Infamously, I sat in the WWE WrestleMania 39 night two press conference and asked Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns about the rumored sale of the pro wrestling juggernaut to Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavor. While Heyman dismissed the question and accused me of trying to start problems, I wasn’t, Reigns mused about how whoever he was working for, come the next day, would be lucky to have him. It didn’t take long for the rumor to become reality as only a few hours later a press release was issued announcing the impending acquisition.
As part of the proposed acquisition of WWE by Endeavor, The McMahon family-run entity will merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded company that will be listed under the initials TKO. In the WWE Q1 financial results that were issued this morning, it was confirmed that the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
The results also put over the $297.6 million in revenue that the company generated in Q1, which is down by 11% from 2022’s first quarter. However, it was noted this year’s first three months did not feature a “large-scale international event” like last year’s.
The impending merger with UFC has resulted in a lot of speculation about how the two entities will interact with each other. Dana White has already said he does not plan to co-mingle the promotions in any meaningful way since what the UFC does is “as real as it gets.” On today’s WWE Q1 investor call, WWE President Nick Khan was asked whether UFC or Endeavor will have any influence on how WWE books its product.
“We’re all excited about what should and will happen with UFC and the folks at Endeavor,” he began, also explaining they were familiar with Endeavor’s management style and knew what they were getting into. “There is no one at Endeavor or UFC that has any interest in interfering with that whatsoever.”
Khan also explained that Endeavor has never told Dana White how to book UFC cards, and that the company has been more helpful in expanding the combat brand’s international footprint.
WWE Chief of Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque also jumped in to address potential outside creative input following the merge. He echoed much of Khan’s sentiments, reiterating that Endeavor will help WWE “hyper-focus” on their international expansion goals.
Stay with Haus of Wrestling for all the latest regarding Endeavor’s acquisition of WWE