Major news broke on Tuesday, as Joe Palazzolo and Ted Mann of The Wall Street Journal reported that Vince McMahon is facing “legal demands from two women who allege he sexually assaulted them.” This is on top of additional allegations reported earlier in 2022 that the WWE board investigated. This situation continues to unveil the disturbing behaviors that were occurring at the top of the largest promotion in professional wrestling. But the situation does not end there.
The report also pointed to sources claiming that McMahon wants to return to his position in WWE. According to the WSJ, McMahon “believes he was given bad advice when told to step down and had he stayed, the allegations would’ve blown over.” This is an amazing statement to see in writing as McMahon was willing to gamble on professional wrestling’s inability to hold bad actors responsible for their deplorable actions. Only time will tell if McMahon successfully pushes his way back into the organization, but the entire industry should openly push back against his return to any post within the WWE.
The first reason is the most obvious. Sexual assault doesn’t have any place in society, let alone in professional wrestling. Creating a space where McMahon is welcomed back into his post without widespread pushback across the industry would speak volumes to those looking for wrestling to improve its accountability. Throughout the Speaking Out movement, many showed disgust that bad actors were not held accountable for their actions, at least not to the levels that fans and others employed in the space demanded. Seeing McMahon come back would not only be the biggest slap in the face to the movement but would further embolden other bad actors who think their types of behaviors are capable of “blowing over.”
Since McMahon’s departure, there have been strong improvements in the WWE product, both in and out of the ring. While a “let it play out” mentality is still in place when it comes to Triple H’s leadership over the product, few would state that the product was better with McMahon in charge. Bringing him back would immediately have a negative impact on the product. Look at the position the product was in while he was there and measure it against today’s content. The women’s division alone would face massive struggles under the leadership of a man accused of multiple instances of sexual assault. That’s just one of the many reasons why he shouldn’t come back to any position within the company.
Many were surprised to see Vince McMahon walk away from the WWE with a whimper in the face of several allegations of sexual assault. The news from Tuesday about him looking to make a return should be met with widespread disdain as the industry no longer has a place for what he represents.