WWE Rumors: Talent Didn't Receive Word About Potential Sale by Vince McMahon

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2023

UKRAINE - 2021/08/25: In this photo illustration a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) logo is seen on a smartphone and a pc screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

WWE reportedly has not addressed its on-screen talent about rumors of a potential sale of the company.

According to Fightful Select (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), an all-hands-on-deck meeting was held for employees prior to SmackDown on Friday, and while Vince McMahon's return to the board of directors was discussed, WWE wrestlers were not part of the meeting, and they were not part of the conversation on McMahon or a possible sale.

WWE officially announced Friday through a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that McMahon had returned to WWE as part of the board of directors:

Brandon Thurston @BrandonThurston

Vince McMahon is back on WWE's board of directors. <br><br>A new filing says effective immediately Vince puts himself, Michelle Wilson, and George Barrios on the board and removes independent directors Alan Wexler, JoEllen Lyons Dillon, and Jeffrey Speed.<a href="https://t.co/HGzFZNvaXM">https://t.co/HGzFZNvaXM</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y3HIRGearx">pic.twitter.com/Y3HIRGearx</a>

McMahon retired in July from his roles as chairman, CEO and head of creative amid an investigation that found he paid millions of dollars to multiple women in exchange for their silence about sexual relationships and potential sexual misconduct.

Lauren Thomas of the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that McMahon intended to return to WWE, however, in an effort to play a role in the negotiations of new television rights deals this year, as well as a possible sale.

McMahon later confirmed in a statement that he thought it was important for him as the controlling stakeholder in the company to be part of any major negotiations.

Neither McMahon nor WWE have stated publicly that a sale is being planned, but CNBC's Alex Sherman reported Saturday that WWE hired investment banking company JPMorgan to advise it during possible sale negotiations.

Sherman added that a sale would likely come in the next three to six months if it happens, since that would coincide with talks for new TV rights deals, as the current contracts expire at the end of 2024.

Some of the companies rumored to be in the mix to buy WWE are Comcast, Fox, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Amazon, Endeavor Group Holdings and Liberty Media.

While higher-up business dealings regarding television rights or a sale may not have much direct impact on the talent, McMahon returning to his past role as head of creative would.

McMahon was WWE's primary creative decision-maker from his purchase of the company in 1982 until his retirement last year. When McMahon stepped aside, his son-in-law Triple H took the reins as head of creative.

Triple H brought back several wrestlers who were released in previous months under McMahon, and he has given opportunities to performers who may not have been utilized under McMahon.

Although things could conceivably change in the future, Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer (h/t Sunil Joseph of Ringside News) reported Friday that talent was informed in a letter that Triple H will retain his role as head of creative, meaning McMahon won't have much of a direct impact on the talent.

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