The wrestling world was stunned on the 3rd of April when it emerged that WWE had done a deal with Endeavor to be bought and merged into a new company with UFC.
Rumours of a sale of WWE began in earnest when Vince McMahon returned as Executive Chairman in January 2023 and that proved to bare out with a $21 billion deal being signed to create a new combat/sports entertainment giant that will house both McMahon’s company and UFC.
Speaking to Sports Business Journal, Endeavor President Mark Shapiro noted that the plans for WWE will mirror what the company did when they took over UFC:
“We’re going to run the UFC playbook. The opportunity to put Vince McMahon’s creative head with Dana and Ari is going to create a significant amount of value for shareholders.”
Shapiro noted that 80% of net revenues for WWE come from media and he thinks Endeavor will be able to grow revenue from WWE’s licensing, sponsorship, hospitality, and ticketing business while also believing that non-scripted shows, films, and commercial endorsements can also help develop the company’s stars:
“That’s the strategy. That’s how it has successfully played out for the UFC over the last six years. Remember when we bought it for $4.1 billion? People thought that price was crazy. Now, it is valued at $12.1 billion. I mean, what a story. We hope to do the same thing with the WWE.”
Currently, tickets are on sale for Backlash in Puerto Rico where they can be found for $125 while tickets for UFC 287 in Miami are available for $400 – although cheaper options are available from resellers. What the merged will mean for fans and what they’ll have to pay to attend WWE shows in person remains to be seen.