Welcome back to The Grevas Report here on Sports Obsessive. Today, we’re going to be looking at the Vince McMahon investigation, what could happen, how this impacts the family & more. There’s a lot to get into so let’s not waste any time here.
If you’ve clicked on this article, you likely know the backstory. The NY Times published a story about how the WWE Board of Directors has been investigating Vince McMahon for several months now over an alleged 3 million dollar pay-out to a former office employee with whom Vince was having a sexual relationship with. The story also goes on to say that there are other payouts being investigated and that one of these women claims that Vince “passed her off like a toy” to John Laurinatis, according to a statement from her lawyer.
This is a major story for a lot of reasons. WWE is a publicly traded company, with a Board of Directors who very well could decide that it’s time to push the Chairman out. Long gone are the days where Vince McMahon can do anything he wants. He answers to shareholders and a Board these days.
One of the biggest questions that the independent investigation will have to answer is who paid these women. Was it Vince’s personal money or was the company footing the bill? If it was Vince’s money, he might be able to weather the storm. If it’s company money, actions will be taken against him and it very well could be the end of his career.
There are other issues at hand here. How will USA, Fox, Peacock & sponsors feel about the Vince McMahon investigation? The Board will likely look to WWE’s business partners and sponsors and take their temperature before taking action. Is there a danger of losing substantial money over this? That remains to be seen but it’s in the realm of possibility that someone could not want to do business with WWE over these claims towards Vince McMahon and that could have a ripple effect.
Lets be clear that Vince McMahon has dodged a lot of bullets in his life. Whether it’s the steroid trial, claims of forcing himself sexually on a female referee in the 1980’s, claims that he knew of sexual abuse happening and him turning a blind eye to it, drugs in the company, Ashley Massaro claiming that she was raped on a “Tribute for the Troops” tour and Vince telling her to say nothing (Ashley would later take her own life) and countless other examples. There’s a list a mile long of things Vince McMahon has been accused of and how many of them caught up to him or made him pay any price? None.
Is this time different? Well, it is just for the simple fact that there’s a Board of Directors and shareholders. There are people within WWE that can hold Vince accountable. There’s a succession plan that has nothing to do with the McMahon family. Nick Khan is the second most important person in the WWE and if the Vince McMahon investigation turns up anything, Nick Khan will be getting the keys to the kingdom.
A lot of people are speculating as to if Stephanie’s recent departure from her day to day duties has anything to do with this investigation. The timing is sure coincidental. While there is no concrete proof linking Stephanie stepping away from the company (she remains on the Board of Directors) to the Vince McMahon investigation, it would make sense that these things are related.
From Stephanie’s perspective, she could be recusing herself from being involved in the investigation in any way. Or perhaps she’s upset with her father. Or maybe, if things are looking bleak behind closed doors, Stephanie was planning her exit plan. Would you blame her?
There’s much we don’t know about this story so it’s hard to predict where the Vince McMahon investigation is going to take us. Is the potential there for this to be the end of Vince running WWE? It absolutely is. Does Vince have the track record to indicate that he’ll get away with this somehow too? Yeah, he does.
More will come out in the days and weeks to come on the Vince McMahon investigation. Until then, we hang tight and ponder what a WWE without Vince running the show might look like.
Since this article was written, further news has emerged that Vince McMahon has voluntarily stepped down from his position as WWE CEO and Chairman, with Stephanie McMahon taking on the role in an Interim position until the investigation is completed. We will keep you updated as more news breaks on this story.