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Sunday, February 16, 2014

News and Notes

Courtesy of Wrestling OnLine Network

- On Friday, NBC Universal’s exclusive window to renew all WWE programming
came to an end, and unless they coughed up the money that WWE was looking
for, the company is now in a position to deal with other potential
networks. WWE has not announced that it has reached a deal and more likely
will not announce anything until April judging from previous comments from
WWE executives. All WWE shows were timed to expire together for the first
time ever so whoever gets to win the deal will get all the WWE
programming. WWE left Spike TV back in October 2005 and moved back “home”
to USA Network, which hosted RAW since its inception back in 1993. WWE is
looking to at least double the money on their current deal and networks
will be fighting for their shows considering they bring in the desired
ratings in the most important demographic in television.

- WWE and Mattel announced a multi-year extension of their global master
toy licensing agreement that will go through 2019. Mattel has owned the
WWE rights for action figures and toys since 2009 after taking over from
JAKKS Pacific. Since then, WWE action figures have ranked as the number 1
action figure property in the U.S. and consistently hold a top ranking.
“WWE and Mattel’s action figure line is consistently ranked in the top two
thanks to our creative marketing campaigns, tremendous retail support and
seamless infusion of cutting-edge innovations,” said Doug Wadleigh, Senior
Vice President, Global Brands Marketing, Boys and Entertainment for
Mattel. “We are excited to continue our partnership with WWE as they
expand their global footprint and leverage our global scale to deliver WWE
toys to kids around the world.”

- Scott Hall, one of the founding members of the nWo, is expected to be
announced as an inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014. Hall noted
on Twitter that himself, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Amy “Lita” Dumas, and
The Ultimate Warrior all got the Verified status by Twitter at the same
time, and the only thing that links those individuals is that they’re all
HOF inductees. Scott Hall had a pretty rough couple of years but thanks to
Diamond Dallas Page he got his life back together and is looking better
than ever. Hall also tweeted a message to his friends Kevin Nash and X-Pac
saying, “Hey yo..@RealKevinNash and @TheRealXPac wanna have a Wolfpac
reunion in New Orleans during WM? #Kliq”

- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has announced that HBO has picked up his pilot
of the show titled Ballers, a half-hour dramedy series looking into the
lives of a group of former and current football players. The former WWE
champion is the lead star and also once of the executive producers of the
series. Mark Wahlberg will also be serving as executive producer along
with Steve Levinson, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, and Johnson’s ex-wife Dany
Garcia. Omar Benson Miller, John David Washington, Rob Corddry, Troy
Garity, Donovan Carter, Jazmyn Simon, Taylor Cole and LeToya Luckett will
be playing the other main characters of the show which will start filming
later this year.

SHANE MCMAHON ALMOST LOSES $20 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT DEAL- Shane McMahon, the former WWE Executive Vice President of Global Media,
should thank his lucky stars as he just saved $20 million of his own money
after a fraudulent deal was uncovered. McMahon was part of an investor
group led by former Wall Street stockbroker Calvin Darden Jr that were
going to purchase the popular Maxim Magaine. Darden - who was already
convicted of a fraud scheme back in 2005 and spent time in prison -
received $8 million for the acquisition from other investors according to
Bloomberg and was trying to get $20 million out of McMahon. Darden didn’t
get the necessary cash in time and missed several deadlines to purchase
Maxim and eventually the deal - which was never going to happen - fell
through. Eventually Darden surrendered to federal authorities on February
12 after federal agents went on a manhunt to snatch him. Prosecutors say
that Darden fabricated paperwork and impersonated lenders and lied to
investors in the scheme to take over Maxim Magazine. Shane McMahon
currently occupies the position of Chairman of YOU On Demand.

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