ESPN’s Kevin Seifert has a new article looking at the finals days of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s XFL football league, what went wrong and how COVID-19 made a big negative impact on the success that the league was finding.
The article also looks at how WWE may have factored into the XFL situation and mentioned that Vince was planning WWE talent cuts before WrestleMania 36 even aired on April 5 and April 6.
Vince was reportedly already working on plans for a series of WWE layoffs, furloughs and other cost-cutting moves when Wrestlemania 36 aired during the first weekend of April, according to the report. This is obviously the COVID-19 business plan that WWE announced on April 15. While it makes sense that WWE was working on such an important plan at least 10 days before it was announced, this confirms that WWE knew the cuts were coming. Many people already expected some form of budget cuts as most companies made similar changes due to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 business plan was done to keep the company moving forward during a period of lower revenues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It included the release of more than 30 wrestlers, plus several on-air talents, producers, and others. There were cuts across the entire company, with some being furloughed until the time is right to bring them back. The COVID-19 business update also included a reduction of executive and board member compensation, decreased operations expenses, a cut in third party staffing and consulting, plus deferred spending on the new company headquarters in Stamford, CT for at least 6 months.
ESPN also pointed to how Forbes reported that Vince’s net worth has dropped by $1 billion, from $2.9 billion to $1.9 billion in the past year. They have him at $2B as of June 16. Vince ranked #1196 on Forbes’ Billionaires 2020 list.