WWE is in the midst of negotiating the future of Monday Night Raw and with Vince McMahon not sitting at the negotiating table, things could be very different.
The WWE takeover by Endeavor was completed in September 2023 bringing with it the biggest shake-up of the company since Vince McMahon bought out his father in the early eighties to take control.
The TKO Group was formed as a result of the takeover bringing both WWE and UFC under one umbrella organisation. Mass layoffs hit WWE as a result with well over 100 employees losing their jobs including several Senior Vice Presidents as the new company sought to make significant savings.
The biggest change, however, is Vince McMahon is no longer calling the shots with Paul Levesque [Triple H] running wrestling operations while WWE President Nick Khan is running the business side of the company. They are both believed to have attended meetings in Los Angeles to negotiate the future of Monday Night Raw and where that future lies is causing great debate.
Vince McMahon Way Of Thinking Could Be Gone In WWE
Various conflicting reports have done the rounds as far as Raw negotiations go. Levesque, Khan, and TKO COO Mark Shapiro were originally believed to have attended a meeting in New York with Warner Brothers Discovery but there have been suggestions this never happened.
WBD is the US broadcast partner of AEW so any potential deal with WWE could have a major effect on Tony Khan’s company. What will be an even bigger kick in the teeth for Khan is that has been reported that CM Punk’s presence in WWE could have opened the door to a deal with WBD.
However, while one report suggested AEW is in danger on TBS, there could be some relief for Tony Khan if WWE has changed its tact from the days of Vince McMahon.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has noted that given WWE’s ownership is Endeavor and not now Vince McMahon any request for exclusivity as far as wrestling programming has likely not been made. Endeavor has owned UFC for years and has a deal with ESPN for that content but ESPN also has a deal with the PFL – another MMA league – to show their product as well.
It was also noted that The CW deal WWE has signed for NXT has not called for exclusivity in terms of wrestling so another promotion could at least theoretically appear on that network. The NWA has already aired content on the network’s app.
Whether or not Warner Brothers Discovery would want two different wrestling promotions on its networks remains to be seen. A report by Nick Hausman suggested there has been talk that if WWE signed with WBD, Raw would move to TBS or TNT and AEW would then be relegated to Discovery but this is far from confirmed.