WWE fan frenzy
Wrestling giant WWE has reportedly been ‘sold’ to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, with the news arriving immediately after chief executive Stephanie McMahon resigned from the organisation.
The investment fund, controlled by Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, is amongst the wealthiest in the world and has taken a keen interest in sport – funding LIV Golf and buying Newcastle United last year.
If the sale is confirmed, WWE would return to being private for the first time since it became a publicly traded company in 1999.
And to the women. The women’s divison will thrive wherever y’all decide to go! Let’s support every other company, let’s make PRO WRESTLING thrive!— Peyton🐉 (@PWC_3) January 11, 2023
Wrestling fans on Twitter have shared their concerns over the reported sale, suggesting that it could impact the game not only for fans, but for LGBTQ+ and women professionals in the game too.
WWE has a huge LGBTQ+ fanbase and there are nearly 500 out LGBTQ professional wrestlers worldwide, according to Outsports.
“Sami Zayn. We all love you. To all the LGBT wrestlers, we love you. Y’all deserve better than this,” read one tweet.
“Poor Sami Zayn and also RIP WWE women’s wrestling. This is terrible news,” read another tweet. WWE held its first women’s match in Saudi Arabia in 2019 when Natalya took on Lacey Evans. Women who compete in the country must wear alternate ring gear to cover up their entire bodies.
WWE faced backlash in 2018 for signing a 10-year partnership with Saudi Arabia. The deal began with an event in SA, called the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’, but it was marred by controversy before and during its broadcast.
Indie100 reported that although the event featured ten matches, none of them included any women whatsoever due to the strict lack of rights that women have in the country.
Not only were the female wrestlers ostracised from the show female presenters like Renee Young were not present either.
If the Saudis have bought WWE, you can say goodbye to my boy Sami Zayn. Literally one of the nicest, most hard-working wrestlers in the fed. Due to his RACE and CHARITY, the Saudi government never lets him go to Crown Jewel. They won’t keep him employed for long. pic.twitter.com/515vFW4TU5— TKs-Mantis (@TKsMantis) January 11, 2023
Reminder that Sami Zayn refuses to wrestle Saudi shows and if the rumors are true about a sale to Saudi we may never get a conclusion to the Sami Bloodline storyline.— Justin J. Lopez (@stellar_jl319) January 11, 2023
My mind is SPINNING. In WWE really got sold to Saudi Arabia… pic.twitter.com/mEsPVkpy95— THE™ Jessi Davin (@jessithebuckeye) January 11, 2023