So is Vince McMahon selling out the WWE to Saudi Arabia or nah?
News broke last night that returning WWE CEO Vince McMahon was selling the company to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. It's been trending on Twitter ever since. As someone who is both a wrestling fan and an American, I think the idea is gross. Though as a shareholder...
You might be asking "But Brodigan, I thought Vince retired after the WSJ article about him (allegedly) being rapey and sexual harassy?" The td:lr of that is as follows:
Vince DID retire. His daughter Stephanie McMahon became CEO. His son-in-law Paul Levesque took over creative. The quality of the product changed and was both watchable and praised by wrestling fans when it had been the drizzling shits for years when Vince was in charge. Vince said, "bump that." He forced his way back into the company. His daughter quit. He became Chairman again. And the rumors of "imminent news" began.
Last night, that meant a sale to Saudi Arabia. IF the sale is true, let me be the first to congratulate Tony Khan and All Elite Wrestling on becoming the #1 American-owned wrestling company in America.
However, since last night, the WWE has issued a denial.
I concur with @RichLightShed. I asked someone at WWE, who would know, who said the story that took hold of Twitter last night, about WWE and Saudi Arabia being near a deal to take the company private, is untrue.
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) January 11, 2023
Bodyslam.Net, one of the outlets that broke the story, has since backtracked.
WWE Sources Deny Reports Of Sale To Saudi Arabiahttps://t.co/TOPyHES1eq
— BODYSLAM.NET (@BodyslamNet) January 11, 2023
Though, The Post Millennial has an exclusive report that the deal with the Saudi fund is done. They say "reports of the professional wrestling organization being bought by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are legit," adding that HQ would stay in Connecticut for now "but new buildings would be bought and that the number of shows held in Saudi Arabia would be doubled."
If THAT report is true, it leads to a question about the WWE then trying to secure TV rights.
WWE - Saudi reports were shot down, but if WWE did ever decide to sell to the Saudis, I have to wonder how it would affect them securing new TV deals. The Saudi-backed LIV Golf league has some of the biggest names in the sport & hasn't been able to get a US cable or network deal
— Raj Giri (@TheRajGiri) January 11, 2023
My guess? Saudi Arabia is in the running and outlets that reported it were quoting their sources accurately. However, it could very well be the case their sources leaked what they heard as a trial balloon to see how fans would react. Or, they leaked the info because they KNEW how fans would react and wanted to squash the deal with bad press before it went too far.
And oy, was there a negative reaction. You know, what with the human rights violations in Saudi Arabia thing, the say goodbye to women's wrestling thing, the multiple wrestlers leaving the company over conscientious objections thing, and the fact there are current WWE wrestlers who already stay home from the Saudi Arabian tours out of fear they will get murdered for their religious beliefs.
I would be a combination of shocked and disgusted if the deal went through. But over the last thirty-eight years or so I've learned that anything can happen in the WWE.
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