What Happens If Vince McMahon Sells WWE?

Vince McMahon holding money Triple H John Cena Maria WWE

Amid the ongoing uncertainty as to the future of WWE, what will happen if Vince McMahon does indeed end up selling the company?

The wrestling world was rocked in July 2022 when Vince McMahon announced his retirement from WWE amid an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and ‘hush money’ payments made to female former employees of the company.

Stephanie McMahon filled in to become Chairwoman and co-CEO, alongside Nick Khan, after her father’s departure with Triple H taking the creative reins as Chief Content Officer. However, just six months later, and WWE has turned upside down again.

On the 6th of January 2023, Vince McMahon officially returned to WWE’s Board of Directors, and just days later the Board unanimously installed him as Executive Chairman. The boardroom musical chairs led to Stephanie McMahon resigning her roles and resuming her previously abandoned leave of absence from the company.

Upon Vince McMahon’s return, rumours began to swirl about the company being on the brink of being sold to the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. Those rumours were called “completely false” by one WWE insider but it is believed the PIF is still “in the hunt” to purchase WWE outright.

But what would a sale look like in practical terms and what would a post-McMahon-owned WWE potentially look like?

It is widely believed that Vince McMahon’s recent boardroom bullying is a tactic to ensure that when WWE is sold – and it looks increasingly likely that it will be – he will still be a central figure in the company. Given the scandal that engulfed McMahon and led to his short-lived retirement, that is only likely to become a reality if the company is taken into private hands.

The Saudi Arabia PIF is the one organisation that has been mooted as a potential new owner that would see WWE fall into private ownership, meaning that WWE would no longer answer to shareholders and would no longer have to disclose vast amounts of financial information.

Given the controversy that already surrounds WWE’s relationship with the Saudi government, the perception is the issues McMahon is still facing wouldn’t be an issue for them. However, what might be an issue is the fact that “multiple wrestlers” have said they’ll quit the company if under Saudi ownership.

But if the Saudis don’t buy then who will? Disney, Amazon, Comcast (NBCUniversal’s parent company), Netflix, and Endeavor have all been suggested as having the capital and the motivation to purchase WWE.

These are all public companies, meaning that they do answer to shareholders, and the likelihood of any of them wanting to install a 77-year-old man still being pursued for damages for an allegation of rape has to be considered infinitesimal.

If any of those companies end up taking over then Triple H could very well continue in his role as Chief Content Officer. Stephanie McMahon could be considered a continuation of the McMahon legacy that shareholders seemed to like when she became Chairwoman in what would be an incredible turn of events.

But one thing seems to be for sure if WWE is sold current CEO Nick Khan will walk away with a very hefty payoff and in all honesty, would likely see his work as done and move on to something else.

Media rights deals for WWE are believed to need to be renewed in 2024 which means negotiations will begin in earnest in the first half of 2023. If any of the media giants are serious about a purchase then the time could be now to ensure they can get the company and its media rights off the table and locked up away from their competitors.