No matter what you think of professional wrestling, the current state of the business was largely shaped on the ideas and risks taken by World Wrestling Entertainment’s longtime owner, Vince McMahon. Over the course of several decades, McMahon elevated the niche business into a powerhouse moneymaker, signing major network deals, setting trends and turning unknown faces into household names. That success didn’t come without scandal and controversy. After 40 years at the helm of WWE, Vince McMahon has decided to retire.
Vince McMahon took to Twitter to announce his retirement from the WWE at age 77. McMahon’s legacy will be difficult to pinpoint. McMahon’s many successes have been heralded. His ability to turn Wrestlemania into a fan-frenzied weekend, bested only by the Super Bowl each other is one of his clear achievements. McMahon revolutionized the way people watched pro wrestling in the 90’s, delivering a more action-packed presentation that included brighter lights, sounds and sharper personalities. That success turned McMahon into a billionaire thanks to network TV deals and taking the WWE public.
But Vince McMahon’s retirement isn’t about old age, it’s likely tied to scandal. According to the Wall Street Journal, McMahon is being investigated by the WWE board for a series of payments he made to women for misconduct McMahon allegedly levied against them. Some of these hush money payments were claimed to be in the millions of dollars. After the Wall Street Journal’s initial findings were revealed, more allegations came to light, forcing McMahon to step away from the company he tirelessly worked to build into a juggernaut.
McMahon leaves behind a company that remains the worldwide leader in sports entertainment. WWE’s slogan for years has been, “Then. Now. Forever.” While the card is subject to change, the show will continue to go on.