WWE Rumors: 'Everybody Believes Nick Khan is Setting Up' WWE to Be Sold amid Releases

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2021

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In the wake of another round of talent cuts Wednesday, speculation is running rampant that WWE may be preparing for a sale of the company.

Speaking about the issue on Wrestling Observer Live (beginning at the 8:00 mark), Bryan Alvarez said "everybody believes" WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan is preparing WWE to be sold because of recent budget cuts.

Alvarez said he has spoken to people inside and outside WWE, all of whom believe a sale may be in the works.

WWE has been under the leadership of Vincent K. McMahon since 1982, but now that he is getting up there in age at 75, a sale may not be completely out of the question.

Alvarez noted that both Aleister Black and Alexander Wolfe have publicly said they were told budget cuts were responsible for their WWE departures. It is a curious reason given that WWE is making more money than ever thanks to billion-dollar television deals with Fox and NBC Universal.

WWE released several notable names shortly after WrestleMania in April, including Samoa Joe, Mickie James, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.

On Wednesday, some of the releases were even more surprising, as Braun Strowman, Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett were released from their contracts.

That came after WWE reportedly made sweeping layoffs last week in an effort to consolidate its television and digital divisions, per Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr.

On the subject of talent releases, Strowman was likely the most shocking one Wednesday since he held the Universal Championship less than a year ago and was in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre last month.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), Strowman signed a "monster deal" in 2019 worth over $1 million per year. Because of that, his release resulted in significant savings for the company.

While a sale is possible, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics expressed his belief that the cuts are more about Khan and WWE Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen balancing out some unnecessary decisions made by the previous regime.

Thurston noted that there were 300 wrestlers under contract with WWE in 2020, which is far more than the company can use on a consistent basis. With WWE unable to use a large portion of its roster, paring it down to save money and create more opportunities for others is a logical move.

Rumors of a WWE sale have popped up here and there for the past several years. Nothing has come of those rumors to this point, but if McMahon does want to sell, there is no question he has WWE in an advantageous financial position that could appeal to potential buyers.

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