STAMFORD, CT –
WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon announced today that he had met with Tony Khan, the owner of new wrestling promotion AEW, and that the two had agreed on a purchase amount, with McMahon becoming sole owner.
“When I saw the kind of wrestling that these guys were doing, the matches they were putting on, the crowd reactions – I knew that this was something big, and I had to get involved,” said McMahon. “If I didn’t try to take control of this company now, they’d likely have overshadowed the WWE within a few years, maybe less. I am too old for more Monday Night Wars.”
McMahon is referencing the fan’s term for the ratings battle between the WWE and the then Ted Turner owned WCW. During the mid-90s, the two companies went head to head on Monday evenings in prime time TV slots. When WWE eventually took control of the ratings, McMahon bought out WCW and folded the entire promotion.
“When McMahon approached me, I laughed at first,” said Tony Khan, a billionaire whose family has long ties in the world of sports. “But he came in with a price that was just outrageous, and I would have been a fool to say no. Yes, I’m worth upwards of 4 times what the WWE is worth, but I didn’t get that way by being a fool. I’m a wrestling fan, and I love what we’re doing, but WWE can take what we’re doing and amp it up globally overnight.”
On news of the purchase, AEW’s Executive Vice President, Cody Rhodes, simply said “Fuck. Not again.”