PIF to call the WWE shots as McMahon returns?


WWE bought by Saudi PIF Image: Coliseum GSVA

American media proprietor Vince McMahon has sensationally returned to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is reportedly in talks to sell the franchise to the Premier League club Newcastle United F.C.’s (UK) Saudi Arabian owners.

‘talkSPORT’ stated that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has bought the WWE and is expected to reinstate McMahon as ‘Head of Creative’, mere months after he retired amid sexual misconduct allegations.

However, journalist Ariel Helwani stated that this is not true.

Helwani tweeted, “Contrary to reports stating otherwise last night (January 10th), 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. 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.”

Vincent McMahon is an American business executive, media proprietor and professional wrestling promoter. He is the majority owner and Executive Chairman of WWE, the world’s largest professional wrestling company, having previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Stamford (US)-based World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., doing business as WWE, is an American professional wrestling promotion. A global integrated media and entertainment company, WWE has also branched out into other fields, including film, American football and various other business ventures.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. It is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of $620 billion (£514 billion).

The Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the highest level of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. The 52,405-capacity St. James’ Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne serves as their residence.

‘talkSPORT’ further stated that in July 2022, McMahon walked away from his leading role with the WWE after it was revealed he paid £9.8million to four women over 16 years to silence their sexual misconduct and infidelity allegations.

The 77-year-old left the company in the hands of his daughter, Stephanie, who resigned from her Co-CEO and Chairwoman of the Board role after her father returned as an executive on January 10th.

The WWE legend Triple H is expected to continue his role as Chief Content Officer and Nick Khan will carry on serving as the head honcho.

Since 2018, the WWE has held an annual pay-per-view event, Crown Jewel, in Saudi Arabia – British boxer Tyson Fury made his wrestling debut during one of them in 2019.

Like the stars of boxing, F1 and golf, the WWE has faced criticism for holding events in the Middle East nation country due to its human rights record.

Despite that, McMahon and co have maintained a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia’s PIF who bought Newcastle from Mike Ashley in a £300m deal in October 2021 and have now taken over another major sports organization.

Recently, the WWE announced they are coming back to the United Kingdom for Money in the Bank (professional wrestling pay-per-view and livestreaming event) following the resounding success of Clash at the Castle in 2022.

In September 2022, the WWE drew 62,296 fans to the 74,500-capacity Principality Stadium in Wales for their first UK stadium show since SummerSlam at the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium (England) in 1992.

Money in the Bank has become one of the biggest WWE shows of the year since its debut as a standalone event in 2010 and is on par with the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.

It’s never taken place outside of the United States, until now. On July 1st, 2023, Money in the Bank will go down at the 20,000-capacity The O2 Arena in London and will likely feature a cameo from ‘The Gypsy King’ (English professional boxer Tyson Fury).

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