Vince McMahon, who is recognized as the father of modern sports entertainment/Pro Wrestling has announced his retirement. The announcement comes at a dark time for the promoter and businessman as he and the WWE are embroiled in a sex scandal involving a former WWE paralegal. McMahon did not address the legal issues when stepping down.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you. I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present Superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.
“Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, and passion as always. I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives – in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan. As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can. My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders, and Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
After taking over for his father as the owner of the then WWF, McMahon began to transform the industry by taking the WWF from a northeastern regional promotion to a national promotion on the strength of TV deals with USA Network and TBS. McMahon also took like premium events to a totally different level by putting together the first WrestleMania, an event that launched his organization into the public conversation on the backs of stars like Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant, who later headlined WrestleMania 3, an event that set all-time records for indoor audiences.
His biggest move before retiring has got to be the launch of the WWE Network, which changed the equation for Pay Per View events by letting customers pay a low monthly fee to access the promotion’s premier live events on top of accessing a library that amounted to a textbook on Pro Wrestling history. The service became part of Comcast’s Peacock in 2021 leading to a noticeable spike in the streaming service’s subscriber numbers.
In other WWE news the WWE today announced that effective immediately, Paul Levesque will resume his executive position as EVP, Talent Relations. “I look forward to returning to my prior position as head of Talent Relations. I’m healthy, fired up, and ready to take charge,” said Levesque. The move will likely steady the ship as Levesque is not only an old head in the WWE but also part of the McMahon family by marriage.