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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Continues His Journey Towards WrestleMania Match With John Cena...

Never before, never again, reads the tagline for this WrestleMania match of the decade (if not century).

One one side of the ring is wrestler, turned Hollywood movie megastar, Johnson, and on the other side, wrestler - rapper (and occasional actor, John Cena).

In old school terms, there is a lot of "heat" between the two, or at least that's what the WWE storyline would have you believe.

WWE head honcho Vince McMahon is set to make a financial killing with this with live tickets, PPV (including Australia's Foxtel - Main Event), merchandising, advertising and god knows what else.

Fruity pebbles are set to collide as Mr 'You Can't See Me' Cena wrestles with "The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment" with a lot of 'Boots To Asses" thrown in there.

WrestleMania is a bit of a triple headliner this year with CM Punk ("The Best In The World" VS Chris Jericho ("The best in the world at everything I do", then there's Daniel Bryan VS Sheamus, and how can forget The Undertaker VS Triple H, as Hunter attempts to end The Undertakers's WrestleMania winning streak inside a 'Hell In A Cell' cage match.

All up the show is pretty loaded and may actually produce one or two matches of the year, but time will tell. Before you ask, no Brock Lesnar as he's still under contract to the UFC, even though he's retired from MMA. UFC are set to invade Sydney's AllPhones Arena on the 3rd March 2012.

The live WWE RAW tour will hit Sydney, Australia on Friday 31st August 2012. And if they tour Perth, WA they will likely perform at Crown Perth (formally known as Burswood Casino or Burswood Entertainment Complex).

Something tells us that Austin will be leaving his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to catch WrestleMania lose up, and so should you.

Oh, if you didn't hear already, The Rock stars in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which is currently breaking box office records in Australia, the US, and in most other parts of the world.

 

News

Shaquille O’Neal Close to WWE WrestleMania Deal?; Latest on Brock Lesnar’s Return...

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Shaquille "Shaq" O’Neal has reportedly been closing in on his WWE WrestleMania deal, and he may have already agreed to business terms.

WWE creative has been told to start thinking about weaving O’Neal into storylines - likely for a match with The Big Show (Paul Wight).

Due to its John Cena vs. The Rock main-event, WrestleMania 28 is a strong contender to set the all-time buyrate record, and WWE is striving to do everything it can to push the interest and buy rates to the moon. Adding Shaquille O’Neal into the equation, especially with Shaq should help further the event’s must see statue as WWE’s biggest WrestleMania of all-time.

Regarding a Brock Lesnar return, no one has been provided any reason to expect it will happen at this year’s WrestleMania, but it might just happen. WWE top brass Vince McMahon reportedly told at least one creative staff member that it is not a foregone conclusion a Lesnar return would include the return of Paul Heyman as his manager.

Recently returned WWE Superstar, Chris Jericho, for what its worth, has been having little verbal jabs at Lesnar, so we will have to see if that develops into something more.

In any event, this years WrestleMania should be awesome.

For recent updates on pro wrestling keep checking the Wrestling News Media www.wrestlingnewsmedia.com web blog along with the website of our friends over at Wrestling.net.au

 

News

WrestleMania 28 press release; Rock vs. Cena...

STAMFORD, Conn., November 2, 2011– WWE® announced today that tickets for its annual pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania XXVIII, will go on sale this Saturday, November 5 at 10 AM ET. WrestleMania XXVIII will take place Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. The event will be headlined by the highly anticipated main event featuring “the most electrifying man in all of entertainment,” The Rock® against WWE Superstar John Cena®.

Ticket prices range from $25-$850. There will also be a limited number of “Gold Circle” VIP Packages available for $1,500. The Gold Circle packages include seating in the first four rows ringside, an exclusive Gold Circle VIP Stadium Entrance, a collectible WrestleMania XXVIII ticket holder and the commemorative WrestleMania XXVIII take-home folding chair. Tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.

Last year, a capacity crowd of 71,617 fans from all 50 states and 30 countries attended WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. WrestleMania is more than just a one day event, it’s a week long celebration, as WWE will be taking over the greater Miami area during WrestleMania Week. In addition to WrestleMania XXVIII, other activities will include: WrestleMania Axxess – WWE’s four day interactive fan festival; WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals; WrestleMania Pro-Am Golf Tournament and the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Additional information on these events will be announced in the future at www.wrestlemania.com.

 

 

News

Wrestling News Media: Snooki, 'The Rock' and 'Mania: When Headlocks and Hollywood Collide - 1st April 2011

One is the queen of MTV's Jersey Shore; the other is WWE's resident Mexican aristocrat. One is famous for being perhaps the worst of the tanned, bouffant-wearing, gum-chomping Italian stereotype. The other invites fans' wrath with a wink and a smile as he drives the world's most expensive cars to the ring and insists on being introduced by his own personal ring announcer - in Spanish.

Only one entity - and one extravaganza - could bring these two very different stars together: World Wrestling Entertainment's 27th annual WrestleMania on Sunday. Snooki will participate in a six-person, inter-gender grudge match while Alberto Del Rio will vie for the World Heavyweight Championship in his WrestleMania debut. Both promise to thrill 70,000-plus screaming fans in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

"It's going to be the peak of my career," said Del Rio, a native of Mexico. "My family, my entire country, is going to be proud of me because I'm going to go out there and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. I'm going to die out there trying to become the World Heavyweight Champion."

So what's behind the infatuation with WrestleMania? Why do fans come from around the world and dole out hard-earned money to watch this spectacle on pay-per-view? What is it about WrestleMania that makes fathers and sons and daughters jump out of their seats and grown, muscle-bound men in tights speak in hushed reverence?

Simply put, it is pro wrestling's greatest annual event. All wrestlers who grew up as fans dream of performing in it and look forward to watching it. Even in the choreographed world of professional wrestling, there is nothing staged about the emotion and excitement from anyone who performs at WrestleMania.

"As a kid, all I wanted to do was be a wrestler," said Del Rio. "Now that I'm here in WWE - WrestleMania is our NBA, our Super Bowl, our World Series of professional wrestling. As a wrestler, as a performer, I always dreamed of being in something like that."

For the fan, WrestleMania's appeal is as nuanced as wrestling's longtime popularity. Wrestling's magnetism goes hand-in-hand with the dawn of the television age in the 1950s, but WrestleMania took it to another level. It is a marriage of headlocks and Hollywood that began in 1985, when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon teamed up the charisma of Hulk Hogan and the diabolical lunacy of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with the star power of Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper. (Credit: News Corporation).

Press Release

WrestleMania Makes $45 Million For Host City

November 4, 2010

STAMFORD, Conn., November 4, 2010 - World Wrestling Entertainment® announced today that WrestleMania XXVI generated $45.1 million in economic impact for the greater Glendale/Phoenix area, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. WrestleMania also generated close to $5 million in local, state and county taxes.

Over the past three years, WrestleMania has generated nearly $150 million in cumulative economic impact for its host cities and states, this despite the country experiencing one of the worst economic periods in decades.

“WWE®'s premiere event was an important addition to Glendale's tourism industry and position as a leading sports and entertainment destination,” said Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs. “The $45 million boost to our region created by WWE's fantastic fans makes WrestleMania a valuable economic attraction for every community host. We look forward to WWE returning to Glendale soon."

A capacity crowd of 72,219 fans from all 50 states and 26 countries attended WWE’s pop culture extravaganza this past March. Key highlights from the study included:

- $45.1 million of direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by non-locals visiting specifically for WrestleMania XXVI.
- The economic impact derived from WrestleMania Week equated to the creation of 510 full-time jobs for the area.
- 63% of fans that attended WrestleMania were from outside the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, with 53% staying three nights or more.
- 60% of fans that came from out of state were from California and Nevada.
- 58% of fans that attended WrestleMania were between the ages of 20 and 40, and 23% were between the ages of 5 and 19.

“We are very pleased that WrestleMania has once again produced a significant economic windfall for its host city. This is an incredible result in the face of a challenging economy, and one that illustrates the size and scope of WrestleMania Week,” said John P. Saboor, Senior Vice President of Special Events for World Wrestling Entertainment. “Our public and private sector partners within the Glendale/Phoenix area were exceptional hosts for the WWE Universe.”

Next year, WrestleMania XXVII will take place Sunday, April 3 from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 13 at 10 AM EST through the Georgia Dome box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling
1-800-745-3000. The event will be broadcast on pay-per-view, and viewed in more than 100 countries.
Enigma Research Corporation is an international consulting firm which specializes in measuring the economic impact of special events. Enigma’s economists developed a customized model which converted expenditures into economic impact, employment created and taxes generated as a result of the event.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and Mexico City. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Media Contacts:
Robert Zimmerman
203-359-5131
Robert.Zimmerman@wwecorp.com

Adam Hopkins
203-352-8675
Adam.Hopkins@wwecorp.com

Investor Contact:
Michael Weitz
203 352 8642
Michael.Weitz@wwecorp.com

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory and litigation matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive nature of our markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to our film business and any new business initiative which we may undertake; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is significant and is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant, including a waiver by the McMahon family of a portion of the dividends.

2010 News

WrestleMania website goes live

Vince McMahon VS Bret "Hitman" Hart match being speculated

Roddy Piper and Mickey Rourke Strongly Rumored to Appear Again at WrestleMania 2010

Mickey Rourke potential angle at WrestleMania 2010

Vince McMahon consults with WWE wrestlers for Hollywood celebrities for WM

Steve Austin tipped for WrestleMania 2010

The Undertaker to retire and make this his final WrestleMania?

Shawn Michaels likely to play major role in WrestleMania 2010

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WWE Legends of WrestleMania game

The Hulk The Hulk II Hulk's Revenge


IRON MAN

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WrestleMania is the flagship professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (formerly known as World Wrestling Federation). It is the most successful longest-running professional wrestling event in the world and is nicknamed "The Grandaddy of Them All" and "The Grandest Stage of Them All." It is held annually in late March or early April. First held in 1985, 23 editions of WrestleMania have been produced thus far, with WrestleMania XXIV to be held in 2008.

Produced by WWE owner Vince McMahon, WrestleMania has become one of the most prominent events in sports entertainment. Its widespread success helped transform the professional wrestling industry and make the WWE the most successful promotion in North America. WrestleMania has facilitated the rise to stardom of wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H, amongst others. Numerous celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Mr. T, Alice Cooper, Donald Trump and others have participated or made special appearances in the events. The products of the WWE's television shows are tailored to reach their climax at WrestleMania, which sees contests for the company's championship titles, specialty and gimmick matches. Participation in a WrestleMania match, and especially the main event, is considered by many wrestlers and fans alike as one of the greatest achievements and symbols of professional success.

WrestleMania propels the worldwide commercial success of the WWE through merchandise, media and shows. All the events produced have been sold out within a short period of time, with recent editions being sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. The first WrestleMania was held in Madison Square Garden in New York City; subsequently, the 10th and 20th editions have also been held there. WrestleMania III in Detroit was the highest-attended indoor sports event in the world, with more than 93,000 in attendance. All but two editions have been hosted in U.S. cities - two being held in Toronto, Canada - but the show is televised across the world. (Credit: Wikipedia).



Press Release

Celebrities Pack a Punch at WrestleMania® XXIV
March 4, 2008
John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Raven-Symoné Join WWE® Superstars March 30

Stamford, Conn., March 4, 2008 – In addition to recently announced Floyd Mayweather who will wrestle 7 foot 399 lb Big Show® in a David vs. Goliath match up, WWE is packing a Hollywood punch confirming four more celebrities for WrestleMania XXIV. Five-time Grammy-winner and multi-platinum singer, songwriter and performer John Legend will perform “America the Beautiful” live at this year’s bash in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, March 30. Snoop Dogg will also be on hand as Celebrity Ring Announcer for a “BunnyMania” match with Playboy cover girls Candice Michelle™ and Maria™ squaring off against the Glamazon™ Beth Phoenix™ and Melina. Also confirmed is popular actress/musician Raven-Symoné, who will be a part of the WWE’s biggest wish-granting event ever, hosting the Bacon, Bagels and Biceps brunch and accompanying over 50 Make-A-Wish children at WrestleMania XXIV. Rounding out the extravaganza, Red Hot Chili Peppers will lend their hit single “Snow (Hey Oh)” as the theme song this year.

John Legend’s albums -- "Get Lifted" and "Once Again" -- have secured his place as one of the most striking, vital and important American musical artists to emerge in the 21st century. Legend originally gained notoriety as an in-demand all-star studio session writer and musician whose credits included work with Lauryn Hill, Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Common and Kanye West, among others

Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus is a rare exception in the turbulent world of Hip-Hop, managing to stay tremendously relevant throughout his 16-plus years in the game. From music to movies, video games to clothing lines and now his own hit TV show (E!’s reality series Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood), Snoop Dogg is an all-out pop culture icon and household name.

Raven-Symoné is well known as the star of “That’s So Raven,” “The Cheetah Girls” series and “The Cosby Show” as well as the Dr. Dolittle film series. Raven is starring in and executive producing the upcoming film “College Road Trip,” which will be released on March 7 by Walt Disney Pictures and co-stars Martin Lawrence. Her fourth album - titled Raven-Symoné - will be released on April 29, 2008.

Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide

Media Contacts: Jennifer McIntosh, 203-359-5131
Kevin Hennessy, 203-352-8657
George Cabico, 203-359-5177

Trademarks: All World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ECW is a trademark owned by WWE Libraries, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

 

Press Release

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Accepts One-on-One Match with Big Show®
February 19, 2008


WrestleMania

Press Release

MEDIA RELEASE: March 12 2007

WRESTLEMANIA 23

LIVE ON MAIN EVENT

MONDAY APRIL 2

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION BATISTA VS UNDERTAKER

WWE CHAMPION JOHN CENA VS SHAWN MICHAELS

AND THE BATTLE OF THE BILLIONAIRES AS

VINCE McMAHON & DONALD TRUMP PUT THEIR LOCKS ON THE LINE

The MAIN EVENT channel's LIVE and exclusive pay-per-view coverage of WrestleMania 23 on April 2 will see some of the biggest and most-anticipated matches in WWE history, including the 'The Battle of Billionaires' which will culminate in either WWE Chairman Vince McMahon or tycoon Donald Trump having his head shaved.

MAIN EVENT will broadcast WrestleMania 23 LIVE from Ford Field in Detroit on Monday April 2, from 9.00am EST, with a full replay to be broadcast from 6.30pm EST.

The headliner for the action-packed, four-hour, WrestleMania 23 schedule is the clash between World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Undertaker. And the program will also see WWE Champion John Cena (star of the upcoming feature film "The Marine") vs Shawn Michaels.

However, 'The Battle of The Billionaires' may steal the show. Each billionaire has selected a wrestler to fight on his behalf - ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley will fight for Trump and Intercontinental Champion Umaga will be in the ring for McMahon - but it is the moguls' own locks that are on the line.

WrestleMania 23 will also include a 'Money in the Bank Ladder Match' in which eight WWE and ECW Superstars will do battle. The one who climbs the ladder and grabs the briefcase hanging from the ceiling of Ford Field will earn a guaranteed opportunity at the World Championship of his choice anytime over the next year.

Don't miss a minute of the action when the stars of world wrestling clash in the biggest event on the calendar WrestleMania 23, only as a special pay-per-view event on MAIN EVENT on Monday, April 2 from 9.00am with a full replay from 6.30pm.

WrestleMania 23 is available to order on MAIN EVENT for $29.95 to all FOXTEL, AUSTAR and OPTUS subscribers.

Elizabeth Hunter
FOXTEL Publicity Manager
(02) 9813 7394
Elizabeth.hunter@foxtel.com.au

WrestleMania(R) 23 Has Already Set Record for Highest Grossing Live Event in WWE(R) History With Tickets Still Available

STAMFORD, Conn., Nov 11, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- By noon today, WWE fans had made WrestleMania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., the highest grossing live event in World Wrestling Entertainment(R) history.

With tickets still available, WWE has already grossed more than $4.35 million in ticket sales for WrestleMania 23, shattering the company's previous record of $3.9 million for WrestleMania X-8 at the Toronto SkyDome on March 17, 2002. Higher ticket prices for premium seating helped WrestleMania 23 achieve the record ticket sale gross.

Almost 50,000 tickets are now in the hands of fans for WWE's annual pop culture extravaganza, putting the company on pace to achieve its objective of entertaining more than 78,000 fans at WrestleMania 23 on Sunday, April 1, 2007, which would make it the largest number of fans ever assembled in the history of Ford Field.

Additional WrestleMania tickets beyond the 50,000 already distributed will be released in the future once production needs for the event are finalized. The company encourages fans still seeking tickets to keep checking with Ticketmaster and WWE.com on a regular basis for ticket availability.

Tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans today lined up at the Ford Field Box Office: (http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/3668278) and Ticketmaster, or logged-in to Ticketmaster.com, to purchase tickets at the official public on-sale for the event. WWE fans from 20 countries, including 43 states and six Canadian provinces, are now set to converge on the greater Detroit area to attend WrestleMania 23. They are expected to inject millions of dollars into the local economy. WrestleMania 23 also will be seen on pay-per-view in more than 90 countries around the world.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.

SOURCE: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

World Wrestling Entertainment
Media Contact:
Gary Davis, 203-353-5066
Investor Contact:
Michael Weitz, 203-352-8642

Press Release

WWE(R)'s WrestleMania(R) 22 Results Live Up To "Big Time" Theme

STAMFORD, Conn., May 17, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- World Wrestling Entertainment(R)'s WrestleMania 22 proved to be a global blockbuster success. WWE said preliminary estimates to date of world-wide pay-per-view buys for WrestleMania 22 are more than 925,000, putting the event on track to exceed one million pay-per-view buys for the third straight year. The event broke Allstate Arena box office and merchandise sales records. The release of the WrestleMania 22 DVD on May 23, 2006, will add to that success, as it is likely to become the WWE's best-selling DVD ever.

"WrestleMania 22 was a big time performance and our fans support was again exceptional," said Kurt Schneider, Executive Vice President, Marketing. "From pay-per-view buys to live event ticket sales to merchandise purchases to global media coverage, everything for WrestleMania 22 screamed 'Big Time' and further cemented the WrestleMania franchise and the WWE brand as perennial favorites in pop culture."

WrestleMania 22 was seen by millions in more than 90 countries worldwide, and was broadcast live to U.S. troops around the world by the Armed Forces Television Network. More than 17,155 people from 16 countries and 43 states attended Rosemont's Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill. to see WrestleMania 22 in person. The $2.5 million in ticket sales made it the highest grossing one-day event in the history of the Allstate Arena. Merchandise sales the day of WrestleMania 22 also established a new record for an event at the Allstate Arena. WWE's per capita sales of $26.70 at WrestleMania 22 more than doubled the previous Allstate Arena record held by rock band Metallica.

Hundreds of national, local and regional media outlets from around the world - such as Sports Illustrated, ABC News, MTV, CNN, Telemundo, Univision, Tokyo Sports, and Nippon Sports -- reported on WrestleMania 22, with media from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan in attendance at the event.

WrestleMania 23 is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 2007, at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. The return to Detroit will mark the 20th anniversary of WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome, an event that attracted 93,173 fans--believed to be the world indoor attendance record for any sports or entertainment event.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.

SOURCE: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Media:
Gary Davis, 203-353-5066

or Investor:
Michael Weitz, 203-352-8642

Article

Wrestling's 'Trump' card


There is a lot of buzz about the Donald Trump-Vince McMahon WrestleMania 'hair' match. But is WWE's stock a bald and beautiful buy? By Paul R. La Monica, CNNMoney.com editor at large
(Credit: CNN Money)


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Donald Trump may lose his hair after WrestleMania 23 on April 1. But World Wrestling Entertainment investors might have to worry about losing a lot more if the company's big pay-per-view event isn't a success: their shirts.

WWE is having its version of the Super Bowl on Sunday at Detroit's Ford Field, where a sold-out crowd of about 75,000 people are expected to watch the marquee matchup pitting Bobby Lashley versus Umaga, fighting on behalf of Donald Trump and WWE co-founder and chairman Vince McMahon.

At stake in the so-called "Battle of the Billionaires"? The moguls' coiffure. If Umaga wins, Trump will have his hair shaved after the match and if Lashley wins, Vince will shed his locks.

(At least that's what the company is claiming. We wonder if this won't turn out to be an elaborate April Fool's joke. It's hard to fathom The Donald parting with his trademark bouffant.)

The publicity has helped lift shares of WWE (Charts) more than 5 percent in the past week - analysts say that WWE's stock typically has run up in anticipation of WrestleMania.

"You have to give credit to McMahon for being a great promoter. This Trump-McMahon thing is generating all sorts of interest," said Dennis McAlpine, an independent media analyst.

But the stock has been a disappointment over the past year. Shares are down 2.5 percent in the past 12 months and even with this week's rally, the stock is trading only 8 percent above its 52-week low.

Could a successful WrestleMania get the stock back on track? After all, revenue from live events and pay-per-view are two key sales drivers for the company. Last year, live events accounted for a quarter of WWE's total sales and pay-per-view fees contributed 23 percent.

And Michael Sileck, WWE's chief operating officer, told investors during a Citigroup (Charts) conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, that both businesses are booming. According to Sileck, attendance at WWE events in North America is up 21 percent over the past 12 months. He added that the company generated about 6 million pay-per-view buys last year, with 1 million for WrestleMania alone. (WWE has not released advance pay-per-view requests for the April 1 event.)

So despite some occasional gripes from critics about wrestling being a fad, it appears that the WWE is still pretty popular.

According to a recent ranking of popular Web searches from Yahoo! (Charts), WWE had the fourth most online buzz, trailing only top TV hits "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars" and singer/actress Beyonce, and ahead of pop culture phenomena/celebrity gossip fodder Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

Ultimate Fighting Machines
In addition, the WWE's two telecasts of its Monday night show "RAW" on GE (Charts)-owned USA have consistently ranked in the top five of all basic cable shows for the past few months, typically averaging about 6 million viewers a week, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.

WWE also airs shows on SCI FI, which like USA, is owned by GE's NBC Universal unit, and the CW, a joint venture of CBS (Charts) and Time Warner (Charts). (Time Warner is the parent company of CNNMoney.com.) Revenue from the TV telecasts accounted for 22 percent of WWE's sales last year.

The staying power of the WWE brand also helps the company sell consumer products, which is another key revenue generator for the WWE, representing 23 percent of total sales last year. Two key products are video games and toys; software developer THQ (Charts) sells WWE-licensed games while toy maker Jakks Pacific (Charts) sells WWE action figures.

But the area where people see the most lucrative opportunities, not surprisingly, is digital media. So far, WWE has barely tapped into the online ad market; digital media revenue accounted for only 7 percent of the company's sales last year.

One investor in the company said that increased pay-per-view revenue and attendance at live events are nice but what really will drive WWE's earnings and stock is an increase in online ad sales.

"The real value creation and growth will come from monetizing the presence on the Internet, where the company has a fanatic and loyal fan base," said Bobby Melnick, general partner with Terrier Partners, a New York money management firm that owns the stock. "The notion that the WWE is a product that the advertising community can't sell to is a Madison Avenue/Greenwich elitist attitude. They are rabid loyal customers."

Sileck conceded during the Citigroup conference that the company still has a ways to go before it can be considered to have a successful online presence. He pointed to the fact that WWE has about 16 million unique visitors monthly and that the company's site delivers about 46 million video streams a month. But it has been a challenge to turn this into ad revenue.

"Traffic is terrific," Sileck said. "The trick is how do we get paid for it?"

Michael Kelman, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, said that WWE should be able to boost its online ad revenue significantly this year though since the company has been beefing up its online ad sales force.

Kelman said the company previously only had two people selling ads for the site and that they were executives with TV ad-selling experience. Now, the company has about a dozen salespeople dedicated to selling online ads.

Melnick added that the WWE could also cash in by developing an interactive virtual world on its site. In other words, think of something like Second Life with wrestlers.

Still, McAlpine thinks that the WWE needs to develop a new group of stars that can attract more viewers, such as Hulk Hogan in the 1980s and The Rock earlier this decade, and not just the hard-core base of WWE fans. He said the Trump-McMahon "feud" is a good start but it might not have a long-lasting impact.

"For this stock to make real money for investors, the WWE has to create more big heroes. Its last collection of stars all brought in the incremental fan. That's what they need," McAlpine said.

Kelman agreed that the WWE would benefit from having more big brand-name stars but he pointed out that the stock probably doesn't have much downside at current levels.

Shares trade at 19 times earnings estimates for next year. While that's not dirt cheap, it seems reasonable, given that analysts expect earnings growth of 13 percent. What's more, WWE has rewarded shareholders with a lavish dividend.

The company has boosted its dividend three times in the past five years, and with an annual payout of 96 cents a share, the dividend yield is 6 percent. To put that in perspective, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond is about 4.6 percent.

"For long-term investors, WWE is very interesting because at very least you are getting a 6 percent yield. In this market, that's not something to turn your nose up at," Kelman said.

That kind of yield should also keep investors from getting stressed out and losing their hair. We'll see if the same can be said for Vince and the Donald.

Analysts quoted in this story do not own shares of WWE and their firms have no investment banking ties to the company.

The reporter of this story owns shares of Time Warner through his company's 401(k) plan.


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