WWE held its investors’ call today to discuss their first quarter financial results for 2020.
One caller asked Vince McMahon how his long-term deal with Saudi Arabia could be affected if the coronavirus pandemic prevents WWE from returning there later in 2020. The deal calls for two shows per year for mega bucks. WWE has already hosted one show there this year in February, but it’s unknown if they will be able to return.
Here is how Vince McMahon addressed that situation:
“They would love to have another huge event, WrestleMania type event. We normally have two per year in Saudi. They of course are under the same constraints as we are here in the United States and everyone else is in this pandemic. So they are not too sure they’re gonna be able to give us the ok to perform in November or December. They really want us to because it represents a huge turn in what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, as far as live events [are] concerned. But the good part about that is, if in fact we don’t perform, we’ll just tack on that event on the backside of our contract. So we’re not gonna lose the money...we’re fortunate that we would just move another event on the other side of our 10 year agreement.”
As we know from the way Vince McMahon handles the contracts of injured wrestlers, extending the length of the deal is pretty much his go-to mechanism for resolving any disruptions that pop up. So don’t you worry, Vince McMahon and WWE are still going to land that sweet sweet Saudi money, regardless of whether they return there to perform in 2020.
Vince’s high confidence that he’s getting this money one way or another isn’t really consistent with the company cutting talent costs, but you know, times are tough for everyone right now. At least I think that’s what WWE wants you to believe.