Brian and Michael (no Steve?!) talk about the WWE financials report for the third quarter, the pay-per-view numbers being down, the impending new broadcast fees for WWE TV and how big this for the company, the WWE Network which is expected to start in early 2014, the importance of John Cena, TNA being for sale, Hulk Hogan’s status and more.
TNA aired a live version of Impact Wrestling last Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah. After the live version of the card, TNA taped an edition of Impact Wrestling that will air tonight on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. We posted the spoilers of tonight’s show last Friday, but if you want to be surprised and not want to know, here is what takes place on the show tonight.
- Eight man Gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to the TNA world heavyweight championship
- Ethan Carter III vs Jobber
- Bobby Roode vs Kurt Angle
- Gail Kim vs ODB
- Bro-Mans vs Gunnar and James Storm
Their was a long standing question when Josh Barnett came back to the UFC was whether he would be able to get a license to fight in the state of Nevada. The question was answered this morning when Barnett was approved for a license to fight at UFC 168 against Travis Browne during a hearing today with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Their was a catch to the license though.
Barnett was told by the commission that he would have to submit himself to random testing up until his fight with Browne as well as to random drug testing done by the commission for all of 2014. Barnett will be also be subjected to enhanced, intensive and weekly testing by the WADA lab at the expense Barnett or the UFC along with the testing in the state of Nevada even Barnett doesn’t fight in the state next year.
The former UFC heavyweight champion attended the hearing along with his attorneys had to explain his previous drug test failures in 2001 and 2002 in Nevada and 2009 in the state of California. Barnett stated that the failed 2001 and 2002 tests were due to the use of supplements that were later reclassified as anabolic steroids while contending the 2009 test was likely due to contaminated supplements. Barnett said he now largely avoids supplements due to the past issues.
“The Warmaster” said to the commission that he understands what is on the list and he is responsible for everything that is put into his body.
“I understand the prohibited list, and that’s what’s necessary,” Barnett said. “I have to watch what I put it in my mouth, in my body. No one’s giving me anything under the table and putting things in my system. This is my responsibility.”
UFC executive Marc Ratner was at the hearing and said the company would be willing to foot the bill for all additional testing.
Barnett will be the first mixed martial artist in Nevada to undergo WADA certified random drug testing.
If Barnett can get by Browne, his next fight would likely be for the UFC heavyweight championship he once held.
UFC 168 takes place on Saturday, December 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main event will feature Chris Weidman defending the UFC middleweight championship against Anderson Silva. The co-feature will have UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending against Miesha Tate.
UFC 167 take place on Saturday, Novemeber 16 from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The main event will feature UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre facing off with number one contender Johny Hendricks. “UFC Primetime” is a three part series the UFC rolls out to hype big fights. The first episode of the show aired last night.
The episode showed why St-Pierre is obsessed with Hendricks, hanging out with his family, why Hendricks will be his toughest guy to his title, what Hendricks does outside of training and how he got to the opportunity of facing St-Pierre.
You can watch the complete episode in the video stream above.
Vince McMahon Conference Call Highlights: Discusses WWE Network, “Disappointing” Summerslam, TV Rights
The WWE hosted a conference call this morning that was hosted by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, WWE CFO George Barrios, and WWE Investor Relations Michael Weitz.
-Vince said the increased television rights fees offset the “disappointing” SummerSlam numbers and video game sales. Regarding SummerSlam, Vince said fans “didn’t buy the attraction, as most of you know these events are attraction driven.”
-Vince said they are looking for “traditional and non-traditional distribution” for the WWE Network.
-Vince said their largest television contracts are coming up both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. He said India is coming up shortly thereafter.
-Barrios took over the call temporarily and read through the financial presentation. He noted that revenue increased nine percent and said it was largely due to increased licensing fees and to some extent live events.
-Barrios said “Total Divas” has averaged roughly 1.8 million viewers per week. He noted that it performed 150 percent better than the programming it replaced on E! network.
-Revenue from the pay-per-view business was down ten percent “primarily due to the performance of the SummerSlam event.” This is despite the fact that WWE added new digital media platforms for their pay-per-view events, such as Playstation 3.
-The movies released under WWE Studios new film model are expected to bring a 13 percent return.
-Barrios said the company is confident that they can double or triple their 2012 results by 2015 via future television agreements and the WWE Network. He said their key domestic television deals are expected to be done by “next April.”
-Barrios compared WWE to live sports. He said the similarities make WWE “DVR-proof.”
-Barrios also spoke briefly about the potential WWE Network platforms, then opened up the line for calls.
-The first caller noted that the domestic television deals are expected to be finalized by April 2014 and whether they will maintain their current relationships or end up elsewhere. He questioned whether WWE Vince said there is a certain exclusive negotiating window for current partners that ends on the first of the year. He said they can go outside to other potential partners after that. Barrios said the timeline they are offering is typical for television rights negotiations.
-Vince was asked about the pay-per-view numbers. He once again stressed that pay-per-views are attraction driven. He said it was a “swing and a miss” as far as the attraction they went with. He said the declining numbers really don’t have to do with anything other than that.
-Vince closed out the conference call by wishing everyone a good day and saying, “The future looks bright.”
-It didn’t seem like Vince realized he was still on the line, as could be heard saying, “As Daniel Bryan would say…” There was laughter in the room. One of the three men mentioned something about it being “the shortest” and said no one would have saw it coming.
The WWE announced pay-per-view revenue and buyrate totals this morning. The company announced pay-per-view revenue was $14.6 million for the three events held in the third quarter of 2013, which is down from the $16.3 million earned for the three pay-per-view events held in the third quarter last year and the $15.8 million the company made for the same quarter of 2011.
Buyrate totals were also released for the events, which were Money In The Bank, Summerslam and Night of Champions.
-July’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view earned 199,000 buys, up from the 188,000 buys the event drew in 2012. The event drew 195,000 buys in 2011, 165,000 buys in 2010, and 267,000 buys when Night of Champions was held in July 2009.
-The August SummerSlam did 296,000 buys, down from 358,000 buys in 2012. The same event drew 296,000 buys in 2011, 350,000 buys in 2010, and 369,000 buys in 2009.
-September’s Night of Champions pay-per-view produced 175,000 buys, down from 189,000 buys in 2012. The event scored 161,000 buy in 2011, 165,000 buys in 2010. The Breaking Point pay-per-view was held in September of 2009 and did 169,000 buys.
The WWE has released their financial results for the third quarter of 2013. Revenue was reported at $113.3 million, which is up from $104.2 million from the same quarter last year. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon made a statement touting the success of the third quarter.
“During the third quarter, our achievements were highlighted by the production and monetization of new content, including the original series, Total Divas, the expansion of pay-per-view distribution on the Sony PlayStation 3 platform, and the formation of new partnerships with blue-chip sponsors such as General Mills and Kraft,” McMahon said.
“These accomplishments reflect the strength of our brands, including a national television audience that exceeds the annual reach of most other sports and entertainment programs. This strength provides a solid foundation for the renegotiation of our TV contracts and the potential launch of a WWE network. Based on our ability to create powerful, entertaining content and to expand distribution, we strongly believe that we are poised to transform our business.”
“Given the rising value of live content that has a broad, loyal following, we are confident that we will be able to negotiate our key domestic agreements by the end of April next year and that our efforts, including the potential launch of a WWE network, will keep us on track to double or triple our 2012 OIBDA results of $63 million by 2015,” added George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer of the WWE. “As we strive to transform our earnings profile, we believe that our 2013 OIBDA results, excluding the impact of film impairments, will fall within the previously communicated range of $40-$50 million.”
It didn’t take long for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to have a new opponent. Bellator announced today that Jackson will headline Bellator 108 against UFC veteran Joey Beltran.
Jackson was scheduled to headline this Saturday’s Bellator 106 event against Tito Ortiz in the company’s first pay-per-view outing, but Ortiz had to bow out of the fight on Friday with a fractured neck. “Rampage” was thankful that Beltran stepped up to the plate on short notice.
“I want to thank Joey Beltran for stepping up for the fight so I can get my first Bellator victory out of the way,” Rampage said. “He’ll have the unfortunate honor of taking the ass whooping I was going to give Tito. My body is in incredible shape right now. I feel like I did in PRIDE, and Joey Beltran is the right guy to put on an exciting fight and showcase what I’ve been working on.”
Beltran will be making his Bellator debut last competed three weeks ago at UFC Fight Night 29, where he lost to Fabio Maldonando by unanimous decision. “Mexicutioner” was released from the UFC shortly after that.
Bellator 108 takes place on Friday, November 15 from the Ovation Hall at Revel Atlantic City. The main card airs on Spike TV. Here is the full lineup for the show.
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)
-,Joey Beltran vs. Quinton Jackson
- Alexander Shlemenko vs. Doug Marshall – for Bellator middleweight title
- Patricio Freire vs. Justin Wilcox – Season 9 featherweight tournament final
- Marcos Galvao vs. Tom McKenna
- Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Dante Rivera
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Chip Moraza-Pollard vs. Sam Oropeza
- Tom DeBlass vs. Jason Lambert
- Will Martinez vs. Kevin Roddy
- Liam McGeary vs. Najim Wali
- Kenny Foster vs. Anthony Morrison
- Ryan Cafaro vs. Dan Matala
- Sergio da Silva vs. Rob Sullivan
Brian and Michael talk about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, their favorite horror movies with Halloween here and which one of them isn’t fond of the genre, The Counselor as well as Bad Grandpa, Star Trek (again) and more.
Before the Smackdown tapings take place, the WWE films “Main Event” that will air on ION Television tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. The tapings took place in Tampa, Florida. Here is what took place on WWE Main Event.
- Ryback pinned Kofi Kingston with a Shellshock. At one point during the bout, Ryback used the Jackhammer.
- Santino Marella defeated Heath Slater with the Cobra.
- Los Matadores defeated Los Locos (Ricardo & Tyson Kidd under masks.)
- Fandango pinned The Great Khali with a top rope legdrop.
Results were from PWInsider.com.
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings in Tampa, Florida. The show will air on Friday night on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
- Michael Cole interviewed Triple H, who announced that Big Show was banned for life.
- World champion John Cena came out and said he was putting everyone on notice. The Real Americans come out and offer Cena a position in their group. He refuses. Damien Sandow came out and called Cena a false champion and vowed to take the title from him. Cody Rhodes and Goldust came out, which led to Vickie Guerrero making a six man tag for tonight.
- The Shield cut a promo saying they are sick of the Usos. They said they can beat any team and they will prove it tonight.
- The Usos defeated Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins of The Shield. Jimmy pinned Ambrose with a rollup. Big E. Langston had come down to even sides and had a staredown with Roman Reigns. They were held apart.
- They announced Miz TV with Shawn Michaels.
- The Wyatt Family defeated The Prime Time Players when Luke Harper pinned Titus O’Neal after a lariat. Bray Wyatt nailed Sister Abigail after the match.
- They announced MizTV with Shawn Michaels but Miz says that Michaels has left the venue. He says that Michaels is the only reason the WWE champion is now Randy Orton. Orton came out. He says that he proved he was better than Daniel Bryan and reminded Miz that people cheered when he was beat up in front of his own family, then he nailed an RKO on Miz and left him laying.
- Natalya & The Bella defeated Alicia Fox & Tamina & WWE Divas champ AJ Lee. Natalya forced AJ to tap to the Sharpshooter.
- John Cena & Rhodes Boys defeated Real Americans & Damien Sandow when Cena nailed the AA on Swagger after escaping the Patriot Act.
Results were courtesy of PWInsider.com.
For the first week back on WWE Monday Night Raw, John Cena made an impact on the ratings. It was announced that Raw did a 2.98 rating with an average of 4.15 million viewers. That is up from last week’s 2.71 rating with an average of 3.82 million.
Cena who hadn’t been on Raw in about two months opened up the show cutting a promo about his world heavyweight championship victory over Alberto Del Rio at Sunday’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view. While Cena was cutting the apromo, Money In The Bank winner Damien Sandow came out and cashed in his briefcase for a shot at the title.
In what was a very good match, Cena emerged victorious.
The real indication will be next week as it will be Cena’s second week back. Will the next week’s rating increase, decrease or stay the same?
Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net comes on the podcast today to talk about the fallout from WWE Hell in a Cell, the new directions for the company, Triple H on top and where Randy Orton fits in, Shawn Michaels possibly returning to the ring, a possible lost opportunity for Daniel Bryan, rumors of TNA being for sale, Eric Bischoff’s role with the company, Hulk Hogan and more.
The MMA world was wondering when we would see Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas and Dominick Cruz vs Renan Barao. Well that time is now as the Newsday announced and the UFC a short time ago that Aldo will battle Lamas for Aldo’s UFC featherweight title and Cruz and Barao will meet in a unification bout to determine the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 169.
It had been rumored that Aldo and Lamas will battling next as UFC President Dana White has stated that was the fight he was trying to make for both guys.
We last saw Aldo in the octagon when he defeated Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 in August. Aldo is 5-0 in the UFC and will looking to extend his winning streak to 17.
Lamas was last seen in the cage when he defeated Erik Koch at UFC on Fox 6 in January. The Illinois native has won four in a row and has been campaigning for the Aldo fight since his last fight in January.
We haven’t seen Cruz in the cage since October of 2011 when he defeated current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Cruz has been out of action due to two ACL surgeries.
Barao was crowned the interim bantamweight champion when he beat Urijah Faber at UFC 149 in July of 2012. The Brazilian has defended the interim title on two occasions defeating Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland.
Aldo and Lamas will serve as the headliner and Barao and Cruz as the co-feature. UFC 169 takes place on Saturday, February 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Here is the updated card for UFC 169.
- Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas – UFC featherweight title
- Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao – UFC bantamweight title-unification bout
- Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
Brian and Steve talk about Raw from Monday night including the new directions for WWE, Damien Sandow almost becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan angle with Shawn Michaels, if Michaels is coming back for another match, Big Show becoming the top babyface and more. Plus, they talk about Hulk Hogan with his latest online teases.