This week, the wrestling world was thrown into turmoil after revelations that the WWE Board of Directors was investigating allegations that Vince McMahon had paid off several women who accused him and John Laurenitis of wrongdoing. Responding to the WSJ report and the blowback, WWE’s Board of directors released a statement and made a significant change. Vince McMahon is out as CEO and Chairman of the Board.
“Stamford, Conn. – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and the Board of Directors today announced that a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation. McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.”
Vince retaining his creative control is not a total surprise. The entire wrestling side of the business lives and dies with him, and removing him from the creative process might cause further disruptions. Though as we noted in a previous piece, plenty of people within WWE are prepared to take over the booking side of WWE.
Stephanie McMahon will be taking his place as CEO and Chairwoman of the Board.
Until the conclusion of the investigation into recent allegations, I am honored to assume the role of interim Chairwoman & CEO. I love @WWE and all it continues to do to entertain billions around the world. https://t.co/E2MushpoSG
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) June 17, 2022
Stephanie recently stepped down from her role as Chief Marketing Officer to spend more time with her family. At the time, no one knew the real reason Stephanie left the company. There’s no word yet if her brief departure was tied to the investigation.
There were rumors that Vince forced Stephanie out of the company due to poor performance. But knowing this, perhaps a Pro-Vince faction within WWE knew that this investigation was going to blow open and trying to protect their spots.
Stephanie has been preparing for this role for most of her adult life and was widely seen as Vince’s business-side successor until very recently.
Mr. McMahon to Address WWE Universe On SmackDown
Adding to the outright bizarreness of this, Vince McMahon (as Mr. McMahon) will be making an appearance on SmackDown tonight.
Mr. McMahon will appear on SmackDown tonight at 8 PM ET live on FOX. pic.twitter.com/6XEEDwR0Hy
— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2022
Is Vince going to retire? Apologize? Will he address the crowd in the ring or a pre-recorded segment? If he steps in front of a live audience, I have to imagine there would be a chorus of boos and jeers.
One thing is for sure, SmackDown will be a must-watch show tonight.
This may be the end of Vince McMahon’s time as the head of WWE. We all wondered when this would happen, with most of us saying the end would come with Vince’s passing.
I am stunned by this. I didn’t ever expect Vince to go down in such a way. Whatever the Board turns up is irrelevant. The damage is done. Vince’s legacy will end on this controversy caused by his decades of power and hubris.
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