This Week in ‘E – Quarterly Earnings

Linda McMahon releases financial mumbo-jumbo and gets on the school board. Plus Macho Man finally gets his much-deserved DVD, Manu gets the boot and WrestleMania is going to desert.

Opening Witty Banter
It’s really, really late and I need to get this done before I fall asleep at my computer.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Here’s the press release of WWE’s fourth quarter earnings:

STAMFORD, Conn., February 24, 2009 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008. Revenues totaled $125.4 million as compared to $132.6 million in the prior year quarter while operating income was $23.3 million as compared to $24.7 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $13.6 million, or $0.18 per share (diluted), as compared to $21.5 million, or $0.30 per share (diluted), in the prior year quarter. “In 2008, WWE demonstrated resilience to a difficult economic environment. As these challenges increased during the fourth quarter, we intensified our efforts to improve our operating efficiency. Consistent with our commitment to reduce our annual expense base by $20 million, in January we announced a 10% reduction in staff coming from across all areas of our operations,” said Linda McMahon, Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, while understanding the strategic importance of expanding and upgrading our Media Center, we have decided to delay spending on this initiative until economic conditions become more favorable. By exercising fiscal prudence we believe we can improve the company’s earnings and cash flow as well as strengthen our financial position in anticipation of the ultimate economic recovery.”

Yeah I’m not really interested in the financial numbers so this all you get from me. If you’re really interested in the numbers there are other places to find it out.

Speaking of boring old Linda, The Hartford Courant is reporting that Linda McMahon has officially been approved by the State’s House of Representatives to serve on the Connecticut Board of Education. The final vote was 96-45 in McMahon’s favor, but many of the “no” votes came from many of the higher-ranking members of the House. including co-chairs of the education committee, the higher education committee and the House Majority Leader.

Yahoo for Linda. What does this have to do with wrestling? Why am I reporting this?

The Stamford Advocate is reporting that Senior U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey dismissed the lawsuit against WWE by Chris Kanyon, Raven and Mike Sanders. The trio’s lawyers will be filing an appeal.

I was really intrigued by this case, as if Raven and crew were successful there may have been some serious changes in WWE’s business and personnel practices. But as of right now it looks like just another victory for WWE.

WrestleMania XXVI will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, at The University of Phoenix Stadium. It is expected that the show will be held on Sunday evening, March 28, 2010.

It has been well known in wrestling circles that the Phoenix area has been trying to land WrestleMania for over a year now. Wayne Gretsky, head coach of the NHL Phoenix Coyotes, has been campaigning for WrestleMania, pictured wearing a WrestleMania 2010 “Destruction in the Desert” t-shirt.

The University of Phoenix Stadium has a maximum capacity of 73,00 fans, which will easily be filled for WrestleMania.

Phoenix has been in luck recently with sports-entertainment gigs, most recently with their hosting SuperBowl XLII and this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend.

Vince McMahon, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Melina, Kofi Kingston (???) and Kelly Kelly were all a part of the press conference, alongside Elaine Scruggs, Mayor of Glendale.

It looks like I’ve got my plans already in motion for next March.

Late on February 22, 2009, WWE released Manu. Manu recently was on WWE television as part of a burgeoning group of second and third generation wrestling stars. He hadn’t been seen since early January after being kicked out of the group on television. His release really didn’t come as any surprise as it has widely regarded that management didn’t like his look or his perceived lack of in-ring progression.

Apparently Randy Orton didn’t like Manu either and lobbied for him to be removed from the burgeoning Legacy group. He also had some heat on him stemming from his Wellness violation last year when he used the fake penis thing to fool the testers, which then lead to everyone having to be naked during testing which then led to MVP making a crack about a college graduate getting paid to look at guys dicks when then to MVP ending up in the doghouse.

Jaime Noble suffered a stinger last week during his 30 second match with Mike Knox. He was taken out of the ring via stretcher during the Chris Jericho-Ricky Steamboat segment. While he lost feeling in one of his hands temporarily, all of his tests came back negative and he will be fine. He could return to action as soon as Monday.

It’s a good thing Jaime wasn’t injured seriously. Monday’s show may be indicative of whether this affects Knox’s push and whether Jaime will be back on RAW right away. Remember when Jaime moved to ECW a couple weeks back? Yeah me neither.

The PPV formerly known as One Night Stand had been unofficially renamed to Extreme Rules. This past week it was changed to Night of Extreme. It was then reported later in the week that has gone back to Extreme Rules.

Eh…let me know when the debate is over and we actually see the promotional poster for the show.

WWE is in negotiations with the Watts family in an effort to acquire the old Mid-South/UWF video library. Watts’ ex-wife owns the library, and there have been negotiations in the past, with nothing settled in the end.

I would LOVE to see some old-school Mid-South Wrestling on WWE 24/7. Please make this deal happen. Everything I’ve read and heard about Mid-South made it sound awesome. Plus can you imagine good ol’ JR creaming himself talking about this stuff on air again? Or better yet, maybe we would see the return of Erik Watts.

Disc 1
WWE Debut: Randy Savage vs. Rick McGraw – Prime Time Wrestling July 9, 1985

Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat – Boston Garden December 7, 1985

WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – Madison Square Garden December 30, 1985

WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship: Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana – Boston Garden February 8, 1986

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Bruno Sammartino – Boston Garden January 3, 1987

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat – WrestleMania III March 29, 1987

Randy Savage vs. Honky Tonk Man – The Main Event February 5, 1988

WWE Championship Tournament Final
Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase – WrestleMania IV March 27, 1988

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase – Madison Square Garden June 25, 1988

Disc 2
Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant & Ted DiBiase – SummerSlam August 29, 1988

WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania V April 2, 1989

WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – The Main Event March 22, 1990

Randy Savage / Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes / Sapphire – WrestleMania VI April 1, 1990

Retirement Match: Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VII March 24, 1991

Randy Savage vs. Jake Roberts – This Tuesday in Texas December 3, 1991

WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania VIII April 5, 1992

Disc 3
WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Shawn Michaels – European Rampage April 19, 1992

Randy Savage & Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels – Worcester, MA July 22, 1992

WWE Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Yokozuna – RAW February 28, 1994

Lifeguard Match: Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – Bash at the Beach July 16, 1995

WCW Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – Nitro January 22, 1996

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page – Great American Bash June 15, 1997

WCW Championship Match: Randy Savage & Sid Vicious vs. Kevin Nash & Sting – Bash at the Beach July 11, 1999

Two words…oh yeah!

The Road to…WrestleMania XXV
Money in the Bank V
CM Punk v. seven other participants to be named later

rumored matches:
World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena v. Edge (c)

WWE Championship
Triple H (c) v. Randy Orton

Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels

Jeff Hardy v. Matt Hardy

Class of 2009 Hall of Fame
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Terry Funk & Dory Funk, Jr. (inducted by Dusty Rhodes)
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (inducted by Ric Flair)

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 23 – March 1: Jack Swagger
Swagger has been on a roll as ECW Champion and really establishing himself as a rising star and face of “Extreme.” His Championship match with Christian this past Tuesday was an absolute thing of beauty. For his credit Christian did an awesome job as well and the sell-job on his arm and hand were great, but Swagger gets the nod here for his victory. Swagger has been having great matches with a variety of opponents like Christian, Matt Hardy and Finlay, and frankly I think he is holding up his share of work quite nicely. Here’s hoping the All-American American gets a nice, long, prosperous run with the platinum belt.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Shawn Michaels has one more obstacle ahead of him on en route to his collision with Undertaker at WrestlemMania XXV, the big Russian Vladimir Kozlov. Will Michaels take him out Rocky style or he will go down Apollo Creed style? And speaking of which why hasn’t WWE signed Consequences Creed for a one shot deal to job to Kozlov? Also, who will Chris Jericho punk out this week? My money is on IRS. Plus I’m sure there will be more heated words and actions between Triple H and Randy Orton. Will this be the week they finally make the match official? And with Vickie Guerrero in charge of RAW for the time being expect more SmackDown shenanigans, and perhaps another Money in the Bank qualifier or two. All this and more in another life changing episode of RAW.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

ECW recap and 10 thoughts

RAW

How They Rated
SmackDown! (2.20.09) – 2.2

A.M. RAW (2.22.09) – .5

RAW (2.23.09) – 4.1

ECW (2.24.09) – 1.4

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Marshall continues to be Pulse’s TNA cheerleader. Somebody has to.

Wiswell does a fantastic job of breaking down the pros and cons of Ring of Honor’s first two nights of marathon TV tapings.

For more relevant, interesting and exciting wrestling information from your truly, check out my gig as the Pro Wrestling Examiner over at Examiner.com.

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