Vince McMahon Retires From WWE
By Mick Robson
In a shocking move, Vince McMahon has retired from WWE. In the wake of allegations that he paid "hush money" to a number of employees to cover up sexual relations, he had previously taken a step down as Chairman and CEO, with his daughter Stephanie McMahon named as Interim Chairwoman & CEO while the investigation took place. During those past few weeks, however, he retained his role as head of creative, and in fact had an increased presence on television, appearing in a number of cameo spots on WWE programming. With this move, we have learned that McMahon has formally relinquished all duties in WWE.
The issued press release reads as follows:
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Vince McMahon today released the following statement:
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you. I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.
“Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, and passion as always. I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives – in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan. As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can. My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders, and Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
Thoughts: Hell has frozen over. Like I'm sure many people did, I assumed that Vince previously stepping down from his corporate duties was a very temporary measure, and he would be back in power shortly after the investigation. The situation initially appeared to be handled with the typical McMahon bravado, as he reportedly shouted "f**k 'em" defiantly after his Smackdown appearance on the day the allegations came to light.
As a lifelong fan of WWE, I assumed that Vince McMahon would be working until he was in the grave. The press release indicates that Stephanie and Nick Khan will oversee the corporate side, and yesterday saw Paul "Triple H" Levesque resume his role as Head of Talent Relations. I am very curious to see how the creative side of WWE is handled, and whether it has a positive effect on the TV product.
Regardless of any controversies surrounding Vince McMahon, he gave 40 years to the business of pro wrestling (or sports entertainment) and is largely responsible for the fandom that many of us have. For that, I'm thankful and wish him well in retirement.