Vince McMahon announces retirement from WWE

WWE, Vince McMahon (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
WWE, Vince McMahon (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Vince McMahon announced his retirement via Twitter today stating “At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”

At the same time, WWE posted on their corporate site 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.”"

McMahon retiring comes within weeks of two explosive reports from The Wall Street Journal.  In the first report, it was revealed that McMahon was being investigated by the WWE board for paying $3 million in hush money to a former employee that he had an affair with. That report also involves former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis and the woman who was “passed around like a toy”.  Just three weeks later, WSJ reported that McMahon had paid a total of four women $12 million in hush money.

McMahon is still under investigation by the WWE board.

More changes in WWE leadership

The news of McMahon’s retirement comes the same day as WWE announced that Paul “Triple H” Levesque would be resuming his position as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Back in March, Levesque returned to WWE full-time after a health scare last fall. He detailed his health problems in an interview with Stephen A. Smith. In the same interview, he announced his in-ring retirement.

With Levesque back in the EVP position, it confirms that Laurinaitis is completely gone from the company.

Fightful Select reports that Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan will be co-CEOs. Many within the company were surprised by Vince’s departure as talent was told he wasn’t going anywhere a few weeks ago. The reports also confirms that Vince is “retiring from all active roles in the company and they claimed this is not storyline.”

Bruce Prichard and Kevin Dunn are listed as the point of contact for tonight’s show. However, there are rampant rumors that Kevin Dunn is the next to go. “When the same talent speculated that John Laurinaitis would be ousted, that ended up being the case,” per the report. Prichard is expected to take over Vince’s “television duties moving forward. Producers were told Bruce Prichard is taking some direction from Vince McMahon as the transition takes place.”

Immediate fallout from Vince’s retirement

It has been reported that Brock Lesnar is “pissed” about Vince’s retirement and that he left the venue. Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live tweeted that “Brock’s line was some derivative of ‘If he’s gone, I’m gone.'” Fightful Select is now reporting that SmackDown has been rewritten so Lesnar is not featured.

Lesnar is scheduled to wrestle Roman Reigns Saturday, July 30 at SummerSlam. The match is to crown the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion in a Last Man Standing match. There is reportedly a backup in place if they cannot convince Lesnar to return. It remains to be seen if Michael Cole will call Lesnar unprofessional on air as he did when Sasha Banks and Naomi left before Raw in May.

Next. Reports of WWE women wrestlers being unhappy is a problem. dark

Depending on who stays and who goes, it’s hard to say how much will actually change with Vince’s retirement. Prichard not only staying on in creative, but getting direction from Vince implies that much will stay the same with stories and character development. With Khan and Stephanie as co-CEOs, however, that could change in the future.

Triple H was key during NXT’s “Black and Gold” era, but NXT 2.0 is the complete opposite of everything he built. It was completely dismantled after AEW kept beating NXT in ratings and Triple H was removed from his position.

This is an ongoing story. Stay tuned to Daily DDT for the latest updates.