In a pro wrestling boast that rivals even those of the Immortal Hulk Hogan himself (“I slammed the 6,000-pound giant in front of 3 billion Hulkamaniacs at the Superdome, brother!”), WWE Chief Brand Officer and the Ivanka to Vince McMahon’s Trump, Stephanie McMahon, has claimed that WWE could surpass Disney as an entertainment giant in the next 10… well, 20… well, 30 years. McMahon was being interviewed by CNBC’s Elizabeth Schulze, as transcribed by The Big Lead, when she made the claim, saying:
10-20-30 years from now, there’s no reason we can’t be as big [as] or bigger than Disney. Now that’s a tall order, especially given recent transactions. However, there’s no reason why we can’t get there. You have to dream big, have big, bold goals, and go after them.
WWE’s desire to be taken seriously outside the realm of pro wrestling is nothing new, with the company announcing in November 2017 that it was expanding its WWE Studios division to incorporate “scripted, non-scripted, family and animated television and digital content,” following in the footsteps of companies like Disney subsidiary Marvel. Said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon at the time:
Given the size of our fan base and their appetite for WWE programming well beyond our core in-ring shows Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE, this is the ideal time to further establish the WWE brand with new genres across platforms. WWE Studios is open for business with this new TV and digital initiative.
But now it looks as though WWE has moved beyond the Marvel goal and is looking toward its parent company. Can they hoist the 12,000-pound mouse above their heads and slam it to the ground in front of 9 billion screaming fans at the Pontiac Superdome? It seems like a longshot, but wrestling fans do love an underdog.