More on Friday’s WWE Employee Layoffs
As noted before, WWE engaged in a new round of layoffs on Friday focusing on their corporate office headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The number of people laid off were not known at the time.
Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that his sources stated that multiple high-level WWE executives were among those who were laid off by the company yesterday. Johnson reported that the departments hit with the new wave of layoffs included WWE’s finance, sales, & partnerships team, human relations, and production.
Among the notable names who were released reportedly were:
- Michael Weitz (SVP, Financial Planning)
- Craig Stimmel (Head of Global Sales and Partnerships)
- Karen Mullane (Controller and Chief Accounting Officer)
- Stewart Frey (SVP, Streaming Technology)
- Matt Geyer (SVP, Gaming)
Drew McIntyre Outburst at WWE Survivor Series WarGames 2023 Update
As noted before, Drew McIntyre was involved in an incident at this past Saturday’s Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event. This incident took place following the Men’s WarGames match and continued backstage involving McIntyre being frustrated over an unknown issue and stormed out of the venue after grabbing his stuff backstage.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources confirmed that McIntyre was legit very angry at something but the exact thing is still currently not known.
McIntyre reportedly managed to cool down afterwards and worked this past Sunday’s house show event with no issue. Meltzer reported that whatever was the source of McIntyre’s frustration is currently not believed to have been significant in the end nor anything related to his current direction in WWE.
More on NXT Viewership for November 28, 2023
The November 28th episode of WWE NXT saw NXT gain a small increase in overall viewership and a slight decline in key demographic ratings.
NXT drew 659,000 viewers and a 0.18 key demographic rating on USA Network. NXT’s key demographic ranking was eighth place.
Detailed key demographic viewership breakdowns were not available in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that one reason for NXT’s mixed results this week was due to the decline from their younger key demographic viewership group, which was down 3.7% compared to last week’s show.
In terms of notable head-to-head competition, the NBA game of Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat drew 1,317,000 viewers on TNT, the College basketball game of Miami vs. Kentucky drew 1,148,000 viewers on ESPN, the College basketball game of Clemson vs. Alabama drew 555,000 viewers on ESPN, Curse of Oak Island drew 2,322,000 viewers on History Channel, Catfish drew 472,000 viewers on MTV, My Big Fat Fabulous Lie drew 726,000 viewers on TLC, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City drew 565,000 viewers on BRAVO, and Wipeout drew 375,000 viewers on TBS.
In terms of key demographic viewership, NXT had 237,000 viewers.
In terms of yearly comparisons, NXT was up 2.3% in overall viewership and up 34.7% in key demographic viewership.
WWE News & Notes
Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair recently were awarded a Guinness World Record for Largest Digital Video Game Display following both of them playing a game of Pac-Man on a 100,000-square-foot digital screen to break previous record.
WWE recently filed trademarks for “Keanu Carver,” “Dion Wilder,” and “Dion Lennoux” for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
As noted before, CM Punk made his official return to WWE at this past Saturday’s Survivor Series WarGames 2023 event. Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that many WWE talents currently expect to talk with high level WWE officials in order to gain some assurances over Punk’s return and his status in the company going forward. It was reported that the backstage reaction towards Punk’s return was more tepid than originally expected and similar to the reaction Punk recieved in AEW backstage following his return from his All Out 2022 brawl suspension. It was reported that while several people had been vocal about not wanting Punk back in the company, none have given their release requests following his return.
In a recent interview with FOX 61, WWE Hall of Famer and NXT head booker Shawn Michaels gave his thoughts about enjoying being able to learn new things about the wrestling business since working in WWE’s NXT brand. Michaels stated “Honestly, working with all the young men and women that come through here. Again, for me, this is the best part when it’s all about fun, it’s all about passion and learning and growing. The opportunity to take some risks, make some mistakes. The learning aspect of this job to me is so fun. Even at 58, I continue to learn new things because it’s an ever evolving, ever changing business. To get them young coming in the door is when it’s all very exciting. It’s a wonderful excuse not to ever have to grow up and that so works for me. Anybody that knows me knows that’s right down my alley.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
In a recent episode of the Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and co-host Brian “Road Dogg” James gave his thoughts about his belief that he is a better sports entertainer than Will Ospreay. James stated “Yes. I’m not a better wrestler than Will Ospreay, not a better professional wrestler. He can’t even speak, the English bruv.” James also gave his thoughts on if Ospreay still has a long career ahead of him. James stated “Does he? He’s broken in half, halfway, bless his heart, he’s 16 years old and already has 17 knee replacements and have them horse knees put in. I’m just kidding. That kid is incredible. I’m busting chops. That kid is stinkin’ incredible, and could work circles around me on my best day. I’m not saying anything like that, but the kid ain’t a WWE Hall of Famer just yet.” (Transcript h/t: Fightful.com)
In a recent interview with James Williams, Kevin Owens gave his thoughts about CM Punk’s recent return to WWE. Owens stated “I just wanna have fun at work. So if he’s (CM Punk) got that mindset, great.” Owens also gave his thoughts about Orton’s recent return from his back injury and his big importance on WWE’s locker room. Owens stated “I love Randy (Orton). I’m so happy he’s back. He’s much needed. To me, having him around in the locker room is an absolute positive. There’s just some people, despite the fact that he’s a fantastic performer and he’s a legend, there’s some people that are just good to have around. He’s good to have around, he’s good for the morale. There are people now, which is what I love about our locker room currently, there are people that are leaders without saying, ‘I’m a leader.’ They don’t need to be. They just are. Randy’s one of ‘em. When he’s around, everyone just steps up their game because Randy Orton’s here and I love that.” (Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com)
WWE recently announced three new matches for the card of their December 8th SmackDown Tribute To The Troops 2023 show in Providence, Rhode Island:
- WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round match – Bobby Lashley vs. Karrion Kross
- WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round match – Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar
- Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka