There has been a lot of speculation lately online and within WWE regarding a potential sale of the company.
WWE has recently made several budget cuts, with one round taking place in mid-April as they did in April 2020, the second round coming in mid-May, and Then today’s 6 release – Braun Strowman, Lana, Alastair Black, Ruby Riott, Buddy Murphy and Santana Garrett. There was also a major corporate restructuring in May led by Nick Khan, the president and chief revenue officer of WWE. Khan was brought in in August 2020, and this latest corporate makeover is not his first action that has fueled rumors of a sale of WWE to a company like Comcast, Fox or Disney.
In April, Khan appeared on Colin Cowherd’s podcast to promote WrestleMania 37 and discussed a potential sale. Cowherd explained how WWE has a turbulent lifestyle, and how WWE President and CEO Vince McMahon is to the point where he doesn’t need the money these days. He then speculated that WWE would have offers to sell, and asked Khan why Vince didn’t leave the company. Khan said he doesn’t believe Vince wants to sell the company, mainly because he built it, and because he’s the best person to run it, and because what else would he do? Khan also said that a few years ago there was a WWE executive who asked where Vince was spending his summers, and Vince asked him what he was talking about as he spent his days at his WWE headquarters office in Stamford, CT. Had planned to spend the summer. Khan said that Vince would not be someone who was resting on a yacht somewhere.
Following today’s release announcement, former WWE writer Dave Schilling tweeted why he thinks WWE is preparing for a sale.
“You don’t deduct talent assets at this stage unless you’re trying to maximize profits before the sale,” Schilling wrote. He continued, “Braun is a legitimate top man, a former world champion and a merchandise mover. Alastair Black was getting loud on TV last week. It’s telling a lot.”
Brandon Thurston Wrestlenomics Wrote a long Twitter excerpt why he thinks WWE is not selling.
“The foreshadowing that WWE is preparing to sell is the stuff of cynical wrestling fan fatalism,” Thurston wrote. “The new lead came in August and is still in year 1. I’d be surprised if WWE sells out in Vince’s lifetime. 1) Nick Khan signals to Cowherd that Vince has no intention of selling. 2) I Can’t imagine Vince doing anything else. The lay-offs, releases and reorganizations probably have more to do with Nick Khan and Christina Saleen with the criticism and restructuring left by George Barrios and Michelle Wilson. Every few years WWE The number of employees and talent has been cut.
“WWE had over 300 wrestlers under contract in 2020, way more than they needed, for basically no reason other than to kick them out of the competition. Doing so probably contributed to talent leverage in wage negotiations. The new leadership may not see this approach as cost-effective. If you’ve followed Vince’s career, he’s a control freak. This trend increased over time. I believe that control is invaluable to him. When he’s gone, sure WWE can sell out and NBCUniversal is the most obvious suitor and really the only one that makes sense. “
Thurston continued and addressed some roster speculation.
“Obviously, wrestlers may also be looking for a noble reason why they or their friends were cut,” he continued. “78 out of ~300 of them wrestled on all TV/WWE Network shows over the past week, including those at ringside, who appeared more in non-wrestling roles. Even That in development or even with injuries allowed enough offscreen, proportion doesn’t make sense. A defense designed to defend against AEW (putting NXT face-to-face on cable and warehousing talent) is costly, ineffective, and somewhat being undone.
Several pro wrestlers also took to Twitter today to comment on a potential sale to WWE.
Former WWE Champion CM Punk tweeted a GIF from the movie “Trading Places” and included a waving hand emoji, as seen below. The GIF shows Dan Aykroyd’s character selling his shares in the stock market.
ECW Original The Blue Meaney tweeted, “Vince should be in the right position to sell WWE?”
ECW’s Joel Gertner also wrote, “Billionaires crave happiness, just as everyone else does. As a business owner who seeks credit for the growth of his company, always two of the journey of the company and the owner” The happiest days are the day the company is bought and the day the company is sold.
The great Dutch mantle (fka Zeb Colter) reminded everyone how he spread false rumors about WWE and Disney last year, saying that it looks like something is happening now.
He wrote, “I reported last year that @WWE was in the process of being sold to Disney. Most people responded STFU. But recently, it appears something is happening and it may be true . Do you think Vince would be selling out?”
These sales rumors have made the rounds for years, but recent cuts and restructurings have brought them to the forefront. Since WWE is a publicly traded company, it cannot simply be “sold” to a buyer because of a number of factors, including Vince’s controlling interest and regulatory approvals.
Stay tuned for more information on WWE budget cuts and any potential sales. You can check out the wrestler-related tweets below:
— player/coach (@CMPunk) 2 June 2021
Will Vince have to do positioning to sell WWE?
— Brian Hefron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) 2 June 2021
Billionaires crave happiness, just like everyone else does.
As a business owner who seeks credit for the growth of his company, there are always two “happiest” days of the company and owner’s journey, the day the company is bought and the day the company is sold.
— Joel Gartner (@StudMuffinSays) 2 June 2021
I reported last year that @WWE Was in the process of being sold to Disney. Most people answered STFU. But lately, it appears that something is happening and it may be true. Do you think Vince would be selling? @SKWrestling_ @RickUcchino
-. (@dirtydmantel) 2 June 2021
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