A scandal leads to the exit of professional wrestling’s kingpin.
On Friday, longtime Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon steps down from his role at World Wrestling Entertainment after 40 years at the helm.
The news comes a week before the company’s headline summer event, SummerSlam, and weeks after officials disclosed a scandal involving ex-WWE personnel. McMahon and his administration, including Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, have been tied to arrangements in which the administration gave up to $15 million of hush money to stop any case of claims of sexual misconduct.
Many instances McMahon had reportedly paid off date back to 2005 when they had to ensure silence from the women involved.
Yesterday, the company disclosed that they had $14.6 million in previously unrecorded expenses paid personally by McMahon. The findings of the information had added more fuel to the notion that the situation fueled his retirement, despite his persistence, just this past year to not do so.
Showing on screen, with Vince’s multiple appearances on television since the news leak, and off, with his daughter Stephanie McMahon and son-in-law Paul Leveque publicly taking a hiatus from the company after rumors of conflict backstage.
Ultimately, the company has since been usurped by his daughter, running the federation along with tenured WWE Official, Nick Khan.
Her husband takes the role of John Laurinaitis, who also retired after the news.
The 76-year-old is known as the igniter of modern-day professional wrestling, monopolizing the sport and making cross-branded events such as WrestleMania and SummerSlam.
He’s known in recent years for his polarizing forays in the business world, striking deals since going public in 1999. For one, the company’s contract with Saudi Arabia, which has since also partnered with LIV Golf this past June.
He is also known for spearheading the advocacy for his wife Linda McMahon during the 2016 election, leading to her being a Trump administration official between 2017 and 2019.