Vince McMahon's Alleged Reason For Selling WWE Leads To Eye Rolls
Eye-rolls within WWE over Vince McMahon's 'stagnation' comments
Many within WWE are suspicious of Vince McMahon's reasoning for selling the company.
WWE's sale to Endeavor and merger with UFC into TKO Group Holdings was announced in April 2023 and the merger was completed on September 12. The sale of WWE came after Vince McMahon forced his way back into the organisation in January 2023, mere months after he "retired" due to a sexual misconduct and hush money scandal.
Nick Khan recently revealed that Vince McMahon told him privately that he wasn't looking to sell WWE as a side door back into the company.
"Vince came back in January of this year, 2023. He and I had a conversation where I asked him - and at the time it was a private conversation, he's certainly comfortable with me sharing the contents of it. I said, 'Hey, give it to me straight. Are you looking to transact? Or is this sort of a side door back into your company?' And he said, 'No, I'm looking to transact. If there are real offers there for the marketing value of the company, we're gonna do a deal,'" Khan said on The Bill Simmons Podcast.
"We engaged in a fulsome process with Raine as Vince's banker and a company called Moelis as WWE's banker. We wanted to maintain church and state and get the controlling shareholder point of view and the company point of view. So we engaged in the process. It was robust. We had multiple offers, and at the end of the day, Vince gets to decide as the controlling shareholder. It just so happened to be that Vince and WWE both felt that this was the best transaction for the shareholders and for the longevity for the company. And boom, here we are."
Not everyone in WWE believes Vince McMahon, though. The Executive Chairman of TKO Group Holdings was at WWE HQ on Tuesday, September 19 with Nick Khan and TKO CEO Ari Emanuel for an all-employee meeting. McMahon spoke at the meeting and after referring to Emanuel as his "boss", McMahon claimed that WWE had stagnated and the merger with UFC needed to happen to take WWE to the next level. This only garnered a lot of eye rolls within WWE, though, according to Fightful Select, and many pointed to WWE's record revenues in recent years.
McMahon's comment also only reaffirmed to many their belief the 78-year-old agreed to the merger with UFC so he could return to WWE. The merger did secure Vince McMahon's long-term future with WWE, with Ari Emanuel stating back in April that he would have body-slammed McMahon if he hadn't agreed to remain with the company post-merger.
H/T to WrestleZone