Shortly before night two of WWE WrestleMania 39, news began to break that the sports entertainment powerhouse was on the verge of being sold to Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor. The acquisition makes a lot of sense as Endeavor has experience in the combat sports space, having picked up UFC in 2016, and grown it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise in the years since. Now, the company looks to do the same with WWE.
Following the initial press release regarding the impending acquisition, information about how WWE would change, or wouldn’t change, began to filter out. Notably, Vince McMahon, who had returned to the WWE Board of Directors shortly before, was announced as Executive Chairman for a new publicly traded company featuring WWE and UFC under its umbrella.
Following the news that McMahon was headed back into the WWE fold again, he appeared backstage at the Raw after WrestleMania and reportedly caused headaches for many backstage with last-minute changes. In the months since, McMahon’s presence has significantly decreased, with the legendary “Vince’s Office” backstage sign being replaced with one that now reads “Paul Levesque’s Office,” according to Rick Bassman.
Despite the Tasmanian Devil-type energy McMahon is bringing back to the promotion, Endeavor’s acquisition of WWE is pushing forward. CNBC is reporting that the new WWE and UFC operation will be titled TKO Group Holdings and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TKO. The combined worth of WWE and UFC is currently valued at more than $20 billion.
The pro wrestling waters appear to be heating up big time heading into the summer. While WWE is taking on a more prominent role in the world of sports and entertainment, AEW is also raising its profile with its newly announced Collision brand and the rumored return of CM Punk.
For pro wrestling fans, the next several months are going to be a roller coaster ride. Strap in!