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WWE superstars such as John Cena have performed in Saudi Arabia in the past. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is emerging as a possible bidder for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) if the promotion puts itself up for sale, Front Office Sports reported citing sources. The sports entertainment giant is valued at around $6.3 billion.

WWE has a deep history with Saudi Arabia, holding its Crown Jewel, Entertainment Live, and Greatest Royal Rumble events in the kingdom in recent years. And WWE has a 10-year agreement to hold two live events annually in Saud Arabia. The deal is worth $100 million a year to WWE, according to Wrestlenomics.

Some of the biggest stars in WWE history have wrestled in Saudi Arabia, including Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, and Triple H. In 2019, the WWE staged the first-ever women’s match in the country featuring Natalya and Lacey Evans. That year, the WWE extended its live event partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority through 2027.

Earlier this week, WWE shared news of its former founder Vince McMahon returning to the board to explore strategic alternatives and kick off media rights negotiations. “Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. We look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” said McMahon in a statement shared on WWE’s website.

“My return will allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has been expanding their interests in sports. PIF, which holds $620 billion in assets, has served as the majority owner of Newcastle United in the English Premier League since 2021.