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Saudi Arabia is now eyeing WWE after buying Ronaldo

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalJan 12, 2023 | 08:00

Saudi Arabia is now eyeing WWE after buying Ronaldo

Vince McMahon, who has returned as the Execuive Chairman of the Board might finalise the deal of selling the WWE to a Saudi firm. Photo: Getty

A friend of mine, who was born in Saudi Arabia, once told me that only two things are popular with the Arabs. One is football and the other is WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). 

This stand true today as after Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr signed one of world's biggest football star Cristiano Ronaldo on a deal worth $200 million, the country might also purchase the WWE.

Yes, the world of wrestling is expected to go through a massive change. As per reports, sports entertainment company WWE is expected to be sold to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).  The news was broken by DAZN pro wrestling reporter Steven Muehlhausen, who said that WWE has been sold to Saudi Arabia's Public investment Fund. Steven mentioned that Vince has decided to make the company once again private after it went public in August,1999.   

It is also reported that the company has got investment banking firm JP Morgan to facilitate its sale.

However, an official confirmation about the sale of the company is yet to come from the WWE.

Vince's return: The former Chairman's return to the company from his retirement first surfaced on January 5, 2023, when he put up a statement saying that he intended to return for the sale of the company. The next day, WWE released a statement announcing the return of Vince to the board.

Moreover, Vince McMahon earlier also had made his intentions clear that if he returns to the board of the company, he would make it private once again.

Vince McMahon. Photo: Getty Images

Stephanie McMahon resigns: The report of selling of WWE is more believebale now as in a an unexpected turn of events, the current Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, daughter of Vince, has resigned from her post and also mentioned the return of her father as the Executive Chairman of the board.

On her Instragram post, Stephanie said: "Our founder, Vince McMahon, has returned as Executive Chair and is leading an exciting process regarding strategic alternatives. And With Nick's leadership and Paul "Triphe H Levesque as Chief Content Officer, I am confident WWE is in the perfect place to continue providing unparalled creative content and drive maximum value of shareholders."

She further said: "WWE is in such a strong position that I have decided to return to my leave and take it one step further with my official resignation."

Vince also back as creative head: Upon his return, Vince could also take over as the Creative Head of the company, taking things from the current Talent Head, his son-in-law Triple H. 

  • As a holder of majority power owner, Vince has already signalled the departure of JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey R Speed and Alan M Wexler from the board. On the other hand, he also brought back former WWE Presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson back on the Board of Directors.
  • Further, two board members resigned on their own, which included resignation of ManJit Singh, the one heading up the board's investigation ito McMahon and Ignace Lahoud.
  • Not only this, Vince has also changed the bylaws to ensure that no sale and media rights can be completed by WWE without his approval. 
  • He has also put himself in as the key person in negotiating the deals, which means that he can negotiate whatever terms he wants.
  • With things falling in line for him, Vince can also return as charge of creative at WWE.

Why Vince returned? After some serious allegations involving sexual exploitation were levelled against former Chairman, Vince got into the bad books of the shareholders and had to tender his resignation. This happened nearly six months ago in July.

  • While the investigations are still pending, Vince, who has been the backbone of the company since its inception in 1982, couldn't hide his business intentions and in a shocking way has crawled up back into the company.
  • Speculations were already there that Vince was willing to sell WWE to some enterprises and since his return this is almost confirmed.

WWE's popularity in Saudi Arabia: Wrestling is widely popular in Saudi Arabia and this was evident from the fact that WWE's several events were organised in Saudi Arabia with the latest one being the Crown Jewel on November 5, 2022. The company had been involved in a partnership with Saudi Arabia since 2014 and it organises the annual Crown Jewel event every year.

  • Back in 2018, WWE had also signed a 10-year strategic partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Owing to the massive popularity the peformers enjoy there, the company brings its best wrestlers like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns to perform at main events. Not only this, even superstars who had hung their boots, like the Undertaker, Shawn Michales have also been called to perform in Saudi Arabia. 
Last updated: January 12, 2023 | 08:00
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