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With WrestleMania 39 attracting more than 160,000 fans at SoFi stadium in Los Angeles, and one of the most anticipated WWE title matches taking place with Roman Reigns defending his epic winning streak against his supposed successor, Cody Rhodes, this was always going to be a huge week in the land of WWE, but as news broke that the leading company in sports entertainment had been sold to the same company that owns UFC, the world is even more intrigued for what this means for the future of Vince McMahon’s pro wrestling creation. We take a look at the elements in play.
WWE fans returning home following their annual WrestleMania vacation are still unpacking a crazy few days. Firstly, if Rhodes can’t dethrone the longest reigning WWE Champion in decades, who can? Roman Reigns is now the longest-running WWE champ since 1988. He’s defended the title against the who’s who of the promotion, including Drew McIntyre in the United Kingdom and Sammy Zayne in Canada.
Cody Rhodes returning to WWE from AEW at last year’s WrestleMania and completing his story by dethroning the “Tribal Chief” seemed to be a foregone conclusion for the record-breaking crowd in Los Angeles, but it wasn’t to be thanks to the assistance of Reigns’ brothers in arms, the Uso’s and Solo Sikoa. Of course, in the larger-than-life world of WWE, victories are more of a creative process than a sporting one, but the decision for Reigns to remain as the figurehead of the company is very much based in reality, and here might be the reason.
They Say, ‘Anything Can Happen in WWE’
For decades, the P.T. Barnum of pro wrestling, Vince McMahon has repeated the line “anything can happen in WWE,” and boy is that phrase more relevant than ever. Still, Reigns’ ability to stay at the top of the mountain makes perfect sense when you figure in the monumental news that WWE has just been purchased in a historic sale by Endeavor, the company that already owns UFC. It’s no secret that under Roman Reigns’ strangle hold on the Undisputed WWE title, business has been up.
Ratings for “Monday Night Raw” and “SmackDown” have been on the increase, as has live event attendance. Then, there’s the incredible stats coming out of WrestleMania 39. Due to its ever-increasing presence on Peacock, this was the most watched Mania in WWE history. The crowd of 161,892 in the stadium generated more than $20 million dollars in revenue. Then there was the sponsorship haul: WrestleMania 39 doubled its previous sponsorship record amassing a further $20 million through partner activations and advertising spots during matches.
WWE’s sale to Endeavor values the company at a whopping $9.3 billion and will see the promotion merged with the UFC. Vince McMahon, who had stepped back following a scandal related to his making of inappropriate payments using company funds is now back at the helm and while he won’t be in charge of WWE’s creative writing on a day-to-day basis, he will be very much leading the charge. Remaining as the man who runs the bulk of creative operations will be McMahon’s son in law, Triple H, a man that has widely been credited with helping with the realization of the recent upturn in WWE business. So, with so much at stake concerning television ratings and sponsorship as the deal is with Endeavor beds in, perhaps this wouldn’t have been the best weekend for a changing of the guard in terms of who holds the WWE title. Still, with answers now coming fourth concerning who WWE has been sold to, and who will be in charge of the company’s future, less clear is who, if anyone, can eventually dethrone Roman Reigns. But that’s why we tune in, right? In the hopes that a hero will prevail in the end.