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WWE and UFC Finalize Merger as WrestleMania 39 Becomes the Most Successful in Franchise History

Photo: WWE/NYTimes

In a move that sent shockwaves through the sports entertainment industry, the WWE has finalized a merger with Endeavor’s UFC.  The news comes on the heels of the most successful WrestleMania in the history of the company in Los Angeles.

Monday, Vince McMahon announced plans to sell a controlling stake in WWE to Endeavor in a merger with mixed-martial arts rival UFC.  The all-stock deal will see Endeavor’s UFC and WWE merged to create a new standalone company, yet unnamed, noted to be worth around $21 billion. Endeavor shareholders will own 51% and WWE shareholders 49%.  An 11-member board will be split 6 directors to 5, Endeavor-WWE.

WWE in the deal is valued at $9.3 billion. In the re-alignment, Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel will be the CEO, McMahon will be the executive chairman. WWE CEO Nick Khan will be president of the unified company and UFC’s Dana White will continue as president of that organization.

In an interview with Emanuel and McMahon for CNBC, Vince shared that it was time for things to evolve, elaborating, “a family business has to evolve, for all the right reasons. And this is the right business decision, and it’s the right family decision.”  The major merger is expected to close mid-year pending regulatory approval.

This all comes at a time for McMahon where he had to pay the company back $17 million dollars of reimbursement for costs during the legal probe for allegations of sexual misconduct against him.  When many thought Vince was done at the WWE, he has bounced back.  Vince expressed: “Let me just say, I’ve made mistakes both personally and professionally through my 50-year career. I have owned up to every single one of them and then moved on.”

The deal was struck as a crucial time when Fox and NBCUniversal are entering into an exclusive negotiating window which began on April 1st. Fox airs Smackdown, while USA Networks airs Raw, and in a separate deal, Peacock now holds the streaming rights.

During Monday Night Raw, Paul ‘Triple H” Levesque assured viewers at home and the audience in attendance at arena in Los Angeles, that with the new merger, it will not effect the current landscape of WWE programming and live events, sharing “We ain’t goin’ nowhere!”

Photo: WWE

In a look at WrestleMania 39 by the numbers: the two-day sold-out event at SoFi Stadium set new records for viewership, gate, sponsorship, merchandise and social media. Night 2 surpassed the existing global viewership record by 33 percent, just one day after Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 surpassed the existing global viewership record by 28 percent.

WrestleMania 39 generated a gate of more than $21.6 million, breaking the previous record by 27 percent, with 161,892 in attendance at SoFi Stadium over the two nights.  Sponsorship revenue eclipsed $20 million, more than doubling the previous record. Merchandise sales were up 20 percent versus the record set in 2022.  This year’s WrestleMania has over 500 million views on social media and 11 million hours of video consumed over the two days, a 42 percent increase over last year.

Now take a look at Vince McMahon and Ari Emanuel discussing their merger with CNBC this morning below, followed by Triple H addressing the crowd at the beginning of Monday Night RAW tonight.

Do you think the WWE/UFC Endeavor merger will ultimately be a a good long term for the WWE? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


CM Punk Officially Set for Return to AEW On New Series ‘Collision’ Premiere

Finally, pro wrestling fans got the word from AEW president Tony Khan on tonight’s episode of  AEW Dynamite; that CM Punk is coming back to AEW, and will make his highly-anticipated reemergence on Khan’s new Saturday wrestling series, TNT’s AEW: Collision on June 17th.

As many had expected with the premiere of ‘Collision’ set for the United Center in Chicago, and Punk’s hometown, it was just a matter of time before Warner Brothers/Discovery and AEW made CM’s return official.

The two-time AEW world champion has not been seen, or talked about on-air since the All In pay-per-view back in September of 2022. That event featured an explosive post-show media scrum, where Punk went off on former friend, Colt Cabana, and wrestlers: Hangman Adam Page, and AEW Executive VP’s, Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson.  Later, a backstage brawl broke out, which saw several of the guys suspended and Punk off of TV and his future with the organization in limbo.

However, Punk was also off TV because he was tore his tricep during his last match with Jon Moxley. Since it required surgery and rehab, he was not cleared to wrestle since last fall.

Now the question becomes, when CM Punk returns, will be a full on heel? Given how he has not been the most ‘liked’ guy in the locker room, it might make the most sense to play in to it all.  Stay tuned.

So, excited to know the CM Punk is on his way back to the new AEW television show and maybe an arena and a ring near you? Comment below.

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DAYS and GH Alum Tyler Christopher Arrested for Public Intoxication

Daytime Emmy-winner, Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas, GH; ex-Stefan, DAYS) was arrested for public intoxication at the Burbank, California airport, this past Friday, on May 26th.

According to the Burbank PD and reports obtained by TMZ, Tyler was arrested after they found him asleep and on the ground at the American Airlines terminal.  The officers noted that Tyler displayed clear and objective signs of drinking.  They also reveal he was unable to care of himself.

Christopher, who remains a fan favorite as the former Nikolas Cassadine on GH and Stefan DiMera on DAYS has opened up and discussed his battle with alcoholism in the past.  Last year, he appeared on former GH co-star Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind.

Photo: NATAS

Tyler was released from police custody following his airport arrest, cited, and will need to appear in court at a later date.

Back in 2019, the popular actor was cited for two counts of misdemeanor public intoxication and landed in jail for two days, following an arrest in Indiana.

Share your thoughts on this latest situation for Tyler in the comment section below.

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Y&R Alum Sasha Calle to Henry Cavill on Her ‘Supergirl’ : “Did I Make You Proud, Cuz? Did Superman Approve?”

In just a few weeks time on June 16th, The Flash will drop in theatres nationwide, and moviegoers will get to see former Y&R star Sasha Calle in her major film debut as Supergirl.

Calle played by Lola Rosales on the CBS daytime drama series from September of 2018 till June of 2021.  Now Sasha, who won the coveted role of Supergirl from the film’s director Andy Muschietti, will be mixing it up with other superheroes in the The Flash.

Photo: CBS.

EW reports that in real life, Calle actually met Henry Cavill (formerly Superman) and got his reaction to her taking on the pivotal role. Back in December of 2022, Cavill revealed he was hanging up his cape, although various reports originally had him making a cameo in The Flash.

Sasha shared, “I met him (Cavill) actually after the movie was done, months later. I gave him a big hug. You know, it’s Henry Cavill, man! Our Man of Steel. He is kind and very proper, and it was a great experience.”

She went on to say, “I asked him, ‘Did I make you proud, cuz? Does Superman approve?'”  And he was like, ‘Absolutely. You did a phenomenal job.’ I think, to me, that meant the world, because it’s Henry Cavill, Man of Steel.”

Photo: WarnerBros

The Flash stars Ezra Miller, along with Michael Keaton, Michael Shannon, Ben Affleck and nomre.

So, what do you think of Sasha Calle getting such positive feedback from Henry Cavill, as she embarks on what is sure to be a key moment in her young career when people see her portrayal of ‘Supergirl’? Comment below. But first, check out Calle’s thoughts on a preview from The Flash.

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