Backstage News On Internal Reaction To Vince McMahon Resigning From WWE And TKO

Vince McMahon is officially gone from WWE and TKO Group Holdings, its parent company, and according to PWInsider Elite, the initial response backstage is "a mix of relief and happiness," with some believing that "McMahon got what was coming to him." McMahon's retirement from the company comes the day after a civil lawsuit was filed against him and former WWE employee, John Laurinitis, by former WWE employee Janel Grant. The suit alleges both men physically and emotionally abused Grant, as well as sexually assaulting her and trafficking her within WWE, including an alleged attempt to use her as incentive for Brock Lesnar to sign a new deal.

According to PWI Elite, those within the company expected more fallout from the suit after Slim Jim paused their big-money sponsorship with the company Friday night ahead of the Royal Rumble due to the allegations. PWI also report tht McMahon's resignation happened faster than anyone within the company had expected, and that Endeavor may "sweep out anyone close to McMahon" to have a clean slate going forward. Employees who left WWE when McMahon stepped down and returned when he forced his way back in to the company could be on the chopping block if Endeavor looks to start over. PWI reportedly spoke to those who remained with the company post-merger, and their sources said anyone's connection to McMahon may be seen as a "major negative going forward."

The news comes after Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joined TKO's Board of Directors this week amidst rumors he could be taking over as the public face of WWE. Some company employees are reportedly hoping that Stephanie McMahon will return, though obviously things are different now than when she resigned from her position as co-CEO of the company after her father came out of retirement and reinstated himself to WWE's Board of Directors — Stephanie departed the company before it was merged with UFC and Endeavor took over.

McMahon denied the allegations in a statement to Wrestling Inc., saying "This lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and a vindictive distortion of the truth. He will vigorously defend himself."