As noted on Thursday after the WWE Q4 and Full-Year 2019 investors call, WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon stated that the management transition with the departures of Co-Presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson came after careful consideration, and that the decision was made based on a “different view of execution of our areas of focus.”
While this was not stated publicly, privately it’s been said that Vince and his former Co-Presidents wanted to do different things with the significant money that the company brought in from the recent TV deals with the USA Network and FOX, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Barrios and Wilson reportedly wanted to maximize WWE’s current profits, which would then build the stock price up. Vince also wanted to use the new money to increase profits, but he had other plans that apparently Wilson and Barrios did not agree with.
Vince reportedly wanted to heavily invest the money. The Observer reports that Vince was looking at spending big money to sign, keep and stockpile new talents, and to make sure marketable talents didn’t leave the company.
Vince also wanted to create new regional offshoots to try and dominate the grassroots aspect of the pro wrestling market, which has started to happen in the UK market with the WWE NXT UK brand. There have been some talks and at least rumors of WWE considering NXT Japan, NXT Germany, NXT Australia, NXT Mexico, and NXT Canada for the future. It was noted that Vince wanted to try to regain the “monopoly” of the pro wrestling business that some would say he’s had for years, and that has started to slip away from him as other promotions see an increase in their worldwide popularity, mainly New Japan Pro Wrestling and AEW.
We’ve already seen WWE offer big money for talents to sign new contracts and contract extensions over the past year or so. WWE has continued to grow the NXT UK brand with launching the WWE UK Performance Center, all while focusing on the recruitment of talents from other countries. It will be interesting to see how many additional NXT brands they launch in the next few years, and if Vince is able to regain that “monopoly” of the business.