WWE Chief Vince McMahon Retires Amid Probe Into Alleged Misconduct; Ric Flair, Kurt Angle React

WWE declined to comment on McMahon's retirement and did not respond to requests for comment about the probe.

By Subhasish Dutta
Sat, 23 Jul 2022 01:58 PM IST | Source: REUTERS
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WWE Chief Vince McMahon Retires Amid Probe Into Alleged Misconduct; Ric Flair, Kurt Angle React
WWE owner Vince McMahon with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. (Credit: @VinceMcMahon Twitter)

World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) Vince McMahon has announced to retire as the company's chief executive and chairman amid a probe into his alleged misconduct.

The 76-year-old McMahon was being investigated by the board for agreements to pay $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

On Thursday, Vince tweeted: "At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together." 

McMahon last month pledged to support WWE's investigation. He did not address the probe in Friday's statement.

WWE, which produces and distributes weekly wrestling shows "Raw" and "Smackdown", named his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, as the interim head in June.

Vince McMahon has been the powerhouse behind the wrestling entertainment company, transforming it from a regional player in a highly fragmented industry of the 1980s to a global giant, with about $1 billion in revenue in 2021.

He used scripted matches, celebrity wrestlers and glitz to make the brand more acceptable to television audiences and created the concept of pay-per-view matches for bigger events such as "WrestleMania" to build its revenue base.

The company was also dogged by controversies under his stewardship, including charges of steroid use.

"Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, and passion as always," the departing company chief said in a statement.

"As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can."

McMahon was the top trending topic on Twitter in the United States, with many WWE fans expressing shock at the sudden announcement.

WWE declined to comment on McMahon's retirement and did not respond to requests for comment about the probe.

The company's shares are up 34% for the year as it benefits from the return of audiences at its live events.

His daughter Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan will take over the roles of co-CEOs of the company.

Following his announcement, many WWE superstars took to social media to express their feelings.

Wrestling legend Ric Flair aka 'The Nature Boy', who had multiple stints with WWE, said in a tweet, "@VinceMcMahon, You've Made My Life Better Every Day Since I've Been In The Wrestling Business. You're The Only Promoter In My Career That Treated Me Like A Man, Respected Who I Was, And Made Me A Better Person. God Bless You For All You've Done. FYI- No One Can Follow Your Act."

"After winning a gold medal in 1996, I found my 2nd calling because of @VinceMcMahon ... thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I Love you Vince. P.S. I'm still Vince's favourite @steveaustinBSR," tweeted former WWE Hall of Famer and multi-time world champion Kurt Angle.

Mick Foley, known as 'The Hardcore Legend' among fans and one of company's biggest stars during the 1990s and early 2000s, also thanked Vince for the opportunities given to him as a performer.

"Thank you for everything, Vince. You changed my life," he tweeted.

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