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The wrestling media world may have run into the ring a little too soon, as reports are coming in that Vince McMahon has not sold the company to a Saudi Arabian Public Investment Firm.
Multiple sources now telling TMZ and other outlets that the wrestling promotion has not been sold, despite initial reports that the two sides had reached an agreement.
Late Tuesday night, reports began appearing across social media that Vince McMahon had struck an agreement with a Saudi-based Private Investment Firm, which would take World Wresting Entertainment private again. Those appear to now be false, with some of the same ‘wrestling media’ backtracking their initial claims on social media.
The Saudi Private Investment Firm is the same one that helped fund the takeover of English soccer club Newcastle as well as the LIV Golf organization.
It is a prime example of why it’s important to always fact check before going public with news. Many people didn’t know anything, yet still ran with the story – which caused an uproar across much of the wrestling industry.
At the same time, some reputable outlets repeatedly tweeted that the rumors of any sort of WWE / Saudi deal seemed to not have any basis behind them.
In addition to Sean Ross of Fightful.com, former ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani also began reporting that the Saudi deal has not been finalized – if it happens at all.
STEPHANIE MCMAHON RESIGNED ON TUESDAY AS CO-CEO
The rumored WWE deal came at what has been a tumultuous week for the company. Just days earlier, Vince McMahon returned to the company’s Board of Directors to help negotiate the company’s next television deal, as well as reportedly explore a potential sale of the company.
The move came just months after McMahon retired from the WWE following allegations of misconduct, including allegedly paying off former female WWE employees in a bid to keep them silent. Those claims are now under federal investigation.
If that wasn’t enough, earlier yesterday Vince’s daughter Stephanie announced she would be resigning from her role as co-CEO of the WWE.
THE SAUDI-DEAL WOULD COME WITH CONCERNS
Just a few hours after Stephanie’s resignation, the alleged WWE-Saudi deal began circulating online.
Regardless, as of now it’s important to note that the WWE has not been sold. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future – especially as it appears Vince McMahon is exploring various options regarding the future of the company.
However a deal with the Saudi PIF would come with some difficulty, especially with their treatment of women. The WWE has been a major proponent for equal rights and have heavily invested in their women wrestlers.
One would have to imagine that if the company suddenly gave full control to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that there could be some internal concerns within the organization.