In a strategic move to solidify its talent roster, TKO Holdings Group, the parent company of WWE following its merger with UFC, is actively securing several top WWE Superstars to extended contracts. This initiative comes as a response to the impending free agency of numerous wrestlers who were initially re-signed in 2019.
Sources from Fightful Select indicate that key WWE figures, including Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E, are expected to remain under contract through 2024 due to specific clauses addressing injury-related absences.
The rationale behind this decision stems from the significant time these athletes have spent away from the ring due to various injuries, effectively elongating their contractual obligations. Randy Orton, a prominent figure in WWE, made a notable return to the arena at Survivor Series: War Games after a year-long hiatus.
Xavier Woods' career has also been intermittently paused due to recurring injuries, with his current status being sidelined due to health issues. Big E's situation is particularly concerning, as he suffered a severe neck injury in March 2022, casting doubt on his return to the sport.
Kofi Kingston, while actively competing in singles matches, had to step back earlier this year for ankle surgery, missing out on WWE WrestleMania 39.
TKO's Star Retention
The re-signing strategy of TKO Holdings Group, especially under its new structure post-merger, reflects a keen interest in retaining its star power.
The conglomerate, which came into being with the union of WWE and UFC under Endeavor's umbrella, has already successfully renewed contracts with Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Dominik Mysterio, and the celebrated WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio.
Moreover, there are ongoing negotiations to secure a long-term agreement with Cody Rhodes. This proactive approach by TKO Holdings Group demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a strong and stable roster of athletes, ensuring the continuation of high-caliber performances and entertainment for WWE fans worldwide.
The extension of contracts for these key wrestlers not only stabilizes the organization’s talent pool but also sets a precedent for how sports entertainment entities manage athlete contracts in the face of unforeseen circumstances like injuries.