Vince McMahon's sudden departure from the WWE has raised numerous questions about the pro wrestling promotion's future. Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan have stepped in as Co-CEOs, Stephanie will serve as Chairwoman and Paul "Triple H" Levesque has taken over the company's booking as its Head of Creative and Head of Talent Relations. The company's stock jumped more than 8% on Monday its first day of trading since McMahon's announcement and a USA Network source told Fightful Select that the change in leadership is viewed as "exciting."
But will McMahon's departure have any impact on WWE possibly selling itself to a major media corporation? According to CNBC's Alex Sherman, the company currently isn't engaged in sales talks and WWE declined to comment on the matter. The report pointed out that the WWE's current television rights deals with FOX (which airs SmackDown on Fridays) and NBCUniversal (Raw on Mondays, NXT on Tuesdays) are set to expire in late 2024 and those negotiations for new deals are expected to begin in mid-2023.
Sherman quoted Citi analyst Jason Bazinet in a recent note to clients in the report— "We suspect the Street will interpret Mr. McMahon's retirement as a precursor to an eventual sale of WWE," "We're not sure that is a reasonable conclusion since WWE will still be a controlled company with 100% of the Class B shares held by the McMahon family."
Khan told The Sports Business Journal's John Ourand that he has taken "inbound calls" from companies inquiring about a sale, but has consistently denied that the promotion is actively looking for a sale.
"If it once was a mom-and-pop shop, Vince certainly didn't believe it was anymore," Khan said regarding why McMahon hired him. "Part of what I believe he was looking for in bringing in someone from the outside was to make sure the community at large didn't treat it that way. We believe we're a global content company."
WWE returns to pay-per-view this Saturday with the SummerSlam event at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Check out the lineup for the event below:
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (Last Man Standing)
- Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The Street Profits (w/ Jeff Jarrett as Referee)
- Raw Women's Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
- United States Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Theory
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey
- Riddle vs. Seth Rollins
- Pat McAfee vs. Happy Corbin
- Logan Paul vs. The Miz
- The Mysterios vs. The Judgement Day