HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – During its biggest show of the year, “WrestleMania, ” World Wrestling Entertainment, announced that it was merging with Ultimate Fighting Championship with Endeavor Group Holdings acting as the parent company.
These two companies are both combat sports related, so it may be worth talking about the differences in both the company’s products.
World Wrestling Entertainment, often shortened to WWE, falls under the banner of scripted entertainment. The risk and athleticism are real, but the storylines and actual matches are scripted or predetermined. WWE is responsible for helping launch the careers of actors such as John Cena, Dwyane Johnson, and Dave Bautista. The company has also produced such notable names as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan.
The company, under Vince McMahon, grew into a pop culture staple, utilizing both pay-per-view broadcasts and in-ring appearances by popular celebrities to help grow their audience while aggressively buying up talent to form a marketable cast of loud and colorful characters.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a mixed martial arts promotion that hosts events with unscripted cage fights filling out the cards. The popularity of the UFC is growing, quickly catching up to the popularity of boxing and captivating the same audience. The promotion has been famously operated by Dana White in recent years. The UFC has helped make names like Anderson Silva, Ronda Rousey and Connor McGregor box office draws.
The merger helps open possibilities to both companies, though it’s doubtful that any on screen changes will really take place. Both companies have a lot of crossovers in their fanbases that could be used to their advantages. While the idea of holding joint shows is probably not feasible because of the high number of children in WWE’s audience, the idea of holding two shows in a weekend in the same city could be a logical path to take.
The two companies put together are worth over $20 billion dollars and Endeavor now owns two companies that always had a somewhat related existence.