Several WWE Talents Left “Frustrated” By Vince McMahon Controversy

It seems like even the talent inside Vince’s own company are as frustrated as fans.

Earlier this week, Vince McMahon was revealed to be being investigated by the WWE Board Of Directors regarding a three million dollar hush payment to a paralegal who signed with the company in 2019. Earlier today, McMahon stepped down from his role as CEO and Chairman, with his daughter Stephanie assuming those roles in the interim.

Fightful Select have now reported several talents reaction with the general feeling being described as “frustration.”

Fightful has spoken to well over a dozen employees, staff, talent and former employees who have worked with the McMahons, both close and at a distance.

One talent said they saw Vince McMahon appearing on screen as a “cheap ratings ploy in the middle of something serious” and don’t expect much of the culture or presentation of WWE to change with McMahon still around and in control of creative. “As long as Vince McMahon still has his creative duties, nothing can change. What could possibly be different? If he asks something of Stephanie as interim CEO, is she going to say no?” one wrestler said.

One wrestler feared that McMahon would attempt to turn this into a “Vince McMahon vs. the world” type narrative that existed after the steroid trial, as seen in Stephanie McMahon’s post-9/11 speech on Smackdown.

One top star said that they didn’t really know what was going on, but that they’ve “heard in theory Stephanie McMahon is my boss, and that fucking rules.” One former employee that worked directly with Stephanie McMahon before her team was disassembled said “The tone was always that she would be in that role eventually. She knows and breathes the business and she’s seamless.” They also noted that the narrative around friction between Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon wasn’t something they’d personally experienced. A female talent talking to Fightful said they think things can only get better from this point, and was hopeful that both the investigation and Stephanie McMahon as interim CEO would lead to better treatment for women in the company across the board. The talent went as far as to say they hope it results in women getting treated and paid equal to men there. “I imagine it won’t change much. But I love Steph. So that’s good,” said another top talent. “I imagine Vince keeps his position in creative and once the investigation is over he’ll take back over if he can.” Nearly unanimously, staff, employees and talent expect John Laurinaitis to be gone from the company, though one said “as long as Vince McMahon is around, he’ll probably just come back unless he’s Vince’s latest scapegoat.” Another talent said “From a creative aspect im hoping that things change but I doubt they will. From a business aspect I’m also hoping that things change, but also still doubt they will. Really the only thing that I think will actually change is Johnny will be fired which will be nice. Stephanie is great but I doubt she’s gonna suddenly be on board with healthcare and guaranteed contracts.” As far as talent go, on Wednesday they were briefed and told “The Wall Street Journal has published a report about WWE with allegations that we and our Board of Directors take seriously. We are cooperating fully with the investigation.” There was then a follow up message that said “In the meantime it’s business at usual — Vince will be at TV this Friday. Thank you.”

Fightful Select Report

It seems like Vince McMahon is not a popular man backstage in WWE right now, while his daughter seems to have at least some positive reaction to her appointment as Interim CEO.

Follow Corey at @CoreyBrennanBS on Twitter

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