Right… okay… hmm… I just… I just need to write down something.
A night that started off with Stephanie McMahon’s resignation, quickly rolled into alleged rapist Vince McMahon’s re-election, before drowning in a rumour whirlpool of a full on sale to the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Last night Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful stated nobody in WWE had confirmed this news. That stopped nothing in the hysteria whipping up and swirling all around us though. The repercussions of such a sale immediately rippling laps of negative waves across the wrestling world.
Reports also circulated that the rumoured deal would include KSA taking the company private, which would take the WWE away from having to answer to shareholders. Or as me in full speculation mode puts it: makes sure alleged rapist Vince McMahon doesn’t face outside pressure for his crimes. He got ousted once… never again.
On that, taking the company private is something that would take months to iron out. All the legal rounds you have to box and notice periods that have to be given to shareholders takes time. Even if we get news that a deal has been agreed (which we haven’t had yet), that doesn’t mean the sale is a done thing. Look towards Microsoft acquiring Activision as a useful example: a deal was publicly announced a full year ago and come 2023 we’re no closer to the sale officially taking place.
If the WWE & KSA deal is true I fully expect it to go through, but you’re likely looking at a post-WrestleMania announcement at the earliest. Damned if I’ve called anything else correctly so far this year though.
Last night was sure a trip. The Stephanie McMahon news shook a negative tremble, but my God was that nothing in comparison to the rumours of alleged rapist Vince McMahon’s regaining of power being to push through a Saudi sale.
An immediate echo chamber of hysteria at just the sheer thought of the deal. What would this mean for the current product? For the vast historical library of American wrestling that would be now owned by Saudi Arabia? For WWE’s draw proven women’s division? Their LGBTQ+ wrestlers? For Sami Zayn? Would the company become an arm for propaganda? How does a private, KSA owned WWE, with alleged rapist Vince McMahon at the helm look? U. S. broadcasters turned down LIV Golf, what could that mean for a KSA owned WWE?
So many questions bouncing around, hyping up the reaction in the face of not much information at all. All of this has now been denied by multiple sources within WWE to multiple journalists, but in the moment the potential idea was met with a wholly negative response. Unless you’re a shareholder, in that case this news seemed bloody brilliant.
Raise up your prices, my man, oo arr a sale be comin’.
I will just say, this play is a common tactic in the business world. Deal in principle, leak, gauge, deny and then announce it a few months later. Do I need to bring up the Microsoft-Activision deal again? So I don’t take the denial as undisputable fact that last night’s breaking rumours held no weight, but also that doesn’t wholly tell the tale of a great ‘deal conspiracy’ to unravel either.
Basically what I’m saying is we’re right back to square one of, “Well I don’t bleedin’ know who they’re selling to.” The age old proverb: I’ll believe “Sting To WWE!” when he’s right there on my screen.
That said, now it’s time to ramble because HOLY HELL would the ramifications be unfathomably huge for my tiny, tired, British brain. Repercussions of which could lead to anything between a mass shift/exodus to absolutely nothing changing at all. We’re not even a week removed from Stephanie McMahon’s employee reassuring “Don’t worry, Vince coming back won’t change anything,” speech.
I’m highly doubting anyone telling me alleged rapist Vince McMahon taking back full control wouldn’t include creative roles. A deal that’s best for Vince has Vince returning to running the show and anyone else be dammed.
Alleged rapist Vince McMahon wasn’t finally paying consequence for his misconduct, no, he was wronged and is going to make sure they can’t take his power away again. A different man may take the money and enjoy his freedom of luxury, but we’re talking about someone who’s a control freak to such a level that he refuses to grow a beard because, and I quote, “He can’t control it.”
He won’t even let his own beard take control of his own face… what did we think was going to happen with his own company?
It turns out WWE was perfectly fine without him, in fact metrics were up following an increased fan investment in the product. None of that matters though, because even with a KSA PIF deal currently declared untrue, alleged rapist Vince McMahon is still regaining back control.
The writing looks like it’s on the wall for Triple H regardless of the truth of the deal. The positive momentum built over WWE embracing some sort of change, a TV product that was finally making strides in the right direction… yeah, that’s done. This never was a feel good Hallmark story, nah, it’s Friday The 13th and they think they’ve killed Jason but he’s just jump scared back more powerful than ever.
Even if the biggest company in wrestling may not be sold into Saudi Arabian ownership, the crazy, old, alleged rapist that’s under investigation is back in power and that certainly isn’t fine either.
My bets are this will all be true come the summer anyway. Bracing to “Bring it back to the light” then instead.
What a crazy night, the trembles of which may have just set the tone for the rest of the year…