Speculation On Vince McMahon's Potential WWE Exit Following UFC Merger, Launch Of TKO

With the merger of WWE and UFC into TKO Group Holdings, Vince McMahon's once ironclad grasp on WWE is slipping.

Dan Primack of Axios pointed out in a story Thursday that a recent SEC filing stated that all of McMahon's shares for the sale are registered for sale, meaning investors can purchase all of McMahon's 28.84 million shares, likely netting McMahon around $3 billion without the usual red-tape and limitations that would normally come with a sale. Essentially, should McMahon decide he finally wants to retire — or the recent federal search warrant and grand jury subpoena served to him were to find any allegations of wrongdoing — McMahon would have an easy exit from the company without endangering TKO's ability to sell McMahon's shares.

Primack cites the phrasing in the SEC filing, which says McMahon and other parties (including WWE President Nick Khan) "will be selling stockholders in this offering," noting that the phrasing is so concrete that it leaves very little wiggle room for McMahon to retain control without those shares. Primack also labels McMahon as both the company's greatest strength, due to his experience, and its greatest liability, as he was already forced into retirement once over hush money payments to former employees and now has a federal investigation hanging over his head.

McMahon was recently on hand for an employee staff meeting following the merger, where it was said that the septuagenarian executive looked frail, walking with a cane to the podium before addressing the staff.