Fans were taken aback on May 19 when WWE’s Chief Brand Officer and former Women’s Champion, Stephanie McMahon, announced that she was taking a leave of absence from the company.

The daughter of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon revealed the news on Twitter, posting that she looks forward to returning to the company in the future, but for now, she intends to focus on her family.

The impromptu break from WWE also comes just months after her husband and WWE Executive, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, suffered what was described as a cardiac event, ultimately caused by a genetic heart issue. Following the terrifying ordeal, “The Game”, now fitted with a defibrillator, confirmed his retirement from in-ring competition during an appearance on First Take on March 25, and followed this up by appearing on the second night of WrestleMania 38, leaving his wrestling boots in the ring to officially signal the end of his illustrious career.

While many continue to speculate the true reasoning behind McMahon’s sabbatical, former WWE Superstar and current IMPACT Wrestling producer, Lance Storm, weighed in on the situation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised with Steph and Hunter [Triple H], that they’re falling victims to the all or nothing mentality,” Storm said on The Ariel Helwani Show. “And when you’re in WWE, man, you’re in WWE. It’s a 24/7 lifestyle and I can see where Hunter led that 24/7 lifestyle, and he’s got a family he’s got to try to, you know, be a part of as well that he rode that until he almost physically broke. He had the heart issue, and had to go, ‘I gotta stop.’

“And maybe stopping and getting away, maybe Steph and him realized that maybe 24/7 at work isn’t the best thing for us. And I believe Hunter is coming back and doing more, and maybe Steph decided, you know, Hunter had however long he had off. I don’t know what it was. Maybe she’s like, ‘I need that too.'”

McMahon last appeared on-screen at WrestleMania 38 by introducing Olympic gold medalist and WWE signee, Gable Steveson, on night one of the sports entertainment extravaganza. Behind the scenes, she has held the position of Chief Brand Officer since 2013 and is responsible for the strength and growth of WWE’s brand across all lines of business.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Ariel Helwani Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

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