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September 23, 2014

WWE needs to calm down the SEC ASAP

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 19th 2009 12:03PM
WWE logoWhat started out as just a TV wrestling stunt could have Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment in a headlock from federal authorities.

As we reported earlier this week, the WWE's Monday Night Raw is running an angle in which Donald Trump purchased the show from McMahon. It's all a big wrestling "work" -- a story element to drive the weekly show and entertain fans.

The trouble is that both WWE and Raw's parent network (USA) sent out official press releases announcing Trump's "purchase." And, WWE publicly held shares fell nearly 7% the next day.

The releases were fiction. But, federal investigators prefer to use words like "false reporting." The Securities and Exchange Commission generally frowns on deliberately false media reports that affect the stock market. In fact, they tend to watch any major media incident that causes a stir in the markets. Ask Martha Stewart.

If any WWE shareholder who's less than thrilled with losing 6+% of his or her money so John Cena can rub elbows with Trump wants to file a complaint, McMahon and company could get pinned.

So far, the SEC opted for a "no comment" on whether it's planning to investigate the incident. Unfortunately, that could be what the wrestling biz calls a "swerve" -- get folks looking one way, and surprise them with the unexpected. The feds can take all the time in the world and make no announcement until they're ready to move. Ask Rod Blagojevich.

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Duane

You know, the Dr. Who connection (about coming in and saying who the next champion will be) could well be one of the most innovative ideas they've run in a long, long time. Perhaps a backstage skit where a wrestler goes to visit a psychic, who turns out to be right. Or a "Boogieman"-like character who wanders around backstage telling other wrestlers things like "Beware the ghost of Doink!" and then have that guy lose his match when Hornswoggle the midget comes out from under the ring dressed like a clown.

Or why not just go all the way and do some sort of crazy Back To The Future gag where a time machine appears, somebody jumps out and announces that they have to save John Cena from something horrible, and then disappears again?

The possibilities are endless. It'd be a fun way to poke fun at the whole "scripted" thing.


June 22 2009 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joshed

Trump Money

June 20 2009 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Picviewer

Fake money buying fake entertainment. What did trump use monopoly money?

June 20 2009 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aphoward

Actually it was the untimely murder/suicide by Chris Benoit.

And did the SEC have a problem back in 2001 when WWE bought WCW, but instead the storyline was that Shane McMahon "stole" WCW out from under WWE/Vince? That's basically the same thing, in that everyone knew it was bogus.

If my stock just lost that much of it's value because of this storyline, then I think the SEC should instead be investigating the ridiculous traders who apparently go by nothing except press release headlines to make their decisions.

June 19 2009 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aphoward's comment
Edward

The traders who trade on this information would have to be pretty bad. Did the press release announce a price paid by Trump? That would have to be pretty important information to value the WWE.

June 20 2009 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

Did the SEC have an issue when the WWE ran with the Vince McMahon is dead storyline?

June 19 2009 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Edward's comment
Roo

good point Edward, the thing is when that "story line" came out it had to be pushed aside due to the untimely death of Eddie Guerrero.

June 19 2009 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pierre-Luc Allie

If Jack Donaghy annonce a new GE product on 30 Rock should GE release a statement that it is fake?

June 19 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Pierre-Luc Allie's comment
Boxcar

Of course not. But if GE starts making ads for it that run outside of 30 Rock (even during their commercial breaks) then they are advertising a product which does not exist. That is essentially the problem here. If USA hadn't sent out official press releases, there would be no problem. It was a stupid, stupid move on USA's part.

June 19 2009 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bearxor

What are you talking about? I have a Tracy Jordan Meat Machine sitting right here in the kitchen!

Meat is the new bread!

June 21 2009 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

Quick question regarding the photo: Are David Tennant and the SEC/WWE related?

June 19 2009 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Anita's comment
Joel Keller

Nope. And I've already replaced it. Trying to figure out how it got there.

June 19 2009 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

Are you sure Tennant won't be showing up in a story arc as The Doctor telling the fans that he knows who will be the next WWE Champion?

June 19 2009 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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