According to various reports around the web it appears former MMA fighter and former WWE star Brock Lesnar has inked a 1-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.
Reports also indicate that Lesnar is currently in Miami, the site of WrestleMania 28 which takes place tonight, which has rumors swirling about his possible appearance at the event tonight. Lesnar and the WWE have been in talks for over a month about a return. Lesnar would be returning to the WWE roster but on a limited schedule in comparison to his schedule during his first WWE run.
Many speculate who Lesnar will be matching up against during his return. Many people point to a possible setup for a Lesnar/Rock match at WrestleMania 29 next year but also there is widespread speculation that Lesnar could face the Undertaker as well. In fact, Lesnar and Taker have had a few run ins over the years as well as some comments going back and forth.
One of the more public encounters was a few years back at UFC 121 when during a post-match interview at ringside with the Undertaker, Lesnar walked by and they had a brief staredown.
Could this be the setup for the next big Mania match? Could Brock have an impact on Rock/Cena tonight? Could Lesnar lockup with former WWE star (and also rumored to be resigned) Batista? Only time will tell
WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso Arrested, Involved in Alleged Altercation with Police
Uso, 33, and his wife, fellow WWE Superstar Naomi, who was driving, were pulled over near downtown Detroit for driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
According to our police sources, cops say their 2018 Dodge Journey reeked of booze and officers ordered Naomi out of the car.
Jimmy, despite commands to do otherwise, then exited the car took off his shirt and jacket and squared up like he wanted to fight, with one officer saying that he took out his taser “cause he was scared for his safety”.
Jimmy eventually calmed down and complied, was taken to jail and released once he posted bond.
Vince McMahon Sells $22 Million Worth of WWE Stock
According to recent SEC filings, McMahon recently sold 300,000 shares of WWE, valued at $74 a share, for an estimated $22 million, leaving McMahon with a hefty 3 million shares, for an estimated total well of $2 billion.
McMahon is clearly creating more financial cushion for his venture Alpha Entertainment, which owns the XFL, who recently announced the initial cities that will house XFL franchises that include Washington, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, New York, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay.
As WWE has always innovative with their content distribution, highlighted by the success of the WWE Network platform, it will be interesting to see how the XFL will be setup.
With the popularity of Twitch streams and the less popular Mixer streams introducing more forms of entertainment to the potential of online streaming, it will be interesting to see how the XFL will choose to broadcast, and on how many platforms once it launches.
XFL will have it’s fair share of competition, but McMahon seems to be financially arming the league for a more successful run than it had back in the early 2000s.
WWE Network Tops 2 Million Subscribers
WWE is celebrating a monumental WrestleMania 34, along with a huge milestone for their WWE Network.
WWE announced that the WWE Network has reached a record 2.12 million subscribers, 1.81 million of which are paid subscribers, up 9% from April 3rd, 2017.
Additionally, by generating $14.1M in revenue WrestleMania 34 was the highest grossing event in the history of New Orleans SuperDome, which packed 78,133 fans for the epic event.
“We expect to deliver record subscriber levels, revenue and Adjusted OIBDA in 2018,” said George Barrios, WWE Co-President. “WWE Network’s continued growth along with our massive reach across traditional television as well as digital and social platforms, reaffirms the effectiveness of our global, multi-platform content strategy.”
More can be found at their official website, but here are some notes:
- WrestleMania broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event at $14.1 million, as a sold-out crowd of 78,133 fans from all 50 states and 67 countries attended the event. As part of the week-long WrestleMania celebration, WWE hosts five consecutive nights of events at the Superdome and the Smoothie King Center
- WWE Network subscribers viewed 25.2 million hours during WrestleMania Week or 14 hours per subscriber during the week. This compares to 22.5 million hours last year, a 12% year-over-year increase
WWE 2018 Perspective
Q1 2018: Based upon preliminary data, WWE Network attracted an average of approximately 1.56 million paid subscribers over the first quarter 2018, representing a 5% increase from the first-quarter 2017 average. The first quarter 2018 average was in-line with guidance of approximately 1.53 million.3
During the first quarter 2018, the Company realized stronger than anticipated performance. As a result, the Company expects Q1 Adjusted OIBDA of at least $30 million (subject to the completion of its quarterly close process), exceeding its previous guidance of $23 million to $27 million.4
Q2 2018: If the acquisition and retention of subscribers driven by WrestleMania is comparable to the subscriber activity associated with the prior year event, average paid subscribers for the second quarter 2018 would be approximately 1.77 million, representing an increase of approximately 8% from the second quarter 2017.5 As future subscriber performance may differ from prior activity, this range is provided for perspective rather than as guidance.
2018: WWE management continues to expect the Company to achieve another year of record revenue and has raised its target for 2018 Adjusted OIBDA to at least $145 million (excluding stock-based compensation expense), which would be an all-time record, exceeding its previous guidance of at least $140 million
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