MR. TITO: WWE is No Longer a McMahon Controlled Company Thanks to Endeavor… Really?

Endeavor closed its acquisition of the WWE on September 12th, 2023 while also officially forming the TKO group which is a publicly traded holding company overseeing both the WWE and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Before this happened, everyone treated the 9/11/2023 edition of Monday Night RAW like a funeral as the “last McMahon owned edition of RAW”. Well, not everyone… Viewership for this edition of RAW was under 1.4 million. In addition, 9/11/2023 was talked about as the “final day of a McMahon owned WWE” and that “things would change” once Endeavor completed its purchase.

I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong…

Yes, before the Endeavor acquisition, Vince McMahon’s ownership + his role as Board Chairman gave him the power of about 80% (if not more) of the WWE Corporation. That’s significant… But now he owns 16% of the TKO Group. That’s crazy… He could actually benefit and become even more rich by the performance not just of the WWE, but of UFC now as well. Furthermore, as I’m guessing this comes with the WWE stock split, total WWE shareholders own 49% of TKO while Endeavor will always own 51%. That includes Endeavor’s ownership of UFC and Dana White doesn’t exactly get a big piece of TKO as Vince does. Dana White isn’t even on the TKO board, but Vince McMahon is.

Vince McMahon owns 16% of TKO, in total his fellow WWE shareholders own the other 33% (which he has great influence of), while Vince McMahon is not only on the TKO Board, he’s Executive Chairman of the WWE wing. Oh, and he’s about $5-10 Billion richer by this acquisition.

Not only that, Vince McMahon has YOU, the loyal WWE audience there for him.

You may criticize him online, but you’ve proven yourselves to be incredibly loyal.

Think about all of the creative decisions that have pissed you off. How about the developmental talents that were called-up and mowed over by Vince McMahon’s creative changes? Many disliked the over-pushing of John Cena and Roman Reigns as babyfaces, felt it was forced down their throats!

But there’s more to your loyalty to Vince than just enjoying the taste of turd sandwiches known as many RAWs, Smackdowns, or PPVs/PLEs. That’s right, Vince got you to call his shows as “Premium Live Events”.

Think about the legal troubles that Vince McMahon just endured that caused him to “retire” during July 2022. He was having sexual relations with WWE employees, giving them favors in the form of promotions for tackling his genetic jackhammer, and then he’d get John Laurinaitis in on the action as well. Many NDAs signed and upwards of $20 million paid out, which he did so as unrecorded WWE expenses that may cause him SEC violations later down the road.

But you still kept watching.

Remember the switch to the PG Era? I’ve heard nothing but complaints about how toned down the WWE show became since the late 2000s. Nothing but complaints and then you’d get mad when WWE’s own internal cancel culture would punish anyone who did something “inappropriate”. Remember when they terminated Daniel Bryan for choking out an announcer with his tie?

Speaking of that, how about Vince McMahon letting WWE become increasingly corporate? PG Era was pushed by Comcast, who has had a hand in controlling WWE’s content on their 2nd USA Network run and have actually censored WWE Network content on Peacock. They censored many of your older favorite shows and moments! Yet, you still kept watching.

Mattel got offended by Mandy Rose’s online fun and caused her to get terminated by the WWE. Yet, you kept on watching.

How about the Vince McMahon who let the drug culture ramp up in his promotion, despite supposedly cleaning up performance enhancing drugs during and following his 1994 indictment? Lots of banned substances found in Chris Benoit’s house following his June 2007 murders and then his own suicide, along with many wrestlers getting busted for online drug purchases. In addition to performance enhancers, the WWE had an opioid crisis even before it became a political term to coin on a campaign trail. Weak testing and zero consequences.

How about years upon years of objectifying women? HLA, Divas Search, those early Trish Stratus angles, Lita getting pregnant, etc. Then, you hear about Vince’s treatment of women behind the scenes, it really gets out of hand.

Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart… Your favorite main eventer, he destroyed his WWE career by changing the scripted finish at Survivor Series 1997.

Vince McMahon was careless with Owen Hart and caused him to die. And yet, 24 years later, you are still here.

Cody Rhodes screwed out of the title at Wrestlemania 39, you’re still here. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s careers were messed with repeatedly in the WWE, you’re still here. NXT 2.0 happened and you’re still here. Rusev Day ended, you’re still here.

And on and on and on… The 2-3 million American fanbase just cannot quit Vince McMahon’s style of pro wrestling. Now that he’s putting that Bloodline heroin in your veins, you’re really hooked!

Technically speaking, Vince owns 16% of TKO… But he can easily line up the other 33% of former WWE shareholders who now own TKO. But he has the loyal WWE fanbase BY THE BALLS and if Endeavor dares to significantly change something, they risk losing the loyalty of that fanbase instantly.

Don’t believe me? Go ask Disney about Star Wars. While the Prequel Trilogy entry was initially a success, they’ve felt pain ever since with many pictures or shows barely making a profit or taking a loss, particularly on the Disney+ streaming channel. Why? Because Disney forced significant change over the Star Wars products and content. They began injecting political correctness and forced diversity into their movies and shows, while not trying hard enough on finding good writers for plot and continuity. Disney also placed Kathleen Kennedy in charge of Lucas Arts and she’s done nothing but botch everything that George Lucas has built.

So yeah, Endeavor could get rid of the McMahons today… But who would run the WWE portion of TKO? Very short list of people that could, if any at all.

Endeavor’s brass knows what they are doing… They kept Dana White as UFC President and give him a long runway to continue running the company as he sees fit. Endeavor is there for support, helping to maximize money deals, and adding any corporate support that is needed. Dana was one of the few that stood up to the COVID-19 shutdown and found creative ways to keep having shows, to which Endeavor approved. They also know that Dana White, like Vince McMahon, is a flawed person. Dana is on video slapping his wife in retaliation to her slapping him, but he was untouched by Endeavor. With that said, I think that Endeavor knows how to handle Vince McMahon’s unique personal challenges.

Make no mistake, WWE is STILL a McMahon owned company. Why?

(1) Vince owns 16% of TKO.

(2) Rest of WWE shareholders own the other 33% of TKO to create a thin margin of ownership for Endeavor

(3) Vince remains as Executive Chairman of the WWE.

(4) Arena owners, networks executives, and country politicians know Vince McMahon from relationships built for decades.

(5) Look at Dana White who firmly controls the UFC and he has less authority within Endeavor than Vince McMahon.

(6) Vince has YOU, the loyal WWE fanbase who will stop watching if Endeavor tinkers with their product too much.

It’s the same old WWE, folks… What you’ll see more of is Endeavor finding unique ways to showcase and make money easily from WWE’s content. WWE is already a money printing machine, thanks to Vince, and Endeavor will likely not attempt to fix what isn’t broken with WWE.

“Oh, but WWE will have to abide by Endeavor’s budget”

Ya don’t say? WWE, as a publicly traded company, has a budget too. Vince knows how to operate within a budget and is quite good at keeping expenses down. How will that be any different with reviewing budgets with Endeavor?

Vince McMahon is still firmly in control. Ask Triple H who answers to him again, or ask Stephanie McMahon who is tending to family at home these days.

No chance in hell that Vince McMahon ever relinquishes his grip over the WWE, particular when YOU, the enabling loyal fanbase, keeps him in power.

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