WWE 'to consider introducing weight classes' as radical plans discussed after UFC merger
| Last updated
WWE is reportedly considering introducing weight classes following its merger with the UFC.
Two of the biggest brands in fighting and sports entertainment have joined forces and launched under the new name TKO after a £17.3bn merger.
The business is led by Endeavour chief executive Ari Emanuel and sees Dana White assume the role of UFC's new CEO and Vince McMahon appointed as TKO's executive chairman.
An official TKO statement to announce the merger on Tuesday read: "TKO brings together UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organisation, and WWE, an integrated media organisation and the recognised global leader in sports entertainment, to create a new premium sports and entertainment company serving more than one billion young and diverse fans, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events."
WWE president Nick Khan has also teased the possibility of 'all-star TKO weekends' that would see the wrestling promotion and UFC hold events on consecutive days in the same city.
"So the conversations are just beginning now," Khan teased on The Bill Simmons podcast. "Everybody wanted to make sure that we got all the regulatory approvals in place, Department of Justice approval, SEC approval, a couple of international approvals that we needed, and obviously we got all of those, so the conversations are just happening now.
"Yes, what everyone envisions is can you set up an all-star TKO weekend where if Smackdown goes on Friday and the UFC goes on Saturday with a pay-per-view and WWE goes with a premium live event on Sunday, can you do that from the same city?
"Certainly a lot of cost efficiencies there in terms of production. But a lot revenue efficiencies in terms of upside, we think there as well."
There could also be major changes to the titles on offer in WWE following the merger, according to reports.
BWE (via Wrestle Features) claim that several proposed changes are being discussed 'backstage' in the wrestling promotion, including the introduction of new weight classes.
"There is an opinion being discussed backstage in WWE for a 'whole new titles scheme'," tweeted Wrestle Features.
"This would include: Revamps, new names, weight classes, trios."
While there is already a world heavyweight championship belt, unveiled earlier this year and currently held by Seth Rollins, WWE has largely avoided weight classes – preferring to pit wrestlers of all shapes and sizes against each other.
The proposals have split opinion among fans on social media.
"Part of the fun of wrestling is the story of David overcoming Goliath. People love it. Weight classes would destroy this," posted one fan on X.
"I think the idea of weight class style world champions is great! Makes suspending disbelief a little easier," wrote another.
While a third wrote: "I always like the cruiserweight championship but they just recently retired it, I could see them do a light heavyweight or junior heavyweight though."
SPORTbible are on WhatsApp! We've launched a dedicated news channel to send you the latest news, features and plenty more directly on WhatsApp and all you need to do to sign up is click through to our one-way broadcast channel here for 'SPORTbible News' to appear in the 'Updates' tab on your WhatsApp.