Is Vince McMahon Being Put Out to Pasture?

10/16/2023 7:21 PM

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Is Vince McMahon Being Put Out to Pasture?

Is Vince McMahon Being Put Out to Pasture?

October 16, 2023 7:21 PM
Is Vince McMahon Being Put Out to Pasture?
WWE News

Will Vince End Up Being a Figurehead...or Worse?

Is Vince McMahon being put out to pasture, that is, is TKO-Holdings setting him up as a figurehead position in the WWE? This potential scenario follows news that Triple H is now in complete control of the WWE's creative department and that the decision was made by TKO-Holdings CEO Ari Emanuel. As we'll see, this is a major change from previous comments that McMahon would be running creative as he wished and that he would have the final say in all matters WWE. Some recent comments from Ari Emanuel also invite speculation as to just what Vince McMahon's role in the newly merged company is and whether his days there are numbered.

Just What is Vince's Role in the WWE?

One of the biggest questions now is just how much power Vinnie Mac has lost and what his role is in the WWE following its merger with Endeavor. Dave Meltzer commented on this during a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio:

“Well, he’s [McMahon] out of creative. It’s a big story because Ari Emanuel, when they were on the verge of closing the deal, and had actually closed the deal in April, did media rounds and (said), ‘Vince will be in charge of the company (WWE), and if me and Vince have a disagreement, it goes the way Vince wants because Vince is the guy.’. So then the deal went through, it only really went through about a month ago, and already, Vince is out of creative because of Ari Emanuel.”

H/T Ringside News

Anyone familiar with business shouldn’t be surprised as these types of situations happen all the time during a merger or other restructuring of power. A prime example in wrestling is when Ted Turner’s Time Warner merged with America Online. A 2003 Wall Street Journal article describing what happened could be a horrifying harbinger for Vince McMahon:

“After Time Warner merged with America Online, Mr. Turner was stripped of his operating power, and his clout inside the company waned.”

H/T The Wall Street Journal

That’s not the only similarity as AOL stock took a hit, reportedly leading to Turner losing billions of dollars. TKO-Holdings stock is currently just below $79, quite the drop from the $100 valuation it held just weeks ago. If the stock price continues to drop, Vince McMahon could lose more than power, he could lose a considerable amount of cash.

Meltzer compared Vince’s position to that of his fatherVince Sr. when Vince Jr. took control of the WWF:

“So this is a real interesting thing because it is the first time – Vince is now in the position that his father was in in ‘84 when his father had run the company for years and years and years, and (then) he was just an employee of Vince Jr.”

H/T Ringside News

There should be no doubt that Vince McMahon's power is diminished. He no longer wields controlling interest of the WWE. Based on the reports of Ari Emanuel placing Triple H at the helm of creative, it's clear Emanuel is doing what he feels is best for the company, regardless of previous comments of keeping Vince McMahon in control.

A Trusted Figurehead

One potential role for Vince is to rely on him as a trusted figurehead. Vince McMahon is synonymous with professional wrestling, much as Kleenex is synonymous with facial tissue. Mr. McMahon is someone who can make public appearances to ensure shareholders the company is in good hands (even if he's in a hands-off role) and lend a familiar face to corporate events.

Vince McMahon still has many contacts in business, politics, and of course, wrestling. It would be unwise to put him in an office and fail to capitalize on his talents. It's obvious that TKO is going to do what's best for TKO and rely on people who are good at their jobs. That's why Triple H is running creative now. However, Vince's experience with the ins and outs of the business make him a valuable resource.

Could Vince McMahon Be Forced Out of the WWE?

Another possibility to consider is that Vince could be ousted from the company at some point. TKO-Holdings’ Ari Emanuel gave three reasons for the stock price dropping with the last being McMahon’s option to sell his stock at any time. Some observers feel Emanuel is putting some of the blame on the stock’s drop to McMahon while others feel he threw it out as a factor in how the market sees things, not necessarily how Emmanuel sees things.

One thing is clear, McMahon has a target on him thanks to the federal government’s investigation into the activities surrounding his 2022 hush money scandal. TKO would likely move fast to oust McMahon from any role in the company pending any potential prosecution and it might not bring him back, regardless of the outcome.

Indeed, concerns about the allegations made against McMahon were discussed in a business filing concerning the merger:

“McMahon’s membership on our Board could expose us to negative publicity and/or have other adverse financial and operational impacts on our business. His membership also may result in additional scrutiny or otherwise exacerbate the other risks described herein. Any of these outcomes could directly or indirectly have adverse financial and operational impacts on our business.”

H/T Cageside Seats

You may recall reports that there is a clause in McMahon's contract that he can be dismissed from the company in the event of something such as his 2022 hush-money scandal. According to an article at The Hollywood Reporter:

McMahon, it should be noted, signed a new contract with the WWE on March 29. According to a copy viewed by THR, “McMahon’s continued employment shall be conditioned on” compliance with the company’s “Conflict of Interest and Code of Conduct,” as well as its “Equal Opportunity and Non-Harassment Policy,” among other terms.

H/T Hollywood Reporter

Will Vince McMahon Get a Taste of His Own Medicine?

It's too early to tell what's next for Vince McMahon. However, it appears he's getting an up-close and very personal experience with the way he has reportedly done business for years. However in this case, it's on the receiving end of things. While McMahon is a survivor, he finds himself lacking the full power he enjoyed for decades. He also finds himself in a situation where he can no longer tell people there are two ways to do things; the Vince McMahon way and the wrong way.

There are too many factors at play to consider this anything more than informed speculation but it would be ironic if McMahon found himself ousted after decades building up the decade. He certainly wouldn’t be the first businessperson to experience this but it would likely be a rude awakening for a person used to getting things his way for so long.