Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
McMahon Sees Wealth Increase
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has seen his net worth increase during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis comparing data from Forbes' Billionaires List and Forbes' real-time billionaire estimates.
Per Kaitlyn Krasselt of the Middletown Press, McMahon is currently worth $1.98 billion, which is up nearly 10 percent from where he stood before the pandemic.
In addition to his leading role in WWE, McMahon owned the XFL, but he declared bankruptcy and folded the football league in March when COVID-19 forced him to cut the season short.
Although coronavirus has had a hugely negative impact on most sports and entertainment industries, WWE hasn't been hit quite as hard. Although the company has been unable to run shows with fans, it has still produced weekly television shows and pay-per-view events from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
On the strength of its massive television deals with Fox and NBC Universal for SmackDown and Raw, respectively, WWE reported strong earnings for the first quarter of 2020. WWE reported $291.0 million in revenue and $26.2 million in net income.
WWE came under fire for the decision to make some cuts following WrestleMania 36 in April. WWE released several in-ring performers from their contracts and furloughed employees across multiple departments.
While the move may not have been great from a public relations standpoint, it didn't hamper WWE in terms of remaining profitable during a difficult time for most businesses.
Ziggler Discussed Move from SmackDown to Raw
Dolph Ziggler officially announced last week that he was traded from SmackDown to Raw, and he is already in the midst of a huge storyline.
Ziggler challenged former tag team partner Drew McIntyre, and the WWE champion accepted, meaning they will clash at Extreme Rules on July 19 with the WWE title hanging in the balance.
In an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Ziggler said that even though moving to Raw wasn't his idea, he understands why the move was made:
"I didn't pitch this, but I feel like [the program between] myself and Otis had kind of run its course. I really liked working with Otis, Mandy [Rose] and Sonya [Deville]. If this were the old days and we were going five days a week and doing live events, we would have had even more chemistry and a really special thing. In this day and age, where it's just a TV show in a closed studio, as young superstars, they came along very quickly. But I don't know where else we could go with that, so I completely understand the move to Raw."
For several months, Ziggler was involved in a storyline with Otis that saw them battling for Mandy's affection. That led to a match at WrestleMania, which Otis won after Mandy hit Ziggler with a low blow.
It was revealed that Deville had been working with Ziggler to keep Mandy and Otis apart, so the four of them continued the rivalry after WrestleMania and competed against each other in multiple combinations, including a mixed tag team match.
However, there wasn't much else that could be done in the feud, which was why it was undoubtedly time for a fresh start for Ziggler.
Now, he finds himself in the world title scene and just a few weeks away from facing one of WWE's fastest-rising stars for the biggest prize in the company. Ziggler isn't likely to win, but if he can push McIntyre to the limit and have a great match at Extreme Rules, it would be huge for both of them.
WWE Gives Injury Update on Charlotte
WWE announced during Monday's episode of Raw that Charlotte Flair suffered a fractured left collarbone as a result of Nia Jax attacking her backstage.
Last week, PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson reported that Charlotte was set to undergo elective surgery that would keep her out for six weeks, meaning she could be back for SummerSlam in August.
In a subsequent interview with Sport Hiatus (h/t WrestlingInc's Robert Gunier), Flair said she would only miss "a few weeks."
Prior to getting written off television, Charlotte was a consistent presence on both Raw and NXT. She was recently involved in a mini feud with Raw women's champion on Asuka, and she also previously held the NXT Women's Championship.
Charlotte dropped that title to Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in a Triple Threat match that also included Rhea Ripley. After losing the title, it seems The Queen will be exclusively on Raw moving forward.
With Charlotte out of the picture for now, Asuka will defend the Raw women's title against SmackDown Superstar Sasha Banks at Extreme Rules. Assuming Asuka retains and Charlotte comes back in time for SummerSlam, Asuka could be in her crosshairs in addition to Jax.
WWE's reporting of a fractured collarbone is seemingly a storyline explanation for her absence and not a reflection of any real issue Charlotte is dealing with, which means she hopefully should be able to return to the fold in the near future.
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