With WrestleMania 39 drawing over 160,000 fans to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, and one of WWE’s most anticipated title matches with Roman Reigns defending his epic winning streak against his supposed successor, Cody Rhodes, it was going always be a huge week in WWE Land, but as news broke that the leading sports-entertainment company had been sold to the same company that owns the UFC, the world is even more intrigued by what this means for the future of Vince McMahon’s professional wrestling creation. Let’s review the elements at play.
WWE fans returning home from their annual WrestleMania vacation are unpacking another crazy few days. First, if Rhodes can’t dethrone the longest reigning WWE Champion in decades, who can? Roman Reigns is now the longest serving WWE Champion since 1988. He has defended the title against the who’s who of the promotion including Drew McIntyre in the UK and Sammy Zayne in Canada.
Cody Rhodes returning to WWE from AEW at WrestleMania last year and completing his story by dethroning the “tribal leader” seemed like a foregone conclusion for the record crowd in Los Angeles, but it was not to be thanks to the help of Reigns’ brothers in arms, the Usos and Solo Sikoa. Of course, in the larger-than-life world of WWE, winning is more a creative process than an athletic one, but Reigns’ decision to remain the company’s figurehead is very much based on reality, and here could be the raison.
They say, “Anything can happen in WWE”
For decades, pro wrestling’s PT Barnum, Vince McMahon has repeated the phrase “anything can happen in WWE,” and boy is that phrase more relevant than ever. Yet Reigns’ ability to stay on top of the mountain comes into its own when you feature in the monumental news that WWE has just been bought in a landmark sale by Endeavour, the company that already owns the UFC. . It’s no secret that under Roman Reigns’ grip on the WWE Undisputed Title, business has increased.
Ratings for “Monday Night Raw” and “SmackDown” increased, as did live event attendance. Then there are the incredible stats that come out of WrestleMania 39. Due to its ever-growing presence on Peacock, it was the most-watched Mania in WWE history. The stadium crowd of 161,892 generated more than $20 million in revenue. Then there was the sponsorship: WrestleMania 39 doubled its previous sponsorship record by raising an additional $20 million through partner activations and in-game commercials.
The sale of WWE to Endeavor values the company at $9.3 billion and will see the promotion merged with the UFC. Vince McMahon, who had stepped back following a scandal over his improper payments using company funds, is now back at the helm and although not in charge of writing creative of WWE on a day-to-day basis, he will make him truly lead the charge. Remaining the man who runs the bulk of creative operations will be McMahon’s son-in-law, Triple H, a man who has been widely credited with helping bring about WWE’s recent business revival. So with so much at stake regarding TV ratings and sponsorship that the deal is with Endeavour, this might not have been the best weekend for a changing of the guard in terms of the title holder of the WWE. Still, with answers now in fourth place regarding who WWE was sold to and who will be in charge of the company’s future, it’s less clear who, if anyone, can possibly dethrone Roman Reigns. But that’s why we connect, right? In the hope that a hero will prevail in the end.