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Now that WWE is owned by Endeavor, what does that mean for Vince McMahon?

Ari Emanuel, and not Vince McMahon, is now the end-all, be-all for WWE

As of today, Endeavor is now the parent company for both the UFC and WWE. Together, they form TKO Group Holdings, a single publicly traded entity, which now officially trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TKO.

For the first time in over four decades, Vince McMahon no longer holds majority control of the company. McMahon is the Executive Chairman of the Board, and by no means is he suddenly bereft of power. Yet McMahon has long operated as WWE’s North Star, representing a symbol of leadership and defiance from atop the company. As of today, that is simply no longer the case.

Ari Emanuel is TKO Chief Executive Officer, as well as the CEO of Endeavor. He is the one who orchestrated the purchase of WWE, ensuring it would be part of the Endeavor umbrella. And that is where this partnership becomes especially fascinating: it all surrounds the value that Emanuel can add to it. While there will be some synergy between WWE and UFC, especially when it comes to production to help cut costs, Emanuel will pump up sponsorships, licensing, and cut a new media rights deal.

McMahon made sure to make his influence felt last night on Raw, with late script changes to an episode featuring a good share of highlights from the likes of Rhea Ripley, Jey Uso, Drew McIntyre, Finn Bálor, and Xavier Woods. His presence will continue to be felt, and an iron-clad contract still protects him financially, but McMahon now swims in new waters politically.

Those averse to change will struggle with this transition. Someone who is likely to continue to succeed in the company is Paul “Triple H” Levesque, even though he is not a board member. He was part of the board in WWE, which is no longer the case, but he will remain WWE’s head of creative. Looking at the list of power brokers on the TKO board, including WWE President Nick Khan, it certainly represents a hit to Levesque not to be part of it. It should also be noted that Dana White, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of the UFC, also does not have a seat on the board, though he wields considerable influence in the company.

More changes are coming. None of those developments should not be overtly visible to those watching the weekly product. At the moment, WWE’s new media rights deal is the priority.

The current deal ends in 2024, while UFC is in a deal with ESPN until 2025. The two entities have a much different approach to pay-per-view. WWE airs its premium live events on Peacock, while UFC is still in the more traditional pay-per-view model on ESPN+ at $79.99 per month. All eyes will be on the negotiations and finalization of a new media rights deal.

Change is in the air in WWE. Though it will not be overnight, it is Emanuel–and not McMahon–who is now the end-all, be-all for all things involving the company.