“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.”
Now, if you've been paying attention to the WWE over the past months, it's no surprise that Mr. McMahon's summer has been embroiled in scandle; he's been accused of using company money to pay off former employees that he had intimate relationships with and some of them haven't exactly been pegged as consensual according to reporting from the likes of the Wall Street Journal.
Still, this move is pretty darn unprecedented, as McMahon has been a magnet for controversy in the past, from his from the Montreal Screwjob, to the steroid scandal, the death of Owen Hart, the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, and even his dealing with booking shows in Saudi Arabia, but still, time after time, the man known to the WWE Universe as the ultimate authority figure has remained at the helm of his company without wavering, largely because he was viewed in the greater entertainment industry as the only man who can put over pro wrestling as a big-money venture.
But now, with the WWE a publically-traded company and AEW thriving as part of the Warner Bros. Discovery media empire, the prospects of having the company embroiled in even more scandal when the final, independent report commissioned by the company's Board of Trustees is issued later in the year, better to retire gracefully – if you can call it that – than to fight tooth and nail while his legacy gets sandblasted away in a matter of months.
At least now, Mr. McMahon can kind of retire with dignity and hold a special place in the hearts of long-time fans, instead of being forced to leave fully embroiled in shame.
Clearly, there is more to come on this story, but for now, it's clear the WWE Universe will never be the same.