An update has emerged on why, exactly, Stephanie McMahon is currently absent from her WWE duties, alleging that legal implications with an external company may be the issue.
The chances of Stephanie McMahon returning to WWE following her leave of absence have “greatly diminished”, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer.
Meltzer discussed the topic of Stephanie McMahon’s WWE departure on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, following a Business Insider report that alluded to Vince McMahon being the reason for her taking a leave of absence. This was refuted, as Dave insisted that the her absence was a decision Stephanie had been thinking about for quite some time.
Perhaps most disparaging to Stephanie McMahon’s reputation is that it’s being alleged that she was responsible for the recent lawsuit involving Major League Wrestling. The Court Bauer-helmed promotion had sued WWE in January, claiming that the company’s interference had led to various media deals with Fite TV, VICE, and Tubi falling through.
Dave Meltzer is reporting that it was Stephanie who got MLW’s deals canned. It had previously been reported that Stephanie McMahon had met with Tubi officials, “pressuring” them not to go ahead with their deal. Had MLW’s deal with Tubi gone ahead, they would have ran head-to-head with NXT 2.0 on Tuesday evenings.
Although Vince McMahon himself allegedly interfered to cost MLW their deal with VICE, it appears that the blame has been put directly on Stephanie McMahon alone. Whether or not this is what led to Stephanie choosing to take time away from the company remains unknown.
It was announced on 19 May that WWE’s Chief Brand Officer would be taking time away from WWE to focus on her family. A date for Stephanie McMahon’s return to her father’s sports entertainment giant isn’t yet known.
Catherine Newman has since taken over from Stephanie McMahon for the time being, though she serves as WWE’s Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing rather than as Chief Brand Officer.