The announcement that Vince McMahon was temporarily stepping down as WWE CEO was met with shock from outside parties – but the mood isn’t quite the same in the WWE locker room.
A joint statement issued by WWE and its Board of Directors on the afternoon of Friday, 17 June confirmed that, in lieu of the ongoing investigations against him, Vince McMahon would be temporarily stepping down as WWE Chairman and CEO.
This marked a monumental change in WWE. The wrestling world was shocked to learn of the news but a Fightful Select report issued following the statement shows that within WWE, the mood isn’t quite the same. The mood in WWE is that of “frustration” rather than surprise.
One unnamed WWE Superstar rhetorically asked Fightful that with Vince McMahon still in control of the creative direction of WWE, “what could possibly be different?” As far as they’re concerned, “nothing can change” as long as Vince McMahon still has some form of sway backstage.
Stephanie McMahon was named as the interim WWE Chairwoman and CEO. Although Stephanie, who was only a matter of weeks removed from taking a leave of absence, is intended to be a temporary replacement, the consensus backstage is that Stephanie being in charge “f*cking rules”.
Again, it isn’t officially clear as to what sort of power Vince McMahon still has a say in. The same WWE Superstar that believes nothing will change during this period added that if Vince asked something of his daughter while she’s in charge, “is she going to say no?”
Vince McMahon remains under investigation for allegations of misconduct, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. They alleged that Vince had made a secret payment of $3 million to a former female employee, who he’d supposedly had an affair with.
While the future of Vince McMahon remains unclear, the majority of WWE performers and personnel do believe that this will be the end of the road for John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis, who currently serves as the company’s Head of Talent Relations, was named in the Wall Street Journal’s report for his own misconduct allegations.
Vince McMahon is due to appear on tonight’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown for a reported “in-character” appearance.