Is Vince McMahon About to Sell WWE? - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Is Vince McMahon About to Sell WWE? - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, June 10, 2021

Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Aryan Malhotra and Walker Stewart discuss if Vince McMahon is preparing to finally sell the WWE.

It has been a strange few months for WWE, as they have been releasing both wrestlers and backstage staff despite record profits. It is odd to see such events, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Will Vince McMahon sell WWE? Should Triple H take over? And just what does the rumoured deal with NJPW mean for WWE?

Question 1: Do you think the recent wave of releases is an indication that Vince McMahon is preparing to sell WWE?

ALLSOPP: I hope the recent releases are a sign that WWE is about to be sold, or at least close to being sold. I am never one to revel in the release of a wrestler from their contract, as they are simply human and have bills to pay. Add in the fact they are ‘independent contractors’, and it becomes clear this is not a great situation. Vince McMahon clearly needs to trim the fat for a sale in order to make it a more attractive proposition, and despite the fact they have been making record profits, they are haemorrhaging wrestlers and staff at an alarming rate.

MALHOTRA: I believe it does make it a strong possibility that Vince McMahon will sell. This wave is peculiar in so many ways. Firstly, it’s a complete U-turn from McMahon not wanting to release anyone because he wanted to keep them away from AEW, and it led to talent hoarding. Sure, making cuts for companies seemed natural during the pandemic, but not when one realised the great financial position WWE is in right now, with all their deals with Fox, Peacock, USA Network, Sony, etc. Cash flow and revenue is extremely high. A major indicator is that unlike last year when all releases weren’t really that prominent on television, this wave includes regular names and even top guys in Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and potentially Aleister Black.

Also interesting to note is just a few months before these releases, WWE didn’t grant Andrade his release for a day because they really wanted to keep him, so it suggests a change in priorities pretty quickly. Along with a complete overhaul backstage of the media team and talent relations changes, it does not conjure up any other explanation for such a drastic change. Saving budgets despite booming financials, cutting an extremely large amount of people including top superstars, makes selling the company a strong possibility. Maybe McMahon at this age or stage feels selling would improve WWE’s position, but that’s purely speculation.

STEWART: I don’t believe that WWE is being sold any time soon. This is just another case of WWE cutting it’s losses with people who they don’t even utilize (or had no plans to utilize). Yes, you have guys like Braun Strowman and Aleister Black who were released. However, the bloating of WWE’s roster has led to the roster combusting, in a sense. Will WWE sell? Personally, I don’t think so. WWE is making record profits and is about to earn a lot more with the return of live events and crowds. I’d be surprised to see this company sell (especially to a huge media aggregator like Disney or Comcast as some were predicting).

Question 2: Would WWE be in a better long term position if Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were to take full control of the company? Or would a fresh wave of ownership be the better option?

MALHOTRA: Looking at NXT, it’s success and growth always makes one feel that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon would improve the company with full control. Of course, the parallel is not direct at all since the scope of WWE, the different audience, and ultimately focus differs highly from NXT. Also, the fact that even fresh ownership would likely give an important role to Triple H and McMahon as it is. It would be interesting to see fresh ownership, but with a lack of experience in managing wrestling, it seems like a risky move compared to letting Triple H handle it.

STEWART: The reality is that we don’t know how things are really happening behind the scenes. We can believe what the rag sheets have to say, but the truth is that no one really knows if the reports of a rampaging Vince McMahon in gorilla position have been substantiated. Whilst I believe McMahon is a visionary, I believe his influence in the company should be lessened. If Triple H was capable of having final decisions run through him (whilst keeping McMahon on the creative team), I believe that we would see a great change to the main roster wrestling products. I also believe we would see greater consistency between a wrestler's portrayal in NXT and on the main roster. Do I think McMahon should be ousted from the company? No, but I do think we should run final decisions through a different party.

ALLSOPP: The mark in me says yes, but I don’t have complete faith that Triple H will be able to put his stamp on the product enough, as no doubt Stephanie McMahon will want to implement a vision similar to her father. As long as a new company was to take over with good intentions and use Triple H as a consultant of sorts, I’d be happy. WWE needs a new direction, and this is one way to achieve it.

Question 3: Is the recently reported plan for WWE to start a working partnership with NJPW evidence that the current ownership will remain in place? Or is this potential partnership of no consequence to a potential deal?

STEWART: If NJPW and WWE work out a deal, I don’t believe there is any correlation between that and the idea of WWE selling the company. Nick Khan is a smart businessman, and he knows that the buzz of WWE potentially selling makes the company's stock rise. It’s fun to entertain, but I don’t believe that the talks between WWE and NJPW go beyond the reported Daniel Bryan fiasco. However, we will just have to wait and see. Personally, I don’t think there’s a connection (but it will be interesting to follow).

ALLSOPP: It is hard to say, as a confirmed partnership could be either a positive or a negative thing to potential buyers. Vince McMahon may not actually be the driving force behind this rumoured partnership, as Nick Khan is seemingly in favour of it, which suggests to me that this is evidence that WWE are less likely to sell up. Putting such an important arrangement in place, only to have it potentially scrapped, would be a huge waste of time for everyone involved.

MALHOTRA: Most reports seem to suggest the NJPW partnership is just at an initial stage of talks, plus that it’s not as major as one may think, perhaps just limited to NXT or Daniel Bryan. That makes it pretty inconsequential to whoever owns the company I believe. Even if ownership were to change, management would still remain largely with Vince McMahon and his group, and this could mean that they would be advocating for the partnership as a positive move either way. The president, Nick Khan, seems to be strongly involved in both the talks of selling and talks with NJPW, and that makes it highly probable that the partnership is part of the same plan that would entail selling as an option, through the same management, or it being inconsequential.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?

Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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