The wrestling world has been taken back by the slew of talent releases that happened earlier today, initially reported by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful. While rumors of a sale of the company have been rampant since the August 2020 hire of Nick Khan as Chief Revenue Officer, there has been no stronger indication than the actions of the WWE regarding its employees over the last few months.
We have seen the likes of Samoa Joe, Tom Philips, The IIconics, Andrade Almas go and now seemingly WWE mainstays Braun Strowman and Aleister Black have joined them along with many other talents. Even names like The Big Show, Christian and Mark Henry have jumped ship to AEW despite being past their in-ring prime.
While the release of Braun Strowman is arguably the biggest exodus from the company as he is a former Universal Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Raw Tag-Team champion and the winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble and was just involved in a main-event level feud with Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre.
Aleister Black is not quite on that level, but seeing as his return was being teased with vignettes that showcased a new “Dark Father” character just a few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw, fans (along with the MAN HIMSELF) are shocked.
They should not be, however. The WWE has been streamlining their financial books and cutting the fat at every single corner possible. The big reason is that the aforementioned rumor sale would be a lot more lucrative for potential buyers if the WWE has a simpler payroll and operation. Since the pandemic, it has been clear that businesses that can thrive in dire situations are more than to salivate over for investors/buyers.
On top of this, WWE has already made a huge amount of money from the sale of the WWE Network content over to Peacock, a temporary 5-year deal worth over 1 billion dollars and caused a massive shift for fans of the company.
All of these events, sales, releases, and cutbacks have led many, including this writer to speculate that the WWE will be sold soon. It is unknown who exactly would want to buy the company and what it would go for, but every single business move that the federation has made in the last year has been signaling the end of an era as we will probably see WWE change hands when it comes to who owns it. As of now, Vince McMahon still retains majority stock and the voting power when it comes to decisions, but the 75-year-old might be coming to the end of his wrestling stint. We saw him sell a lot of stocks to unsuccessfully reboot the XFL, which shows that Vince is willing to do whatever it takes to pursue his own wants and needs.
If so, we may be seeing the last, fleeting years of a half-century of one of the most legendary wrestling promoter’s run in the biggest wrestling company of all-time.