Professional wrestling storylines tend to be filled with crazy twists and turns. Part of the appeal is the absurdity of it all and the feeling of not knowing where the writers will go with things. That being said, this real life storyline about the possible sale of the WWE is the craziest storyline of them all. Vince McMahon came back to the company with a potential sale, and it looks like he found a buyer in the form of Endeavor.
And it only gets weirder from there.
Endeavor has their hands in a few couple different businesses, one of them being previously known as the William Morris talent agency. They merged with the Endeavor Talent Agency, and changed the name a couple times, finally ending up with Endeavor.
More importantly, they are the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). While Dana White is the President of the UFC, he’s not the actual owner; even if you’d be easily mistaken in thinking that based on his larger than life personality.
On April 3rd, Endeavor made an announcement that they’re going to acquire the WWE. Which, okay, they already own an actual fighting company, maybe a sports entertainment company would help expand the portfolio a bit. The acquisition is valued at over $21 billion and still has several regulations and hurdles it has to cross before its made official. But Endeavor isn’t going acquiring the company, it’s going to merge the WWE with the UFC to form an entirely new company.
This doesn’t mean anything is going to change on the ground level of UFC or WWE events. It’s not like the two events are going to merge together to create some kind of hybrid, scripted fighting series with actual combat sports. [Editor’s Note: Although…] Dana White will still be the president of the UFC and Nick Khan will maintain his title as president of the WWE. Vince McMahon will however now be the executive chairman of whatever this new company is named with Mark Shapiro being the president and COO of the entire company. Sitting on top of it all is Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel who will also be the CEO of the merged entity.
If it sounds complicated, it kind of is, but if anything is going to be impacted by this more than anything, it’s going to be the broadcast and streaming rights. WWE streaming rights are going to be up in the air soon, as will the ones for the UFC. Currently UFC competitions stream exclusively on ESPN with the WWE streaming on Peacock but broadcast on USA and Fox. With one company now potentially owning both properties, it’s going to be very interesting to see if these current deals continue, if they’ll be sold as one package, or find a home someplace else.
Details are still emerging (there’s not even a name for this new company yet). We’ll continue to update should any more big developments get announced. In the mean time, this is certainly one of the more bizarre WWE / UFC twists ever. Or to put it another way, this was so unexpected, even John Cena was surprised by it.