Both businesses and private citizens are already suffering the economic side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s no surprise that WWE is among them. No live audiences for Raw, Smackdown, or WrestleMania means no box office revenue, and the budget of WrestleMania 36 didn’t necessarily decrease when it became a two-night event featuring matches filmed on location.
On top of that, Vince McMahon’s other big venture, the XFL, had to cancel their first season thanks to the pandemic, and Vince is clearly looking to free up some cash to keep things running until the crowds come back to both companies.
As reported by 411Mania and others, a filing with the FEC reveals that McMahon entered into a variable prepaid forward contract with an unnamed bank. Basically what that means is that he gets money now to boost the liquidity of WWE, and on specific dates in 2024 the bank takes over some amount of ownership the company. How many shares the bank can claim will depend on their value at that time. However, if certain requirements are met, Vince will be able to pay off the deal with cash prior to 2024, and thus retain ownership of all his shares.
This move alongside other recent WWE financial news has led Tara Lachepelle at Bloomberg to speculate that WWE might be sold in the near future. Her argument is fairly convincing, but might not account for the particular stubbornness of Vince McMahon.