Posts Tagged ‘Mark Cuban’

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Tessa Blanchard spoke with Wrestling Epicenter about Impact heading to Pursuit, Chris Jericho (and her step-dad, Magnum TA) being inspirations for her finisher, and her goals for 2019. Here are some of the highlights:

Impact leaving POP TV and heading to Pursuit:

“What is cool is, Impact isn’t trying to compete with anyone. Impact is, simply, an alternative. It is such a neat thing because you see talent that is giving, literally, 200% from the beginning of the show until the end. Nothing is just passable, everything is great! That’s what I say, I don’t want to just be passable. I want to be the best in the world! I don’t want to be good, I want to be great! So, I’m taking the time to get there—to learn from the people that are better than me and the people that have done something in the business.

“Nothing is just good enough. We take the time and we make it freaking great! That is the great thing about Impact—they care about each individual talent and everything that we put out on TV has a lot of thought and time put into it. A lot of people that are extremely knowledgeable, like Gail Kim for instance. Gail Kim has done so much and has so much knowledge. I think she’s extremely underrated. She wants the product to be great and she doesn’t mind taking the extra time to get it there. That is a really invaluable thing to me.”

Her goals in 2019:

“You know, I’m not sure what is going to happen in 2019, but I do know that it is going to be better than 2018. That is a huge statement to make because 2018 was absolutely amazing. But, with the WOW Superheroes on AXS TV, which has Mark Cuban and Jeanie Buss behind that. I’m so excited for people to see that air in January. With Impact, I hope to retain my Knockouts championship. I hope for women to main event an Impact [PPV] event which has not been done yet. I hope to share the ring with Gail Kim one day … I hope that intergender wrestling can make a breakthrough. There are a lot of hopes for 2019. But, you know, I’ve been going moment by moment, match by match, and it seems to be working out so far!”

The origins of her “Magnum” finish as a tribute to her step-dad, Magnum TA, and Chris Jericho:

“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever told this story. So, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan. I’ve always been a huge Chris Jericho fan. I was in Japan—I believe it was Osaka. I was wrestling a girl and I hit the finish and she kicked out. I’m like, ‘Well, fudge! What do I do now?’ So, I go to the top rope and I do a move off the top rope. That was the first time that I had ever been to the top rope! From that, it progressed. I was trying to think of something that I could do to anyone that was unique to myself and still showed intensity and still had a little bit of the past in it. So, as I said, I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan—I love his finish, but I wanted to up the ante a little bit. So, I do it off the top rope.

“My step-dad (Magnum TA) is an amazing person. He was an amazing wrestler. But, his career was cut short. He is someone that I look up to and someone that I respect. He is someone that I go to for advice … I think he is extremely underrated and does not get the recognition that he deserves. I think that he should be a WWE Hall of Famer, to be frank! I wanted to name something after him and I remember one of the commentators coming to me and saying, ‘Tessa, I need the name of some of your moves.’ I was like, ‘Well, this is the Magnum!’ [Laughs] I remember my step-dad always telling me to be careful with that move.

“He’d say, ‘That ring is unforgiving. That ring hurts.’ Every move, every bump! It doesn’t feel good. If it was easy, everyone would do it! It is a very taxing thing on your body. So, my step-dad told me to be careful with that move. That move is tough on me. It is a very tough thing on my body.”

Blanchard also discussed more on Gail Kim and Taya Valkyrie.

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The NBA announced Wednesday that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to donate $10 million toward programs combating domestic violence and promoting the development of women in the sports industry following an NBA investigation into workplace misconduct.

Some of the Association’s key findings include:

  • Numerous instances of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct within the organization spanning over 20 years
    • Improper conduct toward 15 female employees by former Mavericks President and CEO Terdema Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing
    • Improper conduct by former Mavericks ticket sales employee Chris Hyde, including inappropriate sexual comments to women, sharing of pornographic images and videos, unwanted sexual advances, and violent and threatening outbursts toward workers
    • Two acts of domestic violence by former Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed

“The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking and no employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We appreciate that Mark Cuban reacted swiftly, thoroughly and transparently to the allegations first set forth in Sports Illustrated, including the immediate hiring of Cynthia Marshall as CEO to effect change, but as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees.”

In response to the findings, the league added it will place mandated sanctions on the Mavericks that requires the franchise to increase the number of women on staff, enhance formal reporting processes for victims of misconduct, implement regular anonymous surveys to evaluate workplace culture, and expand and improve the Mavericks’ human resources department.

The NBA also requires Dallas to provide quarterly reports of their implementation of the league’s recommendations, immediately report any instance of significant misconduct by an employee, enhance and update the annual “Respect in the Workplace” training for staff, and implement a program to train all staff on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

For his part, Cuban has apologized for the severity of the incidents and accepted responsibility.

“An apology to the women involved and to their families,” Cuban said on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday. “I’m just sorry I didn’t see it and didn’t recognize it. I didn’t know and I don’t have an explanation. And I have to be accountable for it.”

Source: Whatculture.com

Editors note: The following story contains coarse language in excessive amounts, readers be for warned….

 

WhatCulture’s Simon Miller caught up with industry veteran Scott Steiner during All In’s Starrcast convention last weekend, and ‘Big Poppa Pump’ was his usual outspoken self. When asked how he was finding the the festivities in Atlanta, Steiner veered into a typical tirade in the direction of ex-employers WWE:

They sold out in, like what, thirty minutes? For an independent show, I’ve never heard of that before. This is like, the first, and now they’re doing it at Madison Square Garden. It just goes to show that nobody wants to watch that bullshit WWE puts out right now. You know, their product’s fucking horrible.

The ‘Genetic Freak’ then proceeded to lay into Vince and co. when asked about his time in Stamford:

It was f*cking brutal. The times I was up there were the two times I thought about quitting. They’re fucking weirdos, man. The bullshiy you gotta put up with, and now it’s worse, ’cause you got one of the biggest cunts running it. Stephanie McMahon – what the fuck does she know about wrestling? And then Triple H…fuck. You fucking kidding me? I feel bad for the wrestlers, ’cause they pigeon hole them into these stupid characters, make everybody do the same interviews that they print out. You can’t expand and be creative. It’s not what my picture of wrestling was. I think something like this proves that. They’re bullshit.

Steiner further lamented WWE’s hegemony, reflecting on the damage WCW’s demise did for the business.

Oh, it was the worst thing that happened. Competition keeps people on their toes, trying to beat the other show. As you can see, when WCW closed, they didn’t pick up any of our fans, any of our viewers – they just turned them off. I mean, look at the ratings now. Stephanie and Triple H go out and do the same bullshit, do their interview at the beginning of the show. Fuck that shit. It’s old, man. It’s like, take your brain off, and watch it for a while.

Could something like All In emerge reignite a wrestling war? Scott certainly thinks so:

All you need is another big network. Mark Cuban’s doing that. So you just never know; there would be competition in the next day. I always said if like, Rupert Murdoch or somebody like that who has a network or TV station, it’d be on again

Steiner concluded that competition for WWE would be good for everything involved in the business – fans and wrestlers alike.

Right now, all the boys are getting screwed. Independent contractor: that’s bullshit. Nobody’s an independent contractor under the actual law. It’s bullshit. We’re not independent contractors. They demand too much of our time. So how he gets away with it I don’t know. At some point, that’s going to be a lawsuit.

Blimey. Good ol’ Scott: he never lets you down.

A former Dallas Mavericks senior account executive watched pornography on his office computer while sometimes showing co-workers images of topless, naked, or lingerie-clad women on his phone, seven current and former Mavs employees told The Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George and Eddie Sefko.

The employees, who requested anonymity, said Chris Hyde’s behavior continued for six years after owner Mark Cuban warned him to stop viewing pornography on his work computer or he’d be fired. His colleagues say Hyde didn’t stop, and five of the ex-employees said they never formally complained to human resources because they thought the actions were common knowledge and accepted by superiors.

Hyde, who was fired in 2014, dropped a used condom onto the office floor in 2011, according to colleagues – who gave Hyde the nickname “Pants DJ” because they sometimes saw him rubbing himself below the waist while seated at his desk. Two sources said Cuban was informed about the condom incident.

The latest news comes as the Mavericks continue an internal investigation headed by new CEO Cynthia Marshall into reports of a workplace culture rife with sexual harassment and outright assault. Former team CEO Terdema Ussery was named repeatedly in a February Sports Illustrated report as an aggressor, while the Mavs fired former writer Earl Sneed shortly after details of domestic violence incidents in his past surfaced (including another Mavs employee’s 2014 report to the team that he’d assaulted her).

Mark Cuban is denying any wrongdoing after a report published details of a woman coming forward to police in 2011 stating the Dallas Mavericks owner sexually assaulted her in Portland, Ore.

“It didn’t happen,” wrote Cuban in an email to the Associated Press.

Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss obtained a police report via a public records request from May 2011 of a woman contacting the Portland Police Bureau to speak out against Cuban. She says Cuban – who admitted to consuming alcohol that night – put his hand down the back of her jeans and penetrated her vagina with his finger as they were posing for a photo together at an Old Town nightclub.

The woman waited more than a week to come forward, later telling a detective she didn’t want to be labeled as “that girl” in a sex scandal with Cuban.

No charges were laid against Cuban, as the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence.

“Because all leads have been exhausted and there remains a lack of physical or circumstantial evidence, I recommend the case be suspended,” wrote Senior Deputy District Attorney Don Rees on July 27, 2011.

Cuban’s attorney, Stephen Houze, also released a statement: “This incident never happened and her accusations are false.”

The woman was recently contacted by Willamette Week. She says she’s moved on from the incident and is “a happy person” with “a wonderful life,” but still stands by her account from seven years ago.

Mark Cuban says he messed up.

The Dallas Mavericks owner took sole responsibility for retaining former Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed after two separate domestic violence incidents, adding that he wasn’t aware of the “gruesome details.”

“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Wednesday. “It came down to my final decision that I made.”

In the first incident, Sneed got into an altercation with his then-girlfriend that left her with a fractured wrist and bruises on her body. He was arrested two months later at the Mavericks’ office, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of family violence assault in June 2012. Sneed paid a $750 fine and completed both community service and an anger management program, which resulted in the charges being dismissed.

Cuban allowed the writer to return to the Mavericks after some counseling. Looking back, the billionaire businessman said he regrets not following up with police for more details.

“So we got it mostly from Earl’s perspective, and because we didn’t dig in with the details – and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight – we kind of, I don’t want to say took his word for it, but we didn’t see all the gruesome details until just recently,” Cuban said. “I didn’t read the police report on that until just (Tuesday), and that was a huge mistake obviously.”

Sneed was involved in another domestic dispute in 2014, that time with a co-worker whom he was living with and dating, and rendered her face swollen. The woman informed her supervisor as well as HR director Buddy Pittman of the incident, but Cuban let Sneed keep his job.

The team owner indicated his rationale was wanting to control Sneed’s problem through counseling rather than setting him loose to find another job and continue to act violently toward women.

“I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody (who works for the Mavericks),” Cuban said.

Cuban added that he’d handle the situation differently if he had the chance. He expressed the most regret about not realizing the message his decision sent to the rest of his employees and the toxic environment it ultimately enabled.

It wasn’t until Tuesday when Sports Illustrated published findings from an investigation into the Mavericks’ misogynistic and predatory culture that Cuban ostensibly fired Sneed and Pittman.

Nerlens Noel hasn’t appeared in a game for the Dallas Mavericks since Nov. 22. He’s not listed on the team’s injury report, and all scratches have been DNP-CDs. The reason, sources told NBC 5 Dallas’ Newy Scruggs, is that the Mavs don’t view the big man as a hard worker.

Noel has been in an odd position with Dallas since being dealt from the 76ers at last season’s trade deadline. As the summer market for restricted free agents dried up, he signed his qualifying offer for $4.1 million with the Mavericks. But what appeared to be a golden opportunity to showcase his talents ahead of unrestricted free agency next summer is quickly disappearing.

Head coach Rick Carlisle said last month Noel had to earn his minutes, something he clearly has yet to do. In the time he has seen the floor, the defensive specialist is averaging career lows in rebounds and blocks.

“Nerlens decided to bet on himself,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said in September, “and now we’re in a position where, if everybody comes out ahead this coming season, he’ll get paid, we’ll be happy, and we’ll go on with life.”

At this rate, however, nothing appears to be helping his cause.

On Saturday, Noel appeared in the media room at the American Airlines Center to grab a hot dog at halftime of the Mavs’ win over the Clippers. “I needed some energy for the second half,” he said, according to SB Nation’s Tim Cato, though he never played a minute.

Carlisle laughed it off, telling reporters: “I hear the hot dogs are pretty good.”