10:37 a.m. update — An anonymous executive at WWE has told Jon Alba that the reports of a sale or agreement to sell are “completely false” at this moment. The use of “at this moment” leaves room for plenty of maneuvering.
Well, finally got something much more firm.— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) January 11, 2023
A high-ranking #WWE source with knowledge of the situation tells me reports of a sale or agreement to sell at this moment are “completely false.”
Wednesday 9:11 a.m. update — We have yet to see more traditional media reporting the sale has happened, and instead it’s primarily less mainstream wrestling media. Noted combat journalist Ariel Helwani is reporting no deal is in place and WWE is still exploring all options. Additionally, one of the original tweets saying the deal was done have deleted that tweet. Nonetheless, speculation remains rampant.
Contrary to reports stating otherwise last night, there is no deal in place at this precise moment for WWE to be sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund or any entity, sources say.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 11, 2023
The organization is still exploring all options, I’m told. Developing.
Worth noting that the original tweet stating it was a done deal has since been deleted.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 11, 2023
The whirlwind day of news surrounding the WWE may have ended with a bombshell.
Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN reported late Tuesday night that the WWE has been sold to the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. The news came just hours after Stephanie McMahon stepped down as Co-CEO of the company, leaving the full-time job to Nick Khan. In the hours that followed, speculation over major imminent news surrounding the company swept across social media and Muehlhausen’s initial report capped it off.
This news comes less than a week after Lauren Thomas of the Wall Street Journal reported that WWE majority owner Vince McMahon was returning to pursue a sale of the company. The longtime owner had briefly retired last July amidst an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. In his absence, his daughter Stephanie McMahon had served as the co-CEO of the company with Nick Khan while his son-in-law Paul Levesque (Triple H) had taken control of the creative direction of the company.
Reports of the Saudi Arabia Investment Fund being one of the potential bidders began to surface in the immediate aftermath of McMahon’s return. That now appears to be the case according to Muehlhausen. As of now, it is unclear if the potential sale will thrust him back into a creative role within the company.