Put on those tinfoil hats and get ready to get nuts because we've got a wild rumor to discuss. Though, given the state of the world, it may not be as crazy as it sounds on the surface. It seems, based on what is going around in the rumor mill, that Vince McMahon may be getting ready to sell the WWE, and it seems ESPN and Fox are in line to buy. That would, in effect, mean that Disney would own the largest professional wrestling company in the world.
Again, before proceeding we must caution that this is nothing more than a rumor for the time being. That said, former wrestler Dutch Mantel recently took to Twitter to stir the pot on this one. Per Mantel's account, the WWE is looking to sell, with the deal being negotiated currently. Per his account, the deal could be done sometime in the next couple of weeks. Here's what Mantel had to say about it.
"Huge news: Any truth to this. Overheard directly out of WWE Stamford is that a deal is being negotiated to sell WWE & the network to ESPN and Fox by as early as Mid May."
Let's assume for a moment there is any truth to this. ESPN is owned by Disney. As for Fox, Disney closed a landmark $71.3 billion deal last year and absorbed most of Fox's media assets. Certain entities, such as Fox News and Fox Sports, were reformed into the new Fox Corporation. But it seems that Dutch Mantel is saying the Disney-owned entities are making the play for the WWE. That would mean Disney would add another huge layer to its already massive media empire.
The WWE is struggling right now, along with most of the entertainment industry. Disney may need to diversify to keep its empire strong, as the world is going to be changed on the other side of this. Getting into professional wrestling at the highest level would be one way to do just that. Vince McMahon, in a statement made recently for the WWE's quarterly earnings report, said they are exploring creative ways to ensure the long-term viability of the organization.
"Now we are in the midst of unprecedented times, which require us to be especially nimble, creative and efficient in order to ensure the long-term value of WWE. We are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our performers and staff as we produce content in new ways, engage fans with a much-needed diversion and operate effectively in this evolving environment."
Selling the WWE to ESPN would perhaps be a way to ensure the organization could survive. The question is, what is WWE worth? Could Disney, a company that is also suffering a great deal of financial hardship right now, come up with the money for such a massive purchase? For now, until this rumor firms up, these are big questions we are left to ponder. Feel free to check out the original post from Dutch Mantel's Twitter.