[WWE] Sabu Punishment Announced, MSG Update & More

WWE.com has posted the following, along with a photo of RVD & Sabu’s citations from their arrests on Sunday:

World Wrestling Entertainment earlier this week announced it was investigating five violations, including drug possession, levied against Rob Van Dam and Sabu by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. WWE announced today that based on information gathered over the past few days, Van Dam has been suspended without pay for 30 days and Sabu has been fined $1000. These actions are consistent with the Wellness Policy at WWE.

– In lighter news, WWE.com has also posted a new monthly feature called Road Stories – the first which is penned by Matt Hardy, “rumors” about Batista’s return to Smackdown, and comments from Edge on winning the WWE Title. Oh, and a Diva Search contestant dropped out: Jennifer Walcott, one of the eight finalists in the 2006 Diva Search Contest, has dropped out of the competition that’s set to begin this Monday on RAW. Her replacement will be Erica Chevillar.

– The Saturday Night’s Main Event main event will obviously not be Edge vs. RVD vs. Cena, and Dave Meltzer is reporting that it will also not be Show vs. Edge vs. Cena, as they are going in a different direction.

– The following press announcement was released today about WWE’s new lifestyle magazine:

New WWE(R) Magazine Launches July 11

Wednesday July 5, 8:30 am ET

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 5, 2006–World Wrestling Entertainment® will launch a new men’s lifestyle magazine on Tuesday, July 11. The new “WWE Magazine” will focus on the lifestyles of WWE Superstars and Divas, their activities outside the ring, and what they like in movies, music, gadgets, fashion and other items of interest to young men in their twenties.

“This is a complete rebirth of our publishing division. We’ve been planning on giving our audience a look behind the curtain for years and now is the perfect time to do it. The new WWE Magazine is what our fans won’t see on TV,” said Shane McMahon, Executive Vice President, Global Media, World Wrestling Entertainment.

A significant marketing blitz is planned for the magazine’s launch, with WWE using its considerable television, live event and online assets to promote the new venture.

WWE hired two well-respected publishing industry veterans to fold its preexisting magazines “RAW®” and SmackDown®” into one new title.

Bob Lee, the new Vice President and Publisher of WWE’s Magazine Group, is overseeing all distribution, marketing, and advertising sales. Prior to joining WWE, Lee served as publisher of “Sync Magazine,” where he launched the first men’s tech-tainment magazine. Lee was featured in “Folio Magazine” as one of the “Top-Ten Media Executives to Watch in 2004.” Previously, Lee was publisher of “Gear Magazine” and has worked at “Discover,” “Elle,” and “Us Weekly.”

Lee says he was attracted to WWE because of the connection between the WWE Superstars and WWE fans. “The connection is unmatched in any other property. Our fans are the ultimate consumers of goods which are affiliated with our Superstars,” Lee said. “The new WWE Magazine is designed to attract a larger segment of the WWE fan base, and to appeal to a wide range of advertisers that target readers of lad titles and other men’s lifestyle magazines. The agencies to which we’ve spoken have been very receptive to the new look and broader appeal of our magazine.”

Tony Romando, the new Vice President and Editor-In-Chief for WWE’s Magazine Group, has built his career on successful magazine launches, including “Jane” and “FHM” and has been involved in the rebranding of magazines like “Rolling Stone” and “Men’s Fitness.”

“I’m looking forward to the launch of WWE magazine as much as anything I’ve done in my career,” said Romando. “One of the things that drew me to WWE was the company’s tremendous media presence, and how it uses that presence to create a 360-degree approach to marketing.”

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE – News) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.

– The following news was also released today:

WWE presents Madison Square Garden Classics

Over the course of it’s illustrious history, there is no other place that has had a closer relationship — either as a venue or as a television partner – with the WWE than Madison Square Garden. Now, it is time to celebrate that relationship with “WWE Presents Madison Square Garden Classics.”

The series is set for Wednesdays on MSG and will air in two, one-hour blocks at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The series, that will be hosted by legendary WWE announcer “Mean Gene” Okerlund, premieres Wednesday, July 12 and will look back at some of the WWE’s memorable matches from Madison Square Garden dating back to 1982.

Okerlund, who has over 30 years in sports-entertainment, will dust off the tapes and lead the viewer through the formidable years of the WWE. The series will feature matches that include fan favorites including; Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Fuji, Bob Backlund, Randy Savage, Triple H and The Rock.

The first episode (8:00 p.m.) dates back to January 23, 1989 and features the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) facing the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) who were led by legendary manager Bobby “the Brain” Heenan in a featured tag team match-up. The debut show will also showcase Hercules as he takes on the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase with the main event of the evening showcasing wrestling icon Hulk Hogan as he steps into the ring against Big Boss Man.

The event, originally produced by MSG Network for the WWE, has Rod Trongard and Lord Alfred Hayes as the ringside commentators.

The second episode (9:00 p.m.) features the August 30, 1982 card and is highlighted by WWE Champion Bob Backlund as he tangles with “Playboy” Buddy Rose. Additionally, Andre the Giant, Chief Jay Strongbow and Jules Strongbow take on Blackjack Mulligan, Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito in a 6-man tag-team two out of three falls match. Furthermore, Pedro Morales defends his WWE Intercontinental Championship against Snuka.

“WWE presents Madison Square Garden Classics”, consists of 16 one-hour episodes this summer. MSG and WWE have committed to airing a total of 30 shows the following year.

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