Teddy Long On If He Was Surprised By Allegations Levied Against Vince McMahon

Nearly two months have passed since Vince McMahon stepped down as chairman and CEO of WWE in the wake of an investigation into a reported series of hush money payments he allegedly made to former female employees to silence them from speaking publicly about potential misconduct and harassment, but the scandalous termination of his corporate reign still hangs over wrestling.

In an exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc., WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long, who played an on-air authority for years in WWE, said the circumstances surrounding McMahon's abrupt resignation surprised him because he had no first-hand knowledge of the alleged misconduct.

"I've never experienced none of that," Long said, recalling that "when this came out about Vince and stuff, it was really a shock to me."

Long added, "To know him — and I guess I didn't know him — but, I mean, to be around him as long as I was and to just see how professional and how business he was, I'm saying I just would have never thought that."

Long also speculated on how McMahon is dealing with his fall from grace, believing that his exit from the leadership role "was probably hurting him more than anything else."

"I never will forget that [WWE commentator] Michael Cole told me one time that wrestling was Vince's life," he said. "I was on Vince's plane at the time and Michael Cole told me that Vince will talk about wrestling when we take off and he will talk about it until we land. And that's exactly what he did. We talked about wrestling that whole flight. So, that's why I think him being away is, like I said, he's been doing this for so many years, so to step away like that it's got to take a lot out of it."

Long was less complimentary about former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who was removed from his job in the wake of the scandal.

"With John Laurinaitis, it's karma," Long said. "Karma will come back to get you. Laurinaitis was never a big fan of mine. He was laughing and grinning in my face, but he hated my guts."