WWE Abandoning Sports Entertainment

Triple H Vince McMahon WWE

WWE is entering a whole new era and it seems one of the most familiar aspects of Vince McMahon’s regime could be getting left in the past as well.

Cody Rhodes finished his story at WrestleMania 40 when he defeated Roman Reigns to finally win the WWE Championship. After the match, Rhodes celebrated with family, friends, and several stars before asking Bruce Prichard and Triple H to come to the ring. Rhodes touted Triple H as the leader of this new era and the shot of the WWE boss standing with his new WWE Champion could well be an iconic one for decades to come. The reason WWE is pushing so hard publicly for this new era has seemingly been revealed.

During the celebrations of Rhodes’ win, long-time commentator Michael Cole became emotional and simply screamed “I love professional wrestling.” And everyone watching along surely couldn’t help but agree with the sentiment. A sentiment that simply wouldn’t have been possible under the reign of Vince McMahon.

Sports Entertainment On Its Way Out Of WWE?

Decades ago, Vince McMahon decided to label WWE as “sports entertainment” to try and set them apart from their rival promotions. The term has gone on to have a life of its own with many fans indulging in “sports entertainment vs. pro wrestling” debates, what each means, and what people prefer. Pro wrestling was a dirty word under McMahon and it simply wasn’t said on his shows.

When CM Punk debuted in AEW, he proudly stated that when he left Ring of Honor in 2005 he left professional wrestling and now he’d joined AEW, he was back in professional wrestling indicating what WWE has long wanted to indicate, that it’s not professional wrestling.

But could sports entertainment be a thing of the past?

Ibou of WrestlePurists has reported that at least one person in WWE has stated that the company is deliberately moving away from the sports entertainment term.

Embracing its pro wrestling roots will surely endear the company to fans who have long looked for an alternative to McMahon’s entertainment-heavy product. What that means for those alternatives that have sprung up such as Tony Khan’s AEW whose current tagline is “Where the best wrestle” remains to be seen.