Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis & Paralegals with NDAs…Oh My!

Oh boy to I have a lot to unpack here today. So Vince McMahon has “temporarily” stepped down as Chairman & CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment because of an internal investigation which is being conducted by the Board of Directors into a story that was reported to them of a paralegal by a third party, citing an affair with Vince and an ensuing $3M non-disclosure agreement upon her termination.

Apparently, upon looking into these allegations, this one paralegal wasn’t the first of her kind to be given such a deal, and even WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis has also been implicated in other like findings. Talk about doing “what’s best for business” and “people power”! Man, does that stuff not age well these days!

There’s a ton of stories out there in the media right now that if you want to find out more information on what I’ve written about here in the first two paragraphs, I implore you to go find it and read about the stories there. What I’m here to do today is look at what “could” happen with WWE that would make such devious acts truly what was “best for business”.

So let’s go down the rabbit hole here, let’s say that Vince McMahon is removed from power within the company and is even relieved of his current duties, which is heading up creative for the on-screen product. I mean could you IMAGINE a world in which Vince McMahon ISN’T the final say on what happens on WWE television? Where Crazy Grandpa isn’t going through multiple rewrites up until minutes before the show goes on the air? Like what if talents received their scripts to memorize days ahead of time, and if they wanted to tweak something here and there, actually had time to get together with producers and writers to make their lines sound more like something that actual, normal people would say in real life? Because a WWE product in which the performers spoke more like everyday people would be a MUCH easier program to watch for me!

And while we’re talking about changing the verbiage typical of a WWE television product, the same goes for the announcers who are constantly hammering home terms and buzzwords that wouldn’t be natural for anyone to use in everyday life that only exist on WWE television. Plus, think of all the production cues that could be done away with…like the seizure-inducing camera work, constantly zooming in and out as punches or kicks are thrown, etc.

Or how about this…these days, said performers are all so interchangeable that hardly anyone matters at all anymore. WWE just announced the main event for Summer Slam in AUGUST…in August! It’s JUNE right now! So either ticket sales are really tanking (which is a possibility) or, as I’d suspect…Roman Reigns has no other believable opponents because the rest of the roster has been so devalued over the last number of years that Brock Lesnar is the only one who WWE has shown us is a competitor on par with Reigns. Even Randy Orton, former 14-time World Champion has been shoved off to the side into the tag team ranks. There literally is no one else in WWE on par with Roman Reigns, who is seen as an equal, who can believably compete with Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar. Not Seth Rollins, not Drew McIntyre, not Bobby Lashley…nobody. And that’s a problem. A big problem!

One would think that with the victories over Seth Rollins recently, that Cody Rhodes is being positioned to be an eventual contender for Roman, but with his recent pec tear, that’s clearly on hold. Mick Foley had released a video a few months ago saying how he would have problems trusting WWE with his career if he were an up and coming superstar in WWE today, and it’s hard to argue with him. Interchangeable pieces means all pieces are essentially identical and therefore, not unique.

Even their feeder system has become more of the same. When NXT was launched, Triple H and his team scoured the independents and signed so many of the top names out there. From Prince Devitt, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa & Uhaa Nation to Kevin Steen, Adam Cole, Chris Hero & El Generico, they all found their ways to NXT and were given the chance to show the fans what they had either by cutting promos or wowing us with their in-ring prowess. Now, if you look down at NXT since Vince & Bruce Prichard took it over, all you see are more interchangeable pieces with oddball names that don’t mean anything either. Vince McMahon being removed from the creative process in WWE could be the best thing that has happened to that company in the longest time. As I’ve said on various podcasts for years now, not discounting what Vince McMahon has done to and for the professional wrestling business, as he continues to age, his vision of what constitutes a watchable show strays further and further from what a large cross section of his audience likes. The “audience of one” needs to end.

By now, we all know who Stephanie McMahon is, and based on her on-screen character, most viewers probably can’t stand her, but in reality, she may be just what the doctor ordered for WWE. Considering that her husband was the one who had built NXT up from next to nothing and created a product that fans were passionate about, I’d like to think she would have seen what Triple H was doing and could understand the differences between her father’s and her husband’s methods of building superstars and storytelling for the on-screen product and could see the positives and negatives of each. Also, she grew up in this business and has been working for the company under various roles since graduating from Boston University in 1998, so to say she’s been ingrained in the daily workings of the company for quite some time would be an understatement. If & when she takes the reigns of the company, she could be just what the doctor ordered for the company’s longevity going forward.

But then again, all this speculation I just shared could all be for naught. Vince owns more than 50% of the Class B stock which gives him control of the company. He’s the Owner, CEO & Chairman of the Board. From what I understand about the Board at WWE is that Vince’s position as Chairman isn’t a voted upon position, so who knows how much can be done. I do know that if he were to stay in power with the allegations and who knows what kind of findings will come out of this, but it could completely tank the stock price, which could theoretically force him out if he doesn’t want to lose a good portion of his fortune which is tied up in the company. So who knows what happens here, what I do know is that I’ve heard and read a LOT of stories of how Vince runs things these days along with the type of performers he has Johnny Ace seek out to bring into the company. Things changed pretty drastically when Triple H was in charge of Talent Relations, hopefully somewhere down the line, we can get back to the way things were during that time.

Until then, we can only hope, dream and pray!

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