WWE Interested In Purchasing Other Companies Such as Pro Wrestling and Boxing Promotions?


WWE is apparently interested in buying other companies, including pro wrestling promotions.

WWE Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan appeared at the Wells Fargo TMT Conference with analyst Steven Cahall on Wednesday in Las Vegas, and McMahon alluded to comments she made on the recent WWE Q3 earnings call, about how mergers and acquisitions are one of the company’s potential areas for growth.

“Just to give some examples of what I meant by that, [an acquisition] has to align with our capabilities, whether that’s smaller wrestling promotions, say, internationally,” McMahon said on Wednesday.

McMahon did not name any particular wrestling companies or elaborate eon what international regions WWE may have in mind, but Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics speculates that they may be interested in companies based in Mexico and Japan.

“For a quick survey of Japan, Bushiroad owns New Japan Pro Wrestling, the leader there, as well as Stardom, the women’s wrestling promotion, which is probably the fastest-growing company in the region. Additionally, CyberAgent owns Pro Wrestling NOAH, DDT Pro-Wrestling, and Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling. NOAH would be among the biggest companies in Japan after New Japan’s wide lead. Dragongate and All Japan Pro Wrestling, I believe are more independently owned. The Japanese companies owned by large parents like Bushiroad and CyberAgent seem to me less likely to be acquired, but then again if one of those conglomerates ended up in cost-cutting mode in a major economic recession, it’s conceivable they, like Sinclair Broadcasting did earlier this year with Ring of Honor, might look to sell their wrestling assets. In Mexico, the major two companies have long been AAA Lucha Libre Worldwide and CMLL. Both have been family-owned for decades,” Thurston wrote.

It was noted how acquiring a company in Mexico or Japan would fit into WWE’s apparently-renewed “global localization” strategy, which was first introduced by WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H in 2018. The idea would see WWE put training facilities, or Performance Centers, throughout the world to help develop stars for the local market.

Thurston speculated on WWE looking at the popularity and well-developed wrestling cultures in Mexico and Japan, and seeing those local wrestling economies as an opportunity they could absorb, and enhance. There was once the idea of launching WWE NXT brands in various markets, but a NXT Japan or NXT Mexico starting from scratch could be a “money pit,” which may be what NXT UK ended up being.

“It’s doubtful, in my view, that WWE has the knowledge base or personnel to navigate those regions without acquiring an active player with brand equity and local experience,” Thurston wrote.

In the context of acquisitions, McMahon and Khan talked about potential opportunities in professional boxing. McMahon pointed to how there are multiple boxing championships that could be rolled into one, as she said, former WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon consolidated pro wrestling in the late 1980s.

Khan said most sports stars before the mid-1980s were individual sports stars like boxers and tennis players, and pointed to an opportunity with boxing. Khan added that boxing, as well as horse racing, were the most popular sports, along with baseball, in the 1950s.

Khan said with the rise of sports betting, there’s an opportunity for WWE, seemingly in boxing, and perhaps horse racing. Khan noted that horse racing is only popular up to three times per year, seemingly indicating that there may be a way to make those events successful more often.

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