavoidable freak accident (nobody’s fault), in one fell swoop….I suffered tears in my ACL, MCL, and PCL in my right knee…that will sadly, keep me from doing what I love for a little while (projected to be around six months). Decisions on inevitable surgery and rehab will be made early next week.

I’ve had to think long and hard about what I wanted to actually type out…my heart is heavy, knowing that I won’t be able to do what I love the most for a little while…but like a lot of things over the last few months of my life…this wasn’t my choice.

First off….I want to thank Tony Khan, Cody, Nick, Matt, CD, QT, and the rest of AEW (All Elite Wrestling), for their support, kindness, and unwavering generosity during this time.

I also really want to thank AEW’s World-Class Medical Team, (especially the on-site trainers, and Doc Sampson) for getting me the immediate help I needed and treating me and my injury with the upmost attention and professional care. ??

The thing that drew me to wrestling as a child was the “larger than life, immortal, invincible, super-hero like personalities.”

That’s what I loved, and that’s what I wanted to be.

In reality, we aren’t invincible. A lot of nights we ALL go to the ring in physical pain, just for the opportunity to entertain all of you. We do it with smiles on our faces, even though some nights it’s tougher than others…

I’ve sacrificed a lot over the last 12 years just to have the chance to call myself a professional wrestler (and be considered somewhat good at my craft at the same time). I’ve sacrificed time at home, friendships, relationships, family time, spare time, birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, and everything in between. That was MY choice. And I’m not complaining because I’ve been blessed with the greatest life in the world.

I’ve sacrificed time at home, friendships, relationships, family time, spare time, birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, and everything in between. That was MY choice. And I’m not complaining because I’ve been blessed with the greatest life in the world.

All that being said…..How can you help me?

Don’t blame this on “2020”. Don’t blame this on anybody. Instead of blaming 2020, or waiting for 2020 to be over….wake up and enjoy every day you have on God’s Green Earth. Every day is a blessing.

To my fellow wrestlers (men and women) that want to help me….you can do so by enjoying every single time you get the chance to perform underneath those bright lights. I took that opportunity for granted approximately 1,264 times….I want you all to have the opportunity to …..soak….it…..in.

Soak it in….while you can….because eventually…. I WILL be back. ??.

Thank you all for your love and support at this time. I’ll see you all again soon!

Much Love,

John

(By the way……….I finished the match.)

KOTTO BRAZIL LEAVES MLW

Former member of Injustice Kotto Brazil has parted company with Major League Wrestling.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider first reported that Brazil and Major League Wrestling could not agree on a new contract, and then  POST Wrestling reached out to Kotto and confirmed the news.

He was written off television with an injury suffered at the hands of CONTRA-UNIT when they took over the company and shut it down. New signing Saieve Al Sabah has replaced him in Injustice.

Brazil joined MLW in 2017 as Snoop Strikes and competed for the MLW National Openweight Title against Alexander Hammerstone in 2019. His last bout aired on March 13th, teaming with Reed and Oliver in a losing effort to Los Jinetes del Aire (El Hijo del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr. & Octagon Jr.) for the AAA World Trios Title.

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