The Wall Street Journal sent the wrestling world into a frenzy Thursday when they reported that McMahon paid a secret $3 million settlement to a former employee he allegedly had an affair with. The separation agreement, which was reportedly made in January, prevents the former, unnamed employee “from discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him,” according to the Journal.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in the statement. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
The investigation reportedly began in April and has “unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon,” the Journal reported. Other misconduct claims were reportedly found against John Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent relations.
This email to the WWE board of directors was sent anonymously by a friend of the woman. The WWE board is taking a hard look at this situation and they are trying to determine if any of the money used to cover up affairs was WWE company money or personal money from Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis.
The letter also mentioned that the woman was hired at $100,000 per year in 2019 and later increased to $200,000 after sexual relationships started. This is a huge problem for Vince McMahon because if this can be proven then in essence company money was used and therefore he has become a liability to the financial future of WWE.
The WWE Board of Directors also asked McMahon and Laurinaitis to turn over all company allegations/complaints regarding any relationships the two men may have had with other company employees and sure enough the board has discovered other nondisclosure agreements involving McMahon and Laurinaitis. Sources indicate that the payments to other women totaled in the millions of dollars.
WWE board of directors will pressure Vince McMahon to step down as Chairman and CEO if there is enough evidence to find him guilty of these acts and sources close to the situation say “There is way more still to come out”.
On Friday, June 17th WWE announced that Vince McMahon will be stepping down as CEO and Chairman while the wrestling company’s board investigates him for alleged misconduct.
In the meantime, his daughter Stephanie McMahon, will serve as interim CEO and interim chairwoman.
This comes after Stephanie McMahon announced in May that she was taking a leave of absence. Those within WWE know that Stephanie was well aware of the investigation that started in April and that she wanted to distance herself from the corporate nightmare.
Internally this has caused major PR damage to WWE as this may cost WWE millions of dollars. There is also the issue that WWE has been preparing to sale the company at some point within the next 2-3 years and that is exactly the reason Nick Khan was brought in. Vince McMahon had planned for WrestleMania 39 or 40 to be the last WrestleMania under the Vince McMahon era.
As Nick Khan went through all departments, cutting staff and WWE SuperStars along the way in preparation to “Cut cost and make WWE look more attractive to a potential buyer.” sources tell SW. This all can have a major affect on a WWE sale.
There was a internal emergency meeting which took place today at SmackDown and online and more information was given to WWE Superstars on how to handle difficult questions regarding these allegations if they’re were ever asked in interviews.
Vince McMahon will still handle the creative department while Stephanie McMahon will serve as interim CEO and Chairman as the investigation proceeds.
Previous WWE storylines may also take a huge hit due to the nature of these issues. WWE may want shock title changes and/or returns to take away attention from the negative headlines and the script and plans for the next few months will be undergoing a complete overhaul.
The planned WrestleMania 39 mega-main event between The Rock and Roman Reigns in HollyWood, California may also be changed due to the fact that The Rock may also distance himself from any company with bad publicity including WWE.
As of this afternoon the idea of hot shotting the titles on Matt Riddle has been at least discussed and Vince McMahon will make the final call before bell time.
Many inside WWE also see this as a possible new opportunity for WWE to go in a new direction with fresh blood and make new fans. Many WWE Superstars have felt that McMahon had lost his way with the direction of the company and creative storylines.
Still Vince McMahon owns 38% of the WWE stock and also holds 80% stock voting power, he cannot be forced out only asked to step down and/or retire. But that will be depending how bad all this really gets.
WWE offices and the WWE Universe have been shaken to the core as they await the findings of this investigation by the board. Is this the end of the McMahon era in WWE ? many seem to think so. Stay tuned to Slice Wrestling for the latest updates.