It has been six days since the news broke that Vince McMahon is being investigated by the WWE Board in relation to a $3 million dollar settlement made to a former WWE employee, whom he is alleged to have had an affair with. Many fans and wrestling personalities have reacted with their thoughts, but what has the internal reaction been like?
According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider, there is “a lot of silence among employees” as they are all waiting to see how badly the situation can get and if it is something that could hurt the company as a whole. Johnson’s report also notes that employees are currently keeping “their heads down” in an attempt to try and not get caught up in the mess, with many biting their tongues right now, considering they don’t know which executives will end up with potentially more power once the dust has settled.
In the interim, while the investigation is ongoing, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, is stepping in as Chairwoman and CEO, after McMahon temporarily stepped down on Friday. Johnson’s report states that there is “a lot of sympathy” for the Chief Brand Officer right now, as she recently took a leave of absence from the company just last month. It is also said that Stephanie is staying strong despite her mother and McMahon’s wife, Linda, being publically disrespected by the whole saga, and in particular with the discovery of multiple non-disclosure agreements beyond the main alleged affair being investigated.
Despite the turbulent times behind the scenes, Vince McMahon has not shied away from the spotlight and appeared on both “SmackDown” and “Raw” in the last few days, making very brief appearances not related to the ongoing investigation. It is reported that there has been “a lot of headshaking” behind the curtain, which some have seen as an act of denial towards anybody questioning McMahon and his actions, with some wondering if this is the beginning of the end for him being involved with the sports entertainment giant. In addition, Johnson stated that there have been talks internally about how to institute new checks and balances within the company, but there is a worry about how hard it will be to enforce them.
Aside from McMahon, WWE’s former Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, who was also named in the damning allegations initially published by the Wall Street Journal, is taking a leave of absence with Bruce Prichard temporarily taking his place. And if things weren’t already looking bleak for the organization, there are now also five separate law firms investigating WWE on behalf of investors.
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